Tag: melatonin

Sleeping pills are viewed differently in Australia and the US

Sleeping Pills: Too Risky, or a Red-State, Blue-State Affair?

How do people with insomnia feel about sleeping pills?

Attitudes toward sleep medications differ from one American to the next, and between Americans and Australians, it turns out. Here’s a brief comparison that I hope will start a conversation.

Insomnia sufferers may want to try a sleep aid called Zenbev Drink Mix, made from pumpkin seeds

Could Pumpkin Seeds + Carbs = Better Sleep?

Let’s begin with a caveat: no organic sleep aid on the market has been shown to cure insomnia.

But if you like warm, nonalcoholic, caffeine-free liquids, and if drinking a beverage is part of your evening routine, you might be interested in trying Zenbev Drink Mix. Here’s more information about it.

Insomnia can be the result of heavy computer use at night

Can Heavy Use of Computers Cause Insomnia?

I spend most workdays at the computer. Then I spend an hour or more of leisure time surfing the web and answering emails later in the day. And I wonder: does my heavy computer use—mostly work related—increase my susceptibility to insomnia?

A recent article on the relationship between sleep problems and computer use at work and during leisure time offers insight into that. Here’s the scoop:

Insomnia, alternative treatment tart cherry juice not so plentiful

Tart Cherries: Helpful to Sleep but Harder to Find?

First, the good news: a small body of research suggests that tart cherry juice holds promise as an alternative treatment for insomnia, especially in older adults.

Now for the bad news: tart cherry juice, already pricey, is set to become pricier still as growers weigh whether to give up on cherries and plant apple trees instead. Here’s more on the benefits of tart cherry juice for sleep and why it may soon become scarce.

Older insomniacs may find timed release melatonin helps them sleep

Timed-Release Melatonin for Insomnia

A friend recently called to talk about insomnia. Her problem, she said, was that she couldn’t sleep past 3 a.m. Her doctor recommended taking melatonin and she wanted to know what I thought of this advice.

If you’ve got the type of insomnia where you wake up too early or too frequently (sleep maintenance insomnia), you may be interested in this update.

Sometimes people's advice about insomnia is not helpful

Insomnia Advice Can Miss the Mark

People sometimes offer advice when they hear about my insomnia. Their suggestions are not always helpful.

In fact, I used to feel impatient with–and occasionally hurt by—comments that to my ears sounded judgmental or attitudes toward insomnia that I felt were just plain wrong. The comments were well meaning, but that didn’t make them easier to tolerate. Here are a few that put me off and what I think about them now.

Insomnia and cancer are more likely in brightly-lit, urban areas

Artificial Lighting Harmful to Sleep and Health

We hear a lot about the effects of light on sleep. Light in the evening—especially the blue light emitted by devices with screens—blocks secretion of the hormone melatonin, causing symptoms of insomnia. Low lighting during the day also delays melatonin onset and shortens the night.

Shift work, in which workers are routinely are exposed to light at night and must sleep during daylight hours, is so likely to disturb people’s sleep that the problem has its own name: Shift Work Sleep Disorder.

Not only do unnatural lighting conditions interfere with sleep. More and more evidence suggests that artificial lighting is behind the uptick in modern diseases such as cancer.

Blue light-blocking glasses can be helpful for people with insomnia

More Gifts for the Sleepless

Looking for a gift for a problem sleeper (or are you browsing for sleep-friendly products yourself)? Last year’s holiday gift blog was so popular that I decided to post a similar blog this year.

Most of these items are fairly inexpensive and all can be purchased online. They may be helpful for people with insomnia and other sleep problems. If nothing else they’ll make for comfier nights.