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5 Things You Should Know About Narcolepsy

1. What is Narcolepsy and can I get it? Narcolepsy is not a condition experienced from not getting enough sleep. Narcolepsy is a disease that impacts the central nervous system. Both men and women are susceptible to Narcolepsy but the disease appears to manifest itself during the teenage years and early 20s. A key symptom of Narcolepsy is Excessive Daytime Sleepiness which is likely why many people do not take Narcolepsy seriously- they think they just need more sleep. Other symptoms include hallucinations, a reduction in muscle tone and even difficulty talking or moving (sleep paralysis.)


5 Things You Should Know About Narcolepsy


2. What causes Narcolepsy? The cause of Narcolepsy is not understood. It is thought that a certain group of nerve cells in the human brain known as hypocretin neurons are related to Narcolepsy.


Other researchers have speculated that Narcolepsy is caused by insufficient production of hypocretin by the brain. Despite the uncertainty of the cause, the medical community largely agrees that multiple factors are the cause.


3. How can I tell if I have Narcolepsy? The symptoms of Narcolepsy are common among other health conditions and sleep disorders. For this reason it is extremely difficult to tell if an individual is suffering from Narcolepsy without several specialized tests and especially two key tests. These are the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) and the polysomnogram (PSG).


4. How is Narcolepsy treated? We do not have the ability to treat cases of Narcolepsy at this time. However, we can treat the symptoms of Narcolepsy so that people who suffer from this condition can still lead productive and fulfilling lives.


Modafinil is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system and it is often prescribed for Narcoleptic patients. Doctors will often suggest stimulants such as Methylphenidate or similar stimulants with Amphetamine-like qualities. People who take these medicines generally report that they experience improved energy levels and are more alert. However, these drugs can induce side effects such as queasiness, jittery nerves, irritability and Anorexia. As is the case with most drugs, some people will become tolerant to the medicine and increased dosages will be needed to combat the effects of the Narcolepsy.


In addition to the stimulants, some patients have been treated with two types of antidepressant drugs. These types of drugs tend to cause fewer side effects than the stimulants but undesirable effects are still possible. Finally, sedatives such as Xyrem and GHB have been used to induce sleep in Narcoleptics at night time but there is a lot of concern over these drugs and it can be difficult to get a prescription for them.


5. Is there any advice for Narcoleptics? There are some behavioral actions one can take to minimize the effects of Narcolepsy. For example, when you feel tired then take a nap. You should take one of these naps any time you can safely do so when feeling tired. Working out for about 30 minutes a few hours before bedtime can be an effective way to prepare your body for sleep. You should also join a Narcolepsy support group for a sense of community and to learn other strategies for dealing with your condition.

What Does Your Sleep Position Say About You?

People have diverse sleep styles, ranging from sleeping with their limbs spread out everywhere to being curled up in a fetal ball under the covers. Is this mere chance, or symbolic of something more? Sleep positions are a form of body language, after all, and body language can say a lot about a person’s nature. 


Sleep Positions 


Recent studies conducted at the Edinburgh Sleep Center have found that yes, there is a correlation between sleeping position and one’s daytime personality. After observing 1000 study subjects, the Center deduced the following links between sleep position and personality traits:


Fetal Position (lying curled on one side with legs bent).


This is by far the most popular sleep position on the list, with half of the people studied choosing it every night. People who sleep this way are often guarded at first, presenting a tough exterior, but have shy and sensitive natures deep down and relax more as one gets to know them. 


Log Position (lying on one side with legs straight and both arms resting at the sides).


If you “sleep like a log,” as the old saying goes, you’re likely to be sociable, easy-going, and trusting in your daily life. People with this sleep position can be prone to gullibility. 


Yearner Position (lying on one side with both arms stretched out in front).


People who sleep this way were found to have open personalities tempered with occasional bouts of suspicion and cynicism. They were also found to be methodical and decisive, rather than impulsive.


Soldier Position (lying on one's back with both arms straight at one's sides).


True to form, people who sleep in this position are disciplined and set high expectations for themselves and others, while remaining quiet and reserved in demeanour. 


Freefall Position (lying on the stomach with head turned to the side and arms under the pillow).


People who sleep in this position often appear sociable and bold, but inside, they can be anxious and sensitive to criticism.


Starfish Position (lying on the back with legs sprawled and arms stretched up by the head).


This is the least popular sleeping position out of all those observed, being chosen by only 5 percent of the study group. Starfish sleepers make friendship a priority, but also avoid the limelight, preferring to lend a listening ear and take a supportive role. 

The Critical Role That Your Mattress Plays In Your Everyday Life

Mattresses were used many centuries ago. People in the past have realized that if they have good support for their body while they are trying to rest they will get better sleep. That’s why at first they started using pillows – several pillows were placed on the floor in order to create a mattress. Soon after that, they started producing real mattresses. Today these mattresses are placed on top of our our beds. 


The Critical Role Your Mattress Plays In Your Everyday Life


The way we sleep plays a key role in the process of preservation and improvement of our health. After all, we spend around one third of our life in bed. While we are sleeping, our bodies have the opportunity to recover, store and process information that we get during the day and relax the muscles and limbs. If you have a constant feeling that you are struggling to get enough rest, there is a great probability that your mattress is no longer suitable for you. 


As we have mentioned before we spend a significant part of our lives in the bed but yet many of us don’t pay attention to the furniture used in the bedroom especially when we talk about mattresses. You may say that buying a mattress is expensiv, but keep in mind that a good mattress can significantly improve your health and your everyday life. On the other hand, an old or wrong mattress can cause a lot of problems – for your health and wellness.


Many studies have confirmed that people who face stress everyday forget about their stressful situations when they sleep on an adequate mattress. This means that instead of thinking about their duties, they relax and increase their energy levels while sleeping. A good mattress will help you regain energy and once you are awake you will feel energetic and eager to start completing your duties. Furthermore, a good night’s sleep provided by a good mattress will improve your mood. We all know that people who don't get enough quality sleep often have rapid mood changes and this can affect their performance at work and their social life too. 


When we talk about the relation between mattresses and health we must mention that mattresses can be responsible for many allergies. Of course, we are talking about old mattresses and mattresses that are not cleaned regularly. Mattresses are an excellent habitat for many microscopic organisms and a place where dust and dirt builds up. These organisms feed themselves with dead skin cells and this is why they are able to multiply so easily. Old and dusty mattresses can be very problematic, especially for those who are suffering from respiratory diseases and conditions. By purchasing a new mattress, you can improve your everyday life.


Finally, mattresses can affect your spine in a positive or negative way. With a proper mattress you will get enough support for your spine and head and you will avoid pain in these areas during the day. 

What Are Dreams, Really?

Dreams can be one of the most worrying, confusing and scary experiences that we have in life. When we go to bed at night there is no predicting the types of images that we might see in our dreams. Some dreams might even feel so real that we relate them to actual experiences and feel as though we are in the dream as we are living it. There are a lot of theories as to the purpose of dreams and the function that they serve. Many psychologists, including Sigmund Freud, believed that dreams are a window into our unconscious processes. While there is no fully proven reason for dreams, we can tell a bit about what their purpose really entails. 


What Are Dreams, Really?


Most people tend to dream in the same way; a dream is generally imagery, voices, thoughts and sounds that we experience when we go to sleep. In many cases, our dreams might include people that we meet, people we see on TV as well as some of our most private fantasies, deepest secrets and fears. During a dream, many have experienced deep emotions, physical pain and stress and anxiety even though they know the situation that's happening in the dream is not real. 


Dreams occur during REM sleep which is the deepest part of our sleep cycle. Although dreams may feel as though they last six or eight hours, generally a dream may only last just 30 min. or even a few minutes at a time. 


The problem with dreams is that we don't often remember them and shortly after our REM cycle, we wake up without remembering much of the imagery and dream cycle. 


One of the main series about the purpose of dreams today is that it is a solution for the brain to make sense of random messages and meaningless stimuli in the environment around us. We need REM sleep to stay healthy and for proper immune system function and the brain simply provides us with an organization of the previous days thoughts and experiences into this dreamlike state. In a way, a dream could simply be a way that our brain can reorganize itself and prepare us for another waking day. 


Although we can't really determine exactly what dreams are to our body, we can share in this amazing phenomenon and enjoy the wonderful experiences that we have closing our eyes at night. 

3 Reasons Why Technology Is The Enemy Of Sleep

A lot of people are really connected to technology 24/7. A lot of people sleep with a cell phone right next to them, sleep with the television on, and have computers right in their rooms. All of this technology in a small area only meant for sleep will tend to disrupt a solids night sleep.  Here are some reasons why.


3 Reasons Why Technology Is The Enemy Of Sleep


Technology gives off a blue hue when you look at a screen.  This affects your sleep because when you close your eyes, the light still has a tendency to sneak through and it could cause your body not to go through the proper sleep stages to wake up refreshed. The sound for the television can also wake someone up because of unexpected loud noises.


Another reason technology ruins sleep is because it gives people 24/7 access to contact you at any point in time. If you work a lot and something comes up in the middle of the night, someone can call or text you and wake you up. This can make you worry that people will call you and have you use your sleeping time to fix a problem.


Lastly, technology ruins sleep because people have the need to have it right in the room with them. Technology has become so ingrained in our minds that if it isn’t there, we panic and we cannot live without it.  It ruins sleep because we are scared to go to sleep without it right there.


Technology is a great thing, but sometimes it can go way too far and become an interrupter of important things in our lives. We need to make sure to wean ourselves off technology so that we have a healthy amount of sleep in our lives.

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