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Sleep, Your Health and More

Dr. Sharon Takiguchi September 23, 2014 0 comments 0

[su_dropcap style=”default” size=”3″ class=””]N[/su_dropcap]eurological Sciences published a thought provoking article on the historical basis of sleep hygiene or translated to mean healthy sleep rules in June 2012. The basis of healthy sleeping goes back to the scientific work of an Italian, Paolo Mantegazza, who described indications for sleep hygiene. His observations on sleep remain valid today and match the concept of sleep developed by Peter Hauri’s. Hauri documented rules for sleeping that he published in 1977. These rules form the basis for healthy sleeping advice used today.
 

Peter Hauri’s Seven Rules for Healthy Sleep

  1. Restrict any unnecessary time in bed
  2. If unsuccessful in falling asleep, rise from bed and try again later
  3. If perceiving a pressure of time, remove the clock from the bedroom
  4. Avoid exercise late in the evening
  5. Stay away from stimulant substances and alcohol
  6. Set routine hours for bedtime and waking
  7. Consume only light snacks before bed

[blockquote type=”intext”]“Some of the common conditions associated with sleep problems include chronic pain, diabetes, breathing problems and neurological conditions.”[/blockquote]
 

Regulation of Sleep

Circadian rhythm refers to the body’s inner clock involved in the control of the cycles in the body over 24 hours. The sleep-wake cycle describes our day-night activities. Sleep control entails cues from the environment, light-dark cycles and hormonal secretion, according to the Journal of Physiological Anthropology. Alterations in the inner clock’s process create problems in sleep.
 

Sleep Deficits and Medical Conditions

The journal, Current Opinion in Psychiatry, describes various medical conditions associated with sleep disorders. The primary care providers report patients commonly visit the doctor’s office for sleep problems. Patients complain of short duration of sleep, difficulty falling asleep, frequent wake up periods during the night, light sleep and early rising hours. Some of the common conditions associated with sleep problems include chronic pain, diabetes, breathing problems and neurological conditions. The American Journal of Managed Care found individuals with chronic pain from arthritis, back pain, neuropathies and fibromyalgia describe sleep problems especially with light sleep. Diabetes Care reported a large study on short sleep duration producing a significant risk for diabetes. In a community survey published in Sleep, researchers uncovered 60 percent of people with breathing problems reported sleep disorders. The literature indicates that patients with the neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases suffer from poor sleep. According to Clinical Cornerstone, the researchers find a high frequency of deficits in sleep with neurological disorders, but are unsure if the problem relates to the disease or to the treatments. Future studies are needed to investigate the underlying causes of sleep problems in medical conditions.
 

Other Aids for Sleep

The Nutrition Action Health Letter in April 2012 outlines a few natural attributes to promote sleep. People who increased their exercise to five days of the week for 30 to 60 minutes fell asleep sooner and described fewer wake-up times during the night. Individuals with more deficits in sleep benefited the most from the intervention. Melatonin, an over-the-counter product, may benefit some individuals with delayed-onset sleep. The brain normally produces this hormone at night as part of the circadian rhythm in the body. Research shows individuals with delayed-onset sleep fell asleep 40 minutes earlier. One other study demonstrated the beneficial effect of taking a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime. Women in this research reported less periods of waking up and an increase in restful sleep.
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