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The pros and cons of napping

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

Today's medical media often send out mixed messages when it comes to best practices for good health.

Taking naps has been the subject of scrutiny recently.

Some research points to napping as beneficial to employee productivity.

Other research suggests that long naps may actually be linked to chronic disease. 

Here's what we know about the benefits and risks of taking naps.

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Sleep and its impact on dementia

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

Disrupted sleep is a common problem for people suffering from dementia. 

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that all individuals who have been diagnosed with some form of dementia also be screened for sleep disorders; they report that "Two-thirds of those in long-term care facilities suffer from sleeping problems."

Treating some common sleep disorders, such as restless legs or sleep apnea, can help improve the quality of life for these people as well as reduce the severity of their symptoms by improving their ability to get enough protective, restorative sleep.

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Epilepsy and sleep: The silent struggle with nighttime seizures

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

Epilepsy is a complex neurological condition with well-established ties to sleep health.

Its 2-way relationship with the sleep-wake cycle makes it difficult to diagnose, especially for those who only have epileptic seizures at night (nocturnal seizures). 

What is epilepsy and why does it share such common ground with sleep disorders?

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Is caffeine affecting your sleep?

Kristen Havens

Seattleites love their coffee. According to a coffee culture article in The Daily Beast, we number 35 coffee shops for every 100,00 residents, making us the most caffeine-saturated American city. (Another fun fact: we frequently rank as having the most bookstores per capita, too.) At $36 per month, our average personal monthly coffee budget is also one of the highest in the nation.

We're the proud home of Starbucks since 1971, as well as the city of origin for other successful chains like Tully's, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Stumptown. Our coffee culture has had a major influence on how coffee is purchased, prepared, presented, and enjoyed across the U.S. and internationally.

Coffee is a huge part of Seattle life, where it's both a favorite drink and a major industry. But have you ever stopped to think what drinking all this java is doing to your sleep?

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When chronic pain is the enemy of sleep

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

According to statistics from the 2015 Sleep in America™ Poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation: 

  • Nearly a quarter of those who suffer with chronic pain report higher stress levels
  • Nearly half of those who suffer with chronic pain experience problems at work due to pain-related sleep loss 
  • People who suffer with chronic pain lose 42 minutes a night of sleep because of it. That translates into nearly 5 hours weekly, and over 10 days annually. Sleep debt like this can be extremely difficult to overcome
  • A third of those who suffer with chronic pain cannot get enough sleep even when they try to do so for their health and well being

Clearly, pain is the enemy.

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Hypersomnolence: Is there such a thing as too much sleep?

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

While insomnia is a frequent battle for many people, feeling tired all the time while getting enough sleep is a challenge for others. 

Hypersomnolence, or feeling tired all the time despite having adequate sleep at night, can be problematic for anyone who needs to stay awake and alert during the day. 

While sometimes the causes of hypersomnolence are clear—going to bed too late and waking up too early, having a sleep disorder,  practicing poor sleep hygiene, or experiencing adverse effects of a medication—some people seem to naturally sleep longer. 

But is so-called "long sleep" considered healthy? And if not, what are the risks?

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Circadian Rhythm Disorder and the Sleep Wake Cycle

Tamara Kaye Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH

All human beings follow a specific pattern of activity and rest that more or less corresponds with the 24-hour period of the day. This specific pattern is guided by our circadian rhythms.

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