Sleep is a hot topic these days, as researchers and finding out how important it is for our general health, particularly in a world that is going 24-hours and driven by computer/social networking that is never-ending.
Despite this 24 hour cycle, we are meant to sleep a large portion of our day, even if we would rather not do this. Sleep is important for energy, memory, weight regulation, and mood balance; without proper sleep, all these various areas of our day-to-day can suffer.
Find out if you are a lark or an owl…and if you have a sleep deficit, by filling out this interesting form on this website by a German sleep-researcher.
LARK OR OWL
In addition, if you need help wit sleep, there is a nice booklet on GOOD SLEEP HABITS or try the SLEEP HYGEINE RULES in THE GUIDE.
There is a new focus on the importance of sleep as it relates to our overall health. From concerns that sleep can lead to obesity and diabetes, to questions of medication over-use and safety.
This TED TALK, by Russel Foster, explains the importance of sleep and puts the modern view of sleep on trial. He point out that modern inventions and the pace of life now create an artificial alteration on our sleep cycle, reducing this important biological rhythm to a ‘necessary evil.’
Think about sleep and give yourself the opportunity to enjoy and revel in it. If you have issues with sleep, start by developing better sleep habits. See the SLEEP HYGIENE RULES on page 128 of THE GUIDE……before you feel the need to resort to THE OSTRICH to get you 20 winks.
Recently, Ambien safety has been called into question with particular attention to the dose used for sleep. The concern is that over-medication effects, particularly in small women, may lead to episodes of amnesia or confusional states during sleep.
These do occur, and I have occasionally had patients report them. Typically this occurs in the setting of exhaustion combined with using the medication, or alcohol, or mixing medications. When taken alone, I’ve not seen Ambien effects like this in my practice.
That said, like all sleeping medications, Ambien should be used ‘as needed’ and in the lowest dose necessary to achieve the desired effect—this is just prudent use and prescribing approach.
At this time, if you feel you are getting over-medicated with your current dose, discuss lowering the dose, or taking 1/2 dose, to see how you would do with the medication, but do know that this warning is part of a long line of FDA issues that relate to sleeping medication and which occurs with all of the popular sleep aids.