Monthly Archives: January 2013

You are browsing the site archives by month.

Premonition Dreams

premonitions

While many people around the world scoff at the idea of premonition dreams, many people are thought to have had them—even the skeptics. The thing to keep in mind about premonition dreams is that they aren’t always the foretelling of bad things to happen in your life. Sometimes, they bring good news. Unfortunately, those dreams are rarely credited for the premonitions of good fortune they really are.

The science behind dreams is complex, and certainly not clear-cut. While there are the believers that think our dreams — including premonition dreams — mean something, there are other naysayers who don’t.

What is a Premonition Dream?

How do you know a dream you’re having is a premonition dream? What makes it different from other dreams you have? Sometimes a dream is just a dream, right? Premonition dreams are certainly different from lucid dreams, which is the name of the type of dream coined by Frederick van Eeden, and describes the act of dreaming while knowing you are dreaming. However, when dreams foretell a future event, warn of a major health crisis or death (like they did in the Sandra Bullock 2007 film “Premonition“), seem abnormally vivid, recurs over several nights, is shared by others, or occurs in combination with physical symptoms, the chances are that it’s a premonition dream.

Taking a Nap

napping on couch

Are you a napper? If so, you’re in good company. Some famous historical figures, including John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Napoleon, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison were nappers, according to the Huffington Post. There has also been reports that Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush were known to catch some short shut eye.

So, if you have an extra 10 minutes to spare, you might want to spend it taking a nap. A study conducted by researchers at Flinders University in Australia analyzed the benefits of taking a nap, including the ideal length of a nap for the most betterment. The findings, which are published in the research journal Sleep, revealed that a 10-minute nap rendered the most benefit in terms of cognitive performance and reduced sleepiness.

Neck Pain After Sleeping

pain in neck

Sleep is such a rare commodity these days that no one wants to deal with a painful neck after getting those oh-so-precious z’s. However, if you wake with neck pain, you’re not alone.

“Sleeping wrong” is one of the most common causes of neck pain upon waking in the morning, according to the National Institutes of Health. Thankfully, in many cases, there are simple fixes to the problem. Some of them are easier to implement than others. If you’re experiencing neck pain after sleeping, these are some of the things you’ll want to try to eliminate your personal pain in the neck.

Sleeping with a Concussion

concussion MRI

Suppose your sports-minded child just came home from a game of soccer with a concussion, and tells you that he or she is tired and wants to go to bed to sleep. But you’re not sure if it’s okay to be sleeping with a concussion. So, should you let your son or daughter go to sleep shortly after receiving a concussion?

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), getting plenty of sleep at night, and rest during the day is an important treatment for recovering from a concussion.

What is a concussion?

A concussion can result from a jarring (big movement) of the brain in any direction that causes its victim to lose consciousness and alertness. The severity of the concussion, which is a minor traumatic brain injury, may depend on how long the concussion sufferer remains unconscious. While concussions are most often heard about in relation to contact sport activities, they can also occur as a result of a car accident or a slip and fall. A concussion can result from a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head or upper body.

How Light Affects Sleep

light on in bedroom

You’ve probably heard people who work late night shifts in hospitals, fire stations, restaurants, or on the road protecting our streets talk about how light during the day has a negative impact on their ability to get a decent amount of restful sleep. But, did you know there is a real reason behind it? It’s not merely a preference for darkness that’s robbing them of the recuperative sleep they need in order to wake up refreshed and ready to face the day. But why does light have such a profound impact on sleep and what can people who work these necessary late shifts do to get the kind of sleep they need?

Why Does Light Negatively Impact Sleep?

“In the presence of light, your brain will not produce melatonin,” says Dr. Michael Breus, PhD, Sleep Specialist: On the surface that doesn’t seem like such a profoundly negative thing. However, melatonin is one of the vital hormones that plays a significant role in helping people not only fall asleep but also to remain asleep throughout the night. If a room has too much light, that makes things much more difficult for anyone looking to get a proper amount of sleep.

Too Tired to Sleep

too tired

Sleep, aside from food and water, is one of the most important things the body needs in order to repair itself, recover from injuries, and prepare to face the day. People who have difficulty sleeping or are unable to get an adequate amount of sleep will often find their communication ability, critical thinking, and even mobility are impaired—especially those who suffer from long-term sleep deprivation.

Are you getting enough sleep? Do you wake up feeling well-rested most mornings, or do you find yourself hitting the snooze button a few too many times once morning rolls around?

What if You’re Too Tired to Sleep?

Believe it or not, some people feel so tired and yet are unable to fall asleep. Any parent who has gone through the terrible two’s knows what it’s like to have a little one fighting sleep. The child is sleepy, it’s past nap time or bed time, and the child is struggling, fighting, wailing, and crying—anything to keep from going to sleep.

When you’re overly tired, sleep can be incredibly elusive leaving you feeling as frustrated as an overstimulated child fighting sleep. Your body is screaming for sleep, but your mind simply won’t shut off and let it happen.

Dreams that Feel Real

dream life

Lucid dreaming is a phenomenon that has been well documented over the past centuries. It’s a term that is used to describe the act of dreaming while being aware that you’re dreaming. In other words, dreams that feel real. In some instances the dreamer can even control the dream to some degree in order to determine its outcome or influence what takes place within the dream.

According to Edward Bixler of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, who is a professor of psychology specializing in electrophysiology of sleep and sleep disorders, lucid dreams are what happens “when a person recognizes he or she is dreaming while in a dreaming state and often manipulates the events within the dream.” This is far from remembering those oh-so-elusive details of dreams after you’ve awakened in the morning.

Bedroom Color Ideas

Color Picker Icon

Sleep is something that many people around the world find to be elusive. Unfortunately, it’s also something that’s necessary for sustaining quality of life as well as optimal health and mental well-being. In other words, it’s vitally important. Oddly enough, something as simple as your bedroom color scheme can have a significant impact on just how restful your bedroom really is. Here are a few things you should know about bedroom colors, at least as far as restful sleep is concerned, before you start decorating.

mood symbols

Colors Suggest Moods

One of the most common issues people have with sleep is difficulty falling asleep due to an abundance of heat (pitta) that is built up in the body. With this in mind, it makes sense that bedrooms decorated with cool colors such as blues, greens, and even some shades of purple, would create a better mood for sleep than bedrooms decorated with warm reds, yellows, and oranges. The warmer colors may create a warm and cozy atmosphere in the room, but in the long run the warmer colors could have a significantly negative impact on the overall restfulness of the room.

Not only do soothing cool colors impact the restful mood of the room, but they also serve to lower your blood pressure and your heart rate—at least according to Shape Magazine. This makes it easier for you to relax and get the sleep your body requires.

Sleep Anxiety

anxiously lying awake

The average person feels a little jagged around the edges as a result of a sleepless night or even a night when the quality of sleep was less than optimal. However, a recent study conducted by the Neuroimaging Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley has revealed that “people who are highly anxious may actually be more vulnerable” to serious anxiety issues in the aftermath of a sleepless night.

The University of California, Berkeley study scanned the brains of 18 adults (who were all in good health) on two different occasions. One was after an ordinary night’s worth of sleep and the other after a night where they were deprived of sleep. During each session, subjects were exposed to a period of prolonged anticipation of a potentially negative experience. Those who experienced sleep deprivation the night before had reactions that were significantly stronger than those who had enjoyed a more restful sleep on the previous evening. In some cases, primarily for those predisposed to anxiety, the reaction was amplified by as much as 60 percent.

Which Comes First, Anxiety or Sleep Issues?

Once upon a time it was well understood that chronic anxiety can do a real number on your ability to sleep. For a long time, it was believed that sleep problems were simply side effects of anxiety disorder. However, new research indicates that sleep deprivation can actually be the cause of an anxiety disorder. Research also indicates that patients suffering from almost any psychiatric disorder also suffer from some form of sleep disorder. People who suffer from chronic insomnia are at a much greater risk of developing some type of anxiety disorder.

Does Sleeping Help You Grow?

boy checking growth

You’ve probably heard, more than once, that sleep is vital for the growth of healthy children. The scientific community has known for a long time that the hours while the body is sleeping are not idle hours where it literally turns itself off. These are hours when the body is performing critical functions that help children grow. But why is it so important for children?

The Importance of Sleep for Children

Dr. Cara Natterson, a pediatrician and graduate of John Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard University, provides important insight as to why age factors into the need for more sleep:

“Sleep is a critical ingredient to good growth, and the amount of sleep we need depends upon our age,” says Dr. Natterson. “Little babies, newborns, and infants get somewhere around 16 hours of sleep for every 24 hours, give or take. Toddlers need about 14 hours of sleep in every 24 hours.”

There’s just so much going on during those hours of sleep that the body cannot accomplish during waking hours.