Researchers at UC Berkeley have shown that sleep deprivation amplifies anxiety in people prone to worry. In a study written up in Science Daily, the researchers found that a single sleepless night greatly ramped up neural activity in two brain regions associated with the processing of emotion.
Older adults tend to sleep less than younger adults, with total sleep time declining by about 10 minutes per decade.
But the assumption that sleep problems generally increase with age does not always hold true, according to two studies recently published in the journal Sleep.
I’ve had some excellent medical care over the years, but when it comes providing help for insomnia, many doctors are out to lunch. They grab hold of a single idea about insomnia—it’s due to poor sleep hygiene, it’s due to stress, or it’s due to psychic damage that needs to be sorted out—and treat insomniacs as if we’re all alike.
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.
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.
Let’s be honest: the holidays aren’t always easy. The whole thing can stress you out to the point where all you want to do is eat, eat, eat. But you can’t exactly indulge yourself — it would look unseemly for you to scarf down all the Christmas cookies you yourself have baked.
Who knew that the solution to these inopportune food cravings lay in Ambien, America’s favorite sleeping pill?