Narcolepsy is the extreme and uncontrollable desire to fall asleep during the day. It is a neurological disorder that specifically affects the control of sleep. Signs of narcolepsy commonly appear between the ages of 15 and 25. However, narcolepsy can also become apparent during any stage of life. Narcolepsy is a very extreme condition, a step above simply not sleeping well.  There are a variety of symptoms that will cause attention to the fact that you may have narcolepsy.

Symptoms

  • Hypnagogic Hallucinations – This is when a person has vivid visions immediately after waking up or during the very beginning stages of sleep.
  • Cataplexy – When experiencing this symptom, loss of voluntary muscle and a feeling of weakness will be present. This usually is brought on by intense emotion that ranges from anger to laughter and results in the body collapsing or experiencing slurred speech.
  • Extreme Daytime Sleepiness – It will be hard to fight off sleep when experiencing this system. Those who suffer with narcolepsy will feel extreme exhaustion, depression and mental cloudiness.
  • Sleep Paralysis – This symptom is one of the scariest to experience. Upon falling asleep or in the process of waking up the body will not be able to move. This symptom usually lasts a few seconds to a few minutes.

Causes

  • Hereditary Genes – Scientists have discovered that the genes responsible for controlling the chemicals in the brain that directly affect sleep cycles can cause narcolepsy.
  • Brain Abnormalities – REM sleep can be disturbed by brain abnormalities causing symptoms to appear.
  • Autoimmune Disorder – Researchers have found that autoimmune disorders mistakenly attack the body’s tissues and cells commonly causing symptoms of narcolepsy.

Video on diagnosing narcolepsy

Those who experience the symptoms of narcolepsy are encouraged to see their doctor. Sufferers should discuss symptoms with their doctor advise if there is a family history of narcolepsy to help pin point the cause. There is not a cure known at this time. However, therapy, lifestyle changes and medication can work together to improve narcolepsy symptoms and quality of life.

Common Sleep issues and How You can Deal With Them

Imagine if you could go to bed every night and sleep for 8 solid hours without waking; that is the case for some people, but for many it is quite the opposite. Insomnia is becoming a health concern in many countries. Granted; in some countries people are awake because they are working but in most cases, adults are awake simply because they cannot get themselves to fall asleep. The price to pay for sleepless nights is a high one – fatigue is just the first but over time you will experience poor health. Fortunately, some of the things that keep us awake are easy to take care of if you are aware what they are. The 3 most common are:

• Pain in the joints is a common reason why many people cannot fall asleep at night. You may be aware of it or not depending on how severe the pain is. The pain can be in any joint. The problem is that when you don’t sleep because of joint pain it gets worse and then because it is worse you can’t sleep – a vicious cycle. You must address all joint pain as soon as soon as you notice it. Have a doctor take a look. If you don’t require medication maybe regular massages will help the pain go away. Coincidentally, massages are a great way of getting to sleep faster and better.

• A partner who annoys you when you are trying to sleep is a major bummer. They could be snorers or maybe they just toss turn so much that you can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. It simply isn’t worth it to share a bed if this is what happens. You risk losing not just sleep but also what may be an otherwise great relationship. If you can get separate sleeping arrangements you will sleep well and you will still love your significant other in the morning and for years to come. If you can’t bear the thought of sleeping apart then find a device that can help with the snoring. As for the tossing and turning you just have to put up with it.

• Too many thoughts at bed time are another bother. It is interesting to note that most of those thoughts are not even about serious stuff – you are usually thinking about mundane little things that can wait. To settle your mind make a list of all the little things you think you need to take care of the next day. Once you feel that everything is covered you will have an easier time falling asleep.

3 Health Risks of Snoring

Snoring is disruptive and uncomfortable. It is considered to be a nuisance as you cannot escape its incessant noise. It is just not an unwanted habit, but acts as a reservoir for a bunch of health hazards and is destined to render your disrupted sleep and fatigue and your partner with a sense of alienation regardless of its discomfort.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the statistics revealed that about 37 million adults suffer from snoring. And if the snoring is caused by sleep apnea, the chances of person dying are 40% more than the peers. There are many risks associated with sleep disorders. Wondering, what they are? Some of them are listed below for your reference:

  1. Cardiovascular complications: Sleep apnea results in high blood pressure, which leads to an increase in the heart size that creates a higher risk of heart attack or strokes. Also, studies indicate that a greater intensity of snoring means greater risk of narrowing of the arteries or carotid atherosclerosis which results in heart diseases.
  2. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): It is a chronic digestive disease wherein, the stomach acids back up into the esophagus and causes irritation in the tender lining. The snorer’s throat closes as the air moves in and out of the lungs. During the sleep the change in the pressure causes stomach acids to back up into the esophagus, which results in GERD.
  3. Low oxygen levels: As you are not breathing regularly, the body doesn’t get the right amount of oxygen needed in the blood. If there is an interruption of say 10 seconds throughout the night, you will often wake up feeling suffocated. This disrupts the sleep cycle and makes you feel uncomfortable.

This annoying habit is actually an alarm bell that warrants immediate attention. The sooner it is treated, the lesser consequences you will have to suffer.

An Overview of Useful Tips to Help You Sleep Better

Many people struggle to fall asleep every night. As much as it is vital to get enough sleep, better sleep is more important than many hours of sleep.  For you to sleep well, you need to come up with a good sleep schedule and make sure you abide by it. It is better to sleep for few hours and get enough sleep than spend many hours in bed only to wake up feeling wearier than you were before you went to bed.

Why Better Sleep Is Important Than More Sleep

Research suggests that too much sleep can be problematic. In other words, the quality of sleep is more vital than the quantity. This is the case when you really want to feel rested and rejuvenated.; For you to start getting enough, better sleep, you need to start tracking your sleeping schedules and find your most perfect bedtime.; Eight hours in bed are worthless if you spend most of that time tossing and turning around.

The Keys to Better Quality Sleep

Optimizing the quality of your sleep depends on three main aspects: preparation, environment and timing.  Here is an in-depth look at these aspects:

1. Preparation

For you to be able to get quality sleep, you need to build habits that would help you to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and be more comfortable while you are resting. Here are a few preparation tips:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Set a kinder, gentler alarm
  • Stop smoking, alcohol and too much caffeine
  • Cut back on the time you spend in front of the screen
  • Meditate before going to bed

2.  EnvironmentBefore going to sleep, you need to ensure that your environment is conducive enough for a good night’s sleep. You need to:

  • Make sure that your bed is comfortable at all times
  • Adjust the temperature of your bedroom
  • Filter out any excess light in the room
  • Get rid of any sort of distractions

3. Timing

You need to understand that when it comes to quality sleep, how long you sleep matters a lot.  However, for you to get the best sleep, you need to go to sleep and then wake up at the same time every other day.

Finally, if you have been having issues with getting enough quality sleep, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor. There could be other health related complications that might be causing that to happen so they have to be rectified as soon as possible. For instance, you might be suffering from chronic insomnia which can easily be treated with the use of mild sedatives. An issue like sleep apnea might also come up and if it is effectively treated, you can start getting the much needed rest. Once you have your sleep problems sorted out, you are free to start fine turning the amount of sleep you get and ensure that you only get the much that you need.

Top 3 Causes of Kids Snoring

It may be a very challenging task to have a sound sleep besides your partner who grumbles every night. And now you hear those cacophonic noises from your angelic toddler’s room. They might sound cute, but if your child is accustomed to produce such rasping noises every time he goes to bed, consult a doctor because there might be underlying problems sooner or later.

It may be hard to believe, but researchers say that habitual snoring affects about 12% children who are under 9 years of age. Find out what could be the reason behind those raucous noises from the list below:

  1. Mouth Anatomy: When the child snores, it is an indication that there is an upper airway resistance. When a child is sleeping the muscles relax, which makes the airway narrow. This results in snoring as the same amount of air should pass through the airway which is smaller. Though, there are few children who congenitally have extremely narrow windpipes and throats. These congenital conditions cause snoring.
  2. Obesity: It is one of the common causes of the narrow airways in children. Fats form in and around the throat and cause constricted and limited air passage. The stomach fat also causes disruptions in the diaphragm’s functioning that controls breathing.
  3. Adenoids and tonsillitis: Enlarged adenoids and tonsils are one of the common reasons that cause snoring in children and if left untreated, may lead to obstructive sleep apnea. The enlargement or swelling of the adenoids might be caused by cold and in case it is chronically swollen, it can be removed by a small surgery. If your child suffers from tonsillitis it can be cured by decongestants or antibiotics. In case of chronic tonsils, a small surgery is needed for removing it.

If you have figured the reason of the snoring of your kid, it is now time to consult a medical expert as snoring not only disrupts the sleep but also affects the heart and brain. Thus, as a parent, you must address this issue at the earliest.

Insomnia Affects The Daytime Functioning And Quality Of Life

Insomnia is a situation wherein the person experiences a persistent difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep. It is associated with impaired daytime functioning and distress. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and has a number of negative daytime symptoms and psychiatric disorders. The common consequences of insomnia include:

  1. Daytime sleepiness: Sleep deprivation is a critical factor and a big public safety hazard. Drowsiness slows the reaction time and cause car crash and fatal accidents.
  2. Makes you dumb: Sleep is very important for effective learning and thinking. Lack of sleep hurt the cognitive processes. Firstly, it impairs the attention, concentration, alertness, problem solving and reasoning. This makes it difficult to learn effectively. Secondly, at night the various sleep cycles play an important role in consolidating memories in the mind. If you are sleep deprived, it becomes difficult to remember what you learned and experienced.
  3. Serious health problems: Sleep disorder can put you at risk of major health problems like heart attack and erratic heartbeat. Chronic insomnia leads to high blood pressure and high heart rate which leads to heart failure.
  4. No or less sex drive: Sleep experts say that sleep deprived men and women report less interest in sex and lower libidos. The sleepiness, depleted energy and increased tension are to be blamed for it. For men who suffer from sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interferes with the sleep, and further adds to the sexual slump. Also, men with sleep apnea have low testosterone levels.

The other problems associated with insomnia that hinders the quality of life are depressed mood, fatigue, impaired cognition, lack of energy and increased irritability. All these together affect your performance and behavior with the people around you. So, the best way to live a normal lifestyle is by treating insomnia as soon as possible by trying a couple of home remedies and professional assistance.

3 Most Common Causes of Snoring Plus one Bonus

Snoring is one of the terms in the medical dictionary that explains the movement of the air through a narrow passage often causing vibration of the tissues in head and neck resulting in loud noises.

According to the stats, it is common in males approximately 45% as compared to females which is 30%. Though, snoring is not a life-threatening condition, it is an indicative of underlying health problems.

Below is a list of some common causes that leads to snoring:

  1. Long soft palate, enlarged tonsils, or uvula- The enlargement of any of these structures may occur due to infection or allergy. This will eventually cause obstruction of the airway passage and increased vibrations of soft tissues in the oral cavity resulting in snoring. Children with enlarged adenoids often snore while sleeping.
  2. Sleep apnea- Obstructive sleep apnea is a disturbing condition, wherein the muscles at the back of the throat relax for longer durations. This constricts he airflow into the lungs and increases the respiration to compensate oxygen loss. The increased airflow causes the relaxed mouth and throat tissues to vibrate and cause snoring. The sleep apnea might be caused because of the throat muscle weakness or the deformity of the throat.
  3. Obesity: Believe it or not, obesity also causes snoring. Wondering how? The extra weight of the flesh at the throat’s back force the airways to close and trigger the brain to increase the rate and depth of the respiration.

One Bonus

Aging also results in snoring as with the aging of the brain, its ability to control the muscles diminishes involuntarily. The relaxed throat muscles during the sleep, constricts the airways and cause the sleeper to snore.

Snoring has a tendency to worsen with increase in age if left untreated. So if any member in your family snores on a regular basis, help them consult a doctor as snorers are generally unaware of their problems.

 

Study Shows Insomnia Is A Major Problem

Millions of people struggle every night to fall asleep and yet you always wondered if you are the only one cursed in the world who isn’t sound asleep. Insomnia is a critical medical condition that must be treated with evidence-based medicine because it is linked to diabetes, hypertension and depression.

Insomnia needs to be taken seriously as about 25% of adults have sleeping problems and of them 10% have insomnia disorder. People who suffer from insomnia find it difficult to fall or stay asleep, there is a lack of restorative sleep and the daytime symptoms like mood disorders, trouble concentrating and fatigue.

Some of the problems associated with insomnia are:

  1. The risk of suffering from depression and anxiety.
  2. The risk of developing hypertension multiples as lack of sleep. This is because when you sleep, the heart rate and blood pressure normally dips by 10-20%, but if you sleep less, the heart rate and blood pressure increases over 24 hours. This puts additional strain on the cardiovascular system. With time, cardiovascular system becomes used to operating at elevated pressures all the time.
  3. The risk of developing diabetes and congestive heart failure in addition to the risk of death.
  4. The risk of alcohol or drug abuse is seven times more likely in comparison to normal people.
  5. The risk of recurrence is high. The study shows that in 70% cases insomnia recurs within a year and in 50% cases it reoccur up to three years.


Insomnia is a silent killer. To tackle this disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the safest methods in use. CBT doesn’t rely on drugs, but use techniques such as stimulus control, meditation, sleep restriction and education to promote better sleep. The other way to treat insomnia is by adopting sleep hygiene. It is essential to establish a regular bedtime routine, regulate mealtimes and fluid consumption and limit the consumption of caffeine.

Rest Assured Sleep Institute: The Place to Come for a Good Night’s Sleep

Insomnia is commonplace; for many, the night isn’t a time to rest but rather to toss and turn simply because they cannot fall asleep. The problem with insomnia is that if untreated it can interfere with the quality of life. Sleep is vital because it restores both the brain and the body. Lack of rest can lead to irritability, mood swings, poor cognition and more. As a result, your work will suffer and so will your relationships. Some of the people who come to us for help are at their wits end – they have lost jobs and marriages because they couldn’t sleep at night.

This doesn’t have to be the case for you. Once you come to us our professionals will do whatever it takes to help you get your life back together by ensuring that you sleep at night. The first thing that we do is send you for a physical; in many cases, a health problem could be the cause of lack of sleep. If you are healthy then we work with you to establish why you can’t sleep. We will talk about emotional problems that may be in the way and any anxieties that may be keeping you awake.

After we establish what is hindering your sleep we then work on ways to help you sleep better at night. We have a wide range of sleep aids to choose from so you can be sure that we will have one that will help you. We don’t leave it there; we are very keen to follow-up and see how you are doing. It isn’t uncommon for people to regress and fall back into insomnia after some time. If this happens to you we will find a way to help you sleep better once again.

Our intake is year round so you can come to us whenever you are ready. We work with both male and female adults. If you have any questions do not hesitate to get in touch with us for answers.

Is Surgery The Right Option To Cure Snoring? Do I Really Need It?

Surgery for snoring is rarely recommended. It is only considered in very severe situations and when all other treatments have been tried and failed. Before you take the big decision of palatal surgery to get rid of snoring, ensure that the problem of snoring originates from the palate as opposed to the tongue’s base. In case of nasal abnormalities, address them before you contemplate the palatal surgery.

Palatal surgery stops or reduces the compressibility of the area around the throat, which is thought to be responsible for snoring. The aim of the surgery is to reduce the tissue in this region. The surgeon may recommend sleep nasendoscopy before undertaking a deeper level of obstruction such as palatal surgery. Herein, the surgeon examines the upper airways using a narrow and flexible endoscope to see if collapsing occurs. This procedure is time consuming and costly.

There are different types of surgery to ameliorate snoring. What works best for you is determined by your surgeon keeping the cause and medical conditions in consideration. The different types of surgery to treat snoring are:

  1. Uvulopalatophyaryngoplasty: It involves removal of excessive soft tissue from the back of the throat to widen the upper airways. The adenoids, tonsils and other tissues may have to be removed to widen the airway and enhance the smooth airflow. This may help to reduce snoring.
  2. Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty: A laser device is used to remove the tissue in the throat to widen the airways and stop the snoring.
  3. Nasal Polypectomy: This entails removing nasal polyps, which are round and soft tissues that may block the airflow within the nose.
  4. Adenoidectomy or Tonsillectomy: If you have enlarged adenoids or tonsils that may be blocking the airways while you sleep. This surgery is recommended to open the airways during the sleep and provide instant relief.
  5. Nasal Septoplasty: This procedure straightens and repairs the septum or tissues and bones that separate the two passages within the nose. This surgery is only performed if there is a nasal deformity present.
  6. Implantation of plastic cylinders: In this procedure, plastic cylinders are implanted onto the soft palate, helping them to stiffen. This prevents vibrating and therefore reduces the incidence of snoring and daytime sleepiness.
  7. Radiofrequency palatoplasty: In this procedure, an electrical current may be used to stiffen and shrink the uvula and soft palate (roof of the mouth). When both of these are stiffer, they vibrate less and lead to a better night’s sleep.
  8. Surgery on the bony structures: This surgery is recommended in the upper airways, encouraging air to flow freely. This may involve more than one surgery.

Before undertaking the surgery, keep in mind the following:

  • There may be some pain present after the surgery.
  • A sleep study must be carried out before opting for surgery.
  • Even if surgery may seem successful, the snoring may return.
  • Ensure that all diagnostic procedures are examined before opting for surgery. You need to rule out other sources of snoring before opting for palatal surgery.
  • Tongue based snoring cannot be helped by surgery.
  • Sleep apnea may develop down the road.
  • Surgery will not cure sleep apnea. CPAP therapy can treat this condition.
  • Surgery is not effective in cases of deep oropharynx (when the side walls have collapsed into each other).

Remember, to do a proper and careful research about the sleep clinic or doctors that will be involved in the snoring surgery. Choose the practitioner who is well experienced and has a high success track record.

 

Can’t Sleep: Can Be a Sleep Disorder

Do you wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to sleep again, no matter how tired you are or how hectic your day was? Or do you feel your mood, health and ability to perform daily tasks have altered or worsened? It can be sleeping disorder, insomnia with a risk of some serious underlying condition.

sleep disorders

Each one of us must have experienced this at one time or another. According to the Institute Of Medicine, 50-70 million Americans are affected by sleeping disorders that has been linked to excessive daytime sleepiness, car crashes and behavioral problems. The following health problems are commonly associated with sleep disorders:

  1. Prolonged medical and physical conditions: There are many medical and physical conditions that can cause sleep disorder. Some of the common problems are:
  • Heartburn due to the acidity: Lying down in bed often worsens the heartburn, which is the result of the backup of stomach acid into the esophagus. Avoid the heartburn by abstaining from fatty or heavy food items, alcohol and coffee. Over the counter drugs can help you suppress acidity and aid sound sleep.
  • Diabetes: Diabetic patients find it difficult to sleep because of night sweats and urge to urinate frequently due to diabetes. This affects the sleep pattern and cause inconvenience.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders: Arthritis pain makes it hard for people to fall asleep and resettle when they shift positions. Also, treatment with steroids often causes insomnia. You might feel the urge to take the pain killers before bedtime to relieve swelling and pain in your joints during the night, but it might result in sleep disorder.
  1. General mental disorders: People with depression or anxiety often find it difficult to fall asleep. Anxiety, panic attacks and depression often strike at night and it becomes very difficult to sleep. Further, the sleep loss exacerbates the problems and worsens the situation.
  2. Brain and nerve disorders: There are certain nerve and brain disorders that cause sleeplessness. People who suffer from epilepsy are prone to seizures twice more likely as people who suffer from insomnia. The brave wave disturbance causes seizures cause deficit in the slow-wave sleep. Over the time the anti-seizure drugs correct the sleep disturbances if used for long. Other nerve disorders that cause sleep disorder are tumors, strokes, headaches and Parkinson’s disease.

Do not accept poor sleep as a way of your life; instead seek a sleep medicine specialist help. Remember, sound sleep is a necessity and a key to up your potential, and not a luxury.