Menopause and insomnia: Could a low-GI diet help?

Sleep disturbances such as insomnia are extremely common, especially in women after menopause. According to data from the National Institutes of Health, sleep disturbance varies from 16% to 42% before menopause, from 39% to 47% during perimenopause, and from 35%...

Getting sleep in the hospital

If you or any of your loved ones has ever been hospitalized, one of the complaints you may have heard about most is how hard it is to sleep in the hospital. There are lots of things about hospital routines...

Wearables and sleep: What can they really tell us?

Smart devices are everywhere, including wrist-based monitors. These wearables promise to count our steps, remind us to move, and provide insight on our sleep. But can we trust them to measure our sleep accurately? Most wrist-based devices are based on...

Harvard Health Ad Watch: A fibromyalgia treatment (“But you look so good!”)

It’s something I’ve heard countless times from patients with fibromyalgia. They’re telling a friend or family member about their condition and the response is, “But you don’t look sick” or “But you look so well.” Sometimes, the reaction is more...

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Gradually figuring out what’s wrong

In 1983, a health professional in her 30s walked into my office and said, “I’ve been healthy all of my life. A year ago, I came down with some kind of virus — sore throat, aching muscles, swollen lymph glands,...

Can your CPAP make you sick?

I keep hearing radio ads about high-tech cleaners for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, which are used to treat sleep apnea. Bacteria and mold can accumulate in different parts of the device. Just the touch of a button, say...

Weekend catch-up sleep won’t fix the effects of sleep deprivation on your waistline

Sleeping in late on a Saturday sounds delicious, right? However, as with many delicious things, there may be a cost to your health and waistline. Catching up on sleep on the weekend can almost feel like the norm these days....

Sleep driving and other unusual practices during sleep

Most people have talked or walked during sleep at some time in our lives. However, some people exhibit more unusual complex behaviors while asleep, including eating and driving. These types of behaviors, called parasomnias, come about when parts of our...

Need to check your thyroid? Maybe not

As medical science advances, we have more tests and biomarkers available to help identify illnesses. Yet overdiagnosis and overtreatment that may occur following abnormal results can cause dangerous adverse effects and costly consequences. Hypothyroidism — a lower than normal range...

Got pain? Get better sleep

The cell phone blares out reveille. Your eyes open reluctantly and you realize it’s morning, having only gone to bed four hours earlier because of a late-night party. You creak out of bed to ready yourself for work, arthritic joints...
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