Common Causes Of Insomnia

Insomnia is a condition characterized by a number of complaints that can occur either individually or in combination together.

The person suffering from insomnia will have trouble either going to sleep or trouble remaining sleep and often times they will suffer from both complaints. There is often a cycle of awakening in the early morning hours, usually between 3am and 4am, and when they can sleep, their sleep is often restless and disturbed.

Insomnia typically comes and goes if it begins as a result of some dramatic life event. As the stress associated with the event subsides our sleep returns to normal.

However, it can very easily become chronic and is a much more stubborn condition to treat if complicating medical or psycho-emotional issues are involved. Research has shown that in all cases of insomnia that have been analyzed in sleep laboratories 50% have a strong depression and anxiety component with many sufferers also having understandably negative negative feelings about sleeping and their insufficiency to sleep in general.

Apart from the psychological causative factors of insomnia, there are also a number of physiological factors that can lead to sleeping difficulties.

An environment not conducive to sleeping can be a major problem. External noise, excessive light as well as an uncomfortable temperature can all lead to restless, disturbed sleeping, that if left unchecked can very easily become a pattern that is difficult to break.

Pain will naturally enough make sleeping difficult. If the pain is chronic and severe, as in the case of arthritis for example, it will make sleeping the night through very difficult.

Consuming of caffeine (coffee, cola drinks, chocolate) prior to sleep, will lead to sleeping problems in individuals who can not process and eliminate the caffeine from their body quickly enough. For these people the smallest amount of any caffeine product containing is enough to stimulate their systems to the point where they will be able to get to sleep.

Alcohol can also have a strong stimulating affect on some people provoking an adrenal response in them, not like the fight-flight response. Certainly not a qualified state to going to sleep, or staying asleep.

Bowel and bladder problems that require regular visits to the bathroom throughout the night also can play their part in creating a pattern of disturbed sleep that can unfortunately become a way of life for many people. Even more so as these types of problems tend to occur as we age when we tend not to sleep as much anyway.

Restless leg syndrome, muscle cramps, depleted blood sugar that tells us its snack time at 3 in the morning, smoking that stimulates adrenal hormone secretion, the side affects of certain medications, including sleeping pills if taken for more than a week or two, all can be primary causes of insomnia.

To treat a condition as complex as insomnia the specific cause must be found. And while there may be complicating factors, that if treated, will certainly help the insomnia sufferer, if a normal sleep pattern is to be re-established, the primary cause must be determined and treated appropriately.

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How to Sleep Better at Night

A good night's sleep is vitally important in order to maintain good health. Sleep recharges your body and also restores your mind as well, and it's impossible to live without it. In fact, it's so important that we owe up to one third of our lives to the pursuit of sleep. Many people, however, find that getting restful sleep is elusive and sometimes frustrating.

The world we live in today encourages us to be productive 24 hours per day, and this sort of thinking really eats into our rest time. Many of us push to get more things done and sacrifice sleep to do so, thinking we can catch up at some later time. A sleep debt is a very hard one to pay back, however, and studies are showing that healthy sleep is as important as nutrition to your good health. So how do we achieve this elusive night of restful sleep? There are many things we can do to increase our chances for getting the most out of the time we spend in bed sleeping. Read below to find out more about getting the proper rest.

One of the most important things you can do is to make sleep a priority. Experts recommend that we all get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Picking a schedule for sleep and then sticking to it will be extremely helpful. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time whenever possible.

One major contributor to disturbed sleep patterns is shift work. People working an shift are more likely to suffer from poor sleep habits and from a lack of sleep. If you do shift work, there are a few things you can do to help you sleep better, such as only using products with caffeine towards the beginning of your shift, and sticking to the same shift all the time if possible. Also, when trying to get some rest, remove all distractions such as noise and light from the bedroom. Make the area as dark as possible so your body gets the message that it's time for sleep.

If you're on the regular shift, you can do plenty to help your body get the rest it needs. Avoiding caffeine later in the day is a wise choice, as it can take caffeine for up to 8 hours to completely leave your body. Staying away from cigarettes is another good thing to do, not only for your overall general health but to help you sleep better as well. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and improve your health, but exercising too close to hitting the sack will actually prevent you from falling asleep right away. Exercise will stimulate your body and make it difficult to sleep. Experts recommend that you do not exercise less than three hours before you plan on turning in.

No matter what some people try, they find it difficult to achieve restful sleep. If this is the case, perhaps it's possible that some sort of sleep disorder is the culprit. One of the most common ones is called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose because it often goes unnoticed by the sufferer, and is most likely to be noticed by a family member or spouse. Other common sleep disorders include insomnia, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy.

If you've tried all the recommendations for getting a good night of restful sleep but are still feeling sleepy during the daytime, sometimes a talk with your health care professional is the right thing to do. Sleep is vitally important for your good health, and not getting enough rest can lead to all sorts of health problems.

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Studies Support Natural Pain and Insomnia Remedies While Abuse of Pain Drugs Soars

The abuse of prescription pain medications is at an all-time high. A recent White House study reported a 400 percent increase in the number of people admitted to treatment centers and emergency rooms for abusing prescription pain drugs. The increase was tracked during the 10-year-period from 1998 to 2008 and it spans every gender, race, education and employment level, and all regions of the country. A government representative from the Substance Abuse program said, “The non-medical use of prescription pain relievers is now the second-most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the Nation”

A battle has been raging for some time between potent natural remedies and addictive drugs and medicines. This is mostly due to the lack of easily understood knowledge about which natural options have been proven effective. In 400 BC the “Father of Medicine” Hippocrates said to his students “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”. Mother Nature has provided us with two natural remedies for pain and insomnia that are backed by scientific studies as well as the test of time – calcium and magnesium.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) fact sheet on magnesium says that the mineral is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, and supports a healthy immune system. Calcium is needed to form bones and teeth and is also required for blood clotting. It helps lower colon cancer risk, helps control high blood pressure, and acts as an effective insomnia remedy.

Headaches are a common source of pain. Studies have shown that people with migraine headaches have low concentrations of magnesium in their body. The word “cephalalgia” literally means head pain or headache. In a German study of eighty-one migraine patients published in the journal Cephalalgia, 42 percent of the people taking oral magnesium reduced both the duration and intensity of their migraine attacks. They also reduced their reliance on medicines to control migraines.

Adelle Davis was one of the first nutritionists to base her recommendations on scientific studies. In her book “Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit” she says, “Calcium is a pain killer par excellence. . ”

In a recent study of 497 women, calcium was shown to be an effective pain reliever. The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was called “Calcium Carbonate and the Premenstrual Syndrome: Effects on Premenstrual and Menstrual Symptoms.” Within two to three months, the women who were supplemented with 1200 mg of calcium daily, were able to reduce their pain symptoms by 54%, while the women not on calcium actually experienced an increase in pain.

In addition to pain relief, Adelle Davis also recommends calcium as an insomnia remedy. She says: “A calcium deficiency often shows itself by insomnia, another form of an inability to relax. . ”

Regarding the use of nutritional remedials containing calcium and magnesium for relief of pain and remedying insomnia, certain formulas are more effective than others. The combination of minerals included and the presence of co-factors in the product are key. Formulas should contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. The original research on this recommended report appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews and was made on the basis of long-term metabolic studies in men and women.

The war between natural remedies and toxic medications can be won in our very own medicine chests by keeping some powerful forms of calcium and magnesium nearby.

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Sleep Better On An Electric Adjustable Bed

If you are considering buying an adjustable bed because you have trouble sleeping at night please keep reading … Millions of Americans suffer from flatbed related aches and pains at night. That is right your flatbed may be causing your pain. As we age our bodies become more sensitive to pain. To make things worse most of us have pain from accidents that happened many years ago or discomfort from existing health problems. When we lie on our flatbed it can cause the pain to intensify keeping us awake at night. We find those who suffer with one or more of the problems below enjoy our adjustable beds:

  • Low back pain
  • Arthritic pain
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Can not breathe linging flat
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Achy shoulders or hips.

While you lie on your flatbed at night the exerting forces of gravity pull on your body causing you pain. The problem is; you distribute a significant amount of pressure between your shoulders, arms, hips and legs putting your muscles in a state of tension. This causes your muscles and joints to become sore. You also constrict blood circulation and oxygen to your limbs. Think back into the past, do you remember waking up with your arm or hand numb, tingling or limp? To make matters worse lying in this position can aggravate your already achy muscles, joints and health problems and the discomfort keeps you awake at night. As a result you wake up many times during the night tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable place to lie. It does not matter where you move to you are not going to find a comfortable place for very long. The next morning you wake up achy and sore. You may have trouble communicating during the day or you may find yourself disoriented and confused.

We sleep to let our bodies rest and recuperate for the next day. We also sleep to let our minds dream about the stressful events that go on in our lives. Otherwise our minds are overwhelmed with stress and we worry. Without good nourishing sleep our health problems can worse and our bodies can premierely wear out. The quality of life that we once took for granted is no longer available to us. Simple things like going to the grocery store or visiting a friend is no longer as easy or enjoyable as it once was.

The easiest way we know to get a better night sleep is to change the way you sleep. Pain and discomfort is the way your body communicates with you. When something is wrong you feel pain. If you are still sleeping on an old flatbed at night and you feel discomfort or pain, or you just can not fall sleep at night it may be time to make the switch to a comfortable and relaxing adjustable bed. Sleeping with your head up and your legs flexed can distribute your body weight evenly, taking the pressure off your sore muscles and joints allowing you to relax and sleep more comfortably and soundly at night.

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Narcolepsy Diagnosis Criteria – Narcolepsy And Cataplexy

If you feel excessively tired during the day, you can use the narcolepsy diagnosis criteria to find out if narcolepsy is likely to be the cause of your problems. Let me explain how the criteria work, and how understanding the nature of cataplexy can help you find appropriate treatment.

Narcolepsy is a severely under-diagnosed disease – it's thought to affect over 200,000 people in the US, but only a quarter of those are diagnosed. This is large because the severity of narcolepsy varies so much.

While it's immediately obvious in some sufferers, others mainly suffer from sleepiness with occasional extra symptoms, which can be difficult to positively diagnose. By understanding narcolepsy diagnosis criteria, you and your physician can decide whether you're likely to be suffering from this condition.

Within the International classification of sleep disorders (ICSD) manual there are two sets of minimum criteria for diagnosing narcolepsy. One of them in narcolepsy when the sufferer has cataplexy

Narcolepsy Diagnosis Criteria When The Sufferer Has Cataplexy

The first set of criteria is used for diagnosing narcolepsy is if you suffer from cataplexy.

Cataplexy is a sudden, unexpected loss of muscle function. This can cause a complete collapse of the body, but may also be less severe and just involve a temporary slackening of facial features, weakness at the neck or knees, or slurred speech.

If you suffer from cataplexy as well as lapsing into sleep during the day most days, that's sufficient to diagnose the narcolepsy. But not all cases of narcolepsy include cataplexy, in which case additional symptoms need to be observed as well as sleepiness to make a diagnosis.

If You Experience Narcolepsy And Cataplexy

Being diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplexy is a common way to be diagnosed with narcolepsy. The good news is there are effective treatments for this condition.

Previously, dexamphetamine was used for all narcolepsy treatments. Although it had significant drawbacks in the form of side effects and dependency, for a long time it was the only treatment available.

Now there is a new, more superior treatment available in the form of modavigil. Modavigil (modafinil) is a new and effective treatment for narcolepsy patients, even if they have cataplexy too.

Modavigil has almost no side effects, is cheap, effective, and easy to acquire. See your physician regarding modavigil as a possible treatment for you or your loved one with narcolepsy and cataplexy.

Buy Modavigil and Stay Awake.

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Importance of Restful Sleep

Restful sleep is vitally important to maintain good physical health. There are a number of things your body accomplishes during the time you spend sleeping, and when sleep is interrupted or avoided altogether there are consequences to be paid. Let's examine why sleep is so important to physical and even mental health.

Good sleep can be elusive for many people. For one reason or another, at some point we all struggle with getting the proper amount of restful sleep. Some of the reasons include stress, off shift work hours, excess alcohol consumption and even certain sleeping disorders.

It may seem like sleep is merely just hopping into bed and closing your eyes, but a lot goes into the making of a night of sleep. Your sack time is made up of 5 different stages, and each one has a specific function. Stage one is when your body is relaxing and still partly awake. It's easy for you to be awakened at this transition phase, which lasts only 5 to 10 minutes.

Stage 2 can last a little longer, sometimes 20 to 30 minutes, and it's during this stage that your body will begin to slip into sleep. Your heart rate will slow down during this phase. Stage 3 is next, and this stage is known as a transitional period between light sleep and deaf sleep.

Stage 4 is a period of deep sleep that can last for approximately 30 minutes. Your brain has slowed down quite a bit at this point and is producing delta waves. Next comes stage 5, or REM. This is the stage when most dreams occur, and your respiration and heart rate will increase as you go through this stage.

Your body will cycle through these stages 4 or 5 times per night, and each stage is an important part of the sleep process. Missing a couple of hours of sleep here and there will probably be no big deal, but if you miss enough sleep for an extended period of time, your body will begin to notice and react.

Not getting enough sleep at night has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also can lead to higher blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels. Poor sleep can also increase your stress levels as your body struggles to deal with the lack of proper rest.

Lack of sleep can lead to the inability to concentrate and also make you very irritable. Numerous studies have shown that a person who is sleep-deprived is a hazard on the road as well. Driving while drowsy with lack of sleep can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.

Getting the proper amount of restful sleep is important for maintaining good health. The amount of required sleep is different for each individual, but experts recommend between 7 and 8 hours per night for adults. It's been proven that people who get the right amount of sleep on a consistent basis lead healthier lives than those who do not.

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Solutions to CPAP Problems That You May Not Know

If you have sleep apnea and are using a CPAP machine than you know that there can be issues that make this therapy difficult to use. Sometimes you can find support to resolve these issues and sometimes there are solutions that your doctor, sleep tech or respiratory therapist may not be aware of. Researching this on the internet can be as baffling because of all the contradictory information. There are however some solutions that might solve some common problems when using CPAP.

One of the largest issues people have is with their mask. During the first thirty days after receiving your machine you can change your mask at no cost just by calling the company that set up your machine. After that if you want to change your mask you need to get a prescription from your doctor. In many cases your sleep lab or your sleep doctor can bring you in to try different tasks and then write a prescription and send it to the DME company.

If the mask leaks or if you are developing a sore on the bridge of your nose a device called a Gecko nasal pad will help to reduce leaks around the nose and will take the pressure off your skin. Remzzz makes a full face mask liner that will also help with this problem.

If you are developing dry mouth or a dry nose and you have increased your humidifier as high as it can go than you may want to ask about a heated tube. In certain machines they can be added to help increase humidity without water raining out into the tubing.

If you are finding that your face is breaking out where the mask sits than there can be a couple of solutions to this problem. You are not washing your mask pillow every day or you may be using a soap that is too harsh. Make sure you wash the mask with something you can also wash your face with. Make sure it is rinsed well and air-dried. You also need to make sure you are changing your mask and mask cushion often enough. If you go too long the cushion begins to get brittle and will develop leaks, you will toughen it too tight which will will cause problems with your face.

If you are a side sleeper, than you might like the new sleep pillows that several companies have created. They have great support while having cut outs that allow you to roll on your side without the mask becoming dislodged and leak.

If you are unable to tolerate the pressure, than you might be a candidate for an oral appliance. Sometimes they will replace the CPAP and sometimes you can use them in conjuction with the machine to reduce the pressure. There are many different types of oral appliances and they should be created by a dentist trained in sleep specific oral appliances.

The most important thing you can do is talk to those who are there to help you. Discussing your problems with the sleep doctor, sleep lab or DME company is the best way to solve your problems. CPAP therapy is long term therapy and we understand that it sometimes takes a little time to get used to it. It is the job of the professionals to help you adapt to the therapy and if you can not than help you find an option that will work best for you.

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Is Your Sleep Disturbed? Do You Have Trouble Falling Asleep? Do You Wake Up Tired?

Today we live in a society where advertisers know that difficulties with sleep are common. If you think about it, how many energy drink and coffee commercials boast about how to stop feeling tired, especially in the morning? Most of them do. Why is this so common? It is because of stress (physical, chemical, and mental), diet, and lack of exercise. One of the main components of our response to stress is a hormone called cortisol .

What does cortisol do?

Cortisol is a hormone that is released throughout the day to stabilize blood glucose levels between meals (including during sleep). It is released from glands that sit on top of each of your kidneys. Cortisol functions in a normal rhythmic pattern (cycle). Cortisol should be high in the AM, gradually decline throughout the day, and be low before you go to bed.

If your sleep patterns are affected by cortisol imbalance, you will experience difficulty either falling asleep or staying asleep.

If your cortisol is high before bed you will have a hard time falling asleep because cortisol excites your brain function, so you can not relax and go to sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 65 percent of Americans report experiencing a sleep problem, such as difficulty falling asleep, waking during the night, and waking feeling unrepresented at least a few times each week, with nearly half (44%) of those saying they experience that sleep problem almost every night. If this is something you struggle with, know that you are not alone.

If you experience abnormally low cortisol levels, you may fall asleep quickly but will wake up 2-4 hours after falling asleep. This is because the amount of glucose stored in your body lasts about that long. Under normal circumstances, when your body depletes liver glucose stores, your adrenals (adrenal glands) should release cortisol which helps create new glucose for your brain and body to use. Unfortunately, when you have this imbalance of cortisol, there is no cortisol to create more glucose. At this point, your body has no other option but to initiate a stress response and release epinephrine / norepinephrine (adrenaline) which wakes you up so that you can eat to feed your brain.

The only reason for an abnormal daily cortisol cycle is a bodily response to an alarm or stress signal. The complications that arise with both of these kinds of dysfunction are seemlessly endless.

Some of the common signs and symptoms of cortisol imbalance are craving salts, slow starting in the morning, afternoon fatigue or headaches, weight gain during times of stress, waking up tired even after 6 or more hours of sleep, and excess sweating or sweating with little or no activity.

If any of these situations or symptoms are present in your life, the time to take action is now. A chronic stress response initiated by an imbalance of cortisol will have detrimental effects on your health and your quality of life. There are answers, and they are needed now more than ever. Get the guidance you need to take action and start living the life you deserve!

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Narcolepsy Diagnosis Criteria – No Cataplexy Or Abnormal Sleep Patterns

There are many Narcolepsy Diagnosis Criteria. Some include no cataplexy or abnormal sleep patterns. Learn more about Narcolepsy Diagnosis Criteria in this article.

Surprisingly narcolepsy is a very underdiagnosed disease in the United States. There exists an International classification for sleep disorders which describes two ways of narcolepsy diagnosis criteria.

The first narcolepsy diagnosis criteria is for narcolepsy with cataplexy. The second is for narcolepsy with no cataplexy.

Narcolepsy Diagnosis Criteria When There's No Cataplexy

If you do not experience cataplexy, narcolepsy can be diagnosed by the presence of these features:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Associated features that go along with excessive sleepiness.
  • Results from polysomnography (a sleep measurement technique used with narcolepsy diagnosis criteria) showing patterns distinctive of narcolepsy.
  • No other mental or medical problem that could explain the symptoms.

Of these criteria, the excessive daytime sleepiness and the features that go along with it are the easiest to consider if you're wondering whether you suffer from narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy Diagnosis Criteria – Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

The sleepiness can just involve feeling drowsy at intervals during the day, but can also involve being unable to resist falling sleep at appropriate times and places with little warning. This tend to be the first symptom that people notice – additional symptoms may start to appear, individually or together, years after you first notice excessive daytime sleepiness.

These additional symptoms include sleep paralysis, where you might be unable to move or talk for seconds or minutes after waking up, and hypnagogic hallucinations. These hallucinations are often vivid and frightening, and occur while drifting off to sleep and waking up.

A third feature, automatic behaviors, occurs in around 40% of narcolepsy sufferers. This is when everyday activities (like talking or putting things away) continue during sleep, but you wake up with no memory of doing them.

These features are not unique to narcolepsy, but are usually only seen in people with severely disrupted sleep patterns.

Narcolepsy Treatment – The Newest And The Best

If you or someone you know suffers from narcolepsy then the newest and best treatment available comes in the form of modavigil. Modavigil (modafinil) is a brand new treatment that is proving very promising to all sufferers of extreme sleep deprivation.

Modavigil is not an antidepressant or amphetamine like other narcolepsy treatments. It's a new form of drug with little or no side effects and most patients respond well. As always, talk to your physician if this treatment could be right for you.

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What’s Your Number? Hours of Sleep That You Require

I have a retired 64 year old patient, I'll call him Bob, who tells me that he never sleeps more than 5-6 hours a night and that he's always up with the sun, full of energy for his active retiree day and never gets that mid-afternoon sleepy slump. He's doing well, has no major health concerns, and this amount of sleep seems to be working well for him.

Another patient I have, I'll call her Ellen, 46 years-old, working full-time every day as a busy legal secretary, tells me she's a zombie without she has at least 9 hours of sleep a day. What's the difference between the amount of sleep Bob and Ellen need, and how do you know how much sleep you need? I'd like to tell you about some important factors to consider.

What Determines How Much Sleep You Need?

Seems all the news is buzzing today about sleep and how we should all get more because our heart health, and even maintaining a normal weight, depends on it. Two recent sleep studies have suggested that the baseline magic number for everyone is to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. While that's a good recommendation, some people just simply do not need that much sleep. Consider these things when figuring your sleep requirements:

• General health: Are you in good health or do you have some chronic problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, depression, get chronic colds, or some other ailment? If so, you probably require more sleep as chronically reduced sleep can lower your immunity to all types of illness. In turn, chronic illnesses create stress and require more sleep / repair time to re-charge your immune system. Fibromyalgia is thought to be due to a chronic lack of sleep, so sleeping more could actually alleviate, or very treat, that condition.

• Stress levels: Like my patient Ellen, do you have a hectic job, or are you caring for a sick person / elderly parents, have financial difficulties, family problems? If so, you may find yourself desiring, and requiring more sleep to counteract the physical / mental exhaustion from the stress and its effects on your immune system.

• Fitness level: Are you in shape, exercising regularly at least 4 days a week for 40 minutes at a time, or are you more sedentary? Studies show that people who are physically active require less sleep because they burn off stress, lower blood pressure, and blood sugar, and muscles relax more during exercise.

• Your age: While it's true that some older people do well on less sleep, some actually need more sleep, based on symptoms they may have, irritability, depression, inability to focus, forgetfulness, even balance problems. This group of people simply may not be able to stay sleep long enough and could benefit from sleep aids.

• Sleep quality / duration: Restless sleep can be just as bad as too little sleep. You develop a sleep debt if you only sleep 2 actual hours a few nights a week on a chronic basis though you may be in bed for 8 hours. This can lead to dangerous consequences caused by sleep deprivation (see the list below). A polysomnogram, or sleep study, can show what quality / duration of actual sleep you are getting at night. This can be arranged through your doctor. Sleep debt, can fortunately, be “paid” off by making up sleep hours on following nights or by taking naps the next day. Too long sleep, over 9 hours, has not been been associated in research studies with possible health risks and early mortality. However, these studies need further research as they are not as conclusive of actual cause / effect as too little sleep studies have been.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

The best way to gauge how much sleep you need is simple – how do you feel and function at what length of sleep each night? Remember, everyone's sleep needs are different. Here are some common symptoms of sleep deprivation to watch for better calculate your sleep hours:

• Falling sleep while driving, or at work, or other places during the day.

• Lack of concentration, irritability, depression, inability to comprehend or remember written / spoken material.

• Appetite increases / weight gain that occurs from hormone suppression.

• Worsening / developing health conditions.

Things That Can Help You Sleep Better

If you're like my patient, Bob, who has no trouble with sleep, consider yourself one of the lucky few as approximately 20% of Americans get less than 6 hours of sleep every night. Here are some things you can do to help get better sleep:

• Control caffeine and alcohol intake. Do not drink either, 2 hours before bedtime.

• Get regular exercise during the day instead of near bedtime.

• Block out noise, light from your bedroom while sleeping. No TV or computers in bed.

• Keep pets from waking you up.

• Keep consistent sleep schedules every day and on weekends.

• Drink hot cocoa, hot cinnamon milk, red rooibos tea before bedtime; or take 2 calcium, magnesium supplements, all of which will help you relax and fall sleep.

Sleep is essential to staying naturally healthy. Too little is known to cause serious consequences and too much may cause serious health problems as well. Keeping a sleep diary for a few weeks, noting how you feel with your sleep, can help you get your magic sleep number just right for you!

Stay well,

Dr. Mark

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3 Reasons Sleep Apnea Is The Most Dangerous Of All Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders are very common. Waking up tired and being tired all day is an epidemic of this age. Reducing sleep for school, job, family and life in general is bad. The inability to rest regularly may need medical treatment. Sleep is the universal building block for the body's ability to function.

Sleep disorders are more complex than lost hours counting sheep. Many medical disorders involve sleeplessness. Some of the main sleeping disorders are:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Bruxism or “teeth grinding”
  • Somnambulism or “sleep-walking”
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) or “uncontrollable leg movement”
  • Rapid Eye Movement Behavior Disorder (RBD) or “acting out dreams while sleep”

Of all sleeping disorders, sleep apnea affects around 20 to 30 million Americans. Even sheer numbers like these do not tell the full story of how bad sleep apnea has become.

Three top reasons for sleep apnea being the worst sleeping disorder is how it affects the brain, damages the heart and is dismissed as “no big deal”.

1. Sleep Apnea Causes Temporary Brain Damage

Apnea affects the brain in many ways. When a person's normal breathing pattern is interrupted during sleep, that person never falls sleep. Rest is for the body but sleep is for the brain. The brain reboots during sleep.

Imagine your computer running and running and running, unable to shut down, unable to repair and unable to defrag. It is just a matter of time until your computer breaks. A good thing about sleep apnea treatment with therapy such as CPAP, after a few weeks of deep sleep, the brain will be able to reset.

2. Sleep Apnea Causes Permanent Heart Damage

When a person has fallen or multiple non-breathing episodes while asleep, blood oxygen levels drop. Blood carries oxygen to body tissues. During periods of low blood oxygen levels, the heart pumps extra blood to make up for the loss. This can cause high blood pressure and irreversible changes to heart muscle.

The heart is just like any muscle in the body. The more it works the bigger it gets. One of the main reasons for heart failure and heart transplant is the heart becomes enlarged to a point it no longer works as it should. An over worked heart is a ticking time bomb but it is not the worst condition sleep apnea can cause.

When a person spends hours without enough oxygen, blood oxygen levels lower lower and lower. See above, we know that. Sleep apnea can drop these levels so low it can trigger a heart attack. Even death.

Lack of oxygen to heart tissue causes chest pain. Heart muscle cut off from oxygen causes heart attack. A heart attack while your body is shutting down to sleep combined with a very low blood oxygen level will cause death. Not every time. Many times the paramedics arrive to save the day.

3. Snoring is no big deal. Right?

You snore. I snore. My uncle John snores. Everybody snores. No big deal … right? Snoring is common but abnormal. Snoring indications parts of the mouth and throat are cutting off oxygen's path into the lungs. If you wake yourself up snoring or someone else can not sleep near you because of your snoring, it is just a matter of time before you develop full-blown medical problems.

Worst of all, many medical conditions such as:

  • Stress
  • Mood Swings
  • Chronic Chest Pain
  • Mental Deficiencies
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Weight Gain (in spite of clean diet with regular exercise)

are treated without any thought given to the possibility that sleep apnea may be the cause of them all.

Imagine being diagnosed with multiple medical problems, spending huge sums of money on doctor visits, treatments and medicines all because you have one simple, very treatable, medical condition. Sleep apnea truly is the worst of all sleep disorders.

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8 Effective Natural Home Remedies For Snoring

Snoring can affect anyone including children. However studies show that it is prevalent in men and people who are affected by some of the factors we are now going to discuss. As one ages, the chance of snoring also increases. Here are some of these factors that can cause your snoring:

Allergies – if you suffer from an allergy, know that it is possible that it could be the cause of your snoring. An allergy can clog your airways and the trachea, which then reduces the airflow. As air forces its way against the tissues in the air passage, it vibrates and it is that vibratory sound that is known as snoring.

Cold and flu – like allergies, they can also clog the airway. This is why some people will experience snoring only when they are suffering from a cold or flu.

Diet – you should be aware that certain types of diet can actually aggravate your snoring. Here is an example – dairy products. Certain types of food does produce mucus, which tend to cause congestion, restricting your air passage.

So those are just some of the factors that could be responsible for the cause of your snoring. At this stage you are probably asking yourself how you are going to stop snoring. If you are looking for a solution then be assured that I am now going to show you 8 effective home remedies for snoring.

  1. As discussed earlier, cold or flu can cause or even aggravate your snoring. One of the best remedies for getting rid of your cold or flu is by inhaling hot steam. Boil water and pour it into a bucket. Cover your head over the bucket and inhale the hot steam.
  2. Not only is alcohol bad for your health, it is also counter-productive if you snore. The best remedy is therefore not to drink alcohol at least within the last four hours before you retire to sleep at night.
  3. The position in which you sleep can also affect your snoring. Instead of lying on your back while you are sleep, the best advice or remedy is that you sleep on your side. Sleeping on your side will help to open up your airways, allowing good airflow and also stop your snoring.
  4. If you are taking sleeping pills or medications that induce sleep, then you need to stop taking them now as they may be the cause of your snoring.
  5. Do not eat or drink anything that contains dairy products nearer your bedtime. These products can cause mucus to accumulate in your throat and make you snore.
  6. If you are overweight, then it is important to take steps that can help you to lose weight. If you are overweight, it does aggravate your snoring.
  7. Let's look at herbal remedies. They are effective. Soak two leaves of eucalyptus in boiling water for few minutes. Then drink it as you would drink tea. Eucalyptus will clear your airways and can stop you from snoring.
  8. Wear nasal strips before you go to bed. They are not expensive and can stop your snoring.

In conclusion, you can now understand why you snore and how these eight home remedies for snoring will be able to help you to stop snoring.

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Tips On How To Fall Asleep Fast!

A Great Night's Uninterrupted sleep – Fall Asleep Fast In A Natural Way

There may be possibly almost nothing worse when compared with not being capable of uninterrupted sleep at night.

Regardless of whether you might have trouble falling asleep as well as sleeping through the night, you will now have most likely battled to figure out ways to get over your own sleep problems.

Plenty of people think that using sleeping tablets is the only means that will welcome not enough sleep, however different from popular view, there are actually all natural methods to overcoming not getting enough sleep.

While sleeping tablets may possibly at the start assist you drift off to sleep with success, just about all can be addictive and usually do not actually assist in a condition of relaxing uninterrupted sleep as well as even more importantly, permit REM (rapid-eye movement ) deep sleep.

For those who have not ever tried out a great all natural solution for sleep problems, it is without a doubt seriously worth a shot to have a relaxing night of uninterrupted sleep. Regular physical exercise through the day. We may be taught a thing or two from kids. Observe them run all over the whole day and then sleep peacefully through the night.

Take up a daily workout program, especially in the afternoon, which in turn will be able to assist accomplish much deeper sleep at night.

On the other hand, do refrain from physically demanding exercising during the Two hours before going to bed, which unfortunately can easily have the actual reverse effect. Keep from day time napping. Commonsense states that whenever you will snooze during the day, you are going to certainly now have trouble getting to sleep during the night.

The later part of afternoon is commonly a day sleeps or nanny naps for lots of people. Naps seem to be okay if they are restricted to around 30-45 minutes as they are never taken after about three pm.

Re-evaluate your diet plan.

The easiest method to remedy sleep problems would unduly be to modify your current diet plan. Any diet loaded in unhealthy foods as well as caffeine products, which includes coffee, tea, chocolate, as well as some kinds of sodas will certainly mess up a person's natural brain chemical make up and then cause you to definitely suffer a loss of sleep at night.

Switch off any lights.

Much of our sleep forms, or perhaps circadian rhythms, are actually closely associated with the occurrence of sunshine and then night. Consequently, if you do not experience problems with going to sleep in the actual dark, switch off every one of the lights inside your bed room anytime you're going to sleep.

Or perhaps as an alternative, start using a dim night light. Sufficient sleep at night and relaxation is vital to have a healthy as well as active lifestyle.

Should you be even now struggling to obtain a good night's sleep following trying out these particular natural home remedies, in that case get medical help

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The Serious Side Effects Of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects thousands of people every year. Bouts of insomnia, snoring and a feeling of being even more tired when you wake up in the morning than you were when you went to bed, are all signs that indicate you might be one of them. There are also an untold number of side effects that can affect your long term health that have been linked to this disorder, so getting effective treatment for apnea is crucial.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

If you find yourself feeling out of sorts in the morning, chronically fatigued, or unable to concentrate on even the simplest tasks, you may be suffering from one of two distinct forms of apnea. Obstructive apnea literally means that during your sleep, something physical blocks your airway, cutting off needed oxygen for a full and complete rest. This could have enlarged tonsils or your tongue shifting momentarily. The loss of air in apnea only lasts seconds and the snoring occurs when the air flow is restored.

The second kind, central apnea, happens when your brain fails to send the proper signals to continue your breathing. You might think that breathing is automatic, but it really depends on your brain telling you to. This kind of apnea, as well as the obstructive kind, is best diagnosed by undergoing a sleep study. During the study, you will be hooked up to several machines during a night's sleep. What the doctor is looking for are changes in your brain activity, any movements you make during sleep, your heart rate and your breathing patterns, in order to determine whether or not you have the condition or not.


Treatment for apnea is quite simple. Both types can be effectively managed through home sleep therapy using a CPAP mask to ensure that you get the proper amount of oxygen during sleep. This should eliminate the headaches and fatigue you were feeling before the treatment. For mild cases, lifestyle changes can help. Simple measures such as losing weight or changing your sleep habits will improve your rest.

Side effects

Because losing sleep can affect your overall health, over time, ignoring apnea can seriously weakened the body. Not getting the right amount of oxygen during sleep decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood, while allowing the amount of carbon dioxide to increase. Continuously low oxygen levels can lead to a loss in equilibrium, chronic fatigue, and memory loss. Oxygen is required in the blood to aid in healing and in fighting off infections. Long term apnea can compromise your immune system to where it can no longer resist viruses, bacteria and infections, which can lead to more serious complications later on.

Weight gain is one of the more serious complications possible for sufferers of sleep apnea. A lack of energy leads to a lack of caring about getting the right nutrients, the right foods, and exercise is out of the question. Weight gain combined with apnea can make you more at risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart arrhythmias over time, as well. Every single part of your life can be devastously affected by apnea, and to leave it go untreated is gambling to the nth degree.

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Insomnia: How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Have you ever gotten home after a long day at work and found it difficult to unwind and go to sleep? A lot of people do. Ironically, even after jogging the stress of working a full-time job, shuffling the kids off to school and oversees their endless needs, many find it difficult, if not nearly impossible, to get to sleep. Why?

This article will examine current information and treatment related to this troublesome disorder.

Insomnia, what is it?

Insomnia is a problem that affects more than 50% of adults with women being 1.3 times more likely to suffer from it. Also, people over 65 years are 1.5 times more likely than younger people to suffer from this affliction.

Short term sleep problems, called acute insomnia, include sleep disorders of a few weeks but duration of less than one month. This usually requires no intervention. Mild insomnia is usually diagnosed as duration of about a month or so. But, long term or chronic insomnia, one year or more, can lead to other more serious health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

There are two types of insomnia: Primary – meaning that it is not associated with any other condition. Secondary – indicating that the insomnia is associated with another condition such as arthritis, cancer, asthma, depression or heartburn.

Solutions –

Melatonin supplementation

Melatonin, which is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the center of the brain, has been successfully used by many to treat the milder forms of insomnia. Titration is usually recommended until the therapeutic level is reached. Of course, before beginning any new supplements or drugs, check with your primary care physician.


One of the best places to check for possible causes of insomnia is with commonly used medicines. Many sleep issues arise because of side effects of medicines.

The solution is to check with your pharmacist regarding medication side effects. If you find that there is indeed a problem, discuss it with your physicist for possible substitutes or changes in your medication.

Nicotine and Caffeine

For health reasons it is best to avoid nicotine since it is no secret that this chemical causes tar build up in the lungs of smokers which leads to lung disease. It is also a stimulant that can interfere with sleep.

So, smokers should seek the assistance of their physician or pharmacist in selecting a regimen to break the smoking habit. Once this is done, the desired good night's sleep may come easier than ever.

Caffeine is also a well known stimulant that can rob the insomniac of sleep. Start to cut down on caffeine coffee and cokes, and other caffeine beverages. Opt for decaf instead.

Know thyself

Understand that not everyone is a morning person. I know personally, that I can wake up about 4:30 am and watch the news, or do some writing or studying. But then, come 7:30 pm, I am in the twilight zone. So, if you can stay up until midnight doing productive things, then great. You probably will not wake up at 5:00 am. Organize your day then accordingly.


Exercise is great for the body and mind, as well as for that endorphin-like, feel good effect, but not right before bed. Time out for that stuff is probably late afternoon, if you are an early bird like me.


Spicy and greasy foods are a no, no. Beef eaters should make a cut off time early in the day, like noon. Better yet, cut down altogether as red meat really taxes the digestive system, which makes it more difficult to fall sleep.

A better bet is turkey which is high in tryptophan, which is a sleep inducer.

As far as other foods to induce sleep, try chamomile tea, valerian, warm milk and restful, St. John's Wort. Also, aromatherapy with lavender and relaxation inducing music to help you drift off into a pleasant and restful sleep.

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