What My Dog Teaches Me About Sleep
MARCH 1, 2012
My dog, Dora, is an amazing critter. She happily runs through the backyard chasing bugs and snakes and ridding the yard of squirrels. And after a long, hard day of dog work around the house, she knows how to sleep.
In fact, she makes it all look so easy and has asked me to pass on her sleeping tips on to you!
First, nap when you are tired. Lay down and close your eyes. Even if you have only 5 minutes to relax. Jump up on the couch, toss the pillows aside and get a few minutes of shut-eye.
And secondly, make night-time sleep a routine at the same time each night. Find a dark, warm place, with your favorite blanket and pillow and snuggle in for the night. Keep the room dark and free from distractions.
In this month's issue, we've included some great sleep tools for you! Read on for help with your sleep health.
Here's to better sleep for you!
6 Reasons to Make Sleep a Priority
MARCH 1, 2012
Have you ever struggled with a night's sleep and found yourself challenged the next day with your memory. Feelings of being clumsy? Or overall felt like you were in a "funk" or a bad mood?
According to a recent study, more and more people are sleeping less than six hours per night. And while a sleepless night on occasion can be frustrating, struggling with chronic insomnia should be addressed because of the effects lack of sleep has on our health.
According the the Harvard Women's Health Watch, there are six reasons why you should make healthy sleep a priority:
1. Learning and memory:
Foggy thinking? Forgetting appointments? Sleep helps the brain learn new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. Studies show that people who have plenty of sleep do better on cognitive learning activities and on tests.
2. Metabolism and weight:
Whe you are sleep deprived you may experience weight gain because of the way our bodies process and store carbs. Add to that - our appetites are affected which can add to unrealized calories throughout the day.
If you are sleep deprived, you may have a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. The results can be deadly. Traffic mishaps. Road accident. Medical errors. Falls.
Grumpy? Impatience? Inability to concentrate? Moodiness? All of these symptoms can be a result of sleep loss. Additionally, too little sleep can also leave feeling too tired to do the things you love to do.
5. Cardiovascular health:
Hypertension is a serious cardiovascular rick which can be linked to sleep disorders. A lack of sleep can also be linked to increased stress hormones levels and an irregular heartbeat.
Immune function can be alters by sleep deprivation. Making sure you get plenty of sleep may also help fight cancer.
If you are experiencing chronic insomnia, now is the time to call your doctor and set up an appointment to discuss this aspect of your health.
Beating the Heat of Hot Flashes
March 1, 2012
"Sweating it out" is for fevers and tough job interviews—not for your menopause-related hot flashes. A hot flash is a temporary feeling of extreme heat that may come with an increased pulse rate and sweating. When a hot flash occurs, the body tries to cool itself down and you may feel a cold chill. When hot flashes occur while you are sleeping and cause you to perspire heavily, a condition called night sweats, it can lead to discomfort and a pile of sweaty clothes and sheets in the morning.
If you're experiencing hot flashes, you're not alone—they can affect up to 90% of women who have undergone surgically induced menopause, and they often begin immediately after the surgery. Hot flashes may then continue intermittently for 3 to 5 years after menopause before finally tapering off. The good news is that you don't have to simply suffer—hot flashes can be reduced with treatment.
There are several options available to help you beat the heat of hot flashes. For some women, estrogen therapy may provide effective relief.
In addition to hormone replacement therapy, the following changes may help provide hot flash relief:
- Exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime)
- Wear light cotton clothes to bed
- Look into nightwear designed to absorb moisture
- Use layered bedding that can be easily removed
- Keep an electric fan or air conditioner in the bedroom
- Put a frozen cold pack under your pillow
- Keep a glass of water on your night table
- Learn techniques to help you fall back asleep when you wake up
Countdown to a Better Night's Sleep
MARCH 1, 2012
Many adults suffer from bouts of occasion insomnia and about 1 in 10 suffer from chronic insomnia, disrupting their lives. If you are suffering from insomnia, here are some helpful tips to get a better night's sleep.
Start planning to get a good night's rest by getting enough exercise during the day. A healthy body needs rest and a chance to destress using exercise.
2. Ban Caffeine:
It may seem like a gigantic sacrifice, but caffeine can be a major contributor to your insomnia. If you aren't going to give it up completely, make sure you have no caffeine after 1 pm. This includes chocolate and coffee.
3. Leave your worry elsewhere:
Unwind before going to bed. Lay down on your couch or favorite chair and process your day. Once you have unwound, you can head to bed. Create a barrier between work and sleep. Don't being your laptop to bed with you and do not check your email before bedtime.
4. Remember your childhood and develop a bedtime routine:
Take a hot, relaxing bath or have a cup of camomile tea. Read a boring book. Turn on white noise in your bedroom. By doing the same things night after night, your body will respond to the routine by reacting in a sleepy way.
5. Set up Boundaries for the bedroom:
Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. Keep regular bedtimes, banish the pets and make sure your bedroom is a dark, cool place. Don't forget to remove the computers, tv and other electronic devices.
6. Keep it Natural:
Try not to self-medicate. Using over the counter sleep remedies may actually be counter productive. They ofen leave you with sleep hangovers and can keep you from a normal sleep patterned night.
7. Don't drink to sleep:
Alcohol has been known to fragment sleep which causes tiredness the next day. Alcohol masks the real sleep patterns and may cause additional concerns using alcohol to self-medicate.
8. Talk to a professional:
If these suggestions are not working for you, its time to call and make an appointment with your personal physician. Talk to your doctor.
Dealing with Sleep Apnea
MARCH 1, 2012
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the sufferer stops breathing while sleeping. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) there are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Of the three, obstructive is the most common.
Despite the differences in the root causes of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep—sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep.
The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are:
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Waking with an unrefreshed feeling after sleep
Problems with memory and concentration
Morning or night headaches
Heartburn or a sour taste in the mouth at night
Swelling of the legs
Getting up during the night to urinate (nocturia)
Sweating and chest pain while you are sleeping
Symptoms of sleep apnea that others may notice include:
Episodes of not breathing (apnea), which may occur as few as 5 times an hour (mild apnea) to more than 50 times an hour (severe apnea)
Snoring- almost all people who have sleep apnea snore, but not all people who snore have sleep apnea Restless tossing and turning during sleep
Nighttime choking or gasping spells
Sleep apnea affects over 12 million Americans but is often left untreated because the public and healthcare professionals are not well-educated about it. Quite often, sufferers believe that they are just not getting enough sleep or attribute their symptoms to stress and long work hours.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several treatments for sleep apnea. For milder cases, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as losing weight or quitting smoking. If these measures don't improve your signs and symptoms or if your apnea is moderate to severe, a number of other treatments are available. Certain devices can help open up a blocked airway. In other cases, surgery may be necessary.
The most common treatment is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine that delivers air pressure through a mask placed over your nose while you sleep. With CPAP, the air pressure is somewhat greater than that of the surrounding air, and it is just enough to keep your upper airway passages open, preventing apnea and snoring.
Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical disease and can have many life-threatening consequences. High blood pressure, stroke, complications during and after surgery, falling asleep while driving or operating machinery are just a few. If you have any of the symptoms described above, please contact your healthcare provider immediately. Diagnosis is usually made by performing a sleep study in a hospital or clinic designed especially for sleep disorders. There are other methods of diagnosing sleep disorders including at-home diagnostic tools.
Healthy sleep patterns are as essential to a healthy life as are eating right and exercising. Take your sleep style seriously and be sure it’s one of the most important factors in taking care of you!
From the HysterSisters Forums
MAY 1, 2010
Ladies, I am grateful to be rid of severe Endo pain, but I am left feeling anxious all the time. I can't sleep more than 3 hours. I cry tears most of the night. I feel rotten. I am open to any and all suggestions for how to make this better. I am on the lowest possible dose of vivelle dot to get rid of hot flashes but not to bring back the endo.
Do I need Lexipro? Trazidone? Progesterone? Prozac?
IS THERE HOPE THAT I WILL EVER FEEL BETTER?
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