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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Medical Marijuana Helps Patients with Chronic Pain Sleep

Trying to sleep in constant pain can be difficult.  Studies have found a small amount of medical marijuana can help those with chronic neurological pain sleep.  Pain may begin from an accident or medical condition that damage the nerves from a faulty signal in the body’s central nervous system.  One example is when people experience “phantom limb” when they feel pain from an amputated limb.  There are many treatments for pain and sleeplessness, but there are no cures.  The Sleep Education Blog reports cognitive-behavioral therapy can help patients manage pain and get to sleep and stay asleep through the night.   

The study on medical marijuana and chronic neurological pain appears in the August issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.  A group of 23 pain patients smoked three types of medical-grade marijuana with different levels of tetrahydrocannibinol or THC, the chemical compound that creates the “high”.  They used potencies that included 2.5%, 6% and 9.4% THC, as well as a placebo.  Participants were instructed to smoke the drug three times a day for five days.  They didn’t know which type of marijuana they were smoking.  After a nine day break they switched potencies.  Results showed that patients fell asleep faster and better after they smoked the more potent marijuana.  Some experienced side effects which included; headaches, coughing, dizziness and dry eyes.

These studies are the first clinical trials using and finding the benefits of smoking medical marijuana for those suffering from chronic pain and have sleep problems.  Most prior studies just used THC extract to test marijuana’s medical effectiveness.  Marijuana is general not recommended as a sleep aide as the drug can reduce the amount of time spent in REM sleep and cause the user to become dependent. After using marijuana it can cause a period of insomnia and vivid dreams which will eventually discontinue when sleep cycles return to normal.  Marijuana is not considered a “hard drug” and the effects do not last more than a few hours, especially in small doses and it is commonly used by people that lead stressful lives alleviate their anxiety and enable them to become drowsy enough to fall asleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has not released its position on the use of marijuana as a sleep aide

Medical marijuana is prescribed for those with certain conditions such as; cancer, AIDS, chronic pain, severe nausea or seizures.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

4 Places Bedbugs Love To Hide

Rose knows bedbugs are all over the news -- and apparently, they're all over these 15 cities.
1. New York
2. Philadelphia
3. Detroit
4. Cincinnati
5. Chicago
6. Denver
7. Columbus, Ohio
8. Dayton, Ohio
9. Washington, D.C.
10. Los Angeles
11. Boston
12. Indianapolis
13. Louisville, Ky.
14. Cleveland
15. Minneapolis

Number one on the list is New York City! They've been found in office buildings, hospitals, hotels, theaters and even the Empire State Building. And the bloodsuckers hide in mattresses, furniture and clothing. Is anyone else suddenly itchy?

But it's not just NYC that's being bitten -- bedbugs are a growing problem nationwide. According to the National Pest Management Association, bedbug-related calls to exterminators have jumped by 81 percent in the last 10 years and 57 percent over the last five years.

The good news is that unless you have serious underlying health issues, the critters aren't likely to make you sick. Still, they gross us out. So we asked Missy Henriksen, Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Management Association, where bedbugs hide and what we can do to steer clear. The top spots:

IN HOTEL ROOMS... If you are traveling, thoroughly inspect the entire hotel room before unpacking, including pulling back the sheets, inspecting mattress seams, checking behind the headboard and examining sofas and chairs. If any pests -- or potential evidence of pests -- are spotted, change rooms or hotels, pronto. If you do change rooms, DO not move to an adjacent room or one directly above or below the infestation. Bedbugs are hitchhikers and can move via housekeeping carts, luggage carts, luggage and even through wall sockets.

IN DRESSING ROOMS... Bedbugs have proven to have fabulous fashion sense -- recently, they've been found in several popular retail stores. When trying on potential new items, be sure to hang your clothing on hooks rather than lay them then across the cushioned seats in the dressing room or on the carpeted floors.

As much as you want to wear that adorable new top immediately, resist the urge and wash or dry clean it first (bedbugs can't withstand temperatures higher than 113 degrees). This minimizes the potential that you'll bring a bedbug home with you.

ON CRAIGSLIST...Do not buy used furniture, especially bedding or upholstered items. If you absolutely MUST have a vintage something or other in your home, find a bug expert who can inspect it for bedbugs or eggs.

AT THE OFFICE... Several prominent New York City offices have been shut down in recent weeks thanks to bedbug infestations. To keep your workspace pest-free, keep clutter to a minimum, vacuum frequently (keep a hand-vac in your cube, if possible) and inspect any packages or deliveries that come your way.

If you do suspect you've been bedbugged, contact a licensed pest professional to ID and treat the problem. As the National Pest Management Association says, this is not a DIY pest.Have you dealt with bedbugs?

The Bedbug Registry bedbugregistry.com is a free, public database of bed bug encounters. Use it to check for bed bug reports before booking a hotel room or renting an apartment.

Know anyone who has? Vent below...
resource:   http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/4-places-bedbugs-hide-and-how-to-avoid-them-2371120/

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How to Fall Asleep Quicker for Older Kids

Rose’s sister Kitty knows it tough getting your older children, particularly teens to bed at a decent hour especially on school nights. She has an 11 year old and a teenage that get into the habit of staying up later during the summer when there is no school and they typically sleep in every day, if not all day. It is important to establish a set routine and regular sleep schedule prior to the school year starting. In order for them to feel refreshed and “with it” during the day, teens and older kids should get eight to nine hours of sleep. Here are some suggestions to answer the question: how to fall asleep quicker for older kids?

Establish a nightly routine and sleep schedule. Many older children participate in after school activities such as sports and social events. Not only do they have to make time for these activities they also have to do their homework. Many times than not this usually means they stay up later than they should to complete their tasks to be ready for school the next day. If their extracurricular activities are causing too many late nights it may be advised for them to curtail a few as sleep deprivation will eventually catch up with them and they will fall asleep in class, have a hard time studying for tests and can even cause themselves harm from poor reflexes during physical activities or even driving a car.

Older kids need time to unwind and relax in order to fall asleep at a decent hour just like the rest of us. Encourage your child to get their homework done as soon as possible instead of after dinner, television shows or chores. Giving your child time to themselves (quiet time) while adjusting activities and homework will allow them to get everything done without rushing or stressed so they can relax and still get to bed at a normal hour. Quiet time should be at least an hour before they retire and that means no television, no phone (and that means texting too), no computer, no video games and no loud music. Reading, writing and listening to soothing sounds encourage sleep for all of us. Your older children may object, but if you make it an entire family practice eventually your children will adjust. Quiet time means a quiet home and sometimes this isn’t easy especially if you live in town, have noisy neighbors or barking dogs. External noises that we have no control over can make it difficult for your child to fall asleep at night. White noise can drown out these noises. You can either purchase a white noise machine, but a fan works just as well.

One way to encourage regular bedtimes is to keep them on weekends, vacations and even during the summer. Allowing your child to stay up late and sleep in only makes it more difficult for them to adjust to a new sleep schedule during the school months. You might have to change their bedtime gradually so they aren’t laying in bed for hours trying to fall asleep because they are used to staying up till 12 and you have them in bed at 10. Try adding ten to fifteen minutes every four or five days until their body regulates their sleep/wake cycle.

Limit caffeine, spicy foods before bedtime. Anyone who drinks caffeinated beverages prior to bedtime might have difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep. Try to limit or stop caffeine at least two hours before bedtime. Remember caffeine is also in aspirin and other items besides beverages. In fact it is probably a good idea to limit any liquid at least an hour before retiring, so they don’t have to get up during the night to go to the bathroom. Hot, spicy food may cause indigestion, heart burn and even acid reflux if eaten right before retiring. It is a good idea not to eat them at least 2-3 hours before you lay down to go to sleep. If your child is in the habit of having a snack or drink before bed there are food that will make them drowsy because they are loaded with tryptophan. Try a slice of turkey, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cereal and/or a glass of milk.

If your child is showing signs of sleep deprivation, such as being irritable during the day, doesn’t care about school, grades are falling or they are skipping out on after school activities, you may need to talk to your family doctor about your concerns. Older children’s sleep problems may be caused by different things such as stress caused by a school situation like a problem with another student or teacher, anxiety about not living up to their or your expectations, hormonal factors or peer pressure. Keep an open mind when confronting your child if he talks about any concerns they may be having and offer praise and compassion if you see them stressed or anxious. Allowing them to have a quiet time to reflect and relax will help your child get more sleep so they will feel better about themselves because they are refreshed and reenergized to take on whatever the day may bring.

There are herbal and/or mineral supplements on the market that can help with stress and anxiety like GABA, but it is recommended that you talk to you physician before giving your child any supplement because they are not FDA approved and dosage may be different for a child verses an adult. The subject matter provided in this article is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. For proper treatment for any sleep problem should be provided by your health care professional.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Rose wants to know if you have you ever heard of the sleep disorder sleep sex or sexsomnia? It is a form of sleep walking during NREM or non-rapid eye movement parasomnia which causes people to engage in sexual acts such as fondling, masturbation, sexual intercourse, sexual assault or even rape, sleep exacerbation of persistent sexual arousal syndrome, ictal sexual hyperarousal and ictal orgasm. (“Ictal” is a physiological state like that of a seizure or stroke.) at the same time they are sleeping. There are at least 11 different sex-related sleep disorders that are classified as “sexsomnia,” “sleep sex,” or “atypical sexual behavior during sleep.”

Often objectionable consequences associated with sleep sex as it has been used in criminal rape cases and can cause the sufferers shame and embarrassment. Sexsomnia itself can also take quite a toll on their partner and relationship. Partners may experience cuts and scratches from more aggressive or forced sex. The sexsomniac may awaken with a bruised penis or fractured fingers. Both parties report feelings of bewilderment, guilt, despair, shock, denial, annoyance, confusion, worry and fear.

Can you imagine falling asleep, having sex, and not remembering a thing? You have no clue nor can’t recall any pleasurable effects. You don’t know that you suffer from this sleep disorder until a partner says something or does something like leave you or press charges.

People who have a history of doing other sleep activities such as sleepwalking or sleep talking are more likely to exhibit sexsomnia episodes. Increased episodes are attributed by alcohol, sleep deprivation or even sleep apnea. Men have reported injuries during aggressive masturbation against metal or brick walls because people experiencing a parasomnia are not often violent; they usually pose more of a threat to themselves. Men account for three quarters of the diagnosed cases. To diagnosis this condition a polysomnography is performed at a sleep clinic, but most cases are reported only after criminal charges have been filed. Nearly 8% of those of patients referred to a sleep disorders clinic reported they had initiated or taken part in sexual behavior while sleeping.

The first doctor to coin the term "sleep sex" was Dr. David Saul Rosenfeld, a neurologist and sleep doctor from Los Angeles, California. In some cases, sufferers are aware of their behavior for a long time before they seek help, often because they lack information that it is a medical disorder or for fear that others will judge it as willful behavior rather than a medical condition.

However, the reality of sexsomnia has been confirmed by sleep disorder researchers who have made polygraphic and video recordings of patients with the condition while they are asleep and observed unusual brain wave activity during the episodes similar to that experienced in other NREM arousal parasomnias. It is a mind/body disconnect that occurs during sleep. The treatment has commonalities with other NREM parasomnias, and also involves specific interventions. By avoiding precipitating factors and ensuring a safe environment, the condition could be brought to a high level of control with minimal effort. Your doctor may prescribe clonazepam for treatment.

Clonazepam is used alone or in combination with other medications to control certain types of seizures. It is also used to relieve panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks). Clonazepam is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Generally, people have no awareness of what they are doing and no recollection of it and whether married, coupled or single, any case of sexsomnia involves the “no consent” issue of sex. Sleep invites the opportunity for the surfacing of a person’s basic instincts usually ones that are released inappropriately. The court system, couples, and victims alike are all grappling with the issues of accountability and consequences for one’s actions while asleep.

What makes sleep sex disorders even more perplexing and difficult to sort through is that they do not indicate psychological problems. The people who suffer from these disorders are otherwise psychologically healthy. However, if left untreated, these conditions can increase an individual’s risk of developing a psychological problem, like depression.

Other problems include feelings of:
— A lack of emotional intimacy;
— A sense of repulsion and sexual abandonment;
— Self-incrimination in sexually expressing one’s self.

Some partners of sexsomniacs do, however, report having more satisfying sex during these nightly romps, whether this involves a lover being:
— More aggressive and dominant;
— Kinkier;
— More amorous;
— Gentler;
— More into satisfying his or her partner.

Regardless, it is important for people with sexsomnia and their lovers to recognize sleep sex triggers. These tend to be physical contact with another person in bed, sleep deprivation, stress, and alcohol. As researchers learn more about these disorders, they are also finding that they can be treated with medication.
Good Day,
Rose Sheepskill