Initially, it’s difficult to know if you are coming down with a simple cold and a life threatening episode of the flu. Colds and flu have similar symptoms. But is important to know the difference becauseRead More
There is limited peer reviewed research to support mechanisms used to boost your immune system. But alternative medical literature is full of antidotal case reports. The Cleveland Clinic website recommended vitamin C, B6 and vitamin E. This is a good start but don’t stop here.Read More
1 in 4 people have undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Here's a simple questionnaire to see if you might have obstructive sleep apneaRead More
When I tell people I’m a sleep specialist, many want to share stories about their sleep. I love it! I meet fascinating people living awesome lives and I learn some very interesting things about most of the people in the room. I enjoy a unique opportunity to learn about the lives of others, learn some DIY tips for treating insomnia and I love sharing what I’ve learned through years of helping people sleep better.
This holiday season I met many people willing to share stories about their sleep but I want to share one story in particular.Read More
The prostate is a small gland situated at the opening of the bladder. As a man ages, the prostate may grow to twice its original size. Because of its location, an enlarged prostate can affect urine flow.
The most common cause of an enlarged prostateRead More
In Virginia 1 in 6 children don't get enough to eat. Nearly 1,000,000 Virginians don’t know from where their next meal will come. The Feeding America network consists of 58,000 pantries, meal service programs, and other charitable food programs. The network serves people in every community throughout the USA. According to the 2014 Hunger in America study, food banks provide service to 46.5 million people across the United States. So who is hungry in Virginia?Read More
Lately many patients come into my office wearing some type of sleep tracking device. The person is usually concerned about the quality of sleep recorded on the device. Most sleep trackers are good at monitoring total sleep time at best. Details such as the percentage of deep sleep (slow wave sleep) or the onset of dream sleep (REM sleep) are less reliable. Here are some examples of why I'm concerned about people putting so much faith into a sleep tracker.
A 78 yr old patient refused to believe her sleep tracker was not accurate, even after I explained to her that it is highly unlikely for an adult, especially a person older than 50, to have 50% of the total sleep as deep sleep. When I reviewed the polysomnogram (PSG) results with another patient, the patient refused to believe the results of the polysomnogram. Unbeknownst to me, he had worn a sleep tracker during the in-lab, full montage polysomnogram attended by a certified sleep technician and performed in an accredited sleep lab. The PSG results did not match information recorded on his sleep tracker. I didn't mind that he wore a sleep tracker during the PSG. But I must admit I was surprised at how confident he was about the information recorded by his device and not information recorded on the $15,000-20,000 medical equipment.
I'm not against using a sleep tracker but some people carry the idea to extremes. When you pay more attention to your sleep tracker than how you actually feel, you might be missing the purpose of wearing a sleep tracker. Some people become anxious and worried about sleep tracker data and this becomes the impetus for insomnia.
You can check the accuracy of your sleep tracker by recording an old fashion sleep journal. Mark when you go to bed and when you wake up. You can look at the clock for these times. Then turn the clock away. In the morning estimate how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times did you wake up, how long were you awake. At the end of you sleep period note how you feel upon awakening: tired, slightly tired, very tired, well rested. Ideally, you should do this for two weeks. If you just can't leave the sleep tracker alone for two weeks, record a manual sleep diary for at least one week. Do not review the diary. Put the diary away. Next step is to wear your sleep tracker.
Now wear your sleep tracker for two weeks and at the same time record another manual sleep diary. At the end of two weeks, compare both sleep diaries and the data from you sleep tracker. This exercise will give you some idea about the accuracy of your sleep tracker. The most reliable way to check your sleep tracker is to wear it while having a PSG.
If your sleep is fragmented and of poor quality, review my posts for DIY sleep tips. If your sleep does not improve after two weeks of home remedies, see a sleep doctor.
Each night millions of people struggle to fall asleep. But you don't have to be one of them.Read More
A fitbit is a device worn to track movement such as walking, sleep or weight. There are several types of fitbits.Read More
Every now and then we all have a little difficulty falling asleep. More than 30% of people coming to a sleep specialist seeking help for insomnia have tried to treat themselves. The most common self medication is alcohol. Alcohol is not a good choice because although it induces sleep, once metabolized alcohol causes you to wake up. Alcohol fragments your sleep, suppresses dream sleep and can leaving you feeling less refreshed. If you can’t sleep for more than 2 nights you might benefit from herbs that induce sleep. Here are 4 herbs that could help you fall asleepRead More
Lavender, English lavender, is a herbaceous perennial flowering shrub. The botanical name is Lavandula angustifolia. It’s good to knowRead More
Stanford University defines sexual harassment asRead More
For years turkey has been touted the ideal bedtime snack because it induces sleepiness. In 2009 I learned thatRead More
There is growing research evidence that working night shift could adversely affect one's health. But sometimes working night shift is the only option. If you must work while others sleep, take steps to improve your ability to sleep during the day. Here's additional tipsRead More
People like working night shift for various reasons. Mainly the boss is not around! But working night shift can take a toll on your body.Read More
You finally got the perfect job at a company where you want to work. But there’s just one problemRead More
Nursing your baby at night will help your baby sleep better because,Read More
In the immediate postnatal period, mommy falls are of special concern . Mothers who are awake and able to respond to their newborn infant immediately after birth can suddenly become unexpectedly sleepy, ill, or for a variety of other reasons, unable to continue holding their infant. Mom may fall, the baby may be dropped and both could be injured.
Don't get me wrong, early bonding and skin-to-skin contact are to be encouraged. But like most things, precautions should be taken. Here’s some precautions:Read More
Here are some common sleep disturbersRead More
Mothers and babies have a physiologic need to be together at the moment of birth and during the hours and days that follow. Keeping mothers and babies together helps relax mom and baby so that both sleep better.Read More