Deirdre Budd’s Blog

Archive for May 6th, 2009

How many people have a snack before bedtime and then find they cannot sleep? A light snack before bedtime, which contains the amino acid Tryptophan can help promote sleep.  Protein before bedtime has the reverse effect, high protein foods contain Tyrosine an amino acid which stimulates brain activity.

Good bedtime snacks include tryptophan,calcuim and carbohydrate this combination calms the brain and allows you to sleep better. Think about having a glass of warm milk and ;-

  • half a sandwich of turkey, or peanut butter.  or,
  • a banana and a cup of hot chamomile tea or,
  • whole grain low sugar cereal with low fat milk or yogurt.
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Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. It is relatively rare and accompanied by a significant degree of functional impairment. The hallmark of Narcolepsy is excessive daytime sleepiness. Other symptoms include cataplexy sleep paralysis and hallucinations during sleep onset or awakening. It is not usually definitively diagnosed until about 10-15 years after symptoms appear.

Recent research shows that narcolepsy is related to unique gene variants and auto-immunity. It is reported in Nature Genetics that it is hoped that defining the changes in the T cell receptor associated with narcolepsy and catoplexy it may later be possible to develop drugs which will prevent the onset of narcolepsy.

At the moment the symptoms of narcolepsy are often misdiagnosed, particularly in children and adolescents, as psychiatric or behavioural disorders such as ADHD, depression and even psychosis. Most people find that the symptoms worsen over the two or three decades after they symptoms first appear.

Current treatment of Narcolepsy can usually result in control the daytime sleepiness, and the loss of muscle tone (cataplexy). Each treatment plan includes medication, education and behavioural changes. Narcolepsy is a chronic lifetime disorder that will always require management. The goal of treatment is adaptation and improved quality of life.


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