Sleep Archive


Sleep apnea may lead to weaker bones and teeth

A 2022 study found that people with sleep apnea are more likely to have low bone density. Apnea may trigger low oxygen levels and inflammation that impair the body's continuous bone renewal process.

Should you be tested for sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition marked by brief pauses in breathing, often triggering loud snoring, grunts, gasps, and choking noises. Because sleep apnea can put stress on your heart and circulation, it's important to learn the signs and symptoms and get treatment.

Are you napping too much?

Napping for  more than 30 minutes each day may be associated with increased risks for health problems. Causes of excessive napping include boredom, poor sleep at night, underlying conditions such as anemia or depression, medication side effects, dehydration, or malnutrition. Treating underlying conditions, staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, becoming more active, and practicing good sleep hygiene may help reduce prolonged nap times.

Should I take afternoon naps?

Taking regular afternoon naps for less than 60 minutes can improve mental alertness and increase productivity.

Short on slumber

Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but more than one-third consistently sleep fewer than seven. Reasons for poor sleep include pregnancy, menopausal night sweats, medication use, sleep disorders, and various illnesses. Sleep deprivation can raise the risks for such conditions as diabetes, certain cancers, obesity, dementia, depression, and heart disease. To promote sounder sleep, people can keep consistent sleep-wake schedules, reduce intake of caffeine and alcohol, and avoid using electronic devices before bed.

The dark side of daylight saving time

The start of daylight saving time in the spring can have a profound impact on people's well-being. Moving the clock ahead one hour can cause sleep deprivation, affect focus and concentration, and exacerbate existing problems like depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder. People can lessen the effect by taking steps a week prior to the time change, such as adjusting their sleep schedule, getting more light exposure, and cutting back on caffeine and alcohol.

Shift work can harm sleep and health: What helps?

Mounting evidence paints a worrisome picture of the potential health consequences of nontraditional shift work schedules. So how can people who are required to work during the night and sleep during the day protect their health and well-being?

Poor sleep linked to a common cause of blindness

In a large 2022 study, people with unhealthy sleep patterns (those who snored, experienced daytime sleepiness, had insomnia, slept less than seven hours per night, or slept more than nine hours per night) were more likely to develop glaucoma than people with healthy sleep patterns.

What's keeping you from getting a good night's sleep?

Sleep is the body's time for restoration and recuperation. It's when toxins are flushed out of the brain, tissue is repaired, muscles grow, memories are consolidated, and hormones are released. Over time, getting too little sleep or fragmented sleep impairs concentration and mood and increases the risks for many chronic diseases. It helps to try to identify and address factors that may be interrupting sleep, such as snoring bed partners, alcohol, heartburn, underlying health conditions, an uncomfortable sleeping environment, or medication side effects.

Easy ways to keep inflammation in check

Certain healthy habits can fight chronic inflammation, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, maintaining good oral health, and reducing stress. If adopting all those habits seems daunting, taking little steps in their direction can help. For example, a person might eat fatty fish twice a week, since it contains omega-3 fatty acids known to reduce inflammation; or go for a quick daily walk, since exercise may increase the production of hormones that help keep inflammation in check. The combined effects of many little habits can eventually add up to keep people healthier.

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