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Managing Jet Lag

Many people who travel regularly know all too well that jet lag can significantly exacerbate insomnia. In addition to making it harder to sleep, jet lag can also result in sleepiness during the day, disorientation and difficulty concentrating and gastrointestinal upset. Depending upon the number of time zones crossed and whether travel is eastbound or…

The Mind and Body During Sleep

During the night, we pass through five stages of sleep that, collectively, are termed REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. REM sleep is commonly called dream sleep while non-REM sleep consists of stages 1, 2, 3, and 4 sleep. When we close our eyes to go to sleep at night, we first enter…

Improving Sleep By Managing Stress

An important stress management technique that is essential for improving your sleep is cognitive restructuring. Cognitive restructuring (CR) means to change our mental, or cognitive, responses to stress. CR is based on the idea that we often respond to daily stressful events with a negative, distorted mental monologue. This monologue creates distressing emotions, moods, and…

Long Sleep Duration is Associated with Increased Cardiovascular Risk

New research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association from the United Kingdom has found that long sleep duration is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease while short sleep duration was not. Led by researchers from Keele University, along with colleagues at the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds and…

CBT-I Is The First-Line Treatment For Midlife Women With Insomnia And Hot Flashes.

Self-reported sleep problems are common in peri- and postmenopausal women and have been identified as a key symptom of the menopausal transition.  Insomnia symptoms, particularly middle-of-the-night or early morning awakenings with inability to return to sleep, are often attributed to nocturnal hot flashes and night sweats. Studies have shown that more frequent and severe hot…

Sleep Apps Are Unproven

Sleep apps (SA) remain among the most popular apps downloaded for Apple and Android devices. The number of available SA is continually growing. SA claim to track and define sleep. Unfortunately, little validation data exist regarding the ability of SA to accurately measure sleep. A recent scientific review of SA noted that they are not…

CBT-I Is The First-Line Treatment for Chronic Insomnia

CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) is the most effective cognitive behavioral therapy intervention for any adult health problem. It is more effective than cognitive behavioral therapy for depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety, and headaches. CBT-I has also been proven to be the most effective first-line treatment for adults with chronic insomnia. It improves sleep…

Sleep Loss Does Not Lead to Overeating and Obesity

Widely publicized claims have linked sleep loss to weight gain and obesity. These claims are based primarily on two very small studies conducted by the same researchers on young male adults. They found that, compared to sleeping nine hours a night for one week, sleeping just under four hours a night for a week was…

Long Sleep Duration, But Not Short Sleep Duration, Predicts Mortality Risk

Recently, the largest meta-analysis to date on sleep duration and mortality risk, involving 35 published studies and over 1.5 million adults, found that the increased risk of death associated with sleeping more than 7 hours was significantly greater than the risk of sleeping less than 7 hours. Regarding short sleep and mortality risk, previous studies…

Influential Report Advises Against Sleeping Pill Use By The Elderly

The Beers list uses specific criteria to identify and list inappropriate, high risk drugs in the elderly that should be avoided in favor of a non-drug approach or safer medications because the high risk of toxicity and adverse side effects clearly outweigh the benefits. The Beers list was originally developed in 1991 and subsequently expanded…