Category: Insomnia

Hands Off My Sleep Meds, Dr. Oz!

Last week Dr. Oz hosted a show about “killer” sleeping pills. Now, there are lots of reasons to be cautious about sleep meds, including the fact that some leave you feeling groggy in the morning.

But when celebrities like Dr. Oz use information like this to whip up hysteria about sleeping pills, it makes my blood boil.

Insomnia and the Sleep Switch

So what exactly is the “sleep switch,” and how might it figure in insomnia?

This sleep-regulating center in the brain was actually discovered almost 100 years ago.

A Sleep Switch in the Brain

“Scientists Report the Discovery of a Brain ‘Switch’ That Brings On Sleep,” announced the headline of a New York Times article on January 12, 1996. The news marked the beginning of my quest to get to the bottom of my insomnia.

Insomnia sufferers may want to try yoga to prepare for sleep

Too Aroused for Sleep? Try Yoga

Sat Bir Khalsa, a professor and researcher at Harvard Medical School, thinks that among alternative treatments for insomnia, yoga may also be a viable solution for people who feel too aroused to sleep.

I attended Khalsa’s presentation at a conference a while back. Here’s the gist of what he said.

Insomniacs may experience hyperarousal night and day

Insomnia and Hyperarousal

Lots of factors can push you in the direction of persistent insomnia: chronic stress, rumination and worry, and too much time in bed, to name a few.

Another factor that increases your susceptibility to insomnia is physiologic “hyperarousal,” sleep experts say.

A New Look at Trazodone for Sleep

Trazodone has never been approved for the treatment of insomnia. Yet it rose to the top of the bestseller charts as a medication for sleeplessness in the 1990s and enjoys great popularity still. Here’s one explanation for its appeal.

1001 Sleepless Nights

Before I decided to take the bull by the horns and actually do something about my insomnia, I was convinced there was little TO do. I believed my fate was sealed from birth: on top of being short and stubborn, I was destined to be on shaky terms with the night. I could curse the gods, or I could settle down and make the best of it.

Insomnia is more likely to develop if another family member has it

Insomnia: A Family Affair

Is a insomnia a heritable trait? Family and twin studies—and my own experience—suggest that vulnerability to insomnia is indeed passed on genetically.