Are you planning on visiting the Washington D.C. area this January? Come to the National Sleep Foundation's Big Sleep Show pavilion at the NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo, Saturday, Jan. 16, and Sunday, Jan. 17, in Washington, D.C. The Expo runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at the Washington Convention Center and is free and open to the public. This is the largest health expo in the U.S. and is a perfect family weekend activity.
There's no denying the benefits of a good night's sleep. We love waking up refreshed and ready for the day. According to a recent poll of 3,000 Brits, our friends across the pond agree. The poll, conducted by the British company Bachelors, found that a good night's sleep was voted the number one "greatest little pleasure in life," according to an article in the London Telegraph.
Heat can have a negative effect on your sleep. Research suggests that a hot sleeping environment leads to more wake time and lighter sleep at night. In general, sleep scientists recommend keeping your room slightly cool. However, opinions about what constitutes as "hot" and "cold" vary because everyone is different. In fact, a recent column in the New York Times suggests that conventional wisdom about body temperature — that the average is 98.6 degrees — might be all wrong. According to the Times, recent studies have shown that body temperatures can decrease as we age.
According to a recent Baltimore Sun article, when a Maryland high school student asked his friend serving in Afghanistan if there was anything he needed, his response was simple: a pillow. With that, North Harford High School senior Pat Garrett launched Operation Sleep Well, a campaign to send pillows to troops serving overseas. Garrett launched the campaign with the help of his friend's mother, Mary Dundon, and so far they have shipped more than 1,000 inflatable pillows, the article notes. "These guys are having a hard time over there," Garrett told the Sun.
The holidays are a good time for making lists, whether they are for gifts, resolutions or your favorite moments from the past year. That’s why the National Sleep Foundation has launched a new section of its site to find out which sleep-related songs, lullabies and movies visitors love the most. The National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Top 100 allows visitors to vote for their favorites and even suggest new content through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
A recent article in the Washington Post looks at sleepwalking in children and how it's common and not as dangerous as you think. Sleepwalking, formally known as somnambulism, is a behavior disorder that originates during deep sleep and results in walking or performing other complex behaviors while asleep. The article points out that some estimate about 17 percent of children have a sleepwalking experience between the ages of four and 12. According to the Post, doctors don't consider sleepwalking a serious medical problem because most kids outgrow it.
Bed bugs are pests that you don't want to deal with. According to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, they are small, brown-ish insects with flattened bodies that hide close to where people sleep, feeding on blood. And when you get an infestation, getting rid of them can be expensive. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that extermination can cost between $400 and $900. According to a post on the technology blog Gizmodo, however, detecting an infestation might be a lot cheaper than you think.
An ambulatory blood pressure monitoring test that is used to measure changes in blood pressure from daytime to nighttime might actually interfere with sleep, affecting the test's findings, according to a study in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Researchers followed 103 patients with kidney disease who were undergoing the test and discovered they had increased activity levels at night because the blood pressure monitor interfered with sleep.
The holidays can be a busy and stressful time for travelers. Adding jet lag to that mix is enough to drive someone to say, "Bah humbug!" The following are some simple behavior adjustments you can use to help minimize the effects of traveling from one time zone to another:
New research conducted at Northwestern University has found that sounds heard during deep sleep can influence the consolidation of memories. According to a story in the university's news center, researchers presented 25 sounds — from a teakettle whistle to a cat's meow — to study participants as they slept and then conducted memory tests on the participants to see if they could match the sounds to a correct object. Participants were more accurate in identifying the 25 objects matched to sounds they heard while they slept than identifying another 25 unrelated matched objects.