Tag: sleep problems

Insomnia and mental decline can be alleviated with exercise

Exercise Improves Sleep, Preserves Mental Fitness

You may have been a couch potato for most of your life, but now, if you’re middle-aged and envisioning a healthy retirement, you’d better change your ways.

Moderate-to-vigorous exercise can mitigate some effects of aging, including poor sleep quality and cognitive decline. Research generally supports this claim, so especially if you’re prone to insomnia, you’ll want to check this out.

Most antidepressants suppress and delay REM sleep

What’s That Antidepressant Doing to Your Sleep?

Most—but not all—antidepressants tend to suppress and/or delay REM sleep (the stage associated with dreaming). This can be helpful for people with depression.

It’s not necessarily helpful for people with insomnia. In fact, REM sleep irregularities may be a causal factor in insomnia. So it pays to know a bit more about antidepressants if you’re taking them now or before you head down that path.

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:

new sleeping pills few and far between

Sleeping Pill Update: The Orexin Blockers

Blog posts I’ve written about sleeping pills get a lot of traffic. Among people with sleep problems, interest in drugs to relieve insomnia is high.

Pharmaceutical companies don’t seem to share this interest, though. A quick survey suggests that few companies are actively working on new drugs for the treatment of insomnia. Those with sleeping pills in the pipeline are developing drugs similar to suvorexant (Belsomra). Here’s more about this relatively new class of insomnia drugs.

insomnia can occur following a stressful childhood

Sleep Problems Following a Stressful Childhood

Only a minority of the insomnia sufferers I interviewed for The Savvy Insomniac said their insomnia began in childhood. But regardless of when their sleep problem began, a number reported having had stressful and/or abusive experiences in childhood.

Is there a relationship between adverse childhood experiences and insomnia later in life? Anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests there is.

Insomnia may be something that doctors avoid bringing up

Insomnia: Still Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

I went to my family physician for a routine physical last week. I hadn’t had one in a while, so I decided to get the exam and requisitions for the usual blood work.

This doctor is one whose opinions I respect. But I never hesitate to speak up when information I have leads me to question those opinions. One topic we’ve had discussions about is insomnia and sleeping pills.

sleep better in an uncluttered room

Straighten Up the Room for a Better Night’s Sleep

My husband is a neatnik and champion sleeper, and I’m messy and prone to insomnia. Could there be a relationship between household clutter and sleep quality?

Yes, says Pamela Thacher, a psychology professor at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. The results of a survey Thacher and student Alexis Reinheimer conducted recently suggest that hoarders are more likely to have sleep problems than people living with less clutter, and that getting rid of clutter might be conducive to better sleep.

Shiatsu massage pillow may relax the sleepless

Still More Gifts for the Sleepless

It’s Cyber Monday, and maybe you’re looking for just the right gift for someone with insomnia. Not to worry.

Here are some suggestions for holiday gifts this year. (And if none of these suggestions appeal, check out my 2013 and 2014 holiday gift blogs.)