Sleep

Strategies to promote better sleep in these uncertain times

In these challenging times it’s normal to experience sleep problems. Because proper sleep is so important to well-being, here are some tips for improving sleep — actions you can take both during the day and at night.

Are you getting enough sleep… or too much? Sleep and stroke risk

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Could sleeping too much be bad for you? Possibly. A study found that people who slept more than nine hours a night and took long daytime naps, or who reported poor-quality sleep, were much more likely to have a stroke than those who slept eight hours or less a night.

Menopause and insomnia: Could a low-GI diet help?

Researchers examining dietary data from over 50,000 postmenopausal women found that women who ate foods with a higher glycemic index, and foods with more added sugars, were more likely to have insomnia.

Getting sleep in the hospital

There are many things about hospital routines that make it difficult for patients to sleep well. If you find yourself hospitalized, there are things you can do to improve the chances that you will get a better night’s sleep.

Wearables and sleep: What can they really tell us?

Many people now wear smartwatches and other wrist-based devices, and use them to collect and track information about their sleep. But the algorithms that govern how the devices work are opaque, and there is no data comparing them to devices that sleep researchers use.

Can your CPAP make you sick?

Using a CPAP machine is beneficial for people with obstructive sleep apnea, but if the machine isn’t kept clean it could lead to an illness. There are sanitizing systems available, but cleaning the parts by hand is just as effective.

Weekend catch-up sleep won’t fix the effects of sleep deprivation on your waistline

Trying to make up for not getting enough sleep during the week by sleeping longer on weekends has been found to have negative effects such as weight gain, expending less energy, and increased calorie intake during evenings.

Sleep driving and other unusual practices during sleep

The FDA has issued its most serious category of warning about three sleep medications due to reports of injuries related to their use. Aside from next-day drowsiness, these medications can cause sleep behaviors that may be dangerous.

Trouble keeping information in mind? Could be sleep, mood — or age

Most people experience some degree of decreased memory as they get older, but memory performance is also affected by mood and sleep quality, and these are factors that can be controlled and improved.

Aging and sleep: Making changes for brain health

Sleep is a necessity for everyone, but it’s especially important for older people to be aware of the changes in sleep patterns that accompany aging, and the effect that poor sleep can have on brain health.