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Why is My Insomnia Worse in Winter? Your Cold-Weather Sleep Questions Answered   0

Why is My Insomnia Worse in Winter? Your Cold-Weather Sleep Questions Answered  

Winter and sleep seem made for each other. Cold temperatures, and long, dark nights, all seem tailor-made for a great season of sleep. The truth about winter sleep is a quite a bit more complicated. Cold weather and short days pose some very specific challenges for sleep. 

For example, I heard from a reader in Ohio just the other day, wondering why her insomnia is so much worse in the winter than in the warmer months. 

I thought I’d answer her question here, along with a few other winter-sleep questions that come up a lot among my patients. Let’s dive into a little winter-sleep Q&A!  

Q: Why is my insomnia worse in winter? 

A: In her note to me, the reader pointed to several possible reasons for her escalated winter insomnia: “I feel like the cold temperatures and dry air is to blame. (Also, the lack of sun).” 

She’s absolutely right, on all counts. Cold outside temperatures can create problems for indoor sleep environments. Running the heat constantly leads to dry air that can irritate the nose and throat, making

CPAP Improves Quality of Life in Mild OSA 0

CPAP Improves Quality of Life in Mild OSA

When compared with sleep hygiene counseling, CPAP in addition to sleep counseling improved symptoms among patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea, according to data published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

The researchers included patients aged 18 to 80 years with mild OSA, defined by an apnea-hypopnea index of five to 15 events per hour, using American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) 2007 or 2012 scoring criteria, from 11 sleep centers in the United Kingdom in the multicenter, parallel, randomized controlled MERGE trial. They then randomly assigned patients to 3 months of CPAP plus standard care sleep hygiene counseling or standard care alone.

The primary outcome was change in the vitality scale of the SF-36 questionnaire among patients with mild OSA diagnosed by the AASM 2012 criteria in the intention-to-treat population. Patient eligibility was assessed using respiratory polygraphy.

After 3 months of treatment, the adjusted mean treatment effect of 10 points (95% CI, 7.2-12.8). Similarly, results from a more conservative analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) last-observation-carried-forward analysis also demonstrated a difference in the adjusted mean change in the vitality score with

Is Your Morning Headache a Sign of Sleep Apnea? 0

Is Your Morning Headache a Sign of Sleep Apnea?

Headache in bedYou wake up, and then immediately you notice the unpleasant pain in your head. Does this happen to you every morning? If so, it might be a sign of a sleep disorder. In particular, chronic headaches might be a sign that you have sleep apnea – a disorder that could lead to far worse problems if left alone. Read on to learn why those migraines might be warning you that you aren’t enjoying quality rest.

What is Sleep Apnea?

If you experience frequent pauses in your breathing while you’re asleep, you have sleep apnea. These pauses are usually due to the airway becoming blocked somehow, which can happen hundreds of times during the night. People with sleep apnea keep waking up when their breathing is interrupted; as a result, they often feel tired during the day even if they think they got a full night’s sleep.

How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Headaches?

When your breathing stops, your brain receives less oxygen. This causes the blood vessels in your head to widen, triggering vascular headaches. Sleep apnea-related headaches usually don’t …

How I Transitioned My Dental Practice to a Dental Sleep Medicine Practice 0

How I Transitioned My Dental Practice to a Dental Sleep Medicine Practice

Four dentists discuss their motivations, challenges, and rewards of treating patients who have obstructive sleep apnea.

Dental sleep medicine is now a viable career path for dentists looking to expand their professional horizons and help a growing number of patients who are experiencing sleep-related health problems.

But the bigger question is how? How can a dentist make the transition? What are some of the pitfalls to avoid? What are the unexpected rewards?

As the following four dental sleep medicine practitioners explain, there’s no single way to make the transition, just the one that works best for you, your practice, and your patients.

Don Johnson, DDS, Idaho

Don Johnson

Don Johnson, DDS, has been practicing dental sleep medicine for the past decade. Photo courtesy of Don Johnson, DDS

Don Johnson, DDS, has been providing dental sleep medicine services for about 10 years at his practice in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which includes the Northwest Snoring Center.

“The main reason I started doing sleep dentistry is because sleep apnea kills people,” Johnson says. “All you have to do is open the obituaries

The Role Of Dreams In Mental Health 0

The Role Of Dreams In Mental Health

The role of dreams in mental health has long been a conversation in sleep and psychological communities. We are beginning to better understand that dreams are an underrated and essential byproduct of a good night’s sleep.

Not only do some of our best and most creative ideas come to us during the night, dreams also make a key impact on our mental health. 

Several studies in recent years have highlighted the connection between dreams and how we feel when we’re awake. We’ll get to some of those interesting results in a moment. 

But in particular, it’s worth pointing out dreams help combat issues that millions of Americans face every day — fear and anxiety. 

How is that? 

Think of it like batting practice for the brain: if a professional baseball player doesn’t get his swings in before the game, the odds are against him getting a hit against a 96 miles per hour fastball later that night. 

The same goes for fear and anxiety. 

We’re better equipped to deal with real-world issues after we’ve experienced an anxiety-inducing situation while we’re

Here’s Why You Keep Waking Up At The Same Time Every Night 0

Here’s Why You Keep Waking Up At The Same Time Every Night

Waking up in the middle of the night could be a sign of sleep apnea, the Huffington Post reports.

“Everyone awakens briefly in the middle of the night multiple times ― anywhere from five to seven times ― between sleep cycles,” said Shelby Harris, a licensed psychologist and board-certified behavioral sleep medicine specialist in Westchester, New York, and author of ”The Women’s Guide to Overcoming Insomnia: Get a Good Night’s Sleep Without Relying on Medication.” “It is totally normal followed by a quick return to sleep usually with amnesia for the awakening.”

But waking up frequently at the same time in the middle of the night is different, and it can mess up your sleep cycles. “When sleep isn’t consolidated, one can feel tired, sleepy and foggy during the daytime hours, in addition to getting less sleep at night and disrupting your depth of sleep,” Harris said.

“People wake up in the night for many potential reasons but some are quite common,” said Mark Aloia, global lead for behavior change at Philips Healthcare.

Among these reasons include insomnia (Aloia said

RA Increases Risk for CV Disease, Sleep Apnea, Venous Thromboembolism 0

RA Increases Risk for CV Disease, Sleep Apnea, Venous Thromboembolism

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes and venous thromboembolism have an increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis, which in turn increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, obstructive sleep apnea, according to data published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“Most existing studies of comorbidities in rheumatoid arthritis have been cross sectional, at one point in time,” Vanessa L. Kronzer, MD, of the Mayo Clinic told Healio Rheumatology. “In contrast, our study was able to distinguish when comorbidities develop relative to rheumatoid arthritis. We were also fortunate to be able to adjust for many important confounders such as smoking, which prior studies were not able to do.”

She added, “based on these findings, people who have certain diseases such as IBD, type 1 diabetes or VTE should be aware that they may be at increased risk for RA. This may be particularly relevant for family members who are wondering if they might develop RA too. Another important implication of our study is that RA patients and their providers should have a high index of suspicion and low threshold to screen for

Where Sleep Medicine Stands on Interoperability 0

Where Sleep Medicine Stands on Interoperability

The vast majority of systems are siloed, but some companies are working to connect care for sleep apnea management.

The US health care system is fragmented, and the subspecialty of sleep medicine is no exception. Doctors, businesses, payers, and patients grapple with disjointed information pathways between and among one another.

As the market grows, the need for interoperability—allowing for seamlessly connected devices and easier sharing of critical data among various stakeholders—grows as well. Though challenges are numerous, some companies are working on connecting care for CPAP users.

Patients’ long journeys to diagnosis and beyond—through evaluations, sleep tests, and determining the best treatment—makes for a lot of scattered health data. At sleep diagnostics company Nox Medical, chief product officer Ingvar Hjalmarsson’s team is working on solutions to make navigating that maze easier for patients.

“This is very much dominating a lot of our product strategy at the moment. The number of sleep experts is actually going down, but the number of aware patients is going up. So we will have future challenges when it comes to providing these

$2.9 Million Funds Study on Sleep Apnea, Chronic Kidney Disease 0

$2.9 Million Funds Study on Sleep Apnea, Chronic Kidney Disease

University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) researchers received $2.9 million from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to study the outcomes of patients with sleep apnea and chronic kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease is characterized by a slow, progressive decline in kidney function. If untreated, the disease leads to end-stage renal failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. The two most common risk factors are high blood pressure and diabetes.

A previous study led by Ana Ricardo, MD, MPH, MS, UIC associate professor of medicine in the College of Medicine, demonstrated that poor sleep quality and short sleep duration speeds up the progression of kidney disease.

“That research led us to our new study in which we will evaluate how sleep-disordered breathing might impact the progression of chronic kidney disease,” Ricardo says in a release. “The most common type of sleep-disordered breathing is obstructive sleep apnea, which is characterized by the intermittent blockage of airflow during sleep. Previous research shows that obstructive sleep apnea is associated with fragmented sleep and poor quality sleep.”

To evaluate

Child Sleep Apnea: Here’s Why UTHSC Clinic Director Wants to Team Up With Shelby County Schools 0

Child Sleep Apnea: Here’s Why UTHSC Clinic Director Wants to Team Up With Shelby County Schools

For pediatric sleep apnea, Mitchell Levine says treating it is about “redirecting the growth processes” of the jaw to improve the effectiveness of the airway during sleep, reports Commercial Appeal.

“I think what we’re realizing is in children’s sleep problems and adults’ sleep problems is the manifestations of them seem to be a bit different,” he said.

Repositioning the jaw is effective when the child is 8 or 9 years old and growing fast. Before that age range, oral devices come in handy, because structural changes to growth aren’t as effective at 5 or 6 years old, Levine said.

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