Tis the season; the countdown to Christmas, ugly holiday sweaters are all the rage and now people are even returning Christmas gifts they bought in a Black Friday buying frenzy...and all this while we juggle our normal crazy busy life and try to get a good night's sleep.
My buddies at the National Sleep Foundation have put together some interesting stats about the external factors that impact sleep (pillows, sheets, good smelling sheets, darkness) and they are even offering a new poll that you can take to find out where you rank. Click here if you'd like to check it out.
And feel free to give me a jingle (get it? as in Jingle Bells!) because I'm available to talk with you about any sleep related health issues, just give me a call at the Saint Alphonsus Pulmonary and Sleep offices.
Trouble Sleeping? String something new on your tree!
This time of year we think mostly about cranberries, but if you are having a little trouble when your head hits the pillow you may want to try cranberries red cousin.
Americans seeking a better night's sleep may need to look no further than the kitchen. The sleep secret can be found in a bowl of cherries and in tart cherry juice, according to a new study in the European Journal of Nutrition. Researchers found that when adults had two daily glasses of tart cherry juice, they slept 39 minutes longer, on average, and had up to 6 percent increase in overall sleep efficiency compared to when they drank a non-cherry, fruit cocktail.
The researchers suggest that the benefit of cherries and tart cherry juice comes from the amount of melatonin in those little babies.
I've blogged about it in more detail on the ZZZZZ'z Pleazzzzz sleep blog here. And as an added bonus the blog has some cool ways to work those tasty tidbits of cherries into your regular diet.
Sleeping Single in a Double Bed
Waaaaay back in 1978 Barbara Mandell put those lyrics to music. And now research indicates that sleeping single, even when you aren't, sometimes makes for better sleep. A study published in Sleep and Biological Rhythms shows that women sleep less soundly when they share a bed with a romantic partner. On the other hand, the researchers also found that men actually sleep better when they sleep next to a woman.
An estimated 23 percent of American couples sleep apart, according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation. A Canadian study reported that 34 percent of couples hit the sack separately.
I see this in my practice every week, and wrote about it here on the ZZZZZ's blog. Men tend to be the louder sleeper with their pervasive snoring issues so women have a tougher time sharing a bed. And often, it's the woman who has to move to a different bed - or room, in some cases -because snoring doesn't make for a silent night.
Don't forget to put a little holiday hustle in your bustle - you'll sleep better
Even though it is the holiday season and we get crazy busy, don't forget to make exercise a must-do on your list. People sleep significantly better and are more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes.
A study found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.
The study, out in the December issue of the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity, lends more evidence to mounting research showing the importance of exercise to a number of health factors. Among adults in the United States, about 35 to 40 percent of the population has problems with falling asleep or with daytime sleepiness.
Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. - Charles Schulz
If you start feeling like this sad little Charlie Brown tree, give me a call or stop by the sleep blog where I post good stuff regularly between newsletters: