Mommin' Ain't Easy

"If you’ve been feeling down, irritable, or low on energy or if you've been craving sweet or starchy foods or sleeping more or less than usual, you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that’s common in the winter months.

If you are, you’re not alone. As the hours of daylight decrease and the temperature outside gets chilly during the winter, many people experience symptoms like these. The duration and severity can vary significantly from one person to another—but the good news is that you don’t have to suffer until spring. You can take steps now to ease these symptoms."

Source: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems-list/how-moms-can-fight-seasonal-affective-disorder

 

Allergies & Sleep

"Allergic rhinitis occurs when allergens in the air are breathed by a patient that is allergic to them, irritating and inflaming the nasal passages. Allergens may include dust mites, pollen, molds, or pet dander. In people who are allergic to them, these particles trigger the release of a chemical in the body that causes nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. These symptoms can lead to poor sleep, which can result in significant daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

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Allergic rhinitis (allergies) may occur year-round or seasonally. When it occurs seasonally it is usually caused by airborne particles from trees, grass, ragweed, or outdoor mold. Causes of year-round allergic rhinitis include indoor substances such as pet dander, indoor mold, cockroach and dust mites in bedding, mattresses, and carpeting."

Source: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/sleep-related-problems/allergic-rhinitis-and-sleep

Sleep Apnea - Heart Disease?

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"If you suffer from undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea , the condition could take a toll on your heart health. With sleep apnea, the person experiences a pause in his or her breathing that can last from a few seconds to minutes during sleep, often occurring five to 30 times per hour.When the person starts breathing again, a gasp, a loud snort, or a choking sound often accompanies it. Besides potentially leading to poor-quality slumber, fatigue, and drowsy driving the next day, sleep apnea can cause serious damage to your heart.

It has been linked with heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), atrial fibrillation (a common type of irregular heartbeat), heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes, most likely because sleep apnea is associated with high blood pressure. When you stop breathing while you sleep, your heart rate drops, and then your involuntary reflexes make you startle into a micro-arousal, which causes your heart rate to accelerate quickly and makes your blood pressure to rise. In addition, sleep apnea can lead to repeated episodes of lower oxygen levels in the blood , increases in carbon dioxide levels, pressure changes in the chest, and increased inflammation markers in the body, all of which can wreak havoc on heart function."

 

To continue reading, please click the link below!

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems-list/sleep-apnea-linked-heart-disease

Excessive Sleepiness?

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"The best way to treat excessive sleepiness is to address its underlying cause. Often this means making changes to your sleep schedule, habits and routines, stress management, or sleeping environment. If you are diagnosed with a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, a treatment course that involves a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) is often the most effective course.

There are cases, however, in which medication can be helpful in treating excessive sleepiness. For example, if you have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine, but continue to feel drowsy during the day, your doctor may suggest a medication to make you more alert. Medication can also be prescribed for patients with narcolepsy to help them remain awake and productive during the day. Shift workers who persistently feel sleepy during work hours may also benefit from medication if adjusting sleep habits does not help, or if rotating schedules make it difficult to sleep sufficiently. If you have worked with a sleep specialist and tried behavioral changes to improve sleep, medication may be an option."

 

To continue reading, please click the link below! 

https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/excessive-sleepiness-treatment

Melatonin

"The pattern of waking during the day when it is light and sleeping at night when it is dark is a natural part of human life. Only recently have scientists begun to understand the alternating cycle of sleep and waking, and how it is related to daylight and darkness.

A key factor in how human sleep is regulated is exposure to light or to darkness. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called the hypothalamus. There, a special center called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) initiates signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide awake."

To continue reading, please click the link below!

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep

Fibromyalgia & Sleep

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"Fibromyalgia is a medical syndrome that causes widespread pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints as well as sleep problems and chronic daytime fatigue. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, between 80 and 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are middle-aged women, although it can affect both sexes and people of all ages. Fibromyalgia is a confusing and often misunderstood condition. In the past, people who sought treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms were frequently told that their symptoms were "all in the head" and that they did not represent any known disease. However, in recent decades medical studies have proven that fibromyalgia does indeed exist, and that it is estimated to affect between 2% and 6% of people worldwide.

For people with fibromyalgia, the combination of pain and sleep disturbance is a double-edged sword: the pain makes sleep more difficult and sleep deprivation exacerbates pain. The good news is that reduction in sleep disturbance is usually followed by improvement in pain symptoms. This also highlights the importance of healthy sleep and to find a sleep professional in treating this disease."

 

To continue reading, please click on the link below! 

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/fibromyalgia-and-sleep

Sleepwalking Study

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"Sleepwalking, formally known as somnambulism, is a behavior disorder that originates during deep sleep and results in walking or performing other complex behaviors while asleep. It is much more common in children than adults and is more likely to occur if a person is sleep deprived. Because a sleepwalker typically remains in deep sleep throughout the episode, he or she may be difficult to awaken and will probably not remember the sleepwalking incident.

Sleepwalking usually involves more than just walking during sleep; it is a series of complex behaviors that are carried out while sleeping, the most obvious of which is walking. Symptoms of sleepwalking disorder range from simply sitting up in bed and looking around, to walking around the room or house, to leaving the house and even driving long distances. It is a common misconception that a sleepwalker should not be awakened. In fact, it can be quite dangerous not to wake a sleepwalker."

To continue reading, please click the link below! 

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/abnormal-sleep-behaviors/sleepwalking

What Should You Expect?

"If your doctor suggests you undergo a sleep study, or polysomnography, you may be wondering what is involved in this test and what to expect. Sleep studies help doctors diagnose sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, and nighttime behaviors like sleepwalking and REM sleep behavior disorder. Often these disorders cannot be identified with a normal office visit—your doctor needs to gather more conclusive evidence while you're asleep.

A sleep study is a non-invasive, overnight exam that allows doctors to monitor you while you sleep to see what's happening in your brain and body. For this test, you will go to a sleep lab that is set up for overnight stays—usually in a hospital or sleep center. While you sleep, an EEG monitors your sleep stages and the cycles of REM and nonREM or NREM sleep you go through during the night, to identify possible disruptions in the pattern of your sleep. A sleep study will also measure things such as eye movements, oxygen levels in your blood (through a sensor—there are no needles involved), heart and breathing rates, snoring, and body movements."

 

To continue reading, please click the link below! 

https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-does-sleep-study-work

Sounds & Sleep!

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"Having trouble sleeping can have wide-ranging, negative effects on your health, so it's something that you should take seriously. For instance, it makes you less safe behind the wheel and increases your long-term risk of medical conditions such as obesity and heart disease. Though medical sleep aids may work quickly to help you drift off, they can have side effects and aren't good to use in the long term. Luckily, there is another treatment for sleepless nights that's cheap, isn't habit-forming, and has absolutely no negative side effects: music.

Music is more than something that's simply enjoyable to listen to. It has a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body relax and prepare for sleep. Older adults who listen to 45 minutes of relaxing music before bed fall asleep faster, sleep longer, wake up less during the night, and rate their nights as more restful than when they don't listen to music. Similarly, when younger adults are given the option to listen to classical music, books on tape, or nothing before bed, the ones who relax with music see the greatest improvement in sleep quality."

 

To continue reading, please click the link below! 

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/can-music-help-you-calm-down-and-sleep-better

Teenagers & Sleep

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"Sleep is food for the brain. During sleep, important body functions and brain activity occur. Skipping sleep can be harmful — even deadly, particularly if you are behind the wheel. You can look bad, you may feel moody, and you perform poorly. Sleepiness can make it hard to get along with your family and friends and hurt your scores on school exams, on the court or on the field. Remember: A brain that is hungry for sleep will get it, even when you don’t expect it. For example, drowsiness and falling asleep at the wheel cause more than 100,000 car crashes every year. When you do not get enough sleep, you are more likely to have an accident, injury and/or illness."

 

To continue reading, please click the link below!

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/teens-and-sleep

Narcolepsy

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"Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and in some cases episodes of cataplexy (partial or total loss of muscle control, often triggered by a strong emotion such as laughter). Narcolepsy occurs equally in men and women and is thought to affect roughly 1 in 2,000 people. The symptoms appear in childhood or adolescence, but many people have symptoms of narcolepsy for years before getting a proper diagnosis.

People with narcolepsy feel very sleepy during the day and may involuntarily fall asleep during normal activities. In narcolepsy, the normal boundary between awake and asleep is blurred, so characteristics of sleeping can occur while a person is awake. For example, cataplexy is the muscle paralysis of REM sleep occurring during waking hours. It causes sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to a slack jaw, or weakness of the arms, legs, or trunk. People with narcolepsy can also experience dream-like hallucinations and paralysis as they are falling asleep or waking up, as well as disrupted nighttime sleep and vivid nightmares."

To continue reading, please click on the link below!

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/narcolepsy-and-sleep

Sleep for Young Athletes

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"For children who play on a travel sports team, sleep should be a top priority. Not only is ample shuteye important for physical and mental well-being, but getting a good night’s sleep can also improve a young athlete’s chances of doing well during the game. Sleep positively affects many areas of athletic performance, including speed, accuracy, and reaction time.

Ensuring that kids get enough sleep while traveling for a game may also decrease the chance that they get hurt on the court or field. In fact, children who get fewer than eight hours of sleep per night are 1.7 times more likely to get injured while playing their sport, compared with those who get eight or more hours of sleep. Use these tips to keep your athlete feeling rested and healthy while on the road."

To continue reading, please click on the link below!

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/the-importance-sleep-young-athletes-who-travel

Mouth Exercises to Fight Snoring

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"Heavy snoring shouldn’t be ignored. It can sometimes signal a more serious problem. Excessive nighttime snorts and grunts can be a sign of sleep apnea , especially when the snoring is paired with frequent interrupted breathing that may sound like gasping or choking.Not only can the condition disturb your sleep—as well as your partner’s—but it can also lead to health complications such as heart trouble . So let your general practitioner know right away if you notice these symptoms.

Doctors often prescribe a therapy using a device called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for sleep apnea. The mask, which is worn while you sleep, blows air into the airways to keep them open so that breathing is uninterrupted and snoring is lessened."

To continue reading the article, please click on the link below!

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems-list/these-mouth-exercises-may-help-stop-snoring

Trauma

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"Stress from a traumatic event can often lead to a variety of sleep problems. When the body is overstimulated, the brain is flooded with neurochemicals that keep us awake, such as epinephrine and adrenaline, making it difficult to wind down at the end of the day. The neurochemicals remain present in the brain and can interrupt your normal sleep cycle. The result can be insomnia, bad dreams, and daytime fatigue caused by sleep disturbance.

The following are common sleep problems following a trauma:

  • Flashbacks and troubling thoughts can make falling asleep difficult.
  • The victim might feel the need to maintain a high level of vigilance, which can make sleep difficult.
  • For those who experience violent situations, nighttime and darkness can, in and of themselves, bring about added anxiety and restlessness."

For more information, please click on the link below!

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/trauma-and-sleep

Melatonin

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"The pattern of waking during the day when it is light and sleeping at night when it is dark is a natural part of human life. Only recently have scientists begun to understand the alternating cycle of sleep and waking, and how it is related to daylight and darkness.

A key factor in how human sleep is regulated is exposure to light or to darkness. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called the hypothalamus. There, a special center called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) initiates signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide awake."

 

To continue reading, please click the link below!

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep

Tips for Sleep Training!

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"Babies need a lot of sleep. When they’re between four and 11 months old, they need 12 to 15 hours a day (nighttime sleep plus naps). And at a certain point, they can get a lot of those hours in consecutively at night. The key is sleep training.

Sleep training when babies are too young doesn't work—it usually takes babies about three to six months to develop the circadian rhythm that they’ll need to want to sleep at night and be awake during the day. But once that happens, babies can sleep nine to 12 hours at night. While each baby reacts a little differently to sleep training and there are varying methods, there are a few key points to keep in mind."

To continue reading, please click on the link below! 

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/sleep-training-your-child-5-things-remember