Sleep Talk: Episode 55 – Medication in Pregnancy

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Episode 55: Medication in Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a challenging time, particularly for women with sleep disorders such as narcolepsy who rely on medications to manage symptoms. There isn’t clear information to guide either women or their healthcare providers on what to do during pregnancy. To discuss managing women with narcolepsy during pregnancy we spoke to Dr Michael Thorpy from Montefiore Medical Centre, New York.

Dr Moira Junge (Health Psychologist) and Dr David Cunnington (Sleep Physician) host the monthly podcast, Sleep Talk – Talking all things sleep.

Leave a review and subscribe via Apple Podcasts

Audio Timeline / Chapters:

  • 00:00 – 02:36 Introduction
  • 02:36 – 26:29 Theme – Medication in Pregnancy
  • 26:29 – 27:46 Clinical Tip
  • 27:46 – 30:40 Pick of the Month
  • 30:40 – 32:36 What’s Coming Up?

Next episode: Sleep and Pain

Links mentioned in the podcast: 


Guest interview:

Dr. Michael Thorpy is Director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at the Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York. Both a clinician and a well-published researcher, Dr. Thorpy serves as Professor of Clinical Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Thorpy served on the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) Board of Directors and founded and directed the NSF’s National Narcolepsy Registry, which was located at Montefiore Medical Center. He is past Chairman of the Sleep Section of the American Academy of Neurology. He is President of the New York State Society of Sleep Medicine (NYSSSM). He has published extensively on narcolepsy, insomnia, and sleep disorders. His 14 print books include “The Encyclopedia of Sleep and Sleep Disorders”. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, including publications in journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Thorpy’s computerized textbook on sleep medicine, SleepMultiMedia (available on DVD-ROM), is the only one of its kind.

Regular hosts:

Dr Moira JungeDr Moira Junge is a health psychologist working in the

My Interview on Healthy Home Habits Summit: How to Promote Health, Reduce Toxins, and Create a Home That Keeps You Healthy!

Originally at: Domonique Silva

As a husband, parent, and physician, I know how hard it is to get trustworthy information that helps you get down to the root causes of your health challenges.

I remember when I first had my revelation about the importance of proper breathing during sleep, which lead to me write my book, Sleep Interrupted. Over the years, however, I realized that health and wellness are more than just good breathing and optimal sleep. It’s about addressing various other important factors, many of which come from your environment: what you eat and what you are exposed to.

That’s why I was so thrilled when my friend Domonique told me she was hosting an interview series all around this topic, which actually came out of her own research project to learn how to promote health and reduce toxins around the home and inside the body. Domonique is an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist and she has struggled through her own health challenges over her lifetime.

Her summit is called: Healthy Home Habits: How to Promote Health, Reduce Toxins, and Create a Home That Keeps You Healthy!

21 experts are unifying to help each other satisfy this calling. We have to take more control of our health and healing and learn more about the risks that threaten us. Together, we want to help you with the how and the what behind the toxins in your environment while giving practical tips that you can apply right away. Domonique will interview me about the importance of good sleep as a prerequisite for your body to heal properly and to better detoxify any toxins you may be exposed to.

You can register here. It starts Monday, June 1.

Just so you know, you will be able to watch from your home, office, or on the go. This is a great opportunity for anyone in my community who is out there seeking answers to your health problems, (and of course, you can also attend if you are just curious).

This is something I wish I had when Kathy and I started our personal health journey. This is why I am so glad Domonique is hosting this and that I get to share it with you.

Click here to register for the Healthy Home Habits Summit.

Hope to see you on Domonique’s summit.

The post My Interview on Healthy Home Habits Summit: How to Promote Health, Reduce Toxins, and Create a Home That Keeps You Healthy! appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

from Doctor …

7 Ways You Can Prevent Putting on Pounds During This Pandemic

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One casual observation I’ve seen during countless Zoom and FaceTime sessions with old friends and acquaintances is that many seem to have gained significant weight. I admit that just by seeing their faces onscreen is not an objective way of documenting weight gain. But from what I’m seeing and hearing from patients during our video sessions, many are telling me that they have gained significant weight in the past 4 to 6 weeks. Some of the reasons why people are putting on pounds are pretty obvious, but some are not.

Here are 7 reasons why you may be gaining weight during the pandemic and what you can do about it.

1. Less Physical Activity

This is the most obvious change for everyone. Since I’ve been doing more video teleconferencing for meetings and patient encounters, I’ve been sitting dramatically for longer periods of time. When I’m seeing patients, I’m often getting up, walking around, greeting patients, walking over to my secretary or another staff member to ask a question. Now, everything is done in front of a computer. 

Sitting for long periods without regular breaks has been found to lead to less productivity and creativity. Regular 5 to 10 minute breaks every 45 to 60 minutes is important not only to increase productivity but also to create a sense of time-limited urgency, like catching up on all your work and loose ends before going on vacation. Everyone has different needs regarding how long to work in-between breaks. The important point is that you need to take the time for regular breaks. 

One new routine (and now ritual) that our family started is a short walk outside along with our dog, Louie. We’ve been doing it after every dinner, as well as after lunch if I can join them. This was a custom I remember doing while growing up in South Korea. It brings back fond memories of my childhood. If you Google health benefits of walking after dinner, you’ll see countless articles and studies supporting this activity, especially with glucose control. 

2. Less Sun Exposure

Many people have jobs that already requires working indoors, but now it’s even a greater proportion, especially with the pandemic lockdowns. Sunlight is a crucial component of your internal circadian clock. It resets the daily 24 hour rhythms of the body, optimizing all body functions, as well as to prepare you for optimal sleep at night. In fact, it’s been recently discovered that every cell in your body has genes for a 24-hour clock.

In addition, sunlight is a major factor in your body’s ability to make vitamin D, which is a hormone …

Sleep Talk: Episode 54 – Sleep in Healthcare Workers

Originally at:

Episode 54: Sleep in Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers often have to work shifts that can incorporate long hours and working at times they would normally be sleeping. This can lead to fatigue, sleep difficulties and impact health and performance. To understand these factors and how research is working towards finding solutions we interview Dr Julia Stone of Monash University.

Dr Moira Junge (Health Psychologist) and Dr David Cunnington (Sleep Physician) host the monthly podcast, Sleep Talk – Talking all things sleep.

Leave a review and subscribe via Apple Podcasts

Audio Timeline / Chapters:

  • 00:00 – 04:15 Introduction
  • 04:15 – 21:30 Theme – Sleep in Healthcare Workers
  • 21:30 – 22:11 Clinical Tip
  • 22:11 – 23:55 Pick of the Month
  • 23:55 – 25:25 What’s Coming Up?

Next episode: Sleep Medications in Pregnancy

Links mentioned in the podcast: 


Guest interview:

Dr Julia Stone is a Research Fellow in the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University. Her research interests include individual variability in circadian rhythms and sleep, the role of circadian disruption on health and performance, and computational modeling approaches for circadian phase estimation in applied field settings. Julia completed her PhD at Monash University and Alertness CRC investigating modelling sleep and circadian factors in healthcare workers. Julia’s recent research papers are available via her Monash University profile.

Connect with Julia on Twitter – @JStone_247

Regular hosts:

Dr Moira JungeDr Moira Junge is a health psychologist working in the sleep field, who has considerable experience working with people with sleeping difficulties in a multidisciplinary practice using a team-based approach. Moira is actively involved with the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA) and a board member of the Sleep Health Foundation. She has presented numerous workshops for psychologists and is involved with Monash University with teaching and supervision commitments. She is one of the founders and clinic directors at Yarraville Health Group which was established in 1998. 

Connect with Moira on Twitter – @MoiraJunge

Dr David CunningtonDr David Cunnington is a sleep physician and director of Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre, and co-founder and contributor to SleepHub. David trained in sleep medicine both in Australia and in the United States, at Harvard …

Can Coronavirus Cause You to Gain Weight?

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I have to admit that the title is a head fake. There are no studies that I’m aware of that suggests that catching the coronavirus may lead to weight gain. However, I will make a strong argument that for many people, it can promote weight gain indirectly through these 5 possible scenarios:

  1. Altered Eating Patterns

Sheltering in place definitely changed everyone’s eating habits, timing, as well as food quality. There’s no doubt that many more people have to order their meals, which in general tends to be less healthy. Even if you wanted to cook more often at home, everything has changed. Grocery shopping can be an ordeal, with long lines, empty store inventories, and stressful environments. This change in your cooking/eating/purchasing patterns is sure to alter what you eat, when you eat, as well as how much you eat. Watching more online movies at night can also promote snacking later into the evening times. This goes against my most important health recommendation to improve sleep—don’t eat or snack within 3-4 hours of bedtime. 

  1. Altered Exercise Patterns

For those of you who rely on regular gym facilities, your exercise patterns are severely disrupted. Many of you are resorting to online courses or live-streams, but it’s not the same as physically working out at the gym with others or even on your own. It’s likely that the duration or intensity of your exercise routine is now much lower. This can contribute to challenges in losing weight.

  1. Altered Sleep Patterns

Although you may think that you have more time to sleep due to the shelter in place regulations, it’s not necessarily true. Many people are watching more movies or television programs. Oftentimes, it can go later into the night, leading to sleep deprivation. Furthermore, whether you watch on your widescreen TV or computer, extra blue lights from the LED screen will lower an important sleep hormone, melatonin. This will delay the time you want to fall asleep. As mentioned before, watching TV late at night is associated with snacking. It’s proven that lack of sleep significantly promotes weight gain.

  1. Less Sunlight/Lower Vitamin D

Even with the onset of spring and warmer temperatures, sheltering in place lessens time spent outdoors. This means less time for sun exposure, leading to lower levels of vitamin D. In general, most Americans have low levels of vitamin D, and what we ingest in our food supply is not nearly enough. A healthy gut biome (with optimal sleep and healthy diet) is needed for proper vitamin D absorption, as well as conversion to the active form of vitamin D that the body uses as a …

Special Online Event: Presenting My Narcolepsy Story & Book Reading

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Join me for a very special FREE ONLINE EVENT!

This Sunday, May 10th at 8:00 p.m. EDT, tune in to Project Sleep’s Facebook Page to hear my inspiring narcolepsy presentation and to read a few favorite passages from my memoir. Full details about the broadcast.

I’ve presented this around the world in Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom, but never live online like this. 

About the Talk:

In this unique broadcast, I will share her journey—from wanting to push narcolepsy out of my life to finding self-acceptance, writing Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir of Narcolepsy and founding Project Sleep. I will read a few favorite passages from my book. In addition, I will share what’s helped me to “live well” with narcolepsy, offer tips to get started in advocacy and awareness, and answer questions from live viewers.

Spread the Word

Please share this opportunity with friends and family – I promise the broadcast will be fun, thought-provoking and moving — because that’s how I roll!  

Giving this online presentation is honestly a special moment for me so thank you for your support –  I cannot wait! Thank you for your support.

Full Event Details:

from Blog – Julie Flygare…

How Mouth Breathing May Put You At Risk for Viral Infections

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In his classic book, Shut Your Mouth and Save Your Life (1870), American painter George Catlin described a correlation between pre-civil war Native Americans who were mouth breathers and various chronic illnesses. In a 30 year span (1830 to 1860), he visited over 150 Native tribes in North, Central, and South America. 

Catlin observed that tribes with no Western influences had zero infant mortality, and no childhood deformities or diseases. He noted that Native American nose breathers tended to be much healthier compared to white “civilized” people who were more prone to mouth breathing and tended to be much more sickly in general. He also commented on how beautiful the natives’ smiles were with beautiful teeth.

An interesting story illustrates Catlin’s observation: Two Native Americans were in an argument and knives were drawn. Catlin and others were successful in calming the two men down and eventually, they were reconciled. Catlin later took aside one of the two men and asked if he was afraid of his opponent, who was much bigger and stronger. The man reportedly responded, “No, not in the least; I never fear harm from a man who can’t shut his mouth, no matter how large or how strong he maybe.”

Beautiful smiles and no cavities, but 100 years ago?

Almost 60 years later, Catlin’s observations were mirrored and expanded on in his classic book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (1939) by Dr. Weston Price. An active researcher in the Canadian and American Dental community, Price traveled to numerous remote areas of the world finding that cultures that ate completely off the land had broad faces, beautiful, full smiles, and minimal to no cavities. Only after the adoption of Western diets did their children’s teeth come in crooked with many more cavities and more chronic medical illnesses. 

Why mouth breathing may make you sick

So what does mouth breathing have to do with viral infections? I’ve written before that our nose and sinuses make a gas called nitric oxide. This gas has two important features: proven antimicrobial properties and the ability to increase oxygen uptake in your lungs. There have been many studies showing nitric oxide’s ability to kill viruses, bacteria, fungi and even parasites. In particular, nitric oxide was also found to lower SARS Coronavirus replication by 82% in this study from 2005. The study authors showed that nitric oxide inhibits viral protein and RNA synthesis. 

How nose breathing can increase oxygen in your lungs

This study found that blood oxygen levels were 10% higher in healthy volunteers who were nose breathing compared to mouth breathers. In ICU patients who were intubated, …

The Consequences of Sleep deprivation in the ICU

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Imagine if you went to sleep at your normal bedtime, but 5 minutes later, the lights went on. You hear multiple peoples’ conversations right next to your bed. The TV turns on and stays on. A car alarm goes off just opposite your window,  and a siren-screeching ambulance drives by your house every few minutes. 

This may sound a bit far fetched, but this is essentially what most patients who are in the intensive care unit (ICU) experience. It’s not just at night, but 24/7. 

This is what I saw during my recent time spent in a COVID-19 ICU. Fluorescent lights are on constantly. Doctors, nurses, technicians, and various other staff members are repeatedly going in and out of the room. You’re being poked for blood samples on a regular basis. Invasive and noninvasive procedures are performed on a regular basis. You may even  have to be on a ventilator with a tube in your windpipe. 

This experience brought back memories of articles I read many years ago on the consequences of sleep deprivation in the ICU. In particular, there are many papers on delirium during or after time spent in the ICU. A good overview of this subject can be found in this review article in 2014. It’s highly technical in nature, but you can get an idea of the basic concepts just by looking at the figures and tables. 

In general, sleep studies on patients in the ICU generally have much higher  durations of light sleep and arousals, and much lower time spent in deep and REM sleep.

What all these review articles show is that you’re not really getting any quality or good quality of sleep in the ICU. Here are 6 main areas of concern:


This is the most obvious factor that prevents good sleep quality. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends average background noise in hospitals not be higher than 30 decibels, with nighttime peaks not higher than 40 decibels. As you can see from this paper, average noise levels range from 55 to 70 decibels and can peak as high as 120 decibels. (A chainsaw or motorcycle reaches 100 decibels.) These levels stay the same at night as well as during the daytime. Staff conversations can reach 85 decibels and were found to be the most disruptive for ICU patients. Sleep studies in ICU patients have found that about 11% of all brain wave arousals and 17% of all awakenings are due to noise.


Most ICU rooms are separated and closed off with a door, but with glass doors and walls. Even if the lights are off inside …