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Science of Sleep

Can Massage Help You Sleep?

Go ahead and book that deep shiatsu session. Indulging in a massage at the end of a tough week isn’t just a nice way to wind down—it’s also been shown to improve sleep, according to numerous studies. Surprising? Maybe not, considering that baby massage is one of the first techniques used to help infants sleep. But what you may be amazed by is just how beneficial a little R&R on the massage table can be for your sleep. It Helps You Relax. If you’re kept up at night worrying about financial problems, a rocky relationship, or other stressful issues, a massage may be the key to sounder sleep. Regular massage sessions have been found…

Is It Possible to Get Too Much Sleep?

Experts often talk about how Americans aren’t getting nearly enough sleep these days. But what about the opposite problem? Sure, it’s a lot less common, but is it bad to get way more than the recommended amount of sleep? The answer is yes. First, a quick note: This is not referring to people who sleep slightly more than seven to nine hours a night. For instance, routinely getting 10 hours of sleep is still healthy, even though most people don’t need it (only about two percent of the population does). It’s also not about people who sleep in super late one Saturday after a long week, are dealing with jet lag, are

Should I Visit a Sleep Clinic?

Find out whether or not a sleep clinic may help you fix your slumber problems. You’ve tried warm milk, soothing music, an earlier bedtime, a new mattress, melatonin…the list goes on and on, but you’re still staring at the ceiling every night unable to sleep. Before you resign yourself to a life of counting sheep, know that a sleep clinic could help you get the rest you need. What Is a Sleep Clinic? Many sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia can be difficult to pinpoint while you’re awake, so doctors use sleep clinics to monitor patients overnight. While most sleep studies are set up to resemble private hotel rooms (to…

What Does “Healthy Sleep” Mean To You?

How the medical field is changing the conversation around sleep in the community … and what you can do to help. As we adjust to daylight savings time, many of us lament our inability to “get enough sleep.” With work, family, health, and just general “life” demands, it can be challenging to meet our sleep needs. On top of this, many people remain unclear about how much sleep they actually need. I’m frequently asked questions such as “When should I go to bed?” “How long should I stay in bed?”, “Can I make up my sleep on the weekends?” and “Why do I feel tired all the time?” The field of sleep medicine is starting to…

Sleep Cycles: Everything You Need to Know

Find out what’s happening in your brain while you’re fast asleep. Your body may be still while you sleep, but your brain is actually pretty active. In fact, it goes back and forth between two phases: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is when dreams typically happen, and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, which is when the body bolsters your immune system, builds muscle and bone, and mends and regenerates tissues. Your brain first enters four different stages of NREM sleep and then goes through REM, and this whole pattern is considered one cycle. The cycles repeat themselves until you wake up—usually after about five full cycles. Find out what goes on step-by-step, below.