Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

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Archive for the ‘insomnia’ Category

Sleep and the Amateur Athlete

Posted by amykr on February 28, 2012

Fitness is an important part of change in a person’s health. In order to decrease injury and to get the ideal benefit to your hard work proper sleep is necessary. When you exert your body it is important for your recovery to make sure you are getting enough sleep.

During the night you go through different stages of sleep. Your body goes through different stages of sleep throughout the night. During the first third of the night we go into slow wave sleep. This is the time of sleep where we repair our body. The most essential part of recovery after an especially hard work out is the time for our muscles to heal and grow.

In order to take advantage of the best stages of sleep for your needs you need to create a routine that meets them. Since you want to take advantage of the healing time you have to plan to fall asleep rather early. To do this you need to plan ways to unwind before you go to bed. Practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing is a great way to help gear your body to unwind. By doing these exercise 6 to 10 breathes a night you will recruit airways you do not usually use and will increase the level of oxygen available to your body.
The best way to do diaphragmatic breathing is to lie down and place your hands at the bottom of the rib cage. You want to fill your lungs by pushing your hands out. You want to take this breath in slowly. At the top of the breath you want to hold it for 2 counts which will allow you to equalize pressure throughout the lung including the less used areas. Then you slowly exhale through pursed lips. That slight back pressure helps to keep those airways open. If you have need for those airways they are easier to get access to when I need that extra big breath during a run or when you are lifting.

You also need to take advantage of light and dark. Our body really does run on light and dark and the excess light especially prior to sleep will make it very difficult to fall also and you might miss some important slow wave sleep. So turning off light producing product 30 minutes before going to bed will be helpful. In younger athletes helping them to develop the ability to sleep without electronics will help them to grow, heal and be strong.
Ending your sleep too soon robs your brain of the chance to go into REM. During this period of sleep our short-term memory shifts to long-term memory. This is essential and is more productive than cramming for a test or big presentation. Getting the proper amount of sleep allows your brain to process all the information and make it easier to get access to when you need it. When you are sleep deprived because you have missed stages of sleep.

Ultimately being athletic is a combination of proper nutrition, exercise and rest. Because there are much more specific needs that can lead to injury being aware of your sleep and your physical need which may be more than the average person your age due to the need for healing. Do not skim on this because the side effects of sleep deprivation will decrease your ability to compete the way you want to.

Posted in health care, insomnia, Sleep, Sleep Apnea | Leave a Comment »

Teens and Sleep; We Really Need to Rethink Expectation

Posted by amykr on March 12, 2010

An article was released about teens and the effects of caffeine and technology is having an effect of teens and their sleep. I know I live this issue daily. I have a teen son and a daughter who is just in her 20s. The problem is that we have not created a culture that supports teens and their needs.

This article was timely as this week my son took his yearly standardized tests. He has to get up at 6am to get ready for school so he can arrive just before 7am. He will then sit in the testing room he is assigned to and will take a test that will decide his future. Of course what they are not thinking about as these students enter the school is that more than half of the students walk on campus with an energy drink, diet soda or Starbucks in their hand. They are all yawning, dragging their feet and look like they could use two more hours of sleep. When they normally attend class at least 3-4 of the students will want to put their head down during at the very least 1 period. These are not fresh, excited students. These are sleep deprived people who our culture is trying to get to fit into a cheapest easiest way to give them an education. We have not created an education that is designed for them to become successful educated people that can perform at their optimum.

Add to this early more education some new parts to our culture. Their diets include processed food, chemical substances, and stimulants like caffeine. They are exposed to light 24 hours a day and their brains are stimulated from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed. They are in the computer, playing video games or watching television. They have 2-3 hours of homework they need to do when they come home. They also have outside activities. Things like my son’s Boy Scout meeting will last from 7-10:30 at night. We have not set them up for optimal sleep we have set them up to be sleep deprived.

It is difficult to tell a 5’10” boy that it is bed time at 9 or 10 pm. The world has not stopped or even slowed down by then. He still has homework he wants to tweak, friends to chat with or challenge on a game, or just wants to watch a show he knows everyone will be talking about at school the next day. He gets tired around 11-12pm and is sound asleep no later than 1am. On the weekend he sleeps until 11am and sometimes a little longer. His friends are the same way.

I believe that we have to look at what our children need, how to create a healthy environment for them and then nurture that. Is sending our children to school at 7am really in their best interest? One of the local school districts changed the time for the high school children from 7 to 9. Next year they are changing it back because it interferes with after school work and activities. Did they even bother to look at the student’s attendance, grades or test results? They did not.

So what is the result of sleep deprivation with our teens? It is multifold, sleep deprivation can increase the incidence of depression, increase the symptoms of ADD, increase the chances of obesity. It interferes with learning and storing information into long-term memory.

Now we need to explain to our teens why a sleep routine, turning off all electronics and going to bed early I so important. We need to overcome peer pressure so that our children understand that this is the norm. We need to be examples for them. We need a very strong sleep routine that includes turning off the computer and the television. We need to make time for the family to sit and eat together and read together. These changes will help them during the tough teen years. We need to help them reach their true potential.

Resource: http://ping.fm/1kX2q

Posted in education, health care, insomnia, Sleep, Sleep Apnea | 1 Comment »

5 Resolutions for a Better Night Sleep

Posted by amykr on December 22, 2009

We all make resolutions for the New Year. And some of them are large and ambitious and some are small and practical. These are five easy changes that will help you to improve your sleep and wake up with more energy every day.

1.Turn off the television: Too many people are watching television in bed or falling asleep with it on. They think it helps them to fall asleep, but it does not. It disrupts your sleep. Not just the noise but the light. This flashing light keeps you from going into the deeper slow wave sleep that your body needs to recover and heal itself. There have also been recent research that shows a relationship between poor initial sleep and depression. That is why there should not be a television in the bedroom.
2.Turn off the lights: Don’t just turn off the lights but invest in a good pair of curtains that keeps the light from entering the room. Your body needs to dark to work properly. It was designed to enter a cycle called your circadian rhythm that allows you to function optimally during the day and to sleep at night. If you do not expose your body to the dark how will it know when it is supposed to be asleep? New research is also associating the relationship between not sleeping in the dark and depression.
3.Get rid of the clutter: Clutter in the room clutters the mind. It is very hard to relax and get comfortable in a room that is full of things. The New Year is a great time to purge some of the stuff that has been hanging around your bedroom. Use the rule that if you have not used it in 6 months you probably won’t use it in the next 6 months. A bedroom should be a peaceful place to relax and go to sleep. It should not be a place where you enter it and think I have a 100 things to do in the next 10 minutes.
4.Invest in a New Pillow: There are many new pillows out there. Pillows usually last 6 to 8 months. Many people keep them much longer. If you think about it, you use this every day. Eventually the pressure from sleeping on it will wear it out. The cost of a good pillow based on your sleep position usually costs $40-$80. This is a small investment for a better night sleep. Make sure you find one you like. Try it out. Make sure you like it. If you need to invest in a cover for it. In some areas bed bugs are an issue. A hypoallergenic cover will help reduce the risk of this issue.
5.Create a night time routine: This one is free and easy to do and will make a world of difference to you and to your children. It should not be a long routine, but it should be something that you could recreate if you are on vacation. It should involve decreasing light exposure. A sample routine we use is 10 minutes of reading, followed by brushing teeth, washing face and brushing our hair. We then go into the bedroom turn off all electronics, and talking quietly about our day. Then we are off to sleep. While you are creating the routine you might find you do not go to sleep right away. If this happens wait 20 minutes, get up our of bed, do something quietly like read for 10-15 minutes then trying to go to sleep again. Staying in bed and staring at the ceiling will only create stress. Do not turn on the television or computer because they can be too stimulating and the light will give your brain the wrong signals. If you keep this up every day at approximately the same time you will find falling asleep will become much easier.
A good night sleep is so important for good health. It contributes to weight loss, pain management, and blood pressure management to just name three things. The small investment in changing behavior can lead to big results for you and your family.

Posted in health care, insomnia | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

You’re Sleep Environment; 7 Tips to Create a Room that Promotes Sleep

Posted by amykr on April 26, 2009

A good night sleep is influenced by many things. If you are suffering from insomnia the first thing you should do is rule out where you sleep as the cause of the problem. The easiest thing to do is to look at your room and see if a change here could change your sleep problems.

1. Is your bedroom and office the same room?
Life is stressful especially in this economy. If you are using your bedroom as your office to manage the household, do work at home, study for school or plan your volunteer activities. This can keep your mind going so you can not relax and sleep.
2. How cluttered is your room?
Do you make the bed each morning? Is the laundry picked up? What is on the top of your dresser, night stand and other furniture? Clutter causes thoughts of what chores need to be done. It also causes chaotic thoughts. These do not help anyone to relax and go to sleep. Plus there is the issue of having to get up in the middle of the night, the clutter could cause you to become more awake if you hit or trip on it.
3. What sounds are you in your room?
Is a television or radio on in your room? What about the noise outside your room. Is there a loud television in the room next door? Are your neighbors noisy? If this is the case there are several things you can do to help ease the problem. White noise will help to mask the issue. This can be a fan, a white noise machine, or other consistent noise that will mask the outside noises. This does not include television or radio because the level of volume and the sound itself changes. You can also use light absorbing curtains because they also help to absorb noise from the outside. This is especially helpful to those who live on a busy street.
4. How much light is in your room?
A small night light is acceptable for sleeping but any more light and it can disturb your sleep. We all arouse several times during the night to change positions as we change from one stage of sleep to the next. The light can disturb you and actually change that short arousal into an awakening and take you longer to go back to sleep.
Outside light can also disturb your sleep. This can affect you if there is a streetlight outside your bedroom window, or if you are a shift worker. The investment in room darkening curtains is relatively inexpensive if you shop around. The help in getting a good seven to eight hours of quality sleep is priceless.
5. Who is sleeping in your room?
When you go to bed at night is there more then just your significant other in your bed. Pets can be one of the biggest disturbances when you sleep. They can be noisy they move around at night and can keep you from getting the sleep you need. The best place for them is outside your bedroom.
Where do your children sleep? Many parents share there beds with their children, however you need to be aware of the size of your bed and the more people sleeping in it the less space you will have to get comfortable. The idea is for everyone who shares the bed to get a good 8 hours of sleep not just the kids.
6. How is your bedroom decorated?
A relaxing surrounding is important to sleep. The color and comfort of your bedroom contributes to this. A soothing color is important to a good night sleep. So is the comfort of the bed you sleep in. Investments in such things as an egg crate or pillow top for your bed might make a mattress that is a little too hard more comfortable. Good quality sheets and bed linens are important. Softer sheets whether they are high thread count, flannel, satin or other materials that you like will help you to sleep better. A pillow that is right for your body position is also a good investment. They should be replaced on a regular basis. Pillows are not really lifetime investments, especially if they are of the foam variety. They wear our and you do not get the support you would get when you bought it. If you tend to like using three or four pillows when you sleep you might want to consider buying a wedge pillow. This will allow you to sleep at a 45 degree angle and would not require you to wake up and readjust your pillows several times a night.
7. What temperature is your room?
I know that many people think they sleep best when the room is warm but our bodies are designed for a cooler temperature at night. This is a natural thing, as our body temperature falls and is lowest during the 3am to 5am time period. If you get cold during the night consider adding a blanket or socks.

When you create a bedroom that is designed to help you fall asleep you will find that insomnia may not be as big a problem as it has been in the past. If you find that you are still having issues with insomnia look at your sleep routine and talk to your doctor. Sleep is too important to let anything stand in its way.

Posted in education, insomnia | 3 Comments »

Travel can Affect Your Internal Clock

Posted by amykr on April 12, 2009

It is the start of vacation season. With that many people have plans to travel. Or is it just that you travel around the country or the world for your job. Either way you can be affected by the sleep disorder that does not discriminate. It can affect anyone whether they have normal sleep or suffer another sleep disorder. Jet leg or desynchronosis is when your body’s internal clock and the external environment do not match.

The problem with jet lag is that there is so much information about it that it is hard to determine helpful information from inaccurate information. So let’s take a look at what causes it, how to minimize its effects and what might be in the future.

Jet lag happens when we quickly change time zones and can last for several days after the change. Our bodies have a rhythm that naturally cycles throughout the day. You are most awake between eight and ten and most drowsy between three and five. As you can see this is a 12 hour cycle. The problem is that just because you moved from New York to California does not mean your body’s internal clock has moved with you.

So how can you help yourself when you are going to travel? The first thing you should really do is consider is what time you are traveling. If you are traveling eastbound consider a daytime flight and then try to go to bed at the normal local time or soon after arriving if you arrive late in the night. Westbound travel does not have the same issues because you can just elongate the day to go to bed at the normal local time.

While you are traveling make sure that you stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This will help to limit some of the other issues caused by flight like headaches and stomach aches. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Their effects well actually add to the problems of trying to sleep at the new time you are trying to adjust to. Do not eat anything too heavy late in the evening as it can also interfere with sleep.

Take advantage of bright light. It can help your body adjust. If you want to delay sleep expose yourself to bright light late in the afternoon. If you need to go to sleep earlier then try exposing yourself to bright light first thing in the day.

Exercise can be helpful as well. Light exercising such as yoga, Pilates or a walk in the morning or early afternoon will help you to sleep better at night. If you exercise too late the day it can be more stimulating then relaxing.

Create the best sleep environment for yourself. Make sure the room is dark and there is no noise. If you nee bring ear plugs or a sleep mask if it will help. Bring something for your room that reminds you of home. A picture of your family, pillow or blanket from home might help you be more comfortable and fall asleep easier.

Medication is a last option. Currently there are only sleep aides to help. There is currently a new medication being tested called Tasimelteon can help to adjust Melatonin levels so that they change the circadian rhythm of the person. It looks to work on a 5 hours change or longer. This medication is in early testing still and will not be available for some time.

Jet lag may be a problem for many people but with a little planning and some good sleep habits it can be minimal zed.

Amy Korn-Reavis, RRT, RPSGT has been in the respiratory field for over twenty years. She has worked in all areas and is currently focusing on sleep and how to help the community feel better by sleeping better. She is the manager of Emery Sleep Solutions an independent testing facility located in Apopka, Florida. She is also the coordinator of A.W.A.K.E. Orlando a support group for people with sleep disorders http://awakeorlando.ning.com. If you have any questions about sleep or are looking for someone to speak at your community function she can be reached at areavis@emerymedicalsolutions.com

References:

Monash University (2008, December 17). New Medication Brings Hope Of Jet Lag Cure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 11, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2008/12/081208212901.html

National Sleep Foundation. Jet Lag and Sleep/ Retreived April 11, 2009, from http://www.sleepfoundation.org/site/c.huIXKjM0IxF/b.4813263/k.9987/Jet_Lag_and_Sleep.htm

Posted in education, insomnia | 1 Comment »

High Tech Helps in Sleep Disorder Testing and Treatment

Posted by amykr on March 29, 2009

With all the new ways of communicating you knew that it would eventually leak to the medical field. In sleep it has changed to allow us to perform studies and follow up with patients in a whole new way.

Home sleep studies has come up with a whole new arsenal of new equipment to test for sleep. The newest technology the WatchPat uses peripheral arterial tension to determine if you stop breathing in your sleep. All you do is where a monitor around your wrist and a probe on two fingers all night. It is simple for anyone to wear.

There are several companies that monitor more information that include oxygen level, heart rate, body position, snoring, air flow and chest movement. This allows the doctor a bit more information to determine what is going on during the night. The information is downloaded after the patient wears it for the night and then scored by a sleep technician. Some example of these are the Respironics Stardust, Watermark Ares and the Clevemed Scout. The drawback is that the test is limited to testing for sleep apnea only. It also can not tell when a patient is asleep and when he or she is awake.

Bluetooth technology is now allowing a complete sleep study to be done at home. A technician comes to the house sets up the patient with a fell sleep setup including head leads, leg leads, ekg, pulse oximeter, flow and respiratory belts. They then attach it to a wireless box and set up a laptop with a camera and Bluetooth and a technician will monitor it from a central location. The benefit of this is that you get to sleep in your own bed. The drawback is no one is immediately available and if there is an issue except through the computer. The other one is that many insurance policies will not pay for a study performed this way.

Treatment for sleep apnea has also gone high tech. The newest technology puts modems in inside CPAP machine s so you can monitor the patient’s usage and any issues they might have from the first night. This will allow the technicians that monitor the CPAP as well as the doctors to find out if there are issues earlier instead of waiting for a patient to call and ask for help or give up.

All this technology is here and there is more being developed and released all the time. Remote will allow access for patients who might miss an opportunity for care.

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Exercise as a Solution to Insomnia

Posted by amykr on March 22, 2009

You have seen the commercials with the moth. Take a pill and you will sleep. Or the one for the over the counter medication, you don’t even have to talk to your doctor to take that. Many people do not want to take medication. For those looking for alternatives to medicine you might want to look at exercise. This will not overcome a sleep disorder such as restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea.

There is also a connection between inactivity creating insomnia. The body’s circadian rhythm does not work properly and does not allow you to get the deep sleep your body requires. This leads to issues such as depression, fatigue, high blood pressure and insomnia. This issue also causes an increase in weight which can lead to sleep apnea. So you can see that there is a vicious circle that our lifestyle causes.

There are multiple studies that reinforce the fact that exercising helps to sleep better at night. The big questions are when and what type help helps to make falling asleep and staying asleep easier. To start with the research does prove that that morning exercise is better then evening exercise. It helps to support our natural body rhythm, also called circadian rhythm, to function fully. When you work out later in the day it sets the body to be awake. It also causes a reduction in the slow wave sleep, the deep restorative sleep our body needs to heal and grow.

The best type of exercise is aerobic for the morning. An exercise that allows the heart rate to increase for at least 40 minutes 5 days a week such as walking, jogging, biking or elliptical. If you are going to do this make sure you also take time to stretch. Do not overdue it because pain will undo everything you are working toward. Stretching exercises like yoga or Pilates work but not as well. If you need to exercise at night be aware that it can increase your sleep problems. If you have to do you’re exercising at night stretching exercises such as yoga or Pilates would be the better choice since it does not have as strong effect on sleep.

This seems like a difficult thing to add 40 more minutes to your morning especially when you are not getting enough sleep already. It does take about 30 days of this to really see a consistent change. More importantly this is not the solution for everyone. It is a good solution for those who have insomnia and who are in good health. As always you should check with your doctor to see if this is a good solution for you.

Amy Korn-Reavis, RRT, RPSGT has been in the respiratory field for over twenty years. She has worked in all areas and is currently focusing on sleep and how to help the community feel better by sleeping better. She is the manager of Emery Sleep Solutions an independent testing facility located in Apopka, Florida. She is also the coordinator of A.W.A.K.E. Orlando a support group for people with sleep disorders http://awakeorlando.ning.com. If you have any questions about sleep or are looking for someone to speak at your community function she can be reached at areavis@emerymedicalsolutions.com

References
http://www.capitolsleepmedicine.com/SleepandExercise_May07.pdf

http://holisticonline.com/Remedies/Sleep/sleep_ins_exercise.htm

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20031104/morning-exercise-may-help-you-sleep

http://www.acsm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=ACSM_News_Releases&CONTENTID=9806&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm

Posted in education, insomnia | 6 Comments »

The Relationship between Pain and Sleep

Posted by amykr on March 20, 2009

The idea that treating just one symptom at a time is how medicine has worked. In recent years doctors have been taking a more holistic approach in caring for their patients. This has allowed research to be done looking at how such a thing as pain, both acute and chronic are associated with sleep. Thsi issue is important on many levels. With our community getting older this issue of pain caused from chronic issues such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and back injuries are getting more common. This causes insomnia, increased sleep onset, and sleep fragmentation. All this means is that it keeps people from getting a continous sleep and may prevents deeper sleep and REM sleep, the period of time when you dream. This brings on a variety of symptoms including depression, fatigue, irritibility, short term memory loss, slower reflexes and slower mental processing. It also appears that pain levels of people who have a sleep problem during the acute phase of the condition are at an increased chance to have more severe chronic pain. With this knowledge it becomes more important to manage the whole patient. If the patient is having sleep issue including snoring, restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea then they need to be treated especially in patients with chronic pain. It also becomes evident that if you have chronic pain that it needs to be managed properly. Treatments including medication, biofeedback, massage, and meditation have been used to help to relieve or decrease the intensity. The sleep part needs to also be treated. Sleep hygeine is the first thing to look at; a good bedtime routine and comfortable sleep environment. Treatment for other sleep issues such as teeth grinding, restless leg syndrome and snoring. Amy Korn-Reavis, RRT, RPSGT has been in the respiratory field for over twenty years. She has worked in all areas and is currently focusing on sleep and how to help the community feel better by sleeping better. She is the manager of Emery Sleep Solutions an independent testing facility located in Apopka, Florida. She is also the coordinator of A.W.A.K.E. Orlando a support group for people with sleep disorders http://awakeorlando.ning.com. If you have any questions about sleep or are looking for someone to speak at your community function she can be reached at areavis@emerymedicalsolutions.com

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Orientation: A lesson in Patience

Posted by amykr on March 17, 2009

have been doing a great deal of orientations lately due to unforeseen staffing issue. Anyway, it is always interesting when you orienting a new person to see what they really know and what they tell you they know. Somehow they never quite meet. But it gives me a chance to expand my horizons, teach new things, and learn that greatest of skills: patience. (This lesson usually coming after I have had another run-in with my 16-year-old.) It was on one of those orientation nights when I realized doing a set up for a sleep study and doing it correctly are two different things. I also realized that my need for doing things according to AASM protocol confuses a great many new people. In particular, the need for all my technicians to measure the patients head. It amazes me how so few technicians know how to do this. And then, even if they do, they do not understand how to put on a lead without pushing on the lead so hard that you think it is going to become a permanent part of the patient’s body. To me, this is a basic skill that was learned within the first two weeks of becoming a technician. Then, there is the middle of the night lead fix. Now, I was taught you want to disturb the patient as little as possible, so if you can wait for an arousal or awakening, great. Do you really want to go knocking on the door, reintroduce yourself, and explain what you are doing to a person at 2:30 in the morning? I personally think the more unobtrusive you are, the quicker the patient will go back to sleep. I do not even turn the light on. I can usually correct the problem just from the light the hallway gives off. There is always the concern about the patient who will wake up swinging, but those patients usually tell you before lights out not to touch them when you wake them in the morning. Of course, I have had a patient or two over the years take a swing at me, but I have learned how to duck very quickly when necessary. Lastly, it amazes me how little people document. Of course I am of the belief if you did not write it, it did not happen. (A lesson taught to me at one of the hospitals by their lawyer during orientation.) I think that lesson has stuck with me low this 20 plus years. I think new techs are afraid to write too much. Me, personally: I am afraid of writing too little. I tell all new techs that they should pretend they are the reading doctor and they have received the study the next day but they have no video. Write to me so that I know why what I am seeing looks the way it does. If that does not work, I use the lawsuit scenario. Its five years from now, you just received a request to show up at court about a sleep study you did eight years ago. How are you going to know what you did? What was going on? Write it out and it will never be a problem. That usually scares people to my way of thinking. I know that orientation is important and needs a great deal of attention, but I really hope that they will get easier over time. I really believe that as our field gets more regulated and licensed, we will all be working on the same page to create the best sleep studies possible.

 

Reprinted from Advanceforsleep.com

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ADD/ADHD and Sleep

Posted by amykr on March 15, 2009

This is an area that has  not had enough research.  The general consensus is that either ADD causes sleep disturbances like insomnia and fragmented sleep (sleep that is not continuous.) Or that sleep deprivation can bring on the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.  So how do you know what to look for?  How do you know what came first?

The first thing is to look for obvious signs of a sleep disorder.  Does your child snore?   If you listen to your child and when they snore you hear interruptions followed by gasping you might be hearing sleep apnea.  These issues can be caused from enlarged tonsils and adenoids, allergies or obesity. 

There could also be a condition called restless leg syndrome.  This is a creepy crawly sensation in the legs or arms that makes your child feel like they have to move.  It usually happens in the evening and continues through bed time.

These issues cause sleep deprivation because it will disrupt sleep, delay the onset of sleep and can prevent deep slow wave sleep or REM sleep, the stage when you dream.  The side effects of sleep deprivation are fatigue, irritability, inattentiveness, and in children sometimes aggression. 

The best thing you can do is start by talking to your doctor about any sleep issues your child might have.  You might also want to talk about any other health issues such as asthma, allergies, or vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  There could also be side effects to medication. 

The best thing you can do is to help your child is to create a good sleep environment.  You set the best example.  Eliminate caffeine, increase exercise and outdoor play, not eating at least two hours before bed time, and avoiding sleeping medications help to increase your child’s sleepiness. 

Create a room for sleep.  Have room darkening curtains on the windows, this will also help to keep noise out.  Do not have a television in your child’s room, the stimulation from it will not allow the brain to prepare for sleep. 

Finally, a hot bath and a routine that you follow each night will help your child and his mind get ready for bed.  The routine teaches the brain this is what we do for bed so its time to quiet down.  The hot bath and the body cooling down afterwords is a cure to the brain that it is sleep time. 

In the end there is no concrete rule that sleep causes ADD/ADHD or that ADD/ADHD causes sleep problems.  As more research is done we will get more answers that will help children to sleep and learn optimally.

 

Sites where you can get more information

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-sleep-disorders?

http://www.sleepdisordersguide.com/blog/sleepdisorders/sleep-disorders-in-children-with-attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/

http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/adhd.html

Amy Korn-Reavis, RRT, RPSGT has been in the respiratory field for over twenty years. She has worked in all areas and is currently focusing on sleep and how to help the community feel better by sleeping better. She is the manager of Emery Sleep Solutions an independent testing facility located in Apopka, Florida. She is also the coordinator of A.W.A.K.E. Orlando a support group for people with sleep disorders http://awakeorlando.ning.com.  If you have any questions about sleep or are looking for someone to speak at your community function she can be reached at areavis@emerymedicalsolutions.com


Posted in education, insomnia, Sleep Apnea | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »