Strange Sleep Disorders You May Not Have Heard Of

Sleep’s Weird Wild Side

We all know how important a good night’s sleep is for our overall health and well-being. However, while common sleep issues like insomnia and sleep apnea are widely discussed, there are several unusual and often misunderstood sleep disorders that can profoundly disrupt one’s sleep and daily life. If you or someone you care about has been experiencing unexplained, strange sleep disturbances, this post aims to raise awareness about some of the strangest sleep disorders experienced by patients. 


By shining a light on these lesser-known yet impactful conditions, we hope to validate the experiences of those affected and encourage them to seek expert help from qualified professionals who can get to the root of these disorders. If any of these sound like issues you or a loved one may be facing, call the Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders at 818-300-0070 to get the restorative sleep you deserve.

1. Exploding Head Syndrome

Exploding head syndrome is a disorder characterized by a loud, imagined noise that occurs in the person’s head during the transition between wakefulness and sleep. The noise can be described as a loud bang, gunshot, or explosion, and it can be accompanied by a jolt or a sensation of bright light. 


While the experience can be startling and even terrifying, it isn’t dangerous and is believed to be harmless. The causes of exploding head syndrome are not entirely understood, but it has been linked to stress, fatigue, and certain medications.

2. Sleep Eating Disorder (Sleep-Related Eating Disorder)

Sleep eating disorder is a condition in which individuals engage in unconscious eating during the night or while in a sleepwalking state. People with this disorder may prepare and consume food without being aware of their actions. In some cases, they may even consume non-food items or engage in other unusual behaviors. 


Sleep eating can be potentially dangerous, as individuals may consume harmful substances or injure themselves while preparing food in a sleep state. The causes of sleep-eating disorders are not fully known, but they have been linked to stress, sleep deprivation, and certain medications.

3. Kleine-Levin Syndrome (Sleep Drunkenness)

Kleine-Levin Syndrome, also known as sleep drunkenness, is a rare condition characterized by episodes of excessive sleep and altered behavior. During these episodes, individuals may sleep for up to 20 hours a day and experience disorientation, confusion, and a lack of awareness upon waking. They may also exhibit abnormal behaviors such as hypersexuality, binge eating, or aggression. 


The causes of Kleine-Levin Syndrome are not well understood, but it’s believed to be related to dysfunction in the hypothalamus region of the brain. The condition primarily affects adolescents and can have a significant impact on their daily lives and educational or social functioning.

4. Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or speak that occurs when waking up or falling asleep. During an episode of sleep paralysis, individuals may feel trapped in their bodies, unable to move or speak, even though they are conscious and aware of their surroundings. 


Sleep paralysis can also be accompanied by hallucinations or a feeling of fear or pressure on the chest. While sleep paralysis can be terrifying, it’s generally harmless and is believed to be caused by a disruption in the sleep-wake cycle.

5. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a condition characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by unpleasant sensations such as tingling, burning, or crawling feelings. These sensations typically occur during periods of rest or inactivity and can be relieved by moving the legs. 


RLS can significantly impact sleep quality, as the urge to move the legs can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. The causes of RLS are not fully understood, but it has been linked to iron deficiency, pregnancy, and certain neurological conditions.


Shedding Light on Odd Sleep Phenomena

Does this sound like you or someone you love in Encino, Sherman Oaks, or Tarzana? Don’t let another night go by due to tossing, turning, and missing out on the rejuvenating sleep you desperately need. Unexplained sleep disturbances can drain your energy, impact your mood and performance, and even put your health at risk. But you don’t have to keep suffering alone. The compassionate experts at the Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders understand how these unusual sleep disorders can disrupt your life. 

Don’t wait another day – call 818-300-0070 now to schedule your consultation. Reclaim your nights and start feeling like your best self again. You owe it to yourself to get the restorative sleep you need to live your happiest, healthiest life.

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Sleep Hygiene 101: Tips for Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits

Getting enough quality sleep is crucial for our health and well-being. Poor sleep habits can lead to fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, and even serious health issues. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help you establish a consistent and rejuvenating sleep routine, ensuring you wake up feeling refreshed and energized each day.

Understanding Sleep Cycles and Needs

Our sleep is divided into two main cycles: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and non-REM sleep. During REM sleep, our brain is highly active, and this is the stage where we experience vivid dreams. Non-REM sleep consists of three stages, ranging from light sleep to deep, restorative sleep.


The recommended sleep duration varies by age group. Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per night, while school-aged children and teenagers may need up to 10 hours of sleep.

Creating a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Your bedroom environment can significantly impact the quality of your sleep. Aim for a cool, dark, and quiet space that promotes relaxation.

  • Temperature: Maintain a comfortable temperature between 65-70°F (18-21°C).
  • Lighting: Minimize exposure to bright lights and use blackout curtains or an eye mask to create a dark sleeping environment.
  • Noise Control: Reduce external noise by using earplugs or a white noise machine.
  • Comfortable Bedding: Invest in a high-quality mattress, pillows, and breathable sheets that support proper spinal alignment and temperature regulation.


Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to signal your body it’s time to wind down. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, practicing gentle stretches, or engaging in relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.


Developing Healthy Sleep Habits

Maintain a consistent sleep-wake schedule: Stick to a regular sleep and wake-up time, even on weekends, to regulate your body’s internal clock.

Manage exposure to blue light: Limit the use of electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers at least an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can suppress melatonin production and disrupt sleep.

Avoid stimulants close to bedtime: Caffeine, nicotine, and large meals can interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep.

Exercise and sleep: Regular physical activity during the day can promote better sleep at night, but avoid intense workouts close to bedtime.

Limit naps: While short power naps can be beneficial, long or frequent naps can disrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Avoid sleep disruptors: Consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine close to bedtime can negatively impact sleep quality.

Addressing Sleep Difficulties

If you’re struggling with insomnia, try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization. Establish a calming pre-bed routine and create a sleep-friendly environment.


If you suspect you may have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Benefits of Good Sleep Hygiene

Prioritizing good sleep hygiene can have numerous benefits:

Improved focus and productivity: Adequate sleep enhances cognitive function, concentration, and productivity.

Better mood and emotional well-being: Sufficient sleep can improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety levels, and promote emotional stability.

Reduced risk of health issues: Quality sleep is linked to a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic health conditions.

Establishing healthy sleep habits through good sleep hygiene is essential for well-being. By creating a sleep-friendly environment, developing consistent routines, and addressing any sleep difficulties, you can improve the quality of your sleep and reap the numerous benefits it offers. Make sleep a priority and prioritize your sleep hygiene for a healthier, more energized life.

Additional Resources

  • “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker – a comprehensive book on the science of sleep and its impact on health.
  • The National Sleep Foundation website ( – a reliable source for sleep information and resources.
  • Sleep tracking apps like Sleep Cycle or Pillow can help monitor your sleep patterns and provide insights for improving your sleep hygiene.


Remember, consistency is key when it comes to establishing healthy sleep habits. With dedication and patience, you can achieve the restful, rejuvenating sleep you deserve.

Don’t Let Sleep Issues Persist – Contact the Professionals!

If you’re struggling with persistent sleep issues or suspect you may have an underlying sleep disorder, it’s crucial to seek professional help. Dr. Michael Simmons at the Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders (818-300-0070) specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of sleep-related conditions. Don’t let poor sleep continue to impact your health and well-being – take the first step towards better sleep today.

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The Stages of Sleep Explained

The Stages of Sleep Explained – What Happens During REM and Non-REM Sleep

Sleep is vital for our health, cognitive function, and overall well-being. Yet many people don’t fully understand the different stages of sleep and what happens during each stage. In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of the various stages of sleep and the characteristics of REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep.

The Stages of Sleep

There are two main types of sleep: non-REM and REM sleep. Non-REM sleep progresses through three different stages:


Stage 1: This is light sleep where you are easily woken up. Your muscles relax, your heartbeat slows, and brain activity begins to slow.


Stage 2: This is deeper sleep with increased brain wave activity. You become disengaged from your surroundings. This stage accounts for about half of the total sleep time.


Stage 3: This is the deepest stage of non-REM sleep. It’s harder to wake someone up during this restorative stage. Muscles are relaxed, blood pressure drops, and breathing slows.


After deep non-REM sleep, we enter REM sleep where dreaming occurs due to increased brain activity.


REM Sleep

REM sleep first occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep. Your brain activity increases during REM, similar to when you’re awake. Your eyes move rapidly behind closed eyelids. As brain activity increases, you start to dream vividly. The body becomes immobile and relaxed, with muscles inactive to prevent acting out dreams.


REM sleep is crucial for memory consolidation and learning. The increased brain activity transfers and processes memories from short-term to long-term storage.


Non-REM Sleep

Non-REM sleep makes up about 75 percent of total sleep time. Stages 3 and 4, the deep stages, are most important for physical recovery. Your immune system functions most actively during deep sleep, working to heal and protect the body.


Growth and tissue repair also occur predominantly during deep non-REM sleep. The body releases hormones that restore muscles and tissues. Overall, non-REM sleep is vital for your body’s rejuvenation.

The Sleep Cycle

We cycle between non-REM and REM sleep several times throughout the night. Each complete sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes. Most people experience four to six sleep cycles per night. Quality sleep means spending sufficient time in both deep non-REM and active REM sleep.


Getting adequate deep non-REM and REM sleep is vital for learning, memory retention, overall health, and well-being. Understanding the different stages of sleep gives us insight into how sleep works and why it’s so important for optimal rest. Pay attention to your sleep needs and aim to get enough deep and REM sleep every night.


Expert Care for Your Sleep Needs

If you’re having trouble sleeping or want to learn more about improving your sleep quality, be sure to contact us. Dr. Simmons can provide customized advice and effective treatment plans to help you get the restful sleep your body and mind need. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Simmons by calling (818) 300-0070. Investing in your sleep health is one of the best things you can do for your overall well-being. Dr. Simmons looks forward to helping you achieve restful, rejuvenating nights and increased energy during the day.

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How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Stop Guessing, Start Assessing

We’ve all heard the ubiquitous advice to get eight hours of sleep per night. But is this golden number optimal for everyone? Sleep requirements vary based on age, lifestyle, and health status. While we may envy people who thrive on just four to five hours of shut-eye, that little sleep leaves most of us feeling sluggish. 

On the flip side, oversleeping can also leave you feeling groggy. Understanding the sleep duration best for you allows you to gain the full benefits of restorative rest. You may be surprised to know how much sleep you truly need.

Our Daily Sleep Requirements

Many operate on too little sleep, thinking we can get by on power naps and caffeine. However, quality nighttime sleep has distinct benefits that cannot be achieved through sporadic daytime snoozing. Adults require seven to nine consecutive hours per night to wake up feeling refreshed. Getting this amount allows your body to complete full sleep cycles, consolidating memories, regulating appetite, and more.

Sleep requirements change across different life stages. Here is an optimal sleep duration breakdown:

Children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours

Teens (14-17 years): 8-10 hours

Adults (18-64 years): 7-9 hours

Elderly (65+ years): 7-8 hours


Your sleep needs can also vary if you have a particularly active lifestyle. For example, pro athletes may require upwards of 10 hours nightly. If you don’t exercise regularly, are overweight, or have underlying conditions, your sleep needs may shift downwards. Pay attention to your energy levels – if you rely on an alarm clock to wake up or require long naps, chances are you need some more shut-eye.

Effects of Too Little Sleep

Getting optimal sleep provides myriad health benefits, while too little sleep can negatively impact both physical and mental health:


Better sleep strengthens immunity, reduces inflammation, lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease, and aids weight control. Poor sleep does the opposite, elevating disease risk.


Quality sleep consolidates learning and memories, helps creative problem-solving, and regulates emotional reactivity. Skimping on sleep dulls mental performance while increasing the risk of anxiety and depression.

As you can see, those 8 hours may be a decent benchmark, but don’t assume it applies perfectly to you. Take stock of how you feel after different amounts of sleep. Are you productive, mentally sharp, and emotionally balanced on your current schedule? If not, take steps like limiting blue light exposure, avoiding caffeine late in the day, and establishing a soothing pre-bed routine. Optimizing your sleep just might optimize your waking life.

Improve Your Sleep Hygiene


Now that you know how much sleep you should aim for, it’s time to ensure you’re setting yourself up for high-quality slumber. Follow these sleep hygiene best practices:


Stick to a schedule – Try to go to bed and wake up at consistent times, even on weekends. This regulates your circadian rhythm for better nighttime rest.

Limit blue light exposure – Avoid screens for one to two hours before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can prevent drowsiness.

Develop a calming routine – Activities like light stretches, meditation, or reading before bed signal your body that it’s time for shuteye.

Evaluate your environment – Ensure your sleep space is cool, dark, and quiet. Consider blackout curtains, a white noise machine, or a weighted blanket.

  • Pay attention to what you consume – Limit caffeine past the early afternoon. Avoid heavy meals and alcohol before bed, which can negatively impact sleep quality.


Incorporating positive sleep hygiene habits makes it easier to drift off into a peaceful slumber and reach optimal sleep duration. Setting yourself up for success can lead to benefits in energy, mood, and health.


Wake Up Refreshed! Schedule Your Sleep Assessment

Are you struggling with sleep issues or think you may have sleep apnea? The Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has the answers and treatments you need. Call (818) 300-0070 or visit their website to schedule your initial consultation. The compassionate team of sleep medicine doctors and researchers at Encino Center can conduct comprehensive assessments, provide accurate diagnoses, and work with you to implement tailored treatment plans that finally alleviate your sleep struggles. 


Call today to make an appointment with knowledgeable professionals dedicated to resolving your sleep health challenges and restoring the restorative slumber you need to thrive in life. With evidence-based care from trusted experts, the Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders is your one-stop destination for a vibrant future.

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The Connection Between Sleep and Memory: How Sleep Affects Learning and Memory

The Connection Between Sleep and Memory: How Sleep Affects Learning and Memory

Stop Forgetting Things — Get More Sleep

We all know that sleep is important, but you may be surprised at just how critical adequate sleep is for learning and memory. Research has shown that sleep plays an active role in solidifying and consolidating memories in the brain as well as helping us learn new information.

Sleep Helps Lock In Memories

During sleep, the brain reviews information and experiences from the day. Important connections and pathways between brain cells are strengthened, while unused connections fade away. This helps lock in memories as well as get rid of irrelevant information. Sleep helps the brain archive memories and knowledge into efficient storage systems so that the brain can better access them later.

Different Sleep Stages Impact Learning

Several sleep stages play a role in memory and learning. During slow-wave NREM sleep early in the night, memories and information from the day are transferred from short-term storage in the hippocampus to longer-term storage within the cortex. Late-night REM sleep is also believed to be important for integrating procedural and spatial memories.

sleep and memory

Lack of Sleep Impairs Memory

Lack of sleep negatively impacts learning abilities and memory in both the short and long term. Cutting back on just one night of sleep can make it more difficult to focus and learn effectively the next day. Chronic short-term sleep deprivation impairs attention, working memory, mood, and quantitative skills while increasing impulsiveness and memory lapses.

Chronic Sleep Loss Cripples Memory

Long-term chronic sleep deprivation has even more significant effects on learning and memory. An ongoing lack of sleep slows working memory capabilities and makes it more difficult to commit information to long-term memory storage. Sleep-deprived individuals often struggle with remembering facts, names, numbers, or experiences. Chronic sleep deprivation essentially cripples your brain’s ability to learn and remember information.

Adequate Sleep Improves Memory Consolidation

Research has also shown that adequate sleep before learning something new leads to better memory recall. Information and abilities are better cemented when following a night of sufficient rest. Even short naps can help boost alertness and ability to focus as well as memory consolidation.


Overall, science makes it clear that adequate nightly sleep is essential for proper memory formation and learning capacity. Skipping out on needed rest impacts how well you can gain new skills or knowledge. Prioritizing sufficient shut-eye will better equip you for effective learning while awake. Getting on track with a consistent seven to nine-hour sleep routine can vastly improve memory, productivity, and brainpower over time.

Snooze More, Forget Less

Don’t let exhaustion stand in the way of reaching your learning and memory storage potential anymore. Take charge by contacting Encino, CA, sleep specialist Dr. Simmons. Dr. Simmons offers personalized sleep treatments tailored specifically to improve memory and learning ability. Simply call (818) 300-0070 to schedule a consultation with his knowledgeable team. 


Regain your confidence in recall ability and Excel at learning new skills again through quality, restorative sleep overseen by Dr. Simmons’ experienced practice. You owe it to yourself to make that call today!

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Sleep and Aging: How Sleep Needs Change as We Get Older

Sleep and Aging: How Sleep Needs Change as We Get Older

As we age, our sleep patterns and needs often change. Getting enough high-quality sleep is important at any age, but seniors may need to make adjustments to their sleep habits and routines to continue getting the rest they require. 

Total Sleep Time

Total sleep time refers to the total amount of time we spend asleep in 24 hours. As we age, the amount of sleep we need generally decreases. Newborns may sleep up to 16-18 hours per day, while teens need around 9 hours on average. Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per night. After age 60, nightly sleep often decreases to 6-8 hours. While individual sleep needs vary, getting 7-8 hours per night is still recommended for most older adults.


Sleep Stages

The different stages of sleep also change with age. As we get older, we usually spend less time in deep, slow-wave sleep and more time in lighter stages of sleep. Slow wave or “deep” sleep is restorative and helps us feel refreshed the next day. Seniors may get less deep sleep but tend to need the same amount of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep associated with dreaming. Disruptions to REM sleep can lead to daytime drowsiness.

Sleep Quality

Even if seniors spend enough time asleep at night, sleep quality often declines with age. Older adults are more prone to conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea, which can fragment sleep. Nighttime awakenings to use the bathroom also become more common. Due to these issues, seniors often report feeling less rested after a night’s sleep compared to younger adults who get the same amount of time sleep. Focusing on improving sleep quality is important.

Circadian Rhythms

Our circadian rhythms regulate feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness during the day. As we age, circadian rhythms often shift, making seniors feel sleepier earlier at night and wake up earlier in the morning. Exposure to natural daylight upon waking helps strengthen circadian rhythms. Avoid screen time before bed, establish a regular sleep-wake schedule, and make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool at night.

Health Issues

Various health issues associated with aging can also impact sleep. Conditions like arthritis, back pain, respiratory issues, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and frequent nighttime urination make sleep more difficult. Check with your doctor if you experience new or worsening sleep problems. Treatment of underlying health issues may improve sleep.

Tips for Better Sleep

To get the quality sleep you need as an older adult:


  • Follow a consistent sleep-wake schedule
  • Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes
  • Make sure your bedding is comfortable
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool
  • Avoid alcohol, heavy meals, and screen time before bed
  • Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of sleep disorders


Getting enough deep, restorative sleep is important at any age. Pay attention to your own sleep needs and patterns, and take steps to improve sleep quality if you are having difficulties. With some adjustments to sleep habits and lifestyle, seniors can continue to enjoy the benefits of healthy sleep.


Sleep Apnea Treatment in Encino, CA

Are you or your loved one suffering from sleep apnea? Get the treatment you need with Dr. John Simmons at his Encino, CA office. Dr. Simmons is a board-certified sleep medicine specialist with over 15 years of experience treating sleep disorders. His state-of-the-art facility in Encino offers the latest sleep apnea therapies to help you sleep better and live healthier. 


Call (818) 300-0070 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Simmons. His office is conveniently located in Encino, so you can get expert care close to home. Don’t put off addressing your sleep apnea – call now to learn how Dr. Simmons can help you breathe easier at night!

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Is Napping Beneficial?

benefits of nnapping

How a Quick Nap Can Boost Your Productivity

In our go-go-go society, napping may seem like a waste of time that could be better spent working or being productive. However, research has shown that taking a brief nap can help boost productivity and performance. Taking a nap during the day, particularly a short nap of 10 to 20 minutes, can provide several benefits related to improved productivity, alertness, memory, and more.

If you’re struggling with sleep, Dr. Simmons of Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders offers insight and treatment. Call (818) 300-0070 to set up your consultation at our Encino, CA office.

The Benefits of Napping

Naps Improve Alertness and Performance

One of the biggest and most immediate benefits of napping is improved alertness and performance. When you’re feeling drowsy or fatigued during the day, your concentration, reaction time, ability to problem solve, and overall cognitive functioning are impaired. Taking a short 10 to 20-minute power nap can restore wakefulness and get you back to feeling refreshed and alert. Studies have found improvements in alertness and performance for up to 3 hours post-nap. 


So if you’re struggling to focus or feeling sluggish, a brief nap may be just what you need to get back on track.

Naps Boost Memory

Napping doesn’t just help in the moment. It also provides memory benefits that extend beyond the period of improved alertness. Research has shown that napping helps consolidate and enhance memory. During sleep, our brains go through processes that strengthen synaptic connections and consolidate information into long-term memory storage. Catching some midday shut-eye allows your brain to more firmly cement things you recently learned or experienced into your memory banks.

Stress Reduction 

Taking naps is also shown to help reduce stress. During sleep, cortisol levels decrease, helping you feel more relaxed when you wake up. Napping can create a kind of relaxation reset during the day, leaving you feeling less tense and anxious. Research suggests that napping may even help reduce the risk of heart disease likely linked to these stress-reducing, cortisol-lowering benefits.

Better Overall Health

The relaxation benefits of napping are one way they support overall health. However, studies have also found links between regular napping and a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health issues. One reason may be that inflammation decreases during sleep. Less inflammation means reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. The memory consolidation that occurs during naps may also help prevent age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.

Enhanced Nightime Sleep Quality

If you struggle with insomnia or poor sleep at night, daytime napping may be able to help. Making sure you don’t nap too long or late in the day is key. However, research suggests that short midday naps can lead to increased slow-wave sleep at night. Slow-wave sleep is the deepest, most restorative part of our sleep cycle, so more of this high-quality sleep at night can make a big impact.

The Right Nap Length

To get the benefits of napping without feeling groggy afterward, the ideal nap length is 10 to 20 minutes. Very short power naps of even just 5 to 10 minutes can boost alertness, while longer naps of 30 minutes or more tend to make people feel sluggish upon waking. To wake up refreshed after your nap, set an alarm so you don’t oversleep. Then get up as soon as you wake up to avoid falling into a deeper sleep that will make you feel groggier.


Napping may seem counterproductive, but research shows it helps sharpen focus, consolidate memories, and boost alertness so you can get back to work feeling recharged.

Tired of Feeling Tired? Schedule an Appointment in Encino, CA

If you’re struggling with daytime fatigue or sleep issues that are impacting your productivity, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Simmons at the Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders today. Dr. Simmons can provide an evaluation to get to the root of your sleep troubles. He will work with you to determine if disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, or restless leg syndrome are the culprit, and provide effective treatment plans tailored to your needs. 


Get the restful sleep you need to perform at your best by calling (818) 300-0070 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Simmons at the Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders today.

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The Role of Exercise in Promoting Better Sleep Quality

The Role of Exercise in Promoting Better Sleep Quality

exercise and sleep

Too Tired to Sleep? How Exercising More Can Improve Your Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for both physical and mental well-being. However, many individuals have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep through the night, or feeling restored after a full night’s rest. Engaging in regular exercise may be one solution for improving sleep quality. Whether you struggle with insomnia, feel drowsy during the day, or simply want to improve your sleep hygiene, adding physical activity into your daily routine can help you fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly, and wake up feeling refreshed.

The Role of Exercise in Promoting Better Sleep Quality

Getting enough high-quality sleep is crucial for both physical and mental health. However, many people struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or feel rested after a full night’s sleep. Exercise may be one solution for improving sleep.

How Exercise Promotes Sleep

Exercise has been scientifically proven to help people fall asleep faster, enjoy more restful sleep, and feel more alert during the day. There are a few key ways that exercise promotes better shut-eye:

Reduces Stress and Anxiety – Exercise decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol and helps manage anxiety. Lower stress leads to less nighttime tossing and turning.

Regulates Circadian Rhythm – Our natural circadian rhythm controls our sleep/wake cycle. Exercise helps align this 24-hour cycle so we feel sleepy at bedtime.

Raises Body Temperature – Vigorous late-day exercise temporarily raises body temperature, which precipitates cooling down. This temperature drop triggers sleepy feelings.

Induces Deeper Sleep – Tiring out the body through exercise leads to more time spent in slow-wave and REM sleep, when the body is truly at rest.

Best Types of Exercise for Sleep

Certain forms of exercise are particularly powerful when it comes to enhancing sleep:

  • Yoga – Gentle evening yoga relaxes the body and mind before bed. Inverted poses boost circulation.
  • Aerobic – Get the heart pumping with jogging, swimming, cycling, or similar cardio early in the day.
  • Resistance Training – Lifting weights triggers the release of sleep hormones like growth hormones.
  • Walking – Low-intensity walking in the evenings helps regulate the circadian rhythm.
  • Tai Chi – This mind-body practice reduces stress and relaxes muscles when done before bedtime.

Tips for Exercising for Better Sleep

Follow these tips to maximize the sleep-promoting benefits of exercise:

  • Exercise daily for 20-30 minutes minimum, building up to higher intensity and duration. Consistency is key.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise within 2-3 hours of bedtime, as it may overstimulate.
  • Ease exertion as the evening approaches, by doing lighter activities like yoga or walking.
  • Hydrate well during and after exercise to prevent disruptive nighttime bathroom trips.
  • Don’t exercise right before bed, as the post-workout adrenaline surge can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Allow the body to cool down before laying down to sleep.


Improving sleep through daily exercise has cascading positive effects on health, energy, mood, and concentration. Just be mindful of timing and intensity when working out close to bedtime. Consult Encino, CA sleep specialist before starting any new exercise regimen

Insomnia Frustrating You? We Have Solutions

Struggling to get a good night’s sleep? You don’t have to deal with restless nights and drowsy days alone. At Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we understand the frustrations of insomnia and are here to help get your sleep schedule back on track. Our team of seasoned sleep dentists can work with you to develop a customized treatment plan involving targeted exercise regimens and other proven sleep-promoting therapies.


 Take the first step and call (818) 300-0070 to schedule a consultation. We are committed to your sleep health and restoring the restorative rest you need to function at your best. Don’t wait another restless night – with our integrative approach focused on exercise and other lifestyle changes, you can achieve transformative improvements in your sleep.

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Dreamland Delayed: How Gadgets Leave You Bleary-Eyed at Bedtime

Sleep and Technology

Dreamland Delayed: How Gadgets Leave You Bleary-Eyed at Bedtime

It’s no secret our growing screen time is having adverse effects on our health, and one central area being impacted is our sleep. Strong correlations between increased device use before bed and poorer quality and quantity of sleep. This issue is quite prevalent right now in places like Encino, CA, where technology use is high. Dr. Simmons often talks with patients about mitigating tech’s effects on sleep.

What Is Blue Light?

The blue light emitted from phones, tablets, computers, and TVs is a critical culprit in sleep disruption. This light inhibits the release of melatonin, our sleep hormone, tricking our brains into feeling more awake. Teens in Encino, CA tend to be on screens late into the night, leading to chronic sleep deprivation. Dr. Simmons sees many groggy adolescent patients and counsels them on improving sleep hygiene.

How Does Blue Light Affect Sleep?

Besides blue light’s effects, the mental stimulation from screens also makes it harder for our minds to unwind at night. Whether you’re finishing up work emails or getting sucked into a social media scroll session, having your brain engaged right before bed is detrimental to falling and staying asleep. Dr. Simmons recommends calming pre-sleep activities like reading a book, taking a bath, or trying meditation.


What’s more, notifications from our devices can disrupt our sleep by causing micro-awakenings. Even if you don’t fully wake up, these brief arousals fragment your sleep, reducing its restorative benefits. Families should consider turning off WiFi at night or setting all devices to silent mode before bed. For patients having sleep issues, Dr. Simmons suggests leaving phones out of the bedroom entirely.

What is Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation can accumulate and seriously impact health, well-being, and performance. Daytime drowsiness makes it hard for patients to focus at work and often increases the risk of accidents. There are also impacts on mood, immune function, and heart health over time. Dr. Simmons sees lack of sleep exacerbating many medical conditions.

How Do I Get Better Sleep?

The good news is making some adjustments can go a long way in preserving precious sleep. Experts recommend avoiding screens for at least an hour before bedtime. Dimming the lights in your Encino, CA home at night helps cue melatonin release as well. Dr. Simmons advises patients to establish a consistent, relaxing pre-bed routine. Getting organized and tackling worries earlier in the day can prevent mental stimulation from spilling over into sleep time too.

Take These Simple Steps to Achieve Better Sleep

If you or a loved one in Encino, CA has been struggling with poor sleep, don’t wait to take action. Lack of sleep can seriously deteriorate your health and quality of life over time. 

At Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, your sleep health is their top priority. Their sole mission is to help patients achieve restful nights and improved well-being. If you’re tired of tossing and turning, call Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders today at (818) 300-0070 and reclaim the benefits of a good night’s sleep. The time for better sleep is now!

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The Benefits of Meditation and Yoga for Better Sleep

Yoga helping ADHD

Unwind and Unplug: The Secrets of Meditation and Yoga for Blissful Sleep

In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, many people find it challenging to get a good night’s sleep. Stress, anxiety, and an overactive mind can all contribute to restless nights and groggy mornings. If you’re tired of tossing and turning, and longing for a deep, rejuvenating sleep, incorporating meditation and yoga into your routine might be the solution you’ve been searching for. These practices offer numerous benefits that can help you achieve better sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Meditation and yoga are renowned for their ability to calm the mind and relax the body. By focusing on your breath and being present at the moment, you can reduce stress and anxiety levels significantly. This helps quiet the mind’s racing thoughts and worries, creating a more serene mental state conducive to sleep.

Enhancing Relaxation and Mindfulness

Both meditation and yoga promote relaxation and mindfulness, which are essential for restful sleep. Regular practice trains your mind to stay present and avoid dwelling on past regrets or future worries. By cultivating a sense of peace and tranquility, you can create the ideal mental environment for falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.

Balancing Hormones and Circadian Rhythms

Sleep is influenced by various hormones and your body’s natural circadian rhythms. Meditation and yoga can help regulate these processes. Certain yoga poses, such as forward bends or inversions, stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers the relaxation response and supports hormone balance. Meditation, on the other hand, promotes the release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. By harmonizing these vital physiological functions, you can establish a healthier sleep pattern.

Relieving Physical Tension and Discomfort

Physical tension and discomfort can disrupt sleep and make it difficult to find a comfortable position. Yoga incorporates gentle stretching, poses, and movements that help release muscle tension and improve flexibility. By practicing yoga regularly, you can alleviate pain, relax your body, and prepare it for deep and restful sleep.

Improving Sleep Quality and Duration

One of the most significant benefits of incorporating meditation and yoga into your routine is the improvement in sleep quality and duration. Studies have shown that these practices can increase the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of well-being and relaxation. This, in turn, helps regulate sleep patterns and enhance sleep quality, leading to a more refreshing, rejuvenating slumber.

Developing a Bedtime Ritual

Establishing a bedtime ritual is essential for signaling your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Meditation and yoga can be integral parts of this ritual. Engaging in a brief meditation session or a gentle yoga practice before bed can create a calming routine that prepares your mind and body for rest. Consistency is key, so make an effort to practice regularly to reap the full benefits.

Enhancing Overall Well-being

Meditation and yoga offer a wide range of benefits beyond better sleep. Regular practice can reduce blood pressure, boost immune function, improve mood, and increase self-awareness. By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you’ll experience an overall improvement in your well-being, leading to a more balanced and fulfilled existence.

From Tossing to Tranquil

If you’re struggling with sleep issues and looking for professional help, it’s essential to consult a sleep dentist who specializes in addressing sleep disorders. Don’t let restless nights affect your overall health and well-being. Take a proactive step towards better sleep by reaching out to our team of experts. Call us today at (818) 300-0070 to schedule a consultation and discover how our sleep dentistry services can help you achieve the peaceful and refreshing sleep you deserve. Don’t wait any longer — take control of your sleep health now.

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