How’s everyone doing this week? Like millions of others, I’ve spent much of the last few weeks self-isolating at home with my family, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
If you’re doing the same, you’re probably feeling a bit restless, just like I am. But this downtime has also given me a great opportunity to reflect on some of the most frequently asked questions I receive on a day-to-day basis — and I wanted to share a few responses with you this week.
Whether it’s handling nightmares or how to approach your teenager about sleeping in, here are a few questions I hear on a routine basis. Alright, let’s jump right into it:
I have a hard time falling asleep at night. Do you have any tips for getting to sleep faster?
This might be the most frequently asked question about sleep that I get. And luckily, I have a few things you can try.
First off, always consider melatonin. Melatonin is the engine for sleep. I recommend taking 1 to 1.5 milligrams of melatonin about a half hour before bed, …
The limited supply of ventilators is one of the chief concerns facing hospitals as they prepare for more COVID-19 cases. In Italy, where hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients in respiratory failure, doctors have had to make difficult life-or-death decisions about who gets a ventilator and who does not.
In the U.S., emergency plans developed by states for a shortage of ventilators include using positive airway pressure machines — like those used to treat sleep apnea — to help hospitalized people with less severe breathing issues.
While that measure could stretch the supply of ventilators and save lives, it has a major drawback. Officials and scientists have known for years that when used with a face mask such alternative devices can possibly increase the spread of infectious disease by aerosolizing the virus, whether used in the hospital or at home.
Indeed, that very scenario may have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 within a Washington state nursing home that became ground zero in the United States early on. First responders called …
The double whammy of co-occurring insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a complex problem best managed with non-drug targeted psych interventions, an Australian study has found.
By following simple guidelines, people with the concurrent conditions reported great improvement to both their sleep, and their health—with about 50% improvement in global insomnia severity and night-time insomnia after six months.
The new Australian study of 145 patients aimed to work out better treatments for COMISA (comorbid insomnia and sleep apnea) patients who, in the past, have shown poor results from using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, compared to patients who do not report symptoms of insomnia.
As a result, the investigators advise people living with both conditions to be treated first with a targeted, 4-10 week program of cognitive and behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) before using CPAP machines to reduce the effects of sleep apnea.
“We found that treating COMISA patients with non-drug CBTi before commencing CPAP significantly improved insomnia symptoms,” says lead researcher Alexander Sweetman, PhD, BPsyc (Hons), from the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health at Flinders University, …
Over the last week, distilled water used to humidify apnea patients’ CPAP machines has become almost impossible to find, reports Newsday.
Dr. Michael Weinstein, chief of sleep medicine at NYU Winthrop Hospital, said he wouldn’t recommend using tap water, although boiling it might help kill potential microorganisms, and urged users to contact manufacturers. “We haven’t really encountered this situation where people would have to use tap water on an ongoing basis … if you do use it, keep everything as clean as possible,” he said.
from Sleep Review https://www.sleepreviewmag.com/sleep-treatments/therapy-devices/cpap-pap-devices/cpap-users-have-trouble-finding-distilled-water-during-pandemic/…
FDA: CPAPs May be Used to Support Patients with Respiratory Insufficiency During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 OUtbreak
In a letter to health care providers dated March 20, the US Food and Drug Administration advises:
- If the number of ventilators in your facility is running low, consider alternative devices capable of delivering breaths or pressure support to satisfy medically necessary treatment practices for patients requiring such ventilatory support. Health care providers should use their judgment based on the condition of the patient and the circumstances in the facility to choose the best option. Examples of alternative uses of respiratory devices used to address shortages might include the following, which the FDA believes may help increase availability:
- For any patient needing ventilatory support, continuous ventilators labeled for home use may be used in a medical facility setting depending on the features of the ventilator and provided there is appropriate monitoring (as available) of the patient’s condition.
- For stable patients, emergency transport ventilators may be used for prolonged ventilation in a medical facility setting.
For any patient needing ventilatory support, anesthesia gas machines capable of providing controlled ventilation or assisted ventilation may be used outside of the traditional use for
It’s a hot topic in sleep research: the relationship between cortisol and the quality and patterns of sleep. I’ve been talking about cortisol for a while, but I’ve never devoted a stand-alone article to this important topic. It’s time to correct that. Today, I’ll talk about the role that cortisol plays in the sleep-wake cycle, how disruptions to healthy cortisol levels interfere with sleep and contribute to sleep disorders—and how poor sleep, in turn, negatively affects cortisol. I’ll also discuss ways to encourage healthy cortisol levels, for the benefit of your sleep and broader health.
What does cortisol do?
Cortisol is a stimulating, alerting hormone. It’s the body’s primary stress hormone—that’s the role that gets cortisol most of its attention. Urged on by a complex network that incorporates elements of the central nervous system and the adrenal system, cortisol drives the body’s fight-or-flight response, in the presence of a threat or stressor. But cortisol does more than spur fight-or-flight. This hormone has a number of other functions, including:
It’s been a week that’s felt more like a month — or maybe even a year for some of us. The coronavirus outbreak has, at least temporarily, upended many of our day to day lives and wiped away many of the daily routines we’re so used to.
Working out at the gym, going to a great restaurant, and seeing your favorite band or basketball team in action… for many of us, it’s all on pause. Right now, while we continue to collectively grapple with the fallout from COVID-19, there are a number of things that are out of our control. Making sure we continue to get quality sleep, however, isn’t one of them.
In reality, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best measures you can take to keep your body and immune system running on all cylinders.
This is something we touched on recently in our post on sleep’s influence on immunity. Research has shown, you might remember, that people who sleep 6 hours or less each night are 4.2 times more likely to catch the …
Some patients may be taking sleeping aids to mask underlying sleep disorders. CNET reports on how sleeping pills can create bigger issues for people who struggle to get quality shuteye.
For example, if someone has undiagnosed sleep apnea and turns to sleep supplements to fix their unrestful nights, it’s not going to help the problem much. Any improvement in sleep quality will only mask the underlying issue, delaying the correct treatment of using a CPAP machine.
People who suffer from sleep apnea aren’t the only example of this either — if you can’t sleep at night because you’re drinking caffeine too late in the day, taking long afternoon naps or staring at screens right before you nod off, it’s better to address the underlying problem rather than relying on a sleep supplement. The caffeine-sleep aid cycle can be vicious and hard to escape.
from Sleep Review https://www.sleepreviewmag.com/curated/sleep-supplements-bad-sleep-habits/…