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Identifying Your Sleeping Disorder: Narcolepsy-Cataplexy Syndrome

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The sleep disorder Narcolepsy-Cataplexy is one of the conditions specified by the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD-2, 2nd edition) as a variant type of Narcolepsy. It differs from the two other variants of Narcolepsy, namely: Secondary Narcolepsy, and Narcolepsy without Cataplexy.

 

( International Classification of Sleep Disorders ICSD-2 - Image Courtesy of durmiendomejor.com )
 ( ICSD-2 – Image Courtesy of durmiendomejor.com )

 

Common Complaints in Narcolepsy-Cataplexy Syndrome

People suffering from Narcolepsy with Cataplexy (otherwise known as Narcolepsy-Cataplexy Syndrome) usually complain of the following symptoms:

  • Sleep paralysis
  • Automatic behavior
  • Hallucinations that are hypnagogic in nature
  • Impaired sleep at night

 

( Narcolepsy and Halllucinations - Image Courtesy of journal.frontiersin.org )
( Narcolepsy and Halllucinations – Image Courtesy of journal.frontiersin.org )

 

Cataplexy is typically characterised by a prompt loss of muscle tone in all of the patient’s voluntary reflexive muscles save for those present in the eyes (ocular muscles) and in the respiration airways (respiratory muscles). When the cataplexy episodes strike they usually strike after the patient experiences a sleep attack, although there may be episodes where the cataplexic spell strikes first in the symptomatic manifestation.

 

( Hypocretin-Orexin and Cataplexy - Image Courtesy of www.dovepress.com )
( Hypocretin-Orexin and Cataplexy – Image Courtesy of www.dovepress.com )

 

Symptomatic Sleep Attacks

Sleep attacks may be defined as an inevitably strong urge to go to sleep regardless of the circumstance or time or location one may be in, and the sleep attack often strikes the patient in rather inappropriate incidences such as while driving, eating, playing, running, working, talking, sitting, watching TV, while in class, when one is carrying out some monotonous or uninspiring activities or boring tasks, and even while engaging in sexual intercourse. The sleeping attacks may last a few minutes or even up to half an hour or longer, but upon waking up from a sleep attack the patient usually reports of feeling recovered and refreshed.

 

( Narcolepsy Sleep Attack - Image Courtesy of www.healthtopia.net )
( Narcolepsy Sleep Attack – Image Courtesy of www.healthtopia.net )

 

With regards to frequency and patterns of occurrence of sleep attacks, it varies much from one patient to another. Some patients experience sleep attacks as often as daily, or weekly, or on a monthly basis, or every few months.

Further, it has been shown that the sleep attacks generally continue to occur all through the lifetime of the patient, albeit with fluctuations in occurrence from time to time, and even remissions of the sleep attacks once in a while though not permanently as the attacks recur after a period of remission.

Nonetheless, regardless of sleep attacks being a life-long chronic condition, their severity has been shown to diminish with age and in some cases, the sleep attacks have completely ceased to occur later on in life as the patient ages.

Interestingly, sleep attacks may be triggered by various emotional states, including anger or rage, and laughter for all of over 95% of the occurrences. In addition, the sleep attacks are usually partial but not too commonly do they occur unilaterally.

 

( Cataplexy - Image Courtesy of www.imreference.com )
( Cataplexy – Image Courtesy of www.imreference.com )

 

Some of the observable body movements experienced during the sleep attack include nodding of the head, knee buckling, having their jaw sagging down, dropping items they were holding in their hands, loss of the victim’s voice (voice loss), slumping their posture, dysarthria, and even falling down straight ahead to the floor for a brief while. When the patient has fallen, they may be in that state for anything from seconds or minutes, but their consciousness is not lost at any one point all through the duration of the sleep attack.

 

( Narcolepsy and Falling Down - Image Courtesy of www.itv.com )
( Narcolepsy and Falling Down – Image Courtesy of www.healthtopia.net )

 

Various aspects of the patient’s life are consequently affected by the sleep attacks and the associated Excessive Daytime Somnolence (EDS), including academic performance, functionality and performance at work, their psychological welfare, their social lives and interactions, and their economic wellbeing.

 

( Narcolepsy - Image Courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com )
( Narcolepsy – Image Courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com )

 

 

Identifying Your Sleeping Disorder: Narcolepsy

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Sleeping Disorders

Physicians and other medical practitioners may very well verify that one of the most common sleep disorders of modern age is Narcolepsy, which seems to be affecting more and more people all around the world due to demanding lifestyles and economic reasons.

 

( Narcolepsy - Image Courtesy of www.empowher.com )
( Narcolepsy – Image Courtesy of www.empowher.com )

 

Classification of Types of Narcolepsy

The ICSD-2 (International Classification of Sleep Disorders, edition 2) is an internationally approved, medical standardization recognized and utilized by medical professionals as a glossary outlining and categorizing all the known sleeping disorders. It clearly stipulates various types of Narcolepsy which is categorized into 3 related yet distinct classes as follows:

1.  Narcolepsy without Cataplexy
2.  Narcolepsy with Cataplexy (also known as Narcolepsy Cataplexy Syndrome)
3.  Secondary Narcolepsy

Thereby the main focus here is on the type of Narcolepsy that is incident without Cataplexy, which is rather distinct from the Narcolepsy Cataplexy Syndrome.

 

( International Classification of Sleep Disorders ICSD-2 - Image Courtesy of durmiendomejor.com )
( ICSD-2 – Image Courtesy of durmiendomejor.com )

 

What are the symptoms of Narcolepsy?

Clinical manifestations of Narcolepsy are shown to commonly reach peak levels in patients between the age bracket of 15 years to 30 years old.

Some of the most common complaints made by people suffering from Narcolepsy include: EDS (Excessive Daytime Somnolence or Sleepiness), intense desire and constant urge to go to sleep, as well as feeling rather refreshed and rested after catching extra sleep during the day (in addition to already having slept during the night, but not refreshed by nighttime sleep by the time one wakes up in the morning).

 

( Narcolepsy - Image Courtesy of blog.mattressesforless.net )
( Narcolepsy – Image Courtesy of blog.mattressesforless.net )

 

However, the above complaints are also closely linked to other sleeping disorders, and therefore further investigation and analysis is necessary on the part of the medical practitioner lest a misdiagnosis is made; for instance, as Partial Arousal Disorder, Insomnia, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS).

 

( Narcolepsy Cause - Hypocretin or Orexin - Image Courtesy of healthresearchfunding.org )
( Narcolepsy Cause – Hypocretin or Orexin – Image Courtesy of healthresearchfunding.org )

 

Major Narcolepsy Symptoms with Figures of Occurrence

  • Sleep Attacks (of the Narcoleptic nature) – 100 per cent prevalence
  • Sleep Paralysis – 25 to 50 per cent prevalence
  • Hallucinations (Hypnagogic in nature) – 20 to 40 per cent prevalence
  • Cataplexy 60 to 70 per cent prevalence
  • Automatic behaviour 20 to 40 per cent prevalence
  • Impaired nighttime sleep70 to 80 per cent prevalence

 

( Narcolepsy and Falling Down - Image Courtesy of www.itv.com )
( Narcolepsy and Falling Down – Image Courtesy of www.itv.com )

 

Co-morbidity or concurrent or secondary occurrence of Narcolepsy with other sleeping disorders cannot be ruled out or ignored. In many cases of patients diagnosed with Narcolepsy, an additional co-morbid diagnosis of one of the following sleep disorders is also observed:

  • PLMS Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Nocturnal Eating Disorder
  • RBD – REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Behavior Disorder

 

( Narcolepsy Comorbidities - Image Courtesy of books.publications.chestnet.org )
( Narcolepsy Comorbidities – Image Courtesy of books.publications.chestnet.org )

 

Various sleep disorders are genetic as they may be passed on, and Narcolepsy is one among these; therefore careful history analysis of family background is necessary in the diagnosis of Narcolepsy.

 

( Narcolepsy Symptoms - Image Courtesy of www.pinterest.com )
( Narcolepsy Symptoms – Image Courtesy of www.pinterest.com )

 

Differentiating between Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia

It is also possible for a case of Narcolepsy to be misdiagnosed as Hypersomnia (specifically primary or idiopathic Hypersomnia) to which it is very closely related – they both have the same age bracket of disorder onset, but the sleeping patterns observed in Narcolepsy differ from those associated with idiopathic Hypersomnia.

One of the key differences is that while additional daytime sleep or napping is observed to be refreshing and restorative in Narcolepsy, the same is not the case with Hypersomnia, whereby the patient sleeps for long extended durations of sleep that is non-refreshing and non-restorative, thereby constantly desiring to fall asleep while the Narcoleptic patient is usually well rested after catching some extra sleep during the day.

 

( Narcolepsy vs. Hypersomnia - Image Courtesy of www.aasmnet.org )
( Narcolepsy vs. Hypersomnia – Image Courtesy of www.aasmnet.org )

 

Differentiating between Narcolepsy and Sleep Apnea

An underlying case of Narcolepsy may also be misinterpreted as a case Sleep Apnea, particularly due to the EDS (Excessive Daytime Somnolence) or Daytime Sleepiness presented in both Narcolepsy and Sleep Apnea.

In this case, a clear distinction should be made with other symptomatic manifestations of Sleep Apnea not presented in Narcolepsy, such as: snoring, frequent and constant awakening from one’s sleep all through the night, cataplexy and cessation of breathing; all of which are typical symptoms of Sleep Apnea, specifically Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), and are not typical of Narcolepsy.

 

( Sleep-Wake Disturbances in Sleep Disorders Comparison - Image Courtesy of brain.oxfordjournals.org )
( Sleep-Wake Disturbances in Sleep Disorders Comparison – Image Courtesy of brain.oxfordjournals.org )

 

Lab Analysis and Testing for Narcolepsy

The Polysomnograph PSG Test, used to diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), may be run overnight to assess the sleep disordered patient suspected to have Narcolepsy as it has been shown to also be beneficial in diagnosing Narcolepsy. With the PSG testing, various physiological factors are assessed, including the determination of optimized pressure measurements for CPAPContinuous Positive Airway Pressure.

 

( CPAP Titration in OSAS Treatment - Image Courtesy of www.alamy.com )
( CPAP Titration in OSAS Treatment – Image Courtesy of www.alamy.com )

 

MSLT Multiple Sleep Latency Testing has been fundamental in the documentation, observation and analysis of pathological chronic sleepiness, such as that presented in patient cases of Narcolepsy. It quickly picks up on the latency of sleep onset that is detected to having occurred quickly in 8 minutes or less which is a key indicator for a Narcolepsy diagnosis. Another relative indicator picked up on by the MSLT in diagnosing Narcolepsy is the occurrence of 2 sleep onset Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phases obtained from the analysis of 4 to 5 sleeping or napping sessions.

 

( MSLT Multiple Sleep Latency Test - Image Courtesy of www.medscape.com )
( MSLT Multiple Sleep Latency Test – Image Courtesy of  www.medscape.com )

 

On the other hand, an MWT Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (which is a variation of the MSLT), may be beneficial in confirming a suspected case of Narcolepsy. However, it should be noted that Multiple Sleep Latency Testing is more superior to Maintenance of Wakefulness Testing which is less sensitive in detecting and diagnosing Narcolepsy. Nonetheless, the MWT is considered to be a more effective option in analyzing the effectiveness of treatment administered for Narcolepsy and other sleeping disorders like Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) when being treated with CPAP Titration.

 

( MSLT and MWT - Image Courtesy of www.aasmnet.org )
( MSLT and MWT – Image Courtesy of www.aasmnet.org )

 

Further, sleep experts have previously authored the possibility of mediation of Narcolepsy, among other sleeping disorders, by the leukocyte proteins called cytokines, in particular, IL-6 (Inter-Leukin) and TNF-α (Tumor Necrosis Factor).

 

( Cytokines in Disease - Image Courtesy of biologicalexceptions.blogspot.com )
( Cytokines in Disease – Image Courtesy of biologicalexceptions.blogspot.com )

 

Thus histo-compatibility analysis of leukocyte antigens is also beneficial in diagnosing suspected underlying Narcolepsy in patients with a sleeping disorder.

 

( Autoimmunity in Narcolepsy - Image Courtesy of www.nature.com )
( Autoimmunity in Narcolepsy – Image Courtesy of  www.nature.com )

 

In addition, analyzing fluid levels of Hypocretin-1, a cerebrospinal sample, may also confirm the diagnosis of possible underlying Narcolepsy in the patient.

 

( Hypocretin from Hypothalamus in Narcolepsy - Image Courtesy of www.nature.com )
( Hypocretin from Hypothalamus in Narcolepsy – Image Courtesy of  www.nature.com )

 

Sleep experts suggest the possibility of Narcolepsy actually being a degenerative medical condition that affects the neurons which contain Hypocretin within the lateral region of the hypothalamus.

 

( Narcolepsy - Image Courtesy of new.lakeforest.edu )
( Narcolepsy – Image Courtesy of  new.lakeforest.edu )

 

 

 

Hofish Adjustable Bed Review – TOP 10 Pros and Cons

Hofish Adjustable Bed Review

TOP 5 Pros of the Hofish Adjustable Bed

10Simple Assembly

It only takes THREE MINUTES to put the Hofish adjustable bed together. No other adjustable bed can match this feat.

9Two Customizable/Programmable Memory Positions

Generally, this is a feature found on $1000+ adjustable beds. But, this <$700 Hofish adjustable bed comes with two memory positions that you can customize as you wish. The remote has two factory-preset memory positions for TV watching and Zero gravity. These can be customized to your preference. This is a rarity for adjustable foundations in this price range.

8Anti Crushing Motor Technology

Again a feature seen in high-end adjustable beds. We all adore the comfort of adjustable beds; but did you ever stop to think that something could potentially get caught and crushed between the bed base and the frame. It could be your shoe, it could be your pet, it could be your hand or even a small child. Doesn’t sound like fun at all, does it? This is where this ‘anti-crushing’ technology comes in handy. If and when something gets in the way of a lowering base, the Hofish bed instantly ‘senses’ that and quits lowering/raising preventing ‘crushing’ of your shoe, your clothes or even your hand.

7FOUR USB Ports

Again a rare feature for a $700 adjustable bed. The four USB ports will undoubtedly come in handy to charge your smartphone, iPad/tablet computer, Bluetooth headset etc. etc. overnight, just by your side, should you need to reach for them in the middle of the night!

6Lightening Protection Adaptor

Another rare spec for an adjustable bed. Adjustable beds don’t come cheap. Why take the chance of getting your investment fried with lightening? Hofish seems to have got that covered as well. No wonder this is being voted as one of the best adjustable beds for the entry-level category

5Noise-free operation

Sure, the high-end adjustable beds are obviously very quiet; you can barely hear them going up and down during regular operation. If the electrical beds do make any noise, that will be during massage sessions.

But, when it comes to cheaper, entry-level adjustable beds, they’re very noisy (in an unpleasant way)… not the Hofish electric bed; it’s as quiet as a sleeping baby!

4750 lbs of weight lifting

If you thought that this cheap adjustable bed was weak and won’t be able to lift up a heavy, strong individual… you’re wrong my friend. This beast of an adjustable bed is fixed with a super-powerful German motor that can lift to the tune of 750 lbs without breaking a sweat!

Note: 750 lbs is including the weight of the adjustable mattress. Mattresses are generally no more than 150 pounds; they can even be as light-weight as 50 pounds.

3No Pillow Tilting

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Pillow tilting is awesome; but it’s not a deal breaker. If your neck easily gets sprained when you read/work on the bed, you need pillow tilting in your adjustable bed. If you’re young and strong and you don’t even know what a neck sprain is, forget worrying about pillow tilting. Just grab the Hofish with both hands, while the good price lasts!

2No Massage

You’re spending $600, and complaining that it doesn’t offer full body, therapeutic massage? You gotta be kidding me! Some cheap adjustable beds do offer massage; but read a few reviews of those beds and you’ll find dozens of actual users complaining about what a joke it is on those cheap models. If you want an adjustable bed with high-quality massage, go for one of our top-of-the range adjustable beds; or to a skilled masseur from your local spa!

1Hofish is NOT a Wall Hugger

A pity… but it’s the truth and it’s probably too much to expect wall hugging from a $600 adjustable bed. Is it a deal breaker? Probably yes, if you’re not 25 anymore and you will be constantly reaching for your nightstand while watching TV from your adjustable bed.

Hope you found our Hofish adjustable bed review useful and informative. If you did, don’t forget to show us some love by liking us, tweeting about us, sharing the page, commenting on the page etc. etc. All of these will encourage us to keep doing what we’re doing, for the benefit of the consumer!

Recommended Reads:

  1. Leggett & Platt Prodigy 2.0 Adjustable Bed Reviews: 15 PROS and CONS
  2. Reverie 8Q vs 7S vs 5D vs Leggett & Platt Prodigy 2.0 Comparison
  3. Pros and Cons of Adjustable Beds

Identifying Your Sleeping Disorder: Insomnia And Hypersomnia

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Insomnia

 

Insomnia, perhaps the most rampant sleep disorder, so prevalent is it that some don’t even know they have it, or that what they experience has a name, or that it is an anomalous sleeping condition…!

 

( Insomnia - Image Courtesy of sleepingresources.com )
( Insomnia – Image Courtesy of sleepingresources.com )

 

Symptoms of Insomnia

As a basic intro, Insomnia is one of the 4 most common sleeping disorders, and it symptomatically presents itself in one or all of these complaints:

  • Having difficulty falling asleep (sleep onset)
  • Having difficulty staying asleep (sleep maintenance)
  • Constantly or frequently waking up in the middle of the night
  • Waking up too early in the morning (premature awakening)
  • Experiencing fatigue and exhaustion during the day (despite having slept at night)
  • Low quality sleep that is not restorative, and not restful
  • Aching, sore painful muscles
  • Depression
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Poor or no concentration

 

( Insomnia - Image Courtesy of menhealthcare.net )
( Insomnia – Image Courtesy of menhealthcare.net )

 

Analyzing Possible Insomnia

In a majority of patients, Insomnia remains as a stubborn persistent problem that affects their normal functionality and productivity during the day. The symptoms present themselves at least 3 to 4 times a week, and prevail for extended periods of time, longer than 1 month, while disrupting diurnal productivity and functionality.

( Insomnia - Image Courtesy of www.sleepeducation.org )
( Insomnia – Image Courtesy of www.sleepeducation.org )

 

The occurrence of Insomnia may be independent as a primary condition that is not necessarily caused by any other condition, or co-morbid occurring alongside another medical condition such as: neurological conditions, psychiatric disorders, cases of alcoholism, drugs and substance abuse. When the patient is affected by a case of acute Insomnia it is usually linked to a predominant stressful incident or event affecting the patient and disrupting their overall well-being and functioning. In cases where no other underlying cause or contributing factor may be attributed to for the occurrence of the patient’s Insomnia and all it’s associated symptoms, the diagnosis is therefore identified medically as psycho-physiological Insomnia, also known as primary Insomnia or alternatively, idiopathic Insomnia.

 

( Actigraphy Test- Image Courtesy of www.youtube.com )
( Actigraphy Test – Image Courtesy of www.youtube.com )

Testing Insomnia

Insomnia may be tested and detected using Actigraphy lab testing which entails wearing an Actigraph upon the patient’s wrist or their ankle; measurements of decelerations or accelerations in their body movements are then taken as clear indicators of their sleeping or wakeful state.

 

( Actogram in Actigraphy Testing - Image Courtesy of www.env-econ.net )
( Actogram in Actigraphy Testing – Image Courtesy of www.env-econ.net )

 

Conditions Linked to Insomnia

Medical professionals administering sleeping medication most commonly encounter cases of Insomnia in their practice. There are also various other sleeping disorders and medical conditions (psychiatric disorders and neurological conditions) associated with or that present Insomnia as a symptom, and careful testing, observation, and analysis should therefore be carried out for accurate diagnosis; this includes conditions such as: OSAS (Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome), Anxiety and Mood disorders, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Bipolar Disorder, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), as well as Depression.

 

( Sleep Deprivation - Image Courtesy of healthpromotion.caltech.edu )
( Sleep Deprivation – Image Courtesy of healthpromotion.caltech.edu )

 

Historical Scientific Research of Insomnia

Various scientific experiments have been shown to link Insomnia with stimulation of the brain’s preoptic region of the hypothalamus. This is one of the active regions of hypnogenic neurons for NREM sleep, the other active region being located within the brain’s medulla where the NTS (Nucleus Tractus Solitarius) is. The studies are based on the active stimulatory effects, ablations and lesions, and also recordings or the intracellular and extracellular activity of these brain regions.

 

( The Hypothalamus - Image Courtesy of www.slideshare.net )
( The Hypothalamus – Image Courtesy of www.slideshare.net )

 

One such experiment, Batini’s, has proven the actively inhibiting function of The hypnogenic neurons of the brain’s lower stem on the brain’s upper stem. The behavioral sleeping state, as well as the synchronization produced by an EEG (Electro Encephalograph), both of which are produced by electrical stimulation of the brain’s preoptic area were also assessed in experiments by Nauta in 1946. Findings from Nauta’s experiments further elicited the onset or occurrence of Insomnia due to lesions present in the brain’s preoptic region. These findings would be later used to hypothesize the presence of actively working hypnogenic neurons within the brain’s preoptic region (in the forebrain). Later experiments in 1968 by Sterman and McGinty went ahead to confirm the findings from Nauta’s studies. Even so, not too long ago, further studies have gone to confirm that lesions of the ibotenic nature present within the brain’s preoptic area may also lead to Insomnia; thus further supporting the results that show the preoptic region as having a hypnogenic function that is active.

 

( Insomnia- The Hypothalamus and Homeostasis - Image Courtesy of wiki.bethanycrane.com )
( Insomnia- The Hypothalamus and Homeostasis – Image Courtesy of wiki.bethanycrane.com )

 

Little Less Known Hypersomnia Sleep Disorder

Hypersomnia, a sleeping disorder that is related to Insomnia, involves complaints of EDS (Excessive Daytime Sleepiness), concentration problems, impaired motor abilities, poor cognitive function, and persistence of symptoms even after extended sleep at night.

( Hypersomnia - Image Courtesy of www.pinterest.com )
( Hypersomnia – Image Courtesy of www.pinterest.com)

 

Lab testing such as pulmonary functional analysis may be done to assess the diagnosis of underlying Hypersomnia diagnosis.

 

( Pulmonary Function Analysis - Image Courtesy of err.ersjournals.com )
( Pulmonary Function Analysis – Image Courtesy of err.ersjournals.com )

 

( Pulmonary Function Testing - Image Courtesy of emedicine.medscape.com )
( Pulmonary Function Testing – Image Courtesy of emedicine.medscape.com )

 

Occurrence of Hypersomnia

Hypersomnia that occurs idiopathically (idiopathic Hypersomnia) without any other co-morbid conditions may be easily confused with Narcolepsy, another sleeping disorder which entails excessive sleepiness. Though it is yet to be proven, it is assumed that the cause of Hypersomnia originates from the CNS (Central Nervous System).

 

( Hypersomnia - Image Courtesy of chicagosleepcenter.com )
( Hypersomnia – Image Courtesy of chicagosleepcenter.com )

 

Testing Hypersomnia

Symptomatic Hypersomnia is typically syndicated with extended nighttime sleep (over 10 hours) or even normal sleep (about 6 to 10 hours): that is, Hypersomnia may occur with long sleeping time or without long sleeping time. These sleeping hours may be assessed by using sleep pattern history assessments, actigraphy, sleeping logs, and PSG (polysomnography) tests. Observations from the MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Tests) of Hypersomnia evidence admissible indications of pathological sleepiness but with the exception of sleep onset Rapid Eye Movement (REM).

Onset of Hypersomnia is usually seen around 15 to 30 years of age, which is much like the onset of Narcolepsy; however the two sleeping disorders differ in the nature of the sleeping pattern. In Hypersomnia, the patient is generally seen to sleep for many hours though the sleep is neither refreshing nor sufficient, nonetheless.

 

( Hypersomnia - Image Courtesy of www.utsleepdisorders.org )
( Hypersomnia – Image Courtesy of www.utsleepdisorders.org )

 

Hypersomnia and EDS

Because Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) is another symptom of Hypersomnia, it may be easily confused with a misdiagnosis of Sleep Apnea. Therefore the patient needs to be further assessed for the following symptoms to rule out Sleep Apnea: frequent or intermittent awakening episodes all through the night, snoring, and cataplexy. Careful diagnosis should be made for many are the cases where Hypersomnia is misdiagnosed and confused for other conditions associated with EDS.

 

( Hypersomnia - Image Courtesy of healthysmart.org )
( Hypersomnia – Image Courtesy of healthysmart.org )

 

Various sleep experts have suggested the possibility of arbitrated by Cytokine proteins (like interleukin – specifically IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor – specifically TNF-α) in both Insomnia, and Hypersomnia that is idiopathic.

( Cytokines and Sleep Loss - Image Courtesy of www.researchgate.net )
( Cytokines and Sleep Loss – Image Courtesy of www.researchgate.net )

 

It may very well be said of both Insomnia and Hypersomnia to be life-long chronic conditions that are disabling and lower the quality of one’s life.

( Hypersomnia - Image Courtesy of www.americansleepmedicine.com )
( Hypersomnia – Image Courtesy of www.americansleepmedicine.com )

 

 

Identifying Your Sleeping Disorder: OSAS – Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

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( OSAS Clinical Manifestations - Image Courtesy of jtd.amegroups.com )
( OSAS Clinical Manifestations - Image Courtesy of jtd.amegroups.com )

 

Considered to be more prevalent in men than in women, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome shortened OSAS affects about 4% of men in the age bracket from 30 to 60 years old, and about 2% of women within the same age group.But as scientific research would have it, the age and gender are not the only key factors with a strong correlation to the OSAS sleeping disorder which is also linked to weight and obesity.

 

( Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA - Image Courtesy of www.nycva.org )
( Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA – Image Courtesy of www.nycva.org )

 

How gender sensitive is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome?

The prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is much higher in older male persons over the age of 40, and its prevalence in female persons is commonly noted to be higher after the onset of their menopause stage which also comes around their 40’s and 50’s.

With regards to gender sensitivity, research clearly shows that a whooping 85% of OSAS patients are actually male, leaving only about 15% of the OSAS patients being female.

 

( Men with OSAS and Snoring - Image Courtesy of www.qmedicine.co.in )
( Men with OSAS and Snoring – Image Courtesy of www.qmedicine.co.in )

 

Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

There has been shown to be a clear link between OSAS and weight or obesity. Scientific research has since confirmed that a majority of patients suffering from OSAS also have weight problems which are identified upon further physical examination; more specifically, a generous 70% of OSAS patients also concurrently have obesity weight issues.

 

( OSAS and Upper Airways - Image Courtesy of obstructive-sleep-apnea.info )
( OSAS and Upper Airways – Image Courtesy of obstructive-sleep-apnea.info )

 

Further, physical examination of OSAS patients has also been shown to reveal some anatomic anomalies present within the upper respiratory airways in some patients.

( Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSAS and Upper Airways in Respiratory Tract - Image Courtesy of www.docsopinion.com )
( Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSAS and Upper Airways in Respiratory Tract – Image Courtesy of www.docsopinion.com )

 

Hypertension and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Various longitudinal scientific studies have drawn up a clear link relating systemic hypertension with OSAS. The results revealed a concurrent incidence of systemic hypertension in patients also suffering from OSAS. On the other hand, approximately 30% of OSAS patients were also found to have essential hypertension. Additionally, round about 15% to 20% of OSAS patients were also confirmed to have a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.

 

( Pulmonary Hypertension in OSAS - Image Courtesy of www.phaonlineuniv.org )
( Pulmonary Hypertension in OSAS – Image Courtesy of www.phaonlineuniv.org )

 

 

( Pulmonary Function Analysis - Image Courtesy of err.ersjournals.com )
( Pulmonary Function Analysis – Image Courtesy of err.ersjournals.com )

 

In hypertensive patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome, it was shown that effective treatment of OSAS together with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Titration had a positive impact on the hypertension. The observation made is that there was an overall improvement of the condition and relief from hypertensive symptoms, or that there was a reduced need for use of antihypertensive drugs.

 

( CPAP Titration in OSAS Treatment - Image Courtesy of www.alamy.com )
( CPAP Titration in OSAS Treatment – Image Courtesy of www.alamy.com )

 

Another key correlation worth mentioning in connection to this is the link between OSAS and metabolism dysfunction, particularly metabolic syndrome which is a concoction of the following medical conditions: hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, and hypertriglyceridaemia.

 

( Metabolic Syndrome - Image Courtesy of www.livefitlean.com )
( Metabolic Syndrome – Image Courtesy of www.livefitlean.com )

 

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

To identify the symptomatic manifestations of OSAS, two classes of symptoms are first categorized: OSAS symptoms which present themselves during the patient’s sleeping phase, and OSAS symptoms which occur while the patient is not asleep in the waking phase.

 

( Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms - Image Courtesy of orthodonticreviews.blogspot.com )
( Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms – Image Courtesy of orthodonticreviews.blogspot.com )

 

OSAS symptoms during sleep phase:

  • Snoring which occurs frequently and loudly
  • Sitting up amid sleep to fight for one’s breath
  • Breathing cessation (which is also witnessed by the bed fellow or pexcessive sweating artner in bed)
  • Episodes of choking while asleep
  • Heartburn due to GER (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux)
  • Anomalous nocturnal motor activity such as: jerking and shaking movements, thrashing motions in bed, arousals with confusion, walking while asleep (sleep-walking)
  • Intense disruptions of sleep
  • Increased and excessive sweating during the night (observed in some OSAS patients)
  • Enuresis that’s nocturnal and Nocturia (particularly observed in child patients)

 

( OSAS Sleep Attack at Steering Wheel - Image Courtesy of www.webmd.com )
( OSAS Sleep Attack at Steering Wheel – Image Courtesy of www.webmd.com )

 

OSAS symptoms during wakeful phase:

  • EDS – Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
  • Extended Sleep Attacks which may last from 30 minutes to 2 hours (These sleep attacks mostly affect the patient while they are in a relaxed state such as when seated, rested, while watching TV. There is however a key distinction between the Sleep attacks associated with OSAS from those that occur due to Narcolepsy in that OSAS Sleep Attacks are both prolonged with regards to the duration of the Sleep Attack, and are also non-refreshing)
  • Dryness of the mouth upon waking up
  • Decreased sexual function and libido in male patients
  • Hyperactive behavior in child patients
  • Forgetfulness, memory issues, as well as impaired cognitive function
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Impaired hearing (observed in some OSAS cases)
  • Headaches occuring in the morning (observed in some OSAS patients)

 

( Upper Airway Obstruction in OSAS - Image Courtesy of advan.physiology.org )
( Upper Airway Obstruction in OSAS – Image Courtesy of advan.physiology.org )

 

Symptoms presented in Severe Cases of OSAS:

  • Impotence in men (this is especially noted in male patients who have suffered from chronic, persistent OSAS)
  • Heart problems: pulmonary valve hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia (sinus pausing, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular premature contraction, third degree cardiac blockages), myocardial infarction, heart failure (systolic cardiac failure and diastolic cardiac failure), sudden cardiac death
  • Polycethemia
  • Stroke

 

( OSAS and COPD - Image Courtesy of www.researchgate.net )
( OSAS and COPD – Image Courtesy of www.researchgate.net )

 

It follows suit that Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is linked to in increase in mortality rates and higher morbidity due to the symptoms presented in short term basis (such as accidents at work, road accidents, lowered quality of life), and also due to symptoms presented in the long haul (such as heart problems and stroke).

 

Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Besides analysis of the typical symptoms of OSAS being constant and frequent awakenings amidst one’s sleep all through the night, breathing cessations, snoring, Excessive Daytime Somnolence (EDS), and fatigue during the day; a background check into the patient’s family history is also necessary since OSAS is also genetically linked and therefore may run in the family.

 

( OSAS Analysis - Image Courtesy of emedicine.medscape.com )
( OSAS Analysis – Image Courtesy of emedicine.medscape.com )

 

Detection of OSAS may be effectively achieved using Polysomnography (PSG) tests which analyze various key physiological aspects such as the flow of air in the mouse, flow of air in the nose, respiration effort, saturation of oxygen; and using medical instruments such as the EEG, EOG, EMG, and EKG.

 

( Polysomnogram Test Results in OSAS - Image Courtesy of advan.physiology.org )
( Polysomnogram Test Results in OSAS – Image Courtesy of advan.physiology.org )

 

Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome involves titration of the optimal and ideal pressure levels for CPAP Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.

 

( OSAS Treatment with CPAP Titration - Image Courtesy of www.webmd.com )
( OSAS Treatment with CPAP Titration – Image Courtesy of www.webmd.com )

 

Physical examinations of the body are also key in revealing underlying symptoms associated with OSAS such as weight-related complications in overweight and obese patient cases, as well as obstructions and other anomalies present in the upper respiratory airways (which affects breathing during sleep, and may cause blockages, snoring, and choking among other symptomatic complications associated with OSAS). There is also the likelihood of comorbidity with other sleeping disorders in the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome.

 

( OSAS Upper Airway Obstruction - Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )
( OSAS Upper Airway Obstruction – Image Courtesy of
en.wikipedia.org )

 

 

Behind The Scenes: What Changes Occur While You Sleep?

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Other than assuming a temporary “dead” state, one in which you’re predominantly immobile, unresponsive, unaware and disconnected from your usual conscious state, much much more happens beyond the visible, even from the perspective of an onlooker observing someone who’s asleep. Physical activity may be limited and inhibited but the physiological activity in your body certainly does not stop when you do fall asleep and graduate from one stage of sleep to the next… There’s more than meets the eye and here’s some deeper insights into what goes on behind the scenes when you’re sleeping…

 

( While You Sleep - Image Courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com )
( While You Sleep – Image Courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com )

 

What are the physiological bodily changes that occur during sleep?

Science has taken to great lengths to investigate the depths and heights of the great mystery called sleep and has come to prove various facts about your sleep, which includes both behavioral and physiological changes that differ from those present in your wakeful state.

( Nervous System - Image Courtesy of faculty.washington.edu )
( Nervous System – Image Courtesy of faculty.washington.edu )

 

Both the ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) and the CNS (Central Nervous System) undergo a series of changes while you sleep. The same goes for your cardiovascular system, your endocrine, sexual, renal, respiratory, gastrointestinal and metabolic systems.

 

( Nervous System - Image Courtesy of climatereview.net )
( Nervous System – Image Courtesy of climatereview.net )

 

ANS Changes During Sleep

In the first stage of your sleep, NREM sleep, key changes that affect your Autonomic Nervous System are a decrease in the sympathetic nervous activity, and an increase in the parasympathetic nervous tone.

In the consequent stage of your sleep, REM sleep, the main changes entail even more increase in the parasympathetic nervous tone, with an accompanying decrease in the sympathetic nervous activity. There is however a variation in the REM changes in that the activity of the sympathetic nerve is seen to be irregular whereby it increases sporadically.

 

( ANS Autonomous Nervous System - www.brainresearchfund.org )
( ANS Autonomous Nervous System – www.brainresearchfund.org )

 

Respiratory System Changes During Sleep

The respiratory system is highly vulnerable during episodes of normal sleep (hence the higher risk of upper airway obstruction and occlusion) as is elicited by the physiological changes that occur therein…

( Respiratory System Anatomy - Image Courtesy of anatomy-medicine.com )
( Respiratory System Anatomy – Image Courtesy of anatomy-medicine.com )

 

Neurons in the respiratory system are shown to exhibit a diminished firing rate for both stages of sleep, NREM and REM sleep. Even in the muscular tones present in the upper respiratory airways exhibit changes, whereby in NREM sleep there is a slight decrease but a significant decrease and consequently vanish in the REM sleep. This ultimately leads to higher resistance within the upper respiratory airways.

Ventilation responses are mildly diminished in your NREM sleep but more significantly reduced in your REM sleep. Ventilation in the alveoli as well as tension of the oxygen in the arteries is also diminished while tension of the carbon dioxide in the arteries is mildly increased in both your NREM sleep and REM sleep.

These respiratory changes further explain why asthmatic attacks are more prevalent, and their severity exacerbated while one sleeps due to the physiological changes that affect the constriction and ventilation of the bronchial airways.

 

Blood Circulation System Changes During Sleep

There is a marked decrease in your blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, and even resistance at the vascular periphery throughout the NREM sleep and this progresses onto the REM sleep where a further decrease is seen.

Blood flow to your brain as well as the cerebral metabolism of both oxygen and glucose is seen to diminish during NREM sleep; but the inverse happens in REM sleep whereby the levels ascend above those exhibited while one is awake.

( Blood Circulation System - Image Courtesy of creationwiki.org )
( Blood Circulation System – Image Courtesy of creationwiki.org )

 

These profound blood circulatory changes (erratic heart rates and blood pressure, continually diminishing cardiac output and the consequent maximum desaturation of oxygen, and intermittent breathing) go to explain why there is a higher incidence of early morning mortality cases (due to strokes and heart attacks) – particularly in patients with cardiac diseases.

( Human Circulatory System - Image Courtesy of www.teachpe.com )
( Human Circulatory System – Image Courtesy of www.teachpe.com )

 

Endocrine System Changes During Sleep

When you fall asleep, several paramount changes occur in your endocrine hormone system. Secretion of the growth hormone goes up in a pulsatile manner within the first third of your sleep which is NREM.

 

( Endocrine System - Image Courtesy of medlineplus.gov )
( Endocrine System – Image Courtesy of medlineplus.gov )

 

The hormone Prolactin is also shown to go up within the first 30 minutes to 90 minutes from the onset of your sleep.

In men, levels of the hormone Testosterone are seen to go up markedly from about 8:00 PM when they are lowest, to 8:00 AM when they are highest.

For the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), the inverse happens whereby levels are at a peak high in the evening but gradually go down overnight.

On the other hand, secretion of the stress hormone Cortisol is shown to be inhibited altogether by the onset of sleep (that’s why sleep is good for dealing with stress).

From around 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM, secretion of the hormone Melatonin by the pineal gland attains peak levels, and then the hormone level gradually goes down over daytime hours.

 

( Endocrine Hormones - Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )
( Endocrine Hormones – Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )

 

Metabolism Changes during Sleep

As you fall asleep, the temperature of your body starts to drop with the onset of your sleep state, and it continues to drop till you attain the third portion of your sleep cycle when your body temperature is lowest.

Your body’s thermoregulation processes are active during your NREM sleep phase but however become inactive during your REM sleep phase when they are non-existent.

 

Sexual Reproductive System Changes during Sleep

It has been shown that erection of the male sexual organ (penis) is shown to take place during the REM stage of sleep, and the same goes for the female sexual organ, clitoris, whose tumescence also takes place in REM sleep.

 

( Male Reproductive Organs - Image Courtesy of www.austincc.edu )
( Male Reproductive Organs – Image Courtesy of www.austincc.edu )

 

 

 

 

( Female Reproductive Organs - Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )
( Female Reproductive Organs – Image Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org )

 

Gastrointestinal System Changes during Sleep

While secretion of stomach acids, is normal and active during the day, it occurs variably when you’re asleep during both NREM and REM sleep. In addition, during the day, secretion of saliva in your mouth, as well as swallowing reflexes typically operate normally during the day, but these processes exhibit decreased activity during your NREM and REM phases of sleep.

( GastroIntestinal System - Image Courtesy of www.austincc.edu )
( GastroIntestinal System – Image Courtesy of www.austincc.edu )

 

In conclusion, it is more than evident that many physiological changes affect your body while you’re asleep. The master biological clock, the Circadian Rhythm, governs the sleep-wake cycles, working behind the scenes while you sleep.

 

 

The Significance Of Dreams In Your Sleep

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( Dreams and Sleep - Image Courtesy of askdrernst.com )
( Dreams and Sleep - Image Courtesy of askdrernst.com )

 

Yes, “dreams can come true” as the song goes, those in your waking life when building castles in the air and also those in your sleep–which is the subject matter of another write-up altogether… But where do dreams in your sleep come from?

( Dreams Activation Synthesis Theory - Image Courtesy of www.macalester.edu )
( Dreams Activation Synthesis Theory – Image Courtesy of www.macalester.edu )

 

When do Dreams Happen?

There are 2 stages of your sleep, NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement), which occur in that succession. REM sleep takes up just about 25% of your sleep as an adult, and a whooping 80% of your dreams actually take place in this stage (which is incident in the last third of your sleep). NREM sleep (which has 3 levels: N1, N2, N3) takes up a good 75% of the sleep in adults, but only about 20% of your dreams will occur in the NREM stage.

 

( Wakefulness and Sleep - Image Courtesy of slideplayer.com )
( Wakefulness and Sleep – Image Courtesy of slideplayer.com )

 

Dream Recollection: How to Remember your Dreams

And the plot thickens… It has been shown that it is much easier and more likely for you to remember the dreams that occur in your REM sleep compared to the dreams that occur in your NREM sleep. Further, should you be woken up suddenly while you’re still in your REM sleep, you will also find it easier to recollect your dreams, even so, more than you would recall were you to make an effort to remember your dreams when waking up in the morning while leaving your bed.

 

Comparing REM dreams with NREM dreams

REM dreams:

Dreams in your REM sleep are notably usually rather lucid, intense, or vivid; delusory, unreal, or illogical; unusual, incongruous, bizarre.

NREM dreams:

Though you’re more likely to remember your REM sleep dreams compared to NREM sleep dreams, your dream recollection of NREM dreams upon suddenly waking up (while in NREM sleep) is bound to be more lifelike, vivid, graphic, realistic.

( Dream Activation - Image Courtesy of www.macalester.edu )
( Dream Activation – Image Courtesy of www.macalester.edu )

 

Painting a Picture of your Dreams: Characteristics of Dreams

Do you dream in color, monochrome…what is the color scheme of your dreams? It should come as no surprise that most dreams typically occur in the natural colors, and are generally not monochrome or black and white; in fact, some dreams may be rather colorful and dazzling.

It goes further than just color, in that you do use all your 5 senses (vision, auditory, olfactory, palate and haptic) in your dreams. Just like some senses are used more often in real waking life (that is, visual and auditory more than tactile, smell then taste) so is the prevalence of usage in the dream life.

 

( Dreaming Asleep - Image Courtesy of www.thespiritualindian.com )
( Dreaming Asleep – Image Courtesy of www.thespiritualindian.com )

 

Those Bad Dreams called Nightmares…

Nightmares occur in some people, more frequently than in others, and with more severity or intensity of the Dream Anxiety Attack as they are otherwise referred to as. Just as the name suggests, nightmares — their intensity and incidence — tends to be greatly influenced by real life events that provoke worry and anxiety.

 

( Nightmares - Image Courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk )
( Nightmares – Image Courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk )

 

With regards to the correlation between age and nightmares, it is shown that nightmares are more common in children (highly prevalent at a young age) and typically set off from about 3 to 5 years of age when the child begins to experience bad dreams and even react fearfully in waking life through manifestations like fear of the dark, not wanting to sleep in their room alone, crying and screaming at night.

 

( Nightmares and Sleep Psychiatry - Image Courtesy of  www.slideshare.net )
( Nightmares and Sleep Psychiatry – Image Courtesy of www.slideshare.net )

 

Nonetheless, nightmares, their severity, intensity and frequency do tend to gradually decrease with increase in age so that they’re more common in children than in the elderly.

 

( Child Nightmare Dreams - Image Courtesy of loudwire.com )
( Child Nightmare Dreams – Image Courtesy of loudwire.com )

 

 

Designing Your Bedroom For Vacation in Slumberland

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(Image Courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org )
(Image Courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org )

Your bedroom should feel like the consummate haven, an inviting restful place where you take shelter (or refuge) away from the bustling world outside; an escape where you can switch off completely and focus on nothing, a place to fully relax and catch some quality R&R…A fully loaded Leggett and Platt Prodigy 2.0 adjustable bed would be the ideal solution, but for many, even catching a siesta is a bonus if it happens! Beyond health reasons and environmental disturbance, the bedroom atmosphere could be robbing you of a good night’s sleep and curtailing your much needed vacation in Slumberland! Designing your bedroom to be suit your relaxation needs could be fun — or painstaking, but worth the effort, else your other option is to keep enduring sleeping in a sleep-free zone.

 

( Romantic Bedroom - Image Courtesy of www.glubdubs.com )
( Romantic Bedroom – Image Courtesy of www.glubdubs.com )

 

Basics of Designing your Bedroom

Your bedroom decor should blend in a harmonic structure of shapes and colors that complement each other and compliment the bedroom space. The outcome of such meticulous decor is a positive influence that impacts your mood and imparts harmony in what you feel which will be nothing short of a sense of inner peace and calm…

It is obviously imperative to have your bedroom space being a reflection of the different aspects that significantly define your personality, your lifestyle, your likes – a picture of your character, depicting your tastes and exhibiting your passions. We don’t have to be artists to have an aesthetic eye or artistic value, and this too would be the icing on your bedroom cake.

en.wikipedia.org Bedroom_Mitcham

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org )

Key things to have in mind are the profound and inevitable need for not just utmost comfort, but for practical functionality as well. Just like you could be visionary or even philosophical about your bedroom design, so should you be keen on ensuring that your bedroom does indeed boost the quality of your life – aesthetically, restfully, comfortably, and otherwise.

www.flickr.com 4587654971_fa46d02d19

(Image courtesy of Flickr)

Everything in your bedroom space will dictate on how comfortable, harmonious, inviting, and sophisticated your sleeping haven will be…including: the furnishings, furniture accessories, lighting and lamps, fabrics and drapery, rugs and carpeting, among other objects. While some bedroom design aspects will be conspicuous and statement elements, others will still add value in subtle and moderated capacities; nothing should seem to be competing for the bedroom space. For instance, stylistic design features could be subtly and intricately merged with technology without clouding or crowding the bedroom atmosphere.

 

Planning and Budgeting for your Interior Bedroom Design

Melding your comfort, well-being and pleasure all rolled up into one package between the four walls of your bedroom could be a personal D-I-Y project, or the assignment of an interior designer. All this, depending on your bedroom design budget; the available time (whether you’ll be living there while the bedroom is being redesigned, or if you’ll have to temporarily move out of the bedroom for some renovation works.

 

( Bedroom Design - Image Courtesy of twevy.com )
( Bedroom Design – Image Courtesy of twevy.com )

 

Hoarding and Bedroom Design

Designing your bedroom also goes further than just the aesthetic appeal and artistic effects…it also and often necessitates the need for some (if not a great deal of) de-cluttering which will involve: some replacements – say with modern furnishings or new beddings and drapery; and disposing off of items that no longer serve their purpose, or, are much worse, killing the zen in your bedroom space and therefore ruining your vacation in slumberland.

 

pixabay.com wall-panel-416041_960_720

(Image courtesy of pixabay.com)

 

Diagnosing Your Sleeping Position: How Do You Sleep?

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How many sleeping positions do you know, rather and more importantly, what’s your dominant sleep position? Not to venture into the wealth of literature you’ve read on the topic at hand, but scientifically speaking, there are only just 3 sleep positions: Sleeping on your stomach, sleeping on you back, or sleeping on your side. Then begs the next question: what good does your reflexive sleep position do you?

 

Benefits of the different sleep positions

1. Sleeping on your Side:

This touted to be extremely beneficial for anyone with sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep loss and sleep impairment. How so? Scientific research has shown that you’ll easily catch more rest while sleeping on your side; and in this position you’re much less likely to experience sleep disruption. Aside from the nocturnal ones with sleep disorders, other groups of people for whom sleeping on the side is highly recommended include people with:

  • Hip dislocation or hip pain
  • Weak joints and painful joints (inflamed joints)
  • Backache and sore shoulders
  • Expectant women

 

www.publicdomainpictures.net_sleeping street

(Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net)

It is appreciated that sleeping on your side alleviates the pressure and pain imposed on the body’s pressure points and aforementioned key common body complaints. Side-sleeping does not even necessitate the use of a pillow or to use your lower arm as a pillow: this is because your neck will be naturally supported while your lower shoulder is completely hunched (your neck tends to obey gravity by reflexively deviating to grounding).

 

www.telegraph.co.uk Untitled-1_2372461b

(Image courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk)

Sleeping on your side can be enacted in several variations of the position, but you’re sure to be most comfortable with your knees curled up towards your chest area while lying on your side. There may be a minor traction formed in the lower back area (about the cervical spine).

 

2. Sleeping on your Back:

Otherwise called the Supine sleeping position, lying on your back has been known to be counterproductive to sleep by inducing :

  • Phases of intermittent sleep apnea
  • Sleep deprivation due to sleep loss and sleep disruption – causing an overall lower quality of sleep due to the impact on the normal sleep-cycle
  • Agitation of the sleeper leading to restlessness – the supine sleeper may wake up feeling sore or tired especially in the shoulders and back area

Not to rule out sleeping on the back.. A recommended remedy to counter the potential risks of the supine position is by anchoring the knees so that they’re a little elevated; and this could be by placing a rolled towel or soft pillow right beneath the knees. This should naturally align the body, inclining the body’s spine to its natural curvature.

 

en.wikipedia.org_sleeping supine and prone

(Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org)

3. Sleeping on your Stomach:

So far this may very well be the least favored of the aforementioned sleeping positions, lying on your stomach, also known as the Prone sleeping position. Sleeping prone is not recommended by medical professionals, more so sleep experts…They warn that sleeping on the stomach poses the following risks:
Prone sleepers experience constant tossing and turning in bed in a bid to settle in a comfortable sleeping position

  • Has been reported to promote restlessness
  • Sleeping on your tummy may lead to sore upper shoulders and neck pain
  • It leads to strain and tension in the lower back are
  • It causes discomfort and compression of your precious internal organ
  • Is generally strenuous on your neck and spine

Persons suffering from sleeping disorders are altogether advised against the Prone-position which only further complicates their sleeping disturbances.

deviantart.com sleepy

(Image courtesy of DeviantArt.com)

Nonetheless, the prone sleeper is advised to keep most complications at bay by simply doing without a pillow, or, if absolutely necessary, to get by with a very soft pillow. The cushioning of a pillow is deemed unnecessary in this sleeping position so as to avoid having the sleeper’s neck anchored in awkward uncomfortable angles relative to the spine. On our review of the best memory foam mattress brands, we recommend firm mattresses for stomach sleepers.

(Video courtesy of: Yahoo.com)

Consensus on Most Favorable Sleeping Position

There is to no surprise, a faction of sleep scientists who insist that sleeping on the back (Supine-position) is actually the most recommended way to sleep. Perhaps this has a lot to do with how parents are advised to lay their infant babies in supine positioning, or why inpatients admitted in hospital wards are made to lie down this way by default on their hospital beds. Supporting supine as the healthiest sleeping position is a number of reasons advocating sleeping on your back:

  • The supine position posited to promote optimal blood flow to the brain and eliminates the risk of congestion
  • Facilitates for easier breathing eliminating the risk of suffocation or obstructed breathing obstruction

en.wikipedia.org_Sleeping_Supine

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

The ultimate supine sleeping position is specified as lying on your back with your head inclined with an elevation of about 10 – 30% for optimal comfort and rest. Case in point, for instance, is lying in a hammock… Even in historical native tradition, the default lying position was inevitably lying on the back in supine position, with that elevation for the natural curvature of the spine — as opposed to lying down on flat level spaces.

 

Practical Approach to Supine Sleeping Position

It may take a while before you can literally train yourself into a sleeping position that is different from the sleeping posture you naturally and automatically take on when you fall asleep.

 

www.dummies.com 443180.image0

(Image courtesy of: Dummies.com)

To enact the proper and supposedly healthiest sleeping position, consider grabbing a couple of pillows, a mattress foam wedge, using block chips to raise the bed at the headboard side, or alternatively using an adjustable bed instead. Ideally, you should have both the head area and leg area elevated, as in an adjustable bed, but only to an optimal comfortable positioning. The wedge foam will go under the leg area to take care of the slight inclination of the legs. Your resultant sleeping position will be almost akin to resting on a reclining chair while leaning your back. It shouldn’t feel unnatural or strained but rather, relaxing, accommodating to the shoulders and back, aligning with the spine, and just right for perfect slumber.

 

 

Sleep Personalities: What Does Your Sleeping Position Say About You?

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You didn’t know what was ailing your aching back and sore joints until you read about the diagnostics of sleeping positions–more importantly, the diagnosis of your own typically default sleep posture. Now you’re just about to find out how your sleeping position speaks volumes about you, and that one only needs to watch you sleeping to figure out the kind of a person you really are during waking hours.

 

How many sleeping positions are there?

First things first, how about going through the sleeping positions and finding out how many ways you could “pose in slumber”…that is, how many different sleeping positions Classifications vary, and some consider alternative complexities like sleeping positions for couples, the physically challenged; or by sleeping space: sleeping positions in a train/vehicle, in a small space, on a hard surface, just to dart a few examples.

One classification, the one used here is based on a scientific study that assessed how test subjects slept and whether their sleeping positions had any indications to their personality traits.

Here 6 sleeping positions are analyzed accordingly with research study results:

 

www.flatseats.com sleep-types

(Image courtesy of flatseats.com )

1. Fetus sleeping position

In the study, a great number of test subjects were found to sleep in the fetal position, precisely, 41% of the study group. The Fetal sleeping position typically entails sleeping in a curled up fashion just like a fetus in the pregnant mother’s womb.
Fetal sleepers are usually women among whom the prevalence is twice more probable and even favorable especially when they are pregnant (it is also the ideal sleeping position for expectant women).

 

www.thesun.co.uk 1447005.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

Variations to the Fetus sleeping position are:

1.1.   Full-Fetal sleeping position

Here the sleeper simply sleeps completely hunched up exactly like a curled up fetus in the womb.Fetal sleepers sleep on their sides, all curled up, knees very close to the chest, while the head is inclined forward.

Full-Fetal Personality Profile:

Full-fetal sleepers are said to be extremely emotional and sensitive beings, and therefore have intense, highly-charged relationships that are personal and one-to-one. Another interesting observation that was made is that women who are naturally inclined to sleeping in the full-fetal sleeping position have great potential to experience multiple orgasms during sexual intercourse.

www.telegraph.co.uk best-sleeping-posi_3321371b

(Image courtesy of: Telegraph.co.uk)

1.2.   Semi-Fetal sleeping position

The semi-fetal position may very well be the most prevalent sleeping position of all with the majority of people naturally falling asleep while in this position. Sleep experts also vouch for the semi-fetal sleeping position as the ideal and optimal positioning. It entails sleeping on your side while your knees are slightly hunched up towards the belly; and one arm may be stretched out above your head while the other arm comfortably rests above the other and cradling your head in a suitable angle.

Semi-Fetal Personality Profile:

Semi-fetal sleepers are seen to be very compromising and even have a conciliatory nature. They are peacable, pose no threats, and also seen to be non-shakers.

 

modernhealthmonk.com Proper-Fetal-Position

(Image courtesy of: modernhealthmonk.com)

Fetal Position General Personality Profile:

Fetal sleepers are touted to have a tough outer personality but are softies and very sensitive, even shy. They are however very personable and can easily warm up to others.

 

2.  Soldier sleeping position

The Soldier position entails lying on the back with one’s arms comfortably positioned beside the lying body. About 8% of the study subjects were found to sleep in this position. It is also noted that this position tends to present higher chances of snoring and this is because of the supine sleep position (lying on the back). While snoring may not necessarily cause sleep loss or sleep deprivation, it may lower the quality of sleep so that the Soldier sleeper is not well/fully rested when they wake up.

Soldier Position Personality Profile:

Soldier sleepers are considered to be less outwardly and are more internal characters, having a cool-calm-collected personality, without much fuss. Although a regular platform bed would work just fine, the Leggett and Prodigy 2.0, one of the best adjustable bed models of 2017, can be highly recommended for soldier personality sleepers.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447008.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

3.  Log sleeping position

Turns out sleeping like a log is not just a metaphorical expression… In fact Log sleepers accounted for 15% of the test subjects. It entails lying on the side while both your arms are also rested down as shown in the illustration.

Log Position Personality Profile:

Sleeping like a log implies that you are a sociable person that’s easy-going and one who trusts others with the tendency of gullibility.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447003.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

4.  Starfish sleeping position

The Starfish position is simply the Supine sleeping position (lying on the back) but with one’s arms “flinging up” just about the pillow or near the head. Some 5% of the test subjects were found to sleep in this way. Just like the Soldier sleeping position, the Starfish position also poses the risk of snoring while asleep due to the inclination when lying on your back. This further implies that the Starfish sleeper may not catch sufficient rest thus a good night’s sleep may become a constant desire due to restlessness.

Starfish Position Personality Profile:

Starfish sleepers are nice to talk to as they are good listeners. You shouldn’t have trouble starting a conversation with them or asking for assistance as they are also usually willing to help out.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447006.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

5.  Freefall sleeping position

To lie in freefall is simply an enactment of the Prone sleeping position, that is: Lying on the stomach, the head is turned over to either side, with one’s arms tucked underneath or snugly hugging a pillow. About 7% of the participants were found to sleep in freefall position.

Freefall Position Personality Profile:

Freefall sleepers have a extrovert personality, they are outgoing and can be brash. They also don’t take criticism too nicely and may be unnerved by it.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447007.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)

6.   Yearner sleeping position

The Yearner sleeper lies on their side with their arms outstretched (as if beckoning with the arms or “yearning”). Study subjects who slept in this position were 13% of the test group.

 

Yearner Position Personality Profile:

Yearner sleepers have the tendency to be open-minded yet cynical. They can be obstinate and may harbor suspicions; they are rather rigid once a decision is made they cannot change their minds.

www.thesun.co.uk 1447004.main_image

(Image courtesy of www.thesun.co.uk)