Are you traveling?

"Traveling to new places provides a chance to explore new cultures—and with that, local foods and beverages. But while there may be no better way to experience Rome than sipping an espresso at a sidewalk café, if you want to stay energized for the duration of your trip, it’s important to know how some drinks can affect your sleep.

Caffeine: A Case of the Jitters

A cup of coffee (or tea or cola) can have a stimulating effect as soon as 15 minutes after you take your first sip. That may be good news if you’re feeling groggy and trying to rev up for a day of sightseeing, but caffeine has a half-life of about 6 hours , meaning if you sip a latte at 4 p.m., half of the caffeine will still be in your system at 10 p.m. If you find yourself struggling to sleep at night, consider swapping the afternoon java for a decaf.

Alcohol: The Sleep-Pattern Disrupter

Wine may make you feel sleepy, but that doesn’t mean it helps you get quality shut-eye. In fact, alcohol may actually interrupt your circadian rhythm by affecting levels of chemicals that tell your body when it’s time to sleep or wake up. This is why you may doze off quickly after a glass or two—only to wake up feeling wide-eyed in the middle of the night. Alcohol-impaired sleep can be disruptive no matter where you are, but when you’re traveling, especially if you’re battling jet lag, it can put a damper on your daytime energy.

Soda: A Source of Bloat"


To find out more information on specific drinks, please click on the link below!

Electronics Before Bed?

"Ninety percent of people in the U.S. admit to using a technological device during the hour before turning in, and children often use electronic media to help them relax at night. If you’re among these nighttime technology-users, you may not realize the extent to which this can make it harder to settle down to sleep. But it can. The truth is, using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep.

Here’s what happens: Using TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices before bed delays your body’s internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm), suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. This is largely due to the short-wavelength, artificial blue light that’s emitted by these devices. The more electronic devices that a person uses in the evening, the harder it is to fall asleep or stay asleep. Besides increasing your alertness at a time when you should be getting sleepy, which in turn delays your bedtime, using these devices before turning in delays the onset of REM sleep, reduces the total amount of REM sleep, and compromises alertness the next morning. Over time, these effects can add up to a significant, chronic deficiency in sleep."

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Beware the Blue

"As difficult as it is to get kids to stop watching TV or using their electronic devices before bedtime, there’s a compelling reason to make it happen. The blue light that’s emitted from these screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increase alertness, and reset the body’s internal clock (or circadian rhythm ) to a later schedule. This is an especially big problem for teens whose circadian rhythms are already shifting naturally, causing them to feel awake later at night. The end result: sleep-deprived or poorly rested kids who have essentially given themselves a mini case of jet lag.

The reason that blue light is so problematic is that it has a short wavelength that affects levels of melatonin more than any other wavelength does. Light from fluorescent bulbs and LED lights can produce the same effect. Normally, the pineal gland in the brain begins to release melatonin a couple of hours before bedtime, and melatonin reaches its peak in the middle of the night. When people read on a blue light-emitting device (like a tablet, rather than from a printed book) in the evening, it takes them longer to fall asleep; plus, they tend to have less REM sleep (when dreams occur) and wake up feeling sleepier— even after eight hours of shuteye.

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Soda, Pop, Coke, Fizz...

"If you're not getting enough sleep at night, consider what you're drinking during the day. While coffee and alcohol are often blamed for their negative impact on sleep, there's another drink that has been linked with poor sleep: soda.

People who drink a lot of sugary, caffeinated drinks tend to sleep for five or fewer hours a night— far less than would be ideal at any age . While it's unclear whether the drinks lead to sleeplessness or under-sleeping causes people to reach for sugary sodas, there is an association between the two. There are a number of reasons that soda doesn't do you any favors when it comes to healthy sleep."

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Dental Problems Linked to Sleep

"It may seem strange to consult a dentist about sleep trouble, but oral appliances (dental devices) aren’t just used to protect or straighten the teeth—they are also prescribed for a variety of sleep issues. Read on to find out whether using one might help you get rid of your sleep problem and improve your zzz's.

What they are: An oral appliance for sleep looks similar to a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer, except it is worn only during sleep. The device pushes the jaw forward to help open up the airways."

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Ethnic Sleeping Facts

"While factors like lifestyle and mental health can raise your risk for sleep disorders, so can something else: your race. Racial minorities have a higher risk for sleep disorders like insomnia than Caucasians. For example, African Americans are more likely than Caucasians to sleep for fewer than six hours a night and have sleep apnea, poor sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness. On average, African Americans sleep almost an hour less a night than whites.

On top of that, African Americans spend only about 15 percent of their night in a stage called slow-wave sleep (which is considered to be the most restorative phase ). Caucasians, on the other hand, spend 20 percent of their night there, so the sleep that they’re getting is of a higher quality. People of Hispanic and Chinese heritage also have higher rates of issues like sleep-disordered breathing and short sleep durations, compared with whites."

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"Getting enough sleep won’t just invigorate you; it could also help control how much you eat. A lack of sleep is linked to overeating—especially the overconsumption of junk food—which can lead to weight gain .

Two hormones that help regulate hunger—ghrelin and leptin—are affected by sleep: Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin decreases it. When the body is sleep-deprived, the level of ghrelin spikes, while the level of leptin falls, leading to an increase in hunger."

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Catch It Early

"Do you find yourself struggling to feel rested? Do you have mood and memory problems? Those issues might be caused by obstructive sleep apnea , a disorder that occurs when you struggle to breathe freely throughout the night and can lead to fragmented sleep. Sleep apnea affects 18 million Americans—and there are certain characteristics that can put you at a higher risk for the disorder."

To learn the five signs, please click on the link below!

Is there a link between sleep and diabetes?

"You know that your family medical history, along with what you eat and how much you weigh, can affect your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But did you know that your sleep habits can also play a role? It’s true. In fact, sleep deprivation is an often overlooked but significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, a disease that involves too much glucose (or sugar) in the blood and increases the risk of heart disease.

The connection may be hard to imagine. But the primary reason that regularly skimping on shuteye can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes is because your hormone levels get thrown out of whack. Specifically, with ongoing sleep loss, less insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar) is released in the body after you eat. Meanwhile, your body secretes more stress hormones (such as cortisol), which helps you stay awake but makes it harder for insulin to do its job effectively. The net effect: Too much glucose stays in the bloodstream, which can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes."

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Are you getting too much sleep?

"Most people know that sleep is integral to our mental and physical health, and that sleepiness takes a major toll on work, school, and relationships. Unfortunately, a lot of people go about their daily lives feeling excessively sleepy without mentioning this to their doctor. In fact, a National Sleep Foundation poll found that less than half of people say they would talk to their doctor if they thought they had a sleep problem, and seven in ten said that their doctor had never asked them about their sleep.

If you feel sleepy on a regular basis and it interferes with your productivity, your ability to think clearly and quickly, or to take care of and enjoy your family, treat this symptom seriously and talk to your doctor. If you have an upcoming well visit, you can discuss it then. You could also make a special appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss this, or simply call to ask for a referral to a doctor with a specialty in sleep medicine."

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Sleep Disorders: REM Sleep Behavior Disorder


"For most people, dreaming is purely a "mental" activity: dreams occur in the mind while the body is at rest. But people who suffer from REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) act out their dreams. They physically move limbs or even get up and engage in activities associated with waking. Some engage in sleep talking, shouting, screaming, hitting or punching. Some even fly out of bed while sleeping! RBD is usually noticed when it causes danger to the sleeping person, their bed partner, or others they encounter. Sometimes ill effects such as injury to self or bed partner sustained while asleep trigger a diagnosis of RBD. The good news is that RBD can usually be treated successfully.

What we call "sleep" involves transitions between three different states: wakefulness, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is associated with dreaming, and non rapid eye movement (N-REM) sleep. There are a variety of characteristics that define each state, but to understand REM sleep behavior disorder it is important to know that it occurs during REM sleep. During this state, the electrical activity of the brain, as recorded by an electroencephalogram, looks similar to the electrical activity that occurs during waking. Although neurons in the brain during REM sleep are functioning much as they do during waking, REM sleep is also characterized by temporary muscle paralysis."

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Sleep Studies: Part 2

"It's time for consumers to wake up to the risks of sleep disorders, scientists say.

More than 50 million adults in the U.S. have a disorder such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea, according to an Institute of Medicine report. And it's now clear that a lack of sleep "not only increases the risk of errors and accidents, it also has adverse effects on the body and brain," according to Charles Czeisler, chief of the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston."

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Sleep Studies: Part 1

"50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleep problems that can significantly diminish health, alertness and safety. Untreated sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Sleep problems can take many forms and can involve too little sleep, too much sleep or inadequate quality of sleep.

The Institute of Medicine recently estimated in its report, Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem , that “hundreds of billions of dollars a year are spent on direct medical costs related to sleep disorders such as doctor visits, hospital services, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medications.” Sleep problems and lack of sleep can affect everything from personal and work productivity to behavioral and relationship problems. Sleep problems can have serious consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving claims more than 1,500 lives and causes at least 100,000 motor vehicle crashes each year."

Please follow the link below for more information on this two part post about sleep studies!

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

"The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average. For most adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep. Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual. The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a "sleep debt," which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid. We don't seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need; while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired."

You can continue reading the sleep study by clicking on the link below!

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

"A sleep disorder that is marked by pauses in breathing of 10 seconds or more during sleep, and causes unrestful sleep. Symptoms include loud or abnormal snoring, daytime sleepiness, irritability, and depression."

"What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (pronounced AP-nee-ah), also called OSA, is a chronic (ongoing) disorder. People with OSA stop or "pause" their breathing or have shallow breathing when they sleep.

Almost everyone has brief times when they stop breathing while they sleep. People with OSA:

  • Pause their breathing or flow of air (called "hypoapnea") more often than normal.
  • May start breathing again with a loud snort or choking sound.
  • Have breathing pauses five or more times an hour; sometimes as often as once or twice each minute.

OSA can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on:

  • How many times a person pauses their breathing or has lower airflow per hour.
  • How low a person's oxygen level in their blood drops during those times.
  • The amount of sleepiness a person feels during the day."

You can continue reading this article by clicking on the link below!

Sleeping Soundly.. or maybe not?

"Depending on your symptoms, it may help you to gather information on your sleep behaviors. Your healthcare provider will review this information and consider several possible tests when trying to diagnose a sleep disorder:"

To independently research sleep disorders, please follow the link below!

Healthy Sleep Newsletter | Fall 2016

Sleep Recharges You

The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project has launched the “Sleep Recharges You” campaign, urging teens to make sleep a top priority. Parents and teachers can also play an important role by helping teens to understand the importance of sleep.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teens should sleep 8 to 10 hours each night to promote optimal health. CDC data shows that insufficient sleep is common among teens. About 69 percent of high school students report sleeping 7 hours or less on school nights.  Chronic sleep loss can hinder teens’ academic performance and increase the risk of health and safety problems. Make sleep a priority!

Coming Soon: High School Start Times and Related Outcomes

One of the objectives for the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project is to perform a critical review of published evidence regarding the effect of high school start times on sleep and other related outcomes in teenagers.

The Surveillance and Epidemiology Workgroup cataloged functional concerns following a comprehensive search using keywords ‘schools’ and ‘sleep’ and ‘start time’ from relevant publications. Total sleep time, academic performance, behavioral health problems and motor vehicular accidents were the prime outcomes that were included for meta-analyses. 

The review, which will be published this fall, reinforces the benefits of a delayed high school start time as it relates to physical and mental health and learning, motor vehicle accidents, and overall student well-being. 


OSA Self-Assessment Tool

A new self-assessment tool developed as part of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project helps patients identify the common symptoms of sleep apnea and understand their risk factors for this chronic disease.

Patients can download, print and complete this self-assessment to discuss their sleep apnea risk with their health care provider. The self-assessment tool is available on the Sleep Education website along with other resources for health care professionals, including consensus statements and provider education articles.

The Healthy Sleep Project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and led by the AASM in collaboration with the Sleep Research Society (SRS) and other partners.


Looking Ahead: Getting to the Heart of Sleep and Health
The Healthy Sleep Project is about to begin the fourth year of its 5-year plan, and the focus for the upcoming program year will be the relationship between sleep and heart health. A recent review of the evidence confirmed a link between sleep duration and heart problems. Data show that sleep durations of less than 6 hours are associated with an elevated risk for both overall heart disease and high blood pressure.

There also is a strong link between obstructive sleep apnea and heart health. Sleep apnea is a significant risk factor for the development of high blood pressure. It also may increase the risk for heart disease, atrial fibrillation and stroke. Get ready to join us in raising awareness about the importance of healthy sleep for a healthy heart!

Sleep is key to help teens recharge for success this school year

Teens need to get eight to 10 hours of sleep per night to promote optimal health

Teens need to get eight to 10 hours of sleep per night to promote optimal health

Darien, IL - For most teens, back to school time means stocking up on school supplies, picking out new clothes and finalizing class schedules. But one of the best ways they can prepare for success this school year is to commit to getting enough sleep. 

As students head back to school, the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project is launching the “Sleep Recharges You” campaign, urging teens to get eight to 10 hours of sleep per night to promote optimal health. When well-rested, teens are more likely to be healthy, energetic and have a positive attitude toward life in general — helping them to be their best and do their best this school year. 

“As teens get ready for the new school year, it’s important for them to make sleep a priority,” said Dr. Ronald Chervin, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and spokesperson for the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. “Setting and sticking to a routine to get as much sleep as possible is one of the best things teens can do for their health, academic achievement and athletic performance this school year.” 


Lack of sleep means real risks for teens’ academic performance, health and well-being

More than two-thirds of high school students in the U.S. are failing to get enough sleep on school nights, according to a 2016 studypublished by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Results show that 69 percent of surveyed students in grades 9 to 12 reported sleeping less than eight hours on an average school night. Insufficient sleep in teens can impact everything from grades to safety. 

Sleepy teens may fare worse in school than their well-rested peers. Studies have shown that teens who are sleep deprived may be more easily distracted and recall information more slowly. Sleeping fewer than the recommended hours also is associated with attention, behavior and learning problems. 

Lack of sleep may impact teens’ athletic performance. When teens sleep, hormones are released that help them grow taller and develop muscles. Sleep also helps restore energy to the brain and body.

Teens who lack sufficient sleep face dire health and behavioral consequences. Studies show teens who sleep less than the recommended hours are more likely to be overweight and develop hypertension and diabetes. Additionally, insufficient sleep in teenagers has been found to increase the risk of depression and is associated with increased risk of self-harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

Insufficient sleep also significantly increases teens’ risk for drowsy driving accidents. A 2014 study found teen drivers who start class earlier in the morning are involved in significantly more motor vehicle accidents than those with later start times. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., according to the CDC

Parents, caregivers play crucial role

Teens should be encouraged to take the initiative to make sure they get enough sleep every night to recharge. The AASM advises parents and caregivers to help by modeling healthy sleep habits, promoting a consistent sleep schedule and creating a quiet sleep environment for their teens. 

Additionally, setting restrictions on screen time before bed is key to helping teens get to sleep on time. Teens may be tempted to keep using their laptops, smartphones and game consoles late into the night rather than going to sleep. 

“Teens are still growing and developing, and sleep is a crucial part of these processes,” said Chervin. “One of the best things parents and caregivers can do for their children’s health and well-being is to encourage routines that will help them get enough sleep.”

According to the AASM, a natural shift in the timing of the body’s internal “circadian” clock occurs during puberty, causing most teens to have a biological preference for a late-night bedtime. Returning to an early morning school schedule can be a shock to the system for teens who have been free to be night owls during the summer. 

As teens prepare to go back to school, they should gradually go to bed at least 15 minutes earlier each night and wake up 15 minutes earlier each morning until they are on their school schedule. It also is important that parents and local school boards work together to implement high school start times that allow teens to get the healthy sleep they need to meet their full potential. 


Official consensus

The AASM recommends that teens between 13 and 18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health. 

This recommendation, which was released by the AASM in June, followed a 10-month project conducted by a Pediatric Consensus Panel of 13 of the nation’s foremost sleep experts, and is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Sleep Research Society and the American Association of Sleep Technologists. The expert panel reviewed 864 published scientific articles addressing the relationship between sleep duration and health in children, evaluated the evidence using a formal grading system and arrived at the final recommendation after multiple rounds of voting.

Parents who are concerned that their teen is sleeping too little or too much can call us at 731-660-6199 to make an appointment.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Sleep apnea is treated with lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and surgery. Medicines typically aren't used to treat the condition.

The goals of treating sleep apnea are to:

  • Restore regular breathing during sleep
  • Relieve symptoms such as loud snoring and daytime sleepiness

Treatment may improve other medical problems linked to sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure. Treatment also can reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

If you have sleep apnea, talk with your doctor or sleep specialist about the treatment options that will work best for you.

Lifestyle changes and/or mouthpieces may relieve mild sleep apnea. People who have moderate or severe sleep apnea may need breathing devices or surgery.

If you continue to have daytime sleepiness despite treatment, your doctor may ask whether you're getting enough sleep. (Adults should get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep; children and teens need more. For more information, go to the Health Topics Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency article.)

If treatment and enough sleep don't relieve your daytime sleepiness, your doctor will consider other treatment options.

Lifestyle Changes

If you have mild sleep apnea, some changes in daily activities or habits might be all the treatment you need.

  • Avoid alcohol and medicines that make you sleepy. They make it harder for your throat to stay open while you sleep.
  • Lose weight if you're overweight or obese. Even a little weight loss can improve your symptoms.
  • Sleep on your side instead of your back to help keep your throat open. You can sleep with special pillows or shirts that prevent you from sleeping on your back.
  • Keep your nasal passages open at night with nasal sprays or allergy medicines, if needed. Talk with your doctor about whether these treatments might help you.
  • If you smoke, quit. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking.


A mouthpiece, sometimes called an oral appliance, may help some people who have mild sleep apnea. Your doctor also may recommend a mouthpiece if you snore loudly but don't have sleep apnea.

A dentist or orthodontist can make a custom-fit plastic mouthpiece for treating sleep apnea. (An orthodontist specializes in correcting teeth or jaw problems.) The mouthpiece will adjust your lower jaw and your tongue to help keep your airways open while you sleep.

If you use a mouthpiece, tell your doctor if you have discomfort or pain while using the device. You may need periodic office visits so your doctor can adjust your mouthpiece to fit better.

Breathing Devices

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea in adults. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and nose, or just over your nose.

The machine gently blows air into your throat. The pressure from the air helps keep your airway open while you sleep.

Treating sleep apnea may help you stop snoring. But not snoring doesn't mean that you no longer have sleep apnea or can stop using CPAP. Your sleep apnea will return if you stop using your CPAP machine or don’t use it correctly.

Usually, a technician will come to your home to bring the CPAP equipment. The technician will set up the CPAP machine and adjust it based on your doctor's prescription. After the initial setup, you may need to have the CPAP adjusted from time to time for the best results.

CPAP treatment may cause side effects in some people. These side effects include a dry or stuffy nose, irritated skin on your face, dry mouth, and headaches. If your CPAP isn't adjusted properly, you may get stomach bloating and discomfort while wearing the mask.

If you're having trouble with CPAP side effects, work with your sleep specialist, his or her nursing staff, and the CPAP technician. Together, you can take steps to reduce the side effects.

For example, the CPAP settings or size/fit of the mask might need to be adjusted. Adding moisture to the air as it flows through the mask or using nasal spray can help relieve a dry, stuffy, or runny nose.

There are many types of CPAP machines and masks. Tell your doctor if you're not happy with the type you're using. He or she may suggest switching to a different type that might work better for you.

People who have severe sleep apnea symptoms generally feel much better once they begin treatment with CPAP.


Some people who have sleep apnea might benefit from surgery. The type of surgery and how well it works depend on the cause of the sleep apnea.

Surgery is done to widen breathing passages. It usually involves shrinking, stiffening, or removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat or resetting the lower jaw.

Surgery to shrink or stiffen excess tissue is done in a doctor's office or a hospital. Shrinking tissue may involve small shots or other treatments to the tissue. You may need a series of treatments to shrink the excess tissue. To stiffen excess tissue, the doctor makes a small cut in the tissue and inserts a piece of stiff plastic.

Surgery to remove excess tissue is done in a hospital. You're given medicine to help you sleep during the surgery. After surgery, you may have throat pain that lasts for 1 to 2 weeks.

Surgery to remove the tonsils, if they're blocking the airway, might be helpful for some children. Your child's doctor may suggest waiting some time to see whether these tissues shrink on their own. This is common as small children grow.