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Sleep Problems & Disorders

Sleep Issues Unique to the Elderly

The more candles on your birthday cake, the more likely you are to struggle with sleep. You might have always imagined retirement as the time in your life where you finally get to sit back and enjoy life—and get enough sleep! The reality, however, is that sleep changes as you get older, and not always for the better. In fact, as many as 40 percent of older adults are plagued with sleep problems. Even healthy individuals often take longer to fall asleep, sleep more lightly, wake up more often, spend less time in deep sleep, and may even sleep about a half hour less overall. So much for catching up on all those years…

Sleep Supplements: Is it Safe to Try Them?

Best practices for using natural remedies to get the zzz’s you need Botanical, herbal, or natural sleep aids that promise to treat insomnia in tablet, capsule, powder, gel, or liquid form are appealing, no doubt. Yet they aren’t necessarily risk-free. So consider the following questions. What’s Really in There? Regulations for supplements aren’t nearly as rigorous as the ones for prescription and non-prescription drugs; there is concern that supplements may be tainted with pesticides, metals, or even drugs. What’s more, the product may not even contain the correct plant species or dose that it claims. Will it Affect Other Meds or Conditions? Other safety issues involve potential interactions with prescription drugs. Some supplements, such as St. John’s wort,…

Sleep Talking: Is it bad?

Find out whether you should be concerned. Sure, maybe your partner finds sleep talking annoying and disruptive to his or her slumber, but from a scientific perspective, the activity is usually considered to be normal. Sleep talking can come in a variety of forms that range from mumbling or gibberish to full and coherent sentences. Any person can experience sleep talking during the night. It tends to occur more often in men and especially in children. If you don’t know what has led you to start talking in your sleep, one of these reasons could be behind it: genetics, sleep deprivation, consuming alcohol or drugs, fever, stress, depression, etc. Some of these factors can also…

Sleepwalking: How to Stop it

Simple steps that can put an end to a dangerous condition Unless you’ve ever experienced sleep walking yourself, it can be tough to understand how scary it feels to know that you transported yourself somewhere new without ever waking up. And if you have sleep walked, then you know how eager you can be to put an end to it as fast as possible. There are many different reasons why sleep walking happens, and the important thing is to talk to your doctor to discuss different treatment options. As part of your treatment, you might spend time in a sleep lab being observed so that the specialists can learn why you might be sleep walking….

Sleepwalking: Why It Happens

Learn the reasons why you might roam the house while sound asleep. It used to be that people thought sleepwalkers were either acting out their dreams or their secret desires. But, in fact, sleepwalking (also called somnambulism) is a disorder of arousal, where the brain is triggered to rouse the body while in a deep sleep. Sleepwalking Basics Simply put, the disorder causes people to get out of bed and move around while they’re still asleep. They might quietly creep about the house, run through the home urgently, or even climb out a window, or walk out a door. Their eyes are open and glassy, and if you ask them questions, they may respond very slowly or…

Soldiers and Sleep: The Military's Shifting Stance

Views on shuteye among our armed forces are evolving for the better. When it comes to sleep, the U.S. military is adopting a new attitude. Today’s law of the land includes commander-developed sleep plans to help soldiers perform to the best of their abilities, remain safe, and possibly avoid mental health issues down the road. In fact, the Army has implemented a plan called the Performance Triad—a focus on sleep, as well as physical fitness and proper nutrition—to “improve readiness and increase resilience through public health initiatives and leadership engagement.” Science is on the military’s side: Getting fewer than eight hours of sleep puts soldiers and their companions at the same risk as if they had…

Soothing Sounds for the Bedroom

Four types of light noises that’ll help you fall asleep in no time Often, a little background noise in the bedroom can help when it comes to falling asleep. But picking the right kind is essential—because what works for your best friend may not work for you. When determining which type of sound is best, try one at a time for a few nights. A few that are worth trying include: White Noise: This is a combination of all noise frequencies, and it helps mask outside sounds. In fact, it’s sometimes used to treat insomnia patients. To generate white noise in…

Surprising Reasons You're Not Falling Asleep

Sick of counting sheep? Five not-so-obvious causes of sleepless nights It’s one of the more unfortunate facts of life, but everybody has an occasional sleepless night. You lie there tossing and turning, wondering what time it is, and wishing that you could just fall asleep already! Sometimes those still-wide-awake-at-3:00am moments seemingly happen for no reason at all, but other times they are due to factors that you can control. And knowing some of the reasons behind why you can’t fall asleep means that you can take steps to guarantee quicker trips to dreamland in the future. Lazy Weekend Mornings: As lovely as it is to spend some extra time in bed on Saturdays and Sundays, doing…

Three Reasons People Grind Their Teeth

If you notice that you’re waking up with a tight jaw, sore face, or dull headache, there might be a simple explanation: bruxism. Also known as tooth grinding or clenching, bruxism is when you move your teeth back and forth during sleep. Over time, it can cause tooth sensitivity and even damage or crack your teeth. If you suspect that you might be doing it, try to figure out why it’s happening so you can stop it. There are a handful of reasons why you might be grinding your teeth, but these top three causes are—by far—the most common. What’s behind all that nighttime gnashing Teeth Problems: Perhaps your teeth don’t line up correctly or…

Ways to Prevent Grinding Your Teeth

Strategies that’ll stop teeth grinding Clenching or grinding your teeth occasionally is normal and typically won’t cause damage, but when done regularly, it can harm your teeth and cause other oral health issues. Teeth grinding, technically called , can have different causes, but often it’s triggered by stress, medical conditions, or crooked or missing teeth. Grinding typically occurs during sleep, so it can be hard for people to know whether they have bruxism. Signs include a sore jaw or constant headache, and a partner can sometimes hear the grinding. Your dentist can also look for symptoms, like changes or abnormalities in your teeth as well as jaw tenderness. Severe bruxism can lead to…