Birdiezzz and Bogeyzzz
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WHAT'S THE BEST POSITION FOR QUALITY SLEEP?
Sleep on your side as a way to prevent a collapse of the upper airway. It's this collapse that leads to snoring and a punch in the arm from your spouse. It's also a major symptom of sleep apnea. If you struggle to breathe through your nose, the best position might be on your back, which helps drain the nasal passages. Gross, but it works.
IT ALWAYS TAKES ME A LONG TIME TO FALL ASLEEP. IS THAT NORMAL?
Unless you left a three-footer short on 18 earlier that day, you should be asleep within 30 minutes of hitting the pillow. If this doesn't happen, several factors are likely at play (noise, light, caffeine, stress). This might seem contradictory, but exercising within a few hours of bedtime can keep you up.
IF EXERCISE CAN KEEP ME AWAKE, WHAT ABOUT SEX?
No one knows for sure, but certain hormones are released during orgasms that make you feel more relaxed, says behavioral scientist Dr. Wendy Troxel. Our advice? Do your own in-depth study and see what happens. Maybe bring a friend.
WHY DO I WAKE UP MULTIPLE TIMES DURING THE NIGHT?
It starts with that beer you chugged at last call, but it also is a normal part of the sleep cycles, especially as you get older, says Dr. Morgenthaler. Studies show that in stage one of non-REM sleep, people are still somewhat cognizant. And many adults wake up five times an hour only to fall back quickly. It's nature's way of keeping you alert in case of emergencies. You might have a problem if you can't get back to sleep easily almost every night.
I WAS IN BED FOR MORE THAN EIGHT HOURS, SO WHY AM I GROGGY?
This is most likely caused by waking up directly from a deeper-sleep cycle. Ideally, you want to wake up while in stage one of non-REM sleep. The best way to do that is to give yourself more than a second to climb out of bed. You're not 10 minutes late for a tee time at Augusta. Let your body slowly move into lighter sleep, where you feel partially alert. Then get up.
WHY DO I ALWAYS FEEL TIRED AFTER LUNCH?
It has little to do with that bacon cheeseburger you had at the turn. You have a built-in clock that controls the circadian rhythms of your body. These rhythms determine sleep patterns, and one of the times when we are naturally sleepy is from 1 to 4 in the afternoon.
I WORK OVERNIGHT. HOW CAN I GET GOOD SLEEP?
Mowing a tee box at 4 a.m. is more than just a stinky part of the job. You're messing with human nature. Your body wants to sleep when it's dark. (Even light from a computer tells your brain it's time to be awake, so stay away from late-night Facebook updates.) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends these steps: 1. Increase your sleep, including naps. 2. Sleep in a dark, quiet environment. 3. Stay on your normal sleep schedule even when you're not working.
WHAT ARE THE MOSTCOMMON SLEEP DISORDERS?
Sleep deprivation, insomnia and apnea are the top three, Dr. Watson says. "People with deprivation won't sleep, and people with insomnia can't sleep," he says. Sleep apnea is potentially the most dangerous. The National Center on Sleep Disorders Research estimates 12 million to 18 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, and more than half of those are undiagnosed. Those people triple their risk of death.
I SNORE. DOES THAT MEAN I HAVE A SLEEP DISORDER?
Sometimes snoring is the result of allergies or sinus problems. Sometimes alcohol or sedatives are the culprits. Being overweight doesn't help. But if you consistently snore loudly, there's a good chance you have apnea.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO CORRECT MY PROBLEM?
Sleep deprivation and insomnia are treated with better sleep habits, exercise, improved thought habits and, when needed, medications. Apnea is most effectively treated with something called "continuous positive airway pressure." A machine keeps your upper airway unblocked through the use of a breathing apparatus. You look like Chuck Yeager trying to break the sound barrier with the mask on, but the treatments work. Even better, studies show the treatments improve sexual function in men.