Is Melatonin the Answer for Better Sleep?

If you have trouble falling asleep, are a night shift worker, or just temporarily battling jet lag, melatonin supplements may help you get a better night’s rest.

The numbers are staggering — between 50 to 70 million adults in the United States have sleep or wakefulness disorders. About 2 percent of the population uses melatonin supplements for sleep regulation, yet researchers are still learning about the overall effects of this treatment and how best to use it.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted ...

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How Sleep Varies as You Age

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital at every stage of life, but expect fluctuation in the needed length of sleep.

Everyone’s sleep pattern changes throughout life: Babies sleep the day away, while seniors often get by on a handful of hours nabbed here and there. Sleep habits also change depending on your age. You might find yourself waking up earlier or staying up later. It may become harder to fall asleep or stay asleep because, as you get older, you’re ...

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How Sleep Heals the Body

Can sleep build strong bones? Experts say yes. Find out the benefits of healthy sleep on every part of your body.

Being asleep may seem like the ultimate form of inactivity, but those unconscious hours are actually a time of hard work for your body. Sleeping is one way that your body recovers from damage and protects itself against illness, says Michael Twery, PhD, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. ...

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Daylight-Saving Time and Sleep

Daylight-saving time doesn’t have to disrupt your sleep schedule. A few simple tips help ensure sound sleep during daylight-saving time and beyond.

For most of us, the springtime switch from standard to daylight-saving time is merely an inconvenience. It might be the cause of skipped appointments if we manage to miss all those reminders telling us to move our clocks forward one hour on the second Sunday in March.

But for others, the first few days of daylight saving time can mean ...

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Daydreaming Leads to Insomnia, Study Finds

Daydreamers may have trouble turning off the part of their brain linked to a wandering mind, which could put them at risk for insomnia, according to a new study.

Daydreaming may keep you up at night, according to a new study published in the journal Sleep. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego found that people who daydream may be unable to stop thoughts from appearing in their head, which can keep them up at night and cause trouble concentrating ...

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Could a Full Moon Keep You Up at Night?

Study finds it’s a time when people get less shut-eye, have shorter periods of deep sleep.

Many myths have told of the powers of a full moon, from werewolves to sudden madness to unexplained seizures, but new research suggests an impact close to home: Sound sleep may be harder to come by when the moon is in its full glory.

The study suggests that the human body is cued not only to the daily rising and setting of the sun, which regulates ...

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10 Health Conditions That Disrupt Sleep

Depression and menopause are just two medical conditions that can rob you of sleep. Discover other culprits that can cause insomnia.

Having problems going to sleep or staying asleep? A health condition could be to blame. Research suggests that sleep disturbances such as insomnia are rooted in certain medical conditions.

“We’re finding that both the quantity and quality of sleep a person gets can be linked to a number of health issues and diseases,” says James Wellman, MD, medical director of the ...

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‘Crying’ to Sleep Safe for Babies

Sleeping alone strategies do not alter likelihood of sleeping disorders later in life.

Behavioral techniques for getting babies to sleep by themselves, such as camping out in the child’s room initially, can be effective without any long-term downside for parents or children, clinical trial follow-up showed.

Sleep problems at age 6 weren’t significantly more common among kids trained to go to bed with such methods as infants, reported Anna M.H. Price, PhD, of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Parkville, Australia, and colleagues.

The ...

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You Can Learn While You Sleep

Participants reacted to information given as they slept, after waking.

People may be able to learn while they sleep, according to a new study.

Israeli researchers played tones followed by certain odors to people who were sleeping. The participants started sniffing when they heard the tones alone — even when there was no odor present — both during sleep and when they were awake.

The results show that people can learn new information while they sleep, and this can unconsciously affect their behavior ...

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Sleep Can Sharpen Your Memory

External stimulation during sleep can reinforce what you have already learned, study shows.

External stimulation during sleep can help strengthen memory, which, in turn, can help you learn, a new study reports.

Researchers from Northwestern University noted that such stimulation could reinforce what people have already learned, but doesn’t help them gain new skills.

“The critical difference is that our research shows that memory is strengthened for something you’ve already learned,” the study’s co-author, Paul Reber, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern, ...

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