Ten Surprising Ways to Help You Avoid Cancer

First on the list – Try to eat, sleep and exercise at about the same time every day including weekends, and don’t forget to schedule downtime to unwind without technological intrusions. Getting enough shut-eye is important for memory consolidation, mood balance and long-term physical health …

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PAP Therapy Clinic at United Sleep Medicine

CPAP Therapy Clinic

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What Causes Sleepwalking?

Environmental factors: Sleep deprivation, chaotic sleep schedules, fever, stress, magnesium deficiency, and alcohol intoxication can trigger sleepwalking.

Drugs, including sedative/hypnotics (drugs that promote sleep), neuroleptics (drugs used to treat psychosis), minor tranquilizers, stimulants, and antihistamines can cause sleepwalking.

Physiologic factors:  The length and depth of slow wave sleep, which is greater in young children, may be a factor in the increased frequency of sleepwalking in children.

Conditions, such as pregnancy and menstruation, are known to increase the frequency of sleepwalking in adults.

Associated medical conditions: Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), fever, gastro esophageal reflux, nighttime asthma, nighttime seizures,obstructive sleep apnea, or psychiatric disorders.

Sleepwalking is not associated with previous sleep problems, sleeping alone in a room or with others, achluophobia (fear of the dark), or anger outbursts.

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Keeping CPAP Compliant

A.W.A.K.E, which stands for Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic, is a nonprofit health awareness group founded by the American Sleep Apnea Association for people affected by sleep apnea and/or other sleep disorders. For more information, find us on Facebook at AWAKE Charlotte.

If you or someone you care about has been prescribed nightly use of a CPAP or PAP device, compliance may be made easier by keeping in mind the number of positive results, including better sleep quality and an increased level of alertness during the day.

And importantly, those who use their CPAP as prescribed are also shown to have fewer automobile accidents, decreased blood pressure and improvement in other cardiovascular abnormalities.

But despite all the positive results, CPAP compliance is a problem for many patients.

Kim Cosgrove, RRT, clinical coordinator for respiratory care at BayCare HomeCare in Largo, FL concurs. “We have patients who come back to us two or three years later, after having given up and turned in their (CPAP) equipment. Their blood pressure is higher or their Type 2 Diabetes is not controlled.

So what may keep you or someone you love from nightly CPAP usage?

  • Discomfort with the constant air pressure
  • Irritation from an ill-fitting mask
  • Confusion about equipment function
  • Embarrassment in front of a bed partner
  • Depression about having a sleep disorder
  • Improper education about the sleep disorder and the health implications if not treated.
  • Improper education in equipment usage and expectations.

Follow-up programs

Studies consistently show that patients are more likely to enjoy better sleep, daytime functionality and overall improved health due to consistent use of their CPAP when guided by a comprehensive follow-up program. Comprehensive sleep services, such as those offered by United Sleep Medicine, offer follow-up and on-going therapy for those prescribed CPAP, BiPAP and other PAP Therapies. Your heath care provider may have resources available to assist you with CPAP continued care that can help you stay on track with your CPAP compliance.

Get the peer support needed to make CPAP therapy successful.

The ASAA (American Sleep Apnea Association) A.W.A.K.E. Network is a nonprofit health awareness group for people affected by sleep apnea. Through interactions with others, in support settings such as A.W.A.K.E. meetings, persons with sleep apnea and their families provide peer support and coping mechanisms for dealing with the disorder as well as first-hand advice on CPAP use and compliance.

Studies also show that a spouse or cohabiting partner’s involvement can help improve CPAP compliance. The most effective methods involve an effort to work together to make sure the equipment is used properly and comfortably.

Others have found that the problem-solving and coping styles of an individual contribute to successful CPAP use. Individuals who tend to seek advice and information from other people, as well as create goal-oriented schedules with their sleep healthcare professionals, also tend to experience greater success with nightly use than those who tend to try to cope on their own.

It’s not easy getting the brain adjusted to having something over the face during sleep. But the brain CAN and WILL adjust given time. Using CPAP equipment is vital to the health of anyone with a sleep disorder that requires nightly respiratory treatment.  If you are experiencing difficulties with your CPAP equipment, call your healthcare provider, or make an appointment with the sleep specialists at United Sleep Medicine today.

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Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia

Insomnia is a common problem characterized by trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or getting restful sleep.

Changing your sleep habits and addressing underlying causes of insomnia can restore restful sleep for many people. Behavior Modification Therapy teaches, rehearses and reinforces behaviors that are tailored to desired results. If you change undesirable actions into behaviors that facilitate your goals, you increase your chances for success in overcoming insomnia.

Behavior therapies

Behavior therapies are generally recommended as the first line of treatment for people with insomnia. Behavior therapies are equally or more effective than some sleep medications.

Behavior therapies include:

Sleep Hygiene: Habits, behaviors and routines that promote good sleep.

Relaxation techniques: Progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback and breathing exercises have been proven to reduce anxiety at bedtime. Daily practice of relaxation techniques between therapy sessions is essential and tends to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.

Stimulus control: This means limiting the time you spend awake in bed and associating your bed and bedroom only with sleep and sex.

Sleep restriction: This treatment decreases the time you spend in bed, causing partial sleep deprivation, which makes you more tired the next night. Once your sleep has improved, your time in bed is gradually increased.

Light therapy: If you fall asleep too early and then awaken too early, you can use light to push back your internal clock.

Cognitive behavioral therapy: This involves replacing worries about not sleeping with positive thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be taught through one-on-one counseling or in group sessions.

More About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Sleep Disorders

Cognitive therapy helps people with insomnia identify and correct inappropriate thoughts and beliefs that may contribute to insomnia. Cognitive therapy can provide the right information about sleep norms, age-related sleep changes, reasonable sleep goals, and the influence of naps and exercise.

When used to treat insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy provides a structured program that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. Unlike sleeping pills, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia helps you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep problems.

Where to Seek Help

Behavioral therapy for insomnia may be a good treatment choice if you have long-term sleep problems. Call the United Sleep Medicine Insomnia Clinic at 704-377-5337 or visit http://www.unitedsleepmedicine.com for further information on this type of treatment for insomnia or if you’re worried about becoming dependent on sleep medications, if medications aren’t effective or if they cause bothersome side effects.

Unlike pills, behavioral therapy for insomnia addresses the underlying causes of insomnia rather than just relieving symptoms. But it takes time—and effort—to make it work. The sleep specialists at the Insomnia Clinic can help you get back to sleep—and change the overwhelming cycle of nighttime wakefulness and morning fatigue for good.

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10 Things You Can Do to Control Your Spring Allergies and Get Some Sleep –

1. Create a safe sleep zone – If you know you or suspect you are allergic to dust mites or mold, encase your mattress, box spring and pillows in an allergen proof covering and be sure to wash sheets once a week. If you have been outside, shower before bed to move pollen from your skin and hair.

2. If your bedroom is carpeted, consider hardwood floors as they hold less dust and mold. During allergy season, vacuum daily to remove pollen that you may bring in our your shoes and clothing.

3. Many people are allergic to pet dander. Don’t let your animals sleep, play, or nap in your bedroom or on your bed. And remember, pollen hitches a ride on your pet, so brush them daily.

4. Is your home’s heating and air system adequate? Consider an upgrade with improved, HEPA air filtration, if needed.

5. Vacuum carpets and furniture regularly. Newer vacuums have much improved filtration systems and designs which can effectively remove pollen and other allergens.

6. If you use a humidifier, change the water regularly, so it does not breed allergens.

7. Use a portable high efficiency particle arresting (abbreviated as HEPA) air purifier to clear away allergy triggers. Roll it into your bedroom at night to help insure a good night’s sleep.

8. If you suspect food allergies, try eliminating certain foods or food types to test for symptoms at home.

9. Saline nasal flushes could be a more “natural,” drug-free way to relieve congestion. The effects may be of limited duration.

10. Ask about over-the-counter and prescription drug relief for severe allergy symptoms that are keeping you awake at night. Never take medication without checking with your doctor.

Remember, anyone with spring allergies may find it hard to get enough sleep when their symptoms are severe. If you remain miserably allergic and medications do not work well or cause unacceptable side effects, see an allergist or sleep specialist for a complete evaluation and treatment options. The results may surprise you and provide some new options that could provide the relief you seek and allow you the sound sleep you need to be at your best.

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National Sleep Awareness Week

It’s National Sleep Awareness week, and you’ll find helpful information here as well as on the National Sleep Foundation site about how sleep—or lack of it—affects your health. And since this weekend begins daylight savings time, which means you’ll reset your clocks to an hour ahead, wouldn’t it be a good time to reset some of your sleep habits?

What are some sleep habits you should change? Are you concerned about your health because of chronic insomnia? Leave a comment and tell us.


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