Will a Good Night’s Sleep Help My Heart?

Clouds

Will a Good Night’s Sleep Help My Heart?

Will a Good Night’s Sleep Help My Heart?

Posted on Wednesday, December 30th, 2020 at 12:46 am    

The quantity and quality of sleep you get each night has a profound effect on your overall health. You may not realize it, but getting a good night’s sleep can have a major impact on your stress levels, blood pressure, and cardiovascular fitness.

The most common sleep disorders that Americans experience are sleep apnea and insomnia. Scientists believe that up to 25% of American adults suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to breathe more shallowly and more irregularly while you sleep. This is caused by tissues in the mouth and throat that block the airway. People who suffer from sleep apnea often wake up in the morning still feeling tired and groggy.

The Journal of the American Heart Association recently published a study that found that in a study of 500 women, those who suffered from sleep disorders had worse eating habits than others. Those who did not get enough quality sleep tended to eat more food in general, and more foods with added sugars. Diet is linked very closely to the risk of developing cardiovascular problems down the road. People who overeat or are obese are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found evidence that suggests that people who sleep irregularly are more likely to develop heart disease. Conversely, the participants who had regular bedtimes and more consistent sleep durations were less likely to develop heart disease.

These studies do not conclusively link poor sleep habits to a decline in cardiovascular health, but they do suggest that there is a connection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked poor sleep with Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, all of which can contribute to cardiovascular problems.

Make an Appointment With Silent Night Therapy

If you are worried that your sleeping patterns put you at a higher risk of developing more severe health problems, call Silent Night Therapy to put your mind at ease. Our sleep specialists will work with you to find the source of your disruptive sleep, whether it is insomnia, sleep apnea, or another issue. Please give us a call at (631) 983-2463 or contact us online.


Patients With Generalized Epilepsy May Be at Higher Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 at 12:53 am    

Researchers have discovered a connection between epilepsy and obstructive sleep apnea, also referred to as OSA. A 2018 article from Practical Neurology explains this connection. The authors of the article, Michelle L. Dougherty, MD and Karin G. Johnson, MD, argue that epilepsy can affect sleep apnea and that the converse is true as well.

Dougherty and Johnson wrote in the article that epileptic seizures can disrupt a person’s sleep habits. Additionally, anti-seizure medications may also diminish the possibility of healthy sleep. This is because some of these medications are muscle relaxants, which can impact the upper airway. And other medicines cause weight gain; obesity is a contributing factor to OSA.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when your upper respiratory structure repeatedly collapses during sleep. This causes repetitive disrupted sleep, snoring, trouble breathing, and the inability to deliver oxygen to the brain. Sleep apnea often leaves the patient feeling groggy the next morning and foggy throughout the day.

An article from Neurology Today argues that people with generalized epilepsy are often at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea than people with focal epilepsy, which is characterized by seizures that affect one part of the brain. The article also states that people with epilepsy and undiagnosed sleep apnea are at a higher risk of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Matthew T. Scharf, MD, Ph.D., one of the doctors who authored the study, said epilepsy patients should always be screened for sleep disorders.

Despite the studies, doctors are still not sure how exactly epilepsy affects sleep apnea and, conversely, how sleep apnea affects epilepsy. However, they have uncovered sufficient evidence to connect the two, and now many doctors advocate for more sleep disorder screenings in people with epilepsy.

Make an Appointment With Silent Night Therapy

If you have epilepsy and believe you should be screened for a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, please do not hesitate to reach out to Silent Night Therapy. Our sleep specialists have the tools and expertise to diagnose your sleep problems and help find practical solutions that fit your lifestyle. If you prefer to do an at-home sleep study, we can provide you with a kit mailed straight to your door. Please give us a call at (631) 983-2463 or contact us online.


Exercises to Do Before Bed for Better Sleep

Posted on Monday, November 23rd, 2020 at 7:39 pm    

Stretching before bedIf you have trouble falling asleep at night, chances are that you have tried a number of home remedies to solve this. If drinking chamomile tea, reading a book, turning off all of your electronics, and turning on the fan haven’t done the trick, you might consider some light stretching or exercises.

According to Healthline, one 2016 study found that people who practice yoga or tai chi before bed tend to sleep better. This is because these exercises get your mind in touch with your body instead of lingering on the stressors of the day. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to decrease overall stress, leading to a healthier lifestyle in general. And the first step to improving your quality of life is to improve the quality of your sleep.

Keep reading to learn more about which stretches are best to do before bed.

1. The bear hug

Healthline recommends this stretch because it works the muscles of the upper back, which often get strained throughout the day by sitting in a chair or having bad posture. To do this stretch, stand up tall and straight, and inhale as you stretch your arms open. As you exhale, bring your arms together, crossing over your body, giving yourself a hug. Use your hands to intentionally bring your shoulders forward to stretch the upper back muscles. Hold for 30 seconds and then release.

2. Child’s pose

The child’s pose is a great way to get in touch with your body and regulate your breathing. To do this stretch, simply get on your knees and lean back on your heels. Lean forward, keeping your legs tucked underneath your body and your arms outstretched. Stay in this pose for about five minutes.

3. Legs-up-the-wall pose

This pose is easy to do and helps release tension in your neck, back, and shoulders. Simply lay on your back and swing your legs up so that they are resting against the wall. You can adjust your distance from the wall depending on your comfort. Stay in this pose for about 10 minutes.

Make an Appointment With Silent Night Therapy

If you have tried every home remedy for getting a better night’s sleep but are still having trouble with your sleep habits, it might be time to call Silent Night Therapy. Our sleep specialists can help diagnose any sleep disorder you may have and find a solution that works for you. We can help treat sleep apnea, breathing problems, and snoring, among other concerns. Call us today at (631) 983-2463 to schedule your free consultation.


Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Alzheimer’s

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2020 at 8:49 pm    

We already know that sleep is vital to combating a number of maladies such as stress, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and high blood pressure. And we know that sleep deprivation can increase an individual’s risk of suffering from a stroke, heart disease, and more. But recently, scientists have uncovered an alarming link between sleep deprivation and the onset of Alzheimer’s.

A recent study published in Neurology suggests that people who do not get deep, healthy sleep are more susceptible to brain cell death. Sleep apnea contributes to a decline of oxygen levels in your blood as you sleep, which can contribute to brain cell death. As a result of this atrophy of the brain, dementia may become more likely to develop.

A good night’s sleep is the best thing you can do for long-term brain health, according to the Sleep Foundation. A full night of healthy, uninterrupted sleep lets your brain rest and recharge and could prevent cognitive degradation that comes with dementia. But experts warn against treating yourself to too much good sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, people who get more than nine hours of sleep each night are at a higher risk of developing dementia than those who get between six and nine. For people older than 65, the recommended amount of sleep each night is no more than eight hours.

One necessary component of a healthy sleep schedule is being in a quiet environment. If you are awoken frequently by a snoring partner – or your own snoring – you may be at a higher risk of falling victim to cognitive degradation. If snoring is a problem, you or your partner may be suffering from sleep apnea. Some warning signs to look out for are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue or drowsiness
  • Headaches upon waking up
  • Moments where you stop breathing during sleep
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Irritability

Improve Your Sleep With Silent Night Therapy

If you are struggling to get through a night without waking up or gasping for air, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Don’t wait to get help until it is too late. The sleep specialists at Silent Night Therapy are ready to help diagnose and treat your sleep disorder. Call us at (631) 983-2463 or schedule a free consultation online.


What Is Parasomnia?

Posted on Monday, October 26th, 2020 at 3:25 pm    

Parasomnia describes any unusual activity that happens right before you sleep, during sleep, and in the moments between sleep and wakefulness. According to the Sleep Foundation, parasomnia often affects children more than adults, though it can affect people of all ages. Parasomnias can describe a number of unusual sleep anomalies, including sleepwalking, night terrors, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and bedwetting, just to name a few.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recognizes three distinct groups of parasomnia: NREM-related, REM-related, and “other.” REM stands for rapid eye movement.

The first group is non-rapid eye movement-related. Non-rapid eye movement sleep constitutes the first 90 or so minutes after you fall asleep. Sleep specialists call this “shallow” sleep. People who experience parasomnias in this stage of sleep will have difficulty remembering the events of their episodes. According to the Sleep Foundation, NREM-related parasomnias include:

  • Confusional arousals
  • Sleepwalking
  • Night or sleep terrors
  • Sexual abnormal behaviors
  • Sleep-related disordered eating habits

The second group is rapid eye movement sleep-related. This REM stage of sleep occurs immediately after the NREM stages of sleep. REM sleep will last about 90 minutes, then your sleep will rotate back to NREM, then REM, and so on. During REM, your eyes move rapidly while closed, breathing accelerates, and heart rate and blood pressure will increase. Parasomnias of REM sleep include:

  • Recurring sleep paralysis
  • REM sleep behavior disorder (RSBD)
  • Nightmare disorder

The final group is simply called “other,” as it describes parasomnias that happen between sleeping and wakefulness. They might include:

  • Bedwetting
  • Hallucinations that persist for several minutes after the person awakes
  • “Exploding head syndrome,” when a person hears a loud noise like an explosion in their head and may see a bright light upon waking, though it is imagined

If you are experiencing any of the events listed above, it is important that you make an appointment with your doctor or a sleep specialist. Parasomnias could be signs of an underlying health issue, such as anxiety, PTSD, or a complication with prescribed medicine.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep With Silent Night Therapy

Parasomnias could be a sign of a more serious sleep problem, such as sleep apnea or insomnia. If you’re having trouble getting restful sleep and are waking up exhausted, then you might have a sleep disorder. The sleep specialists at Silent Night Therapy can diagnose your problems and find reliable solutions. Call us today at (631) 983-2463 or schedule a free consultation online.


Teens Lack Sleep Routine During the Pandemic

Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 12:13 am    

Pandemic sleep issues for teens

Teenagers are not known for their healthy sleep schedules. But a global pandemic has heightened stress levels, altered learning environments, and challenged teenagers on a social level, as well. These factors combine to make for unhealthy sleep schedules that could leave your teen awake until the early morning hours and asleep until the afternoon. Not only does this irregular sleep schedule throw off their daily routine, it can have an effect on their overall health.

Experts generally agree that teenagers need around 9 hours of sleep each night to function optimally. However, melatonin, a hormone released by the body to help you fall asleep, isn’t released in teenaged bodies until later in the night. This makes it harder for teens to fall asleep at an earlier hour. With demanding schedules full of classes, after-school programs, sports, music lessons, and homework, teenagers could be up until very late at night getting everything done. Even if a teenager has the chance to get in bed early, their brains may not let them fall asleep for a couple of hours.

When your teenager doesn’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night, this can throw off their routines and even jeopardize their health. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a weakened immune system and higher levels of stress, which could lead to conditions such as depression and heart disease.

Support a Healthy Sleep Routine

During the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to support your immune system any way you can, including eating healthy foods and getting plenty of sleep.

Experts recommend the following tips to help your teenager get a healthy amount of sleep:

  • Do not bring electronics such as phones and laptops into bed at night.
  • Get plenty of natural light during the day to reset your circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and evening.
  • Limit daytime naps to 20 minutes.
  • Read a book, drink warm tea, or take a warm shower before bed.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep With Silent Night Therapy

Teenagers need a lot of healthy sleep each night to wake up ready for the next day, and so do adults. If you’re having trouble getting restful sleep and are waking up exhausted, then you might have a sleep disorder. The sleep specialists at Silent Night Therapy can diagnose your problems and find reliable sleep solutions. Call our office today at (631) 983-2463 or schedule your free consultation online.


How to Stay Awake When You’re Tired

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2020 at 2:41 pm    

How to stay awake

Between Zoom meetings, online schooling, and scanning a constant news cycle, it can be hard to feel energized in the middle of the day. This is especially true if you are suffering from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Though it might be tempting to reach for another cup of coffee or snag a Red Bull for a quick pick-me-up, there are other, more natural ways to boost your energy.

  1. Get up and move around. Sitting at a desk – whether at the office or in your own home – gets monotonous and worsens fatigue, especially when you are staring at a screen for hours at a time. Experts recommend standing up and moving around, whether it’s taking a short lap around the office or stepping outside for some fresh air. Getting your blood and oxygen pumping through your brain and muscles will do more to keep you energized for longer than eating a candy bar will.
  2. Switch up your work tasks. If you have been working at one particular task or project all day, you are likely to feel exhausted by the afternoon. Give your brain a jolt and switch tasks a few times per day to stimulate your mind. Monotonous tasks can make you just as sleepy as if you had lost hours of sleep the night before, according to one study.
  3. Drink more water. Sleep specialists have found that dehydration compounds sleepiness, so adding a few glasses of cold water to your daily intake could help boost your energy levels. It also helps to eat fruits and vegetables that have high water content, like cucumbers and celery.
  4. Reset your circadian rhythm. Step outside and get at least 30 minutes of sunlight every day to regulate your sleep cycle. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, this could help your body and mind reset.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Silent Night Therapy

The amount and quality of sleep you get every night directly correlates to the quality of your life. If you are having trouble sleeping or staying asleep, this is likely getting in the way of work and quality time with family. You do not have to keep suffering. The sleep apnea specialists at Silent Night Therapy are here to help you diagnose your problems and find solutions. Call us at 631-983-2463 or schedule your free consultation online. A better night’s sleep is only a call away.


What Is Microsleep?

Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2020 at 12:44 am    

What is microsleep?Microsleep is exactly what it sounds like: periods of sleep that last only a few seconds. These short bursts of sleep can happen at any time. You could experience microsleep when you’re at work, driving your car, sitting in class, or watching your kids.

It’s not just an innocent nap; it can be a symptom of a serious health problem. According to Healthline, microsleep is usually a side-effect of more troubling sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or narcolepsy. Visiting a sleep specialist can help you determine which, if any, of these sleep disorders is causing your microsleep.

You’re more likely to experience microsleep if you’re sleep-deprived, and millions of us are. Approximately 1 in 5 American adults don’t get enough sleep. There are a number of reasons why you might be sleep-deprived, including:

  • Working late nights or overnight shifts
  • Being unable to sleep because of stress
  • Sleep disorders
  • Narcolepsy

Some of the most common warning signs that you might be experiencing microsleep are:

  • Sudden and uncontrollable body jerks
  • Not being able to remember the last few minutes
  • Slow blinking
  • Excessive yawning
  • Repetitive head dropping

Many of the symptoms of microsleep are similar to what you experience right before falling asleep at a natural and healthy time of day. But microsleep can happen at any time and anywhere. This’s part of what can make microsleep dangerous.

Luckily, there are simple ways to treat microsleep. Making small changes to your daily routine could help you fall asleep more quickly and get a deeper sleep. This could include cutting your caffeine intake a couple of hours before bed, turning off your phone, laptop, and TV earlier, and keeping your room cooler. If these changes don’t make a difference and you still experience periods of extreme tiredness during the day, it might be time to call a sleep expert.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Sleep Expert

Silent Night Therapy is open again and ready to help patients just like you! Schedule your appointment today to discuss any problems you have with sleeping or staying asleep. If you’re experiencing microsleep, you might need treatment for a more serious sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Consult with one of our team members today to diagnose and solve your problem. Call our office at 631-983-2463 to speak with a sleep specialist.


Foods That Help You Sleep

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 at 12:26 am    

Foods for sleep

Following a regular bedtime routine is one of the most beneficial things you can do for a good night’s sleep. You might take a shower, brush your teeth, and settle in with a good book before falling asleep. But did you know that some foods are better to eat before bedtime than others? Specialists say that eating certain foods before you go to sleep can improve your chances of getting a good night’s rest.

According to Healthline, there are nine foods and beverages that specialists have identified as the most beneficial to eat or drink before bed. They are:

  • Almonds
  • Turkey
  • Chamomile tea
  • Kiwis
  • Cherry juice
  • Walnuts
  • Fatty fish
  • White rice
  • Passionflower tea

Some experts also believe that warm milk, bananas, cottage cheese, and yogurt help you get a good night’s sleep. Consuming these foods and beverages two to three hours before you go to sleep is recommended because it’s less likely to cause acid reflux or an upset stomach.

Many of the items listed above are good sources of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, and serotonin, a chemical produced in the brain that regulates your sleep cycle. Cherry juice and almonds both contain high levels of melatonin, which in turn makes the person who consumes them sleepier sooner. Additionally, some research suggests that high amounts of magnesium in one’s diet can help promote sounder sleep. Walnuts, bananas, and almonds are all rich in magnesium.

Get Help at Silent Night Therapy

If you or your partner have difficulties falling asleep at night, this could be an indication of a more serious underlying health issue, such as sleep apnea or insomnia. Oftentimes, insomnia is caused by factors that are easy to address, but if you are suffering from sleep apnea, more rigorous treatment may be recommended. The specialists at Silent Night Therapy are here to help you through the process.

At Silent Night Therapy, our offices are now open. We understand that our clients are concerned about staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our staff has put in place comprehensive safety protocols to ensure the health of each of our clients. In addition, leaving the safety and comfort of your home is not required to see whether you have sleep apnea – we would be happy to mail an at-home kit right to your home. Contact us at (631) 983-2463 or fill out a contact form on our website today to learn more about our services.


Facts About Snoring

Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2020 at 9:16 pm    

Shutterstock 743651992Snoring is extremely common in adults. In fact, about 90 million Americans suffer from snoring, either temporarily or semi-permanently. This could be because they have a cold or allergies, or it might be because of obesity or sleep apnea.

Some factors that frequently contribute to snoring are:

  • Sleep deprivation – the more tired you are once you finally fall asleep, the more your throat muscles will relax, which can cause increased snoring.
  • Sleeping position – snoring is less likely to occur when sleeping on your side, but more likely to occur if you sleep on your back.
  • Nasal and sinus problems – abnormalities in your sinuses can contribute to snoring because your air passages may be more clogged than usual.
  • Sinus and oral anatomy – a longer uvula, deviated septum, and narrow nasal passageways can all make snoring worse.

While snoring is a common occurrence, it could be harmful for some people. Snoring could lead to issues including:

  • Dangerous drop in blood oxygen levels
  • Cardiovascular issues, including heart disease or heart attacks
  • Narrowing of the arteries in the neck due to fatty deposits, leading to strokes
  • Daytime sleepiness due to lack of adequate rest
  • Irritability, mood swings and other mental health issues.

Contact an OSA Expert at Silent Night Therapy

If you or your partner snore at night, this might be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition, such as sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. Oftentimes, snoring is caused by factors that are easy to fix, but if sleep apnea is the culprit, more rigorous treatment may be necessary. The experts at Silent Night Therapy are here to guide you through the process.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, our dedication to our clients remains strong. We have altered the nature of our services to better serve and protect you during these times by offering virtual consultations. You do not even need to leave the safety of your home to get tested for sleep apnea – we can mail an at-home kit right to your door. Call us at 631-983-2463 or fill out a contact form on our website today to learn more about our services.