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Sleep Disorders News

To-Do List Before Bedtime Prompts Better Sleep

Posted 18 hours ago by

TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2018 – It sounds counterintuitive, but researchers report that writing a to-do list just before you hit the pillow might send you off to sleep more quickly. The lab study included 57 university students who took five minutes before going to bed to either write down what they needed to do over the next few days, or to list the tasks they had completed during the previous few days. Those who made a to-do list fell asleep faster than those who listed tasks they had already completed, according to the Baylor University scientists. "We live in a 24/7 culture in which our to-do lists seem to be constantly growing and causing us to worry about unfinished tasks at bedtime," said study author Michael Scullin. He is director of Baylor's Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory. "There are two schools of thought about this. One is that writing about the future would lead to ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia

Health Tip: Taking Fewer Naps

Posted 5 days ago by

-- Has your doctor suggested taking fewer naps? Or are you ready to wean a child from napping? The National Sleep Foundation suggests how: Don't expect to accomplish the deed overnight. Napping isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. An occasional nap is to be expected. Turn nap time into quiet time. Allow for a period of calm, such as by reading or listening to quiet music. If necessary, move bedtime earlier to adjust for a lack of daytime sleep. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder

Working Night Shift May Raise Women's Odds for Cancer

Posted 9 days ago by

MONDAY, Jan. 8, 2018 – Women who pull the night shift regularly might be at greater risk for a number of cancers, new research suggests. "Our study indicates that night-shift work serves as a risk factor for common cancers in women," said study author Xuelei Ma. He is an oncologist in the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center at West China Medical Center of Sichuan University, China. "These results might help establish and implement effective measures to protect female night-shifters. Long-term night-shift workers should have regular physical examinations and cancer screenings," Ma said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research. For the new study, the researchers conducted a review of 61 studies involving almost 4 million people from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, to look for an association between long-term night-shift work and the ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Breast Cancer, Prevention

Amber-Tinted Glasses Might Get You More Sleep

Posted 26 Dec 2017 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 26, 2017 – For the tech-obsessed who use their smartphones, laptops and tablets right before bedtime, a small new study suggests that inexpensive amber-tinted glasses might guarantee sound slumber. The glasses block the blue-wavelength light emitted from many hi-tech devices. That light suppresses the brain's production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles. But in the study, researchers found that adults diagnosed with insomnia got about 30 minutes more sleep when wearing wrap-around amber lenses for two hours before bedtime. "We expect that blue-light exposure before bedtime might contribute to sleep difficulties or exacerbate sleep problems in individuals who already experience difficulties, so we were not surprised there was an improvement in sleep quality," said study author Ari Shechter. He's an assistant professor of medical sciences at ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Diagnosis and Investigation

Reduce Stress and Eat Healthy to Fight Infection

Posted 22 Dec 2017 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2017 – A hectic holiday pace not only tires you out, it makes it easier to pick up an infection. Reducing stress, getting enough sleep and healthy eating are among the things you can do to stay healthy if you're traveling over the holidays, one expert suggests. Stress levels can rise at this time of year, so it's important to acknowledge and manage your anxiety, said Dr. James Riddell, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Michigan. "When stress hormones are produced, that leads to a decrease in your immune system's ability to fight off various infections. It also contributes to a pro-inflammatory state, which isn't healthy," he said in a university news release. Be sure to get enough sleep – at least seven hours a night. "Poor sleep hygiene can have an effect on immune function through increased stress hormones, which can increase susceptibility to ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Viral Infection

Health Tip: All-Nighters Are Unhealthy

Posted 20 Dec 2017 by

-- All-nighters are a favorite pastime for many college kids who cram for exams at the last minute. But the resulting lack of sleep is anything but healthy, the National Sleep Foundation says. The foundation says doing an all-nighter may: Make you forgetful. Lead to weight gain. Affect your mood. Affect your circadian rhythm, the 24-hour internal clock that helps regulate alertness, blood pressure, certain hormones and body temperature. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

Life's Hassles May Give You Nightmares … Literally

Posted 19 Dec 2017 by

MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2017 – If you're having bad dreams, feelings of frustration with your life may be triggering them. That's the finding of researchers whose assessment of 310 people found that frustrations and emotions associated with certain psychological needs affected their dreams. People whose needs for independence, relatedness and feeling competent that weren't being met felt more frustrated and had more nightmares or dreams featuring sad or angry emotions. When asked to interpret their dreams, these participants were more likely to use negative words than were people who felt their psychological needs were being met. The British study was published online recently in the journal Motivation and Emotion. "Waking-life psychological need experiences are indeed reflected in our dreams," said study lead author Netta Weinstein, from the University of Cardiff in Wales. "Negative dream ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Nightmares, Night Terrors

Health Tip: Plan for Better Sleep

Posted 13 Dec 2017 by

-- Even getting a good night's sleep requires some thought and preparation. The National Sleep Foundation offers these suggestions: Go to sleep at the same time every night, even on weekends. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual. Avoid naps. Exercise daily. Maintain a cool sleeping temperature between 60 degrees and 67 degrees. Buy a comfortable mattress and pillows. Use bright light in the morning to help manage your circadian rhythm. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Don't eat heavy meals in the evening. If you can't sleep, switch rooms and do something relaxing until you feel tired. If you still can't sleep, speak with your doctor tofind a sleep professional. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue

Shhhh! Patients Are Sleeping

Posted 6 Dec 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 – In hospitals around the world, noise complaints are booming. But some medical centers are trying to stem the 'round-the-clock' racket. Medical equipment, air circulation machinery, announcements and staff pages create a cacophony of sounds 24/7 that can stress patients, staff and visitors alike, said Ilene Busch-Vishniac, a consultant on noise control. Besides sleep disruptions, high noise levels in hospitals can change patients' heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. These, in turn, boost stress levels and may slow healing, said Busch-Vishniac, of BeoGrin Consulting in Baltimore. Excessive noise can also interfere with communication between hospital staff and patients, she added. Equipment alarms are a major source of hospital noise. While some of these alarms alert staff to changes in a patient's medical condition, others sound when medication or ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue

Later School Start Times Do Help Kids Feel Rested: Study

Posted 5 Dec 2017 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 – Later school start times could help teens get the amount of sleep they need, according to a new study. The finding contradicts the common belief that teens will simply go to bed later if they can sleep later in the morning. In fact, the study found that even those who did stay up a bit later got more sleep than teens who had to get up for early morning classes. When high schools started classes at 8:30 a.m. or later, teens were more likely to get the recommended amount of sleep. The findings showed that they spent an average of 46 more minutes in bed than did teens whose schools started classes between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Data on the students' sleep habits came from daily online recordings made by 413 teens during a school year (September through May) and the summer months of June through August. "Teens starting school at 8:30 a.m. or later were the only group ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue

Health Tip: Help Prevent Snoring

Posted 1 Dec 2017 by

-- Snoring is not only an annoyance, but also a potential health concern. Chronic snoring may be associated with sleep apnea, which can lead to sleep deprivation and potential heart issues. The National Sleep Foundation says certain exercises may strengthen muscles surrounding the airways and help prevent snoring: Push the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and slide the tongue backward. Repeat 20 times. Suck your tongue upward so that the entire tongue lies against the roof of your mouth. Repeat 20 times. Force the back of your tongue downward against the floor of your mouth while keeping the tip of your tongue in contact with your bottom front teeth. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome

What You Don't Know About Drug Interactions Could Hurt You

Posted 29 Nov 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29, 2017 – Many older Americans take multiple medications – but only about one-third ever discuss possible interactions between drugs, a new poll finds. This could endanger their health, researchers said. "Interactions between drugs, and other substances, can put older people at a real risk of everything from low blood sugar to kidney damage and accidents caused by sleepiness," said Dr. Preeti Malani, who directed the nationwide poll. "At the very least, a drug interaction could keep their medicine from absorbing properly," said Malani, a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School. The poll was conducted by the university's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. It was sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, the university's academic medical center. Malani's team questioned nearly 1,700 adults ages 50 to 80. About 1 in 3 who take at least one ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Sedation

Health Tip: Prevent Drowsy Driving

Posted 28 Nov 2017 by

-- One in 25 U.S. drivers reports having fallen asleep while driving during the past month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The first step to prevention is recognizing the symptoms of driving drowsy, the agency says, offering this list of warning signs: Yawning or blinking a lot. Having difficulty remembering the past few miles driven. Missing your exit. Drifting from your lane. Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue

Seeking Better Sleep? Here's One Simple Step to Help

Posted 27 Nov 2017 by

MONDAY, Nov. 27, 2017 – Getting a better night's shut-eye may be as easy as cracking open a bedroom window or door, a small new study suggests. Dutch researchers used high-tech methods to track the nighttime movements of 17 healthy volunteers over five nights. Some of the participants slept with a bedroom door or window open, allowing for better ventilation in the room, while others did not. The result: The better-ventilated rooms had lower levels of carbon dioxide in the air (humans breathe out CO2 naturally) and that seemed tied to better sleep, according to a team led by environmental researcher Asit Kumar Mishra, of Eindhoven University of Technology. "Lower carbon dioxide levels [in the bedroom] implied better sleep depth, sleep efficiency, and lesser number of awakenings," Mishra's team reported Nov. 22 in the journal Indoor Air. One U.S. sleep expert said the nighttime ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Fatigue

Health Tip: Is Stress Interfering With Your Child's Sleep?

Posted 24 Nov 2017 by

-- Even young children have stress. If it's bad enough, it may interfere with your youngster's sleep. The National Sleep Foundation mentions these warning signs of stress-induced loss of sleep in children: Decreased appetite. Headache. Bedwetting. Stomach upset or pain. Inability to relax. Aggressiveness or stubbornness. Inability to control emotions. Unwillingness to participate in family or school activities. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nightmares, Night Terrors

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Insomnia, Narcolepsy, Sleep Apnea, Hypersomnia, Drowsiness, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Sleep Paralysis, Jet Lag, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, Alcohol-Induced Sleep Disorder