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Sleep Deprivation

How to Get Back to Sleep After Your Kids Wake You Up

It’s an unfortunate reality for parents: When your baby or child wakes up in the middle of the night, often, so do you. Whether you’re roused from sleep because you hear your baby crying, your school-age child is sick or had a bad dream, or an older kid is making noise with his nocturnal wanderings, it can be difficult to return to the Land of Nod after these unwanted wake-up calls. Instead, you can end up lying awake, worrying about getting back to sleep. Not what you want! Of course, the ultimate goal is to train your kids to sleep soundly all night long. In the meantime, it helps to use these strategies to avoid…

Say Goodbye to Sleep Debt

Getting enough sleep is central to living your best life—from staying safe on the road to being productive on the job. Adults typically need seven to nine hours a night, but for about 40 percent of Americans, that much shuteye is an elusive goal. The average is more like 6.8 hours—12 minutes shy of the minimum recommendation. A difference of just 12 minutes a night may not seem like a lot, but over time those minutes can add up to a huge sleep debt (especially if you really need eight or nine hours). Over time those deficits can take a toll on your health, too, raising your risk of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and memory loss….

The U.S. Army Prioritizes Sleep for Soldiers

Sleep, nutrition, and exercise—these are the 3 “pillars” of good health in the Army’s Performance Triad, a major public health campaign to support the well-being and readiness of soldiers. The first of its kind, the Performance Triad gives Soldiers research-based information and tools to take care of their health and achieve high performance levels. The Army is taking the research on sleep’s role in physical and mental health, strength, and performance seriously. Soldiers are versed in the merits of good sleep and how affects them. For example,Helps to maintain a healthy weight Helps fight infections Promotes peak performance Supports muscle repair and growth Increases mental acuity Promotes a sense of well-being Lowers the risk of PTSD, depression, and anxietyThe…

What Are Some Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders?

Discover whether one of these five sleep disorders is keeping you from your best night’s rest. If you have a hard time falling asleep and waking up when you need to, you might have what’s known as a circadian rhythm sleep disorder. Typically, your body clock regulates a regular daily rhythm of temperature and hormone levels that—combined with other factors like light exposure, meals, and exercise—tells you when it’s time to sleep at night and be awake during the day. Sometimes, however, the rhythms get off course, resulting in poor sleep and daytime drowsiness. There are a variety of these disorders—and if one sounds like it might be what you have, talk to your…

How to Be Productive on Low or No Sleep

Follow these five rules to stay productive when you’re running on empty. Sure, there’s no replacement for a good seven to nine hours of sleep a night. But sometimes, well, life interferes. When you’re running on fumes—either because you just stayed up too late or because sleep problems are keeping you up—there are simple ways to maximize your productivity until you can start to repay that sleep debt and get back on track.Get Some Sun.Sunshine (or bright light, in a pinch) helps to remind your brain that it’s daytime and you should be awake—even if you’re exhausted. That’s because light triggers your internal clock to stop producing melatonin, a hormone…

Interrupted Sleep: What Happens To Your Body

Waking up throughout the night does a lot more than make you exhausted. There are lots of reasons why you might spend a restless night waking up every few hours, checking the clock, and feeling disappointed that it’s still nowhere near morning. Maybe there’s a new baby who has to be fed regularly, a sick dog who needs frequent trips to the backyard, neighbors who have rocking parties, or just a racing brain that makes staying asleep tough. Whatever the cause, you’re bound to wake up tired the next morning. But that’s not all. There are a few other ways that waking up often throughout the night affects your physical and mental health.Your Brain Isn’t…

What is Insufficient Sleep?

How to tell if you’re dealing with insufficient sleep syndrome Nearly 30 percent of adults get less than six hours of sleep per night, on average (when most should be getting more like seven to nine). Regularly failing to get enough sleep at night is known as insufficient sleep syndrome, and it can be very hazardous to your health. How And When Insufficient Sleep Happens Certain conditions like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea can lead to insufficient sleep syndrome, but, in some cases, behavior is to blame, such as taking on shift work, checking a few extra emails at 11:00pm or staying up late to finish a movie. Two percent of people suffer from behavior-induced insufficient…

Don’t Let Post-Partum Zombies Eat Your ZZZ's

  A humorous look at the trials and tribulations of new parenthood The past few months my house has been filled with zombies.  My three-year-old learned about zombies right around Halloween, and since then, as part of his bedtime routine, he has been inventing stories about them.  Zombies coughing. Zombies fighting. Zombies marching. Zombies fishing. And, of course, zombies eating brains. I’m not sure why zombies appeal to him so much. Maybe it’s because they shuffle around and grunt. Maybe it’s because they are clumsy and silly-looking. Or maybe it’s because after his little brother arrived in late October, his mom turned into one. My adorable newborn boy needs to eat every two to three hours, and as…

How a Lack of Sleep Affects Your Body

Being tired can impact your body in ways you’d never imagine. You know that sleep is good for you. You also know that when you don’t get enough, you feel like a zombie. But there’s more going on when you don’t catch enough zzz’s than simply feeling tired. In fact, the ripple effects from shorting yourself on shut-eye reach almost every system in your body.Stomach: On days following sleepless nights, you feel hungrier than usual and will crave high-fat, high-calorie foods. Nose: Ah-choo! Your immune system goes downhill fast when you’re tired, meaning you’re likelier to catch a cold. Eyes: Being tired does more than cause heavy eyelids. It can also cause you to feel more emotional, meaning tears…

Are All-Nighters Bad for Your Health?

Why your last-minute study habits may be worse for you than you think. Cramming for a test until sunrise or staying up all night to complete a work project may seem harmless, but the tactic could actually backfire. Students who pull all-nighters have greater difficulty concentrating and making decisions, as well as delayed reaction times, compared with their classmates who get a good night’s sleep. All of this can make your everyday performance more challenging, whether your need to ace a test or wow a client with your business presentation. Plus, a lack of shut-eye can worsen your memory, which means that all that time spent reviewing flash cards until 5:00am could end up…