February 12, 2014
Insomnia is treated by sleep specialists as a completely different condition from obstructive sleep apnea. Similar to how sleep problem is now considered a “co-morbid” condition to depression and various other medical conditions, insomnia is now beginning to be considered a “co-morbid” condition alongside obstructive sleep apnea. I’ve interviewed Dr. Barry Krakow in the past on upper airway resistance syndrome and complex insomnia (click here for the interviews; search for Krakow). Here’s a must-read interview that was just published in Sleep Review Magazine. The magazine interviews Dr. Krakow on complex insomnia and how everyone with severe insomnia should also be considered for a possible sleep-breathing disorder.
February 3, 2014
I’m willing to bet that many of you reading this blog stayed up last night watching TV or surfing the net, going to bed much later than your normal bedtime. Some of you never sleep for more than 6 hours. Life can oftentimes prevent optimal sleep times, such as having a new baby, work obligations, or staying up to watch the Grammy or Academy awards.
I’ve written in the past about the enormous medical consequences of poor sleep quality or quantity. But here’s another good reason to regularly get at least 7 hours of sleep: Our country’s gross domestic product. The New York Times printed a revealing article about the negative impact of sleep deprivation on our country’s economy. One telling statistic mentioned is that the number or people who sleep less than 6 hours rose 22% from 1975 to 2006.
If you listen to the topic of conversations during work or amongst friends, being tired or having problems with sleep are very common. Not getting the 7 to 8 hours of sleep is almost normal in this day and age. This is not including people who have medical sleep conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea. In one month in 2008, 29% of workers had fallen asleep or felt sleepy at work. One Australian study estimated the cost of sleepiness on the country’s gross domestic product at 0.8%. If you include medical complications of poor sleep, car accidents and industrial accidents, this figure is sure to be much higher.
This is why companies that values quality sleep can be much more productive and fosters more creativity (think Google’s sleep pods).
What’s your reason for not getting enough sleep? Is it under your control, or do your personal or work situations prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep?
November 25, 2013
When I first came across this study showing that behavioral sleep therapy for insomnia may double your chances of recovering from depression, my first reaction was, “DUHHHH? It’s like saying that water is found to cure dehydration. By definition, most people with depression have a variety of sleep problems. We know that having insomnia can predict the onset of depression much later in life. With all that we know about the cognitive and behavioral effects of poor sleep, it’s not surprising that neurophysiological and biochemical and even structural changes can happen in the brain due to lack of quality sleep.
I’ve been accused of overgeneralizing poor sleep as a cause of too many health conditions, but I’m only repeating studies that already published.
Now if only we can figure out what causes insomnia. Stay tuned for my next post in which I will revisit my theory about insomnia and anxiety.
September 5, 2013
Please join me on this special interview with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of the bestselling book, From Fatigued to Fantastic. His new book, Fatigue & Fibromyalgia Solution—Made Easy!, is an easy to read, updated and distilled version of of earlier bestseller.
Listen to his incredible personal story and how he overcame chronic fatigue syndrome, and how you can, too.
Click here to download the 10 minute MP3 audio interview.
May 13, 2013
Here’s another study showing a strong association between poor sleep and cancer: An Icelandic study found that men with problems falling asleep had a 70% increased risk of developing prostate cancer, and a 210% increased risk if they had trouble staying asleep. Associations were even stronger for more advanced prostate cancers. Note that I wrote about this possibility in my book, Sleep, Interrupted, which was published in 2008.
May 2, 2013
There have been more and more studies showing an association between sleep duration or sleep apnea with increased cancer risk. In this study, longer sleep duration was associated with increased colon cancer risk in people who snored or were overweight. As we know from cancer research studies, hypoxia is a major mechanism of cancer progression. Whether you stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night, or have increased levels of stress from not sleeping long enough, lower levels of oxygen can result.
April 28, 2013
Here’s an important article that everyone should read in the New York Times. The author highlights the fact that in many cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the real deficit may in your child’s sleep.
March 1, 2013
Conventional thinking states that your genes don’t change, but here’s a revealing study that shows how sleep can significantly affect levels of gene expression. In this study, even mild levels of sleep deprivation or circadian rhythm disruption were found to increase or decrease expression of up to 711 genes, based on a technique called transcriptome analysis.
Biological areas affected included the following: gene-expression regulation, chromatin modification, macromolecular metabolism, and inflammatory, immune and stress responses.
What this means is that poor sleep, whether it’s due to insufficient sleep, insomnia, or sleep apnea, can have a negative effect on your hormones, metabolism, immune system, and your stress response.
February 27, 2013
There are probably millions of people in the US every year who drink a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage just before bedtime. Reasons can include being able to sleep faster, or for red wine’s health benefits. Here’s a recent study that only repeats what’s already known about in sleep medicine for years: That alcohol can make you go into deep sleep faster, but later on, it cuts into your REM sleep, increasing the chances that you’ll have apneas or sleepwalk. The reason for this is that alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, so it’ll make you more prone to obstruction and arousals.
I disagree with the authors to moderate alcohol just before bedtime. I think everyone should stop any sort of alcohol (and food) within 3-4 hours of bedtime. Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, do you want to begin having apneas at night?
November 14, 2012
In this Expert Interview, I interview Dr. Barry Krakow about his work on PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), insomnia, and obstructive sleep apnea. These are the questions I asked:
- How did you get involved with mental health patients who have sleep disorders?
- How is insomnia and sleep apnea related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
- What’s the hard evidence that sleep-breathing disorders and insomnia go hand-in-hand?
- Why do you use the term, complex insomnia to describe the co-existance of insomnia and sleep apnea?
- Tell us about your paper that’s coming out in SLEEP on complex insomnia.
- What comes first, insomnia or sleep apnea?
Fill in the form below to access your free MP3 recording: