SLEEP

SLEEP

Sleep is an essential part of your growing child’s health. The amount of sleep needed changes as the child grows older. Newborns sleep approximately 16 to 17 hours a day, while preschoolers need only about 12 hours a day. Normal sleep has two parts: rapid eye movement (REM) and nonrapid eye movement (NREM). REM is an active form of sleep that is not as deep as NREM sleep. Dreams often happen during REM sleep. NREM sleep is a deep sleep. There are less body movements during this phase.

OVERVIEW OF SLEEP PROBLEMS

Why is sleep important? Sleep is not just resting or taking a break from busy routines. It is essential to physical and emotional health. Adequate sleep may also play a role in helping the body recover from illness and injury. Inadequate sleep over a period of time is associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. The emotional and mental benefits of sleep are also significant. Even occasional sleep problems can make daily life feel more stressful.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION

Sleep deprivation is not a specific disease. It is usually the result of other illnesses and life circumstances that can cause its own symptoms and poor health outcomes. Sleep deprivation means you’re not getting enough sleep. For most adults, the amount of sleep needed for best health is seven to eight hours each night. When you get less sleep than that, as many people do, it can eventually lead to a whole host of health problems. These can include forgetfulness and inattentiveness.

SLEEP STUDY

What is a sleep study? Sleep is a state of relative unconsciousness and stillness of the voluntary muscles (muscles that are controlled at will). The stages of sleep range from light to deep and each 1 has specific characteristics that can be measured. A sleep study consists of a number of medical tests performed at the same time during sleep. The tests measure specific sleep characteristics and help to diagnose sleep disorders.

STUDY HINTS AT LINK BETWEEN POOR SLEEP, SUICIDE RISK

Sleeping difficulties may increase the risk of suicide in older adults even when other symptoms of depression aren’t present, a new study suggests. The study focused on adults 65 and older, and poor sleep included difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking up early in the morning, experiencing daytime sleepiness and not feeling fully rested after a night’s sleep.

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS AFTER DIVORCE MAY BE TIED TO BLOOD PRESSURE RISE

People who suffer long-term sleep problems after a divorce are at risk for a rise in blood pressure, a new study suggests. Previous research has linked divorce to major health problems and even early death, but few studies have examined the reasons for this link. Sleep trouble may be one of the causes, according to the University of Arizona investigators.

FDA APPROVES NEW KIND OF INSOMNIA DRUG

A new prescription insomnia drug that’s the first of its kind was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Belsomra (suvorexant) tablets are approved to treat patients with insomnia, which means they have difficulty falling and staying asleep. The new sleep drug is called an orexin receptor antagonist and it works by altering the action of the brain chemical orexin, which helps regulate the sleep cycle.

GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT

Dim the lights, lower the shades, breathe deeply, and slide under the covers. It’s bedtime. But as your body begins to relax, your mind starts to race. Did you get everything done today? What’s in store for tomorrow? Meanwhile, your eyes get adjusted to the dark. Before you know it, you are wide-awake. Sleep? No way — there’s too much to think about. Insomnia, trouble falling asleep, or trouble sleeping is a growing problem in the United States.