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Light Therapy for Insomnia Sufferers - Insomnia. In some cases, light therapy can be helpful for people with insomnia. If you are working with your primary care doctor or a sleep specialist for insomnia, you can ask if this is an appropriate treatment for you. Light therapy might be indicated if you have tried other forms of treatment or if your doctor thinks your particular insomnia symptoms call for this mode of therapy. In light therapy, you sit near a special light box for a certain amount of time each day. The light from this box mimics outdoor light (which is important for regulating your body's sleeping and waking cycles). Exposure to this bright light helps to adjust your circadian rhythm — physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle and respond primarily to light and darkness in the environment — and may help certain people sleep earlier at night or sleep later in the morning.

Light therapy boxes are available in stores and online, and in some cases they are covered by insurance. How Sleep Deprivation Decays the Mind and Body. I awoke in a bed for the first time in days. My joints ached and my eyelids, which had been open for so long, now lay heavy as old hinges above my cheekbones. I wore two pieces of clothing: an assless gown and a plastic bracelet. I remembered the hallway I had been wheeled down, and the doctor’s office where I told the psychiatrist he was the devil, but not this room.

I forced myself up and stumbled, grabbing the chair and the bathroom doorknob for balance. I made it to the toilet, then threw water on my face at the sink, staring into the mirror in the little lavatory. In those first moments, I remembered the basics about what had landed me in the hospital: Some pseudo-philosophical ranting and flailing brought on by a poorly executed experiment to see how long I could last without sleep. I was 18, in Italy, on a school-sponsored trip with that pompously misnamed group for American teens who earn As and Bs, the National Honor Society. Why? Dr. “You know what people might be doing that?” What are the odds that your medication will help you get better?

Gut Check looks at health claims made by studies, newsmakers, or conventional wisdom. We ask: Should you believe this? The Claim: Drugs and other treatments are likely to help patients get better. Tell me more: Although we think if a doctor prescribes a treatment it’s going to help, a lot of therapies benefit very few patients. The “number needed to treat” captures this: It’s how many people must get some intervention for a bad thing to be averted in one person. For instance, the NNT for antibiotics curing conjunctivitis within 10 days is about 12: A dozen people with that eye infection need to take the drugs for one person who would otherwise remain infected to become cured. Calculating the number needed to treat is simple.

Article continues after advertisement Compression stockings are cheap and essentially risk-free, so doctors prescribe them even though most patients won’t benefit. Yet interventions with NNTs above 15 are common, as a quick tour of a leading NNT database shows. Really? The-PRECISE-working-of-sleep-and-sleeping-pills.pdf. Fatal familial insomnia.

Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) is an extremely rare autosomal dominant inherited prion disease of the brain. It is almost always caused by a mutation to the protein PrPC, but can also develop spontaneously in patients with a non-inherited mutation variant called sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI). FFI has no known cure and involves progressively worsening insomnia, which leads to hallucinations, delirium, and confusional states like that of dementia.[1] The average survival span for patients diagnosed with FFI after the onset of symptoms is 18 months.[1] The mutated protein, called PrPSc, has been found in just 40 families worldwide, affecting about 100 people; if only one parent has the gene, the offspring have a 50% risk of inheriting it and developing the disease.

With onset usually around middle age, it is essential that a potential patient be tested if they wish to avoid passing FFI on to their children. Presentation[edit] The disease has four stages:[citation needed] Effect on sleep[edit] UK addicted to sleeping pills: Stress-related insomnia on rise since start of the economic crunch. NHS spending £50million a year on the drugsThat's a rise of one-sixth over the past three yearsExperts fear patients may be getting hooked By Sophie Borland Published: 23:11 GMT, 10 May 2012 | Updated: 07:06 GMT, 11 May 2012 Britain has become a nation of sleeping pill addicts since the start of the economic downturn, figures revealed yesterday.

Stress-related insomnia has been blamed for a sharp increase in the number of people prescribed powerful drugs to help them sleep. The annual cost to the NHS of handing out the pills has risen by a sixth in the past three years to nearly £50million. Worries: Stress-related insomnia has been blamed for a sharp increase in the number of people prescribed powerful drugs to help them sleep But there are fears that strong medication is being given out too readily and patients are becoming hooked. Many of the most commonly used pills have potentially dangerous side effects including liver problems, headaches and nausea.

Sleep deprivation. Physiological effects[edit] Main health effects of sleep deprivation. Minor dark circles, in addition to a hint of eye bags, a combination suggestive of minor sleep deprivation. Generally, sleep deprivation may result in:[5][6] Diabetes[edit] In 2005, a study of over 1400 participants showed that participants who habitually slept few hours were more likely to have associations with type 2 diabetes.[17] However, because this study was merely correlational, the direction of cause and effect between little sleep and diabetes is uncertain. Effects on the brain[edit] The temporal lobe, which is a brain region involved in language processing, was activated during verbal learning in rested subjects but not in sleep-deprived subjects.

A 2001 study at the Chicago Medical Institute suggested that sleep deprivation may be linked to serious diseases, such as heart disease and mental illness including psychosis and bipolar disorder. Effects on growth[edit] Effects on the healing process[edit] Uses[edit] Treatment of Primary Insomnia. + Author Affiliations Address correspondence to Erika Ringdahl, MD, Family Practice Residency Program, Department of Family and Community Medicine, MA303 Medical Sciences Building, Columbia, MO 65212 (e-mail: Abstract Ten percent to 40% of adults have intermittent insomnia, and 15% have long-term sleep difficulties.

This article provides a review of the classification, differential diagnosis, and treatment options available for insomnia. We performed a MEDLINE search using OVID and the key words “insomnia,” “sleeplessness,” “behavior modification,” “herbs,” “medicinal,” and “pharmacologic therapy.” Articles were selected based on their relevance to the topic. Evaluation of insomnia includes a careful sleep history, review of medical history, review of medication use (including over-the-counter and herbal medications), family history, and screening for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Many people have difficulty sleeping. Classification Summary. Sleeping Pills Linked with Early Death. There’s a lot to keep you up at night — including this: new research suggests that the sleeping pills that many Americans use to help them rest may increase the risk of early death. In the study, which compared 10,529 people who received prescriptions for sleep aids with nearly twice as many people with similar health histories who did not take sleeping pills, researchers found that those who had prescriptions were more than four times as likely to have died during the study’s 2.5-year follow-up as those who didn’t take the drugs.

What’s more, the researchers also documented a 35% increased risk of cancer among people taking sleeping pills, compared with the non-prescription group. The risk of developing lymphoma, lung, colon or prostate cancer associated with sleeping pills was greater than the effect from smoking, says the study’s lead author, Dr. Daniel Kripke, co-director of research at the Scripps Clinic. PHOTOS: How the Lion — and the Platypus — Sleeps at Night MORE: Can’t Sleep?