News Segments

News Segments

Weekly we will be posting summaries from news articles on Melatonin and On Sleep Tips. 

 

4 Jul. 2017- Four Questions to Ask When Your Child Won’t Sleep- Kelsey Down- KSL News 

This is a month old though still a great article.

Recent findings show that room sharing can disrupt infant sleep may carry far-reaching implications, including poor sleep later in life — which may lead to behavioral and mood problems as well as inferior school performance in children.

In light of this information and current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Jodi Mindell of the Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests that parents should make a decision based on their unique family situation.

But sleep habit development doesn’t stop after infancy. Parents of toddlers or older children who already struggle to sleep can make strides toward healthier sleep habits by asking the right questions about their child’s lifestyle and diet.

1. Is your child’s diet helping or hurting sleep?
2. Is your child getting enough exercise?
3. Does your child’s bedroom and your overall home environment promote sleep?
4. Do you maintain consistent napping and bedtime routines?

5 Aug. 2017- Study: Sleep Longer, More Soundly By Wearing Glasses That Block Blue Light- Daniel Steingold- Study Finds 

While it’s tempting to use electronics before going to bed, it’s widely acknowledged that they can adversely impact our ability to sleep properly. That is, if we’re not wearing the right preventive spectacles, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of Houston recruited 22 participants, aged 17 to 42, for a study on the effects of emitted blue light on sleep quantity and quality.

Participants were instructed to wear glasses that blocked short wavelength emissions over a two-week period, for the three hours preceding one’s normal bedtime.

Resuming digital activity as normal, participants saw a 58 percent increase in their nighttime melatonin levels after the experiment, which signals even better results than taking over-the-counter supplements that are meant to boost melatonin.

“The most important takeaway is that blue light at night time really does decrease sleep quality,” says lead researcher Dr. Lisa Ostrin in a university news release. “Sleep is very important for the regeneration of many functions in our body.”

In addition to heightened melatonin levels, participants reported sleeping more soundly, falling asleep faster, and increased sleeping duration.

27 Jul. 7 ways to get kids’ bedtimes back on track for school – ABC News Wate.Com

Summer is winding down and kids will be heading back to school soon.

Many parents relax the bedtime routines during the summer and it can be an uphill battle to get kids back on track. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital says it is important for parents to start adjusting their child’s bed time routine in the weeks before they head back to class.

Dr. Katy Stordahl, an emergency room physician at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, said children are happier, behave better and do better in school when they sleep well. She said children need between 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, depending on the age of the child.

Here are a few of Dr. Stordahl’s tips for getting kids back on track:

  1. Determine your child’s optimal bedtime
  2. Gradually shift bedtime 
  3. Adjust wake-up time
  4. Keep a consistent schedule 
  5. Avoid caffeine
  6. Have a dark, quiet, cool bedroom
  7. Avoid screen time before bed

 

28 Jul. Three Cheers For Cherries- Jennifer Holden- Winona Daily News
Summer screams cherries! These delectable super fruits are not only delicious, but provide many health benefits as well. Cherries contain many antioxidants and valuable nutrients that make them a powerful super food. Whether you are fighting pain and inflammation, trying to

regulate those sleeps patterns, or wanting to give your brain a little boost, choose this small and flavorful fruit for your next healthy snack!

Insomnia: Cherries are one of the few foods that contain melatonin, a natural hormone in the body, which helps control when we fall asleep and wake up. Eating a handful of cherries before bed may be a great, natural way to regulate sleep patterns.

 

28 Jul. Popular Supplement May Treat Rare Sleep Disorder- Denise Dado-ABC7 Healthy Living-
Melatonin can be used to help with jet lag, but can it also help with a rare sleep disorder? If you or a loved one has vivid or violent dreams of punching and fighting and act them out while you’re asleep, you may be suffering from REM Sleep Behavior disorder. When most of us are sleeping, our bodies enter a state of muscle paralysis. But doctors said people with this type of rare sleep disorder can lose that.

A new drug is in the works. A national phase-three clinical trial is underway for a new medication to help patients with these symptoms. In the meantime, experts said taking melatonin may do the trick. The popular over-the-counter supplement may help reduce or even eliminate symptoms, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic.

2 Jul. 2017-How the Seasons are Connected to Your Health- Deanna Minich, Ph.D.- Huffington Post

You probably associate certain diseases with different times of the year. During the winter, you might get your annual cold, while during the spring, your allergies go haywire. Perhaps the cold months of winter make your arthritis worse or the summer months exacerbate your MS. There are many conditions impacted by the changing seasons, including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular events, acute gout, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, hip fractures, mental health disorders, migraines, and emergency surgery. Even mortality is affected by the seasons, with summer and winter months associated with higher number of deaths.

There are many reasons for the seasonal variance in health and disease, and they most likely work in tandem to influence an individual’s susceptibility to disease during certain times of the year. Let’s look closely at some of the more influential factors.

Melatonin – Melatonin plays several key functions in the body, including regulating the immune system and glucose, as well as providing antioxidant defenses against excessive oxidative stress. It is well known for being a major regulator of circadian rhythms, including the sleep-wake cycle. As such, it is highly impacted by the length of days and nights, so it has a seasonal variance as well, with higher serum levels during the winter compared to summer.

12 Jun. 2017- Study Links College Students Grades To Sleep Schedules-Victoria Knight – CNN 

Staying up late to cram for an early exam may not be doing college students any good, according to a new study focused on college students and their sleep patterns.

The study, published Monday in the journal Scientific Reports, says college students who did not go to bed or wake up at consistent times every day were more likely to have lower grades.
For the study, 61 students from Harvard College kept online diaries of their sleep schedules for 30 days. Researchers identified two groups: regular sleepers, or those who went to bed and woke up about the same time every day, and irregular sleepers, who had different sleep patterns every day.
There were several differences between regular and irregular sleepers, including significant differences in grade point averages. Using a unique scoring index from zero to 100 to calculate a student’s sleep regularity, students with very irregular sleep patterns were given lower scores close to zero, while more regular sleepers were given higher scores close to 100. The researchers found that for every score increase of 10 on the regularity index, the student had an average increase of 0.10 in their GPA.

3 Nov. 2016- Night Owl Teens May Struggle To Control Their Emotions- Fox News Health

Teens who want to stay up late and sleep in or who feel drowsy during the day may have a harder time with behavior and reasoning than their peers who simply fail to get enough rest at night, a U.S. study suggests.

Even though the study found more than one in five adolescents get less than seven hours of sleep on school nights, the amount of sleep kids got didn’t influence what’s known as self-regulation, or the ability to manage things like memory, behavior, emotions and impulses, the study found.

Adolescents who were night owls, though, were significantly worse at self-regulation than their peers that tended to turn in and wake up early. And teens who were the most tired during the day struggled much more with self-regulation than youth who suffered the least from daytime drowsiness.

“In other words, it’s not how long you sleep that has the biggest impact on self-regulation, but when you sleep in relation to the body’s natural circadian rhythms and how impaired you are by sleepiness,” said lead study author Dr. Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

 

6 Apr. 2017- How Time Zones May Affect Cancer Risks- Sarah G. Miller – Fox News Live Science 

Where you live within your time zone could be associated with a slightly increased risk of developing certain cancers that have been linked to disruptions of the biological clock, a new study suggests.

People’s biological clocks can become out of whack — which scientists call “circadian disruption” — if they work the night shift, for example. Such disruptions have been linked to an increased cancer risk in shift workers, said Dr. Neil Caporaso, an epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute and the lead author of the study.

But the disruptions that shift workers experience in their circadian rhythms are major, because they switch from working during the day to working at night. Caporaso and his team were curious about whether smaller, subtler disruptions to the biological clock could also have an effect on people’s cancer risk.

 

 14 Jun. 2017-What time you go to bed might be just as important as how much you sleep- Lindsay Dodgson Business Insider

A small new study from the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women’s Hospital looked at the behaviors of 61 full-time students at Harvard College, and found that irregular sleeping patterns was linked with a lower grade point average (GPA.) The results were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The students were asked to keep sleep diaries for 30 days. The researchers came up with a sleep regularity index, or SRI, to analyze how regular their sleep was by measuring sleep duration and distribution of sleep across the day. This was then compared to their overall academic performance over one semester.

Students who had more regular sleeping patterns had better grades, but this wasn’t because they were sleeping more. The researchers found that there was no significant difference in the average sleep duration between the regular and irregular sleepers. However, the team did find that the irregular sleepers had shifted their circadian rhythms — or biological clocks.

They worked this out by measuring the times melatonin was released, which is the hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain to prepare our body for sleep. On average, melatonin was released 2.6 hours later in students with the most irregular sleeping habits compared to those who woke up and went to sleep at more or less the same time every day.

7 Jul. 2017 Melatonin Improves Motor Activity in Rats with Fibromyalgia-Like Disease, Study Shows- Janet Stewart – Fibromyalgia News Today

Rats with a fibromyalgia-like disease showed improvements in spontaneous motor activity and other physical changes associated with the disease after treatment with melatonin, the naturally occurring substance that regulates sleep.

The study titled, “Oral Supplementation of Melatonin Protects against Fibromyalgia-Related Skeletal Muscle Alterations in Reserpine-Induced Myalgia Rats,” was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Melatonin is a well-known anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic agent. Researchers hypothesized that it also could offer clinical benefits in fibromyalgia.

29 Mar. 2016- Can Apple’s color-shifting screen really help you fall asleep faster?-  Elizabeth Lopatto – The Verge News

In its description of Night Shift, Apple insinuates that it is designed to help you fall asleep easier, if you happen to be up late using your smartphone or tablet. It’s similar in practice to f.lux and other apps available for desktop computers that have been out for years, though being baked into iOS opens up this kind of feature to a much larger audience.

There is some science behind light affecting our natural rest patterns. Blue light helps set our body clocks — circadian rhythms, if you’re feeling fancy. The natural human body clock is actually 24.2 hours, rather than 24 hours — which is why it’s easy to stay up too late, says Raj Dasgupta, a sleep medicine specialist at the University of Southern California. But we respond very strongly to sunlight, which in the days before electricity was the main cue for sleeping and waking. Our bodies have a particularly strong response to blue light, which suppresses a hormone called melatonin that prepares our bodies for sleep, Dasgupta says.

“Any light source is going to have the effect of suppressing melatonin,” Dasgupta says. “But the most potent one is blue light.” People with certain sleep disorders use light therapy to help reset people’s internal clocks, he says. If someone is having a hard time getting to sleep at night, being exposed to blue light during the day and darkness at night can help.

6 Jan. 2017- Is the Sleep Aid Melatonin Safe for Children and Adults?- Kevin McCarthy NY Times

In adults, studies have found melatonin to be effective for jet lag and some sleep disorders. It is also hugely popular as a sleep aid for children and can be useful for sleep disorders among those with attention-deficit disorders or autism, Dr. Owens said. “I rarely see a family come in with a child with insomnia who hasn’t tried melatonin,” she said. “I would say at least 75 percent of the time when they come in to see us” at the sleep clinic, “they’re either on melatonin or they’ve tried it in the past.”

If you do turn to melatonin, Dr. Owens says, do so under the guidance of a health care professional and buy melatonin from a reputable source. “Pharmaceutical grade” melatonin, she said, may have more precise dosing levels than off-the-shelf brands. A study published in November in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that 71 percent of melatonin samples were more than 10 percent off the stated dose, with some lots containing nearly five times the listed dose.

14 Sept. 2016 – What’s your chronotype? How to find the perfect time to do everything- Rebecca Lee CBS News

According to clinical psychologist and sleep specialist Michael Breus, your genetics can tell you when it’s the perfect time to do just about anything.

“It’s biologically driven. It’s based on your genetics. As a matter of fact, it’s the PER3 gene that actually the length of it tells us a lot about what time you want to sleep and how much you want to sleep,” Breus explained on “CBS This Morning” Wednesday. In his new book, “The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype,” Breus explains how matching your schedule to your chronotype can help you live a healthier, more productive life.

To understand your chronotype and to know when your body produces melatonin look at this article The Power of When.

10 Apr. 2017- Have insomnia? Being a night owl may be genetic- Melinda Carstensen  Fox News Health

If you have trouble getting to bed at a reasonable hour, your parents may be to blame.
Researchers at the Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medical College have identified a gene associated with night owls and write in a new paper that these individuals tend to have a longer sleep-wake, or circadian, cycle. The condition, called delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD), is linked not only with insomnia and daytime fatigue, but also with an increased risk of obesity, depression and diabetes.

In the study, researchers observed that an individual with DSPD saw levels of their sleep-inducing hormone melatonin rise later than in participants with a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. That led the person with DSPD to be energetic long after the other participants had gone to bed.

“Melatonin levels start to rise around 9 or 10 at night in most people,” senior author Michael W. Young, a genetics professor at Rockefeller, said in a release. “In this DSPD patient that doesn’t happen until 2 or 3 in the morning.”

That might not pose an issue on the weekend, but those with a 9-to-5 weekday work schedule may suffer the consequences of being wired to stay up late. As researchers explained, circadian cycles regulate more than just sleep — they monitor hunger, as well as hormones and metabolites, which can impact our physical and mental health

 

18 Jan. 2017- Is Melatonin More Than Just a Sleep Supplement?-By Julie Chen, M.D.- Huff Post News

Melatonin, the hormone known for its ability to regulate your sleep and wake cycle, has long been the focus of sleep studies in the medical world. Though its natural secretion comes from the pineal gland in the brain, melatonin is also taken as an oral supplement to treat sleep disorders like insomnia or help lessen jet lag symptoms.

Recent oncological research is now suggesting a correlation between melatonin and cancer: Studies have suggested it could have a potential ability to lessen the negative effects of cancer chemotherapy, enhance its therapeutic effect and reduce its toxicity.

17 Apr. 2017- Researchers Review Melatonin’s Therapeutic Potential for Mitochondrial Dysfunction-related Diseases -Alice Melao- Mitochondrial News
Researchers from the Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, in Iran presented the most recent findings of the clinical effects of the hormone melatonin on the development of diseases related to mitochondrial dysfunction, such as diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, and conditions related to brain function.

The review study, “Melatonin and human mitochondrial diseases,” was published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences.

 

The authors of the study highlight the importance of melatonin as a possible therapeutic asset for diseases in which oxidative stress plays a role, such as:

Affective disorder
Attention‑deficit hyperactivity disorder
Alzheimer’s disease
Autism
Cancer
Cardiovascular disease
Diabetes mellitus
Gastrointestinal diseases
Obesity

Melatonin has been shown to have therapeutic proprieties against a wide variety of pathological conditions. As it is normally produced by our body and it can be purified from plants, it can be an inexpensive and safe medication.
More clinical studies are still needed to explore and confirm melatonin’s effectiveness as a therapeutic asset for mitochondrial dysfuntion-related diseases

 

3 Apr. 2017- 5 expert tips to stay healthy while traveling- Genevieve Shaw Brown- ABC News Health

ABC News asked physical therapist Dr. Karen Joubert to weigh in with her top tips. She’s worked with everyone from Diddy to Jennifer Aniston to Cher.
“Everyone wants to know the golden secret to keeping their bodies in check while traveling,” she said. “Traveling can take a toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally. Anxiety, fear, being away from home in unfamiliar environments, and jet lag can have a negative impact on our bodies. Traveling messes with our bodies’ circadian rhythm as it tries to adjust to the new morning-evening cycles when we cross time zones.”

  • Hydrate
  • Get enough sleep
  • Do not quit exercising
  • Eat healthy and have small snacks
  • No heavy lifting

15 Nov. 2016 – Beyond early bird or night owl: Expert says there are 4 types of sleepers- Christina Capatides CBS News

This article is from late last year. Many people often categorize themselves as either a night owl or early bird. This can actually cause sleep problems.  “I used to think there were only early bird and night owl. And then I had a patient come in, who was a classic insomniac… And when my methods for working with her weren’t working well, I dug into the literature to understand what was going on. And I discovered that there were actually four different chronotypes: the early one, which I’m calling the lion; the middle, which is a bear; the late evening people, which are wolves; and then there are the insomniacs, which are dolphins.”  

Brues new study took into account sleep drive. He stated that this is,
“ predetermined by the PER3 gene and the buildup of a naturally-occurring chemical called adenosine in the body.”

“Taking sleep drive into account, Breus worked with the global grooming brand Braun to make recommendations for how people can better customize their morning routines, based on their sleep chronotype. They call this approach Morning by Design, and it takes into account things like lifestyle, diet and exercise habits.”

26 Mar. 2016 Can Apple’s new Night Shift setting help you sleep?-  Heather Kelly, CNN 

The new Apple “Night Shift” setting is in response to a number of recent studies that found that looking at back-lit displays can make it harder to fall asleep. They’ve also shown that excessive screen time before bed can lead to sleep deprivation, which has been linked to things like obesity and heart disease.

Researchers haven’t yet studied the impact of these types of settings. Dr. Mariana Figueiro, a researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who studies the impact of screens on sleep, says she has done some calculations on similar apps.

“The idea is good, but it is not just about color. The intensity matters too, so color needs to be shifted and intensity needs to dropped,” said Figueiro. “But these options are better than nothing.”

26 March. 2017 – More than just a sleep hormone – Star 2 Health Recent studies have discovered that melatonin supplements can help with more than just sleep. The study showed that taking this sleep hormone supplement can help with depression, multiple sclerosis, cancer and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  This is an interesting discovery. To read more of this great news click this link Star2.com

 

23 Feb. 2017- Why checking Facebook might actually be driving you insane – Fox News Health

“Today, almost all American adults own at least one electronic device, with many being constantly connected to them,” Dr. Lynn Bufka, the APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy, said in a news release. “What these individuals don’t consider is that while technology helps us in many ways, being constantly connected can have a negative impact on both their physical and mental health.”

The APA offers the following tips for managing technology healthily:

1. Keep your phone out of the driver’s seat to prevent distracted driving …

2. … and out of your bed, as studies suggest smartphone use can impair production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep

3. Shut off your notifications, as at least one study suggests they can contribute to inattention and hyperactivity

4. Limit your social media use, as some studies have linked the platforms with increased feelings of depression and sadness

5. Let others know of your goals, so friends and family members won’t protest if their messages do not get answered immediately

6. Stay in the moment, as technology, even when not in use, can lead people to feelings of disconnect, according to the APA’s current survey

7. Prioritize relaxation by setting aside time to detox from your tech

2 Feb. 2017- Jet lag dampens Major League Baseball players’ performance- Fox Health

“Researchers analyzed more than 46,000 Major League Baseball games played over the course of 20 years – from 1992 until 2011 – and saw the home-field advantage disappear when the home team traveled two time zones east and the away team visited from the same time zone.


“We all know intuitively from experience what it means to be jet-lagged,” said senior researcher Dr. Ravi Allada, a circadian rhythms expert and neurobiology professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.  “We all know it will impact our own performance,” he said in a phone interview. “I think we showed very specifically what it is.”

When games are two time zones or more away, coaches should consider having their starting pitchers fly a day or two before games to adjust their clocks to the local environment.

The same advice could apply to athletes on other sports teams as well as to travelers in other professions, including military pilots, Allada said. A Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency grant partly funded the study.”

22 Oct. 2016 – The right way to take melatonin supplements, according to a sleep doc – Kathleen Mulpeter Fox News Health
The author reached out to Chris Winter, MD, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center and author of the upcoming book The Sleep Solution, to get his take. The good news, he says, is you won’t become physically addicted to melatonin supplements—at least not in the way you can get addicted to prescription sleeping pills, for example. But that doesn’t mean you should make a nightly habit out of taking them.

“You should give yourself a time limit, such as for four or five days,” he says, adding that they should be taken for a very specific reason, such as during an unusual bout of insomnia or when you’re traveling across time zones. “When that thing has run its course, you should stop.”

The reason for this, Dr. Winter explains, has to do with the way our body’s internal clock functions. When the sun sets and it gets dark outside, this alerts the brain’s pineal gland that it’s almost time to go to sleep. The pineal gland, in turn, begins to secrete melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. The next morning, melatonin levels drop, signaling to your body that it’s time to wake up.

25 Jul. 2013 Full moon can mess with your sleep, new study finds- Meghan Holohan- NBC News Health

Though this news article is a little older though the research results are  still interesting. Cajochen, a professor and director of the Centre for Chronobiology at the University of Basel in Switzerland studied an old experiment from 2000 to 2003 that examined circadian rhythms and the sleep- wake cycle. The experiment included 17 healthy young volunteers between age 20 and 31 and 16 healthy older subjects between the ages 57 to 74.

At the time, the study had nothing to do with lunar cycles and sleep.

Though as Cajochen looked at this study again, he found that people experienced better sleep during the new moon and worse sleep during a full moon. During the full moon, it takes an average of five minutes longer to fall asleep and people dozed for 20 minutes less. And, their melatonin levels dropped. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle by causing drowsiness and a dip in body temperature. “I was also surprised to see, that besides sleep, also evening melatonin levels were affected by lunar phase,” he says. While Cajochen remains unsure about why people don’t sleep as well during the full moon, he speculates that sleep worsens because they see more light, meaning they don’t sleep as deeply, because light keeps us awake.

Cajochen admits there’s little we can do do to combat poor sleep during a full moon if excess daylight is the culprit. But, these findings will help people who believe the full moon leads to their restless nights.

16 Feb. 2017 Melatonin Content Found to Vary Widely from Label Claims MPR News

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine indicates that the amount of melatonin listed on a dietary supplement label may not always match up to what’s actually inside the bottle.

Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps regulate the daily cycle of sleep and wakefulness. It is available as a dietary supplement to help treat and prevent sleep-related disorders such as insomnia or jet lag.  Data from the National Center for Health Statistics of the National Institutes of Health show that the use of melatonin supplements by adults in the U.S. more than doubled from 0.6% in 2007 to 1.3% in 2012, with an estimated 3.065 million adults reporting that they had taken melatonin during the past 30 days.

To avoid the wrong amount of mg of melatonin supplement speak with a physician or pharmacist to get the exact dose you need.

10 Feb. 2017 Can’t Sleep? Study Says You Should Try Camping for a Few Nights  Fox News Magazine 

Melatonin levels in the body regulate the body’s sleep schedule, increasing when it’s time for bed and falling when it’s time to wake up. But NPR reports most people’s melatonin levels don’t fall until a few hours after they wake up because our modern environment has thrown the body’s natural circadian rhythm all out of wack. This creates a kind of minor jet-lag every morning. The problem is a combination of too little natural light during the day and too much artificial light at night.

A simple fix? Get back to nature. Researchers sent groups of subjects into the Colorado wilderness to do a little camping without artificial lights of any kind, the BBC reports. According to a press release, just two days of camping in the summer caused melatonin levels to rise 1.4 hours earlier. A week of camping in the winter caused them to rise a whopping 2.6 hours earlier.

Campers were going to bed earlier and sleeping more to fit with nature’s — and the body’s — natural rhythm.

 

15 Jul. 2016 – What’s the Best Time to Sleep? You Asked- Markham Heid -Time Health

What’s the best time to go to bed? Dr. Matt Walker, head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, says your sleep quality does change as the night wears on. “The time of night when you sleep makes a significant difference in terms of the structure and quality of your sleep,” he explains. Your slumber is composed of a series of 90-minute cycles during which your brain moves from deep, non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep to REM sleep. “That 90-minute cycle is fairly stable throughout the night,” Walker explains. “But the ratio of non-REM to REM sleep changes.”


He says that non-REM sleep tends to dominate your slumber cycles in the early part of the night. But as the clock creeps toward daybreak, REM sleep muscles in. That’s significant, because some research has suggested that non-REM sleep is deeper and more restorative than lighter, dream-infused REM sleep—though Walker says both offer important benefits.


What does this have to do with the perfect bedtime? The shift from non-REM to REM sleep happens at certain times of the night regardless of when you go to bed, Walker says. So if you hit the sack very late—at, say, 3 AM—your sleep will tilt toward lighter, REM-heavy sleep. And that reduction in deep, restorative sleep may leave you groggy and blunt-minded the next day.

 

7 Feb. 2017 – Can’t sleep? A good night’s sleep best for well-being during waking hours- Fox 61

“In a survey of over 4,000 people, 20 percent of people used sleeping pills within the past year and 20 percent of them used it daily for over a year. These drugs can be effective for short-term use, up to 14 days, but not for long-term use. Over the counter sleep aids contain an antihistamine which can make people sleepy and many contain a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. When used for the short-term, they are very safe products. “
“ Don’t wait 14 days, starting on day one you should improve your sleep hygiene. No TV, computer, or smartphone use an hour before bedtime; use the sleep mode on your smartphone in the later evening so you have less exposure to the blue light spectrum; making your room very dark while you sleep; going to sleep when you feel tired and not pushing it an extra 30 minutes; and resolving underlying issues such as pain or life stressors wherever possible. If you cannot do it yourself, there are sleep specialists that can work on cognitive behavioral techniques that can help so if you are one of the long-term sufferers of insomnia, ask your doctor if this could be right for you.”

 

2 Feb. 2017 – Melatonin: Just for Sleep? Think Again…Here Comes Your Heartburn’s Worst Enemy – Huffington Post

“For those of you with heartburn, I’m sure you’ve been told by doctors that heartburn can be worse at night because you’re lying down. Imagine if the supplement you use for sleep can also help with heartburn.  In a study published in 2010 by Kandil et. al., melatonin was seen to help with heartburn. 36 patients were divided into 4 groups, the control group, melatonin alone for therapy, omeprazole plus melatonin and omeprazole alone for 4 and 8 weeks. Each group consisted of 9 patients and each patient was subjected to medical history, physical exam, lab work, endoscopic evaluation, esophageal motility study, pH measurement, basal acid output measurement and serum gastrin level. The results showed that melatonin helped with heartburn better than the control group but omeprazole got better results. Essentially, the three therapy groups all showed improvement of heartburn compared to the group that received no therapy. if you are not using heartburn medication and don’t want to, you could use melatonin to help with some of your symptoms.” 

 

11 Jan. 2017 –You Asked: What’s the Best Sleeping Pill? – Markam Heid – Time Health

Pills are a bandage, not a cure, says Dr. Phyllis Zee, professor of neurology and sleep medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. ‘It’s like taking Tylenol every day for a fever without ever figuring out what’s causing the fever,’ Zee says. Depression, too little exercise, runaway stress and a hundred other major or minor health issues could be causing or contributing to your sleeping woes. When you attack your problem with pills, you do nothing to resolve those underlying problems, she explains.”

Melatonin is a  mellower option. But while many people think of the hormone as natural and “something my body makes anyway,” it’s still something that should only be used for temporary relief, says Dr. Andrew Weil, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. “Short-term use of melatonin has a good safety profile in adults,” Weil says. But the side effects of long-term or heavy usage aren’t well known.”

 

9 Dec. 2015 “College football: Tennessee experiments with high-tech sleep monitors”
Salt Lake Tribune 

“Knoxville, Tenn. • About an hour before a Tennessee football player’s scheduled bedtime, he gets a reminder via an app on his phone or a text message. That’s when he puts on orange glasses that block out the glow of smartphones or computer screens, making it easier to fall asleep.  All the players have been given sleeping masks as well. Some have sensors above their mattresses and under their sheets to monitor heart rate, movement and respiration rate to detect their quality and quantity of sleep. The idea is that if they sleep better each night, they’ll work better the following day.” 

By studying sleep cycles and performance researchers can discover how quality of sleep can affect performance in school and everyday life. 

 

11 Feb 2015 A Third of Americans Use Alternative Medicine CNN

About a third of Americans seek help for their health in a place that is outside their doctor’s office. That’s according to two new studies from the National Institutes of Health.  The adult use of melatonin more than doubled from 2007 to 2012. For children it was the second-most used natural product. The body naturally creates melatonin to help regulate the sleep cycle. People who have trouble falling asleep use it, as do people who struggle with jet lag. Some people also report using it to fight cancer. The research is still underway, but some studies have shown melatonin can help children who have trouble falling asleep. It may also help older people, which is good news, because sleep problems do seem to grow with age.

 

31 Oct. 2016 “Study: Cellphone Screens Are Keeping Kids Awake” Susan Scutti CNN

“These days, teachers often face classrooms filled with yawning students who stayed up late snapping selfies or playing online games. For children and teens, using cellphones, tablets and computers at night is associated with losing sleep time and sleep quality, new research finds. Even children who don’t use their phones or the other technologies littering their bedrooms at night are losing shut-eye and becoming prone to daylight sleepiness, the analysis published today in JAMA Pediatrics finds. The analysis found “a consistent pattern of effect across a wide range of countries and settings,” said Dr. Ben Carter, lead author and a senior lecturer in biostatistics at King’s College London.” 

“Sleep is vital for children,” said Dr. Sujay Kansagra, director of the pediatric neurology sleep medicine program at Duke University Medical Center, who was not involved in the new analysis. “We know that sleep plays a crucial role in brain development, memory, self-regulation, attention, immune function, cardiovascular health and much more.”

 

15 Aug. 2016 “Is Your Gut Health Affecting Your Sleep?” Julie Revelant FoxNews.com

If you suffer from insomnia, you may have chalked it up to a late-night meal, stress or too much screen time. But new research shows that a healthy gut is not only important for immunity and overall health, but it could also be the secret to a better night’s sleep.

Although the connection between gut health and sleep is always evolving, experts say there are things you can do to keep your digestion healthy and improve your sleep.

Three of these include the following

  1.  Be consistent
  2. Get your vitamins
  3.  Take probiotics and prebiotics

 

8 Aug. 2016 “This Red Spectrum Light May Help You Sleep Better” Lindsay Murray – Fox News Health

You’ve heard that late-night exposure to blue light, like the glow from your tech devices, can wreck your sleep. (Shed a tear for all those hours spent scrolling through Instagram under the covers.) But on the flip side, red light may help you catch your z’s more easily, according to sleep psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, author of the new book The Power of When. “The theory is that red light aids melatonin production,” he explains—the hormone that naturally makes you feel drowsier.

But while you’re adding red spectrum lights to your lamps, there’s one place in the bedroom where you probably don’t want to redecorate in shades of red: your sheets. Bedbugs gravitate toward the color, per a recent study in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

22 Jun. 2016- “Doctors issue warning about too-bright LED streetlights: CNN WIRE AND JENNA DEANGELIS,

The American Medical Association has just adopted an official policy statement about street lighting: cool it and dim it. The statement comes in response to the rise of new LED street lighting sweeping the country.

Street lighting and human health

The AMA has made three recommendations in its new policy statement:

  • First, the AMA supports a “proper conversion to community based Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting, which reduces energy consumption and decreases the use of fossil fuels.”
  • Second, the AMA “encourage[s] minimizing and controlling blue-rich environmental lighting by using the lowest emission of blue light possible to reduce glare.”
  • Third, the AMA “encourage[s] the use of 3000K or lower lighting for outdoor installations such as roadways. All LED lighting should be properly shielded to minimize glare and detrimental human and environmental effects, and consideration should be given to utilize the ability of LED lighting to be dimmed for off-peak time periods.”

8 Apr. 2016    “Low-Risk Treatment For Kids Suffering From Eczema”, CBS Pittsburgh –  

Children suffering from eczema have often had trouble sleeping.  Until recently it was thought they couldn’t sleep because they itched.  A recent study seems to link melatonin production to both eczema and sleep.  

“Researchers noticed levels of the sleep hormone melatonin were low in kids with eczema and sleep problems…  The children [in the study] getting melatonin not only fell asleep 21 minutes faster, but their eczema improved.  ‘Melatonin is safe to use, even in young children.  Even in this study children as young as one year of age were given the melatonin,’ Horvath said.”

 

25 Sep. 2015   “Using Melatonin to Help Children Fall Asleep”, Huffington Post –  

Melatonin supplements can definitely help with children’s sleep problems, but melatonin shouldn’t be used just to make things easy on the parents, or for long periods of time without a doctor’s recommendation. Melatonin should only be given to children who need help sleeping.

“Supplemental melatonin can help children with sleep dysfunction (those who lie awake for hours at bedtime) fall asleep…  You want to give melatonin prior to bedtime to help with increasing sleepiness. Most physicians recommend giving about 1-2 hours prior to ideal bedtime when helping little children fall asleep. However, it does depend why and how you plan to use melatonin.”

 

Oct 22, 2016 – The Right Way To Take Melatonin Supplements, According to a Sleep Doc  Kathleen Mulpeter – Fox News,  

Chris Winter, MD, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center and author of the upcoming book The Sleep Solution said the following about Melatonin Supplements and the correct way to take them.

“You should give yourself a time limit, such as for four or five days,” he says, adding that they should be taken for a very specific reason, such as during an unusual bout of insomnia or when you’re traveling across time zones. “When that thing has run its course, you should stop.”

(Photo source- Dr.Winters Twitter profile)

 

 

30 Aug. 2016   “Why Psychologists Agree The School Day Should Start Later”, Palmer Patch Many of us find it difficult to get up in the morning, but it’s especially hard for teens trying to return to the school routine. Teens have a change in their circadian rhythm and seem to favor later bedtimes and later risings.  

Two of the psychologists in the article point “to changes in the level of melatonin and other hormonal shifts that alter teens’ natural sleep-wake cycle.”

Small children usually produce enough melatonin and normally go to bed early and also rise early, but this changes as children mature.  This is one reason experts are advocating school schedules change to fit this melatonin shift in older children and teens.  

 

28 Aug. 2016   “Back-to-school smarts: Tips, tricks and tools for savvy students”, Vancouver Sun Experts agree that sleep is important to learning, and too little sleep can affect children’s emotional and physical health.  

According to the article “…five-year-olds need 10-13 hours a night, six- to 12-year-olds need nine to 12 hours a night, 13- to 18-year-olds need eight to 10 hours a night and adults need at least eight hours of shut-eye…”  

Reducing screen time before bed can increase melatonin production in children and adults and help with natural sleep.  Melatonin production is curtailed when children use phones and tablets close to bedtime.  To increase melatonin production and aid sleep in children and teens, put the devices away a couple hours before bedtime.

 

24 Aug. 2016   “Lubbock sleep expert gives back-to-school bedtime tips”,KCBD Lubbock –  Behavior issues can be caused by lack of sleep.  Children need about 11 hours of sleep per night when in elementary school.  Teens should get 9-10 hours.  There are many relaxing techniques and habits that can help, like bathing an hour prior to bedtime and reading paper books.

“A routine is very important to children…  Another method for sleepless kids is taking melatonin. Rose recommends one to three milligrams for elementary students.  ‘You give the melatonin about an hour before bedtime, the bedtime that you want them to have,… and that will help adjust them to their daily schedule.’”

 

7 Sep. 2016   “5 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Sleep Cycle (and Decrease Depression), Parent.co  “It’s no secret that kids who don’t sleep well at night don’t perform well during the day, but a recent article in Science Daily reported that ‘children who experience inadequate or disrupted sleep are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders later in life.’”

Sometimes children aren’t producing enough melatonin to sleep well and taking melatonin supplements is one of the ways that can help a child adjust their sleep habits.  Melatonin taken in small doses for short periods of time is safe for children.  

2 Sep. 2016   “A new treatment can delay effects of Neimann-Pick disease in children”, WNDU IndianaNeimann-Pick Type “C”… is often referred to as childhood Alzheimer’s because children who develop as normal, healthy babies and toddlers begin showing signs of physical and cognitive decline by the first grade.”

These children often have trouble sleeping, likely because their melatonin production is low.  Taking melatonin supplements can help the children sleep.

 

 

 

31 Aug. 2016   “Let There (Not) Be Light! How Technology Can Help You Get Better Sleep”, Fox News –  Most of us, especially teens and older children, are very attached to our phones, tablets, and computers.  These all emit blue light, which is similar to the sun and staring at them in the evening gives the wrong message to our brains and slows melatonin production.  

“ Blue light suppresses our body’s secretion of melatonin, a hormone that tells us it’s time to get sleepy. This artificially alters our circadian rhythm and impacts our mood, behavior, sleep patterns, even our bodily functions…”  

Amber light, or warm light doesn’t suppress melatonin.  It’s a good idea to put away the phone and tablet in the evening so your natural melatonin production can kick in.  If that still doesn’t work, taking melatonin supplements can help.  

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