Tag: sleep myths

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.

Dispelling Some Sleep Myths With Professional Help!

There are a lot of myths about virtually everything – let’s face it, when you live in a world where “fake news” is not only more popular, but more believed than real news, you’re going to get some fake-outs. But in the world of sleep, there are always ways to second guess. Am I getting enough sleep? Is my health destroying my sleep? And it goes on from there.

sleep-mythsThere are some simple truths, however, and a key one is that we all need a good amount of sleep to survive. For most people, that means anywhere from 6-8 hours of sleep per night. This is the same kind of sleep that can be easily interrupted by snoring, which is why many people may be overestimating the sheer amount of sleep they’re actually receiving.

But, leave it up to this Fortune Article to go all Myth-Busters on sleep:

If you can’t recall your dreams, you’re not sleeping deeply. Not true. It’s normal not to remember your dreams, but most likely you are still having dream sleep otherwise known as REM (“rapid eye movement”) sleep every night. In fact, most people remember their dreams only because they may be waking up frequently in the middle of the night (from disorders such as sleep apnea) or because they were in the last stage of sleep when the alarm went off.

Frankly, I’d never heard of this one before. But there you go… the folks behind the fake news sites must be cooking away in their fake sleep lab with this one. Not as bad as this one:

You can’t have sleep apnea if you’re not fat. Not true. Sleep apnea may be related to being obese, but it can also be found in children and thin adults. Facial bone structure related to a small upper airway also contributes to sleep apnea. Physicians who diagnose and treat sleep disorders look for signs such as a small jaw, a recessed chin, teeth crowding, small nasal passages or a deviated septum (which means the thin wall between the nasal passages is displaced to one side).

Yep, that one is a bit of a shocker. It’s important to remember that snoring usually comes from your jaw and epiglottis region, and has nothing to do with obesity at all. That’s why mouthpieces like the Good Morning Snore Solution are in such popular demand by our readers. While obesity does mean the likelihood that you snore is much higher because it’s also likely you have more movable fat cells in your neck and throat region, it certainly isn’t a guarantee, either. No matter your body shape, you’re at risk of obstructive sleep apnea – whether you like it or not.

You can make up for lost weeknight sleep on the weekend. Not true. While you may be able to work off some sleep debt by sleeping more on the weekends, such sleep deprivation during the work week and binge sleeping on the weekends can contribute to insomnia. It disrupts circadian rhythms and makes it hard to fall and stay asleep. It’s best to set the same wake time seven days a week and get into bed when you’re feeling sleepy.

This one is interesting as well. My wife is a big proponent of this one, and I frankly can’t wait to show it to her. Sleep daily, folks, and you’ll be much better off than if you think that you can somehow “catch up”.

Alcohol helps you sleep better. Not true. A nightcap before bed may calm you down and make it easier to fall asleep, but it tends to disrupt the quality of sleep. The depressant effects of alcohol may wear off in the middle of the night, increasing nighttime awakenings. Alcohol also reduces REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and increases sleep-disordered breathing, which may lead to even more nighttime awakenings. And for some people, it can induce gastroesophageal reflux, which can cause discomfort and awakening.

About this one, all I can say is I find it all a bit hilarious. Apparently the myth-meister that started shilling this one has never come by my bedside after a couple of good whiskies!
See the rest of these myths at http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2016/11/30/a-bakers-dozen-important-facts-about-sleep-and-sleep-disorders/, and learn a little something.

Remember that checking a couple of sources, especially when it comes to health decisions, is ALWAYS a great idea. There is never a need to diagnose yourself with a dire fatal illness when a second source might dispel that kind of madness.

And remember also: worrying causes a ton of stress. Stress can make sleeping difficult. So don’t believe everything you read, OK?