Category: sleep and insomnia

Can’t Sleep? Here are 5 Surprising Sources of Insomnia 0

Can’t Sleep? Here are 5 Surprising Sources of Insomnia

Having a hard time falling asleep?

If so, you’re not the only one. Research indicates one in four Americans suffer from acute, or short-term, insomnia each year. This common sleep disorder includes symptoms like daytime fatigue, having a difficult time concentrating, and frequently waking up during the night. But insomnia is notorious for its best-known symptom: sufferers often have an incredibly hard time falling asleep at night.

Insomnia has been on my mind lately considering the emotional stress many people are dealing with as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Stress is often a catalyst for insomnia, and the weight of the stay-at-home orders, coupled with fears a loved one could potentially be affected by COVID-19 or an outcome of it, can be incredibly taxing.

I won’t be surprised at all if data later indicates cases of acute insomnia increased during this time period.

There are a number of ways insomnia can negatively impact your health, but the one thing I keep coming back to lately is how important quality sleep is — especially during a pandemic.

You might remember …

Answering 5 Common Sleep Questions, Including Tips on How to Fall Asleep Quicker 0

Answering 5 Common Sleep Questions, Including Tips on How to Fall Asleep Quicker

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, …

Cortisol and its Effects on Your Sleep 0

Cortisol and its Effects on Your Sleep

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:

  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Balancing blood sugar
  • Influencing inflammation
  • Regulating energy levels
  • Contributing
Why a Regular Sleep Schedule Matters to Your Health 0

Why a Regular Sleep Schedule Matters to Your Health

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 …

Coronavirus Update for Our Patients 0

Coronavirus Update for Our Patients

At Sleep Dallas, the health and well-being of our patients and team members has always been of utmost importance. We understand the concerns and uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are committed to being responsive to the needs of our community as the situation evolves and more information is provided.

We want to inform all of our patients that we are continuing to see patients at this time and reassure you that we are taking all the necessary precautions recommended by the CDC and local health agencies in the area. In a small, controlled environment such as our offices, it is easy to quickly and swiftly implement new emerging protocols as those recommendations become available. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We will keep you updated on any changes and continue to provide a safe, healthy and relaxing environment.

We do request that any patients with symptoms associated with COVID 19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, etc.) or who have been in close contact recently with anyone with these symptoms to please notify us so that we

Sleep Awareness Week Spotlight: Americans Are Constantly Sleepy 0

Sleep Awareness Week Spotlight: Americans Are Constantly Sleepy

Early March is easily one of my favorite times of the year. Not only is spring right around the corner — I can already hear the beach calling my name! — but the clocks jump ahead, giving us that extra amount of sunlight we’ve been missing at night during winter.

This is important to me for another reason, too: Daylight Saving Time directly leads into Sleep Awareness Week, which we’re wrapping up today.

Sleep Awareness Week is a great opportunity to both draw attention to the challenges many people run into with getting a good night’s sleep, as well as promote tips for getting better rest.

On that front, something grabbed my attention this week: a new survey from the National Sleep Foundation shows millions of Americans are sleepy. I’m talking about consistently tired, where it’s something they’re dealing with multiple days per week.

If you rely on a good cup of coffee at noon, or find a way to sneak in a quick nap after lunch to get that pep back in your step, you already know what I’m …

Cannabis v. Alcohol for Sleep: What are the Differences? 0

Cannabis v. Alcohol for Sleep: What are the Differences?

They are the two most commonly used sleep aids in the world—alcohol and cannabis. Alcohol regularly tops the list of self-medicating sleep aids. And today, cannabis is among the most frequently used natural therapies, with people who use cannabis routinely identifying help with sleep as a prime reason for doing so.

Alcohol and cannabis have very different effects on sleep, however. Today, I’ll take a look at what the science says about how alcohol and cannabis perform, when it comes to making sleep better—or worse.

Cannabis and alcohol have distinctly different effects on sleep

For centuries, people have sought relief for sleep problems from the intoxicating, sedating effects of alcohol and the relaxing, sedating effects of cannabis. But there’s a profound gap between how alcohol and cannabis impact sleep, and how these substances are regarded as therapeutic tools for sleep. Alcohol, for all its popularity as a self-medicating sleep aid, is essentially universally discouraged by sleep experts and physicians as a tool to help sleep and other health conditions that affect sleep. Cannabis, on the other hand, is increasingly being

Half of All Kids Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep: Here’s Why That’s Concerning 0

Half of All Kids Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep: Here’s Why That’s Concerning

Poor sleep is rampant in the United States — and it’s not only impacting adults. 

Alarmingly, research indicates U.S. children are facing a sleep crisis as well. And this is a problem that’s even more concerning than the one facing older Americans, considering how important sleep is to childhood development. 

One study in particular from late 2019 has stuck with me over the last few months. Researchers from the American Academy of Pediatrics found nearly 50% of kids aged 6-17 weren’t getting enough sleep, which is 9 hours each night. (Harvard University has pegged 9-12 hours for grade school-aged children, and 8-10 hours for teens as the recommended amount of sleep each night.) 

This is a major problem, considering the percentage of kids getting insufficient sleep is much higher than the 34.8% of American adults who get less than 7 hours of sleep each night. And that’s already too high as it is. 

The A.A.P. study looked at more than 49,000 school age children and adjusted for several factors, including poverty level and time spent on devices; it also

Coronavirus controls the world 0

Coronavirus controls the world

The virus that is controlling the world right now: people, the economy and the internet for information. Thousands worldwide have contracted the disease, but the median age is 56 and mainly affecting adults with chronic health conditions. The treatment has mainly been supportive with most deaths being from people who were already in a weakened […]

The post Coronavirus controls the world appeared first on The Sleeping Blog.

from The Sleeping Blog…

5 Surprising Health Problems Tied to Poor Sleep 0

5 Surprising Health Problems Tied to Poor Sleep

A good night’s sleep goes beyond helping you stay fresh at the office the next day.

That’s important, of course, and in my personal life I’ve tried to focus even more on getting quality sleep in 2020; my schedule can be hectic, so good sleep is important, simply to fight back against fatigue. (And I’ve got to say, the Chilipad has made it especially easy to drift off to sleep lately by keeping my bed nice and cool.)

But there’s more to it than that. Poor sleep is linked to several disturbing health problems, and some of them may be surprising to find out about.

This week, I want to share a quick look at how poor sleep can lead to severe health issues — and a few tips to make sure you’re getting the rest you need.


Let’s start with something we all care about: our waistlines. Poor sleep isn’t good for them.

Research shows sleep deprivation leads to weight gain because of multiple changes to your body.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body reduces the …