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Posts Tagged ‘sleep/wake cycles’

Is it ADHD, or does your child have Sleep Apnea?

May 21st, 2014 Raquel Rothe

A thoughtful question posed by a doctor at The Pennsylvania Snoring and Sleep Institute. Many of the symptoms are similar and the two illnesses are often confused.

“Not much is understood by parents about snoring or sleep apnea, especially in their children. The Stanford School of Medicine states that about 10% of children 10 years of age and younger snore and, of those children who snore, about 20% will haveobstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring can be a sign that your child has sleep apnea as it indicates, at the very least, that their airway is partially obstructed during sleep. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can interrupt or stop your child’s breathing, prevent a normal night’s sleep, impair growth, and lead to a lower quality of life. It also can cause serious fatigue during the day which is why it is so often confused with ADHD.
Sleep-disordered breathing such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have long been associated with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). You should know that not every child diagnosed with sleep apnea has ADHD, just as not every child diagnosed with ADHD has sleep apnea. However, many studies have been performed indicating a significant correlation between OSA and behavioral issues. Children with obstructive sleep apnea do not get restful sleep, and as a result may complain of morning headaches, be irritable and have difficulty concentrating.
Children with sleep apnea may complain of being tired during the day and, at the same time, exhibit hyperactive behavior or act impulsively. Herein lays the confusion of separating sleep apnea from ADHD because many of the classic symptoms of ADHD are often exhibited in children with OSA. So, as a parent of a child diagnosed with ADHD, what do you do?”

5-7-14 adhd“It will be in your child’s best interest if you dig a little deeper into the root of what may be causing these behaviors. Watch your child sleep at night – and even record it if you can. Check for restlessness, mouth breathing, snoring, or breathing pauses. If they occur, have your child evaluated for possible sleep apnea to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment.
Figuring out if your child has sleep apnea or ADHD may seem quite complex but it doesn’t have to be. Consult with a sleep apnea doctor if you can answer ‘yes’ to any or some of the following questions:
- Does your child snore?
- Does your child stop breathing for a few seconds at night?
- Does your child frequently mouth breathe?
- Does your child sleep through the night or is it a restless sleep?
- Is there frequent bedwetting?
- Does your child seem irritable during the day? Is there difficulty focusing? Are there periods of hyperactivity?”

7-14-1`2 teacher and sleeper“The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the most common causes of sleep apnea in children. An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist can determine if your child’s tonsils and adenoids are enlarged and possibly blocking the airway at night. A tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can successfully treat sleep apnea by removing the obstruction in the airway resulting in a complete elimination of symptoms in 80-90% of children.”

Dr. Lana B. Patitucci, D.O. is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist at The Pennsylvania Snoring and Sleep Institute. She is trained in all aspects of general and pediatric otolaryngology including endoscopic sinus, otologic, head and neck, and facial plastic surgery.

Should You Use the SNOOZE Button?

January 18th, 2014 Raquel Rothe

http://youtu.be/P6zcSFA7ymo

10 Unconventional (But Great) Sleeping Tips You’ve Probably Never Heard

January 10th, 2014 Raquel Rothe

By: Lifehack

Increasingly, science is showing that sleep is a basic building block for sustaining life and that sleep, like digestion, respiration and meaningful relationships, is one of the most important processes for the human body. During sleep the body heals, grows, and replenishes itself so that people can thrive with abundant, vibrant lives.

When we are children, sleep comes very naturally. The body demands it and it occurs. Children can sleep in almost any circumstance—driving in a car, with a TV on in the next room, with the dog barking. Children, teens and even young adults fall easily into sleep providing their circadian rhythm has not been disrupted. Unfortunately for adults, sleep is too often an elusive state that escapes us, causing a myriad of problems with health, happiness and productivity.

Sleep issues can arise for many different reasons, and for different reasons at different times in one’s life. Physical or emotional stress, changes in schedules and routines, dietary changes and disruptions to our natural circadian rhythm are the most common reasons that sleep problems arise. Unfortunately, when sleep problems do develop, they can become the norm rather than the exception for many people, and reversing these patterns takes some time and effort.

Next time you’re struggling with sleep, experiment with any of the following 10 unconventional but great sleeping tips to determine what will work best for you:

1. Strategize Your Day Plan

Plan your day as closely as you can so that you follow the same pattern and routine each day. Although this may sound boring, as it lacks spontaneity, when it comes to improving your sleep, your body thrives on daily rhythms and schedules. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time and try to have your meals at the same time as well. This will allow your body, hormones and other brain chemicals to function optimally, and this will allow your body to produce the hormones needed to fall and stay asleep.

2. Move Your Body Daily

Exercise has numerous benefits, and research finds new benefits every day. Regular exercise improves heart health and blood pressure, builds bone and muscle, helps combat stress and muscle tension, improves mood, and improves sleep. Exercise helps you sleep sounder and longer and feel more awake during the day.

When engaging in physical activity, it’s important that you choose activities that resonate with you and bring you happiness while participating. If you love dancing, try a Zumba class, if you like being outside, try running, cycling or skating. An additional benefit to exercising outside is exposure to sunshine. Twenty minutes per day of sunshine helps produce vitamin D, an important vitamin to your overall health and hormonal system. Also consider the time of day you are engaging in physical activity. Earlier in the day is better when it comes to sleep. Exercise excites the body and creates new energy, when you do this too close to bed time it could interfere with sleep.

3. Sleep Naked

The body naturally cools down as it produces melatonin and prepares the body for rest. Among other things, this process requires the body temperature to drop. When you sleep with heavy pajamas and blankets, the body has a difficult time lowering your temperature and this will wake you up. Try sleeping naked in good quality, comfortable sheets, and keep the temperature down in your bedroom.

4. Understand You Have a Circadian Rhythm

The body’s system and functions are based on rhythms. Humans have a circadian rhythm and a circannual rhythm. These rhythms control many things. The circadian rhythm—our daily time clock—is particularly important when it comes to sleep. Hormones provide signals to the body all day and all night long that control sleep and eating patterns. For this rhythm to function optimally, there are environmental components we can control to support this important process. When your sleep is compromised by work or stress, for example, you will lose this rhythm and re-establishing it can be difficult.

5. Turn Off Your Screens

Your circadian rhythm is strongly signaled by light. The bright light of the morning produces certain hormones and signals and the darkness of the evening and night produce others. The access to 24-hour lighting has largely influenced our exposure to light and therefore our daily rhythms. The one key thing you can do is limit your exposure to light in the evening, particularly the light emitted by TVs and computers. The light produced by these devices significantly interferes with the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone produced in the pituitary gland that signals sleep to the body. It’s crucial that the amount of light the body is exposed to decreases slowly over the course of the evening. Ideally, you would turn off all screens one to two hours before you’d like to sleep.

6. Do Something Relaxing

Avoid activity that is too stimulating in the evening. The brain is wired to respond to your physical and emotional needs at any time of day. When you engage in stimulating activity such as a dramatic TV program, a heated discussion with a family member, or work-related emailing, your brain’s awareness is heightened and bringing yourself down from that will take time. Avoid that by winding down. Have a cut-off time, perhaps one to two hours before bed, in which you will not engage in anything too stimulating. Make this a daily practice and tell the people you live with that it’s a goal you have. Try something relaxing like reading a book, meditation or gentle stretching.

7. Have Sex

After a day of work, commuting and children, the last thing many people want to consider is sex. But there are many health benefits to having sex, including better sleep. Weekday sex can be a simple quickie if time and energy are concerns, and that too will provide benefit. You’ll fall asleep faster after orgasm and there’s good reason for that. The hormone prolactin is released after orgasm. Prolactin is responsible for feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. As well, following orgasm, the body produces oxytocin, the feel-good hormone that reduces stress and helps us bond with others, so the benefit extends to your relationship and your overall health.

8. Watch Your Food Intake

The body is sensitive to all of the things you do to it, expect of it and feel throughout the day. Food digestion is a key function of the body that influences many things, including sleep. Keep your consumption of caffeinated beverages, including coffee, to a minimum and consume them before 3 p.m. if possible. Caffeine is very stimulating and interferes with the hormones required to relax the body and produce sleep.

Also, consider the type of food you’re eating. Having simple carbs in the evening has a relaxing effect on many people and helps with relaxation and sleep. Keep in mind how close you’re eating to bedtime. Ideally, you should stop eating three hours before bed. Digestion requires a lot of energy and time. If the body is busy digesting your last meal, you will have problems falling and staying asleep. Give your body the break it needs during the night to heal and repair you by allowing it to be free of the job of digesting food.

9. Drink Calming Tea After A Warm Bath

Magnesium is a mineral responsible for many functions in the body. One of its most important functions is calming muscles. By adding magnesium to a warm bath with some essential oil, you will be able to relax and drift into a deep sleep. Having a cup of herbal tea in the evening is calming and when done regularly (like turning off screens, taking a bath or reading a book), functions as an important signal to the brain and body that time for rest is near, allowing the required systems to begin their work. Chamomile tea has long been thought to be a helpful sleep aid. There are many companies producing blends that help relax the body and aid with sleep.

10. Keep Your Room Dark

Even the smallest amount of light hitting the eyelid (some research says the size of a pinhole will do it) can interfere with the production of melatonin, which would result in poor quality sleep or lack of sleep. Keeping your room both dark and cool have been shown to be imperative in regulating sleep. Invest in blackout curtains to ensure that your room is dark all night. Turn off and block the light from all electronic appliances, such as clock radios and cell phones. Better yet, remove them from your bedroom if possible. If blocking out the light is problematic, purchase a soft eye-mask that you can wear comfortably throughout the night.

Falling Asleep-Stage 1

March 7th, 2013 Raquel Rothe

Brain waves slow, muscles contract sharply a few times and then relax.  You may experience a sensation of falling.  If something wakes you, you may be unaware you’ve been asleep

The Sleeping Brain

March 3rd, 2013 Raquel Rothe

While our bodies rest, our brains are very active but in different ways from when we are awake.  Sleep is divided into four stages, and a typical adult cycles through these several times during the night,  skipping Stage 3, deepest sleep as morning approaches.

Will Changing My Diet Help Me Sleep Better?

February 18th, 2013 Raquel Rothe

New studies have claimed links between the way we eat and the way we rest at night

A good diet and a sensible bedtime certainly won’t do any harm. Photograph: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

We are what we eat, and now researchers are saying that our diet affects how we sleep. A study, published in the journal Appetite, found differences in the diets of people who slept for seven to eight hours a night compared with those snoozing for five. Since less sleep is associated with high blood pressure, poorer blood-glucose control (increasing the risk of diabetes) and obesity (as is more sleep in some studies), shouldn’t we eat the foods that are most likely to help us sleep a healthy amount? And does anyone know what foods these are?

The solution

The study in Appetite used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that those who slept the standard seven to eight hours ate the greatest variety of foods. Those who slept the least (less than five hours) drank less water, took in less vitamin C, had less selenium (found in nuts, meat and shellfish) but ate more green, leafy vegetables. Longer sleep was associated with more carbohydrates, alcohol and less choline (found in eggs and fatty meats) and less theorbomine (found in chocolate and tea). The researchers took into account other factors such as obesity, physical activity and income, and still found these differences in diet.

They concluded that both long (nine hours-plus) and short sleep are associated with less varied diets but say they don’t know if changing diet would affect how long we sleep for. The study shows only an association, although the link with short and long sleep both being “unhealthy” holds true with a 2011 review of evidence about the length of sleep and risk of heart disease.

The evidence on what diet would help us sleep best isn’t clear. It is also not evident how much individual preferences for sleep – some like to sleep longer than others – affect these results. But there is more research on the relationship between sleep and weight, with studies showing the shorter the amount of sleep a person has, the hungrier they feel.

German study presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior last year showed that after just one night of sleep disruption the volunteers in the study were less energetic (so used up fewer calories) but hungrier. The researchers said their volunteers also had raised blood levels of ghrelin, a hormone linked to the feeling of hunger. A commentary a few months later in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association backed this association, saying that while encouraging a weight-loss regime of eating less, moving more and sleeping more might be too simplistic, diets were helped by good amounts of high‑quality sleep

So while no one knows what foods will stop you waking up at 5am, you won’t go wrong with a more varied diet and a sensible bedtime.

Driving Drowsy Prevention Week-National Sleep Foundation

November 14th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

Young People More Likely To Drive Drowsy

November 9, 2012

National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® Provides Tips to Prevent One in Six Traffic Fatalities

WASHINGTON, DC, November 9, 2012 – In recognition of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®, (November 12-18), the National Sleep Foundation is joining with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to educate drivers about sleep safety. A recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation found that young people are more likely to drive drowsy.  Specifically, one in seven licensed drivers ages 16-24 admitted to having nodded off at least once while driving in the past year as compared to one in ten of all licensed drivers who confessed to falling asleep during the same period.

A recent National Sleep Foundation poll found that teens and adults in their twenties reported less sleep satisfaction and roughly one in five rated as “sleepy” on a standard clinical assessment tool that determines whether sleepiness impairs daily activities.

“Young Americans are sleepy, and this affects their health and safety,” says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “It’s important to get the word out that it’s dangerous to drive drowsy. This could save thousands of lives.”

Using an analysis of previous data, the AAA Foundation estimates that about one in six deadly crashes involves a drowsy driver. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America poll found that among those who drove, about one-half (52%) indicated that they have driven drowsy, with more than one-third (37%) doing so in the past month.

Sleepiness can impair drivers by causing slower reaction times, vision impairment, lapses in judgment and delays in processing information. In fact, studies show that being awake for more than 20 hours results in an impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, the legal limit in all states. It is also possible to fall into a 3-4 second microsleep without realizing it.

Feeling sleepy? Stop driving if you exhibit these warning signs.

The following warning signs indicate that it’s time to stop driving and find a safe place to pull over and address your condition:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking and/or heavy eyelids
  • Difficulty keeping reveries or daydreams at bay
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, swerving, tailgating and/or hitting rumble strips
  • Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly
  • Feeling restless, irritable, or aggressive.

Here’s what you can do to prevent a fall-asleep crash:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before you hit the road. You’ll want to be alert for the drive, so be sure to get adequate sleep (seven to nine hours) the night before you go.
  • Don’t be too rushed to arrive at your destination. Many drivers try to maximize the holiday weekend by driving at night or without stopping for breaks. It’s better to allow the time to drive alert and arrive alive.
  • Use the buddy system. Just as you should not swim alone, avoid driving alone for long distances. A buddy who remains awake for the journey can take a turn behind the wheel and help identify the warning signs of fatigue.
  • Take a break every 100 miles or 2 hours. Do something to refresh yourself like getting a snack, switching drivers, or going for a run.
  • Take a nap—find a safe place to take a 15 to 20-minute nap, if you think you might fall asleep. Be cautious about excessive drowsiness after waking up.
  • Avoid alcohol and medications that cause drowsiness as a side-effect.
  • Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.
  • Consume caffeine. The equivalent of two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours.

For more information about drowsy driving, visit the National Sleep Foundation’s drowsy driving website at www.DrowsyDriving.org.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®

In an effort to reduce the number of fatigue-related crashes and to save lives, the National Sleep Foundation is declaring November 12-18, 2012 to be Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®. This annual campaign provides public education about the under-reported risks of driving while drowsy and countermeasures to improve safety on the road.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine Statement on the Use of Provigil

August 15th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

American Academy of Sleep Medicine Statement on the Use of Provigil



American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Thursday, July 19, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Thomas Heffron, 630-737-9700, ext. 9327 – theffron@aasmnet.org

DARIEN, IL – July 19, 2012 – A segment on the newsmagazine show Nightline reported people taking the prescription medication Provigil as a “smart drug,” to maintain wakefulness and promote cognitive enhancement.  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) emphasizes that Provigil should be used only under the supervision of a doctor for the treatment of excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea or shift work disorder.  Provigil is a schedule IV controlled substance that carries risk for abuse and dependence.

Provigil, which comprises the drug modafinil, is a stimulant that originally received FDA approval in 1998.  A variation of the medication, marketed as Nuvigil and composed of armodafinil, was approved by the FDA in 2007.

Both drugs are approved only for the treatment of three sleep disorders that compromise daytime alertness.  Provigil should not be prescribed off-label or purchased independently by consumers for cognitive or performance enhancement. There is little evidence to support the use of Provigil or any other drug to improve learning and memory, and no medication provides such benefits without side effects.

Potential side effects from taking Provigil include headache, upset stomach and dizziness.  Although much less common, more serious side effects may occur, including severe rash or allergic reaction affecting the liver or blood cells.

It is important for patients to take Provigil under the supervision of a licensed physician who knows their medical history and has record of other medications that they are taking.

According to the AASM, getting a sufficient amount of nightly sleep is the safest and healthiest way to promote optimal mental and physical performance during the day.  Although individual sleep needs vary, most adults need about seven to eight hours of nightly sleep to feel alert and well-rested during the day.

About Provigil and Sleep Disorders

Provigil is approved by the FDA for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness related to narcolepsy, shift work disorder and obstructive sleep apnea.  Narcolepsy is a form of hypersomnia that commonly involves the sudden onset of irresistible sleep, and shift work sleep disorder is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that occurs due to a work schedule that takes place during the normal sleep period.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that involves repeated breathing pauses during sleep; these disruptions impair sleep quality and promote daytime sleepiness.  The primary treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which restores normal breathing during sleep.  Provigil is not a replacement for CPAP or any other treatment prescribed for OSA.

About the AASM

The AASM is a professional membership society that is the leader in setting standards and promoting excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research (www.aasmnet.org).

Just Go To Sleep-What does Female Orgasm and Getting Your Kids to Sleep have in common?

July 24th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

How lonely you are may impact how well you sleep, research shows

March 10th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

DARIEN, IL – Loneliness is not only heartbreaking, it breaks up a normal night’s sleep, a new study shows. Researchers say compromised sleep may be one pathway by which feelings of loneliness adversely affect our health.

“It’s not just a product of very lonely individuals having poor sleep. The relationship between loneliness and restless sleep appears to operate across the range of perceived connectedness,” said lead author Lianne Kurina, PhD, of the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago.

Kurina and her co-authors compared the degree of loneliness reported by a close-knit population of 95 adults in rural South Dakota with measurements of their sleep cycles. None of the individuals were socially isolated, yet their perceptions of loneliness varied. Higher loneliness scores were linked to significantly higher levels of fragmented sleep. The total amount of sleep and the degree of daytime sleepiness were not impacted.

“Loneliness has been associated with adverse effects on health,” Kurina said. “We wanted to explore one potential pathway for this, the theory that sleep – a key behavior to staying healthy – could be compromised by feelings of loneliness. What we found was that loneliness does not appear to change the total amount of sleep in individuals, but awakens them more times during the night.”

These findings, appearing in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP, were similar to a 2002 study published by the American Psychological Society that compared the loneliness reported by college students with their measured quality of sleep. The lonelier the students felt, the more their sleep was broken-up during the night.

The similarities among the studies help point out that loneliness and social isolation are two distinct concepts, Kurina said. Loneliness reflects perceived social isolation or feelings of being an outcast, the often-painful discrepancy between a person’s desired and actual social relationships.

“Whether you’re a young student at a major university or an older adult living in a rural community, we may all be dependent on feeling secure in our social environment in order to sleep soundly,” Kurina said. “The results from these studies could further our understanding of how social and psychological factors ‘get under the skin’ and affect health.”

For a copy of the study, “Loneliness Is Associated with Sleep Fragmentation in a Communal Society,” or to arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson, please contact PR Coordinator Doug Dusik at 630-737-9700, ext. 9345, or ddusik@aasmnet.org.