3 Simple Ways to Get More Restful Sleep

restful sleepingEven people without insomnia can have trouble getting a good night’s rest. Many things can interfere with restorative sleep – crazy work schedules, anxiety, trouble putting down the smartphone, even what you eat and drink.

The following three simple steps can help you sleep better.

Cut down on caffeine

Caffeine drinkers may find it harder to fall asleep than people who don’t drink caffeine. Once they drift off, their sleep is shorter and lighter. For some, a single cup of coffee in the morning means a sleepless night. That may be because caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter thought to promote sleep. Caffeine can also interrupt sleep by increasing the need to urinate during the night.

People who suffer from insomnia should avoid caffeine as much as possible, since its effects can endure for many hours. Because caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, irritability, and extreme fatigue, it may be easier to cut back gradually rather than go cold turkey. Those who can’t or don’t want to give up caffeine should avoid it after 2 p.m., or noon if they are especially caffeine-sensitive. Read the rest of this entry

strokeAccording to the findings of a recently concluded research study the atrial fibrillation (AF) may play an intermediary role in the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and stroke, research findings suggest.

Resaerchers at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, USA observed that  patients with OSA who had a stroke had significantly higher rates of atrial fibrillation, even after accounting for potential confounders, than their peers without stroke.

“This could potentially indicate that patients with OSA and AF need aggressive treatment to mitigate the risk of future stroke,” the researchers say, although they caution that as theirs was a case-control study, a causal relationship between AF and stroke could not be established. Read the rest of this entry

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Comorbidities

COPDResults of epidemiological studies have shown that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is frequently associated with comorbidities, the most serious and prevalent being cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, and cachexia.

Mechanistically, environmental risk factors such as smoking, unhealthy diet, exacerbations, and physical inactivity or inherent factors such as genetic background and ageing contribute to this association.

No convincing evidence has been provided to suggest that treatment of COPD would reduce comorbidities, although some indirect indications are available. Clear evidence that treatment of comorbidities improves COPD is also lacking, although observational studies would suggest such an effect for statins, ? blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme blockers and receptor antagonists.

Large-scale prospective studies are needed. Reduction of common risk factors seems to be the most powerful approach to reduce comorbidities.

Whether reduction of so-called spill-over of local inflammation from the lungs or systemic inflammation with inhaled or systemic anti-inflammatory drugs, respectively, would also reduce COPD-related comorbidities is doubtful. [TheLancet.com]

man-snoringSleepApneaDisorder/[Press Release] /WASHINGTON, DC/December 22, 2012 / The most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction of your airways. When you are in a prone position, your airways naturally constrict to some degree. If you have sleep apnea, this constriction will be more exaggerated, resulting in loud, labored breathing.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea include: Daytime sleepiness, Frequent headaches, Waking up and not feeling refreshed, Night sweats

Some symptoms of sleep apnea may only be noticed by a loved one or roommate. These include: Nighttime choking, Gasping for air during sleep, Frequent periods of breathlessness during sleep, Restlessness or tossing and turning in your sleep.If your loved one brings any of these symptoms to your attention, it is important to see a dentist for a sleep apnea evaluation. Read the rest of this entry

Philips Respironics Improves CPAP Machines

Building on their highly successful System One humidification, Philips  Respironics has introduced an additional humidification solution that enhances  performance, flexibility and comfort for the sleep apnea sufferer. The System  One Heated Tube provides CPAP users with air temperature control, improved humidification and rainout  protection. The Heated Tube can only be found on the Philips Respironics System  One REMstar Auto A-Flex with Heated Humidification and Heated Tube model  DS560TS.

The System One Heated Tube takes into account the room temperature and  humidity by using a sensor at the end of the Heated Tube to allow the CPAP user to choose what temperature is  right for them and at the same time protects against rainout. The Heated  Tube is a welcome advance in CPAP therapy and is just another reason why Philips  Respironics is a leader in the sleep therapy market. Read the rest of this entry

People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day  if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study  concludes.

A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women,  ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a  week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65% improvement in  sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day,  compared to those with less physical activity.

The study, out in the December issue of the journal Mental  Health and Physical Activity, lends more evidence to mounting  research showing the importance of exercise to a number of health  factors. Read the rest of this entry

Sleep Apnea Facts

  1. Sleep apnea affects up to 18 million Americans
  2. The condition was first described in 1965
  3. “Apnea” comes from a Greek word meaning “want of breath.”
  4. People with sleep apnea can stop breathing as many as 30 times or more each night.
  5. Often a spouse or other family member is the first to notice signs of sleep apnea in someone with the condition.
  6. Officials estimate 10 million Americans have the condition but have not been diagnosed. Read the rest of this entry

A study by scientists at the University of Birmingham has found that people that have type 2 diabetes and do not sleep well are at a higher risk of complaints such as eye disease, foot problems and amputation .
The research involved monitoring 231 type 2 diabetes patients, 149 of which had obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder resulting from disturbed breathing. They showed there were 48 per cent of those with eye damage in the obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) group, as compared with only 20 per cent in the group without obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Read the rest of this entry

Sleep Deprivation Enhances Inflammation

People who sleep poorly or do not get enough sleep have higher levels of inflammation, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, researchers have found.

Data from a recent study are scheduled to be presented Sunday, Nov. 14 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago by Alanna Morris, MD, a cardiology fellow at Emory University School of Medicine.

The results come from surveying 525 middle-aged people participating in the Morehouse-Emory Partnership to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities study on their sleep quality and sleep duration. The META-Health study’s co-directors are Arshed Quyyumi, MD, professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and director of Emory’s Cardiovascular Research Center, and Gary Gibbons, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. Donald Bliwise, MD, director of the Emory University Sleep Program, contributed additional guidance. Read the rest of this entry

Too Much or Too Little Sleep Can Lead to Heart Disease

If you’re sleeping less than five hours or more than nine hours, you could be putting yourself at an increased risk for heart disease, according to a study conducted by researchers at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

The study, conducted by Anoop Shankar, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Community Medicine, examined more than 30,000 adults who participated in the 2005 National Health Interview Survey. Dr. Shankar and his colleagues found both short and long sleep durations to be independently associated with heart disease. The results were adjusted for age, sex, race-ethnicity, smoking, alcohol intake, body mass index, physical activity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. Read the rest of this entry

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