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Showing posts from tagged with: sleep

Do sleep disorders cause heartburn?

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heartburn Do sleep disorders cause heartburn? Ever tried to going to sleep when you have heartburn? Or visa versa? Sometimes discomfort within the gut is what hurts our ability to get deep, restful sleep. Researchers are also learning that the process can occur in reverse and sleep disorders are believed to trigger the stomach, too. It’s hard to sleep when your heartburn is acting up. But, researchers have discovered that poor sleep quality also heightens the likelihood of gut issues. The discovery’s potential impact is significant. Sleep disorders affect an estimated 50 million to 70 million Americans, according to a 2006 federal report. And gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, impacts about 20 percent of the country’s population. Which is why researchers are studying these impacts. Neither sleep disorders nor GERD should be ignored. GERD, creates chronic acid injury to the esophagus. That may cause a change in the esophageal tissue, a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. A Barrett’s diagnosis means you could have a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer. Poor or insufficient sleep can negatively affect a person’s weight, heart health, mood and memory, among other things. For GERD, a combination of diet and lifestyle changes is typically the first order of business, followed by medication. Changing your routine also can help prompt better sleep.   By studying this correlation, researchers are hoping to improve the lives of many and improve both their gut health and sleep habits.  

Help your teen sleep better

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Help your teen sleep better According to recent studies, forty-three percent of parents say their teens struggle to fall asleep — or wake up and can’t get back to sleep. teen sleep Help your teen sleep better with the following tips:   Maintain a regular sleep schedule Keeping a sleep schedule within an hour of what’s usual helps keep the circadian rhythm in check. Sleeping in hours later than normal on the weekends and during school breaks makes it even more difficult to switch back — and can lead to more tiredness and grogginess. “Catch-up” sleep is also unlikely to make up for the full amount of sleep debt accrued over a week, and we don’t believe it’s as restorative to the body.   Discourage afternoon naps Even though they may provide more sleep short term, naps make it harder to fall asleep at night. They also break up sleep, which means lower quality of sleep and fewer benefits. If this is a habit, do everything you can to quit naps for a week to make it easier to not nap going forward.   Ban electronics from the bedroom Not being able to stay off electronics — including social media and cell phones — was the top reason polled parents cited for their teens’ sleep troubles. Some research indicates that the light exposure from screens also disrupts traditional cues sent to the brain to wind down. That’s why I recommend physically removing the device.   Charge phones elsewhere Make it a family rule to charge all devices in a parent’s bedroom or another isolated space to reduce temptation at bedtime. Many teens I’ve seen in my own practice actually describe a sense of relief when their parents limit phone use because it takes away some of that pressure to keep up with social news and what their peers are up to.   Stick to sleep-friendly bedtime routines In addition to banning electronics, limit other distractions in the bedroom. All stimulation should be minimized. Keep lights low and active pets out of the bedroom. We discourage using music or sound machines to help with sleep because they may actually keep the brain stimulated.   Realize sleep isn’t instant We don’t expect people to fall asleep right away. It can take half an hour for someone to truly fall asleep. Have your teen follow a routine that helps them de-stress and wind down to get their body into sleep mode and send the right signals to the brain that it’s time to snooze (e.g., bath, reading, bed).   Consult a health provider Sometimes an underlying medical issue, such as depression or sleep apnea, may be causing sleep trouble. If a teen continues to have problems falling asleep or is waking up multiple times at night despite healthy sleep hygiene habits, speak to a sleep specialist.   Call us if you have additional information. We can help.  

Get better sleep!

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  sleep With busy, stressful lives, often comes sleep deprivation and overall just not getting enough sleep. According to the Huffington Post, “In their first study of self-reported sleep length, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 34.8 percent of American adults are getting less than seven hours of sleep — the minimum length of time adults should sleep in order to reduce risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, mental distress, coronary heart disease and early death.” Falling asleep may seem like an impossible dream when you’re awake at 3 a.m., but good sleep is more under your control than you might think. Here are a few tips that can help you get better sleep: Regulate your sleep schedule.

  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid sleeping in—even on weekends. The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, the worse the jet lag-like symptoms you’ll experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
  • Be smart about napping. While napping is a good way to make up for lost sleep, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, napping can make things worse. Limit them to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon.
Get regular exercise! Regular exercisers sleep better and feel less sleepy during the day.
  • The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits. But even light exercise—such as walking for just 10 minutes a day—improves sleep quality.
  • It can take several months of regular activity before you experience the full sleep-promoting effects. So be patient and focus on building an exercise habit that sticks.
Clear your head before you hit the hay. Stress, anxiety, chronic worrying will stop any sleep. Try these relaxation techniques to help you stop the worry and get to sleep.
  • Deep breathing. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up to the top of your head.
  • Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place that’s calming and peaceful. Concentrate on how relaxed this place makes you feel.
  Still having problems sleeping? Talk to your doctor about additional ways to help.

Surprise. Did you know these items can affect your heart health? [Infographic]

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Did you know several factors can have affects on your heart health. Pollution, sleep, your teeth, weather, stress, snoring and loneliness are all items that you’ve probably never thought about when you are considering your heart. Take a look at this infographic and learn more. Heart Health Infographic

Sleep Well – Get your insomnia under control.

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insomnia_cloud Not sleeping? Tossing and turning at night? Waking up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep? Or even having trouble falling asleep because you are in bed worrying about life? It’s no fun when you wake up feeling more tired, not refreshed, in the morning and are excessively tired during the day. You’re not alone. More than 25 percent of Americans report not getting enough sleep occasionally, and 10%, according to the CDC, experience insomnia almost every night. There are a lot of things that can help you have a chance to get some sleep. Consider exercise, turning off your screens far before going to bed, and do not drink alcohol to make you sleep, it just doesn’t work. Exercise. Did you know, regular exercise can be a great way to help stimulate better sleep?  If you have trouble sleeping, avoid working out too late. Strenuous exercise can make you more alert. It also increases your body temperature, which may stay elevated for as many as six hours. Steer clear of workouts too close to bedtime. Aim to complete a workout two or three hours before you plan on going to sleep. Turn off your screens. It's tempting to try to wind down by reading on the computer or watching TV before bed, but both can actually stimulate you. The light and noise of TVs and computers can be engaging and can reduce brain melatonin levels. You want your melatonin levels to increase around bedtime to help you fall asleep. Need just a little noise to help you drift off? Try listening to relaxing music or download a relaxing, sleep app. Do not drink Alcohol - it doesn’t work. Think a cocktail before bed will offer relief? Think again. This myth probably persists because alcohol can help you fall asleep. But as it moves through your body it may lead to disturbed, restless sleep, or it may make you wake earlier. The sleep that you lose is hard to catch up on. It's unlikely that you can fully catch up, especially with our busy schedules. . Sleeping in one or two days a week or over the weekend may actually upset your natural body clock. The disruption may make it harder to get to sleep the next time. The only way to catch up on lost sleep is to get back into a regular sleep schedule.   Make sure to talk to your doctor if you are having problems sleeping. We can help!  

Kids Health: Back to School Tips

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  Back to School Back to school is just around the corner. With the summer full of fun, most children need help transitioning back into a routine with deadlines for a successful start to the school year. It's also a good time for kids to visit the pediatrician, dentist and eye doctor to make sure their health makes the grade. Sleep Routines: No more staying up late and sleeping in. Start with getting your kids back into their school year sleep habits. To help your child transition back to waking up early, establish a new sleep routine. Consider starting to go to be one hour earlier every night and waking up early until the new routine is established. Start a week or two in advance, to get your school year sleep routines established. Get your vaccinations and Sports Physicals: Pediatrician's office are full of patients the week before school starts.  Annual checkups should be done by a pediatrician before each new school year to ensure that your child's medical records and vaccinations are up to date. Additionally, if your child participates in athletics, they will need their yearly sports physical in order to participate. Eating Schedules: With the summer packed full of activities, eating schedules may be different than those at school. Before the new school year starts, get your child back into the habit of eating three regular meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Consider sitting down for meals together to help the child reset the routine. Backpack Basics Backpacks full of books and school supplies can put strain on your child's neck, shoulders and back. Make sure your child’s backpack fits properly and is strong enough to carry a heavy load. Also make sure your child is carrying their backpack over both shoulders, according to the, single backpack over the shoulder can strain muscles.   Talk to your pediatrician about additional tips to help you get your child back into the school routine.

Common Sleep Disorders

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sleep disorders

Sleep disorders are associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression—which threaten our nation’s health. Below are the different types of sleep disorders that you or your loved ones may be experiencing. Insomnia Insomnia is an inability to initiate or maintain sleep. You may encounter early morning awakening in which the individual awakens several hours early and is unable to resume sleeping. Difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep may often encounter which can lead to impairment throughout the day. Your doctor can treat chronic insomnia with a combination of medications, along with behavioral techniques to promote regular sleep. Narcolepsy Excessive daytime sleepiness (including episodes of irresistible sleepiness) combined with sudden muscle weakness are all signs of narcolepsy. The sudden muscle weakness seen in narcolepsy may be elicited by strong emotion or surprise. Narcoleptic episodes have been described as “sleep attacks” and may occur in unusual circumstances, such as walking and other forms of physical activity. Your doctor may treat narcolepsy with stimulant medications combined with behavioral interventions, such as regularly scheduled naps, to minimize the potential disruptiveness of narcolepsy on the individual’s life. Restless Legs Syndrome Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is characterized by an unpleasant “creeping” sensation, often feeling like it is tingling in the lower legs, but often associated with aches and pains throughout the legs. This often causes difficulty initiating sleep and is relieved by movement of the leg, such as walking or kicking. Your doctor will often solutions or medication to promote sleep continuity in the treatment of RLS. Sleep Apnea Excessive snoring, or sleep apnea,  may be more than just an annoying habit. Those with sleep apnea characteristically make gasping or “snorting” noises, during which their sleep is momentarily interrupted. Those with sleep apnea may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, as their sleep is commonly interrupted and may not feel restorative. Talk to your doctor about what you can do if you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea. Not getting enough sleep? Consult with your physician. Whether it’s stress related or a sleep disorder, we can help you get on a path to a better night’s sleep.

Tips to get sleep during the holidays

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Getting 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep a night during the holidays can help strengthen your immune system, give you more energy, and make you less vulnerable to stress. 1. Spend time with your friends and children Despite all the madness that surrounds Christmas and New Years, some holiday traditions actually help you sleep: Celebrating and connecting with your friends and family is an effective way to de-stress, preparing you for a better night’s rest. Women who have healthy friendships and positive relationships with their children sleep better. Exchanging gifts and catching up at holiday parties can boost your levels of oxytocin, a biochemical that blocks the body's chief stress chemical, and will let you rest easier at night.

  1. Fit in a seasonal siesta
Studies show that one nap between 1:00 and 4:00 P.M. will reduce your sleep debt, invigorate your day, boost your productivity, and not affect your sleep at night. The nap can take up to 90 minutes. If you’re not naturally geared for napping, make sure to lie down for 20 minutes at the same time every day. Doing this will get your body used to the idea that you can relax in the middle of the day. Eventually, you’ll sleep. A quick nap in the afternoon will help you get some much-needed rest before you head out to celebrate more.  
  1. Take a walk in the snow
Exercise improves sleep as effectively as benzodiazepines (drugs used to treat insomnia) in some studies. Studies from the University of Arizona show that women who even walked short distances, just six blocks, at a normal pace during the day found their sleep significantly improved.  
  1. Relax before bed
The hour before bed is crucial to winding down so you can relax and finally snooze. According to the 2007 National Sleep Foundation poll, during the hour before bed, around 60 per cent of women do household chores, 37 percent take care of children, 36 percent do activities with other family members, 36 percent are on the Internet, and 21 percent do work related to their jobs. Add cooking, shopping and entertaining to that and the holiday season can set you up for some late nights. Travelling, having out-of-town visitors and an all-around busy agenda make it hard to predict your day-to-day schedule, but make sure to set that one hour aside so when the day is over, you’re ready for bed. Contact us for more sleep tips during this season.