I have been writing about the importance of a good night’s sleep for some years. It restores the brain, recharges the body and often clears up conflicts overnight. Now comes Harvard with further guidance on this critical life experience. With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, sleep habits are very relevant.
Dr. Anthony Komaroff, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Publications, writes, “A good night’s sleep is essential for your health and well-being. Getting too little sleep can cause numerous problems. Lack of sleep not only affects alertness and energy, but it weakens your body’s defenses against infection, increases anxiety, and boosts your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s also a safety issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that 1 in 24 adults say they have recently fallen asleep while driving.
“Sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages. If you are one of them, Improving Sleep is an instructive and fact-filled report from Harvard Medical School that explains why sleep often eludes us as adults. You’ll read about the habits and conditions that get in the way of peaceful slumber. Most important, you’ll learn what you can do to again enjoy the satisfaction of a restful night’s sleep.
“The report details what triggers insomnia and how new techniques and therapies are helping men and women get to sleep more quickly — without the use of medications. The report will tell you how to overcome the “early-to-bed-early-to-rise” syndrome, how to control the need to urinate at night, how to tame restless leg syndrome, and seven things you should do — and not do — before going to bed.
“Do you or your spouse snore? There are hundreds of devices marketed as aids to stop snoring. But do any work? The report sorts them out and updates you on new procedures that can restore quiet to the bedroom. Could your snoring be sleep apnea? The report includes a six-question test that will help you determine if you need to be tested for this health-threatening condition.
“Ever wondered why we remember so little of our dreams? Why “night owls” are the way they are? Or what’s the best time for a nap — and how long should it be? The report answers these questions and many others. Plus, you’ll read the truth about the connection between Ambien and sleep walking (and sleep eating!), which over-the-counter sleeping aids are safest, five ways to avoid jet lag, and more.”