Sleep Archive


Take melatonin supplements for sleep? Check your dosage

The number of people taking large amounts of melatonin (more than 5 milligrams per day) is at an all-time high. However, the amount in a supplement can be significantly higher than what the label shows. This can cause people to take too much, especially since many use melatonin regularly.

Night workers might benefit from daytime eating

People who work the night shift might benefit from eating their meals during daytime hours. A 2021 study found a rise in blood sugar in people following night shift hours who ate some meals at night, but not in those who ate all meals during the day.

Snooze more, eat less? Sleep deprivation may hamper weight control

It's now understood that many factors influence a person's ability to lose weight —not just burning more calories than are taken in. A new study supports the idea that people using sleep hygiene tips to get sufficient sleep consume fewer calories than people who are sleep-deprived.

Supplementing your sleep

Sleep supplements, such as cannabidiol (CBD), melatonin, valerian, and chamomile promise a better night’s sleep. But there is little evidence showing that they are effective. In addition, supplements aren’t regulated, so it’s not always clear if a formula contains what’s listed on the label. Experts say that behavioral strategies are a better way to improve sleep. These include getting more exercise, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, and sleeping in a cool, dark room.

The worst habits for your brain

Many habits can contribute to poor brain health, but four areas can have the most influence. They are the four S’s: sitting, socializing, sleep, and stress. Research has found that poor habits in these areas can affect cognitive skills like memory, learning, and problem solving, and are linked to a higher risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Adopting simple lifestyle changes may help.

Pool therapy beats physical therapy for chronic low back pain

A small, randomized trial published online Jan. 3, 2022, by JAMA Network Open suggests that aquatic or pool therapy is more effective at reducing chronic low back pain than physical therapy.

"Vitamin M" — is melatonin the cure for your sleep problems?

The CDC estimates that 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. For some, melatonin is believed to be a safe treatment option because it is a hormone produced by our bodies. But evidence of its effectiveness is lacking, and inconsistent quality of product is a concern.

Do allergies make snoring worse?

Allergies that cause nasal congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose (what doctors call allergic rhinitis) can cause more frequent and louder snoring. Treating allergic rhinitis can reduce snoring and other symptoms related to poor-quality sleep.

Treating insomnia may head off depression

Treating insomnia with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-I) may reduce the risk of depression in older adults. CBT-I seeks to modify thoughts and habits to improve sleep. It outperformed a more traditional insomnia treatment, sleep education therapy (SET), which seeks to change environmental factors and behaviors that contribute to poor sleep.

Harvard study: Fish oil doesn’t prevent depression

A large, randomized Harvard study published online Dec. 21, 2021, by JAMA found that taking fish oil supplements didn’t prevent depression in otherwise healthy older adults.

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