Trouble Sleeping? Help to Diagnose Insomnia

According to the National Sleep Foundation, if you have trouble falling and staying asleep at night, or you wake up feeling unrefreshed in the morning, you may be suffering from insomnia.

Almost everyone hasĀ trouble sleeping every so often, but for many Americans, having a hard time getting to sleep or waking in the middle of the night is a significant problem.

To help, board certified sleep specialist Dr. Russell Rosenberg, Chairman of the National Sleep Foundation, offers answers to some questions about insomnia:

What is insomnia?

AMCP Offers Advice for Traveling With Medications

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Advanced planning for traveling with medications can prevent consumers from spending their precious vacation time at the pharmacy counter or on the phone with their doctor.

One of the most common mistakes occurs when consumers take a full supply of medications on vacation and then lose them, says Mark Brueckl, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s assistant director of pharmacy affairs. He recommends taking just enough for the length of your trip, plus one or two days extra.

In the fun of the moment, vacationers also may forget proper storage methods for their medications, Brueckl notes. Consumers must check to see if any of their prescriptions are sensitive to heat, sun or moisture. Medicines should not be exposed to levels of high heat, such as being stored in a car’s trunk or glove compartment, or brought to the beach.

Another common mistake involves waiting until the last day to get prescriptions refilled. Consumers may encounter a pharmacy not having the drug in stock, Brueckl says.

Other suggestions for traveling with drugs:

* Pack medications in your carry-on luggage. If your luggage is lost or delayed, you will not miss any dosages if they’re kept with you.

* Photocopy important documents and/or cards in case your wallet is lost or stolen, or if something happens to your luggage. Put a copy of each document in every piece of luggage and carry-on item.

* Ask your doctor for a letter outlining your health conditions and prescriptions, including the dosages and scientific names of all medicines you’re taking. Keep this information handy in case you get stopped internationally by customs or need to obtain mediations abroad due to an emergency or lost luggage.

* Call the consulate of the country you’re visiting and ask if there are any restrictions on bringing medications in to the country (

* Important items to pack: first aid kit, health insurance and prescription cards, medical summary, supply of medicines in original pharmacy bottles, medicines for common travel issues (pain, antacid, laxative, diarrhea medicine, antihistamine, cough medicine, motion sickness medicine), sunscreen, lip balm and insect repellant, bracelet for life-threatening allergies.

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy is a national professional association of pharmacists and other health care practitioners who serve society by using sound medication-management principles and strategies to improve health care for all. For more information about AMCP, visit the Web site at

Lasers Redefine Medicine At the Speed of Light

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In the past, lasers were fictional weapons created in comics to combat evil-doers. Today, fiction has become reality as medical specialists rely on advances in laser medicine to help provide patients of all ages with better and earlier detection of disease and improved treatments for common medical problems — combatting “evil” disease and medical problems worldwide.

“Chances are, you or someone you know has benefited from laser medicine or surgery,” said R. Rox Anderson, MD, president of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS). “Lasers have had a tremendous impact on how we detect and treat diseases, improve aging skin, and manage conditions that in the past were difficult to treat with traditional therapies or systemic medications. There are no signs that this technology has reached its peak; on the contrary, we expect new laser devices and applications will continue to be discovered in the years to come.”

When used in medicine, lasers work by delivering tiny pulses of light or energy in various wavelengths to target particular areas or particles in the body. Lasers and other energy sources offer patients tremendous benefits, including less-invasive procedures, reduced recovery times, elegant results, less bleeding and speedy healing. In fact, many laser procedures are now performed in a physician’s office using only topical or local anesthetic — eliminating the need for general anesthesia.

From corrective eye surgery, skin rejuvenation and dental disorders to throat surgery, treatment of acne and birthmarks, and early detection of numerous types of cancer, lasers and related technologies are improving the quality of medical and surgical care. Even persons of color, who previously were not good candidates for laser skin treatments, are now able to enjoy the advantages of most laser therapies and related technologies.

To help ensure a positive laser experience, the ASLMS suggests you consider the following tips:

1. Ask questions.

2. Find out who will be administering the treatment.

3. Discuss your medical history with your physician.

4. Ask whether this laser or other light source is right for your skin type.

5. Be realistic about expectations and results.

For more information and to find a laser doctor near you, please visit

Oral Appliances Can Be Effective for Sleep Apnea

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – For those who snore and are at risk for sleep apnea, the dentist may be able to help.

That’s because oral appliances are recommended for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea. The Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine recently endorsed new guidelines for this treatment option, as published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

An oral appliance can look like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer. Worn during sleep, it keeps the airway open and unobstructed by repositioning or stabilizing the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate or uvula.

According to the guidelines, the severity of the problem should first be assessed by a sleep clinician who can then decide if a dental referral is needed.

The exact cause of obstructive sleep apnea remains unclear. People with the condition may stop breathing hundreds of times during sleep, often for up to a minute at a time. Estimates are that 18 million people in the U.S. are affected.

The new guidelines affirm that continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP, should be considered as the first treatment option for sleep apnea, but for the first time state that oral appliances may be offered initially to people who prefer it to CPAP or who are intolerant to CPAP therapy. Research also suggests that oral appliances may be more effective than soft palate surgery.

“For many people with obstructive sleep apnea, an oral appliance is the best and most convenient treatment available,” said Dr. Kent E. Moore, president of the ADSM.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved 40 different types of oral appliances, currently available on the market. Patients are advised to schedule follow-up appointments with their dentist for evaluation and monitoring.

The field of dental sleep medicine is experiencing rapid growth. Statistics show a growing need to address sleep apnea problems and the best methods of treatment. Half of sleep apnea patients may have high blood pressure, and risk for heart attack and stroke may also increase.

While occasional snoring is almost universal, nearly 60 percent of Americans suffer from daytime sleepiness as a side effect of sleep apnea, according to the ADSM. And each year, sleep disorders add nearly $18 billion to the national health care bill.

To find a dentist who is trained in the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea, visit