Tag Archive for sleep problems

Tossing and Turning? Sleep Deprivation and Your Health

There aren’t many people who are happy with their sleep: They get too little, they feel restless, they don’t wake up refreshed, they can’t stay asleep. In fact, most Americans admit to having erratic sleep patterns, especially through the work week. So what does sleep deprivation actually do to the body? And if we can’t add more hours to our sleep, how can we make the sleep we do get better? Top-Nursing-Programs.com shares their tips:

Sleep

 

Sleeping Beauty? 8 to 8.5 Hours of sleep per night adults generally require (1).  Are you getting enough?

1 in 3 Adults who have insomnia at some point in their lives (1)

43% of Americans ages 13-64 say they rarely or never get good sleep on weeknights.

60% admit to suffering some sleep problem every night (snoring, waking constantly, feeling groggy in the morning). (2)

15% of adults 19-64 say they sleep less than six hours on weeknights. (2)

The Science of Sleep

Our bodies experience two types of sleep on a nightly basis: NREM (non-rapid eye movement) and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Since sleeping is a cycle, NREM occurs as we first fall asleep, with REM following about 90 minutes after and recurring about every 90 minutes.

Stage 1: Light sleep, between sleep and wakefulness.

Stage 2: Onset of sleep, during which we become disengaged with surroundings. Breathing and heart rate are regulated and body temperature drops.

Stages 3 and 4: Breathing slows, muscles relax, tissue grows and repairs, energy is restored and hormones are released.

How Sleep Deprivation Affects the Body

Lack of sleep or insomnia can have multiple negative effects on the human body and mind. Here are some of the most common and dangerous problems.

  • Fatigue. It is estimated that fatigue due to sleeplessness is the cause of 100,000 car accidents every year.
  • Dulled cognitive processes. Sleep consolidates and affirms memories in your mind. Without it, people have a hard time retaining learned information from the day before.
  • Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. 90% of those with insomnia also have other health conditions.
  • Lack of sex drive. For men especially, lack of sleep can contribute to lower testosterone levels.
  • Depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, it was found that those with insomnia were five times more likely to develop depression.
  • Premature skin aging. The stress hormone cortisol is released in great amounts in those with insomnia. Cortisol can break down collagen in skin.
  • Weight gain. People who sleep less than six hours each day are 30% more likely to become obese than those who sleep seven to nine hours.

How to Sleep Better

Most of us could use help falling and staying asleep. Just a few daily changes could mean the difference between a restless night and a restful one. (4)

1. Set a regular bedtime and stick to it. Wake up at the same time every day; even on days off.

2. Test your neurotransmitters. Unblanced levels lead to sleep cycle issues.

3. If you really need to make up for lost sleep, opt for a short (30-minute) daytime nap. Don’t sleep in.

4. Fight after-dinner drowsiness by remaining active at home before bedtime.

5. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine late in the day.

6. Light sources suppress melatonin production. Try not to use a computer, TV, smartphone or tablet just before getting into bed. Consider orange tinted glasses to block the blue light, aiding in melatonin production.

Source: Top-Nursing-Programs.com

Sources:
1. http://deltasleeplabs.com
2. http://sleepfoundation.org
3. http://www.webmd.com
4. http://www.helpguide.org

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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What is Gluten and Why Shouldn’t I Eat it?

By Nikki Jackson-Drummond, CCN

Have you ever wondered what gluten intolerance is and why it has received so much attention recently?  Is this just a new fad from the health food industry or something to take notice of?  How do you find out if you or your child is gluten intolerant?

The answers to these questions might be surprising….

The Basics about Gluten

First, let’s be clear on the meaning of gluten intolerance.  It does not mean allergy.  Gluten intolerance is a physical condition in the gut.   It basically means that your body is not able to digest gluten proteins (from wheat and other grains).  Instead, the body begins to attack these undigested proteins as if they were a foreign invader, damaging the micro-villi that line the small intestine.  The lining becomes inflamed, which reduces the surface area available to absorb nutrients. 

Common symptoms of gluten intolerance:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Impulsivity and/or aggression in children
  • Poor Focus/ Poor Memory
  • Weight Gain or loss
  • Bloating and/or diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Joint pain
  • Eczema/Psoriasis
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Low Iron levels
  • Neurological disorders

It All Starts in the Gut

The severity of gluten intolerance may range from gluten sensitivity all the way up to full-blown celiac disease, a true “allergy” to gluten that is an inherited autoimmune disorder.  This is no fad.  In fact, many people are gluten sensitive or intolerant and have absolutely no idea.  In 2000, gluten intolerance was estimated in 1 out of 2500.  Today that statistic is an astounding 1 in 133! 

The misuse of words by the media has caused lots of confusion on this topic.   However, the differences are profound. 

Gluten Sensitivity Can be Fixed 

Put simply, if you test “sensitive” to gluten, take it out of the diet for at least 6 months.  The gut heals and gluten can gradually be re-introduced.  However, some folks may not be so lucky.  Removing the gluten and healing the gut can take care of the symptoms, but removing gluten from the diet must be permanent if there is a true intolerance. 

Why Are More People Gluten Intolerant Today?

Even over the last ten years, cases of gluten intolerance are on the rise.  There are several factors:

  • Dysbiosis:  Some people may not be able to digest gluten because they have gut dysbiosis, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.  Dysbiosis can occur from taking antibiotics (especially if used more than once every few years), or from eating foods you can’t digest.  For example:  feeding grains to infants before they can digest them can cause dysbiosis.  The overgrowth of “bad bacteria” along with the undigested fragments of gluten can trick their immune system into thinking the undigested food particles are from the bad bacteria. 
  • Genetics:  Some people may have the gene responsible for improper digestion of gluten, although it has not yet been identified. 
  • Food Quality:  We all know that food today is much more processed and genetically modified in many cases.  We also know that breads today are not made the same as they used to be.  In fact, the gluten proteins found in grains today are structurally different from the grains our ancestors used.  Scientists have recently discovered a peptide in gluten (which triggers the intolerance) that did not exist in ancestral grains. 


How Do I Get Tested?


Click here.  Gluten intolerance is identified with a simple blood test.  As a clinical nutritionist, this is one of the first tests I order when patients do not respond well to neurotransmitter balancing.  We’ll  send you a test kit and then go over the results to devise a diet that suits your body’s needs.  The lab I like to use for this testing will also test for 19 other common food sensitivities, 10 food additives, and 10 food colorings.  You’ll receive the following:

  • Food Intolerance Test kit
  • Results identifying both food intolerances AND food sensitivities
  • 50-page Guide to living with food sensitivities
  • Half-hour consultation with Clinical Nutritionist
  • Gut restoration protocol
  • Price:  $225

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