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  • Can Video Games and Twitter Solve Insomnia Issues?

    That’s the question on the mind of sleep researchers at Lincoln University, who have noted the ways that people interact on various social networks and wonder whether a therapeutic technique could be created that would have the same impact. The scientists are hoping that by carefully investigating the ways that sites like Twitter and games like Candy Crush keep people engaged, they can provide improved access to cognitive behavioral therapy, the most effective form of therapy available for the treatment of insomnia.

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  • Things That Go Bump In The Night

    There are many things that can contribute to a sleepless night, but few are as aggravating — and preventable — as uninvited noise. An astrophysics grad student from Harvard, Jon Bittner, decided to take a look at what the most intrusive and expensive nighttime disturbances are. He spoke with over 100 people on behalf of an apartment-sharing site, and ranked different sounds based on those that were most helpful to a good night’s sleep to those that were most disruptive. Continue reading

  • Natural Sleep Remedies

    When you’re one of those people who always have a hard time getting to sleep, the holidays can make things even more challenging. Whether it’s a matter of staying up late wrapping gifts (or stressing about the gifts you have left to purchase), getting the house together for holiday guests, or getting used to a new bed when you’re the one travelling to visit, this time of year can be particularly difficult. Continue reading

  • Is It Insomnia, or Is It Our Culture?

    The United States is becoming increasingly obsessed with sleep. Consumer products that promise to improve our sleep quality and quantity, or else monitor it to tell us what we’re doing wrong, are flooding the market, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared our level of sleep deprivation as a national health epidemic. The National Sleep Foundation recently conducted a study that revealed that over half of us are suffering from insomnia “at least a few nights a week.” But what is insomnia? Continue reading

  • Elderly Insomnia May Be A Matter of Poor Sleep Quality

    It is widely acknowledged that as we age, our ability to fall asleep easily and stay asleep throughout the night diminishes. Anybody who has an elderly person in their family is familiar with the complaints about middle-of-the-night awakenings combined with the frustration of being unable to get back to sleep, or else of waking up before the first light of dawn and then being tired and needing a nap in the middle of the day. Though this has long been accepted as being simply a natural part of aging, with over half of older adults complaining of experiencing symptoms of insomnia including either the inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep, recent studies are showing that sleeplessness in old age is not necessarily a foregone conclusion, and may in fact be simply a symptom of something that has gone wrong but which may be fixed.  Continue reading

  • Pre-Deployment Insomnia Increases PTSD Risks for Soldiers

    PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder), is an anxiety disorder that can develop in those who are exposed to one or more traumatic events. It is of high concern to the American military, as war veterans are commonly at risk for PTSD, and tremendous research and effort has been dedicated to identifying risk factors, preventative measures and effective treatments for the debilitating condition. With that in mind, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania collaborated with researchers at the Naval Health Research Center to determine whether pre-existing insomnia symptoms were associated with the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder. They found that service men and women that have self-identified as suffering from symptoms of insomnia prior to deployment are at greater risk for developing PTSD and other mental disorders once they return home, and that the risk posed by insomnia is equivalent to that of having combat exposure. Continue reading

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