Archive for February 29, 2012

Sleep Apnea Could be Killing You

Sleep apnea afflicts millions of adults. The word ‘apnea’ comes from the Greek apnoia a – “no” or “not”, and pneo/pnein – “air” or “breathing”. It literally means ‘no air’ or ‘not breathing’. The term is used to describe a medical condition wherein the afflicted person stops breathing for a brief period of time. Sleep apnea is simply the specific condition of apnea that occurs while sleeping.

 

There are two forms of sleep apnea – obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Of the two, OSA is much more common. It was once believed to be a rare occurrence, but the ability to test for it has uncovered the truth. Approximately 18 million adults in the United States are currently suffering from OSA today.

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Thursday Sleep Tip: Nine Ways to Overcome the Snooze Button

I still remember my first digital alarm clock. It was big, had red numbers on it, played radio music for up to an hour as I fell asleep each night. Oh yes, and it had a snooze button.

 

I was a paperboy at the time. I had to get up early to get the newspaper out before school, and I hated that alarm clock. I would hit that snooze button again and again, like Apollo Creed pounding on Rocky’s face. Some mornings I would go 15 rounds before dragging myself out of bed.

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The Effects of Age on Sleep

Have you ever heard the phrase, “I slept like a baby”? Do we need less sleep as we age? Do teenagers really need more sleep than at any other age? I’ll be answering this and many other age/sleep related questions.

 

Our memories may not serve us well in the department of sleep needs for children. It’s probably been a long time since you were young, and if you haven’t had kids of your own recently, you might not realize how much our sleep habits change through the years. In particular, the time from birth through adolescence is tumultuous for sleep patterns.

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Thursday Sleep Tip: Beating Jet Lag

AirplaneIf you’ve ever traveled in an east-west direction by plane then you have experienced jet lag, or if you prefer the scientific term, desynchronosis.

 

Many of our body’s systems and processes are governed by circadian rhythms. A circadian rhythm is a natural twenty four hour biological clock that resets certain physiological cycles for good health. Our sleep cycle is one example, and jet lag throws off this rhythm. Air travel causes us to move through time zones faster than we can adjust to the change. It creates a shortened or lengthened day, and also alters the light/dark cues we receive from daylight.

The Effects of Jet Lag

Typical symptoms of jet lag include daytime sleepiness, insomnia, repeated nighttime awakenings, headaches, lack of concentration, impaired judgment, and stomach discomfort, to name a few.

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