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Sleep Problems & Disorders

Sleep Talking: What is it?

  Say what? Find out why some people talk in their sleep. Are you quite the gabber during the night, or is your sleeping partner? Learn more, below, about why people chatter during slumber. Sleep talking is a sleep disorder defined as talking during sleep without being aware of it. Technically called “somniloquy,” talking while you get your zzz’s can occur during any stage of sleep, but it is most likely to be comprehensible to a bed partner during REM sleep. Talking during deeper sleep (NREM sleep, stages three and four) just sounds like gibberish. Talking during any sleep stage can involve mumbles, moans, calling out, or whispering, but it is not considered a product of consciousness….

Why People Snore

The reasons behind one of the noisiest (and most frustrating) nighttime issues   Chances are, you know what snoring sounds like and how annoying it can be to listen to. But why does it happen? That is less well-known. The basic reason for the rumbling is tissue in and around the upper airways that, during the act of breathing, vibrates. Those vibrations are what produce the sound. It isn’t always the same body part vibrating—it can be the tongue, soft palate, uvula, tonsillar pillars, or other areas. And although it seems obvious, it’s worth noting that nobody snores when they are awake. This is because when you sleep, the muscles relax in your body, including…

Sleep and Pain: Beat the Cycle and Improve Your Sleep Today

Prioritizing sleep helps people with chronic pain It’s no surprise that pain makes it harder to sleep. Whether it’s a chronic lower backache or a recent (no matter how minor) injury, pain can make it difficult to fall and say asleep throughout the night. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario – sleep, which can give the body time to “heal” from pain, is tough to get when you’re suffering. But there’s hope. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2015 Sleep in America Poll found that pain is a key factor affecting how adults sleep. When asked how often they get a good night’s sleep, less than half those with acute pain and only 39…

What's Causing My Insomnia

Chronic insomnia often occurs with (and could potentially be caused by) other health problems. Insomnia. In short, it’s complicated. One of the most common medical complaints, insomnia itself is a complex condition that’s often related to other serious issues.  Defining Insomnia Insomnia is defined as a sleep disorder that disturbs not only a person’s ability to sleep at night, but also his or her ability to function during the day. Someone who suffers from insomnia will find it difficult to fall asleep and/or stay asleep at night, and during the day he or she may struggle with concentration or memory issues.  It is also common to worry or experience anxiety about sleep. What is…

Surprising Reasons You’re Not Staying Asleep

Learn what’s causing those middle-of-the-night wakeups so you can finally get the sleep you need. A 3:00am awakening now and again is nothing to be concerned about. But if you wake up in the middle of the night at least three times a week, and it’s been going on for at least three months, you may have what’s called sleep maintenance insomnia (a.k.a. the inability to stay asleep). With around 40 million Americans suffering from some type of insomnia—most of them women—you’ve got plenty of company. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get sounder sleep. Why Does It Happen? There are a host of reasons why you might wake up during the night and not…

How to Prevent Snoring

Get rid of the earplugs and get ready to rest easy with these 10 tips to put snoring to rest. As many as 45 percent of people snore. But what may seem like a harmless habit can take a toll on your relationship, your memory, and even your health. In fact, three out of four people who snore have , a type of snoring that causes you to stop breathing for brief periods, disrupts your sleep so you’re more likely to feel fatigued during the day, and raises your risk for heart disease. But if you’re feeling helpless about this habit that strikes when you’re fast asleep, have no fear. Below, 10 smart…

How to Safely Wake a Sleepwalker

If you must wake a sleepwalker, here’s how to do it safely Somewhere between one and 15 percent of people are sleepwalkers, and children are more commonly affected than adults. If you’re one of them, check on this article on how to prevent it from happening. If, however, you live with someone who sleepwalks, you might (appropriately!) be concerned about the person’s safety, so you may wonder what you should do if you catch the person in the act. You may have heard that it’s not safe to wake someone who is actively sleepwalking, but that’s not always the case. Although it’s important to recognize that waking someone who is actively sleepwalking can be…

How to Sleep Better if You're Stressed

Nine ways to relax before bedtime Another sleepless night spent worrying as you stare at the ceiling? If stress is keeping you awake, there are a host of methods that can help you fall asleep: Be Mindful. Shortly before bedtime, try a relaxation strategy that incorporates mindfulness, such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation, all of which boost sleep time and quality.  Skip Screens. The blue light emitted by digital devices—including TVs, phones, laptops, and tablets—can throw off your body’s internal clock, so avoid them before bedtime. Finding a tech-free way to wind down can help soothe stress. Sip Chamomile Tea. This herb can help lower anxiety, making it easier to fall asleep. Take a Hot…

Different Types Of Sleep Aids

Prescription and non-prescription insomnia treatment options What are sleeping pills, exactly? And how do they work? Well, there are lots of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that are designed to treat insomnia and help you get more zzz’s. Even just glancing at the list might feel overwhelming! This guide, below, may help you decide with your doctor which ones are best for treating the kind—and severity—of insomnia that you are experiencing. Even OTC treatments should be used under a doctor’s supervision, especially since matching the right treatment to the right individual is complex. And you may want to first try lifestyle changes, such as improving your sleep habits, exercising daily, or trying cognitive behavior…

Get The Facts on Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids

An insider’s guide to sleep aids Does this sound familiar? You exercise regularly, avoid caffeine, and ease into bed with a soothing shower and a good book, yet you still spend half the night counting sheep. If that sounds like a regular bedtime routine for you, chances are you’ve considered taking an over-the-counter sleep aid. But before you browse the pharmacy aisles, get the lowdown on which over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aid does what (and which you should skip) with this guide. Melatonin: Your sleep/wake cycle is partly controlled by a hormone called melatonin, which is available in supplement form. Taking melatonin may help you fall asleep and can be used to recover from…