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Sleep Suffers With Technology Use

Sleep is a basic necessity. We’ll have a hard time going through with our day if we weren’t able to sleep soundly the night before. We lose focus. Our memory fails us. Even simple tasks become unmanageable and sleep deprivation can compromise our work or studies. You aren’t just your usual self when you don’t get your recommended eight-hour of sleep at night. But at the rate the world is going nowadays, far too many distractions keep us from falling asleep when we hit the sack. Back then, you have nothing left to do once the lights go out and you’re all tucked in bed, but today, the hours pass by when you’re using your smartphone or tablet that you don’t realize the sun has already risen and you’re still wide awake, much to your horror.

We enjoy all the things we do with these gadgets that we don’t realize how much time passes us by and how much damage it causes to our body. We only realize that once our health deteriorates, we become more prone to sickness because of our abuse and neglect. Sleep is fundamental to normal growth and development of any individual – big or small. And too much technology use is the main culprit we become more sleep deprived as the days go by.

Is WhatsApp keeping you up way past your bedtime? Yo u’re not the only one, say doctors at Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans).

A study has revealed that the use of internet for Facebook and WhatsApp is making people put off sleep by more than one and a half hours (100 minutes) every day .

In a 2016 study by the Service for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic at Nimhans, researchers found that use of internet was also making people wake up 90 minutes later.

The study , published in January in the Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, also fo und that while the quality of sleep was above average, most people usually checked their phones and tablets at least four times after going to bed.

The prescription: shut off devices as you near bedtime.

Sleep disorders and sleep loss, say doctors, can contribute to conditions varying from heart disease to anxiety.

(Via: http://tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/technology/apps-social-media-pushing-back-sleep-time-over-1-5-hrs/57699803)

Many people are guilty of doing this – overindulging ourselves in a little bit more social media before drifting off to sleep that we unconsciously sacrificed valuable sleep time for a juicy story you picked up on Facebook or Twitter.

Research has shown a clear link between technology use before bed and compromised sleep that affects our health and wellbeing.

While effects can vary from person to person, it may be as subtle as your thinking not being as sharp as it could be, your energy a bit sluggish, your vigilance a bit down, your mood a bit less stable.

We should will ourselves to give up this bad habit for good. It may be tempting to check your news feed for updates or find out what’s the most captivating photo on Instagram but you got to do what you got to do. Your body suffers when you lose sleep, so better get your act together and resist the urge to tinker with your smartphone especially when it’s already bedtime.

Technology use in the evenings may make it harder to drop off to sleep and can also reduce the quality of sleep and make you feel sleepier the next day.

Using a screen for 1.5 hours or more seems to be when problems start, although not everyone is affected the same way.

The impacts on sleep are related to both the stimulating effects of interacting with a device and the effects of light from the screen.

Passive activities like reading an e-book or watching a movie are thought to be less disruptive than interactive ones like playing a video game, making posts, or messaging.

(Via: http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2016-10-21/how-technology-use-messes-with-your-sleep/7950336)

But don’t feel bad because not all technologies are awful. Some can actually help you sleep better like this smart bed that will help you sleep better sans technology.

A bed that adjusts itself in the night to stop people from snoring. A princess and the pea-style gadget that fits under a mattress and monitors sleep. A “water-based, app-controlled mattress topper”, which will encourage deep slumber.

Sleep technology is one of the biggest trends at CES, the world’s premier electronics show, which opened to the public on Thursday.

The range of products on show reflects the growing interest in solutions to insomnia and other sleep problems – as well as the predictions that the global sleep market will be worth $80bn by 2020.

Sleep Number’s 360 Smart Bed is among the most eye-catching products. The mattress can detect a change of body position during the night and uses air chambers in the mattress to contour to the sleeper’s frame.

(Via: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/05/sleep-technology-ces-2017-las-vegas-new-products)

Just like any other thing, using things in moderation is the key to a long and healthy life. You may be hooked on social media and all but you have to understand that only you can set limits to your tech use. No matter how irresistible it is to check your social media accounts now and then, you should never compromise your sleep because of it. Your health is far more important (and can be helped by mouthpieces like this) because you can do anything you want if you have a healthy and able body.

Technology will always be there – something to keep us entertained when we have the time but should not take our time from doing the most important things in life. The world around us now is becoming more digital than ever, so it is more crucial than ever for us to learn the discipline to overcome our tech obsession if we want to live longer in this world as healthy as we can possibly be.

Does Technology Make Us Lose More Sleep?

Kids of today grow up in a world filled with technology. So, it is more common to see one holding a smartphone or tablet than seeing someone reading an actual book or playing out in the dirt. The youth have openly embraced technology because it has been there all around them growing up. Even adults nowadays also enjoy the comfort and convenience offered by these technologies.

With the constant distraction of technology and the endless things to do during the day (includes hobbies and interests, not to mention tons of homework and essays), students consequently miss out on sleep. So, the question now is whether our life really becomes easier and better because of technology or is it an unnecessary burden we can all afford to live without.

Heavy school workloads, on top of extracurricular activities, are a key reason behind an epidemic in sleep deficit. Our 14-year-olds are worried sick, even if they are not telling you. It might be anxiety over an upcoming test or friendship angst that follows your daughter home from school. The lure of the blue-lit screen resting on the bedside table adds to the problem, with the short-wavelength light emitted suppressing the sleep hormone and delaying sleep onset. In lay terms, the teen’s brain is being told it’s time to wake up.

And then, when they wake to a piercing alarm the next morning, what is their first act? That question is put to a group of Brisbane 14-year-olds. The answer is so in tune it seems practised: “Check my phone.”

Sarah goes to bed between 10.30 pm and 11.30 pm. She admits she is on Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and ooVoo. Sheepishly, she also owns up to the fact that she’s only allowed social media between 4 pm and 9.30pm – so doesn’t begin her homework until 9.30pm. Her case points to another issue: few 14-year-olds have curfews, and those who do largely ignore them, tucked in their room with the door closed, while their parents, tired themselves, nod off to sleep up the corridor.

(Via: http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/todays-teens-are-struggling-to-fit-enough-sleep-into-their-busy-lives-20170329-gv9ego.html)

The facts do not lie and show that younger children really do suffer from too much technology use. Back in the days, young kids were already off to bed at around 8 pm or 9 pm at night. Today, kids are still wide awake at midnight or even in the wee hours of the morning and busy tinkering with their gadgets.

Three times as many children under 14 are being admitted into hospital with sleeping disorders than ten years ago as technology keeps many awake at night.

Households where both parents work are also pushing bedtimes later, with a lack of sleep raising fears of poor school performance and later life health woes.

It puts children at greater risk of developing mental health issues, catching viruses and becoming obese, according to past research. Studies have also linked a lack of sleep to low levels of emotional control.

(Via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/04/surge-children-admitted-hospital-sleeping-disorders-many-kept/)

We can’t deny that too much technology can really mess up with your day and night whether you are young or old. However, you can also try to use it to your advantage.

Technology can be a helpful tool in tracking our sleeping patterns and reminding us when to head to bed in order to get our full eight hours of rest. But 71 percent of Americans sleep with or near their phones, according to a 2015 report from Bank of America, and we’ve all heard the negative effects of too much screen time before bed.

Take advantage of trackers

Wearable devices, like Fitbit or Jawbone wristbands, aren’t just for fitness. These trackers can monitor the quality of your sleep by measuring your sleep cycles, noting how many times you toss and turn, wake up and more, all without disturbing your sleep or requiring screen time before bed.

Use apps for relaxation

There are a multitude of smartphone apps that can track your sleep — but they require your phone to be next to your pillow, inevitably causing distractions like sending that one last email or waking up to the buzz of text messages. Instead, try a brief guided meditation through an app like Headspace before getting into bed. Or you can quietly play Pzizz Sleep, a sound app with scientifically proven techniques that combine neurolinguistic programming, binaural beats and sound effects.

Adjust your lighting

Bright lights can disrupt your biological clock, making it difficult to fall asleep. If you have a newer iPhone, take advantage of the night shift setting, which automatically adjusts the screen to appear more yellow at night. You can turn on the feature manually or schedule it around your bedtime.

(Via: http://www.ydr.com/story/life/wellness/blogs/no-sweat-york/2017/03/23/striking-balance-sleep-and-technology/99533178/)

The issue between sleep and technology is something we can’t all ignore. Although most of us only see its bad side, there are other ways to make technology work for us without our health suffering in return. And most of all, exercise discipline and moderation in technology use.

Set a specific time in the day when you will indulge yourself in an hour or two of web surfing and social media updating. For young kids, an hour will do and a little more over the weekend. Strike up a balance where you can still do all the important things in life that involves school, work, and household chores and indulge in a little bit of technology as a reward for all your hard work. That way, you do not overdo things and you still get that precious sleep at night that your body desperately needs in order to recharge and prepare for the following day.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea 101: What You Need To Know About It

We are more familiar now with the sleep disorder that is sleep apnea. It is the most common diagnosed sleep disorder in sleep clinics and affects a great majority of the population wherever you are in the world. We know that we need sleep to function normally throughout the day but there are times when sleeping at night is easier said than done. Some people don’t have any problem drifting off to sleep once they hit the sack but there are also those who dread bedtime either because of sleeping difficulties or a snoring partner.

Snoring is the characteristic symptom of sleep apnea. While it is often annoying to sleep beside snorers, it is also a cause of concern as snoring is a serious sign of breathing issues. It has even been discovered that the heart of people who suffer from sleep apnea also temporarily stops beating when they sleep (which can be aided with this: http://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/snorerx). This condition is no laughing matter and requires immediate medical attention or risk not being able to wake up the following day.

If you stop breathing while you’re sleeping, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects over 18 million adults and can take three forms. The first is called central sleep apnea, which is where the brain fails to notify the muscles to control breathing. This type of sleep apnea is less common and does not cause snoring. The second kind of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the soft tissue of the throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, resulting in snoring. Finally, the third form is called complex sleep apnea and is a combination of the two previous forms.

(Via: http://www.belmarrahealth.com/stop-breathing-sleeping-affect-body/)

Imagine how scary it is to find out that your life is in this much danger because of snoring. Not only you and your partner lose precious sleep and predispose you to other deadly diseases but the thought of your breathing and heart stopping in your slumber can send shivers down your spine.

He said: “Yes. It is estimated that five per cent of the adult population in the UK it  that is 1.5 million. 

“Of those, more than 600,000 will have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea which can be a serious threat to health. 

“Undiagnosed, it can lead to excessive tiredness, interfering with a person’s ability to carry out complex functions like driving a motorcycle, car, truck or bus, flying a plane, driving a train or tram or operating machinery.” 

If you have obstructive sleep apnoea which affects your ability to drive safely or obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome you must notify the DVLA. 

You could be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving and you may be prosecuted if you are involved in an accident as a result.

Obstructive sleep apnoea can also lead to high blood pressure, irritability, under performance at work, diabetes, depression, extreme mood swings and other health problems.

(Via: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/743409/sleep-apnoea-definition-symptoms-apnea)

We now know what sleep apnea is:

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop and start breathing repeatedly throughout the night. For most people, sleep apnea is caused by “some sort of obstruction in airflow in the back of the throat which blocks air from getting into the lungs as you sleep,” Joseph Ojile, M.D., medical director of the Clayton Sleep Institute, tells SELF. This could be due to large tonsils, congested sinuses, or a variety of other factors. In rare cases, it can be caused by a problem in signaling, so that your brain doesn’t send the message to breathe correctly.

And the health risks involved:

Untreated sleep apnea can, over the years, contribute to chronic disease like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, so getting a proper diagnosis is important for your long-term health. Here are the top symptoms of sleep apnea you need to know.

Here are the common sleep apnea symptoms to watch out for:

  1. You’re exhausted all day despite getting plenty of sleep.

  2. You wake up with headaches.

  3. You wake yourself up gasping or choking.

  4. Your bed partner says you snore, choke, gasp—or stop breathing—when you sleep.

  5. You have high blood pressure.

  6. You experience heart palpitations, “fluttering” in your chest, or your heart is pounding for no apparent reason.

  7. You have high blood sugar.

  8. You have insomnia.

  9. Your mood is all over the place.

(Via: http://www.self.com/story/9-signs-you-might-have-sleep-apnea)

While it remains to be a serious health issue, there are different sleep apnea treatments and managements to choose from, so you can sleep soundly once again. It does not always have to be CPAP for all. There are more anti-snoring devices like http://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/zquiet that you can choose from like anti-snoring mouthpieces and mouthguards that are more convenient to use and provide the same benefits as other traditional treatments.

It is not the end of the world if you have sleep apnea. Many people are also diagnosed with it and many have managed to overcome it for good. Technology – although a major distraction in itself – has provided us with effective and affordable snoring solutions that fit most lifestyles. You can sleep soundly at night knowing you can possibly beat sleep apnea and get the sleep your body needs and deserves.

Good Morning Snore Solution: Sleep Apnea Fighter!

Sleep is a fundamental human need. Whatever your age or gender is, we all sleep at the end of the day. Losing sleep not only leaves you feeling grumpy and exhausted but can put you at risk of serious health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, among others. Sleep deprivation also speeds up aging and makes you look older than your real age.

However, it is not your fault that you lack sleep. Sometimes, conditions like sleep apnea can mess with your sleeping and that of your significant other too. While most people ignore sleep apnea, it actually is a serious condition that can require immediate medical attention.

Getting a good night’s rest is essential for good health, but people with sleep apnea aren’t able to succumb to slumber. Affecting an estimated 100 million people world-wide, obstructive sleep apnea causes episodes of stopped breathing during sleep, and the result is a fragmented, restless sleep that leaves sufferers exhausted and drowsy during the day. Here, five men and women speak about living with sleep apnea. 

(Via: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/01/well/patient-voices-sleepapnea.html?_r=0)

It is actually easy to diagnose sleep apnea because of its characteristic symptom: snoring. However, since snoring affects many people, most of us tend to brush it off aside and consider it as one of those things you have to endure in life. The sad thing about snoring, though, is that it can actually be fatal especially in the elderly.

Sleep experts agree that chronic poor sleep in general and obstructive sleep apnea in particular (OSA) in anyone, but especially in older adults, can be fatal. They say they’re heartbreaking, literally.

“I’d just like to further stress the seriousness of obstructive sleep apnea and how it can hurt hearts,” said. Dr. Raj Dasgupta, MD, a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC). “Research shows untreated, severe obstructive sleep apnea more than doubles your risk of dying from heart disease.”

Dasgupta is referring to a study done last year by several departments of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery and sleep medicine at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. The authors analyzed electronic data from some 27 studies of more than 3 million people all over the world that evaluated the associations between OSA and all causes of death, paying close attention to cardiovascular events.

Researchers found that all deaths, and specifically cardiovascular mortality, were significantly lower in CPAP-treated than in untreated patients. Thus the researchers concluded that “Greater attention should be paid to severe OSA, as it is an independent predictor for risk for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.” They further stated that “CPAP is an effective treatment that reduces risk of mortality.”

(Via: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robinseatonjefferson/2017/03/28/could-losing-sleep-be-killing-you/#7deb76a96467)

The risk of death is real among older people, so sleep apnea should be treated as soon as possible and can be greatly advanced with the help of a medical expert who has specialized in sleep apnea treatment.

In most cases the initial treatment approach is a combination of lifestyle and behavioral modifications including weight loss and avoidance of alcohol use at night and the use of CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure device. While CPAP is very effective in keeping the throat open and a great solution for some, struggling with its continued use is not uncommon.

A wealth of possible treatments from oral appliances, throat exercises, and nasal resistors (just to name) a few are available. However, some patients prefer not to use any attachments or devices while they sleep and opt for a surgical solution. 

(Via: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/precision-just-what-you-need-for-sleep-apnea-treatment_us_58cb4d9ee4b07112b6472c3b)

While there is no perfect solution for sleep apnea, there are different medical tools and strategies one can adopt to relieve them of this excessive narrowing of the airway during sleep. With the help of your doctor and your family, it is possible to get that good night’s sleep again without the constant bother and threat of snoring – and worse, sleep apnea. If snoring is a constant issue, get yourself tested now and explore which combination of devices and techniques will ensure that you can stop your snoring!

How This Laser In Your Mouth Stops Snoring

It sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie. Probably a really bad movie from the 70’s at that. There are lasers everywhere in movies like that and they generally serve a few purposes. Most of them violent (looking at you, Star Wars). Aside from shooting lasers out of your mouth, having this treatment with a laser inside your mouth, or rather your throat, is actually helping people stop snoring. It sounds a little bit ridiculous, but once you read more about the purpose of the laser and what it does, it’s not that bad:

Snoring is causing millions of people a good night’s sleep.
Just ask Oceanside’s Fred Brick — or better yet, ask his wife. “She would say gosh I didn’t sleep at all last night. You were just snoring and snoring”, Brick says.
Brick is no longer sawing logs at night all because of a new, non-invasive procedure called “Nightlase”. The laser used in the procedure is a little larger than a permanent marker.
The tool points in to the patient’s open mouth, and zaps out snoring, much to the delight of Fred’s wife. “Now she says she sleeps better and she feels like she can sleep all night” Brick added.
Dr. Eugene Nowak of Nowak Aesthetics in Chula Vista says “Nightlase” tightens the skin around the throat. “It’s just heating the tissue. By heating that collagen, we’re going to get a tightening and a little bit of a plumping effect,” Nowak explained.
The tighter, plumper skin allows the air to move more freely in a person’s throat. Brick says the procedure is pain free. “Does not hurt at all. Just a gentle little heat”, Brick added.
Dr. Nowak says patients can expect 80% of snoring to dissipate after three treatments. Patient Bob Novinskey is seeing results after just one treatment.
“I’m hoping to reach that 80%. I’m guessing i’m 50% now. I’m hoping to get there.”
It’s an interesting use for beams of light and seems to go in the right direction. There are people who will be interested in the procedure, especially because of the low recovery time. It’s permanent, unlike using an anti snoring mouthpiece like the SnoreRX (http://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/snorerx). It’s far less invasive than some other procedures that are out there. The major con with something like this is the cost. Since it’s relatively new technology it’s going to come at a premium. The article doesn’t exactly state how many treatments are needed to reach the snore-free goal, but chances are it’s not a one-zap type of deal. This is talking about changing the internal structure of the throat: tightening and plumping up skin. This can’t be something quickly done. Careful research and lots of questions should be the first thing you think about if you want to consider something like this. As with anything new, it’s a bit unknown. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means there aren’t a lot of people out there who can testify to it’s greatness just yet. Be sure to ask your healthcare professional about a treatment like this as well, as they will most likely know more about it.

Pop It Til You Drop: Sleeping Pills and You

There are lots of ways to deal with sleep issues and most of them involve putting something in  your mouth. If you snore, you may use a mouthpiece like this to assist in getting that oxygen through the proper airway. If you grind or clench your teeth while sleeping you’re still going to be putting a mouthpiece in at night, just a different kind. For those who have trouble sleeping you might find yourself looking towards sleep aids in a pill form. Whatever your method, there are pros and cons to each option. When it comes to sleeping pills a lot of people tend to be concerned that it might cause dependency, which is a valid concern. Just like there are different types of sleep issues, there are different types of sleeping pills:

Not all sleeping pills are created equal, and not all of them work for every type of sleep problem. That’s why the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has released a first-of-its-kind set of guidelines for doctors on how to prescribe—or not prescribe—14 different medications and supplements for the treatment of chronic insomnia in adults.

About 10% of people meet the criteria for chronic insomnia, which lasts at least three months and occurs at least three times a week. The new guidelines suggest that certain medications may be helpful in addition to talk therapy, which should continue to be a first line of treatment for people struggling with ongoing sleep issues.

Some drugs, for example, should be prescribed to those who have trouble falling asleep (sleep onset insomnia). These include zaleplon (Sonata), triazolam (Halcion), and ramelteon (Rozerem), the new report states.

Other drugs are recommended for treating people who have trouble staying asleep throughout the night, classified as sleep maintenance insomnia. These include suvorexant (Belsomra) and doxepin (Silenor, Zonalon, and Prudoxin).

A few medications were given the green light for both types of insomnia: Eszopiclone (Lunesta), zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo, and Zolpimist), and temazepam (Restoril) are suggested for either sleep onset or sleep maintenance problems.

The difference in recommendations is largely because some drugs last longer in the body than others, says lead author Michael J. Sateia, MD, Professor Emeritus of psychiatry and sleep medicine at The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. “It’s a reminder to clinicians that it’s important to choose an agent that has an appropriate duration of action for the particular type of insomnia you’re treating,” he says.

Dr. Sateia points out that these recommendations are only for long-term cases of insomnia. “What we’ve laid out here does not necessarily apply to the very common occasional night or a few intermittent nights of poor sleep,” he says.

He also stresses that the recommendations are based on the best available data from clinical trials, and aren’t meant to be the final word on whether a doctor prescribes them.

Via: http://www.health.com/sleep/sleep-pill-guidelines

Every person is created differently and that’s why it’s important to realize that what works for one person may not work for another. We all have different factors to consider and different issues at play. Even general terms like insomnia don’t relate the fact that there is more than one kind of insomnia. Most people hear that word and think ‘Oh, a person who can’t sleep at night’ when that might not be the only thing at play. The point is that just because you try one thing and it doesn’t work doesn’t mean that you are doomed to never getting rest. Perhaps you need to spend a night in a sleep lab to find out just what exactly is going on when your eyes are closed. Maybe you need to start a journal at your bedside where you can clearly take notes on times and situations when you wake up or have trouble sleeping. Taking that information to your next health care appointment can teach your health care professional so much. There is hope.

Don’t Ignore the Alarm: Too Much Sleep Can Kill You

As we get older we start agonizing over the fact that we don’t get to sleep in as much as we used to. As teenagers, it would be a miracle for us to crawl out of bed before noon on a Saturday. Small children tend to sleep anywhere from 10-12 hours a day, even if the hours they choose aren’t to parents liking. It shouldn’t be a secret that as you get older you require less sleep than you did when you were younger. Our bodies aren’t growing any more so there is no need to snooze for extended periods of time. It’s hard to get in that mindframe, however, that the 6 hours you’ve been getting are actually enough when you’re mentally exhausted. It’s important to realize, however,that too much sleep isn’t good for you:

Can’t sleep? You aren’t alone: In 2011, Laval University researchers published a study of 2,000 Canadians that found 40 per cent of respondents had experienced one or more symptoms of insomnia – taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, waking up during the night for more than 30 minutes, or waking up 30 minutes earlier than they wanted to.

A November 2016 report by the non-profit research organization RAND Europe calculated that Canada loses 80,000 working days, at a cost of $21.4-billion a year, due to lack of sleep.

But how those sleepless hours affect us depends on a number of factors, including gender, age and the time you spend asleep. Here’s what some of the latest research tells us:

Sleeping too long can kill you, too: Typically, adults sleep anywhere from seven to nine hours. Getting too little certainly isn’t good for your health. But repeated, larger-scale population studies by researchers in Norway and Taiwan found that sleeping more than eight hours was also linked to an increased risk of dying from certain kinds of heart disease, even adjusting for many other health factors.

Those are big-data findings, but, individually, everyone has their own sleep sweet spot. It’s tricky to find it, though tracking your sleep patterns with a diary is a good step. Ideally, though, suggests Dr. Elliott Lee, a sleep specialist at the Royal Ottawa Hospital, you’d go on holiday for two weeks, turn off the alarm and go to sleep when you are tired and wake up naturally. Take the average, and that’s how much sleep your body naturally needs. If only we could get a prescription for that.

Sleep isn’t gender-neutral: Historically, most sleep studies have been conducted on men, and it was assumed those results could simply be applied to women. That’s been proven wrong, says Lee. Women’s sleep is often negatively affected by pregnancy, menstrual cycles and menopause. Women report higher rates of insomnia than men, but, until menopause, are diagnosed with significantly lower rates of sleep apnea. Women also appear to be more sensitive than men to sleep deprivation. Although the research isn’t conclusive yet, Lee also suggests that treating sleep problems can help women struggling with infertility.

Via: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/four-things-to-know-about-sleep-and-your-health-sleepless/article33764746/

As much as we want to stay in bed all day, we can’t. There are things to do and adult responsibilities to consider. If you’re feeling drained in the morning and you know you’ve slept at least 8 hours, there is probably something else at play with your lack of energy. Review your diet and daily exercise while you investigate the cause. Talk to your doctor and have your blood checked for iron levels and other medical possibilities. Consider a mouthpiece like the extremely popular Good Morning Snore Solution (http://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/good-morning-snore-solution). Don’t put yourself at risk for heart disease. You don’t want to be the new Rip Van Winkle. Remember, even though it took him awhile, he at least woke up.

If You Build It: Can Our Offices Impact Our Sleep?

For those who work outside the home, you spend more time in a potentially cold, square building than you do in your comfortable home. The average person works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. That’s a lot of time to spend out of the house. We all know that the relationships we have at work can influence our home lives, but can the buildings themselves hold any power over how we sleep or how we feel after we’ve punched out for the day? The answer to that is a bit astounding:

The key to working better, sleeping better, and feeling better could be rooted in the design, maintenance, and operation of the buildings where we spend the majority of our time, a new Harvard study has found.

The national study, conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHGE) and SUNY Upstate Medical, is the first to show that working in high-performing, green-certified buildings can improve employee decision-making using objective cognitive simulations.

Researchers looked at 10 high-performing buildings in five cities across the United States, including Harvard’s double LEED Platinum Blackstone Southbuilding. The team collaborated with the Office for Sustainability (OFS) and Harvard Real Estate to use Blackstone as a “living laboratory” to study the relationship between building conditions and occupants’ productivity and well-being.

The study found that occupants in high-performing, green-certified office environments scored 26 percent higher on tests of cognitive function, had 30 percent fewer symptoms of sick building syndrome, and had 6 percent higher sleep quality scores than those in high-performing but noncertified buildings.

“Our University is the perfect test bed for innovation and research related to buildings and health. Through our partnership with the Office for Sustainability, we were able to kick off our study at the Blackstone buildings at Harvard before scaling our research to four other cities across the U.S.” said Piers MacNaughton, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Chan School and project manager for the study.

Twenty-four Harvard employees agreed to participate in the weeklong health assessment, which included two cognitive function tests, daily surveys, and wearing watches that tracked sleep quality. On each testing day, environmental conditions, such as thermal conditions and lighting, were also monitored in each participants’ workspace.

In addition to the overall effect from being in a better building, several specific factors were found to have impacts on participants’ cognitive function scores. The high-performing, green-certified buildings used in the study had environments more frequently within the thermal comfort zone defined by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) organization, which resulted in 5.4 percent higher cognitive function scores. Brighter, blue-enriched lighting, such as daylighting, in the green-certified buildings was also associated with better sleep quality at night, which in turn led to better cognitive performance the following day. This finding supports research showing the impacts of lighting on circadian rhythm; a bigger contrast in daytime and nighttime light exposures can help regulate the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing sleep.

Via: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/02/study-opens-the-door-to-better-sleep-work-and-health/

It seems that no matter how hard we try to keep our work lives and our home lives separate, it’s interesting to see how the buildings that we actually work in can have such an impact on more than just our productivity. If you’re feeling extra sleepy at work, maybe you need to anonymously forward this study to your boss. Small changes like light and greenery can have such a huge impact on how we work and what we can accomplish. If you’ve got that boss whose constantly riding everyone and demanding production be sped up, this may be something they need to consider. Instead of that corner office for themselves, maybe they need to look at changing those lightbulbs.

Beam Me Up: Lasers in the Baby’s Room

When you become a parent, there are so many things that are thrown at you, literally or figuratively, that it can be hard to navigate. You’ve got advice from friends, family and the internet to consider. There are books you can read and movies you can watch. Until you actually experience being a parent yourself, it’s hard to imagine how you will react to things. The first time the baby sleeps in their own room can be unnerving for parents. Many parents have been opting for video monitors these days because they can actually see their kid on the screen and know exactly what they’re doing and how they’re sleeping. An engineering team in India has taken this a step further, however:

When Ranjana Nair, Sanchi Poovaya and Aardra Kannan saw a friend’s prematurely born child two years ago, they were shocked at the amount of electronic equipment hooked up to her tiny body. But even after their friend was able to bring her baby home, the anxiety persisted. Constantly concerned, she kept going to the crib to put her hand on the child’s chest to make sure she was breathing. There are respiratory trackers for infants, but most of them require putting some kind of battery-powered sensor on the baby’s body, which is a concern for many parents. Nair, Poovaya and Kannan — all engineering graduates — thought there had to be a better way. And so the Raybaby was born.

At first glance, Raybaby looks like an ordinary baby monitor. It has a camera that detects the baby’s movements and transmits what’s going on to an app on the parent’s phone. But what’s special about the Raybaby is that it utilizes ultrawideband radar technology, which works much like ultrasound.

Within a range of five meters, it can detect the tiniest movement — less than a millimeter, even. So it’s not a problem if your baby is wrapped up in a blanket and hard to see on camera. The device is smart enough to know if the movement is related to breathing or if it’s just the baby kicking around. “Keep it on the table, bookshelf, anywhere next to the baby,” said Nair, who’s now the CEO of Ray, the company behind the Raybaby. All told, Nair claims an accuracy of 98.3 percent.

When paired with the app, Raybaby can give you valuable stats on your child’s live respiratory rate. It offers mapping of the different sleep states too. It also provides a weekly graph, which would be good information to have when you’re visiting your pediatrician. The device also alerts you if there are any sudden changes, which could point to a fever or other illness.

As a baby monitor, Raybaby doesn’t stream live video continuously to the app — which could tax your bandwidth — but instead tracks when the baby is awake or smiling or trying to stand up. It collects a collage of all of those moments into highlights of the day, which you can then share with the built-in online community that comes with the app. “They get the best of two worlds: vital monitoring and video monitoring all in one device, all of which is securely stored using Amazon Cloud Services,” said Poovaya, who is now Ray’s COO.

The device itself is an adorable little thing that’s small enough to blend into your nursery’s decor. Its components are clinically tested and FDA approved, and according to Nair, the results are so good that they’re comparable to the sleep-study equipment used in hospitals. Indeed, Johnson & Johnson Innovations, which is one of Ray’s investors, has used it in several sleep-study trials with great success.

Via: https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/31/raybaby/

For worried parents the world over this can seem like a godsend. It helps alleviate some of that new-parent fear and even bring peace of mind to parents who have been doing this for years. Consider the fact that you have a child home sick and you can’t be in their room the entire time. We all know with sick kids anything can happen and by having this monitor in the room which will also alert you to sudden changes, all parents can rest a bit easier.

The Zombie Youth: Do Devices Cause Poor Sleep?

Teenagers have been a breed of excessive sleepers since the dawn of time. Whether they’re outside until the crack of dawn or staying up far later than they probably should, there are a lot of ideas on what can cause a poor night’s sleep. Parents and guardians around the world have been increasingly concerned about the use of electronic devices and how they impact sleep. Whether these well-meaning adults are concerned with video game usage or texting on smartphones late at night, the fact remains that they believe that this overuse of technology must be having a negative impact on the young mind.

Honestly, if little Evan could just pull his eyes away from his table for 24 hours he’d sleep better and if little Chantelle could just put the video game controller down for once, it would be better for her, right? Well, that’s not necessarily the case:

Taking away a teen’s phone or tablet at night does not make them sleep better or longer nor does it mean they will perform better in sports the following day, a new study of young ­athletes has found.

The investigation into the ­impact of electronic devices ­revealed no change at all among the Australian Institute of Sport’s junior judo champions.

The teens whose phones and tablets were taken away for a few days continued to fall asleep at exactly the same time at night and performed just as well as before in training, according to lead researcher Ian Duncan from the Centre for Sleep Science at the University of Western Australia.

“We thought they would go to sleep earlier … because that’s what middle aged and older people do in similar studies,” he said.

“However, these guys were so young — between 16 and 19 — and they did go to bed earlier but they didn’t fall asleep and we think that’s because teens have that locked-in owl-like sleep ­behaviour … it’s like asking a 30-year-old to go to sleep at 5pm. They just can’t do it.”

The researchers monitored the effects of the removal of electronic devices for 48 hours in 23 judo athletes during a six-day training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport. The athletes wore an activity monitor to ­measure sleep quality.

The researchers found that although athletes went to bed earlier when the devices were ­removed, they fell asleep at the same time as those who had ­access to electronic devices. Removal of the devices did not ­affect their sleep quality, or next-day physical performance ­compared to those who continued to use electronic devices. The ­athletes did not have televisions in their shared rooms throughout the study.

Via: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/digital-devices-have-no-impact-on-teenagers-sleep/news-story/d3636b8bbefddb7328c3bc5779612b82

So take that, concerned adults! Even if your kid is up until the wee hours of the morning that doesn’t mean they’re getting a poor sleep based on device usage alone. Chalk this up as another sleep myth. It seems to be just a part of their biological structure to stay up late. You can’t go fighting your biology and at this age, a youths body is going to tell them when they should be sleeping. So should you probably lay off? Well, keep in mind this article has everything to do with lack of sleep and nothing to do with lack of attention span, which of course seems to be generated by these devices.

So be hard on your kids more because their brains are being damaged by too much device time. Not because it is stopping them from sleeping, but because, come on! There’s no need to be looking at a screen 24 hours per day. A good parent understands that this simply does not make any sense.