Category: sleep and insomnia

Sleeping Well in the Age of Stress 0

Sleeping Well in the Age of Stress

Read the full article here: It’s 3:00 a.m. and you’re wide awake. In six hours you’re going to give the biggest presentation of your career. That is, after you get your kids out of bed, dressed, and off to school. Oh, right. You have to drop your husband at the airport. What else? You […]

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Holiday Sleep Secrets From The Sleep Doctor 0

Holiday Sleep Secrets From The Sleep Doctor

Sleep Hygiene for the Holidays™


Watch out for the Egg Nog Nightcap
If you’re drinking eggnog with alcohol, spiced rum, or any other fun alcoholic holiday beverage, it may make you fall asleep quickly, but it also prevents you from reaching deep sleep. To help, drink one glass of water for every glass of holiday cheer. Drinking water will slow down your drinking and prevent you from getting dehydrated.  Dehydration is the reason you get a hangover!
Extra Tip: Drink coconut water before bed to replace minerals that alcohol flushes out of your system.

Wean the Holiday Bean
While there are some great holiday coffees to try (think pumpkin spice latte and gingerbread mocha), the sleep you get after drinking caffeine is poor quality sleep. To prevent this I recommend caffeine fading. Drink higher caffeine beverages in the morning and choose lower caffeine drinks in the midafternoon. Ideally, switch completely to water by 2:00 or 3:00 pm. While many of my patients tell me they can drink an espresso and go to bed, they find they sleep much better …

The Sleep Doctor’s Guide To Sleeping Well In Winter 0

The Sleep Doctor’s Guide To Sleeping Well In Winter

The Sleep Doctor’s guide to sleeping well in winter

It’s not official by the calendar yet, but with the time change behind us and wintry weather across sections of the U.S., we’re already well launched into the winter season. Like any other time of year, winter can bring both enhancements and challenges to a healthy sleep routine. Short days and long nights can make for cozy, quiet, restful evenings. For many people, the quick pace of the fall quiets down a bit during winter, helping us slow down and relax.

But there are also pitfalls to watch for. The extended darkness leads to changes in circadian rhythms, which can throw our sleep routines off course, and leave us feeling sluggish, low-energy, and tired—even after a long night spent in bed. Millions of people, particularly those in the northern areas of the U.S., cope with wintertime Seasonal Affective Disorder, which can have a significant negative impact on sleep and mood, as well as appetite and energy levels for things like exercise.

The key to sleeping well in winter? Know what to watch for in changes to your sleep. Know the

Are Over The Counter Sleep Aids And Non Prescription Sleeping Pills Effective? 0

Are Over The Counter Sleep Aids And Non Prescription Sleeping Pills Effective?

In a recent article published in Harvard Women’s Health Watch OTC sleep aids were challenged for their effectiveness.

In 2017 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine officially recommend against treating chronic insomnia with common over-the-counter antihistamine and analgesic aids. Antihistamines are used in sleep aids because they effect the histamine receptor sites in your brain which help control wakefulness. Anti-histamines therefore are anti-wake, and make a person feel sleepy. But here is the problem, the compounds were built to last for 12 hours! This is why so many people experience a hangover effect (i.e., brain fog) the next day (this can also be common in some benzodiazepines used for sleep). Not only that, many of these drugs are known as anticholinergics which have been linked to Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with heavy, long-term use.

To be fair, this article also spoke about the lack of research for natural supplementation. Here is where I will respectfully disagree. There is more data on Valerian root and Melatonin than just about anything else, and the new data on CBD and inflammation looks very …

Thinking About Using Cannabis For Sleep? Here Are Some Things To Know 0

Thinking About Using Cannabis For Sleep? Here Are Some Things To Know

I’ve had a lot of patients and others of you ask me about using cannabis for sleep. I thought I’d take some time to go over some information that may be helpful in understanding how cannabis can affect sleep and sleep-related issues, and whether cannabis is something to consider for your sleep problems, in consultation with your physician.

Cannabis helps insomnia and other sleep problems

The cannabis plant has been used for centuries as a sleep aid. Contemporary scientific research has measured what people have known and experienced since ancient times: cannabis has relaxing and sedative effects. In particular, cannabis makes falling asleep easier. One recent study found that cannabis shortens the time it takes to fall asleep, both for people with sleep problems and people who fall asleep without trouble. Among people with active difficulty falling asleep, cannabis use resulted in an average of 30 minutes less time in falling asleep. The study also included a group of people who were able to fall asleep without difficulty. Among this group of strong sleepers, cannabis helped them fall asleep

Hacking Your CPAP Is A Very Bad Idea … Here’s Why 0

Hacking Your CPAP Is A Very Bad Idea … Here’s Why

I read an article this week that was both enlightening as well as concerning and I wanted to talk about it here on my blog. It was surrounding an Australian hacker, who has taught people how to change their own CPAP pressure as they see fit. I want to start this by saying that after I read this article, I wrote to the Editor-in-Chief of He answered me almost immediately and was very responsive. We ended up having an interesting discussion and I wanted to share it with all of you.

The article “Why Sleep Apnea Patients Rely on a CPAP Machine Hacker” basically summarizes the work of an Australian Hacker ( Mark Watkins, his program is called Sleepyhead) which has been showcased on a forum called He has created an open-sourced NOT FDA approved software which allows a person to gain all of their CPAP information. In addition, this information can then be used to have people self-adjust the settings on their CPAP.

The article highlights the idea that most people cannot …

How To Sleep Well On A Plane 0

How To Sleep Well On A Plane

We’re headed right into the thick of the holiday season. Over the next several weeks, a lot of us will be spending time on airplanes in order to be with family. As you all know, I travel constantly and now with the holidays it’s with my family, which can be a little stressful! It’s stating the obvious to say that air travel these days isn’t easy. Crowded flights with too-little leg room, long lines and even longer delays, weary and irritable fellow travelers can all make air travel unpleasant. Flying can also do a number on sleep. Travel-related stress and jet lag disrupt sleep cycles and cause sleep deprivation. (The fast food and junk food we tend to eat while traveling doesn’t help, either.) Just in time for the holidays, I thought I’d share with you the list of sleep tips for flying that I’ve curated over the years, over hundreds of thousands of miles of air travel. Time your flight right I always encourage people to make travel arrangements with their sleep in mind. That way you can minimize
Three Healthy Non-Alcoholic Drinks That Will Help You Sleep Better During The Holidays 0

Three Healthy Non-Alcoholic Drinks That Will Help You Sleep Better During The Holidays

When I think of the holidays I like to think about all the delicious food, seeing family and friends and relaxing.

Of course, when you travel, stay in unfamiliar environments, have house guests whose bodies are on a different time zone, or you are dealing with jet lag, it can certainly take at least some of the fun out of the holidays.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Below are a few simple recipes to help during the holiday insanity. Also, if you own an Amazon Alexa, I give a one-minute sleep  tip every day in a briefing called The Sleep Doctor Minute, I think you’ll find them fun and educational.

So, what can you do when you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night for what feels like no reason, wondering things like: is turkey stuffed with oyster stuffing, paleo? How the heck do I make low carb stuffing? Are the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes gluten free? I have a potential solution for you:

Guava Leaf Tea

It turns out that …

5 Surprising Takeaways From The ‘World’s Largest’ Sleep Study 0

5 Surprising Takeaways From The ‘World’s Largest’ Sleep Study

I’m fascinated by studies that look at sleep in different cultures and societies. I’m also interested in studies that investigate sleep in the “real world,” as opposed to exclusively from within the scientific sleep laboratory.

Don’t get me wrong. Laboratory sleep research is of vital importance. There are innumerable factors scientists can identify and control from within the sleep lab that that couldn’t possibly happen in people’s everyday environments, or by relying on people’s self-reported information about sleep. But a sleep laboratory by nature is an artificial environment. And insight we can gain about sleep in our natural settings and routines is also important and revealing.

A new, large-scale study does both. This study, dubbed by scientists as the “world’s largest” sleep study to date, included a global sample of more than 10,000 people, and captured information about the impact of real-world sleep habits on how we think, feel, and function.

Analyzing sleep in the real world, and around the globe

Scientists at Canada’s University of Western Ontario used the Internet to recruit thousands of participants from around the

What time do your kids go to bed? 0

What time do your kids go to bed?

Is this a loaded question? Do I answer it honestly or do I say what is ideal? “I mean, I mostly, well sometimes I get them to bed at 7.30pm!” Some kids go to bed a little later because they aren’t up at 5am and some kids are probably in bed but not sleeping! It’s […]

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