Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Sleep Medicine

  • Learn about treatment choices for sleep apnea.

  • When you work nights or rotating shifts, taking good care of yourself can be a challenge. It's common to feel "off," tired, or disconnected from the rest of the world. And that can make it hard to get in a good, healthy routine. The following tips may help you make some small, healthy changes. You can choose the ones...

  • Discusses how you can get better sleep. Covers reasons for sleep problems, such as stress, depression, or insomnia. Offers sleep tips such as avoid caffeine and don't exercise in late afternoon. Does not cover sleep apnea or sleep disorders.

  • Provides links to info about sleep problems. Includes insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, and testing. Also includes sleep problems in children.

  • Children of all ages need plenty of sleep to grow and develop. School-age children may have trouble learning and developing socially if they don't get enough sleep. Children's sleep problems can cause stress for parents, who may worry about their children. Parents also may be awake much of the night trying to get a...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for sleep apnea. Discusses problems like depression and high blood pressure associated with lack of treatment. Covers alternatives to surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to have sleep study to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. Includes pros such as diagnosis that can lead to treatment. Also offers cons such as cost. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Managing diabetes is all about setting a healthy routine of medicine, eating, exercise, and sleep. But when you work night shifts or have changing work shifts, it can seem like there's nothing at all routine about your life. It's definitely more of a chore to manage diabetes under such conditions, but it can be done...

  • Discover some lifestyle changes that can help with sleeplessness.

  • Learn why good sleep matters to your health.

  • Learn tips for getting a good night's sleep.

  • Learn how too little sleep affects your health, and how getting enough can undo these effects.

  • Learn how to reduce technology use before bed for better sleep.

  • Take steps to reduce your technology use before bed.

  • Learn what sleep apnea is and why it's important to treat it.

  • Learn what sleep studies are and why they're done.

  • Learn how CPAP works and how to use a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea.

  • Learn ways to get past common problems with using CPAP.

  • Learn about the different ways that sleep apnea can affect the quality of your life.

  • Learn about the benefits of treating sleep apnea.

  • Why is sleep important to your child? A good night's sleep helps your child to grow, to form memories, and to learn. Sleep helps your child stay alert and focused at school and play. Children who don't get enough sleep over time can have behavior problems and trouble learning. They may become moody, sad, or...

  • Everyone knows that sleep is important. Without it, you don't have the energy to get through your day. But sleep problems that go on for a long time can affect your health. How does sleep affect your health? Most adults do best when they get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. Sleep gives your brain a...

  • Describes various sleep studies used to diagnose sleep disorders. Discusses problems like snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy. Covers common sleep studies, including polysomnograms, multiple sleep latency tests, and the maintenance of wakefulness test.

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause sleep problems. A few examples of these medicines are: Antidepressants. Cold medicines. Steroid medicines. Nonprescription diet aids. Other substances Other substances that may cause sleep problems include: Alcohol. At first, drinking alcohol may cause...

  • Night eating syndrome is a condition in which people eat large amounts of food after the evening meal, often waking up during the night to eat. People with this condition may delay their first meal of the day for many hours. Experts still do not...

  • Melatonin is a manmade form of a hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate your sleep and wake cycle. Melatonin has been used in alternative medicine as a likely effective aid in treating insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep). Melatonin is also likely effective in treating sleep disorders in people...

  • What is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can also buy it as a supplement. What does natural melatonin do in the body...

  • Doctors do not use lab tests to diagnose fibromyalgia. The results of lab tests done on people with fibromyalgia should be normal unless another condition is present. You may have lab tests to rule out other diseases or to find out whether you have...

  • Exercise is one of the most important treatments for fibromyalgia. Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles, increase blood flow to the muscles, and increase your endurance. It also may reduce the risk of tiny injuries to the muscles that may...

  • Nondrug methods of relieving pain may be helpful for people who have fibromyalgia. These can include: Applying heating pads or taking warm baths or showers. Gentle massage of painful muscles. Regular exercise to help strengthen muscles, which will...

  • Information on fibromyalgia, a syndrome that causes people to feel pain even when there is no injury. Covers symptoms and how it is diagnosed. Includes info on treatments such as medicines, exercise therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

  • Snoring is a major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But even though most people who have sleep apnea snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when the flow of air from the mouth or nose to the lungs is disturbed...

  • Sleep patterns naturally change as you get older. Compared to younger people, older adults: Sleep fewer hours and take longer to fall asleep. Sleep less deeply and wake up more often during the night. Have more trouble adjusting to changes in...

  • Sleep stages are divided into non–rapid eye movement (non-REM) and rapid eye movement (REM). Non–rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep has 3 stages: Stage N1 occurs right after you fall asleep and is very short (usually less than 10 minutes). It involves...

  • Fiber-optic pharyngoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look into the upper part of your respiratory system. He or she may use it to help decide how to treat your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). You remain awake during the procedure. Your...

  • Oral devices (also called oral appliances) are sometimes used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). They push the tongue and jaw forward, which makes the airway larger and improves airflow. This also reduces the chance that tissue will collapse...

  • Continuous positive airway pressure therapy ( CPAP) uses a machine to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn't collapse when you breathe in. When you use CPAP, your bed partner may sleep better...

  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are surgeries to remove the tonsils or adenoids. They are: Used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. Rarely used to treat snoring in adults. Not used to treat snoring in children. The surgeries almost always require a stay in the hospital.

  • Information on uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Explains that UPPP is a procedure to remove excess tissue in the throat to make the airway wider. Discusses effectiveness and risks.

  • Discusses tracheostomy to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This surgery is done only for severe OSA. Explains that permanent opening in windpipe is created. Discusses possible complications, including lung infection, trouble talking, or scar tissue.

  • Focuses on obstructive sleep apnea. Discusses causes, including narrowed airways and obesity. Covers symptoms like snoring, gasping during sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Info on treatment with CPAP and oral or nasal breathing devices.

  • Helps you check symptoms of leg problems not caused by injury. Covers symptoms like pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, tingling, weakness, and lumps and bumps under the skin. Includes pictures of bones of lower leg, thigh, and muscles and tendons.

  • Getting enough sleep is needed for both physical and mental health. Sleep is an important part of physical and mental health. While we sleep, the brain and body do a number of important jobs that help us stay in good health and function at our best. Getting the sleep we need: Improves our ability to learn, remember, and...

  • Discusses various sleep problems of those 12 and older. Covers insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome. Offers tips to improve sleep. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Sleep apnea occurs when you regularly stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnea) or that airflow to your lungs is reduced (hypopnea). This is called the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI)...

  • Getting enough sleep and rest is important during the teen years. Teens need more sleep than younger children, because rapid physical growth and activity during the teen years can cause fatigue. Many teenagers sleep late whenever possible and often have problems getting up in the morning. Teenagers' biological clocks...

  • Fill out this sleep journal every morning for 1 to 2 weeks. It can help you see what gets in the way of a good night's sleep. It could also help your doctor know more about what affects your sleep. Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 What time did you go to...

  • Sleep problems are common during pregnancy. Sleep studies tell us that hormonal changes, plus the discomforts of later pregnancy, can break up a pregnant woman's sleep cycle. The first trimester can bring insomnia and night waking. Most women feel the need to take naps to battle daytime sleepiness and fatigue. The...

  • Discusses sleep problems caused by cancer or side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Offers tips like get daily exercise and use a sleep mask and earplugs to improve sleep. Warns to check with your doctor before taking sleep medicine.

  • What is restless legs syndrome? Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder related to sensation and movement. People with restless legs syndrome have an unpleasant feeling or sensation in parts of their bodies when they lie down to sleep. Most people also have a very strong urge to move, and moving sometimes makes them...

  • Restless legs syndrome can be a secondary problem caused by another condition. Researchers continue their efforts to understand and define the relationship between this syndrome and: Iron deficiency or related anemia. The way the body metabolizes iron and certain proteins in the brain may be related to restless legs...

  • What is periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)? Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a condition in which a person's legs, and sometimes arms, move repetitively and uncontrollably while he or she is asleep. These episodes of limb movement can disrupt the person's sleep, causing insomnia or daytime sleepiness...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is for people who have trouble sleeping because they work a night shift or rotating shifts. If you have trouble sleeping because of other reasons, see the topic Insomnia. What is shift work sleep disorder? Shift work sleep disorder is trouble sleeping because you work nights or...

  • Contains information on snoring. Does not cover sleep apnea or sleep disorders. Includes info on what causes snoring. Discusses things you can do to stop snoring. Covers snoring treatments such as medicines, oral breathing devices, or surgery.

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a procedure used to remove excess tissue in the throat to widen the airway. This sometimes can allow air to move through the throat more easily when you breathe, reducing snoring. The tissues removed may include: The small finger-shaped piece of tissue ( uvula) that hangs down from...

  • Several oral devices have been tested to treat people with snoring, including a tongue-retaining device that is worn while sleeping. It pushes the tongue and jaw forward, improving airflow. Changing the position of the lower jaw enlarges the airway and decreases the chance that it will collapse when you inhale. This may...

  • You can't wait to go to your sister's wedding and see family and friends. But you're not so thrilled at the idea of the long cross-country flight from California to North Carolina. You feel fine for a while after you get there. But later that night, you have trouble sleeping, even though you're tired. And your stomach...

  • Discusses problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Covers causes such as stress, depression, lack of exercise. Discusses other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Covers treatment and includes alternative medicines like melatonin.

  • What is the body clock? The body's "biological clock," or 24-hour cycle ( circadian rhythm), can be affected by light or darkness, which can make the body think it is time to sleep or wake up. The 24-hour body clock controls functions such as: Sleeping and waking. Body temperature. The body's...

  • What is chronic myofascial pain? Most people have muscle pain from time to time. But chronic myofascial pain is a kind of ongoing or longer-lasting pain that can affect the connective tissue (fascia) of a muscle or group of muscles. With myofascial pain, there are areas called trigger points. Trigger points are usually...

  • Radiofrequency palatoplasty is a new procedure that uses an electrical current to shrink and stiffen the back part of the roof of the mouth ( soft palate and uvula). When the soft palate and uvula are stiffer, they are less likely to vibrate and you are less likely to snore.

  • Take sleeping pills for a short time, along with making lifestyle changes. Treat your sleep problems with only lifestyle changes. Insomnia can be caused by menopause or problems such as depression, anxiety, and sleep apnea. Treating these conditions may get rid of your sleep problem. This topic is for people...

  • Offers tips on improving sleep. Covers sleep disorders like insomnia. Discusses things that affect sleep. Covers habits like drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed. Suggests exercising daily and no napping. Discusses sleep diaries.

  • "Fibro fog" is the name commonly given to the cognitive problems that can go along with fibromyalgia syndrome. These problems with concentration and memory can lead to confusion, losing your train of thought, or forgetting or mixing up words or details. You can take steps to manage fibro fog. Try some of the...

  • Having a sleepless night now and then can be annoying. But when you have restless legs syndrome (RLS), going without sleep night after night can make life miserable. You may be so tired that you just feel like crying. If restless legs are robbing you of sleep, you're not alone. But there may be some things you can do...

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