Why You Might Want to Use CBD for Sleep — and How to Do Just That

By Dominique Michelle Astorino Jan 24, 2022

“Sleep quantity is as important as sleep quality,” says Alex Dimitriu, M.D., double board-certified psychiatrist and sleep medicine physician and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine. And while many substances (looking at you, wine) might help you feel sleepy, they can actually reduce your deep and REM sleep — two stages of sleep that are particularly beneficial to your brain and body’s overall wellbeing. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with CBD. “Some recent research has suggested that CBD may be beneficial to sleep, without negatively impacting sleep architecture [aka what determines the quality and restorative ability of sleep],” according to Dr. Dimitriu.

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The biggest interiors trend of 2022 could be stopping you from getting a good night’s sleep – here’s why

By Millie Hurst, Jan 23, 2022

In a similar vein, a 2021 study by cpap.com revealed self-confessed messy people got more sleep than tidy people, but that tidier people enjoyed a higher quality of sleep. Clean people were twice as likely to report being happy with their sleep. Dr Alex Dimitriu sleep expert and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine adds that there is ‘some evidence that clutter (as well as the procrastination that can lead to clutter) leads to elevated stress hormones, and reduced overall life satisfaction.  ‘Neither the annoyance with clutter, nor the elevated stress hormones it can cause, are good for sleep,’ Dr Dimitriu says. But cluttercore-inspired interior design ideas and just being messy and disorganized are two very, very separate things. 

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What’s the best antidepressant for me?

By Sarah Bradley,  Jan. 20, 2022

While any SSRI or SNRI can cause discontinuation syndrome, the SNRI Effexor (venlafaxine) can be one of the trickiest to wean off, says psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist Alex Dimitriu, MD, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine. “Venlafaxine is an excellent medication, but missed doses can give people ‘brain zaps’ and quick feelings of vertigo, which I’ve called ‘vestibular jitters,’” Dr. Dimitriu explains. “These go away, fortunately, but it can make it hard to stop venlafaxine in particular.” 

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What Does It Mean When You Talk in Your Sleep?

By Haley Goldberg and Sara Lindberg, December 29, 2021

At one time, it was considered a disorder, but sleep talking is now seen as more of a sleep quirk, which sometimes can be associated with sleep disturbances, psychiatrist and sleep specialist Alex Dimitriu, M.D., founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine, tells SELF. In fact, Dr. Dimitriu says talking in your sleep is most often harmless and happens once or twice in a person’s life.

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Tips for Handling the Most Toxic People in Your Life (Who You Can’t Just Cut Out)

by Elizabeth Yuko, DEC 20, 2021

And Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a psychiatrist, tells SheKnows that what makes a person toxic is when they intrude on the lives of those around them, noting that “while it may be OK to be a reclusive curmudgeon or an isolated, anxious person, toxicity emerges when these people’s moods try to spread to those around them.”

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10 Most Damaging Things Parents Say To Children Of Divorce

By Jeremy Brown, 12/19/2021

Avoid white lies or evasive answers to questions. Offer your kids the truth in an honest and age-appropriate manner. “Kids need to know they live in a predictable universe that they can understand and predict to some degree,” says psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist Dr. Alex Dimitriu. “A parent moving out of the home, along with a divorce, will require some explanation. Otherwise, a child may think the world is unpredictable. Both parents should agree on a gentle version of the truth, which can help a child navigate a very big change.”

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Can Trauma Cause Schizophrenia?

by Morgan Mandriota on December 14, 2021

“Schizophrenia, like most things in psychiatry, adheres to a stress-diathesis model,” explains Dr. Alex Dimitriu, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in California. “What this means is that some people have a predisposition for psychosis, which can be triggered by a life stressor. “At minimum, schizophrenia is related to an excessive amount of dopamine in certain parts of the brain,” he adds. “And anything that gets dopamine levels up — too much coffee, lack of sleep, stress, and especially a trauma — can push people to become symptomatic, especially those who have a genetic predisposition.”

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Can Anxiety Cause You to Have Bad Dreams? We Asked Experts

by Sydni Ellis, December 13, 2021

You’re not imagining it — the experts we spoke with overwhelmingly agreed that anxiety can contribute to bad dreams. “Anxious thoughts while someone is asleep can manifest themselves as bad dreams or stress dreams,” Alex Dimitriu, MD, a double board-certified physician in psychiatry and sleep medicine and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine, told POPSUGAR. “Stress dreams, such as missing an important event, a test, or a flight, are often quite common in people undergoing stress during their daily lives. In turn, this mental activity can also activate the body and result in a lighter, more fitful sleep.”

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What Are the Types of Narcolepsy? Sleep Experts Explain the Differing Presentations of This Sleep Disorder

By Sarah Fielding December 07, 2021

The following day, a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) monitors people as they take naps. It records how long a person takes to fall asleep and when they enter REM sleep, says Alex Dimitriu, MD, double board-certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine. Doctors can also use hypocretin-1 levels to help confirm narcolepsy by “measuring levels of hypocretin or orexin in the cerebrospinal fluid. This is often done using a spinal tap,” Dr. Dimitriu tells Health. Hypocretin levels of less than 110 picrograms per milliliter “are often diagnostic of” narcolepsy type 1, he adds.

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Which Sleep Secrets Actually Work? A Doctor Weighs In

By Jess Sims, NOV 24, 2021

Our body uses a process called thermoregulation (the ability to internally regulate temperature for comfort and survival) to help us get the best sleep possible. “The more we can cool off in our sleep, the deeper and more restorative sleep we get,” says Dr. Dimitriu.

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What Causes Insomnia? 8 Reasons You Can’t Sleep at Night

By Lauren Krouse, Nov 19, 2021

“Anyone that consistently gets less than six hours of sleep per night or experiences significant next-day symptoms of fatigue, low mood, or sleepiness, should consider speaking with a doctor,” says Dr. Dimitriu. 

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What It Means When You Dream About Being In Power

By Camila Barbeito, Nov. 18, 2021

As psychiatrist Alex Dimitriu, MD explained to Insider, “There is evidence that dreams are the mind’s form of self-therapy.” He continued, “We form memories, process experiences, as well as feelings when we sleep.” So, the dream about having a conversation with a cow who was also somehow your real-life dog may be weird, but is just a way your mind is trying to make sense of your day-to-day.

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How They Work: Dual orexin receptor antagonists for insomnia

Written by Heather Grey on November 17, 2021

“Anyone with insomnia should start with good sleep hygiene, regular bed and wake times, technology off 1 hour before sleep, and a cool dark bedroom,” Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a psychiatrist, sleep medicine specialist, and the founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in California told MNT. “When insomnia persists despite efforts to improve sleep hygiene, it may be worth considering a sleep aid along with ongoing behavioral interventions.”

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How To Nap Like a Pro

By Carina Woudenberg, Nov 13, 2021

When it comes to the question of whether to nap even if you’re not feeling tired, Dimitriu — who specializes in both psychiatry and sleep medicine — says studies are mixed. “Napping definitely helps habitual nappers with respect to mood, alertness and cognitive processing,” he says. “However, other studies have shown no performance improvement for either habitual or non-habitual nappers. The reality is you have to listen to your body.”

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How long should I nap? Why 20 to 30 minutes is best, and longer naps can leave you more tired

By Mary Sauer, November 11, 2021

“A short nap of 20 to 30 minutes can often be a healthy alternative to drinking more coffee,” says Alex Dimitriu, MD, a psychiatrist and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine. In fact, getting about 30 minutes of sleep can put you in a better mood and improve your memory. According to Dimitriu, napping for this short amount of time will also improve symptoms of fatigue such as irritability, low motivation, and sleepiness. 

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