In general, alarm clocks only do two things: They keep the time and they generate a loud, obnoxious noise to remind you to get up. But a new alarm clock reviewed in the New York Times has an additional function: It monitors your sleep. On a typical night, you alternate between REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep in a cycle that repeats itself about every 90 minutes. NREM sleep is generally when relaxation occurs, leading to REM sleep — or "active" sleep — which provides energy to brain and body and supports daytime performance.
The secret to your child falling asleep faster may be as simple as turning off the TV. A recent study conducted at Monash University in Melbourne and the University of Aukland found that for every hour a child is sedentary — watching TV or reading — it takes an additional three minutes to fall asleep. According to a BBC News article, researchers observed 519 seven-year-olds and found that the majority of children fell asleep in 45 minutes and the average time to fall asleep took 26 minutes.
Summer is in full swing, so we compiled a list of our favorite articles related to sleep and travel. Share your vacation stories with us on Pillow Talk or our other online communities today!
Your flight has been canceled or delayed, and you now have to spend a couple of hours or even the night at the airport. We've been there, and it's not pleasant. Apparently, some airports are less pleasant than others. According to an article on news.com.au, Donna McSherry, a former travel agent, decided she would create a Web site, called sleepinginairports.net, so readers could rate their favorite and least favorite airports for sleeping. The following are readers' top 10 least-favorite airports:
A recent article in USA Today profiles George Dawes Green, an author who has a rare disorder called non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome, or hypernychthemeral syndrome. Classified as a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome is when a person's internal biological clock is found to have no stable relationship to the regular 24-hour light/dark cycle, according to the fourth edition of the Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. This means sleep onset and wake times get pushed back each day. For example, this week a person might go to sleep at 10 p.m.
A new article on the site looks at undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea and the effect it can have on children. Obstructive sleep apnea, or simply sleep apnea, is a disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The "apnea" in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds. For children, sleep apnea can cause daytime fatigue and contribute to behavior problems at school.
If you think your work schedule is demanding, try being an adviser for the president. A recent article in the Washington Post examined the hectic schedules of members of President Obama's Administration, including their bouts with sleepless nights and fatigue. According to the Post, grueling schedules aren't anything new at the Oval Office. Previous administrations had their share of 18- to 20-hour work days.
A recent study published in the journal SLEEP found that sleep-deprived women are at greater risk for developing heart disease than men. Women who slept five hours or less displayed an increase in inflammatory markers known as high-sensitivity C-reactive proteins, which are commonly associated with cardiovascular disease. The study, which was conducted at Warwick Medical School in England, consisted of 4,600 participants, 73 percent of whom were men. Researchers determined volunteers' sleep duration using questionnaires and followed up with a general health screening exam.
If you spend as much time on your computer as we do, you know that the Internet can often be a cause of insomnia, not a cure. However, a recent study in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that people who participated in an online program to treat insomnia actually improved their sleep. Researchers from the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville and the Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, followed 44 individuals with a history of difficulty sleeping.
In a new Ask the Sleep Expert article, Dr. Barbara Phillips — sleep expert, board member and past chair of the National Sleep Foundation — conducts a roundtable discussion on the topic of women and sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The "apnea" in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds. More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea.