Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dr Oz Sleep Positions

Back pain can affect how soundly you sleep and certain sleep positions can add harm to your back and to your overall health. The Dr Oz sleep positions for better sleep are broken down as side sleepers, back sleepers and stomach sleepers. Which of these sleep positions are the healthiest? What does your sleeping position say about you as a person?

[caption id="attachment_1298" align="alignright" width="202" caption="Dr Oz Sleep Positions - Side Sleeper or Sleeping Beauty"][/caption]

Side sleepers or what Dr Oz refers to as the Sleeping Beauty sleep position is the healthiest position to sleep in. It helps protect the alignment of the back’s three major curves: the lower neck, middle back and the lower back. The sleeping beauty is best for preventing neck and back pain, reduces acid reflux, alleviates snoring, it also improves your ability to fall asleep easy and staying asleep during the night when pregnant.

To make this sleep position even better and prevent over constriction of your shoulder and neck muscle purchase a 2-1 memory foam pillow for better support of your neck. To alleviate pelvic rotation and lower spine contortion put a pillow between your knees as this will reduce stress on your hips. If you have high blood pressure, try sleeping on your left side. Anyone with kidney stones on one side should sleep on the other side.

Downside, due to smashing your face into a pillow seven hours every night this position can cause wrinkles on cheeks and chin. Some synthetic foam pillows like the enVy Pillow - enVy Pillow are also available in shapes designed to fit under your head, support your neck and keep your face and eyes away from the pillow.

If you are a side sleeper what does it say about you? Those who curl up in the sleeping beauty position are described as tough on the outside but sensitive at heart. They may be shy when they first meet somebody, but soon relax. This is the most common sleeping position, adopted by 41% of the 1,000 people who took part in a survey. More than twice as many women as men tend to adopt this position.

[caption id="attachment_1300" align="alignright" width="207" caption="Dr Oz Sleep Positions - Back Sleeper or The Soldier"][/caption]

Back sleepers also called The Soldier spend the entire night on their back. This position is good for back and neck pressure, reducing acid reflux, minimizes wrinkles and maintains perky breasts. The problem with sleeping in the supine position it can cause the tongue to fall inwards and blocks the airway passage. Back sleepers are prone to snoring and it is not good for those suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a life threatening sleep disorder that cause a person to stop breathing briefly periodically during the night.

Never use a fluffy pillow as this will push the head forward in an uncomfortable reversal of your neck’s natural curve, resulting in neck pain, headaches and decreased breathing capacity. Some say the best pillow for a snorer is one that is flat, but they also suggest using a pillow under your knees and a lumbar pillow under your back this will make it easy for your head, neck and spine to maintain a neutral position.

If you have the following health conditions; heart failure, respiratory diseases, glaucoma, acid reflux or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) you may benefit from this position if you bring it to a semi-sitting position. GERD or acid reflux can be relieved by making sure your stomach is below your head so the acid or food can’t come back up.

The Soldier helps prevent wrinkles because noting is pushing against the face and gravity helps reduce these lines caused by sleep. Dr. Stegman stated that by merely sleeping on your back the lines would remit...though it would take three months. Dr. Samuel J. Stegman wrote an article in The Journal of Cosmetic Surgery on “sleep creases” in 1987. Personally I saw this happen first hand when my late husband was in the hospital for six months. He was at the time a 49 year old with heavy nasal-labial fold wrinkles, which are the lines that run from the nose to the mouth. Due to surgery complications he was confined to bed 24/7 and after three months I noticed a definite difference in these lines. By the time he left the hospital his face looked at least 5-8 years younger. So if you are a side sleeper and worry about facial lines…sleep on your back.

What does The Soldier position say about you? Lying on your back with both arms pinned to your sides. People who sleep in this position are generally quiet and reserved. They don't like a fuss, but set themselves and others high standards.

[caption id="attachment_1301" align="alignright" width="189" caption="Dr Oz Sleep Positions - Stomach Sleeper or Dead Man's Float"][/caption]

Stomach sleepers or what Dr Oz refers to as the Dead Man’s Float is when the sleeper spends most of the night on their stomach, head turned to the side and arms under a pillow. This is possibly the worst sleep position for your back. Having your head turned to one side distorts alignment of the spine and neck which can lead to chronic lower back pain, neck pain and headaches. Also, your body weight compresses the lungs that can impede your ability to breathe fully and deeply. If you are a stomach sleeper the best pillow is a very thin, flat one or none at all. If I sleep on my stomach I use a body pillow and lay half my body on the pillow and half on the bed. This seems to eliminate some of the pressure on my lungs and breasts due to some of my weight are on the pillow.

This position can cause your neck to hyper-flex and exert pressure on the nerves along the underside of your arms that can cause your arms to “fall asleep” or what is known as Paresthesia which will awaken you from sleep. According to Wikipedia paresthesia is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect. It is more generally known as the feeling of "pins and needles" or of a limb "falling asleep".

What does sleeping in the Dead Man’s Float mean? Lying on your front with your hands around the pillow, and your head turned to one side. Often gregarious and brash people, but can be nervy and thin-skinned underneath, and don't like criticism, or extreme situations.

We all know as soon as we go to bed which position we prefer to sleep in. The way we sleep can be the very reason why we suffer from our aches and pains. You may think your soreness is due to an old sagging mattress or a pillow that is too flat or thin, but it is possible that your sleeping position is to blame. Misalignment of your spine during sleep can put pressure on your neck, back, hips, shoulder and jaw which in turn affects how well you will sleep during the night and how you feel the next day.

The content provided in Dr Oz Sleep Positions is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sleep Aid Kava Kava Warning

Kava is a plant native to the South Pacific and has been used for thousands of years in rituals and ceremonies. This shrub produces large, green, heart-shaped leaves that grow thickly on the branches. Long, slender flowers grow where the branches meet the stems. The roots look like bundles of woody, hairy branches. Today in the South Pacific kava is a popular social drink similar to alcohol in Western societies. In the West there have been safety concerns about kava due to cases of liver damage and even deaths and in March 2002 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a sleep aid kava kava warning. As a result, kava has been banned from the market in Switzerland, German, Canada and several other countries are considering similar action. This ban has hurt the export economy of the Pacific Islands countries. Due to these potential dangers, kava should be used only under the guidance of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

[caption id="attachment_1288" align="alignright" width="197" caption="Sleep Aid Kava Kava Warning - They actually made a movie about this?"][/caption]

Kava has been extensively studied, however, and evidence suggests that under proper a doctor’s care it may be helpful for the following sleep problems: anxiety, stress along with treating symptoms associated with insomnia like trouble falling asleep easy, waking up during the night and has trouble falling back to sleep or not feeling rested the next day. Other health problems it is also used for; adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, psychosis, depression, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, respiratory tract infections, TB, muscle pain and cancer prevention. Kava Kava has also be used for urinary tract infections (UTIs), menstrual discomfort, STD’s and sexual arousal. Kava applied to the skin promotes wound healing and as a mouthwash for canker sores and toothaches. More information about kava see: Kava Kava to Sleep Easy

Kava Kava affects parts of the brains nervous system due to the kavalactones which are the main psychoactive components of kava roots. Kavalactones are often consumed through preparing kava as an herbal tea, prepared by straining a mixture of water and shredded, pounded, dried root and/or stump. It’s been reported that people have received DUI citations when they have consumed large amounts of kava tea therefore; it is recommended that you do not drive or operate heavy machinery after use. Kava is possibly unsafe as a tea or other oral forms and using kava as little as one to three months has resulted in liver transplants and even death. Early liver damage symptoms include yellowing of the eyes and skin known as jaundice, fatigue and dark urine. Nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, mouth numbness, or blurred vision may occur. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely, but serious side effects occur: muscle spasm/stiffness/weakness, uncontrolled movements (especially of lips and tongue), loss of coordination, shakiness (tremor), easy bleeding/bruising, weight loss, red or pink urine. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you are taking kava kava for any reason it is recommended that you take a frequent liver function test. Liver function tests are a type of blood test, and they're usually (but not always) done as a group. You may hear your doctor refer to these tests by their medical name, hepatic function panel or liver profile. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Since anxiety and stress are the number one causes of sleep problems scientists have researched kava extract and found that is improves symptoms after one week of treatment. Results have shown that this herb may be as effective as certain antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. Kava is currently available in as an extract or tincture and pill form. Health care providers recommend that you find a product that contains only 70% kavalactones or 60 to 600 mgs. There are no known scientific reasons for pediatric use therefore; it is not for children. It may take as much as four weeks before you notice any improvement and you should not take kava more than three months. The FDA’s warning has prompted some suspension of kava products such as; Pharmanex the herbal supplement wing of Provo-based NuSkin Enterprises Menopause Formula and Kava Kava. Provo-based Nature’s Sunshine is adding the following warning label to its products stating a potential risk of liver damage:.

WARNING: This product may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Stop taking this product and consult your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of liver injury, including persistent nausea, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, stomach/abdominal pain, pale stools, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin. Using this product for a long time or in high doses, using certain other drugs that may harm the liver along with this product, current/previous liver problems, and drinking alcoholic beverages may increase your risk of serious liver problems. See also Drug Interactions section.

Other precautions include; do not use if pregnant or breast feeding, depressed, have liver problems or having surgery due to its affects on the central nervous system it may increase the effect of anesthesia. Stop taking kava at least two weeks prior to surgery. Possible drug interactions can occur if you are taking anticonvulsants, central nervous system depressants, antipsychotic medications and Levodopa (medication for Parkinson’s disease). It may increase the affects of certain prescription drugs used as sleep aids, anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants and narcotic pain relievers. Do not take when consuming alcohol as it may increase the chances for liver damage. This document does not contain all possible drug or medical interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use and medical conditions. Keep a list of all your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

It is important to note that some people have developed severe liver damage, even liver failure, after ingesting kava. Under no circumstances should this herb be taken without the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

The content provided in Sleep Aid Kava Kava Warning is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and asleepeasy.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.

From FDA.gov:

[caption id="attachment_1289" align="alignright" width="287" caption="Sleep Aid Kava Kava Warning - FDA.gov"][/caption]

FDA urges consumers and their health care professionals to report any cases of liver and other injuries that may be related to the use of kava-containing dietary supplements. Adverse events associated with the use of dietary supplements should be reported as soon as possible to FDA's MedWatch program by calling their toll-free number (1-800-332-1088) or through the Internet.

The presence of kava in a supplement should be identified on the product label in the "Supplement Facts" box. The following are commonly used names for kava:

• ava
• ava pepper
• awa
• intoxicating pepper
• kava
• kava kava
• kava pepper
• kava root
• kava-kava
• kawa
• kawa kawa
• kawa-kawa
• kew
• Piper methysticum
• Piper methysticum Forst.f.
• Piper methysticum G. Forst.
• rauschpfeffer
• sakau
• tonga
• wurzelstock
• yangona
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sleep and Melatonin

Every once in a while I suffer from bouts of insomnia and for those times I take melatonin. What’s the connection between sleep and melatonin? Melatonin occurs naturally in the pineal gland causing drowsiness and a decrease in core temperature. Levels of melatonin rise during the evening and peak in the middle of the night, if your bedroom is dark enough. 100 lux of light in your room can suppress melatonin production, that’s why sleep specialist recommend for those that suffer from insomnia, no light of any kind, not even from your alarm clock. Research proposes that melatonin will help you to fall asleep easy while maintaining your internal sleep/wake cycle. But that is not all research has found. Even though its main use is a supplement for insomnia, melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant that has shown to fight certain cancers and an immunity booster to aid in weight loss. See: You are Fat and Cannot Sleep.

[caption id="attachment_1281" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Sleep and Melatonin "][/caption]

Did you know that night shift workers have a higher rate of cancer? Working night after night suppressing their melatonin by being exposed to light, a body of evidence has reported a trend among the blind, flight attendants and those that live in the Arctic have a higher rate of breast, prostate and colon cancers. Scientists believe that melatonin helps a person get more restorative sleep which in turn allows the body to better recognize and kill "bad" cells that would eventually become cancerous. Another theory suggests that when melatonin production is disrupting and levels drop enough that allow cancer cells to grow more easily.

Studies find that a dose raging from .03 mg to 80 mg shows little to no result in the increase melatonin production. This may be due to no FDA standards as melatonin is considered a dietary supplement in the States and you cannot rely on the dose/strength on the bottle. Many brands sold in the U.S. are manufactured in Western Europe. Germany regulates melatonin because they consider it a prescription medication.

Other uses for melatonin are; ease withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepine drugs, improve sleep for those suffering from another medical condition such as; Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and diabetes. It has become a popular natural sleep aid for those experiencing jet lag, delayed sleep phase syndrome and children with sleep problems due to Neuro-Psychiatric Disorders.

Jet lag is caused by a disruption in the person circadian rhythm when traveling across time zones. Melatonin can decrease jet lag symptoms especially for those that are traveling eastward or crossing more than five zones. It helps to lessen the time it takes to fall asleep, reduces daytime sleepiness while boosting alertness. Remember that melatonin will not work for everyone as evidence implies it only helps half of the people who take it. Why? One reason is that certain medications such as beta blockers and anti-depressants can suppress melatonin levels. Second, the timing of the dosing of melatonin can depend greatly upon your own 24 hour internal clock.

Many people have to experiment with the dose as some start taking it 30 minutes before bedtime and if they don’t feel drowsy they will take it 60 then 90 minutes until they find what works for them. Melatonin might work better for those that have a naturally lower level, as those who work the night shift or with older adults. Shift worker produce less melatonin because they are subject to light during the night and we naturally produce less as we age. Melatonin is also useful if you have trouble falling asleep at night and have trouble awaking in the morning as it will regulate their sleep/wake cycle. This condition is known as delayed sleep phase syndrome. This circadian rhythm sleep disorder usually develops in early childhood or adolescence. An adolescent version disappears in adolescence or early adulthood; otherwise DSPS is a lifelong condition. If your child has a neuro-psychiatric disorder that results in sleep difficulties such as; autism, visual impairments or epilepsy melatonin can shorten the time they fall asleep and lengthens sleep duration. Note: Melatonin should not be used in most children. Because of its effects on other hormones, it might interfere with development during adolescence. Make sure your child is under a physicians care before taking any supplement.

Melatonin can be taken orally as in Natrol Melatonin TR 5mg-100 Tablets, as a sublingual (under the tongue) or as a transdermal (skin) patch. The method of delivery for maximum effectiveness remains to be tested. You can also get melatonin in the new Lazy Cakes Relaxation Brownies pack of 12. Try one of these with a warm glass of milk right before you go to bed. (Not for children)

Melatonin is naturally found in some fruits and vegetables including mustard, Goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, fennel, coriander and cherries. The study authors concluded "administration of melatonin and intake of food containing melatonin might be a useful tool to fight obesity and the risks associated to it." Some additional natural food sources are; Oats, sweet corn, rice, ginger, barley, tomatoes, bananas, radishes, pineapples, apples, oranges, strawberries, kiwifruits, peppers and spinach.

[caption id="attachment_1279" align="alignright" width="386" caption="Sleep and Melatonin "][/caption]

Melatonin is safe for most adults and can have some side effects including headache, feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps and irritability. You should avoid heavy machinery at least 4-5 hours after taking melatonin.

Do not take melatonin if you are pregnant or breast feeding, have high blood pressure, had a seizure, have diabetes, have cancer or have depression. You should not need to take melatonin for a long-term basis as it should only take a few weeks to correct your biological clock. Since melatonin is not regulated it is important that you purchase it from a trustworthy manufacturer. The USP symbol can tell you if the supplement has been tested and contains the correct ingredients. Most melatonin products are synthetic although a few are made from the pineal glands of sheep or cows. The synthetic forms are safer as the animal forms are likely to contain contaminants. If you are on other medications or have health problems it is recommended to talk to your physician before taking melatonin. More information see: Melatonin can cause Easy Sleeping.

The content provided in Sleep and Melatonin is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and asleepeasy.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.

 
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You are Fat and Cannot Sleep a Book Review: The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight through Better Sleep

So, you are fat and cannot sleep. Did you know when you cannot sleep it triggers a hormonal imbalance that causes you to eat more (especially at night) and you are less likely to burn off calories? Sleep deprivation changes your glucose metabolism that results in hoarding the calories by storing them as fat instead of burning them off as energy, in turn; you will produce more of the stress-hormone cortisol which is known to cause hunger. Research has shown even if you lose weight you will lose less fat if you do not get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep robs you of the valuable REM sleep cycle that burns calories.

[caption id="attachment_1238" align="alignright" width="190" caption="You are Fat and Cannot Sleep - The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight through Better Sleep"][/caption]

Sleep loss and sleep-hormone-weight-gain is more complicated with women. Estrogen may increase REM sleep which helps burn calories, but it can also lead to over-stimulation that makes falling asleep easy much more difficult. Progesterone can make you sleepy, but it can also cause you to feel fatigued during the day. Progesterone also can increase your appetite. So you are fat and cannot sleep, MICHAEL BREUS, PhD, D.ABSM, and a.k.a. The Sleep Doctor author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight through Better Sleep released May 10, 2011 recommends; drinking more water which will flush out the extra sodium you consume and actually helps with water weight gain, take calcium and add magnesium, this combination acts as a relaxant and can increase the calming-hormone serotonin. Read more information about Magnesium and Sleep.

A small two week study with a group of dieters in which half of them spent a mere 5.5 hours of sleep and the other half slept at least 8.5, found that the light sleepers not only burned less body fat but they also lost more lean body mass. Muscle helps keep your metabolism ramped up so you can naturally burn more calories during the day. That’s not all, sleeping less showed they had higher levels of ghrelin in their system. Ghrelin is the hormone that induces hunger and triggers an energy-starved body to retain fat and calories. So remember, less sleep in addition to higher levels of ghrelin and cortisol, plus the decrease in a person’s glucose tolerance equals weight gain.

If you are fat you are more likely to skimp on your sleep and heap on the calories. Living a stressful lifestyle can make it harder for you to focus on your health, above all a commitment to stay on a diet and exercise program. Eating a healthy, reduced calorie diet and increasing the time you spend exercising is the best way to expend more calories than you take in to successfully lose your weight. Now diet and exercise are only part of the program and due to this recent research getting a good night’s sleep helps burns the same amount of calories as taking a two mile walk!

Under the Amazon Product Description it states that The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan is designed to help women who have been discouraged by their inability to lose weight by giving her tips and techniques to overcome stress, poor lifestyle habits and environment challenges that stand between her and a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation is a perplexing reality for many women faced with chronic daily stress or hormonal changes and to include fatigue, moodiness, and weight gain into the mix can cause additional emotional pressure with their careers and family life.

This book can help women put into practice simple health and lifestyle changes to improve the quality and the quantity of their sleep, and increase in their energy levels while alleviating many health concerns that are also important to achieving weight loss without restricting additional calories or increasing the amount of exercise. Dr.Breus has researched into the science behind the sleep – weight loss connection and explains exactly how sleep can boost your metabolism, increase fat burning and decrease food cravings and your overall appetite. He has a realistic plan of action to help you get your best sleep while getting your best body possible using ways to overcome sleep hindrances while using a nightly routine, stress management practices and even recipes for healthy snacks and meals. Healthy night time snacks can actually help you to fall asleep easy.

[caption id="attachment_1239" align="alignright" width="268" caption="You are Fat and Cannot Sleep - YIKES!"][/caption]

So are you ready to stop tossing and turning night after night when you cannot sleep? Are you tired of fighting sleep in the afternoon? Have you given up on your diet because you haven’t found one that works for you? The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan has all the information, advice, plan of attack that YOU need to get the deep REM sleep to burn those calories and achieve a healthy, slimmer YOU.

About the Author

MICHAEL BREUS, PhD, D.ABSM, a.k.a. The Sleep Doctor™ is a clinical psychologist board certified in clinical sleep disorders. He is the sleep expert on WebMD and Sharecare and appears regularly on national television, including the Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, and The Rachael Ray Show. He provides expert advice and guidance in leading national publications and Web sites like the Huffington Post. He lives in Scottsdale, AZ.

The content provided in You are Fat and Cannot Sleep a Book Review: The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight through Better Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

 
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Light Sleeper…I was born this way

Do you wake up during the night by the slightest of sounds? It turns out that some people’s brains are hard-wired to block out external stimuli, while others are aware of any noise that goes bump in the night. For light sleepers ambient sounds are the most common cause for interrupted sleep since the mind receives and monitors stimuli in order to protect them from outside threats or hear a baby cry. But it should also block sounds to let them fall asleep easy and stay asleep so they can recharge their "brain battery" as well as getting the deep sleep they need to feel refreshed the next day. Many light sleepers brains respond to all surrounding stimuli no matter if it’s nonthreatening like traffic, partner snoring or dogs barking and/or threatening such as a fire alarm or an intruder in the house. Are YOU a light sleeper? I was born this way.

[caption id="attachment_1224" align="alignright" width="209" caption="Light Sleeper...Stan was born this way"][/caption]

Scientist using an electroencephalogram found that in the thalamus, a region deep in the brain that processes incoming visual and auditory stimuli, has pulses known as sleep spindles. Sleep experts don’t know why some people are born with more spindles than others, but those with more spindles are able to sleep through the night without waking to external stimuli than those with fewer spindles. Research can now measure the number of spindles a light sleeper has and determine their sensitivity to sound. In turn, they recommend the individual to eliminate noise by way of wearing ear plugs or if traveling request a hotel room away from the ice machine or elevator. Other treatment options are expected in the coming years through drugs that can manipulate the number of spindles or other alternative interventions. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that light sleepers can benefit if they have a set sleep schedule where they go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day which will improve the quality and quantity of their sleep. If light sleep is causing insomnia other treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy may be adviced to teach them good sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques.

Not all light sleepers are born this way; some develop this sleep pattern as they age. Older adults require the same or slightly less (6.5 to 7) hours of sleep per night, but they find it harder to fall asleep, wake more often and spend less time in bed. Often older adults convert to a biphasic sleep pattern, like toddlers, they sleep 5 to 6 hours during the night then take a 1 to 2 hour nap in the afternoon. Less time spent in sleep means less time in deep sleep equates to not allowing your body and mind to refresh itself. In turn, this can lead to other health concerns like heart disease or depression along with other sleep disorders. The sleep disorder insomnia is one of the most common with the elderly along with narcolepsy, hypersomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. Many awakenings may be caused by the need to urinate, anxiety or pain associated with a chronic illness. Older people feel they are sleep deprived even though they still get the same amount of sleep they did when they were younger.

Older adults require a doctor’s care when it comes to taking sleep medication as it may interfere with other medications or health issues as well as causing risky side effects and a dependency. Avoid prescription or over-the-counter medications sleep aides, if possible. Remember that some other drugs can cause an inability to fall asleep. If you feel your medication is causing a sleep problem consult with your doctor as he may change medication, alter the dose or have you take it at a different time of day.

Some lifestyle changes may also help like avoiding stimulants and eating/drinking foods with tryptophan an amino acid with sedative like properties improve your ability fall asleep faster. Limit liquids if night time urinating is a problem. Control the noise in your bedroom by using ear plugs or listening to sounds that induce sleep rather than sounds that wake you up such as; white noise, fan or even a self hypnotic CD. Consistent non-repetitive sound waves can block out abrupt unpredictable noises or your partners snoring when using earplugs. If you were born a light sleeper or developed this sleeping pattern as an older adult these are a few of the ways to help you get a better night’s sleep until scientists design a drug that will enhance your spindles.

The content provided in Light Sleeper…I was born this way is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

Do you think Lady Gaga was born this way?



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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sleep and Marriage Sleep and Marriage Go Together Like a

Sleep and marriage Sleep and marriage
Go together like a house and a mortgage.
Go and ask your mother, you can't have one without the other.

Sleep and marriage Sleep and marriage
It’s the foundation for a happy pairing
The way to have a joyful life is to have a rested wife.

Try try try to separate them just adds stress.
Try try try and she’ll only sleep less

Sleep and marriage Sleep and marriage
Go together like a house and a mortgage.
Mother told my father you can't have one
No you can’t have none.
You can't have one without the other.

According to a study by the Sleep 2011, 25th anniversary meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Minneapolis, if your wife can’t fall asleep easy you are more likely to have marital problems. The research measured 35 healthy, married couple’s ability to fall asleep and the total each slept over a 10 day period. Couples kept a diary and recorded positive and negative reactions with their spouse. It was concluded that wives who have sleep difficulties affected the way they communicated to their spouse the next day. There are several studies that show sleep deprivation causes irritability and when you are irritated you are most likely to take it out on your spouse/partner. Sleep is found to be very important in the detriment of marriage quality.

When someone is sleep deprived they have a tendency to become frustrated easily and any situation can bring them over the edge. Lack of sleep can also be the basis on how they relate with their partner during the day as well. Stress and anxiety can cause anyone to toss and turn, but many women are more emotional when they feel there’s an added burden regarding their marriage, finances and raising children. Their mind is overloaded and their ability to relax enough to fall asleep is hindered.

[caption id="attachment_1217" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Sleep and Marriage - Irritating Spouse Sleep Habit"][/caption]

Every marriage has its challenges, see Sleep with an Open Marriage, but stress and lack of sleep can be affecting more than just your relationship. Dr. Oz reported that couples in stressful marriages are physically less healthy than those is a happy one. Unhappy couples compromise their immune system, have higher blood pressure and have faster heart rates which can lead to heart disease, arthritis and even cancer. Stress disrupts sleep in two ways. First, increased daytime stress reduces deep sleep, which results in lighter, more restless sleep. Secondly, stress responses that occur during the day over-activate arousal systems in the brain and raise stress hormone levels in the body, which can result in elevated nocturnal stress hormones. In other words, when you are stressed during the day, your stress hormones are not just elevated during the day; they are also elevated while you sleep, which is contradictory with sound, deep sleep.

For wives who had trouble going to sleep and getting enough deep sleep, their relationship with their partner turns substantially more negative than positive. For men who are sleep deprived, the study found there was little difference in how they related to their partner the next day. Women express themselves and tend to control the emotional environment of the couple’s relationship. When they don’t get enough sleep, they are more likely to express their stress through irritability and verbalize negatively. Though lack of sleep may only be a symptom other than stress in their marriage as they may be suffering from a medical condition or sleep disorder and should seek a physician’s care. Also it could be a result of how their partner sleeps such as snoring, sleep apnea or even stealing the covers.

[caption id="attachment_1216" align="alignright" width="283" caption="Sleep and Marriage - Sleep Together or Apart?"][/caption]

What if you can't sleep well with your spouse? You are not alone. Many married couples have problems sleeping together. If you are having difficulty getting a good night's sleep because of your spouse's sleeping habits, getting twin beds or in the case of snoring, separate bedrooms may be the best solution. See Couples Sleep Easy Together or Apart for more information.

There is great research on how lack of sleep causes harm to one’s health but there has been little focus on how it impacts relationships. Sleep is critical to our health and now through this new study it also appears to have an effect on our behavior in how we interact with each other.

The content provided in Sleep and Marriage Sleep and Marriage Go Together Like a is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

 
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sleep with an Open Marriage

Do you know where your spouse is? If your partner purposes we either have an open marriage or  we separate, does this mean they are already having an affair or just hoping that you agree that both of you may see other people intimately? If you agree to an open marriage (besides worrying about STD's), is your biggest fear that they would fall in love with the other person and you would end up separated/divorced nonetheless? Is the only reason they want to have an open marriage to stay close to the kids and not to go through a messy divorce; splitting assets, child custody etc? If so, do you feel the marriage is pretty much over anyway and the only reason you would agree is to have time to get your life in order to prepare for being a single mom: getting a job that can pay for child care with health benefits, saving some money etc. Do you end your 20+ year marriage on a maybe? Not only are you stressed about what they're doing when their not home, you are also stressed about what you are going to do with the rest of your life. What are your options if you agree to this? Who can sleep easy with all this added stress? You wonder how he can sleep so easy (snoring beside you) knowing what he is doing to your family. Can you live with yourself in a semi-happy marriage, life without intimacy from your partner, but freedom to do what you want without financial burdens? In order to sleep with an open marriage it may be time to rewrite your marriage rules according to Pamela Haag, the author of Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules

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Stressful life events cause sleepless nights and sleepless nights turn into insomnia which can lead to physical and emotional health problems like; obesity, diabetes, heart disease and depression. Weeks of irritability and stress about your partners commitment to your relationship keeps your mind spinning. Rewinding the conversation over and over in your head wondering how to undo the mistakes you have made to make them want to have an open marriage. Now, how can you enjoy any family moment without feeling slighted. Lack of sleep in conjunction with these feelings causes you to fly off the handle or cry over anything they may do or say. You try to control your emotions because failure to do so would lead to more stress and sleepless nights. According to a CNN article everyone feels mediocre about their marriage it’s time to face facts and stop the pity party. Haag stated it is time to change how you “do’ marriage because you can no longer expect to fit your discontented spouse into your idea of the perfect institution of marriage. What  is it about marriage in the 21st century that many are finding ways to stay together between a semi-happy marriage and divorce? Haag suggests these alternative marriage approaches and offers some open marriage ground rules:

According to recent reports one in four Americans sleep in separate bedrooms and the National Association of Homebuilders predicts that by 2015 60% of new homes will have dual master bedrooms. Sleeping apart and creating privacy in a marriage might help. See Couples Sleep Easy Together or Apart for more information.

Try making time for some much needed personal growth by way of a marriage sabbatical in hopes to reconcile the stability of your semi-happy marriage. A marriage sabbatical is different than a separation that has no time limit or usually ends up in divorce. With a sabbatical it creates a certain interval where spouses spend time apart.

Rewrite your marriage vows every few years to represent promises and rules that are actually relevant to your current marital situation. One politician proposed a new contract every seven years to reflect on the marriage. Now that might be an idea for the seven year itch, which beats the alternative, the 20 year ditch. Statistics report the only 15% of 20+ year marriage end in divorce but out of these 93% of the women are the ones that file. Men are more prone to stay in a loveless relationship because they get used to how their marriage is, they don’t want to hurt their partner nor deal with uncomfortable situations. And basically they do their own thing. That’s why it might be good to rewrite your vows and get everything out in the open. It initiates communication and allows you to make agreed upon intentions for your marriage.

Since the 2008 recession many semi-happy marriages that might have ended in divorce have found they cannot afford to get divorced or they can’t sell their property and are now forced to stay in their house. This War of the Roses scenario continues for some couples even after divorce. They maintain the same household to provide stability for their children all the while enjoying a single, open marriage dating life…if you know what I mean:)

Haag also shows how the possibility of how an open marriage might work. In fact, one to two couples out of twenty are trying it in one form or another. They do it because they are bored or they want to maintain their lifeless semi-happy marriage from divorce along with a happy-happy life alternative. Remember before you agree to any options; separate/divorce or a life of eternal semi-happiness…life is long and it pays to be open and flexible. Men need intimacy to feel devotion and women need to feel love to be intimate. And one of the major contributors to marital stress is the lack of intimacy. Negotiating monogamy is becoming popular and is a way for some couples to remain committed to each other without being sexually faithful.

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Isn’t it better to talk about something and understand each others boundaries than to guess maybe they are, maybe they aren't or commit to life of anxiety/stress and insomnia! So remember: Taking marriage vows does not mean taking a vow of silence. If anything, being married should give you some level of trust, trust at least outside the bedroom, where you feel like you can talk about anything. The goal of an open marriage is to never have to lie -- to create an environment where you can be open without feeling uncomfortable or afraid. Proponents say that this atmosphere supposedly then creates an opportunity for incredible communication, deeper understanding and the opportunity to thrive as yourself to the fullest. So if your partner brought up the idea to negotiate monogamy and it isn’t your cup of tea because you can’t deny your feelings of resentment, competitiveness, jealousy, insecurity, curtailed time, scattered affections, feelings of betrayal, lack of security -- all inevitably blur the lines of what you consider a healthy marriage.. You need to sit down and have an adult conversation about other lifestyle alternatives that will work for both of you. It is essential for your health to get all these “what if” thoughts out of your head and relieve some of your stress. It’s your life..do what’s best for you and get some sleep.

The content provided in Sleep with an Open Marriage is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

 
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sleep with a Chronic Cough from Bronchitis Asthma COPD

The most common reason for a chronic cough at night is asthma although other conditions such as bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, cystic fibrosis and other respiratory conditions are known to cause excessive coughing. Many suggest that to sleep with a chronic cough from bronchitis, asthma or COPD is to go to bed only when you’re tired, breath only through your nose and avoid sleeping on your back. There is a technique called the Buteyko Emergency Procedure that stops persistent coughing and allows you to fall asleep easy. Here is how the procedure works:

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If you are coughing it is recommended to lay on your tummy or left side and relax all your muscles. Pinch your nose and hold your breath as long as you can. If you can’t hold your breath due to coughing, cough through your nose. After you exhale take a small sniff through your nose then relax all your muscles especially concentrating on your upper chest. Remember not to force your exhale. Repeat. With each inhale take a smaller amount of air and relax completely on your exhale. Your primary objective is to self-suffocate yourself while relaxing so you experience light air hunger. When you breathe less while being relaxed you will notice that your arms and feet will get warm and your nasal passages will become moist in about 1-2 minutes. Continue to breathe less until you fall asleep. During the day you can use this exercise to reduce coughing bouts. This technique is used to get rid of excess coughing and reduce the damage it causes to airways, lungs and all body cells.

People with chronic coughing should avoid irritants that trigger a cough such as smoking. If your cough persists a chest radiograph should be ordered to rule out malignancy and other serious conditions. In adults postnasal drip syndrome and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) are also the most likely causes for a adult chronic cough. If postnasal drip syndrome is detected many doctors try decongestants and a antihistamine to curb their patients cough. An asthma diagnosis is confirmed by a pulmonary function test with a methacholine challenge. GERD is determined by its symptoms. If the cause is unclear a pulmonary specialist is recommended.

There are different types of coughs from acute which lasts less than three weeks, to subacute that persists between three and eight weeks and chronic which continues beyond eight weeks. An acute cough is developed due to an upper respiratory tract infection, bacterial sinusitis, signs of copd, allergic rhinitis and environmental exposure to irritants. Subacute is the symptom of asthma or bacterial sinusitis, but can also develop after an infection. Chronic can have many causes, but only a few diseases like postnasal drip syndrome, asthma, and GERD or the non-disease disorder Irritable Larynx Syndrome (ILS) . More about ILS see video below. A chronic cough can have two or more causes and an evaluation by your doctor including a medical history and physical exam should be conducted. A patients medical history includes current or prior tobacco use along with any other environmental exposures such as; industrial toxins, radon, or secondhand smoke.. Since certain medications can induce coughing it is important to relay all prescription, OTC’s and supplements in with your initial consultation. ACE inhibitors or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are a group of drugs used primarily for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and congestive heart failure can cause a cough in women more than men. Your doctor may change your medication if a chronic cough is present.

Chronic bronchitis from exposure to cigarette smoke or other irritants is a cause for a chronic cough. This is what many call a "smokers cough" and roughly only five percent of patients receive treatment. Once the irritant is eliminated coughing usually decreases. Eosinophilic bronchitis has only recently been reported to cause a chronic cough. It is characterized by the presence of eosinophilic airway inflammation, similar to that seen in asthma. However, in contrast to asthma, non-asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis is not associated with variable airflow limitation or airway hyperresponsiveness. The differences in functional association are related to differences in the localization of mast cells within the airway wall. Eosinophilic bronchitis is treated with oral or inhaled corticosteroids.

What are some natural remedies for a chronic cough? Here are a few you can try:

Black Pepper and Honey: 3-4 ground pepper seeds added to a tablespoon of honey.

Garlic with Onion Soup: Peal an onion and garlic and boil in water.

Cinnamon, Lemon Juice and Honey: Squeeze juice from a fresh lemon and add 1/4th teaspoon of finely ground cinnamon powder with a teaspoon of honey, mix well.

Turmeric Milk: Bring to boil a glass of milk with a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Reduce heat add sugar to taste. Not only are you getting the antiseptic properties in the turmeric that help with the cough, you are also receiving tryptophan in the milk which causes drowsiness.

Ginger, Honey and Tulsi: Take ½ a ginger peeled and ground, ½ teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of tulsi (holy basil) juice and make a paste. Eat it 2 -3 times a day to relieve a cough.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Ginger, Red Pepper, Water and Honey: Another paste that you can eat throughout the day. Combine a tablespoon of water, apple cider vinegar, honey with ¼ teaspoon of ginger and red pepper.

Almonds: Soak almonds in a cup of water overnight than skin and crush them. Add butter and sugar to form a paste.

Aloe Vera and Honey: Tablespoon of aloe vera juice and a tablespoon of honey, mix well.

Garlic and Honey: Mince a garlic clove and place in a bowl with 2 tbsp honey cover and leave over night. Take 1 tbsp during the day as needed.

Vinegar and Water: Add 2 tsp of vinegar in a glass of water and keep beside your bed. When you feel a cough coming on take a few swallows. Vinegar dissolves the mucus and reduces inflammation.

Eucalyptus and Mint Leaf Steam: Boil water with eucalyptus and mint leaves cover over head and inhale vapors. You can also try other aromatherapy oils.

With any natural remedy it is important to talk to your doctor about your chronic cough because it is a symptom of a disease like; COPD, asthma or bronchitis or could be another sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea and should be diagnosis and treated accordingly. According to WebMD.com severe cases of chronic cough can result in vomiting, rib fractures and/or lightheadedness and you should seek medical advice when you have a cough that lingers, especially one that brings up sputum or blood, disturbs your sleep or affects your work.. A natural remedy along with treatment may help you to control or eliminate your chronic cough so you can get a good night’s sleep. For more information about Sleep and COPD see: Lack of Sleep and COPD

The content provided in Sleep with a Chronic Cough from Bronchitis Asthma COPD is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

This Father’s Day Give the Gift of Sleep

Many men feel that sleep is at the bottom of their priority list dividing most their time between work and family life. Since getting little sleep impacts their ability to perform during their waking hours and over time may have an effect on their over-all health, getting enough sleep each night is very important. Like women, men don’t realize they need more sleep because they get used to being tired and they think this is way I am suppose to feel. If they get tired, they simply fight through it and as a result it minimizes their ability to focus and reduces their energy levels. Pay attention to the signs that they aren’t getting enough sleep; do they feel tired during the day, are they unmotivated, lose their temper easily or falls asleep easy while doing family activities? If so, this Father’s Day give the gift of sleep.

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According to sleep experts we need to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night, but some of us can do with less or require more depending on our genetics or other health issues. You can determine the amount of sleep you need when you wake up without an alarm clock and get through the day without feeling the need for a nap. Make this amount of sleep a priority and plan to prepare for bed early enough to allow your mind and body to “power down”, so when you actually go to bed you fall asleep easy and stay asleep throughout the night.

A man’s career can demand a lot of his time and this doesn’t allow much room to spend with their family much less allow for a sleep schedule. In order for them to succeed they feel they need to work overtime, bring their work home at night and/or on the weekend and be at work first thing in the morning to show their dedication to their job. Along with all that, they have to deal with the long commute during rush hour which adds up to less free time. Even during free time my husband is constantly answering phone calls or checking his email on his iPhone. It doesn’t stop. All in all it adds up to frustration, worries and anxiety that make it impossible to relax enough to fall asleep at night. That’s why you have got to turn it all off at least an hour before you go to bed. Set boundaries with work, family, “ME” time and sleep. I have found that many men need “ME” time to think outside their normal routines even if it is an hour at the gym, puttering in the garage/yard or getting involved with a hobby/sport, etc..

Although it is important for men to have other interest, is your man’s balancing out his time to include getting the sleep he needs? While some things are more important than others, not everything has to be done at this very moment and can be rearranged to make better use of his time. Making changes to include sleep should be positive as negative changes will cause frustration and anxiety impacting his ability to fall asleep.

Is your husband a new father? The excitement about being a new dad can bring about new duties and additional stress which can keep him up at night. Other positive lifestyle changes that affect a man’s sleep can also be getting a new job or moving into a new home. More information about being a parent, kids and sleep see: Book Review: Go the F**k to Sleep It’s All About the Me Time.

Negative lifestyle changes are losing a loved one, physical injury, major illness, losing money/job and the possibility of divorce. Negative changes bring about feelings of depression which overtime will become what they consider normal. Depression causes insomnia and lack of sleep causes depression. You can’t sleep at night and you have no motivation during the day. Lack of sleep overtime will affect their health, but men (and women) when depressed also stop taking care of themselves by way of diet and exercise and/or alcohol and drug use which may add or increase their risk for heart decease, diabetes, obesity or even death. Men are more prone to keep their feelings of despair to themselves which is more likely seen by losing interest in their normal activities of daily life. In some cases, men show violent outburst and are known to commit suicide more than women when depressed. If you feel your man is showing signs of depression and can’t express his feelings to you, have him find someone he feels safe to talk to like a minister or a counselor.

Because men consider sleep as a waste of time they develop bad sleep habits. They use alcohol as a way to fall asleep, drink caffeinated beverages all day to stay awake, eat huge meals or late night sugary snacks and go to the gym late at night to get in an intense workout all the while wondering why they can’t sleep or if they do get some sleep they still don’t feel well rested the next day. All these bad sleep habits effect the quality and quantity of sleep they get and if they would go to the gym first thing in the morning, just after work or during their lunch hour; eat their largest meal at lunch or limit caffeine in the afternoon their sleep would improve.

Sometimes it’s not because of bad sleep habits that keep men from getting a good night’s sleep. Medical conditions whether minor like being sick or hurt to something major such as heart disease or arthritis can disturb sleep. For more information about how arthritis can affect sleep see: Sleep Easy with Arthritis. Treating medical conditions can also be the problem as certain medications can keep you awake at night. Talk to your doctor as he may change the prescription, reduce the dose or tell him to take the medication at a different time of day.

Medical conditions can also include sleep disorders and the one sleep disorder that affects men the most is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Even if your man is getting his seven hours of sleep, those seven hours can be interrupted periodically by a blocked airway passage which causes him to gasp and snore during the night. Signs of OSA are daytime sleepiness and snoring, so he may not be aware that he has this sleep disorder. On the other hand, you are more likely to wake up during the night due to his snoring. Remember simple repetitive snoring is normal, but loud snoring that includes gasping is not and should be discussed with your doctor. If left untreated, it may also put him at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.

Other sleep disorders that affect men are narcolepsy a condition that cause people to suddenly fall asleep and delayed sleep phase disorder (DSP) when only fall asleep later than normal. DSP causes men to get into a habit of going to bed late at night and having a hard time waking in the morning. Both conditions are signs that their internal body clock which controls their sleep/wake cycle needs reset. The key to reset your sleep/wake cycle is to avoid bright light in the late afternoon and evening. Sunlight in the morning and early afternoon will help keep their body clock set at the right time. Jet lag and shift work disorder are caused by a man’s work schedule. Men who fly long distances can suffer from jet lag and those with alternative shift schedules or late shift schedules have to readjust their body clock in order to get their sleep. Some use melatonin supplements to make them sleepy. Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the body at night to help you to fall asleep. Light therapy can also help those that suffer from jet lag or shift work disorder. Talk to your doctor to see if either of these will help your man sleep better.

According to mensheath.com there are a number of reason’s your man may not be getting the sleep he needs and offers some advice:

1. You're anticipating dragging your teen out of bed for school.

Quit hassling him. According to one study, high-school start times are out of synch with teens' natural sleep rhythms. Melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone) doesn't begin to hit adolescent brains until about 11 p.m., a couple of hours later than the 9 p.m. onset for preteens. That means he's programmed to wake up later, too. Have him do all his prep work the night before so he can sleepwalk onto the bus.

2. You get up to pee five times a night—and can't get back to sleep.

Have your prostate checked, advises Martin Gelbard, M.D., of the UCLA School of medicine. An enlarged prostate gland can push against the bladder, urging frequent urination. (Saw palmetto supplements might help.) If you're wide awake after a 2 a.m. can call, pee in the dark next time. Bright bathroom lights make it harder to fall back asleep.

3. You popped some pain pills.

Medicines can affect sleep patterns, and doctors don't always advise you of the risks. If you suffer from insomnia, grill your G.P. about your prescription's effects.

4. Your wife snores like a stock-car engine.

Snoring occurs when people sleep on their backs, says Rochelle Zak, M.D., of New York Presbyterian Hospital. Here's why: Facial muscles relax, and the tongue slouches to the back of the throat, partially obstructing airflow. To keep her sleeping on her side, Dr. Zak recommends she wear snore balls. (She's not making this up—we checked.)

Here's how to make them: Put tennis balls in three socks and safety-pin the socks to the back of her nightshirt. Position one ball over each shoulder blade, and the third in between. If she rolls onto her back, the discomfort of getting balled will push her back onto her side. Bonus: She gets sick of the whole thing and strips!  See: I am Woman Hear me Snore

5. Your skin is crawling

You may have restless-legs syndrome, which hits about 5 to 15 percent of us as we shuffle into middle age. If you experience the symptoms—a creepy, crawly, sometimes painful sensation in your legs—get up and walk it off. If symptoms persist, see a doctor.

6. You broodingly smoke cigarettes as you ponder your sleeplessness.

Quit smoking. (First time you've heard that?) Not only is nicotine a stimulant, but smokers may also experience withdrawal at night, causing them to awaken or sleep fitfully.

7. Your daughter's a night owl.

Take the TV out of her bedroom. According to a Brown University study of elementary-school-age children, those with TVs in their rooms are far more likely to suffer from sleep disturbances.

8. You're ready for bed, but junior's geeked up.

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Feed him pumpkin seeds. They're loaded with tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce the sleep hormones serotonin and melatonin, says Donald Robertson, M.D., director of the Southwest Bariatric Nutrition Center in Arizona. For severe cases, go for this tryptophan triumvirate: a glass of warm milk, a spoonful of peanut butter, and a banana.

9. You ate Mexican for dinner.

You have heartburn. To douse the fire, take a fast-acting antacid like Tums. And don't lie down right after a chalupa. Sitting up for an hour or two afterward will keep the acids down so that you'll stay asleep.

10. Your baby screams like Axel Rose at 1 a.m.

Let him cry it out a little. "Babies need to learn to go back to sleep on their own," says Lauren Broch, Ph.D., of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital. "Crying doesn't necessarily mean they're in pain."

11. You sleep with an animal.

When your dog dreams of squirrel sushi, he'll yip and twitch you right out of bed. So banish him from the bedroom. He'll get over it.

12. You're a napster.

Don't nap if you've been up more than 8 hours, says Richard Strobel, M.D, a sleep expert in Allentown, Pennsylvania. And keep it to half an hour, or you might be wakeful that night.

13. The neighbor's dog is barking up a lung.

What's most disturbing about Spot's yelps isn't the volume, but the ebb and flow. You can't fall off because you're always bracing for the next refrain. A white-noise machine (Sharper Image, $100) can help by evening out the racket.

14. The couple next door is copulating—loudly.

Take matters into your own hands—literally. Masturbation is a great stress reliever, says Mark Schwartz, director of the Masters and Johnson Institute. At orgasm, your brain releases chemicals that help you relax and might be one of the best sleep gifts a person can give themselves.

The content provided in This Father’s Day Give the Gift of Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional. When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and asleepeasy.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.

 
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