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More Questions and Answers About Sleep:

I have asthma, which was well controlled until I gained 20 pounds. Since the weight gain, I find myself waking up at night with asthma attacks and frequently reaching for my inhaler. My asthma used to occur primarily when I would exercise, so why am I now having attacks while I’m sleeping?

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Ask the Experts: Questions and Answers About Sleep

I frequently travel internationally for my work. Unfortunately, after returning back to Houston from a two-week trip, I have tremendous difficulty sleeping and it usually takes about a week before I return to sleeping normally and feeling like myself. I have heard of Jet Lag and I assume that is what I’m experiencing. Do you have any tips on how to cope with Jet Lag?


Yes, it is important to recognize that traveling east is completely different than traveling west. When traveling east, you lose hours and thus try to go to sleep before your brain is ready. When you travel west, you gain hours and your brain would like to go to sleep earlier than you typically would. It is usually harder to adjust when traveling east than west. If you have been away long enough to adjust to the time zone you have traveled to, then returning back to Houston can prove troublesome, particularly if it is more than two time zones away. To get back on track, recognize that your body will adjust by sleeping. However, the timing of your sleep is extremely important and should correspond to your regular bed time. If you are returning from the west, then you will probably get sleepy before your target bedtime. It’s advisable to stay active and prevent falling asleep too early. Stay up by walking, talking, or doing something to keep you stimulated. Sitting still can allow your sleepiness to take over. If you traveled east, your bed time will occur probably before you are sleepy. In this case, in order to synchronize your sleep schedule, you may require the use of a sleeping pill – I prescribe medications that are safe, non-addicting, and can be prescribed for this specific purpose of helping to overcome jet lag.



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