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Home Sleep Testing: Pros and Cons

For the millions of Americans that suffer from sleep apnea, getting relief from the disorder usually begins with an overnight sleep study that is used to diagnose and identify the severity of the apnea. Generally this means the patient will travel to a sleep laboratory where a trained sleep technologist will administer the study by placing a variety of sensors on the head, face and body while the technologist monitors their vitals and observes on a video camera from a control room. However, developments in the technology and science of sleep have opened up home sleep testing as another viable option that can appear attractive to many patients. Along with the convenience that home sleep testing offers, it is important to keep in mind that a number of limitations exist with these procedures. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of home sleep testing.

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Fall Back 1 Hour This Sunday

It’s that time of year again. The end of daylight savings time is scheduled for this Sunday, November 6 at 2am. Although some of you may be groaning because the sun is beginning to set earlier and the days appear to be shorter, many are happy about gaining an extra hour of sleep this coming weekend. But is there cause for celebration? Maybe not.

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Poor Sleep Ages Your Brain

Evidence is building that poor sleep patterns may do more than make you cranky: The amount and quality of shuteye you get could be linked to mental deterioration and Alzheimer’s disease, four new studies suggest.

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The Power Nap

The afternoon slump. We’ve all experienced it – that drowsy feeling we feel around 3 p.m. But did you know, it’s perfectly natural to feel a little drowsy in the afternoon, about eight hours after you awaken – even if you get enough sleep at night?
Researchers have discovered that for many people, there is a release of melatonin and a drop in their body temperature around mid-afternoon causing sleepiness and sluggishness. It’s not as large as the dip we experience at night, but it is enough to make us crave a little sleep – or a power nap.

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CPAP Boosts Sex Life

For men suffering from sleep apnea, the tiredness and fatigue associated with the syndrome can cause significant problems, along with headaches and difficulty concentrating or focusing. However, a couple of other problems that sleep apnea is linked to may cause greater degrees of embarrassment or frustration: erectile dysfunction (ED) and low sex drive.

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Sleep Improves When Couples Share A Bed

Sleeping with a partner can often present difficult challenges and seem impossible due to preferences in temperature, individual sleep habits, snoring, and even blanket stealing. When faced with these challenges don’t immediately run to the bed in the other room or couch in the living room! Many experts believe couples sleeping with a partner has positive psychological effects and may actually help improve your sleep; here are some of the reasons why and a few quick tips on how to eliminate disturbances…

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Can Singing Improve Snoring?

Miguel de Cervantes, the Spanish author who wrote Don Quixote, once said: “He who sings frightens away his ills.” And although he probably only meant this figuratively, there may be more truth to that simple statement than you realize, especially when it comes to snoring.
In fact, research suggests that singing and doing other throat exercises may actually strengthen flabby muscles and either eliminate snoring all together, or at the very least reduce it significantly.

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Social Jet-lag

If your sleep schedule during the weekdays differs from your sleep schedule on the weekends, you are likely part of the two thirds of the population experiencing what researchers are now calling social jet lag. Social jet lag occurs when your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal 24 hour clock) and your sleep schedules are not in sync. Your circadian rhythm can be upset by these differing schedules creating a situation similar to those suffering from jet lag, those who travel across multiple time zones.

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Bizarre Sleeping Habits of Animals

Whether it’s a cat stretched lazily in a sunny spot on the floor, or the koala at the zoo snuggled around the Eucalyptus tree, every insomniac has at least once wished they could sleep like some of our friends in the animal kingdom.
But not all animals have life so easy. In fact, the amount of sleep animals get may depend greatly on whether they are the hunter or the hunted. For instance, some birds sleep with one eye open. Their open eye is keeping track of potential predators lurking around. Meanwhile, a mammal’s sleep also is impacted by danger. Take the baboon, which sleeps on its heels at the tops of trees. This awkward position makes it difficult for him to sleep soundly.

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NFL Linebacker Junior Seau Battled Chronic Insomnia

Retired NFL star linebacker, Junior Seau, was tragically found dead on the morning of May 2, 2012. Seau played in 20 seasons in the NFL and had a major role in the San Diego Chargers only Super Bowl appearance. The six-time All-Pro was found with a fatal gunshot wound to his chest in an event that was later determined a suicide and left many wondering how and why such a horrible event occurred. It was not until later the facts of Seau’s insomnia, improper use of Ambien, and depression came to surface, which combined with years of repetitive head trauma he endured throughout his NFL career begin to paint a clearer picture of what Seau may have been up against.

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