Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Article: Top Products To Block Light & Noise

Hey, these guys are hot on the trail! They reviewed products designed to promote better sleep by blocking light and noise (just like the products on our site -- The Complete Sleeper): Sleep Masks, Blackout Blinds and Earplugs.

Here's the article:

Top Products to Block Light and Noise

Having trouble falling asleep? Maybe it's not you. Many uncontrollable elements can keep you awake at night, so GHRI tested a variety of sleeping aids that block light and noise. These top-of-the-line products will get you counting sheep in no time.

This sleeping mask earned the highest score for its contoured shape (which let testers blink comfortably) and its adjustable strap.

Mack's Dreamweaver Contoured Sleep Mask
This mask also did well, though some panelists felt the nose bridge was uncomfortable and the Velcro strap snagged their hair.

With its soft, padded lining, this mask was the hands-down favorite in the flush-to-the-eyes style.

Available in four colors, this shade earned perfect scores on our professional evaluation for opacity.

Made of woven grass, reeds, or bamboo, this blackout window treatment came in at the top (though a few testers thought the weave allowed some light to shine through).

Available in a wide variety of fabrics, colors, textures, and liftings, this honeycomb shade also helps save energy by blocking out heat and cold.

Available in 21 colors, this shade performed well in our lab run-throughs, but some panelists felt that light still came through.

These drapes, available in five colors, block light while looking soft and textured.

For the decor savvy, these panels not only block light, they have an elegant drape and come in three colors.

With 12 sounds, including ocean surf, rain, and white noise, this noise machine will gradually slow down to lull you to sleep. There are also three timer settings, though you can set it to run all night. [This is basically a modified Sound Oasis S-650]

These foam bullet-shaped plugs scored highest for muffling ability and comfort.

* * *

Check out a full selection of products designed to make your bedroom dark and quiet at The Complete Sleeper: Sleep Masks, Earplugs, Blackout Liners, Sound Conditioners, Wicking Sleepwear and Sheets, Sunrise Alarm Clocks and Light Therapy Boxes.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"10 Reasons Not To Skimp On Sleep"

From 10/16/08 US News & World Report

Some quotes:
"scheduling a good night's sleep could be one of the smartest health priorities you set. "

"Possible health consequences of getting too little or poor sleep can involve the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems."

10 Reasons Not to Skimp on Sleep

Too busy to go to bed? Having trouble getting quality sleep once you do? Your health may be at risk

Posted October 16, 2008

You may literally have to add it to your to-do list, but scheduling a good night's sleep could be one of the smartest health priorities you set. It's not just daytime drowsiness you risk when shortchanging yourself on your seven to eight hours. Possible health consequences of getting too little or poor sleep can involve the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. In addition to letting life get in the way of good sleep, between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder—insomnia or sleep apnea, say—that affects daily functioning and impinges on health. Consider the research:

Video: Common Sleeping Problems
Video: Common Sleeping Problems

1) Less may mean more. For people who sleep under seven hours a night, the fewer zzzz's they get, the more obese they tend to be, according to a 2006 Institute of Medicine report.

2) You're more apt to make bad food choices.

3) Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance, its precursor, may become more likely.

4) The ticker is put at risk. A 2003 study found that heart attacks were 45 percent more likely in women who slept for five or fewer hours per night than in those who got more.

5) Blood pressure may increase.

6) Auto accidents rise.

7) Balance is off.

8) You may be more prone to depression.

9) Kids may suffer more behavior problems.

10) Death's doorstep may be nearer.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Consumer Reports: Sound Conditioners Virtually As Effective As Sleeping Pills

Finally, a national publication drives home our point: sound conditioners are a safe and effective alternative to sleeping pills, at a reasonable price and with no side effects.

In its September 2008 edition, Consumer Reports writes the following (click here for link):

(Note: our Sound Oasis S-650 is one generation ahead of the top-rated sound conditioner in the article, and costs $30 less)


Consumer Reports Article


Plus, a guide to the most-effective treatments, including non-drug therapies

YONKERS, NY — According to a new Consumer Reports survey to be published in the September issue, 44% of Americans are “Problem Sleepers;” they have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or wake up too early at least eight nights per month. In fact, survey respondents told Consumer Reports they are turning to drugs when other remedies can be just as effective. Even sound machines, which can be purchased from $20-$129, can be helpful, often as helpful as drugs, notes the magazine.

In a nationwide survey of 1,466 adults, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center in April 2008, CR asked people how well they slept the night, week, and month before participating in the survey. The key findings:

  • Many people turn to drugs to solve sleep problems; almost 1 in 5 Americans took prescription or over-the-counter medicines at least once a week to help them sleep. Although sleep medications are usually recommended for no more than two weeks, 14 percent of those surveyed took some type of pill on at least eight of the past 30 nights; 5 percent turn to pills every night of the month.
  • Sixty-three percent of those who took sleep medications experienced side effects; 24 percent said they became dependent on the medication they used; and 21 percent said that repeated use reduced the drug’s effectiveness.
  • Among the 15 percent of respondents who had taken a prescription drug during the preceding month, a disturbingly high 38 percent said they’d been on the medication for more than two years.
  • More than a quarter of respondents said it took them 30 minutes or longer to fall asleep the previous night, and one quarter awakened in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep for at least a half-hour. A third woke up much earlier than they’d hoped.
  • CR’s survey found that of six characteristics that problem sleepers had in common, the most prevalent was high stress levels. Most of the time, respondents were anxious over family or money concerns, health issues or work woes.
CR’s report cautions that far too many people are turning to medicine as a first resort to treat their insomnia. In fact, last year 24 million prescriptions were written for the four best-selling sleep drugs alone. “What people don’t realize is these medications can pose a host of side effects including daytime drowsiness, even bizarre behavior like sleep-walking, sleep-eating, and sleep-driving. There are alternative treatments, such as sound machines, that may be quite effective, yet pose no risks at all,” said Tod Marks, senior editor at Consumer Reports.

According to the report, drugmakers spend hundreds of millions of dollars yearly trying to persuade Americans to fix their sleep issues with medication. In fact, the two most heavily advertised prescription drugs last year were sleep aids Lunesta and Ambien CR, which had a combined direct-to-consumer ad budget of almost $500 million.

Sound Machines – A Viable Alternative

To gauge the effectiveness of the most commonly used tactics to get sleep, with a parallel survey Consumer Reports analyzed the experiences of 2,021 problem sleepers who used a specific approach for at least eight nights in the previous month before they were surveyed.

Sound machines were found to be almost as effective as pills, with 70 percent of people who tried sound machines saying the machines helped most nights. However, for people suffering from the most severe cases of sleep disturbance, only 50 percent said sound machines helped as much.

Other remedies were less effective: when over-the-counter drugs were used, they helped 57 percent of people most nights, a consistent sleep and wake routine helped 50 percent on most nights and muscle relaxation helped 40 percent on most nights.

With a group of a dozen panelists, Consumer Reports put three sound machines at three price points to the test. The Brookstone Tranquil Moments Sound Therapy System ($129) was a favorite. The machine, with 12 sound settings, masks unwanted noises on the white-noise setting. Half of the panelists said they would purchase the Marpac SleepMate 980A ($60); and just two panelists said they would purchase Homedics SoundSpa SS-2000 ($20). Listen for yourself: Go to www.ConsumerReportsHealth.org to hear these machines.

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Consumer Reports offers the following tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Think alternatives to drugs. The first step need not be a drug. Consider alternatives such as sound machines and relaxation techniques. A cognitive behavioral therapist can help intermittent and chronic insomnia through a number of steps, such as teaching relaxation.
  • Examine bad habits. Habits to avoid are: long or late-day naps; watching TV in bed; drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages close to bedtime; eating large meals at night; allowing pets or children to share your bed; and, varying bedtime and wake-up times.
  • Check your mattress. Your bed could be one source of sleep problems. If a mattress is more than eight years old, replace it.
  • See your doctor. If sleeplessness persists several nights a week for at least three months, it’s probably time to see a doctor. If your doctor suggests a prescription medication, new pills such as Ambien CR, Lunesta, and Sonata, aren’t necessarily better than older, cheaper drugs such as estazolam or temazepam for many people who need a sleep aid for just a night or two.

Visit The Complete Sleeper for a complete range of sound conditioners and other "sleep acccessories" at the best prices.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pilots sleep - plane misses destination

I almost thought this was a joke -- but two pilots in India fell asleep while flying a commercial plane with 100 passengers and overshot their destination by several hundred miles. They were allegedly exhausted by their work schedule.

Here's the link:

MUMBAI: An Air India Jaipur-Mumbai flight flew well past its destination with both its pilots fatigued and fast asleep in the cockpit. When the pilots were finally woken up by anxious Mumbai air traffic controllers, the plane was about half way to Goa. ( Watch )

This nap in the sky took place about a fortnight ago on the domestic leg of a Dubai-Jaipur-Mumbai flight — IC 612 — which had about 100 passengers on board. "The plane took off from Dubai at 1.35am IST and then from Jaipur at 7am. After operating an overnight flight, fatigue levels peak, and so the pilots dozed off after taking off from Jaipur," said a source.

The flight schedules of pilots prior to this flight is not known.

The aircraft was supposed to take the A 474 South route — a designated route to Mumbai — and since it was on autopilot, it headed in that direction. "It was only after the aircraft reached Mumbai airspace that air traffic controllers realized it was not responding to any instructions and was carrying on on its own course," said the source.

Said an air traffic controller: "The aircraft should have begun its descent about 100 miles from Mumbai, but here it was still at cruising altitude. We checked for hijack and when there was no response we made a SELCAL (selective calling)."

Every aircraft has its own exclusive code. When the ATC uses this high frequency communication system — which it does very rarely and only when other communication draws a blank — a buzzer sounds in the cockpit. Jolted by the sound of the SELCAL buzzer, the pilots woke up and brought the plane back to Mumbai safely.

Kanu Gohain, directorate general of civil aviation, was not available for comment. Contacted for its version on Wednesday evening, Jitendra Bhargava, director, public relations of Air India, said, "The director, operations, is getting information on the matter."

'Aircraft had communications failure'

General manager, Mumbai aerodrome, M G Junghare, denied that the pilots were asleep behind the control column. "The aircraft had a radio communications failure and so could not be contacted. It had gone only 10 or 15 miles off Mumbai and after we ascertained that it was not hijacked we made the SELCAL," he said.

Commanders, however, pooh-poohed this claim and said the lapse was being hushed up. "There is a strict procedure which is followed during a radio communications failure whereby the aircraft should have descended to a holding point. Instead, it flew over Mumbai. Also, every flight has an Expected Time of Arrival (ETA), so why did it not begin its descent even after crossing its ETA?" argued a check pilot.

For the last one month, airlines have been following an old set of pilot rest rules that has no scientific backing. This happened after DGCA issued a circular in May asking airlines to the old and outdated Flight Duty Time Limitation that essentially lengthened flight duty hours. DGCA withdrew the new timing schedule introduced in July last year and which was based on scientific studies by Nasa. The pilots protested this. A Joint Action Committee of Airlines Pilots' Association has recently moved the Bombay HC to quash the DGCA circular stating that shorter breaks between long-haul flights and even ultra-long haul flights could compromise safety.

"If you get home past midnight and then by noon the next day you are in a car back to the airport, and if this happens every other day and you do not even know your weekly off in advance, the buildup of exhaustion is huge," said a commander. The latest incident, an index of fatigue in the skies, could strengthen the pilots' case. "Had the aircraft flown over Hyderabad they would not have been able to contact the pilots since SELCAL is available only at old airports like Mumbai and Chennai since it is an obsolete technology and not used in newer airports. Moreover, a SELCAL cannot be made in certain weather conditions," the commander said.

A similar incident in the US in February suggests that pilots don't have it easy there either. The difference is that the US authorities were not only open about it, but initiated corrective measures. Two 'go!' airline pilots fell asleep while flying from Honolulu to Hilo, cruising past their destination for 18 minutes before waking up and returning safely. The two pilots had been flying for three arduous days. Following the incident, the US's National Transportation Safety Board highlighted the need for new rules. It recommended working hour limits for flight crews, aviation mechanics, and air traffic controllers based on fatigue research.

"5 ways to get (and stay!) asleep tonight"

Here's an article from Yahoo/Shine urging people to "create a bedroom that seduces you into sleep". How? "Keeping your room cool and dark, choosing pillows and bedding that are comfortable and you enjoy settling in to and adding black-out curtains behind your window treatments will help set the stage."

Here's the link: http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/5-ways-to-get-and-stay-asleep-tonight-191333/

Here's the article:

5 ways to get (and stay!) asleep tonight

We've all been there in the heart-pounding moments at 3 a.m., when we desperately want to be asleep but somehow cannot get there, when we are racking our brains for what is in our medicine cabinet that might help us along or what soothing things mothers and grandmothers did to help lull us back into sweet dreams. While our sleep can be easily interrupted by a wide variety of factors, the stress that comes in getting and staying asleep doesn't make any night more restful. Before you pop a pill or crank up the late late late show or melt down in a fit of insomnia, consider these five things that might just be the sheep you should be counting:

1. Identify the insomnia issue. Americans average seven hours of sleep a night and 60% of us report difficulty sleeping at least several nights a week. The bigger problem is, many people leave it at that, never examining why they are awake long before the alarm clock goes off or everyone else is sound asleep.

Where do I begin?
The first thing you need to do to cure your sleep struggles is determining if you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or both. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep all night, you're experiencing insomnia. If you can fall asleep with ease but wake up in the middle of the night regularly, you may have the more-specific issue of "sleep maintenance insomnia". Most of us have short-term sleep issues like these at some point, but a solid 10-15% of people suffer from chronic insomnia.

Insomnia often occurs during periods of stress and may be impacted by depression, sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Rather than focusing on the irritation of being sleep-deprived, try to take a look at both the patterns of insomnia and things going on in your waking life that could be preventing your rest.

2. Take note. Consider keeping an informal sleep journal next to your bed. There's no need to make a journal another stresser but logging some simple information - the date, the time you woke up, how long you stayed awake before you felt sleepy again, your stress level on a one to ten scale - might offer you some helpful information in addressing the insomnia yourself or with a doctor. Although you might know, for example, that you have a high-stress job, it might take a little journaling to connect midnight wakings with Thursday staff meetings or an upcoming deadline.

How will this help? Taking note of how often you have sleep problems and exactly when may also strip away any of those tendencies to say "I NEVER sleep" or "I'm an AWFUL sleeper." Instead, you'll have some more concrete information that will move you from "I often am awake from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m." or "When bills are due, it takes me longer to fall asleep." This kind of real understanding will lead you to a solution much easier than sitting (or laying or pacing) in your frustration).

3. Use your daytime activity to support your nighttime rest. It probably isn't a surprise that even small amounts of exercise will help you rest easier at night. Adding in a walk after lunch or some yoga at your desk will pay off when it is time to turn in.

What about food? Avoid drinking and eating things that will affect your ability to relax or stay in bed. If spicy food gives you heartburn, try not to eat it at a late dinner. If drinking all your water for the day sends you to the bathroom four times before dawn, make a commitment to do most of your hydrating before lunch. Caffeine, sugar and alcohol are also common thieves of sleep, so be aware of when you are consuming them, in what quantities and how the impact your personal sleep patterns. If you must eat close to bedtime, choose a small amount of carbs paired with a protein (oatmeal with skim milk, yogurt with granola, whole grain crackers with soy butter, sliced apple with cheese are all healthy choices to late night snacking).

4. Really prepare for bed.
As a mother, I don't know a single parent who doesn't have a well-established bedtime routine for their children. As a mother, I also find myself falling into bed with barely any transition time or closure on the day. At what point do we forget why the songs-stories-snuggles end of the day is so critical to the beginning of our night?

There's no need to ask your husband to read you Goodnight Moon and rub your back while singing Frere Jacques (but if that works, hey, why not?). Do weave some soothing rituals into the half-hour before you want to fall asleep by reading a few pages, stretching, meditating, listening to calm music or just breathing deeply. Releasing the day in these ways will help you let go of those nagging to-do lists and anxieties and prompt your brain and body that it is time to relax.

What are some other routines I can do?
Setting a cell phone or watch alarm may cue you to keep a regular bedtime. Lavender essential oils or pillow sprays may soothe you as you settle in and counteract the chaos of the day. Finally, turn off the television, laptop and any other gadgets that make you unnecessarily accessible to life and work outside your bedroom. Finally, there's one thing from your childhood that may still work like a charm when you are having trouble sleeping. Warm milk may really help you drift off because it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts melatonin and seratonin and could induce sleepiness.

5. Create a bedroom that seduces you into sleep. Do you notice on cable home make-over shows how often couples ask for a renovation that will make their bedroom into a haven? Our frenetic schedules, cluttered homes and tight spaces may mean we stack up so much in our bedrooms that there's no way to escape, even to sleep! Taking a weekend to clear all that out will help you make a healthy sleep environment and may have an immediate impact on how restful you feel in that space.

Many experts say that your bedroom should be a place reserved only for sleeping and sexual intimacy (see? once again, it comes back to the snuggling). Keep this in mind as you are moving your desk, filing cabinets, sewing machines, mountainous laundry piles and kids' toys out of your room and into places where no one needs to sleep.

How can I dial down the action and dial up the allure? Keeping your room cool and dark, choosing pillows and bedding that are comfortable and you enjoy settling in to and adding black-out curtains behind your window treatments will help set the stage. Remove the television. If this pains you or your partner, consider moving it out for a month to see if it helps. If it must stay, keep it in a cabinet or armoire that closes or cover it with a scarf so you have one more marker for turning off when you turn in.

If the stress of your days still seeps in, keep a worry book by your bed where you can write down what (literally) could keep you awake that night. Or if the to-dos are what's nagging at you all night, keep a stack of sticky notes and pen next to the bed so you can transcribe them right away, knowing you can pick them up in the morning.

Still wide awake? No! These posts won't put you to sleep but they might help you out if you need some ZZZZs:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sleep: A Necessity, Not a Luxury

An interesting excerpt from the article below:

"Before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1880, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. These days, Americans average 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours a night on weekends, according to the National Sleep Foundation."


Here's the link: http://www.healthcentral.com/newsdetail/408/611908.html

And the article:

Sleep: A Necessity, Not a Luxury

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter
Sunday, June 8, 2008; 12:00 AM

Copyright © 2008 ScoutNews LLC. All rights reserved.

SUNDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- The pace of life gets faster and faster, and people try to cram more and more into every minute of the day.

As things get more hectic, sleep tends to get short shrift. It's seen as wasted time, lost forever.

"For healthy people, there's a big temptation to voluntarily restrict sleep, to stay up an hour or two or get up an hour or two earlier," said Dr. Greg Belenky, director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University Spokane.
"But you're really reducing your productivity and exposing yourself to risk," Belenky added.

That's a message doctors are trying to spread to Americans, including the estimated 40 million people who struggle with some type of sleep disorder each year.

Before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1880, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. These days, Americans average 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours a night on weekends, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

"The group of people getting optimal sleep is getting smaller and smaller," said Dr. Chris Drake, senior scientist at the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Center in Detroit. "When a person's sleep drops to six hours or less, that's when a lot of things become very problematic."

While experts recommend seven to eight hours of sleep each night, the amount needed for an individual can vary.

But lack of sleep affects a person in one of two ways, Belenky said. First, sleeplessness influences the day-to-day performance of tasks.

"The performance effects are seen immediately," he said. "You short-change yourself of sleep, and you see the effects immediately. You can make a bad decision. You can miss something. Have a moment's inattention, and you're off the road."

The longer-term effects of sleep deprivation involve a person's health. Doctors have linked lack of sleep to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, depression and substance abuse.

"Hormones that process appetite begin to get disorganized," said Drake, who's also an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. There's a decrease in the amount of leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone, when a person gets too little sleep. At the same time, ghrelin -- a hormone that stimulates appetite -- increases with a lack of sleep.

Too little sleep also interferes with the body's ability to regulate glucose and can cause inflammation leading to heart problems and a rise in blood pressure. "There's a stress response to being in a sleep loss," Belenky said.

The types of people not getting enough sleep also break down into two groups. First, there are those who make the conscious choice to go without enough sleep.

"It's sort of part of the culture," Belenky said. "People pride themselves on getting little sleep. You'll hear people bragging, 'I only need six hours a night.' So there's a macho element here."

On the other hand, there are people who are suffering from sleep disorders. These disorders include:

* Insomnia, an inability to go to sleep or stay asleep.
* Sleep apnea, or breathing interruptions during sleep that cause people to wake up repeatedly.
* Restless legs syndrome, a tingling or prickly sensation in the legs that causes a person to need to move them, interrupting sleep.

Someone suffering from any of these problems should visit their doctor or see a sleep specialist, Belenky said.

Sleep apnea, the most prevalent sleep disorder, can have particularly serious long-term effects if left untreated. "You're waking up out of sleep to breathe. You can't sleep and breathe at the same time," Drake said. "It's a risk factor for developing major cardiovascular health effects."

Some people who have trouble sleeping will resort to mild sedatives like Ambien and Lunesta.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently asked the makers of these sedative-hypnotic drugs to strengthen their warning labels. This action followed reports of dangerous allergic reactions, as well as a host of bizarre behavioral side effects that include sleep-driving, making phone calls, and preparing and eating food or having sex while asleep.

Drake and Belenky both consider sleeping pills to be fine for the short term if taken properly.

"Sleeping pills are a temporary solution," Belenky said. "If you're upset about something or have situational insomnia, or you're trying to sleep at the wrong time of day because you've traveled across time zones, they are effective."

But, both doctors noted the pills will do nothing to help a chronic sleep problem. "They don't address the pathology of their sleeplessness," Drake said.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health offers these tips for getting a good night's sleep:

* Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
* Avoid exercising closer than five or six hours before bedtime.
* Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed.
* Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.
* Don't take naps after 3 p.m.
* Relax before bed, taking time to unwind with a hot bath, a good book or soothing music.
* If you're still awake after more than 20 minutes in bed, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Anxiety over not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.

More information

To learn more, visit the National Sleep Foundation.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sleep & Health: Major Government Study

Here's a major government study linking sleep deprivation to obesity, smoking, alcohol use and physical inactivity. The study does not prove causation, but it does make one wonder, as it is consistent with a slew of other studies linking sleep deprivation with poor health (mental and physical).

The title is: "Sleep Duration as a Correlate of Smoking, Alcohol Use, Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity, and Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2004-2006." The study is from the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are an excerpt from the Introduction:

"The importance of sleep in maintaining good health and quality of life is well recognized. Despite evidence of the health implications of insufficient sleep, a large number of Americans do not routinely get optimal hours of sleep. It is estimated that 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep loss or sleep disorders."

And the Conclusion:

"The findings in this report, based on a survey of a representative sample of U.S. adults, offer a national perspective on the association between sleep practices and other health-related behaviors in the U.S. adult population. The findings presented here suggest that U.S. adults who usually slept less than 6 hours were more likely than adults who slept 7 to 8 hours to engage in certain health risk behaviors (i.e., cigarette smoking, having five or more drinks in a day, engaging in no leisure-time physical activity, and being obese). In many cases, adults who usually slept 9 hours or more were also at increased risk of engaging in these unhealthy behaviors. The associations between sleep and other behaviors are complex, and the directions of causality cannot be determined with the cross-sectional data used in this analysis. Additional analyses are needed to identify the causal directions of these relationships, as well as to identify factors, such as poverty or educational attainment, that may influence sleep and its associated factors. Despite these limitations, the findings presented here provide important information about the potential relevance of discussing health risk behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use, physical inactivity, and obesity with patients who seek medical advice for sleep concerns."

Here's the link:


"Seeking sleep, willing to pay" (Chicago Tribune)

The Chicago Tribune just ran an interesting article about the lengths people will go to secure a good night's sleep. The article covers a recent trade show in Chicago named "The Big Sleep Show", which they see as "the latest sign of a booming, multibillion-dollar industry geared toward the 70 million Americans thought to suffer from sleep problems." Products range from a $60,000 mattress, an $8,000 "motion lounge", a napping pod that can be rented for $800/month,

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Sleep Environment

Here's another great article from the National Sleep Foundation entitled "The Sleep Environment." This article elaborates on the need for a sleep environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. It mentions earplugs, sleep masks, blackout blind and white noise, as well as the benefits of light therapy using a light box -- all products that can be found at The Complete Sleeper. Sleep better the healthy way!


Does that drip, drip, drip of the faucet keep you up at night? Do you need to keep your fan running because "white noise" helps you sleep? Have you ever tossed and turned because you were too hot, or too cold? What about the barking dog or cat that jumps onto your bed – have they ever disrupted your zzz’s? Most of us recognize that the sleep environment can greatly affect how (and if) we sleep, but are you doing everything you can to make your bedroom a sleep haven? Learn about the do’s and don’ts of the sleep environment and then get tips for making your bedroom more sleep-friendly.


Noises at levels as low as 40 decibels or as high as 70 decibels generally keep us awake. That means that a dripping faucet can steal your sleep, as well as the next door neighbor’s blaring stereo. But the absense or presence of a familiar noise can have as great an impact on your sleep as out-of-the-ordinary noises – studies show that sirens and traffic noise from a city street can actually become soothing to longtime city sleepers (they will cringe at the thought of sleeping in the serene desert or mountain climate) just as the absence of the tick, tick, tick of your favorite clock while you try to sleep at a hotel can become a sleep stealer.

What to do: Try to block out unwanted sounds with earplugs or use "white noise" such as a fan or an air conditioner [or a sound conditioner]. Take your favorite clock with you when you travel in order to recreate familiar sounds that help you sleep (as long as they won’t keep your neighbors awake!)


In most cases, temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit and below 54 degrees will disrupt sleep, but even sleep researchers fail to agree on the ideal temperature for sleep. The point at which sleep is interrupted due to temperature or climate conditions varies from person to person and can be affected by bed clothes and bedding materials selected by the sleeper. In general, most sleep scientists believe that a slightly cool room contributes to good sleep. That's because it mimics what occurs inside the body when the body's internal temperature drops during the night to its lowest level. (For good sleepers, this occurs about four hours after they begin sleeping.)

What to do: In general, sleep scientists recommend keeping your room slightly cool -- but achieving the ideal temperature isn’t always simple. What do you do if you and your partner disagree about room temperature? Turning the thermostat down at night in cold weather saves on fuel bills and sets the stage for sleep. Blankets, comforters or electric blankets can lock in heat without feeling too heavy or confining. Or the heat-seeking partner might dress in warmer bedclothes while the warmer partner might opt not to wear sleep clothes or bed covering. In summer, a room that's too hot can also be disruptive. In fact, research suggests that a hot sleeping environment leads to more wake time and lighter sleep at night, while awakenings multiply. An air conditioner or fan can help, and a humidifier can provide relief if you’re suffering from a sore throat or dryness in your nose.


Much of our sleep patterns – feeling sleepy at night and awake during the day – are regulated by light and darkness. Light - strong light, like bright outdoor light (which is brighter than indoor light even on cloudy days) - is the most powerful regulator of our biological clock. The biological clock influences when we feel sleepy and when we feel alert. As a result, finding the balance of light and darkness exposure is important. Bright light helps to keep you awake during the day, but during sleep, bright lights can be disturbing.

What to do: Make sure to expose yourself to enough bright light during the day. Find time for sunlight, or purchase a lightbox or light visor to supplement your exposure to light. At bedtime, think dark: a dark bedroom contributes to better sleep. Try light-blocking curtains, drapes or an eye mask. If you find yourself waking earlier than you'd like, try increasing your exposure to bright light in the evening. It may delay sleep onset but as little as one to two hours of evening bright light exposure may help you sleep longer in the morning. Also, make sure to avoid light if you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Minimize light by using a low illumination night light.

Sleeping Surface

For the most part, we know people sleep better when horizontal and not cramped by space. Not much research has been done to understand the sleeping surface, but it is clear that it plays a role in getting a good night’s sleep. For example, tossing and turning on a lumpy 20-year-old mattress that doesn’t provide support for your back or neck can impede you from getting the sleep you need and make you very sleepy (and stiff) the next day. Mattress experts say that too often consumers believe that ultra-firm mattresses are good for them, but research on patients with back pain found this was not true and a more supple, comforting mattress may lead to better sleep.

Also, know your pillow: research shows that pillows house thousands of fungal spores which can trigger allergies and compromise a weakend immune system. The research shows that synthetic pillows held a greater amount of bacteria than feather pillows – one study found that synthetic pillows had as much as five times more dust-mite fecal matter than feather pillows (feather pillows have thick casing to keeps feathers in) [check out our natural buckwheat and millet pillows]. So, not only can a pillow affect your posture and quality of sleep, but it can also affect your allergies or asthma and make it very difficult to get a good night’s rest.

What to do: Give yourself enough space to sleep. If you share a bed with a partner, make sure it is large enough to give both of you room to move around. Replace an old mattress with a new one, and choose a pillow and mattress that fits you best (soft, firm, thick, thin?) and will be comfortable throughout the whole night. Consumer Reports recently found that consumers who spent 15 minutes or more testing each mattress at the store were more likely to be happy with their purchase. Also, consider encasing your pillow in a plastic cover under your pillowcase to keep dust-mites from interfering with your sleep and allergy or asthma symptoms.

Other Factors

Bed partners with sleep disorders can negatively impact your sleep. Have you ever been kept awake by your partner’s snoring? Or been jolted out of a sound sleep by your partner’s restless movements? If so, you’re not alone. According to NSF’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, 67% of respondents reported that their partner snores, 27% said their intimate relationship was affected because they were too sleepy, and 38% said they have had problems in their relationship due to their partner’s sleep disorder.

What to do: Start off by talking to your partner about the problem. If he/she has not sought treatment for a potential sleep disorder, encourage them to see a doctor. Consider ear plugs if snoring prevents your sleep. Try to create a sleeping arrangement that is comfortable for both you and your partner. Keep the lines of communication open.

TVs, computers, and work in the bedroom are sleep stealing culprits. NSF’s 2005 Sleep in America poll found that 87% of respondents watched TV within an hour of going to bed at least a few nights a week. Doing work, watching TV and using the computer, both close to bedtime and especially in the bedroom, hinders quality sleep. Violent shows, news reports and stories before bedtime can be agitating. The sleep environment should be used only for sleep and sex.

What to do: Avoid highly engaging activities such as watching dramatic TV or doing work close to bedtime. Keep the TV and computer out of your bedroom! Make your bedroom a place that is centered around sleep.

Cats and dogs can be cuddly in bed, but they may be interfering with your sleep. Anyone who has slept with another person in their bed knows that sharing a sleeping space can be disruptive, but when your four-legged friend gets added to the mix, it becomes even more complicated! While a pet can make your sleep environment more comfortable, it is not mindful of whether it is interfering with your sleep.

What to do: Think about providing your dog or cat with a bed in your bedroom, instead of sharing your bed. Well-rested pet owners will have more energy and love to give to their pets!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Make Your Bedroom a "Sleep Haven"

Below is a recent article/blog from Yahoo / Self.com entitled "Why Sleeping is (Almost) More Important Than Breathing". The second piece of advice on getting better sleep is about creating the ideal sleep environment in your bedroom, by using the types of products we sell at www.thecompletesleeper.com:

"Make Your Bedroom a Haven
Draw the blinds and turn on a fan or a soothing CD of nature noises to block out distracting sounds. Swapping ordinary bedroom bulbs for yellow ones (GE makes a 25-watt version sold at drugstores) can help you feel more tranquil as you're getting ready to nod off. Consider treating yourself to a cozy new comforter or putting flowers on your nightstand so that being in your bedroom—and sleeping!—becomes something you look forward to. "

Here is the entire article, which can be found at http://health.yahoo.com/experts/healthieryou/2211/why-sleeping-is-almost-more-important-than-breathing/

Why Sleeping is (Almost) More Important Than Breathing

I used to pull all-nighters back in college, forcing myself to stay awake to cram for an exam or finish a paper on art history, my major. I did it because I thought it would help me get ahead, but in the end it always set me back—I wound up tired, cranky and unproductive the next day.

Even though I've grown up (and wisened up) since then, I still have trouble convincing myself to crawl into bed at night: I keep a running tally of all the things I haven't crossed off my to-do list—reading manuscripts, prepping for a TV appearance, even laundry! And I'm always tempted to stay up just a bit longer to get everything done before morning.

So what stops me from burning the midnight oil? Not only has personal experience proved that I'll be more stressed (not to mention less chipper) when I'm sleep-deprived, but studies suggest that not getting adequate zzz's can increase your risk for heart disease and depression, and even cause weight gain (ever found yourself heading to the fridge or the vending machine when you're tired? I have!).

Try these tips to help relax before you hit the sack:

Avoid having long conversations on your cell phone before bed: Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit found that people who were exposed to the slight radiation that emanates from cell phones took longer to fall asleep and spent less time in the deep stages of slumber.

Make Your Bedroom a Haven
Draw the blinds and turn on a fan or a soothing CD of nature noises to block out distracting sounds. Swapping ordinary bedroom bulbs for yellow ones (GE makes a 25-watt version sold at drugstores) can help you feel more tranquil as you're getting ready to nod off. Consider treating yourself to a cozy new comforter or putting flowers on your nightstand so that being in your bedroom—and sleeping!—becomes something you look forward to.

Say Thanks
Once you're under the covers, take two minutes to reflect on the things you're grateful for. Studies show that practicing grateful thinking makes people more optimistic. And going to sleep with happy thoughts will help you sleep more soundly.

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To create that "sleep haven," visit www.thecompletesleeper.com for the best selection of sleep masks, sound conditioners (white noise machines), earplugs, blackout blinds and more.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

CNN: Tips to Get the Sleep You Crave

Here's a recent CNN article highlighting many of the products that we sell at The Complete Sleeper, and how they can help you sleep better. Products include:
Here's the article:

Tips to get the sleep you crave

  • Story Highlights
  • A constant droning sound can help mask sudden noises
  • Drinking warm liquids, breathing soothing scents can help you fall asleep
  • Eye masks can help, but make sure material is soft

Here are some ways to cope with nighttime disruptions and there are no pills required.

If noise is keeping you awake at night

The trouble with noise isn't loudness but suddenness. A cat fight outside the bedroom window or a horn honking out of nowhere jolts you into alertness. But a steady stream of sound, no matter the volume, usually isn't disruptive. And if that steady sound can mask the cats and the cars, it can help you fall asleep and stay that way.


Sounds that constantly drone like a sound machine or air conditioner can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Add white noise: "Background noise is good for two reasons," says David Neubauer, M.D., associate director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, in Baltimore. "It helps block outside noises, like road-repair workers and your neighbor's stereo. Beyond that, psychologically, it's soothing."

A constant stream of low sound or a variety of recognizable ones - ocean waves, rain, summer crickets - can keep sudden noises from waking you up. Plus, some people find the sounds themselves calming.

Try... Fans, window air conditioners, or anything else that drones continuously. A sound machine is ideal if you don't want to run a fan or an air conditioner all night and if you'd rather hear chirps, croaks, or rushing water. Neubauer says the ones sold by Sharper Image are high-quality and come in a variety of sizes and price points. Real Simple: Sleep aids that diminish noise

Some people also find the steady sound of music or talk radio calming when first falling asleep at night. If that strategy works for you (and doesn't bother anyone else in the room), there's no reason not to use it, says James B. Maas, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Cornell University and a coauthor of Power Sleep. But it's important to use a radio or a CD player with a timer, he says, so the noise shuts off within an hour or so and doesn't wake you later, during lighter phases of sleep.

Plug your ears: Earplugs made of soft foam or moldable silicone, which conform to the shape of the outer ear canal, are inexpensive and easy to use. You can still hear, even well enough to have a conversation, but sound is muffled and unlikely to wake you.

Don't Miss

Try... Super Light Pre-Shaped Foam Ear Plugs or Mack's Safe Sound Soft Foam Earplugs both of which are available at drugstores. Roll a plug between your fingers until it's small enough to slip gently into the outer ear canal; it will slowly expand to fill the space.

If light is keeping you awake at night

Owls, bats, and crickets are designed by nature to be awake in the dark of night. Humans are not. Light is a signal to our brains that it's time to be up and at 'em, which is why bright electric bulbs and television and computer screens make it hard for us to get sleepy at bedtime.

"Limiting your light exposure in the evening tends to transition you into sleep," says Helene Emsellem, M.D., an associate clinical professor of neurology at George Washington University and the director of the Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

And keeping yourself in darkness all night helps you stay asleep.

Use low light: If you read in bed before sleeping, use a low-power book light rather than a bright bedside lamp to encourage your brain's shift to sleep. "I recommend the kind that clips onto books," Emsellem says.

Try... The "Itty Bitty" Book Light, which plugs into a wall and attaches to your book. It also comes with a battery pack. Real Simple: Sleep aids that diminish light

Block LED glow: Light is often a bigger issue than many people realize. Even the dim red or green LED light from a digital alarm clock can be annoying when you're asleep or trying to fall asleep. "If you have a clock with an LED dial, you should turn it around so that the light, however dim, doesn't get through your eyelids and interrupt sleep," says Maas. Turning the clock will also keep you from checking the time whenever you wake up - thereby raising your anxiety about the sleep you're losing.

Seal off windows: If your bedroom gets early-morning sun or there's a streetlight right outside, Maas says, "the best thing you can do is get darkening drapes or blackout shades."

Try... Shades made of nonwoven polyester, which can keep out virtually all outdoor light if they're well fitted to the windows. Levolor offers a collection of blackout shades called Evening Star, available in 12 colors.

Cover your eyes: Eye masks work, especially if they're big enough to cover the eyes completely. But people who toss and turn a lot may have trouble keeping them in place, and very light sleepers may find having something tied to their heads disturbing, says Robert D. Ballard, M.D., director of the sleep center at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, in Denver. Soft cloth (terry or fleece) on the side that touches your face will make the mask comfortable and stable, and extra material around the nose bridge will close the pathways where ambient light might sneak through. Wash your mask once a week and it can last for year.

Try... The fleecy Dreamaway Fold-Up Mask from Dream Essentials which is comfortable and blocks out light better than any of the other masks we tested. But if you hate the idea of fleece right next to your face (it can be hot in the summer), choose the lighter-weight Bucky Shades, which have a cotton knit on their face sides.

If you can't relax before sleeping

After dashing at top speed through a busy day, trying to pack in every last e-mail, phone call, and laundry load, how can anyone expect to jump into bed and immediately nod off? Even when you're relaxed, it typically takes about 20 minutes to fall asleep, says sleep expert James B. Maas.

Listen to soft music: Background music has been shown to help improve sleep. In one recent study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, senior citizens in Taiwan who had difficulty sleeping listened to calming music for 45 minutes before bedtime. They subsequently slept significantly longer and more deeply than those who didn't hear the music.

Try... Whatever music you find soothing and relaxing. The Taiwan study used various selections, including harp music by Georgia Kelly, quiet jazz by Paul Desmond, and synthesized sounds by Steven Halpern.

Sip warm drinks: Chamomile tea works for many people, as does hot milk. "Some teas have mild soporific effects," says sleep expert Helene Emsellem. "When you warm milk, it releases tryptophan," an amino acid used by the body to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter believed to promote sleep. "But over time the body can develop an immunity to tryptophan," she adds, "and its sleep-promoting properties dissipate." Some doctors suspect the power of warm drinks resides largely in the ritual of sipping them. "Biologically, we can't find much evidence for these drinks," Maas says. "But psychologically, if they make people relax and reduce stress, they work."

Try... Warm milk, caffeine-free herbal tea, or hot water with lemon and honey. These drinks may help get your body ready for rest.

Breathe soothing scents: Lavender, in particular, is a scent that is said to help lull the body to sleep. But no scientific evidence supports this claim, so experts like Maas, Robert Ballard, and David Neubauer neither recommend nor discourage it. "It's like 300-thread-count sheets," Neubauer says. "If you believe it works, it will."

Try... Anything that relaxes you before bedtime - a gentle scent, say, or a nice, warm bath. Or combine them by adding a drop of lavender oil from the Body Shop or from Purple Haze Lavender Farm to your bath. Purple Haze also makes lavender eye pillows which you can drape over your eyes for a few minutes before falling asleep. Real Simple: Relaxing sleep aids E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend


Sunday, March 2, 2008

2008 Sleep In America Poll (National Sleep Foundation)

Below is the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) press release from their 2008 Sleep In America Poll.

Nothing shocking: people are sleeping less due to busy work schedules. One third of workers say they are so sleepy they could fall asleep on the job. On average, people say they need 40 more minutes of sleep than they actually get each night during the work week.

Our philosophy? We know most people won't change their behavior. However, you can get the most out your time in bed by creating the best sleep environment possible -- dark, quiet, comfortable and cool (as recommended by the NSF's Healthy Sleep Tips) . The Complete Sleeper can recommend products for you depending on your current sleep environment. See below for the recommendation tool on our home page.

What is causing your sleep problem? (check all that apply to get Product Recommendations)
  • Noise (too much, too loud)
  • Light (too much, too bright)
  • Physical Discomfort (night sweats, poor bedding)
  • It's Too Dark, making it hard to wake up or causing me to suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Visit The Complete Sleeper to use this exclusive product recommendation tool.

Here is the press release from the National Sleep Foundation regarding their 2008 Sleep in America poll.

Longer Work Days Leave Americans Nodding Off On the Job
Sleepy Americans Doze Off At Work, In the Car and On Their Spouses

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2008 — Prolonged work days that often extend late into the night may cause Americans to fall asleep or feel sleepy at work, drive drowsy and lose interest in sex, according to a new Sleep in America poll released today by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Spending an average of nearly 4.5 hours each week doing additional work from home on top of a 9.5 hour average workday, Americans are working more and are trying to cope with the resulting daytime sleepiness. In fact, 63 percent state they are very likely to just accept their sleepiness and keep going, while 32 percent are very likely to use caffeinated beverages when they are sleepy during the day and more than half (54%) are at least somewhat likely to use their weekends to try to catch up on sleep.

Of those taking their work home with them, 20 percent say they spend 10 or more additional hours each week and 25 percent spend at least 7 additional hours each week on job-related duties. Almost onequarter (23%) of all respondents did job-related work in the hour before going to bed at least a few nights each week.

Hotels Offering a "Perfect Night's Sleep"

Here's an interesting article from ABC news regarding hotels offering a "perfect night's sleep" with buckwheat pillows, sleep masks and sound conditioners.

We'll help you get that "perfect night's sleep" -- at home for years, not at an expensive hotel for one night. Check us out at The Complete Sleeper.

For Sale: A Perfect Night's Sleep

Hotels Offer Elaborate Sleep Menus With Custom Pillows, Mattresses and More


March 2, 2008 —

Dubbed "sleeponomics," companies across America are trying to sell us a perfect night's sleep with pills, pillows, white noise machines, aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture and more. And it's fast-becoming a $20 billion-a-year industry.

"Sleep is like sex -- we want more of it, we can't get enough of it. That's selling opportunity for people who need sleep!" explained Melanie Wells, a Forbes business editor. "The value of a good night of sleep is priceless."

Now the hotel industry has jumped into bed with the sleep business.

The Benjamin hotel in New York City has been one of the first cater to the sleepless masses. They offer a "Perfect Night's Sleep" money-back guarantee program. Frequent guest Pauletta Cohn, 60, a former corporate lawyer and lifelong insomniac, has become a loyal customer.

"They do create an atmosphere for you that is a calming atmosphere," said Cohn.

Since she was 18 years old, Pauletta has been a worker bee who just can't seem to find time to unwind. When she goes to bed, it's constant struggle for her to quiet her active mind.

"I think it's just my personality, my chemical make-up & I've never slept well," said Cohn.

Like millions of Americans, she has bought many sleep products that promise answers.

"I've tried the medications they have on the market -- prescription as well as non-prescription -- I've tried acupuncture; none of them have ever worked for me," she said.

The Benjamin hotel's sleep-friendly amenities cater to her insomnia. They offer a very firm mattress and will even slip a board between the mattress and the box spring to make it extra firm.

The hotel also offers her a selection of pillows, or pillow menu, as they call it. "They've got water-filled, they've got hypo-allergenic, they've got the jelly neck roll -- I've tried the buck-wheat & The beauty of this pillow [the buck-wheat], is it's sculpted. You lie down, your head drapes over, pressure is relieved from your neck," Paula said with a blissful look as she showed ABC News Correspondent JuJu Chang her favorite pillow.

The pillows can even be delivered with some cookies and milk.

"We have massage, white noise pillows, slippers, a mask," explained Anya Orlanska, the sleep concierge at the Benjamin. "We want our guest to get a good night's sleep so they can go and be very productive the next day at work."

From sleeping pills to better mattresses, to blue wave light therapy and orange eye mask, a good night's sleep seems to be possible for a price.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sleep in the News

I am pleasantly surprised that at least once a week, one of the featured stories on Yahoo relates to sleep. Today, for example, an NPR story was featured, entitled "In Today's World, the Well-Rested Lose Respect." There's a picture of Bill Clinton falling asleep during the dedication of his boyhood home. The jist of the story is that people tend to sacrifice sleep in order to achieve more in life, and that this behavior is admired.

Well, I agree that's the way it is (myself included), and nobody's going to change that any time soon. Meanwhile, my philosophy is to get the best sleep I can, no matter how brief it is. That means building up an arsenal of things that fend off loud noises and bright lights that disrupt sleep.

You can only allocate 7 hours a day for sleep? Make the best of it with a sleep mask, ear plugs, a white noise machine, blackout blinds, etc. We sell it all at The Complete Sleeper! If you do the math, you can improve your sleep for pennies a day without resorting to pills.

My arsenal? Every night: ear plugs, sleep mask, white noise machine and blackout blinds. Double protection against noise, and double protection against light. These products have changed my life for the better for nearly 20 years. Try them yourself!

Sleep tight!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New York Times Sleep Articles

Here's a link to NY Times sleep articles.

Here are some of the best ones:

A Quiet Night’s Sleep? Priceless, if You Can Get It By JOE SHARKEY Most hotels do not like to talk about noise, but one chain is promoting the idea that a noise-free night is part of the deal.August 29, 2006

A Hotel That Reaches Out to Those in Need of Sleep By ANTHONY RAMIREZ Steps away from the No. 6 subway train and Lexington Avenue in full havoc, the Benjamin Hotel has deployed an array of anti-insomnia weapons.October 8, 2007

Hey, Sleepy, Want to Buy a Good Nap? By NATASHA SINGER Although it can be had free, rest is becoming a luxury item.

Frequent Dream - To Sleep on Flights By JOE SHARKEY Sleep, or the difficulty of getting it while flying, is what frequent business travelers talk about most.October 30, 2007

To Sleep, Perchance to Succeed By ALEX WILLIAMS Nighttime self-improvement tapes are making a comeback on the Web.January 4, 2007

Getting a Grip on the Winter Blues By JANE E. BRODYSAD, or seasonal affective disorder, affects one person in five in the United States.December 5, 2006

Performance: Naps May Benefit Night-Shift Nurses and Doctors By NICHOLAS BAKALAR Health care workers who take a nap in the middle of a night shift perform their tasks are better off, a new study suggests.November 14, 2006

Mental Abilities: ‘Sleep on It,’ It Appears, Really Is Good Advice By ERIC NAGOURNEY As people sleep, a new study suggests, their brains may be sorting through the information they have gathered, which could lead to new insights.

Memory: Want to Improve Your Recall? Try Sleeping on It By NICHOLAS BAKALAR The best way to remember something may be to go to sleep after learning it. People appear to remember word pairs best when they sleep after memorizing them, especially when they are challenged with distracting tasks, researchers have determined.July 18, 2006

Patterns: Sleep Proves More Elusive Than Many Believe By ERIC NAGOURNEY Many people think they don't get enough sleep. It may be even worse than they realize.July 11, 2006

Help for Chronic Insomnia Isn't Always Found in a Pill By JANE E. BRODY Sleep therapists have demonstrated the effectiveness of a brief form of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy for treating chronic insomnia.May 16, 2006

A Slight Change in Habits Could Lull You to Sleep By JANE E. BRODY Many of the millions of Americans who now rely on sleeping pills could cure their insomnia simply by changing their living and sleeping habits.April 18, 2006

Women Dress for Comfort in the Heat of the Night By MARY DUENWALD At least five brands of hot flash pajamas have sprung up in the past five years and sales are rising fast.December 13, 2005

The Sleep-Industrial Complex
While you’ve been tossing and turning, research scientists, pharmaceutical companies and mattress designers have been hard at work on your eternal nocturnal problem. But what exactly is the problem?November 18, 2007

Mysteries of the Brain and the Science of Sleep, Brought to Life in a Barn
Dr. J. Allan Hobson has converted part of a remote barn in Vermont into a small, interactive sleep museum for students.

The Science of Zzzzz’s
Jet lag is becoming a bigger aggravation in the global economy, leading sleep researchers to work harder to find suitable remedies.August 8, 2006

Here you can subscribe to the NY Times RSS feed on Sleep: What is RSS? RSS Sleep link: Sleep


"all you need for a good night's sleep"
(ear plugs, sleep masks, sound conditioners (white noise machines), blackout blinds, wicking sleepwear and sheets, sunrise alarms, light therapy, travel pillows, etc.)