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Alaska Sleep Education Center

Better Sleep Without Medication

Posted by Guest Blogger, Joel Syder on Nov 3, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Get The Sleep You Need Without Medication

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Topics: sleep hygiene, medication

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 11 and Conclusion

Posted by Guest blogger: Joe Smith, www.YooHealth.com on Oct 22, 2018 12:35:00 PM

Chapter 11

Prevention

 

Really, the best way to prevent sleep deprivation is to practice good sleep hygiene, something we have talked about a few times before. Here are the basic steps you can take in order to attain a good standard of sleep hygiene and end up with a good rest:

  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day
  • Shut off devices and do soothing things an hour before bed
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool
  • Avoid caffeine at least five hours before bed, same with alcohol
  • Don’t eat for at least three hours before bed
  • Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to boost mental and physical tiredness

It’s actually very quick and simple, making it easy for anyone to follow. Of course, it can be hard to get into the swing of things, so take some time to really work on a routine and getting your sleep hygiene just right.

The issue is, sleep deprivation is often linked to serious accidents, as well as poor job and school performance – lowering a person’s quality of life substantially. It disrupts the brain’s ability to balance emotions and the ability to think, lowering your natural defenses, and increasing your chances of developing chronic medical conditions.

Of course, the occasional poor night of sleep won’t cause you much harm, but it will if it becomes a persistent problem. After all, there is no substitute for restorative sleep, and so care should be taking to prevent ongoing sleep deprivation regardless of age.


To Conclude

Hopefully, this has helped you to better understand the world of sleep deprivation, how it is caused, and the ways in which it can be treated. It is amazing how negatively you can be impacted by a lack of sleep, and the number of health conditions that can be caused by consistently missing out should be enough to make sure you get started on paying back your sleep debt. After all, it is your health and well-being on the line.

If you live in Alaska and have chronic sleep deprivation, call us today and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm, medication, sleep hygiene

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 10

Posted by Guest blogger: Joe Smith, www.YooHealth.com on Oct 21, 2018 8:00:00 PM

Chapter 10

Habits to Avoid

If you are sleep deprived, or trying to avoid becoming that way, there are a few bad habits that you really need to avoid, and they are as stated below:

#1 Taking a Nap

There are times where napping can help to give you the boost you need, especially in college or before an essential meeting, but if you don’t need to nap then consider skipping it. This is because it can lower your sleep drive, causing you to go to bed later that night and wake up feeling slow and groggy the next day. If you really do need to nap though, make sure it is between 1pm and 3pm for no more than 25 minutes, as this is the optimal time to ensure that your sleep at night is not disrupted.

#2 Going to Bed Early

It can be really tempting to do this, especially when you are feeling absolutely exhausted. However, doing so can mess up your circadian rhythm over time, and this results in what is known as being both wired and tired – where your brain is not ready to go to sleep so early, but your body is. This makes it difficult to fall asleep and can lead to stress and frustration.

#3 Sleeping In

It can seem tempting, especially on a Sunday morning after a long night in or out. However, just one morning of sleeping in by 30 minutes can completely change your internal clock, prompting your body to wake up later than usual. So, if you spend the weekends sleeping in, there is a reason it is so hard to get up on a Monday morning. Try to get up at the same time every day, even on the weekends, to make your week and easier one.

#4 Caffeine Boosts

You’ll probably remember this from being in college, those late nights spend sucking down caffeine until the early hours of the morning so you could finish that essential paper. However, it is a terrible habit to have if you are facing sleep deprivation. The average time it takes caffeine to leave your body is around 8-10 hours, so it is best not to drink any caffeinated beverages after around 2pm. However, this does also depend on your personal tolerance for the stimulant as everyone is different.

#5 Booze Before Snooze

Yes, it has been dubbed a sedative as well as a great way to fall asleep, and this is true. However, it is also the best way to get an unfulfilled and restless night of sleep too. Alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM), which is the most restorative part of sleep and helps us turn short-term memories into long-term ones. As a result, alcohol before bed can affect your memory and cause a restless sleep. Plus, it could even wake you up once the alcohol has been fully metabolized.

#6 Scrolling Through Facebook

Social media before bed is the bane of sleep everywhere, and it can have really negative impacts on the quality. Of course, flicking through Facebook or Twitter could send you down a social media rabbit hole because your sleepy self is fresh out of self-control, but the blue screen is the main culprit. It actually mimics daylight, boosting your brain and making it difficult to fall asleep. The more you engage with the social media in questions, the more amped up your brain becomes, making you more awake and alert, which will ensure falling asleep is much harder. So, say no to that last-minute scroll through Instagram before you go to sleep.

#7 Snacking Before Bed

Food choices and sleep deprivation are never a good mix, and having a midnight snack before bed can leave you feeling really heavy and bloated, so you won’t be able to sleep for a few hours. We were not made to digest food lying down, and hard to digest food can cause restless sleep or an inability to do so, as well as a slower metabolism and weight gain.

It’s best to eat no more than three hours before bed so that your body can start digesting it, but going to bed hungry can keep you awake too. If you need that snack before sleep, try having something light like Greek yogart and bananas. This is a perfect combination of 80% carbs and 20% protein, which is shown to have a calming effect on the body. Cheese and crackers is an option too, but the nightmare superstition is very real for some.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 11: Prevention and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm, medication, sleep hygiene

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 6

Posted by Guest blogger: Joe Smith, www.YooHealth.com on Oct 17, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Chapter 6

Treatment of Sleep Deprivation

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment - Yoo Health

If a person cannot physically get to sleep, as a result of physical or psychological difficulties, treatment is required. Often, a therapist or sleep specialist will be the one to offer guidance and advice, as well as coping techniques for reaching a restful state of sleep. Generally speaking, there are two main treatment paths that can be taken – behavioral and cognitive measures, and medications.

#1 Behavioral and cognitive treatments

There are a number of excellent and effective methods for enhancing sleep that does not require any medication, and these can be found below:

Relaxation techniques: This is a progressive form of muscle relaxing that involves the tensing and untensing of different muscles in the body to help maintain calm. Additionally, medication, mindfulness, breathing exercises, and guided imagery can provide masses of help in this area. There is also the option to use audio recordings to help people fall asleep at night.

Stimulation control: This involves taking control of your activities before you go to bed, as well as your surroundings, so that you can moderate your sleeping patterns effectively. This means doing things like only spending time in bed when you are sleepy, controlling the association between being in bed and being ready to go to sleep.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is an incredibly helpful type of therapy that has been designed to help people understand and change the thought patterns behind specific behaviors. It works to challenge irrational and unhealthy beliefs, while also promoting calm and positive thoughts. In this way, it can be used to help develop a better and healthier sleeping pattern.

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment - Yoo Health

#2 Medications

If a non-medicinal treatment has been ineffective, there are medications available that can induce sleep. There are some that can be purchased over the counter from your pharmacist, and others that can only be picked up with a valid prescription from your doctor. There is a whole load available, and your doctor will help you pick the one that should work best for you.

It should be noted that some people form a dependency on sleeping pills, and so it is important to try and limit the amount that you take and use non-medicinal remedies when and if you can.

#3 Home management

On the plus side, most of the negative effects of sleep deprivation are revered once you get the sufficient amount of sleep. The best treatment is often satisfying your biological need to sleep, preventing deprivation, and paying back the sleep debt that you have accumulated. You can also follow the sleep hygiene rules, which is something we look at in detail a little later on.

#4 Paying off the sleep debt

When you do not get the amount of sleep that you require, you will begin to accumulate sleep debt. So, if you need to sleep for eight hours and you only sleep for five, you have accumulated three hours of sleep debt. Every night that you continue to follow the pattern adds more sleep debt.

The only way you can erase your debt is to get more sleep, and it can take some time to fully recover depending on the amount you have accumulated. However, you will be able to feel the positive effects of paying the debt off very quickly.

In order to pay back your sleep debt, you need to start getting the sleep you need with the addition of an extra hour or so each night until the debt is paid. Once it is done, you can subtract the extra hour from your sleep schedule. As long as you are making a conscious effort to recover, it does not matter how many hours you have lost to sleep deprivation, and you will begin to feel better quickly.

However, if your sleep deprivation is ongoing and the negative symptoms persist even though you are practicing good sleep hygiene, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible to check for underlying health conditions.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 7: Precautions of Treatment of Sleep Deprivation and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: sleep deprivation, losing sleep, circadian rhythm, treatment, medication, remedies

Sleep Medications are NOT Meant for Long-term Use

Posted by Mayo Clinic Staff on Sep 25, 2018 4:00:00 PM

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What is the best way to eliminate insomnia? For almost a year, I've had trouble getting much sleep. I've tried over-the-counter medications, but they aren't very effective.

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Topics: medication, insomnia, sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea in Children, Part 1: ADHD vs OSA

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Jul 30, 2018 12:03:00 PM

As humans, there is always a tendency to make mistakes. Doctors can make mistakes when a parent cannot figure out why their child is hyper, inattentive, moody, or impulsive. They act out without a moment’s notice in school and home. For the most part, the diagnoses gravitates towards an ADHD diagnosis. But for children, the symptoms of ADHD and sleep apnea are parallel if you are not asking the right questions.

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Topics: adhd, medication, OSA in children, sleep and children

8 Supplements That Help and Hinder Sleep

Posted by Adi Szasz, Guest Blogger on Jul 6, 2018 2:29:24 PM

  Sleeping and energy go hand-in-hand. Too little sleep and you’ll feel tired the following day. Studies have shown that any deviation in sleep patterns will also lead to feelings of fatigue and sleepiness the next day. That includes oversleeping, but you may also feel tired due to many other health issues as well. 

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Topics: medication, sleep habits, sleep hygiene

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