Category: Sleep Health

A “Smart” Snoring Pillow?

There are many people in the world who suffer from snoring. You’d be hard pressed to find a country in our vast world where someone doesn’t snore. It’s a natural occurrence but that doesn’t mean it can’t be dealt with. Just like sneezing can be controlled, snoring can be put under control as well.pillow The first thing is to know the causes:

  • Relaxed muscles in the mouth and throat
  • Heavy drinking the night before sleep
  • Unhealthy weight
  • Smoking
  • Use of drugs or sleeping medication

But wait! Sleeping medication is supposed to help you sleep, right? Well, it does indeed help you sleep but because it puts your body in such a state of relaxation you run into loose muscles in the mouth and throat. These loose muscles cause your tongue to fall to the back of your throat thereby cutting off or restricting your airflow. That’s where you’re going to get that well-known sound of snoring. They don’t call it sawing logs without reason.

If you are a person who snores you probably know very well the impact it can have on your daily life. Your sleep is interrupted on a regular basis, if you have a partner who shares your bed they aren’t getting proper sleep either. What can poor sleep lead to? Arguments, poor work performance, issues with memory, irritability, you name it! It’s definitely not an enhancement to your life, anyway.

So what can you do about it?

The simple tips are to cut back on your drinking and smoking before bed, exercise and lose weight, and scale back on the sleep medication (if you can). There are sleep devices you can get to help assist with your tongue falling back into your throat as well as nasal strips which are designed to help open your airways.

If you check Kickstarter you’re going to find something really cool: a smart pillow.

Introducing ZEEQ, the world's most sophisticated and comfortable pillow. ZEEQ is not just another device or accessory, it is an active participant in your sleep. The pillow senses movement and sound and tracks your data, but unlike other sleep technology ZEEQ actually responds to the data it collects.

If ZEEQ hears snoring, it will gently vibrate the pillow to encourage a new sleeping position. Your natural sleep movements are recorded and used to wake you up at the ideal moment in your sleep cycle, making groggy mornings a thing of the past. Most importantly, ZEEQ is the most comfortable pillow you will ever own. All the technology in the world will never be more important than softness, support, and premium materials, but luckily ZEEQ integrates technology and comfort seamlessly. ZEEQ integrates into your existing sleep habits and improves your sleep without you even being aware of it.

ZEEQ links to a smartphone app, so you can see your sleep data, including your Snore Score. If you want to take it a step farther, the app can help you track your diet, exercise and other habits to analyze how these factors effect your sleep, so you can make changes toward more restful slumber.

Via: https://www.thunderclap.it/en/projects/42172-the-world-s-smartest-pillow

If that is not the coolest thing you have read today you need to start skimming Kickstarter more often.

While some people are hesitant to bring more technology into the bedroom, ZEEQ is definitely something you’ll want to invest in if you’re a snorer. By recording your snoring and other sleep data you can bring that information in when you visit your health care professional. This is key if you feel that your snoring is a sign of something more serious.

You already have a smartphone, why not invest in a smart pillow?

Grown Up Sleep Issues in Kids: Do You Know the Signs?

sleeping-childKids are supposed to be fancy-free and energetic. They’re supposed to climb trees, make believe a cardboard box is a spaceship and ask you those thought provoking questions that seem a little wise for their years. Kids aren’t supposed to get sick and they aren’t supposed to suffer those trials we tend to face when we’re adults. Nothing could be farther from the truth, however. Kids are not as invincible as we’d like them to be. They do get sick and sometimes, they suffer from issues that should be left to adults. Snoring is one of those issues which can be a sign for other disorders. It’s important to be aware of what these disorders can look like so that you can take appropriate action, if necessary:

Once in awhile, kids suffer grown-up medical problems such as multiple sclerosis, sleep apnea or stroke. None of these conditions are rare, but the fact that they hardly ever occur in children causes special frustrations and challenges for young patients, as a story in the current issue of Neurology Nowdescribes. Doctors don't always think to look for these diagnoses in children, so they may mistake kids' symptoms for other childhood medical problems and treat them incorrectly.

That's especially true of children with sleep apnea, says Rafael Pelayo, MD, a sleep specialist with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford who is quoted in the story. Sleep apnea patients repeatedly stop breathing during sleep, making it hard for their brains to get enough oxygen. Kids with this condition are chronically overtired '” and they act that way, as he explains:

Diagnosis of sleep apnea in children is tricky because symptoms such as hyperactivity and inattentiveness can resemble those of attention deficit disorder (ADD), says Dr. Pelayo. Sleep apnea in children generally first appears between the ages of 3 and 6, the same ages when many ADD diagnoses are made. 'It's estimated that as many as 25 percent of children diagnosed with ADD actually have sleep apnea,' he says. 'Sleep disruption should be considered before any kid gets labeled [with ADD].' In many cases, once the sleep apnea is treated, the behavioral problems disappear, he says.

The good news is that with the correct diagnosis, pediatric sleep apnea is usually not difficult to treat. Some children need surgery to remove large adenoids and tonsils, which can block breathing. Patients may also need to wear headgear at night to help their jaw grow correctly, and some children require continuous positive airway pressure while they sleep, a treatment often used for adults. But it's important for parents who notice loud snoring or frequent gaps in their child's sleep breathing to get the issue investigated so that kids don't miss out on needed treatments. 'The misperception is that the problem will go away on its own,' Pelayo says.

Via: http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2016/06/28/keeping-kids-with-grown-up-diagnoses-from-falling-through-the-cracks/

Children are the embodiment of all our youthful dreams. Running free in fields and laughing loudly without a care in the world. As much as we want to keep them that way we, as the adults and the parents, need to be on the look-out for potential issues. If these issues are found in a child you know it’s important to have them meet with a medical professional. There are so many other things kids should be worrying about. Their sleep health shouldn’t be one of them, but if it is, you can work with your child to make sure they have the best sleep possible.

The time is now. Counting sheep never looked so good.

Poor Sleep And Its Effects on Your Health

sleep issuesThere is a reason human beings needs sleep. We’re not programmed to run on empty when it comes to both our eating and sleeping habits. Perhaps you’ve heard it before: you’ve got a deadline on a project or essay and you decide to pull an all-nighter. You think you’ll be fine if you skip sleep for one night. You might be fine for one night, but you shouldn’t make it a habit. There are those who suffer from sleep disorders like snoring and insomnia who can’t get that coveted rest without medication or other sleep aids like mouthpieces. These people would probably literally kill to get a good night’s rest. Poor sleep will do more than just ruin your night: it can also ruin your health both physically and mentally. There have been new studies done that have linked poor sleep with inflammation:

A new meta-analysis in Biological Psychiatry reports that sleep disturbances and long sleep duration are associated with increases in markers of inflammation.

“It is important to highlight that both too much and too little sleep appears to be associated with inflammation, a process that contributes to depression as well as many medical illnesses,” said Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

Insufficient sleep is considered a public health epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, have been associated with increased risk of inflammatory disease and mortality.

Substances that increase in response to inflammation and circulate in the blood stream, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), predict adverse health conditions including cardiovascular events, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Many studies have investigated the mechanism behind the association between sleep health and immunity, but variations between studies have made it difficult to understand the effects.

[…]

People with a normal sleep duration get 7-8 hours of shut-eye per night. The analysis showed that sleep disturbance (poor sleep quality or complaints of insomnia) and long sleep duration (more than 8 hours) were associated with increased levels of CRP and IL-6. Shorter sleep duration was associated with increased levels of CRP. No associations were found with TNFα.

Via: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160706091735.htm 

As we get older and life becomes more demanding we tend to think we can get away with cutting back on our diet or our sleep patterns. As adults, the rush of the day to day can make it seem like we never get a time to unwind unless we stay up until 2am, even though we need to get up for work by 6am.

If you are a person who suffers from a sleep disorder there is even more reason for you to get an appropriate amount of sleep each night. As outlined in the article above, insufficient sleep can do a serious number on your physical health which can affect your mental health. If you aren’t physically and mentally healthy, you won’t be able to provide for yourself. You may find yourself on disability, unable to work, which is definitely not going to help you feel good about yourself.

If you snore, feel you may suffer from insomnia or any other sleep disorder, you may need to get a sleep study to determine what exactly your issue is. The more you know, the better armed you can be when seeking treatment methods. Treatment can be as simple as wearing a mouthpiece to keep yourself from snoring or as complicated as an exercise and medication regime. The point of the matter is, you can take control. Isn’t it about time you did?

Count Sheep, Or Count Robots – Smart Mattresses?

refreshed-ladyThere is always room for improvement and sleeping is just one of those areas that we can always work on. Maybe we need to sleep more, or maybe we need to sleep less (looking at you, Mr. I-Don't-Get-Up-Before-Noon). Perhaps our sleep positions need to change or maybe we just need to be able to ensure we're getting quality sleep in the limited time we have.

Smartphones have revolutionized the communication world and now smart mattresses are coming into the fray. Forget counting sheep; you'll want to start counting robots:

Everybody sleeps and now technology wants to help us to do it better. New apps can control and monitor every aspect and activity in the bed, including some that are better left in the dark.

Technology ranges from a space-age prototype that gives the ultimate assist in making sure your bed is always neatly made to a 'Smartress,' a mattress that knows if someone else is sleeping in your bed. It might even tip you off via an app on your phone, CBS2's Kristine Johnson reported.

It's a so-called 'cheating alert,' courtesy of sensors embedded in the mattress to detect motion when there's not supposed to be any. But for 3-year-old Bella Marlow, and her dad Ian, smart technology has given their family peace of mind.

'I'm amazed at some of the statistics that we're able to get from what she has and notifications come through on our phone to tell us if she's gotten out,' Marlow said.

Marlow can track Bella's sleep patterns on an iPad or phone, and knows when she's had a restless night, or gets out of bed when she not supposed to.

Via: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/06/22/sleep-technology/

While some of the alerts may prove to make you more paranoid there's no denying that a lot of benefit comes from them as well. If you live in a large home and want to know if your kid is getting out of bed, then a smartress is going to help you with that.

If you've had a hard day at work and your muscles are aching, being able to get the mattress warmed up before you even walk in the door is going to be the most amazing part of your day. Then you can just stumble out of your clothes and allow yourself to be wrapped in the bliss of sleep.

Being able to adjust the comfort level of your mattress while you sleep can also help lessen the impact snoring may have on your body. Sleep position can be a major culprit and all the assistance you can get in addressing it is going to make your life easier.

Of course these mattresses are going to put a dent in your pocket but when it comes down to it, wouldn't you like a nice comfortable bed by any means possible? Who knows, in the future our mattresses may even start singing us lullabies.