Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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Featured Stories

Guide to Good Sleep

Written by  Suzanne Ramsey

How you feel during your waking hours hinges greatly on how well you sleep. Similarly, the cure for sleep difficulties can often be found in your daily routine. Your sleep schedule, bedtime habits, and day-to-day lifestyle choices can make an enormous difference to the quality of your nightly rest.

The following tips will help you optimize your sleep so you can be productive, mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and full of energy all day long. Here are seven tips for getting a good night's sleep:

Sleep Hygiene
The promotion of regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. Here are some simple sleep hygiene tips:
•    Go to bed at the same time each night, and rise at the same time each morning.
•    Sleep in a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold.
•    Make your bed comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music.
•    Remove all TVs, computers, and other "gadgets" from the bedroom.
•    Avoid large meals before bedtime.

Sleep Disorders
Sleep-related difficulties – typically called sleep disorders – affect many people. Major sleep disorders include:
•    Insomnia – an inability to fall or stay asleep that can result in functional impairment throughout the day.
•    Narcolepsy – excessive daytime sleepiness combined with sudden muscle weakness; episodes of narcolepsy are sometimes called "sleep attacks" and may occur in unusual circumstances.
•    Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – an unpleasant "creeping" sensation associated with aches and pains throughout the legs that can make it difficult to fall asleep.
•    Sleep Apnea – interrupted sleep caused by periodic gasping or "snorting" noises or momentarily suspension of breathing.

What is REM sleep and what happens there?
Dr. Parisi says there are “two general sleep stages” — REM and non-REM — that are cycled through during sleep and both are essential to getting a good night’s rest. REM, or rapid eye movement sleep, is when “most of the dreaming occurs,” he says. “Non-REM sleep is also known as quiet or deep sleep. Non-REM sleep is actually the majority of the night in adults — about 75 percent of sleep.”

“They both have different functions. Different parts of the brain are involved in different stages. In general, you can say that non-REM sleep is more important for physical regeneration, recovery overnight. That’s the stage where growth hormone is produced and your body recovers from physical injury. REM sleep may be more important for mental regeneration, for memory consolidation, for mood.”