Slighting Sleep on Campus
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Whether you're staying awake for studying or something a bit more exciting, you probably drink more than your fair share of caffeine packed energy drinks and coffee. Here, learn about the pros and cons of staying-awake aids.
Transcript: If you're pulling an all-nighter, you'll probably need some help. Here, the good, the bad, and the ugly...
If you're pulling an all-nighter, you'll probably need some help. Here, the good, the bad, and the ugly of the stay-awake aids. The most common sleep fighting agent amongst college students is caffeine, which is the stimulating ingredient in coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Though some use ephedrine, the active ingredient found in over-the-counter allergy and cold medication, like Sudafed or Mucinex.According to the National Coffee Association, college students are now drinking more caffeine than ever-about 3.2 cups each daily, up from 2.1 in 2005. Meanwhile, some students prefer to get their caffeine rush faster, in the form of over-the-counter pills like NoDoze and Vivarin. Most of these tablets contain about 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is comparable to two cups of coffee. Both caffeine pills and direct caffeine intake are fairly harmless ways to stay awake, according to the FDA. Remember though, that caffeine may make you jittery and distracted, side effects that can defeat the purpose of staying awake to study in the first place. Additionally, caffeine can be addictive, so you can suffer headaches and other withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it. While caffeine is generally safe, some energy drinks, like Wired, contain as much as 500 milligrams of the stimulant. That's the equivalent of five cups of coffee in one fell swoop, a dose that may make doing schoolwork more difficult. Still, if you're sticking with caffeine, you're better off than the 14% of your peers who rely on prescription ADHD medication, like Adderall or Ritalin, to stay awake, according to a 2004 University of Wisconsin study.* These stimulating drugs are often used illegally by college students to increase concentration and ward off sleep. While ADHD meds may work in the short-term, if used incorrectly, they can sometimes come with some dangerous side effects, including fainting and seizures. Plus, drugs like Ritalin are addictive, and users may start to desire them even when all-nighters aren't necessary. But no matter your stay-awake aid, you're probably better off letting yourself actually sleep, says a recent study at Saint Lawrence University. There, researchers found that students who avoided staying up all night had better GPAs than those who relied on not sleeping pre-exam. So think ahead, and plan your schedule so that you can crawl under the covers and get yourself some much deserved rest when you're in crunch time!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-14 | Tags »
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How do you know if you're a simple snorer or if you have sleep apnea? Check out this video to know more about this sleep disorder.
Transcript: For more than 18 million Americans, SLEEP APNEA causes difficulty breathing while they sleep. But most...
For more than 18 million Americans, SLEEP APNEA causes difficulty breathing while they sleep. But most people with the condition snooze right through it - it's their sleeping partner or other family members who hear the repeated gasping, snorting and long pauses between breaths -- sometimes for as long as a minute or more-- that are the sure signs of sleep apnea. If you are a chronic, constant snorer, talk to your doctor about being evaluated for sleep apnea. NOT DRINKING, STOPPING SMOKING, AND LOSING WEIGHT CAN REVERSE the condition IN SOME CASES, but most of the time sleep apnea requires treatment to avoid the serious health problems it can trigger. These include heart disease, diabetes, depression, chronic sleep problems, high blood pressure. DIFFICULTY concentrating, IRRITABILITY, sexual problems, and learning and memory issues. For a proper diagnosis, you may have to spend the night at a sleep center so researchers can monitor your eye movement, muscle activity, heart rate, breathing, and blood oxygen levels while you're sleeping. They will also examine your throat and airways: Having a small upper airway, recessed chin, small jaw, large overbite, large neck, large tongue, large tonsils, or a large uvula, which is that dangly thing at the back of your mouth, can ALL contribute to sleep apnea. The most COMMON solution is to use a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure device. It's a mask that you wear over your nose and-or mouth during sleep, and it's designed to PREVENT any pauses in breathing. In SOME cases, doctors will recommend dental devices designed to reposition parts of your mouth to facilitate breathing, Upper airway surgery may also be needed.Learn more about better breathing by watching other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
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Do you have a long day ahead of you and want to get a good night’s sleep? If the answer is yes then try to relax progressively to sleep deep. Click here to find out how.
Transcript: Sleeping is good. Sleeping at work is bad. Here's how to get zzs tonight so you're awake tomorrow! Progressive...
Sleeping is good. Sleeping at work is bad. Here's how to get zzs tonight so you're awake tomorrow! Progressive muscle relaxation is a tried and true technique for easing into a restful night's sleep. Warning: Don't try this in the office! Lie down on your back with your arms slightly away from your body and your palms facing up. Focus on your feet and ankles, noticing if they are painful or tense. Tighten the muscles briefly to feel the sensation. Then, let the feet sink into the bed. Feel them getting heavy, allowing them to float away from consciousness. Very slowly move your attention upward through different parts of your body. Relax your calves, thighs, lower back, hips, and pelvis. Move to the middle back, abdomen, upper back, shoulders, arms, and hands. Finish with your neck, jaw, tongue, and scalp. Once you reach your head, relax any spots that are still tense. Breathe gently as you drift off to the dreams of a productive tomorrow!More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-17 | Tags »
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Snoring is sometimes a symptom of sleep apnea. Learn more about this sometimes serious sleep condition.
Transcript: Snoring is present in up to 45 percent of Americans, and can present problems when the noise is so loud...
Snoring is present in up to 45 percent of Americans, and can present problems when the noise is so loud that it awakens the sleeper. This rattling sound is produced when the air you inhale passes over the throat's relaxed tissue. Sometimes, snoring can point to a more serious problem known as sleep apnea, which occurs when the upper airway becomes blocked, interrupting breathing for brief periods during the night. People with sleep apnea are often overweight, or may have particularly small inner throats. In addition, sleep apnea often occurs in people with enlarged tonsils.More »
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Depriving yourself of sleep can have some serious consequences for your health and for the health of those around you. Check out this video for details.
Transcript: In the short term, sleep deprivation can lead to decreased performance and alertness during daily activities....
In the short term, sleep deprivation can lead to decreased performance and alertness during daily activities. Reducing sleep by just one and a half hours can lead to a 30 percent reduction in alertness. In fact, over 100,000 car crashes and 7,000 accident deaths each year are attributed to drowsy driving. If you're not getting enough sleep, your cognitive functioning, and your memory in particular, suffers a blow. This can make it difficult to think and process new information on the job or at school, and can double the risk that you will suffer an occupational injury. Sleep loss can also lead to a host of serious physical maladies over the long-term, including an increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. In addition, because the body repairs and strengthens its immune system during non-REM sleep, people who don't sleep well are at an increased risk of catching a cold or the flu. There is some evidence that not sleeping well is a factor in obesity.More »
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How do common sleep medications work to help you catch Zs instead of tossing and turning? Watch this to learn about their mechanisms.
Transcript: Benzodiazepine hypnotics are one class of prescription drugs that are commonly used to treat insomnia....
Benzodiazepine hypnotics are one class of prescription drugs that are commonly used to treat insomnia. These drugs include temazepam, which is sold under the brand name Restoril, and flurazepam, also known as awake. Here's how benzodiazepines work: GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter found in the brain. When these medications enter the brain, they bind to a receptor on GABA, creating a sedative effect which induces sleep. These medications tend to have long-lasting action and are the most beneficial to those who frequently awaken during the night. Another group of medications, the non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, are chemically different than benzodiazepines but have a similar method of action....they also work by binding to a sleep-inducing receptor on GABA. Non-benzodiazepines include eszopiclone, which is commonly known as Lunesta, and zolpidem, which is sold under the name Ambien. These quick-acting, but short-lasting, medications are the most effective for people who have trouble initially falling asleep at night.More »
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People with sleep disorders may benefit from melatonin supplements. Check out this video to learn more about this natural treatment.
Transcript: People with circadian rhythm disruptions, like those who work odd hours or suffer from jet lag, may benefit...
People with circadian rhythm disruptions, like those who work odd hours or suffer from jet lag, may benefit from over-the-counter melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a hormone which is naturally released by the brain's pineal gland. This hormone influences the circadian rhythm cycle, or the body's natural sleep/wake patterns. During the day, levels are low, while darkness causes an increase in melatonin.More »
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When your body's clock is out of whack, your sleep will suffer. Check out this video for tips on maintaining a sleep rhythm.
Transcript: Circadian rhythms refer to the body's internal clock. This "clock" is actually a small part of the brain...
Circadian rhythms refer to the body's internal clock. This "clock" is actually a small part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. Changes in light or the timing of exercise can "reset" the clock, moving it forward or backward and making sleep difficult. For this reason, it's useful to avoid exercise and bright lights in the hours leading up to bed. Because the suprachiasmatic nucleus does work like a clock, it also helps to maintain a regular sleep schedule 7-days a week-that means avoiding late-night Saturdays or lazy Sunday mornings! Similarly, it is important not to nap during the day, as this confuses the body's clock even further.More »
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Sleep hygiene is the key to good sleep. Check out this video for tips.
Transcript: Psychological stressors are stess-inducing factors that can prevent you from getting to sleep or sleeping...
Psychological stressors are stess-inducing factors that can prevent you from getting to sleep or sleeping well. These include marital conflict, work deadlines and money worries, among others. To stop psychological stressors from sapping your sleep, it can help to have a "pre-bed" ritual in place. This can involve taking a hot bath, enjoying light (non-work related) reading, or writing down daily stressors in a journal. Just ensure that your bedtime ritual does not take place in the bed: A spot that should be reserved for sleep and sex only. This is so you do not associate the bed with distracting emotions and activities that can make sleeping difficult.More »
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What you eat can either inhibit or promote sleep. Watch this video to learn which foods you should avoid and which foods you should eat when you have insomnia.
Transcript: The foods you eat can help with insomnia. In the evening, try consuming foods that are high in tryptophan,...
The foods you eat can help with insomnia. In the evening, try consuming foods that are high in tryptophan, a chemical that encourages sleep. Great sources include bananas, figs, grapefruit, dates, tuna, turkey, yogurt and milk. Another great aid for insomniacs is consuming the hormone melatonin, a natural sleep-enhancer. Melatonin is found in foods like oats, bananas and rice. It is also available in a supplement form. It is important to avoid stimulants like caffeine and cigarettes during the three hours before bedtime. A. Insomnias should also bypass alcohol before bed. Although spirits are technically classified as depressants, B. they can interfere with deep, restful REM sleep later in the night. A. People who have a hard time falling asleep may want to consider cutting back B. on foods like chocolate, sugar, C. cheese and potatoes. D. These neuro-stimulants contain tyrosine, which increases alertness.More »
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Try combating insomnia with this leg stretch exercise! Watch this for a step-by-step guide.
Transcript: Because the leg muscles are the largest, they store more tension than any other body part. Doing leg...
Because the leg muscles are the largest, they store more tension than any other body part. Doing leg stretches before bed can release tension, allowing for sounder sleep. Using a wall for support, raise your right leg behind you and grab your foot with your left hand. Pull your heel up toward your buttocks, stretching the muscles in the front of your leg for 20 seconds. Repeat with your left leg.More »
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The symptoms of restless legs syndrome can be annoying and even painful. Watch this video to learn more about RLS symptoms.
Transcript: The symptoms of RLS range from mildly annoying to incredibly painful. Some sufferers experience only...
The symptoms of RLS range from mildly annoying to incredibly painful. Some sufferers experience only occasional bouts of discomfort, while in severe cases, patients can have symptoms daily. Despite this range of symptom severity, however, the patterns of RLS are fairly predictable. Generally, discomfort is worse at night, particularly during the onset of sleep. Other periods of inactivity that may trigger restless legs include traveling in a car or plane, sitting in a movie-theater, or being immobilized in a cast.More »
Last Modified: 2014-06-30 | Tags »
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