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The Phenomenon of Sleep Paralysis

Posted 26 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2016 – Imagine you wake up, see a stranger running toward you with a knife and your legs won't move so there's no escape. Terrifying episodes like these are known as sleep paralysis. They're not dangerous, it's just your brain telling your body it's still in dreamland, according to Texas A&M University researchers. When you're in the stage of sleep where vivid dreams occur (known as REM sleep), your arms and legs are temporarily paralyzed so you can't act out your dreams. If you wake up during this REM stage, you feel unable to move and may even hallucinate, the researchers said. "When people have a nightmare, they sleep, have a dream and then wake up. When they're experiencing sleep paralysis, they may have a dream when they are already awake," said Dr. Steven Bender, director of Texas A&M University's Center for Facial Pain and Sleep Medicine. "Sleep paralysis is a ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Nightmares, Narcolepsy, Night Terrors, Drowsiness, Sleep Paralysis, Hypersomnia

Brain Relies on Two Timekeepers for Sleep

Posted 12 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2016 – Both an internal "clock" and an internal "hourglass" affect how different parts of your brain respond to sleep deprivation, a new study shows. The Belgian researchers said these findings could eventually aid in the understanding of sleep disorders, and help folks who work night shifts or those with jet lag. The study involved 33 healthy young people who volunteered to stay awake for 42 hours and have their mental sharpness tracked along the way. Sleep scientists from the University of Liege used MRI scans to chart the volunteers' brain activity as they performed tests of attention and reaction time. Not surprisingly, their performances dulled as their sleep deprivation worsened. But the brain scans revealed a complicated interaction between two basic biological processes: the body's central "circadian rhythm," which pushes people to be awake and active during ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Night Terrors, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Drowsiness, Sleep Paralysis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Cataplexy, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Jet Lag, Alcohol-Induced Sleep Disorder

5 Tips to Help Teens Get Needed School-Year Zzzzzs

Posted 10 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10, 2016 – When a new school year begins, many teens have a hard time readjusting their sleeping habits. But there are a number ways to prepare, according to Michael Scullin. He's an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and director of Baylor's Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory. Get a head start on resuming a normal sleep schedule. "If you go to bed after midnight on Sunday before class starts, it's going to be a tough Monday. It's very hard to shift your schedule overnight, so parents need to start imposing that a few days early," Scullin said in a university news release. Avoid bright lights in the evening. "Phones, tablets, laptops, television... It's hard to get those completely out of the post-dinner schedule, but you don't want to be crawling into bed with the phone. And if there are bright lights ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Drowsiness, Sleep Paralysis, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Hypersomnia

Health Tip: Considering a Sleep Study?

Posted 21 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

-- If you can't find a way to get to sleep, a sleep study may help you figure out what's behind your insomnia. The National Sleep Foundation says a sleep study may help if: Your doctor can't figure out what's causing your sleep problems. You've tried treatments for sleep issues without success. You have significant daytime drowsiness or chronic snoring. You wake up often throughout the night, or have trouble falling asleep. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Night Terrors, Drowsiness, Sleep Paralysis, Cataplexy, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Alcohol-Induced Sleep Disorder

Sleep Disorders 6 Times Higher Among Veterans

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 – Sleep disorders are six times more likely among American military veterans than in the general population, a new study finds. And veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) seem to have the highest rates, the researchers said. The research involved more than 9.7 million veterans treated by the Veterans Health Administration system between 2000 and 2010. The majority (93 percent) of these military service members were men. Slightly more than 750,000 were diagnosed with at least one sleep disorder, the study authors said. Over the course of 11 years, the investigators found that the rate of sleep disorders rose from less than 1 percent to nearly 6 percent. Sleep disorders were most common among veterans who had experienced combat and those with PTSD. "Veterans with PTSD had a very high sleep disorder prevalence of 16 percent, the highest among the ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Night Terrors, Drowsiness, Sleep Paralysis, Cataplexy, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Alcohol-Induced Sleep Disorder

Desperate for Shut-Eye?

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 2, 2016 – People with long-term sleep troubles should turn to a form of psychotherapy to reboot normal sleeping patterns before trying sleeping pills, the American College of Physicians recommends. Specifically, people with chronic insomnia should try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the experts said. This treatment combines talk therapy, behavioral interventions and education. If CBT doesn't work, patients and their doctors should then decide together whether to add drug therapy, the new guidelines said. "We know chronic insomnia is a real problem that patients present within our [doctors'] offices," said Dr. Wayne Riley, president of the American College of Physicians (ACP). "We want to get away from the overtendency to prescribe sleep medications, and clearly CBT can be a very nice tool in the toolkit." Up to 10 percent of adults are affected by insomnia, defined as ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Sleep Disorders, Klonopin, Insomnia, Clonazepam, Ativan, Ambien, Valium, Fatigue, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, BuSpar, Diazepam, Benadryl, Hydroxyzine, Zolpidem, Buspirone, Melatonin, Temazepam, Nightmares

Sleepless Nights Linked to Brain Changes in Study

Posted 5 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 5, 2016 – Insomnia is linked with abnormalities in the brain's white matter – the tissues that form connections and carry information between different parts of the brain, a small Chinese study suggests. The researchers said these disruptions occur in areas of the brain involved in the regulation of sleep and wakefulness as well as cognitive function. The researchers explained that white matter tracts are bundles made up of long fibers of nerve cells that connect one part of the brain to another. "If white matter tracts are impaired, communication between brain regions is disrupted," said researcher Shumei Li. She's from the department of Medical Imaging at Guangdong No. 2 Provincial People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China. Although the study found an association between white tract matter abnormalities and insomnia, it wasn't designed to prove cause-and-effect. People with ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Drowsiness, Sleep Paralysis, Cataplexy, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Head Imaging

Sleepwalkers Feel No Pain When Injured: Study

Posted 6 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2015 – Some sleepwalkers don't feel pain when they suffer an injury – even a severe one – during a sleepwalking episode, a new study finds. But sleepwalkers are at increased risk for headaches and migraines when they're awake, the researchers added. The researchers assessed 100 sleepwalkers and a control group of 100 people with normal sleep habits, and found that the sleepwalkers were nearly four times more likely to suffer headaches and 10 times more likely to suffer migraines. Among the 47 who had suffered at least one injury during sleepwalking, 79 percent said they did not feel pain at the time and remained asleep despite the injury, according to the study in the November issue of the journal Sleep. "Our most surprising result was the lack of pain perception during the sleepwalking episodes," principal investigator Regis Lopez, a psychiatrist and sleep medicine ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Headache, Sleep Disorders, Migraine, Insomnia, Nightmares, Head Injury, Sleep Apnea, Sleep Paralysis, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder

'Exploding Head Syndrome' Surprisingly Common Among Young People

Posted 1 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 – Nearly one in five young people suffers from what's called "exploding head syndrome," a new study suggests. People with the syndrome are startled awake from sleep by sudden loud noises – even the sensation of an explosion – that occur in their head, the researchers explained. The syndrome tends to occur when a person is falling asleep. It may be caused by brain cells associated with hearing firing all at once, said study author Brian Sharpless, director of the psychology clinic at Washington State University. "That's why you get these crazy-loud noises that you can't explain, and they're not actual noises in your environment," Sharpless said in a university news release. Sharpless said conventional wisdom holds that exploding head syndrome is a rare condition that occurs primarily in people older than 50. But he had his doubts about that. "I didn't believe ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Sleep Paralysis

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