Sleep Archive

Articles

Americans' use of prescription sleep medications drops dramatically

A 2022 study found a 31% reduction in Americans' use of prescription sleep aids from 2013 to 2018. The drop-off was even sharper among people 80 and older, who were 86% less likely to use FDA-approved sleep drugs by the end of the study period.

Are your medications keeping you up at night?

Many medications can affect sleep. These include prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter remedies. For example, decongestants, certain antidepressants, or beta blockers can make it hard to fall or stay asleep, and nicotine replacement medications can cause a person to have nightmares. Strategies to avoid drug-related sleep problems include taking the medication during the day, taking a lower dose, practicing good sleep hygiene (such as going to bed and waking up at the same time each day), or switching to a new medication.

Attention deficit disorder linked to higher heart disease risk

People with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition marked by trouble focusing and impulsive behavior, may be more likely to have cardiovascular disease that people without the disorder.

What's the future of remote patient monitoring?

The miniaturization of electronics is leading to the development of next-generation devices to monitor health. People today are using various devices (typically smart watches) to measure their heart rate, the regularity of their heart rhythm, the quality of their sleep, their body temperature, and the levels of oxygen and sugar in their blood. And scientists are working on other devices—such as a thin strip of material that is pasted onto the skin—to constantly measure blood pressure, organ function, or certain body chemicals.

How can I tell if I have a concussion?

Concussions occur when the brain bumps or twists inside the skull after a blow to the head. Signs of concussion include headache, eye pain or fatigue, neck pain or stiffness, imbalance, impaired depth perception, difficulty remembering, or sleep pattern changes.

How to help your preschooler sleep alone

Many parents face the challenge of getting their child to move from sleeping in bed with them to sleeping in their own bed. Changing this habit takes time; being practical and consistent about it helps.

The Essential 8: Enhanced advice for a healthy heart

The American Heart Association revamped its online tool, My Life Check, designed to help people prevent cardiovascular disease. Along with other changes, the AHA added healthy sleep duration to the list of seven other factors assessed by the tool. Those factors are maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, and keeping blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol at acceptable levels. Each factor (now known as Life's Essential 8) are scored on a scale of 1 to 100 and used to generate a composite cardiovascular health score.

New advice on melatonin use in children

Melatonin is a popular over-the-counter sleep aid. But because it is sold as a dietary supplement it is not regulated, and recent warnings include reports of melatonin overdoses in children. If parents need help getting their child to sleep, there are other things they can try first.

Poor sleep heightens risk of COPD flare ups

A 2022 study found that people with COPD who reported poor sleep had significantly higher risks of experiencing flare-ups of worsened breathing. Poor sleep may more accurately predict COPD flare-ups than a person's smoking history, researchers said.

Heart health guidelines get updated

The American Heart Association recently revised its checklist for achieving optimal heart health. Adequate sleep was added, and updates were made to previous recommendations for diet, cholesterol and blood sugar measurements, and nicotine exposure.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up
Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.