"Yin and Yang" by Klem - This vector image was created with Inkscape by Klem, and then manually edited by Mnmazur.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons a/File:Yin_and_Yang.svg

Treatment of Insomnia: Cannabis Reconsidered Part 4

While many patients are using medical cannabis to treat insomnia, and research progress is being made, there is much that needs to be done to insure efficacy and safety.
"Yin and Yang" by Klem - This vector image was created with Inkscape by Klem, and then manually edited by Mnmazur.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons a/File:Yin_and_Yang.svg

Treatment of Insomnia: Cannabis Reconsidered, Part Three

Increasing numbers of patients are using medical marijuana for treatment of their insomnia. Patients need reliable information about what it does and how it works.
By Cannabis Training University (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0

Treatment of Insomnia: Cannabis Reconsidered Part 2

Cannabis is being increasingly used for its medicinal and psychotherapeutic potential. Does it have the properties necessary to be an effective treatment for insomnia?
By Cannabis Training University (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Treatment of Insomnia: Cannabis Reconsidered

Recently, as attitudes and laws about the use of cannabis have dramatically changed, new research and new programs are clarifying its potential medical and psychotherapeutic use.
"Yin and Yang" by Klem - This vector image was created with Inkscape by Klem, and then manually edited by Mnmazur.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

Sleep and the Amazing Shrinking Synapse

Forgetting may be as important as remembering. New research indicates that brain changes during sleep facilitate forgetting useless information.
"Yin and Yang" by Klem - This vector image was created with Inkscape by Klem, and then manually edited by Mnmazur.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

Catathrenia, or "Is There a Ghost in the House?"

Have you heard strange and unsettling sounds at night and wondered if your house were haunted, but found that your bed partner was groaning while asleep? They may have catathrenia.

EMDR and the Sleep Connection

Growing evidence indicates that EMDR is effective in treating PTSD. Could it be that it works by activating brain systems similar to those active in REM sleep?
Image: By NEUROtiker (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Something with Poison in it …. Poppies.

Pain medicines such as morphine have been of great benefit to those suffering from terrible pain but they can have serious side effects and can affect sleep in unexpected ways.
By Copyleft (Own work) (CC0), via Wikimedia Commons

It’s Halloween and Winter is Coming

As Halloween nears, we prepare for winter and the time change when we reset our clocks and "fall back". For some people, this change will considerably affect their sleep.
Russ Potak, 1988 used with permission.

Up in the Middle of the Night? It May Be Natural.

People often wake in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep. Is it because eight consecutive hours of sleep per night is a construct of the modern world.
By Andreashorn [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Sleep Connectome

Advanced imaging techniques and powerful analytic methods allow the creation of stunning maps of functional and anatomical brain connections. Can they help understand sleep?

Secrets of Napping

Naps can improve alertness and productivity without needing to use energy drinks to get through the day. Proper timing and correct duration are the secrets to successful napping.

Trauma and Sleep: Treatment

People who have suffered trauma often experience sleep problems. Treating sleep disorder such as nightmares and insomnia can help facilitate the treatment of trauma related stress.

Trauma and Sleep: Disorders

Why can't I sleep? Psychological trauma may be the answer.

Trauma and Sleep I

Psychological trauma has been an unfortunately common aspect of human history. One of the major impacts of trauma is the disruption of sleep.

Dangerous Driving

Drowsy driving increases the risk of a serious motor vehicle accident. There are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce this risk.

What Can You Do When You're Too Tired, Too Early?

We hear about students who can't get to sleep at a regular time, get up early, and doze off in class. But others have the opposite problem and that can be just challenging.

Neural Pathways to Sleep

New understanding of neurotransmitter systems involved in sleep and wakefulness is helping guide the development of new treatment approaches to sleep disorders such as insomnia.

The Mystery of Why You Can Wake Up with a Shock

Although their cause is unknown, sleep starts are experienced by a majority of people. They occur during drowsiness or light sleep and feel like falling with a sudden jerk. Most often they are unpleasant but harmless. In some cases, however, they can cause insomnia or even sleep deprivation.

Autism and Sleep

Parents of children with autism often report sleep difficulties for themselves and their children. Research over the past decade has given information about the sleep difficulties faced by these children. Problems falling and staying asleep, having negative attitudes toward and fears related to sleep are significantly more common among these children.
“please, please, please release 229/365” by JustCallMe Bethy/ Creative Commons/ ccby-nc 2.0

The Mystery of Night Terrors

Sleep terrors are a type of parasomnia that arise out of non-rapid eye movement sleep and involve intense fight-or-flight reactions. They are not nightmares, which occur during rapid eye movement sleep. They are usually not remembered by the person having the sleep terror but are hard to forget for the people nearby who are awakened by the frightening sound of screams.

Flu Season and Sleep

Sleep is affected by the immune response to infectious agents such as viruses. One aspect of the immune response to a significant illness is a strong desire to sleep more. The sleep that occurs during an infectious illness is different from ordinary sleep as it is deeper with less dreaming. Good sleep may help protect against infection.

When Our Bodies Lose Track of the Time

Internal circadian rhythms stay synchronized with external clock time because environmental factors such as light and meals align the rhythm with the external clock. If these cues are unavailable the circadian rhythm will steadily shift over time. For totally blind individuals this can result in problems such as insomnia and daytime sleepiness.

Sleep, as We Get Older

With advancing age there are changes in sleep pattern, sleep quantity and sleep quality. Sleep remains important for good health throughout our lives and understanding how these changes affect the sleep of older individuals can help people to maximize the quality and quantity of their sleep and thus their health.

Sleep and the Placebo Effect

It is often difficult to show that a new treatment is any more effective than a placebo. This may be because the placebo effect is actually the marshaling of bodily resources brought about by psychological processes. The placebo effect shows that the mind/body system is capable of self-healing. It also turns out that thinking your sleep is good helps you function better.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome may affect as much as 10% of the population and significantly contribute to poor sleep. Fortunately. there are a number of behavioral and pharmacological treatments available.

The Desert, Sleep, and the Mystical Experience

A recent trip to the high desert of the United States got me to think about the ways in which this challenging environment and the harsh ways of life there, including the potential for significant sleep loss, contribute to the occurrence of non-oridinary states of consciousness.
Booze, the Brain and Sleep

Booze, the Brain and Sleep

Alcohol is often used by many people to help them sleep. Because it initially helps to relax and feel sleepy, it seems to work. This is because alcohol promotes reduced tension, shortens the time to fall asleep and increases deep sleep. Unfortunately, later in the night the effects are different and sleep is disrupted and lighter, resulting in overall poor quality sleep.


Nightmares are common, especially among children. They are more common in people with anxiety and are especially frequent in people who have experienced traumatic events. They can cause significant sleep disruption and even sleep deprivation. What are these nocturnal events and from whence do they come?

Is Conscious Dreaming Real?

Some people report that they are consciously aware of their dreams as they are occurring. This is known as lucid dreaming. Researchers have tired to develop techniques to teach the skill of becoming consciously aware of and even directing the content of dreams. Is this possible and if so, is it be harmful or helpful?