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Archive for May, 2011

Anyone with, or who has been, a teenager knows all too well the perpetual feeling of tiredness that accompany the adolescent years. Juggling school, sports, family and friends can take its toll – according to NPR, the average teenager goes to bed around midnight and wakes up around 6:30 or 7 to make it to school on time.

However, this amount of sleep isn't nearly enough for teenaged bodies to cope with the unprecedented growth in mind and body that occurs during high school.

"Most studies show a fairly consistent 9 1/4 hours sleep requirement," Dr. Helene Emsellem, a neurologist, told the news source.. "So there's a huge gap between what they're getting on an average school night and what they require."

If you've got a tired teen at home, allergies are only going to make it harder for him to get a good night's sleep. There are steps you can take to ease the burden on your child, however. Allergy mattress covers will help keep allergens at bay and allergy free pillows provide a much-needed place to rest without having to worry about tossing and turning with a stuffy nose all night.

Terminix, one of the largest exterminator chains in the country, has released its list of the cities most prone to bedbugs. According to USA Today, unsurprisingly, New York City tops the list for the second year in a row. Cincinnati and Detroit follow closely behind.

The number of bedbug infestations has increased from last year, likely due to heightened awareness from homeowners. More people are on the lookout for the pests and as a result more cases are being reported.

"People are more aware and communicating about the issue," Paul Curtis, an entymologist for Terminix, told the news source. "[But] there's still a stigma attached to having bed bugs."

Companies like Terminix and Orkin have set up special websites for those looking for information on bedbug prevention.

Although there is no silver bullet that can decisively rid a household of bedbugs, there are steps that homeowners can take to keep themselves safe. Prevention is the most effective method of dealing with bedbugs, so do the work now to prevent a big hassle later on.Specialized mattress encasements are available that help prevent them from burrowing into box springs.

As we make our way into spring, it's quickly becoming clear that this is going to be a tough year for those who suffer from allergies. It's been predicted that 2011 will show a drastic increase in pollen counts. This is largely due to the fact that the quick shift from cold to warm weather causes plants to disperse more pollen than usual.

You may have heard of special pillow and mattress covers designed to keep allergens at bay but may be wondering exactly how they work. Here's a quick primer.

These encasements are made from material with exceptionally small pores, which means allergens can't penetrate them, keeping them away from you. The covers can still be easily removed, though, and are machine washable, so you won't have to make any special concessions to stay protected from allergies.

Studies have shown that these pillow covers are very effective at reducing dust mite and pollen allergens. They keep existing irritants from getting through the pillow and prevent new ones from making their way in.

Learning a new piece of information is one thing, but if you want to be able to remember that important phone number or email address when the time comes, it helps to practice healthy sleeping habits.

The results of a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience show that sleep helped test subjects learn a new word and incorporate it into their mental "lexicon." Participants were taught new words in the evening and were immediately given a test on those words. They then slept overnight in the laboratory while their brain functions were observed.

Taking another test the following morning showed that they were able to remember more words than they had been able to the previous night. This did not occur in patients who underwent the same testing process but were then deprived of sleep.

If your allergies are keeping you up at night, there are steps you can take to help ease your burden. Consider using allergy mattress covers to help keep irritating allergens at bay. 

According to PopSci, inventor Chris Goggin has always had a knack for recognizing the need for a new device when he sees it. Two years ago, he noticed that bedbugs were receiving more and more media coverage and realized that the world needed an affordable and reliable method to detect the pests.

Bedbugs don't respond to poisonous "bombs" the way cockroaches or mice do, so a more direct method of extermination needs to be applied, which is difficult given how well they hide. The news source reports that it can take an exterminator nearly an hour to properly inspect a room for bedbugs. Goggin's device, the Bed Bug Detective, does the same work in 15 minutes.

The Detective essentially acts as a dog's nose, picking up the specific pheromones given off by bedbugs. Goggins used his own cocker spaniel, Nina, to study how a dog's olfactory system works, which can sniff out bedbugs with 98 percent accuracy.

If you've got bedbugs of your own to deal with, you can find relief by using specialized mattress encasements that keep them from getting into your box spring, one of the many steps you can take to help prevent bedbugs from infiltrating your home.

Not only does a poor night's sleep seem to slow down time, but it can actually lower your metabolism, causing the body to use up less energy and make weight loss much more difficult. According to Reuters, the results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that a lack of sleep can make you hungrier while simultaneously slowing down the digestion of that extra food.

Getting in a full 7-9 hours a night can help prevent weight gain, according to Dr. Christian Benedict, who led the study.

Researchers studied 14 male university students under a number of sleep conditions, such as curtailed sleep, no sleep and normal sleep. They examined the amount of food the subjects' ate under each condition, blood sugar levels and other indicators of metabolic function. Digestion decreased by as much as 20 percent in those who slept poorly the previous night.

If you're trying to sleep through the night but have to contend with allergies, there are steps you can take to improve your situation. Allergy free pillows can help prevent you from waking up sniffling and sneezing and specialized mattress covers can keep allergens at bay that cause you to wake up with itchy rashes.

Research published in the Journal of Neuroscience aims to expand our knowledge on how exactly sleep deprivation can lead to memory loss and impair cognitive development. Scientists conducted parallel experiments on laboratory mice designed to test the specific brain functions involved in this process.

A lack of sleep leads to increased levels of a compound known as adenosine, which has been known to interact with the hippocampus part of the brain, which is primarily associated with memory. One group of lab mice were genetically engineered to not produce adenosine, while a second had the associated receptors in the brain blocked. Both groups interacted with objects as though they had received a full night's sleep even after being deprived for a night.

The experiment may officially prove the importance of a full night's rest. It may not seem like it, but the brain is particularly sensitive to the effects of sleep deprivation.

If you're looking for relief from your allergies at night, rest assured that there are plenty of treatment methods available. Allergy free pillows and specialized mattress encasements will help you get that good night's sleep for w hich you've been longing.

It's widely known that a good night's sleep is vitally important for one's overall wellbeing, but scientists are just now discovering exactly how necessary it really is. A team of researchers at the University of Warwick recently found that people who receive less than six hours of sleep a night are more likely to develop a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

People without healthy sleeping habits are unable to regulate glucose as efficiently as others, which can lead to the development of diabetes.

"We found that short sleep, less than six hours, was associated with a significant, three-fold increased likelihood of developing [this condition], compared to people who got an average of six to eight hours sleep a night," said lead author Dr. Saverio Stranges.

If your allergies are keeping you up at night, it's recommended that you take steps to make falling and staying asleep easier on yourself. Allergy-free pillows can provide the relief you've been looking for. You may also want to consider purchasing specialized mattress covers that prevent allergens from making their way into your bedding.

The results of a study published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science suggest that a good night's sleep helps the brain reorganize and consolidate memories, which inevitably helps it to pick out emotionally-significant moments and facilitate the creative process.

"Sleep is making memories stronger," says co-author Jessica Payne of the University of Notre Dame. "It also seems to be doing something which I think is so much more interesting, and that is reorganizing and restructuring memories."

Payne continued to say that sleep is often the first thing to go in an increasingly fast-paced society and that this comes from a profound misunderstanding as to just how important it can be. There is a notion that a sleeping mind isn't doing anything, which the author hopes to prove is untrue.

If you're looking for a good night's sleep but suffer from allergies that have you tossing and turning for hours, there are ways to improve your situation. Mattress covers and allergy-free pillows can help keep irritating allergens at bay long enough for you to enjoy a restful and reinvigorating night in bed.

Researchers have found that the media attention surrounding bedbug infestations in recent years may increase one's risk of mental health problems and worsen those already predisposed to psychiatric conditions.

According to ABC News, scientists examined ten subjects who had recently been forced to deal with bedbugs. Of those ten, six experienced some form of anxiety or depression, including controlled bipolar disorder and monosymptomatic delusional disorder, in which one images bugs crawling all over his skin.

Even those who hadn't actually been infested showed increased paranoia, possibly from the amount of coverage bedbugs have received in the media.

"The incidence [of bedbug coverage] in the media, in newspapers, magazines, TV reports, has been going up steadily since the year 2001, so there may be some media-driven frenzy," psychiatrist Dr. Evan Rieder told the news source.

If you're looking for some bedbug protection and peace of mind, there are a number of methods that can help keep the little pests at bay. For example, mattress encasements are specifically designed to stop them from making their way into your bedding, allowing you to sleep better and get the shuteye you need.