School success can depend on sleep

A young student in a study group suffering from the exhaustion of finals

If students are not doing well academically, bored in class or feel as if they may have ADD, they may be suffering from poor sleep or a sleep disorder.

According to the National College Health Assessment 2014, sleep is the third biggest barrier to academic success for college students, surpassed only by anxiety and stress.

In our Collegiate Sleep Disorders Clinic, I have seen first hand the importance of identifying and resolving sleep issues. Sleep can have a major impact on grades. Poor sleep or a sleep disorder can mean the difference between dropping out of college or a successful semester. Improving sleep might help a student have the GPA that allows them to go to medical school or graduate school.  Continue reading

Preparing for daylight saving time

How to avoid feeling sleep deprived come Monday morning

clock blogThis week is National Sleep Awareness Week, which concludes on Sunday, March 8, the same day we will “spring forward” for daylight saving time and lose one hour of precious sleep. The week is not just intended to talk about how to make the daylight saving transition smoother, but also to highlight the importance of sleep and the damaging effects of sleep deprivation.

It may sound trite to be concerned about losing just one hour of sleep, but with so many Americans juggling a full schedule and a growing dependence on technology that keeps us up late, many people are already struggling to get the full seven to nine hours we need. When we lose that extra hour, we put ourselves at risk of sleep deprivation, which can impair our daytime performance and have consequences like increased weight gain and improper glucose utilization.

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National Sleep Awareness Week, March 2-8, 2015

National Sleep Foundation calls for greater awareness of the importance of sleep

To call attention to the importance of sleep, the National Sleep Foundation created National Sleep Awareness Week, March 2-8, 2015. We are providing some facts about sleep to show our support for this important issue.  

Are you feeling sleepy?

Are you feeling sleepy?

Are you feeling sleepy? Do you feel exhausted after a meal or just generally tired during the day? Even worse, have you ever nodded off while driving or operating machinery? You’re not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders, and intermittent sleep problems that can harm health, alertness and safety.

When it comes to sleep, we all need a wake-up call. Here is some food for thought:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has named sleep deprivation a public health risk increasingly linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors.

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Good night, sleep tight: how to manage sleep-wake disturbances

sleep-awake disturbancesWe’ve all been there. It’s the middle of the night, and you can’t sleep. You keep thinking how tired you’re going to be tomorrow if you don’t nod off soon. This can be especially true for those undergoing treatment for cancer. Sleep-wake disturbances have been reported in 30% – 75% of people with cancer.

Getting adequate rest is crucial for quality of life, and it’s essential for healing and immune system function. Let’s face it, when you aren’t getting adequate rest, it can make the best of people irritable. Continue reading

Don’t go to bed tonight until you read this

Tips for out-smarting Daylight Saving Time -- from a U-M sleep expert

Your alarm clock and your body clock CAN be in sync for Daylight Saving Time

Your alarm clock and your body clock CAN be in sync for Daylight Saving Time

It’s that time of year again – time to ‘spring forward’ with our clocks even though there’s still snow on the ground.

Time to lose an hour of precious sleep that most of us can’t afford.

Time for a super-groggy Monday morning.

Or is it? U-M sleep specialist Cathy Goldstein, M.D., says you don’t have to suffer – if you pay attention to your body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm, and adjust it starting a few days ahead of the clock change. She’s a sleep neurologist at the U-M Sleep Disorders Center.

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Eliminate stress and get a good night’s sleep

In my practice, I find that the cause of poor sleep is most often stress. When you’re stressed, it’s hard SleepKaufmanBLOG.fwto get to sleep and when you do manage to sleep, it may not be the deep, restorative sleep your body needs. You don’t have to throw your arms up and accept that you don’t sleep well – you can eliminate stress and get a good night’s sleep by taking a few steps:

Determine a sleep pattern. Start with establishing a time to wake up. Most of us should wake up naturally around 6 or 7 am when our normal stress hormone, cortisol, spikes for the day. If you struggle to wake in the morning, you can feel better by improving your sleep habits. Changing your sleep habits can be work, but it is worth the effort. Continue reading