Category: sleep and insomnia

Suffering From a Low Sex Drive? Here’s How Sleep Can Help (And Why It Impacts Women Even More) 0

Suffering From a Low Sex Drive? Here’s How Sleep Can Help (And Why It Impacts Women Even More)

Sleep and sex: the two things we use our bedrooms for–but is it possible that poor sleeping habits, deprivation, or even a sleep disorder like sleep apnea are killing your sex drive?

Believe it or not, most Americans are both sleep…and sex deprived. According to the CDC, one in three of us get less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night

The figures aren’t much better when it comes to sexual satisfaction: 45% of women and 31% of men report varying degrees of sexual dysfunction And we aren’t even getting as much sex as we used to: a study of 10,000 men and women shows that the percentage of us who are regularly sexually active is far lower than it was two decades ago.

Sex, like sleep, has numerous health benefits, from helping us feel more connected with our partners, to supporting a stronger immune system and even giving us more energy. So what can we do?

The good–and bad–news: sleep has been shown to have a direct impact on sex drive, hormones, and overall satisfaction. So while …

The Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Early Death May Run Through this Surprising Place: Your Gut 0

The Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Early Death May Run Through this Surprising Place: Your Gut

Not getting enough sleep can take real time off your life. The link between sleep deprivation and mortality has been shown in a wide body of rigorous scientific research. Sleep is essential for survival. Studies in animals have demonstrated that going without any sleep will eventually be, over a period of days or weeks, lethal.

And studies in people have established the association between short sleeping and an increased risk of death. For example, a review of research published in the journal Sleep found an average of a 12% higher risk of dying among short sleepers. Short sleepers were people sleeping less than 7 hours a night—in many studies sleeping less than 5.

(We’re talking about sleep deprivation today. But I can’t move on from mentioning this research review above without noting that it also found sleeping too much associated with higher risk of dying—a whopping 30% increase. I’ll come back to this topic of excessive sleeping again. It’s an important one. In the meantime, here’s an article I wrote about the risks of oversleeping.)

And a 12%

What’s The Best Sleep Position? It Depends. 0

What’s The Best Sleep Position? It Depends.

From the best sleep positions for every health condition to why sleep divorces are trending, this week I’ll be sharing just how different sleeping situations can impact your well being. 

Let’s face it: we’ve all been a little restless lately, from the pandemic to uncertainty and everything in between. As our routines change it’s possible our sleep habits might too. 

Whether you’re questioning if your sleep position is really the best for you or trying to decide if sleeping in the same bed as your partner may be causing issues, I have some answers for you.

Back, Side or Stomach: The Best Sleep Position For You

Here’s the dirty little secret when it comes to picking the best sleep position: there is no “one size fits all” approach.

Instead, it varies from person to person based on their physical and medical attributes. Or, as Dr. Rachel Salas from Johns Hopkins University recently put it, there are “caveats” to each sleep position. 

Let’s take a look at each common sleep position and see the pros and cons for everything from back

Tips to Help You Talk to Your Loved One About Their Sleep Issues 0

Tips to Help You Talk to Your Loved One About Their Sleep Issues

Tossing and turning, snoring, gasping for air, lying awake for extended periods of time, going the bathroom multiple times per night. These are all common – and frustrating – sleep issues that have a detrimental effect on sleep quality and quantity – for the sufferer, to be sure, but also for those with whom they share a bed, bedroom, or even a home. 

More often than not, sleep issues like these are a sign of an underlying sleep disorder or other health concern that needs to be addressed. And while it’s certainly unfortunate that a sleep partner may experience reduced sleep quality as well, they can actually play a significant role in the solution by insisting that their loved one seek out advice, diagnosis, and treatment from a medical professional. In fact, a recent study highlights the importance of discussing sleep disturbances and their potential consequences with a loved one or housemate, as they impact the quality of the relationship and individual qualities of life. 

The Danger of Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), insomnia, and …

Catching Up On Sleep: How to Pay Off Your ‘Sleep Debt’ (and Why It’s a Big Deal) 0

Catching Up On Sleep: How to Pay Off Your ‘Sleep Debt’ (and Why It’s a Big Deal)

Being in debt is never a great feeling, whether it’s staring at a large credit card balance in the mail or dealing with the effects of a mounting sleep debt.

But what even is sleep debt, and what does it mean?

It’s a simple concept. Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you get each night and the amount you should be getting. (For adults, I typically recommend getting about 7.5 hours of sleep each night.)

Your sleep debt increases every time you trim a few minutes off your usual sleep schedule, in the same way, your credit card debt increases each time you go on a late night Amazon shopping spree. No judgment, I’ve been there, too.

And if you’re suffering from sleep debt, you’re not alone: a 2020 study found that Americans are averaging less than 6 hours of sleep each night. And even some sleep debt can be dangerous, leading to long-term health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, increased stress levels, and a weaker immune system. `

The good news is that …

4 Ways Lockdown Changed Sleep, for Better and Worse—and What to do Next 0

4 Ways Lockdown Changed Sleep, for Better and Worse—and What to do Next

Since the earliest days of the coronavirus, scientists have been furiously at work studying its characteristics, searching for treatments and ultimately a vaccine, and investigating its effects—including on sleep. There’s been research that suggests melatonin might have some protective benefits, helping to mitigate the severity of Covid-19 ( in animal models). Researchers are examining the effects of social isolation, economic upheaval, stress and uncertainty on our nightly rest. 

We’re (mostly) on the other side of a months-long lockdown, and scientific research has begun to reveal ways that broad social quarantine has affected our sleep. This won’t be the last we learn about the effects of this unprecedented global upheaval on sleep. But research now begins to point to specific sleep challenges—and some silver linings around sleep in the age of coronavirus. 

Here are 4 things we’ve learned so far about what’s happened to our sleep since lockdown, with some advice about how to put this information to work for your sleep, going forward.

Some of us are getting more sleep since lockdown 

That’s one of the takeaways from two

Why You Should Use A White Noise Machine This Fourth of July 0

Why You Should Use A White Noise Machine This Fourth of July

And How to Find the Best Model For You.

Have you heard them? I’ve certainly heard them over the last few weeks — and they’re about to pick up steam as we head towards the Fourth of July, which is easily one of my favorite holidays each year.

I’m talking about fireworks, of course. It’s officially Fireworks Season here in Southern California, where they’ve been firing off for about a week now. And it’s not just SoCal. Several friends and clients across the country told me they’ve recently heard more bangs, booms and crackles at night.

I love it, but I also know those late night explosions can make it tough to fall asleep. Luckily, I’ve got my “secret weapon” ready to go: my white noise machine. White noise is a great tool you can leverage to help block out loud noises and create a quiet and peaceful sleep environment. Research indicates white noise machines can help people in loud environments get nearly 50% more sleep on average each night than those not using white noise machines.

If you’re …

Can Sleep Apnea Lead to an Unhealthy Heart? 0

Can Sleep Apnea Lead to an Unhealthy Heart?

Man sleeping on side snoring; wife in backgroundMost people don’t realize they’re suffering from sleep apnea until they’ve received a proper diagnosis. As such, it’s fairly easy to overlook the potentially devastating effect the condition could have on your health. Sleep apnea can cause your breathing to stop 5 to 30 times every hour while you’re asleep, and the loss of oxygen can put a strain on your body – and that naturally includes your heart. Read on to learn more about the connection between breathing-related sleep disorders and heart health – and why being proactive about improving the quality of your slumber might save your life.

What Link Has Been Found Between Sleep Apnea and Heart Health?

According to Harvard Medical School, patients with untreated sleep apnea are up to five times more likely to experience a fatal heart disease. Furthermore, roughly 47 to 83 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease are also found to have sleep apnea. Note that this link may be partially due to the fact that heart problems and breathing-related sleep disorders are both connected to obesity. That said, the direct effect …

5 Ways to Sleep Better When Your Daily “Routine” has Disappeared 0

5 Ways to Sleep Better When Your Daily “Routine” has Disappeared

Here’s a question that’s coming my way a lot these days: 

Dr. B, how can I sleep better when my regular schedule is totally off course these days? 

Life around the country continues to open up, but not much has returned to “normal” for most of us. We’re working from home. The kids are out of school, not going to camp, staying home from daycare. Even if it’s open, plenty of us are not going to the gym. Our pre-pandemic schedules, as imperfect as they were, are still out of reach, and likely will be for some time to come. 

Sleep thrives on consistency and routine. Those two things are in short supply for a lot of us right now. Here are five steps you can take to find routine within the daily chaos, and improve the consistency and quality of your sleep when life feels pretty out of control. 

Use your chronotype throughout the day and night

I wrote recently about how our individual chronotypes can be a big factor in how we’re coping with all the upheaval in

Most Americans Wake Up Exhausted. Here’s Why That’s a Problem — And What You Can Do About It 0

Most Americans Wake Up Exhausted. Here’s Why That’s a Problem — And What You Can Do About It

There are few things more frustrating than waking up exhausted. After all, isn’t that the entire point of sleeping — to wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day?

But unfortunately, that isn’t the case for most Americans. A recent study conducted by OnePoll found 65% of Americans say they rarely wake up feeling rested and energized. That’s nearly two out of three people walking around. Yikes.

That might sound harmless for the most part, but sleep deprivation, one of the key reasons people wake up feeling lethargic, can lead to real health consequences, from ….

Fortunately, there are a few ways to improve your sleep and curb that tired feeling in the morning. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who rarely feels rested and energized, don’t stop reading now. Let’s dive in a bit deeper, look at why this is a problem, and review some tips on how to feel more energized in the morning.

Survey Says: Poor Sleep Leads to Drop in Productivity, Bad Mood

OnePoll, a marketing research company based in London, conducted …