All articles in Sleep Disorders and Mental Health

Dr. says a good night’s sleep may replace psych meds

Published: Jun 18, 2014 5:34 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 18, 2014 6:10 PM EDT

 FORT MYERS, Fla. – Psych meds are supposed to help conditions like depression, irritability, and memory problems, to name a few. One doctor says many of these kids don’t need drugs, but instead they just need a good night’s sleep.

“I want to be on Broadway,” William Einbinder is an energetic young man, but one day his father could see a big difference psychologically.

“He’d come home from school in the afternoon, and fall asleep, which is not like him. He’s a very outgoing kind of a kid, and also his grades started dropping,” says Morgan Einbinder.

Even William could tell something was wrong, “I dropped from an A in math to a C.”

So the family went together to see a doctor. ” A lot of these disorders, a lot of these psychiatric disorders could be brought back to a sleeping issue at night,” says Dr.

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Diagnostic tools help patients overcome sleep disorders

 Virgil Pfeifle noticed after beginning a new job with an early morning shift that he was tired during the day. He was certain he wasn’t getting a full night’s sleep.

“I was really, really trying — fighting to stay awake in the morning and at work,” said Pfeifle, now 74, who started the job in 2006.

He underwent a sleep study, in which he slept overnight in a sleep lab with dozens of leads that monitored his respiration, heart rhythms, leg movements, snoring and several other processes, and was diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Pfeifle’s breathing stopped over and over again while he slept when a muscle closed his throat and prevented him from inhaling oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide.

Now Pfeifle uses a CPAP machine that keeps his airway open and allows him to breathe while he sleeps.

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Identifying patients with psychophysiological insomnia

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Psychophysiological insomnia affects more female patients than male and is uncommon in children.

Identifying patients with psychophysiological insomnia
Identifying patients with psychophysiological insomnia

There are many forms of insomnia, and being able to distinguish the different types can be helpful in treatment. Psychophysiological insomnia is one of the most common and difficult types of insomnia to treat.

A patient with psychophysiological insomnia focuses on their sleep, and worries about not getting enough. Their worrying starts when they prepare to go to bed. Patients become anxious that they are not going to get enough sleep. Patients with psychophysiological insomnia fret about how a lack of sleep is going to affect their next day.

This is a learned insomnia. The patient, at some point, experienced insomnia and then became preoccupied with their sleep. They often realize that their worry is keeping them from sleep but can’t seem to stop ruminating about it.

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Penn Researchers: Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Neurons

Philadelphia – A new Penn Medicine study titled “Extended Wakefulness: Compromised Metabolics in and Degeneration of Locus Ceruleus Neurons” published in the Journal of Neuroscience, shows that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought. Poor sleep may lead to irreversible physical damage, and to loss of brain cells.

For the chronically sleep-deprived, such as shift workers, students, or truckers—a common strategy is simply to catch up on missed slumber on the weekends. Making up the “sleep debt” may not be without consequences.

Click here for Abstract

Using a mouse model of chronic sleep loss, Sigrid Veasey, MD , associate professor of Medicine and a member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, and collaborators from Peking University, have determined that extended wakefulness is linked to injury to, and loss of, neurons that are essential for alertness and optimal cognition, the locus coeruleus (LC) neurons.

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7 Reasons Why You Have Trouble Sleeping

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2013-02-21-grandparentslogo.jpg  |  By  Posted: 01/11/2014 8:12 am EST  |  Updated: 01/12/2014 9:05 am EST

having trouble sleeping


If you’ve ever counted sheep, woken up multiple times during the night or experience daytime sleepiness, you are one of the 67 percent of older adults who suffer from insomnia symptoms at least a few nights a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation. As we age, sleeplessness may become more of an issue, so we’ve rounded up the top causes of insomnia for older adults.

  • Cause #1: Circadian Rhythm
    Aging causes our circadian rhythms to change and become less consistent, which makes us more susceptible to insomnia, according to the National Institutes of Health. We become sleepy earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. When we try to fight our body’s natural instincts by attempting to stay awake or sleep later, it often becomes a losing battle.
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Why So Sad?

Why so sad

I have always loved the rain! The first droplets heralded an immediate dash for wellies and umbrella followed by an immediate exit to the yard. Living in California, there were no worries about getting soaked to the skin or sick, we simply had a blast jumping into puddles and splashing around. As far as my mom was concerned, with six children under 12 years old cooped up, God had made us waterproof, “Everyone out! Go have fun, and don’t traipse water across the floors when you come in.” Every kid should have it so hard.

That was then, this is now.  Days and days of dark, wet or cold weather can affect adults and children negatively, and I realized how serious this could be when I visited a friend in Seattle over the Christmas holiday one year. Seattle is a beautiful city with great shopping, sightseeing, restaurants, and one of the most stunning Christmas trees in city center I had ever seen in my life.

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