2012 was bursting with great sleep stories that revealed the power of sleep to enhance our health and well-being. Here are my picks for the sleep stories of 2012 -- along with suggestions for ways you can bring the benefits of the latest in sleep science to your everyday life.
During this time following the Newtown tragedy, people may find that they have a hard time "shutting their brains off." The more they fight to quiet their minds, the more they struggle to sleep. The goal in this situation is to prevent the acute problem from developing into a chronic problem.
People with delayed sleep phase feel sleepy much later in the night and need to sleep in to get sufficient sleep. As a result, they often suffer the effects of chronic lack of sleep, since most people have commitmernts to fulfill -- such as being in school or at work -- in the morning.
It's all too common for people to shrug off their episodes of insomnia, to do their best to function and cope. This kind of "power through" strategy is rampant in our busy world, but there's no real escape from the consequences that insomnia can bring.
As more and more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are realizing their post-war health problems, and because many Vietnam veterans are getting older, the number of veterans applying for OSA-related disability benefits will only continue to rise in the coming years.
The moral of the story is body language is just not for politicians. When your bed partner complains that you are moving around too much in bed, you should heed the warning and consider whether there is an underlying sleep disorder.
The study by Krystal and Edinger overcame the shortcomings of previous studies by examining a large number of people (128), a large variety of different firmness of mattresses (seven), and a large number of nights on each mattress (four weeks).
Imagine you have trouble sleeping. Perhaps you can't fall asleep at night or you wake up in the middle of the night and you're unable to get back to sleep. Maybe this has been going on for a few months -- or maybe years.
Greater control of the circadian system can help us understand the extent to which it maintains our overall health and well being, and help to regulate complex metabolic systems that, if disrupted, can increase the risk of disease.
I was in total denial about how being sleep deprived was negatively impacting my physical and psychological health -- including my judgment. The less I slept on a regular basis, the more anxiety and less perspective I had.
Ingrained in all of us is a natural instinct for continuity in our sleeping and waking schedule each day -- our circadian rhythms. While we can choose to ignore this need for continuity by working at night or sleeping late into the day, it carries consequences.
For this age group, the bedtime routine is typically the most challenging part of the day. Now that your child is older, you may want to modify her routine a little but make sure it remains soothing and predictable.