We’re not sleeping enough
Sleeplessness is epidemic in this country.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) consider insomnia a public health issue and report that at least 35% of adults don’t get a good night’s sleep.
Judging from my circle of friends, I think the percentage is much higher than that!
Insomnia and daytime fatigue make life miserable and contribute to chronic illness. Drowsy drivers cause accidents. Drowsy employees cause on-the-job injuries.
Sleeping pills (hypnotics) are the go-to treatment in the US. Drugs like zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta) and suvorexant (Belsomra).
Related post: Belsomra—Use with caution
But they have side … Continue reading
Not safe for everyone
I’ve had problems sleeping most of my adult life. And I admit over the years I’ve tried using Benadryl (diphenhydramine) as a sleep aid now and then.
So I was interested when Consumer Reports recently published a warning that too many people are too frequently turning to over-the-counter sleeps aids.
A 2015 Consumer Reports national survey of 4,023 adults found a troubling trend: Of the 20 percent who took an OTC medication within the past year to improve sleep, almost 1 in 5 respondents, or 18 percent, said they took it on a daily basis. Most
… Continue reading
I’m spending the day online getting some gift shopping done, and I thought I’d post about some of the healthcare books and gifts I’m buying for friends and family this year.
I use Amazon a lot (Prime, so I get free 2-day shipping), and I have to include a disclosure here that the following links will take you to my Amazon Associates page. That said, I’m not trying to make any money with my blog, so if you can find these products for better prices elsewhere, great!
For the sleep deprived
As someone who has battled insomnia most of her … Continue reading
It’s OK for steps, but not much else
I was feeling really good about myself the other day when I came home after finishing a 6,000 step walk that burned—according to the Fitbit Zip in my pocket—720 calories.
I boasted about this to my husband, who immediately burst my pride bubble by saying, “There is no way you burned that many calories in a 40-minute walk. Think about it.”
He was right. I knew in the back of my mind that 720 calories was just too high. Have you ever run on a treadmill for 15 minutes and felt … Continue reading
March 6th to 13th is National Sleep Awareness Week.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) sponsors the week (#7Days4BetterSleep) to raise awareness of the health benefits of a good night’s sleep.
As if we didn’t know!
But if you need a reminder, here’s a TED-Ed video about the effects of sleep deprivation:
Good sleep habits are best learned at a young age. If you are a parent, help your kids find a healthy balance between all their activities and their sleep needs.
The NSF has lots of information about sleep, as well as sleep tips … Continue reading
Blue light pollution
Do you have trouble getting to sleep at night, and then feel sleepy and groggy in the morning?
“Blue light” from your TV, phone or tablet might be to blame. Do you watch TV or sit at your computer just before bed? Or take your phone, laptop or Kindle into bed with you?
These electronic devices all emit what’s known as blue light. Blue light is a specific part of the light spectrum. It’s why the sky is blue, and so our brains naturally associate blue light with day and become more alert, even if it’s time … Continue reading
Yesterday’s post was so depressing I feel the need for some humor. And few things in the health care world make me smile as much as ZDoggMD’s musical parodies on YouTube.
Here’s his latest.
Frugal Nurse… Continue reading
It’s no secret that as we age we have to be more diligent about exercise to keep our muscles toned and flexible, and maintain a healthy body weight.
The same is true of the tissue inside our throats. Flabby throat muscles and fatty tissue cause snoring and sleep apnea. Poor quality sleep affects not only the patient, but anyone sleeping (or trying to) within hearing distance.
The typical solution given to most patients seeking help is the CPAP, a bulky machine that applies air pressure through a nasal mask as you sleep. It keeps the airways open so you can … Continue reading
I just ran across this video of Andrew Weil, MD, explaining how to do yoga breathing exercises, specifically the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It’s based on the yoga practice of pranayama.
I’ve always had trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, and I want to give these breathing exercises a try as they are an inexpensive and drug-free approach to hopefully improving my quantity and quality of sleep.
The steps of the 4-7-8 technique are simple:
- Exhale completely through your mouth while making a ‘whoosh’ sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your
… Continue reading
I’ve always had difficulty getting a good night’s sleep, and over the years I’ve learned what a delicate mechanism our brain’s “sleep center” is.
For optimal sleep, our brains crave routine and reduced stimulation.
A sleep physician explains how TV can disrupt our sleep: Television ruins your sleep. Here are 5 ways how
Here are the highlights, but read his entire post for more information.
- Watching television makes you go to bed later. But our brains have a predetermined amount of sleep they need to function well. When we miss that sleep, we
… Continue reading