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.

Types of Sleep Problems in Children

Children are known to be most innocent sleepers. Usually a sleep disorder is linked to stress and since children are not expected to be stressed, they are bound to have a sound sleep. If stress was the only reason which doesn’t allow people to get the best night sleep, probably, no children in the world would suffer from sleep disorders. But, the truth is far from reality as according to a report by National sleep Foundation, almost 69% of children aged below 10 years of age suffer from one or other kind of sleep disorder. Some of the most common sleep disorders present in children are:

  1. Insomnia: This is one of the most common problems in which a child faces problem in falling asleep. Apart from the initial sleeplessness, the child may also wake up frequently throughout the night. It is important to find the cause of insomnia as it can be because of some stress or a psychiatric condition of the child. Try to induce a calming environment for the child before taking him to bed.
  2. Night terror: A night terror is nothing more than a frightening dream but the problem with night terror is that they awaken a child. A night terror has an upsetting effect on the child and may not allow him to sleep again thus making him sleep deprived. If your child complains of nightmares, try to assure him that he is safe. You can also install a nightlight in his room.
  3. Sleep talking: A large number of children have a habit of talking or laughing or even screaming while being asleep. A sleep talking child is usually unaware of what he is doing. Even though this is a common problem, this is not considers serious as sleep is not disturbed.
  4. Sleep walking: A sleep deprived child is most likely to sleep walk. Sleep walking is most common between children of three to seven years. An average sleep walks lasts somewhere between five to 20 minutes. Even though, it doesn’t affect the child’s sleep, the child may get hurt while sleep walking.
  5. Snoring and sleep apnea: Snoring is usually produced by partial blockage of nasal airways while sleeping. A child who suffers from chest congestion or tonsils may snore at night. Sleep apnea is also a result of inability to breather properly while sleeping. It is a serious problem and must be addressed to the doctor at once. Sleep apnea can even cause behavioral changes in the child.

In most of the cases, this goes unnoticed and the problem gets aggravated. It is high time you analyze the sleeping pattern of your child and look for the following symptoms if present:

  • Your infant or newborn is extremely irritated or fussy
  • Your child snores or makes loud noise while sleeping/ breathing
  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Complains night mares or wakes up frequently during night

If any of these symptoms is resent in your child, you must acknowledge his problem and talk to a doctor to get professional help. A sleep disorder can actually have a lost lasting effect on the development of overall development of a healthy personality.

All You Need To Know About Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy, a neurological disorder affects the control of wakefulness and sleep. People with narcolepsy experience extreme daytime sleepiness and uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime. These sleep attacks can occur at any time of the day and during any activity.

In a typical sleep cycle, the body enters the early stage of sleep that is followed by deeper sleep stage and roughly about 90 minutes the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. But people suffering from narcolepsy, REM occur almost immediately in the sleep cycle and periodically during the waking hours. It is during the REM sleep that we experience the muscle paralysis and dreams that explains the symptoms of narcolepsy.

rem sleep

Causes of Narcolepsy

Though, the causes of narcolepsy are still not identified, but research shows that genes play a major role. The genes control the chemical production in the brain that signals awake and sleep cycles. In case of faulty genes, the cycle is abrupt and it causes problems. Some experts believe narcolepsy to be the result of a deficiency of hypocretin chemical produced by the brain.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy

Wondering, what are the symptoms of narcolepsy? Some of them are mentioned for your reference:

  1. Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS): Excessive daytime sleepiness interferes with the normal activities on a daily basis, irrespective of whether the person with narcolepsy had sufficient sleep at night. People suffering with EDS report lack of energy, mental cloudiness, lack of concentration, memory lapses, extreme exhaustion and depressed mood.
  2. Sleep paralysis: Here the person witness temporary inability to speak or move while waking up or falling asleep. These episodes generally last for a few seconds to minutes. Right after the end of the episode, the person recovers with their full capacity to speak and move around.
  3. Cataplexy: Herein, the person experiences a sudden loss of muscle tone that results in weakness and loss of voluntary muscle control. This might result in body collapse to slurred speech to total depending on the muscles involved. In most cases it is triggered by intense emotions such as anger, laughter and surprise.

Risks involved

Narcolepsy is a lifestyle threatening sleep disorder as it affects your daily activities and make you feel disabled by affecting the relationship at work or home. The laziness, antagonism and disinterest that mark the symptoms are often not understood by many which mar the personal and professional relationships. This is not all, the risk of accidents is quite high due to the abrupt and variable nature. In most cases, people have been reported to have fallen asleep while driving.

So, if you or your loved one is suffering from Narcolepsy, it is best to seek immediate medical assistance and visit to sleep clinic for the best help.

My husband Snores: How should I deal with it?

You come back home after a tiresome day and get into bed after winding up the day. The moment you fall asleep, a loud noise startles you and you find it impossible to sleep. Is this creating trouble between you and him? Survey shows, a snoring partner is the second biggest reason for divorce after a cheating partner.

snoring husband

Undoubtedly, it is tough to deal with a snoring husband, but a little careful thought for the man you love and married, would certainly help you sail through this phase. Instead of feeling irritated and helpless, as a supporting partner, you must deal with it patiently and look for probable solutions. Some of the ways to deal with the problem are mentioned below:

  1. Talk to him: Snoring is an unconscious process and there are high chances that he is not even ready to accept that he snores. Sit together and instead of shouting at him of making fun of his snoring, make him understand that snoring is not healthy. Look for the reasons that make him snore and help him to overcome them. Some of the reasons that can be behind his snoring can be:
  • Being overweight: Get him up early in the morning and go for jogging. Help him lose those excess pounds and ensure a better sleep for both of you. Make some quality lifestyle changes including healthy eating habits.
  • Chest congestion: If he is suffering from chest congestion, he will feel difficult to breath and this result in snoring. Seek a doctor’s help to get rid of his chest congestion.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol relaxes muscles all over the body and the relaxed nasal muscles result in snoring. Stay him away from taking any alcohol, especially at night.
  • Sleeping on back: Sleeping on the sides will help him get a better sleep and reduces snoring. So whenever you feel, the snores are getting louder, ask him to shift sides.
  1. Use anti snoring devices: There are a number of anti-snoring devices available in the market right from the traditional ear plugs to nasal strips. While an ear plug will help you get a better sleep a nasal strip will ensure a better sleep for both of you. You can try any one of them according to your convenience.

It is definitely your support that your snoring husband needs. So why not give him a chance and hit a sleep disorder clinic instead of the court for seeking divorce!  See 12 hours of snoring to learn more about snoring.

 

 

Is Lack of Sleep Affecting Your Weight?

Dieters around the world will be shocked to learn that their lack of sleep or issues with insomnia may be the cause of them gaining weight, or prevent them from loosing those last 10 pounds. According to studies that were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, loss of sleep may have a direct effect on how hungry a person is the following day.

Sleep and Hormones

The hormones ghrelin and leptin both influence appetite and are released during sleep. If you are lacking hours of sleep or have poor quality sleep the leptin levels will plunge and your brain will not be able to receive the message saying that your stomach is full, causing your appetite to increase during the day. In addition to leptin levels plunging, the ghrelin levels increase and stimulate your appetite even further, causing you to overeat.

For someone who is adhering to their healthy diet may find it extremely difficult not to eat larger servings or even cheat on their diet with a sugary snack. A common fix to frequent hunger pains tends to be a cup of coffee filled with cream and sugar. These types of temporary fixes can cause weight gain or prevent you from losing more weight.

Sleeping Habits

If you find that you are following all of the rules of your diet, eating healthy and exercising, but still can’t seem to shake off those last 10 to 5 pounds, you may want to focus on your sleeping habits. Are you eating right before bed? Even though it might be a healthy snack, eating before bed can cause your sleep to be interrupted. For example, you may enjoy a fresh orange right before bed. This healthy snack is approved for your diet and is low in calories and high in vitamins. However, it is also an acidic food that can cause you to wake up several times during the night due to discomfort from experiencing heartburn or acid reflux. The frequent waking up effects your quality and quantity of sleep and causes your leptin and ghrelin hormones to make you feel hungry. When you awake in the morning, instead of adhering to your healthy breakfast you have scheduled, you will probably want to consume more food, or grab a donut to satisfy your hunger pains.

Improve Your Sleeping Habits

You can do a few things that will help you improve your sleep. In this case you will want to begin with eating your last snack, meal and drink of the day at least two hours prior to your bedtime. In addition, you will want to avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine before bed as well. Drinking water prior to going to bed may seem harmless but it will cause you to frequently wakeup during the night and interrupt your sleep many times.

It is wise to eat a healthy diet and indulge in your favorite foods in moderation. However, if you find yourself frequently needing to eat unhealthy snacks, you may want to focus on your sleep habits and improving them in order to reach and maintain your goal weight.

This post pulled much information from the brilliant Slumber Sage, more info on their RebelMouse account.

Sleep Disorder makes Pregnancy Term Even Difficult

Pregnancy poses several hardships in a woman’s life. A woman undergoes millions of physical and mental changes right from the first day of pregnancy. Even though most of the problems like nausea, fatigue, constipation and hypertension are well addressed by gynecologists, there is another problem that is equally challenging but gets ignored by one and all. You guessed it right! It is sleep disorder or pregnancy insomnia. What makes the condition even worse is that you are actually not able to sleep even though you are tired. Wondering what the causes are behind it? Some of them are listed below for your convenience:

  1. Changing hormones: Pregnancy insomnia is the result of changing hormone levels. In fact, the excessive daytime sleepiness in the first trimester is the result of high levels of a hormone called progesterone. Some hormones change the working pattern of muscles which results in snoring during pregnancy leading to sleep apnea.
  2. Anxiety and emotions: Pregnancy is a time in which a woman is over brimming with emotions. These emotions include motherhood joy, anxiety about the remaining pregnancy and fears of delivery and labor, the future of the baby to come, maintain work life balance amongst all things. All these things increase the anxiety levels and aggravate insomnia.
  3. Physical discomforts: During the third trimester, there is a very frequent urge of urinating which hampers a sound sleep. Apart from it, the growing belly also causes discomfort and you have to keep changing sides to shift the weight and as a result you end up having sleepless nights.

Even though sleep disorders are considered as a part and parcel of pregnancy, they have a direct impact on some of the problems like low birth weight, preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. So it is highly recommended to consult your gynecologist about your sleep disorders instead of spending away the nights tossing on the bed. In case, your problem is severe, you may also consult a sleep disorder clinic to ensure a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby.

5 Tips To Deal With Seasonal Sleep Disorder

If the transitions from summers to winters or winters to spring leave you tossing at night, you are not alone. The National Sleep Foundation shows that on an average 50 to 70 million people are affected by sleep-related problems and the changing weather is particularly disruptive to the peaceful sleep time. Wondering what is the reason behind it? It is because the bodies need a set amount of sleep to feel fresh and with ‘fall back’ or ‘spring forward’ our body fails to adjust the bedtime. This results in the compromise with the ability to maintain the needed hours of rejuvenation. To deal with the seasonal sleep disorder here are 10 tips to deal with it:

  1. Breath affects the sleep: The onset of spring also marks the allergy season. Therefore, it is pretty important to sleep well during the allergy season by maintaining good nasal hygiene. The best way is to use nasal drops. Pollens and other allergens impact our breathing during the night, which can wreak havoc on sleep.
  2. Prepare yourself for the time change: With ‘spring forward’ or ‘fall back’ it is recommended to count backward from the time you need to wake up by eight hours. This should be your daily bedtime. Keep forwarding 15 minutes daily before a week of the time change. On the day of the change you will be well-rested and back on the schedule.
  3. Limit the stimulants: It is very important to stimulate the activities too close the bedtime to produce a surge of endorphins that hinders good sleep. Some things that you must totally avoid are paying bills, discussing financial stress and intake of caffeine. Cut down on the intake of liquid at least two hours before your bedtime as the full bladder acts a stimulant that prevents you from staying asleep throughout the night.
  4. Get unplugged: Experts recommend turning off of our TV, computers, phone or iPad at least thirty minutes before you hit the bed. This is because these can excite your nervous system, both psychologically from the content and biologically from the lights. Let the mind relax and not excite it by bringing distractions to it.
  5. Eat for sleep: Did you know that your evening snacks can promote high quality sleep. It is advisable to focus on foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium. The combination of nutrient increases the melatonin and serotonin level in the body. For the nighttime snack it is recommended to take a yogurt parfait with Greek yogurt, strawberries and bananas that is topped with almonds to stabilize the nerve and muscle fibers. In case you suffer from hot flashes, eat a bowl of whole grain cereals or fruit smoothie. These food items help in easing out the hormonal fluctuations at night and ensure a good night’s sleep.

These 5 tips will help you combat the seasonal sleep disorder and live a healthy, happy and satisfied life.

 

Top 7 Snoring Aids That Can Help To Improve Your Sleep Quality

Your partner has complained about your snoring and you have tried a number of snoring home remedies. But still there is no relief? Now is the time to try the snoring aids. Yes, you read it right, the snoring aids. There are many sleep aids out there in the market, but most people are unaware of the options. This is because they don’t know about these and unsure which solution will yield results.

The solution that works best for you is highly individual and must be explored with the help of a medical professional. The following are some tried and tested snoring solutions that you can choose from:

  1. Mouthpieces: These are some of the most useful and have the least negative side effects. They are the most developed snoring aids, only because they have been around for so long. Some of them look like denture fittings and others look like mouth guards. Most of the mouthpieces slightly reposition the lower jaw when you sleep to open the airway and ensure a quieter sleep.
  2. Chin Straps: These have also been around for a long time and are similar to jaw-retaining devices. This simple device has a strap that is placed under the chin, while an attached elastic strap is stretched and placed over the head. The goals of this device to keep your mouth closed while sleeping and encourage breathing through the nose. Some individuals may experience discomfort with the strap around the head and chin.
  3. Pillows: The anti-snoring pillow works by positioning your body and head so that the airway is kept open and free from obstructions. This pillow tries to position you into a perfect sleeping posture. You need to test out the pillow to see what suits you best.
  4. Nasal devices: There are a variety of nasal devices in the market from insert-able nasal cones to adhesive strips. Snorers who have nasal obstructions can benefit from these devices. If your snoring is not a result of a nasal block, then this device may not be suitable for you.
  5. Continuous Positive Air Pressure or CPAP: This treatment is ideal for individuals suffering from sleep apnea. It is a mask-like device that is worn over the head and face, usually in a controlled lab condition. This treatment is usually explored in a sleep disorders clinic.
  6. Pills and Sprays: These are over the counter medications that may be effective in combating snoring. Most of these are homeopathic remedies that thin the mucus or reduce inflammation. However, they do not address the main cause of snoring and are therefore not an effective long term solution.
  7. Tongue-Retaining Mouthpiece or TRD: These devices work by keeping your tongue forward while you are sleeping. No force is applied to your jaw. As a result, there is no safety risk with this type of mouthpiece. This device works because it combats the impact of gravity on the tongue. During sleep, gravity may cause your tongue to drop back into the throat. This constricts the airways and results in snoring. A TRD prevents this obstruction.

When it comes to choosing an anti-snoring aid, the choice is highly individual and determined by the cause of snoring.

 

How Sleep Affects Your Mood

Do your loved ones frequently tell you that you are in a bad mood? Even though it may hurt your feelings, do you realize it is a fact? Many people may wonder why they feel irritable and in a grouchy mood throughout the day. Usually this leads to cups of coffee and blaming it on stress or other factors. But did you know your bad mood can be related to the quantity and quality of sleep you experience? Studies have shown that there is a link between sleep and mood.

The Link Between Sleep and Mood

University of Pennsylvania researchers conducted a study on several subjects and discovered that people who are sleep deprived and only have about four hours of sleep per night are increasingly sad, angry and stressed. Once the subjects returned to sleeping at least 7 hours per night or more, their mood improved and the negative feelings of sadness, anger and anxiety disappeared.

Sleep Problems

While stress and anxiety from living in today’s busy world is a common cause for restless nights and insomnia, there are physical symptoms that may affect your quality and quantity of sleep as well. Prescription medications may have side effects that interfere with sleep. In addition, there are sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy that can also affect your ability to have a good night sleep. Symptoms that a sleep disorder might be present include, deep snoring, holding your breath during sleep, waking up out of your sleep gasping for air, choking or frequent sore throats. If you experience any of these symptoms it is recommended that you see your physician.

How to Improve Your Quality of Sleep

These tips relate to those who suffer from acute to mild insomnia and it can help those who have serious sleep disorders as well.

  • Create a comfortable, serene environment to sleep in – Your mattress should provide stability as well as comfort. The décor in your bedroom should be in colors such as beige, tan, ivory, taupe and brown. Green plants either fake or real will help provide color therapy and encourage relaxation. Aroma therapy with scents such as vanilla and lavender will help calm your senses.
  • Avoid Caffeine Before Bed – Your body can feel the effects from your morning coffee up to 12 hours afterwards. Imagine the effects you will feel when you drink a cup of coffee right before bed.
  • Establish a Sleep Schedule – Go to sleep at the same time every night. This will set your body clock and soon you will naturally feel the need to sleep at that time every night. In addition it will cause you to wake up every morning at the same time. Eventually you won’t need to wake up to your alarm clock.
  • Eat Two Hours Prior - Eating a snack or meal right before you go to bed can cause symptoms such as snoring, heartburn and acid reflux. These symptoms cause discomfort and provoke you to wake up during the night.

Insomnia and Your Mood

According to Dr. Lawrence Epstein, Medical Director of Sleep Health Centers, people who have anxiety and are depressed frequently have trouble with sleep. Those who suffer from depression and anxiety will usually experience difficulty sleeping and may suffer from insomnia on a regular basis. On the other hand, people who experience chronic insomnia have an increased risk of developing anxiety and depression. As you can see the lack of sleep in insomnia sufferers is linked to the development of mood disorders. This is actually good news for many of those who suffer from mood disorders, because improved quantity and quality of sleep can help relieve depression and sadness.

If you suffer from depression or anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, it is wise that you visit your doctor to determine the cause. During your consultation with your doctor you will want to discuss your sleep habits to see if it is attributing to your mood disorder. One of the best ways to provide your doctor with your sleep habit information is to keep a sleep journal for about two weeks. Precisely note your sleep habits before bed, your before bed routine, the time you go to bed and wake up, physical symptoms such as snoring and gasping for air, plus the amount of times you wake up during the night. Provide this journal to your doctor and discuss ways to improve your sleep habits. Everyone deserves a good night sleep, make it happen for you today and improve your mood too.

How To Deal With Night Terror In Children

As a parent are you aware of the difference between a nightmare and night terror. Yes these two are different terms. Night terror is a fear that is inconsolable, no matter what you try. The night terror is a sleep disruption that is similar to nightmare, but with an exaggerated dramatic presentations. Night terrors typically occur in children aged between three to twelve years of age.

Night terrors occur during the Stage 4 Deep Sleep or during the transition from Stage to REM Sleep. Scientists believe that night terrors are caused by over-arousal of the central nervous system that regulates the brain activity. The night terrors are marked with symptoms like bolt upright in bed, moan, scream, cry, thrash and mumble.

Most children outgrow the night terror as with time the brain matures and the problem disappears. But, if you are worried for your child and looking for some tips to handle the night terrors, read below:

  1. Keep calm: It is possible that your child does not remember the incidents that traumatized him. On seeing your child in pain and inconsolable, don’t lose your calm. Only reassuring voices and words of love can calm the kid. If possible, hug the kid to make them feel secured in the first place.
  2. Minimize stress: If your child is going through night terror, don’t try and bring developmental changes. Try not exposing the kid to parental loud voices and other emotional stressors. Instead of yelling, spankings and timeouts use positive discipline. Also, minimize the scheduled changes and nights away from home.
  3. Restrict watching television: Kids should not be allowed to watch TV because it negatively impacts the development of the brain. Also, study shows that TV is stressful for the little ones as they might believe that the dramatized world is the real one.
  4. Don’t let the child over exert: Don’t let the child over exert or get over-tired as it can aggravate the problem and make the child susceptible to night terrors. Ensure that the child has a regular bedtime routine and gets enough sleep. If the child stays up for longer than usual the hormones and adrenaline needs to keep it together. Moving to an earlier bedtime, help the kids fall asleep more easily at night and lessen the possibility of the over-arousal.


These four tips will help you deal with the crankiness and uneasiness of the child when they experience night terror.

3 Rapid Home Remedies for Snoring

Snoring often is unnoticed as a disease and seen as an unwanted habit that poses a serious threat to your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Thus, it is not taken seriously. But snoring is a serious issue and must be dealt seriously. 75% of people who snore generally suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. That is, their breathing is disrupted for short durations while sleeping. This increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. Therefore, it is essential to treat this condition.

If your partner also snores and it is affecting your intimacy and relationship, try these effective home remedies and save your relationship:

  1. Homemade saline nasal spray: Sometimes, snoring is caused because of nasal congestion, which is the result of allergies, sinus problem and infection causes swelling in the inner lining of the nose. The swelling makes the soft palate vibrate, which creates the snoring sound. The saline spray reduces the inflammation and stops snoring. To make saline nasal spray, add ¼ tablespoon of canning salt in ½ cup of distilled water and pour 2-3 drops into each nostril at bedtime. The preparation must be replenished after 5 days.
  2. Peppermint oil: The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint oil, reduce the inflammation of the inner lining of the nostrils to stop snoring if caused by nasal congestion. Pour few drops of peppermint oil on the fingers and rub onto the lower portions of the side of the nose. You can even use it as a steam inhalation.
  3. Olive oil: At times the snoring is caused because of the excessive tissues at the end of the throat or nose. These tissues partially block the airway that causes the sound of snoring. It is recommended to take a sip of olive oil as the moistened tissues cause less friction due to the contact with each other. This makes the air move smoothly and reduces the chances of snoring.

If advocated properly, self-treatment can do wonders. These simple practices can make a huge difference in reducing snoring and sleep apnea. So in order to deal with the rumblings of your partner and to maintain a fulcrum in life, try these remedies to put your snoring to rest before trying those pills and over the counter sprays.