Basic information for topics, such as “What is it?” and “How many people are affected?” is available in the Condition Information section. In addition, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that are specific to a certain topic are answered in this section.
Circadian rhythms are disrupted when people travel from one time zone to another. The feeling that you experience when your circadian rhythms (biological cycles) are disrupted is called "jet lag." The reason for jet lag is the change in time zones. For example, in traveling from California to New York, you will "lose" 3 hours according to your body's biological clock. When you are in New York and your alarm rings at 8:00 a.m., you will feel tired and groggy because your body is still on California time, which would be 5:00 a.m. It will take your body a few days to adjust to the new time zone, but the adjustment will eventually take place.1 After a couple of days, you will find that 8:00 a.m. feels like the correct time to wake up if that is part of your normal schedule and you have had adequate sleep.
Some studies have shown that supplements of melatonin, a natural hormone that is produced by the body and sold as a treatment for insomnia, can help in treating jet lag. This supplement has been especially effective for people crossing five or more time zones and for those traveling east. However, additional studies are needed to test the safety and effectiveness of melatonin for insomnia and jet lag; few studies are available, and it has not been tested for long-term use.2 Before you take any kind of supplement, be sure to check with your health care provider.
Sleep experts recommend that you try several approaches if you have trouble falling asleep:3
SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than 1 year old. It is the leading cause of death in children between 1 month and 1 year of age.
Health care providers don't know what exactly causes SIDS, but they do know certain things can help reduce the risk of SIDS:
To learn more about safe sleep environments and reducing the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death, check out the NICHD publication What does a safe sleep environment look like? (PDF - 270 KB)
The Safe to Sleep® campaign (formerly the Back to Sleep campaign) started in 1994 as a way to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about the methods for reducing the risk of SIDS and is a good resource for additional information.
The campaign was named for its recommendation to place healthy infants on their backs to sleep. Placing infants on their backs to sleep reduces the risk for SIDS. This campaign has been successful in promoting infant back sleeping and other risk-reduction strategies to parents, family members, child care providers, health professionals, and all other caregivers of infants.
This campaign is led by the NICHD in collaboration with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Reproductive Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, First Candle, and the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs.
Since the campaign started, communities have made great progress in reducing SIDS.
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