Restless Leg Syndrome

178041620-smallRestless leg syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the nervous system that involves throbbing, pulling, creeping or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and causes an uncontrollable and overwhelming urge to move them. These feelings occur when the person is resting, mostly in the evenings and during sleep, and will usually go away when people move their legs.

RLS affects people of all ages, most being middle aged. Many pregnant women experience RLS, but it usually goes away after the baby is born. Most people with this disorder have serious sleep problems and are tired and have trouble paying attention.

RLS can be genetic, which is why it tends to run in families. It can also be related to other medical issues which can include kidney disease, low iron levels, anemia, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Many people with severe cases of RLS get less than five hours of sleep per night which can cause excessive sleepiness during the daytime and affect your personal and professional life.

There are many home remedies you can make that are designed to help combat this problem.

– Walking around may be the only thing that helps RLS. A midnight stroll through the house may calm your legs enough to keep them still when you go back to bed.
– Coffee, tea, chocolate sodas and even over-the-counter (OTC) medications may contain caffeine. Cutting your consumption of these may help improve your condition.
– A warm bath or massage before bed relaxes muscles and therefore may be helpful.
– Try stretching your calves, hamstrings and gluteal muscles before bed.

If you still have twitching legs after you’ve tried these tips, talk to your doctor about getting a medical evaluation.

Naps and Brain Benefits

475981169-smallNapping can have great benefits for your brain and body, but sometimes after waking up a from a nap, you feel groggy and almost as if you are more tired than you were before taking the nap. When you sleep for too long during a nap, you fall into a stage of sleep that is difficult to get out of.

Sleep experts suggest that taking a 10 to 20 minute power nap can give you a quick burst of alertness and mental clarity when you don’t have much time. This length limits you to the lighter stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep, making it easier to get moving after waking up.

Studies show that sleeping for 30 minutes may cause sleep inertia, a hangover-like groggy feeling that can last for up to 30 minutes after waking up, before the nap’s restorative benefits become apparent.

60 minute long naps are best for improvement in remembering facts, faces and names. Hour long naps include “slow-wave” sleep which is the deepest type. The downside for sleeping this long is some grogginess upon waking up.

A full cycle of sleep is 90 minutes long, which includes the lighter and deeper stages, REM sleep and the dreaming stage. 90 minute long naps can lead to improved emotional and procedural memory and creativity. A nap of this length is typically easier to wake up from as well.

If you plan on taking shorter naps, it helps to sit up slightly as it will allow you to avoid falling into a deeper sleep. If you dream during these power naps, then it could be a sign that you are sleep deprived and need to get more hours of quality sleep each night.

How to Avoid Sleeping and Yawning During the Day

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Falling asleep during the day can be relaxing and re-energize you for a night out later. However, sleeping during an important meeting or class can lead to yelling, detention or even losing your job. Reckless slumbering also often leads to missing out on the entire day, as comfortable as it may seem.

Getting a good night’s sleep is the most important step to keeping yourself awake during the day. A good 8 hours is recommended, so it’s best to finish your work early so you can be in bed by 10 o’clock.

Eating is an easy way to keep you awake and energized when you’re hungry. An empty stomach is a major cause of sleepiness in people. The food affects the hypothalamus and regulates its production of sleep-causing hormones.

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If you are feeling tired at work, try to take frequent small walks in the office space intermittently. It will help activate and energize your brain.

Remember to give your eyes a break and occasionally look away from your screen is you work on a computer most of the day. Monitors continuously re-display their contents and the brain cannot pick up on these changes, but your eyes can and it makes them extremely tired.

Although it is impossible to feel fully rested every day, maintaining a healthy diet as well as getting a good night’s sleep the night before are great steps to helping yourself remain energized throughout the day.

Why We Yawn

Yawning seems like a natural occurrence that only takes place before bed and waking up. However, as we get older we start to pay attention to the contagious phenomenon, and notice that it is a little more complex than just a sleepy-time mechanism.

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Yawning is an involuntary action that causes the mouth to open wide and breathe in deeply, which actually puts more body parts to work than you may think. When you inhale, you are filling your lungs with air, your abdominal muscles then flex, and your diaphragm is pushed down.

While yawning is associated with drowsiness, your heart-rate actually rises as much as 30 percent during this “exercise” which can be considered a sign of heightened state-of-excitement. If you have ever paid attention during a workout, run or strenuous activity, you might have noticed that you begin to yawn occasionally. It could have been a side-effect of fatigue or the need for rest, but on the contrary, it could have also been a lack of oxygen.

A yawn to the body, is like a radiator to a vehicle. The body induces yawning to provide more oxygen to the brain, and to remove a buildup of carbon dioxide in the lungs by stretching the jaw and increasing blood flow in the neck, face and head. When air is breathed into the mouth, it removes hot blood from the brain and introduces cool air.

So ya caught a case of the yawns…

If you are in a conversation with an individual and he casually yawns, you probably start to wonder if he is bored with the conversation or… oh… here it comes….You yawn as well and fall victim to the contagious yawn, and pretty soon it is like a domino effect on every one that walks by or entertains your conversation.

Studies show that you don’t have to physically see someone yawn for you to yawn back. You can hear or even read about it, and chances are, you have probably yawned at least once since you have been reading this. The contagious yawn is said to be associated with the same part of the brain that deal with empathy, thus linking it to an individuals ability to understand and connect with others’ emotional state. Infectious yawning has been also been observed in chimpanzees and dogs. Speaking of dogs, don’t miss out on your chance to win a queen size mattress! Be sure to enter the Bed Hog Contest by submitting a snapshot of your pooch hogging your bed for a chance to win a free queen-size mattress from Mattresses For Less.

 

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Are you frequently frustrated at how tired you feel in the morning, regardless of how early you went to sleep the night before? Do you have vague memories of waking briefly in the dead of night short of breath. You may be one of the millions of people world wide that suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is a sleep condition that occurs when your airways temporarily closes off while you’re sleeping. When this occurs your airway remains closed until panic signals from your brain cause you to wake or sputter, clearing your airway.

Most often the case is the person suffering from OSA has no recollection of waking the previous night but instead just feels strangely tired. This is due to the multiple times their brain was forced to make them wake throughout the night to keep from suffocating. It is difficult to identify the disorder if you live alone since you typically don’t remember the episodes so it often persists until the person considers they may have a problem.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a fairly common disorder that can happen to anyone but there are a few factors that can help cause it. People with a narrow jaw or a large tongue may naturally have a smaller airway which definitely assists in the development of OSA. Also those who suffer from obesity often are diagnosed with OSA since the extra weight on their neck can make it easier for their throats to close as they sleep. Alcohol and other depressants have been know to assist in the development of OSA since they can cause the pallet to relax more than it is supposed to while you sleep.

Although grogginess and lack of a proper nights sleep is a serious issue for anyone as it can effect your mood and your performance during the day, but if OSA persists it can lead to much more serious problems. For instance, because of the continued lack of oxygen as well as the frequent stress signals the brain is forced to put forth, people with OSA are more prone to heart failure and strokes.

If you think you may have OSA, consult you physician immediately and have them perform a sleep study on you to determine the exact cause of your symptoms. If they find you have OSA they will most likely put you on a continuous positive airway pressure  (CPAP) machine that will keep your throat open while you sleep. Once you have your Obstructive Sleep Apnea remedy and you are ready for your first solid nights sleep in a while, make sure you are sleeping on a mattress that will keep you rested the entire night. Mattresses for less has hundreds of the most comfortable mattresses available all available to be delivered to you at your convenience. Make tonight the best nights sleep of your life with a quality mattress from Mattresses for Less!