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Cannabis and Sleep

As a result of increased legalization and access to cannabis, it is increasingly used for sleep. A recent online survey assessed how cannabis use in various concentrations affects sleep and daytime sleepiness/alertness. The survey involved a cross-sectional anonymous online survey of adults age 18 or older who used cannabis in the past 24 hours for…

More Sleep Does Not Improve Glucose Metabolism and Reduce Obesity Risk

Widely publicized claims have linked sleep loss to weight gain and diabetes risk due to impaired glucose metabolism. However, many studies have failed to replicate these findings, and massive epidemiologic evidence demonstrates a U-shaped relationship between sleep duration and obesity: long sleep and short sleep are equally associated with obesity. These studies, in conjunction with…

Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata Will Get New FDA Black Box Warnings

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is forcing three popular sleep medications to carry their most prominent warning, the black box warning, about the possible serious or life-threatening behaviors that may result from taking these drugs. The behaviors, which have reportedly caused serious injuries and deaths, include sleepwalking, sleep driving, and other behaviors that can…

Some Animals, Like Humans, Need Very Little Sleep

Most scientists say sleep is so important that every animal needs it. Yet, according to a new study, some fruit flies (which are often used to study sleep and circadian rhythms) almost never sleep. This suggests that, in some animals, sleep may not be all that necessary or important. This may be because sleep is…

Long Sleep Associated Again With Greater Mortality Than Short Sleep

Two recent 2017 and 2018 meta-analyses found that both short and long sleep were significantly related to increased mortality and morbidity. However, using 65 years of age as a cut off, both studies found increased mortality among individuals with long sleep, but no significant association between short sleep and mortality. In a new study on…

Optimism Improves Sleep

Optimism is a stress-reducing attitude and belief that can improve sleep. Optimists are people who focus on positive experiences and are more likely to attribute positive outcomes to themselves. They believe they can influence events through their actions, expect the best when faced with uncertainty, and remember success better than failure. Optimists certainly experience negative…

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…