Tag Archives: sleep deprivation

Poor sleep habits related to dementia

I have written about the value of sleep for some years here. It along with walking are two of the most unappreciated aspects of living a healthy life. You can check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep? for more details.

I wanted to share the following video with you as it highlights another aspect of the value of a good night’s sleep.

Dr. Breus is a clinical psychologist, and is known for his expertise on sleep and health. He’s a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine,.

Poor sleep literally causes dementia. It’s one of the causes, and fixing it is one of the ways you can reverse dementia.

Dr. Breus explains exactly how lack of sleep affects your body and brain, and how disturbances in your sleep cycles can “turn on” the progression of dementia, and cause many other serious health problems too.

The good news is that you can avoid mental and physical disorders that poor sleep causes by following easy, at-home recommendations Dr. Breus will give you to cure sleep disorders and sleep peacefully all through the night.

Tony

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Beware of blue light at night – Harvard

Sleep, like walking, is one of the critical elements of good health very commonly not appreciated by the man on the street. I have a Page – How important is a good night’s sleep with a ton of information on it.

Here is some valuable info from the Harvard Health Letter on getting a good night’s sleep.

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Until the advent of artificial lighting, the sun was the major source of lighting, and people spent their evenings in (relative) darkness. Now, in much of the world, evenings are illuminated, and we take our easy access to all those lumens pretty much for granted.

But we may be paying a price for basking in all that light. At night, light throws the body’s biological clock—the circadian rhythm—out of whack. Sleep suffers. Worse, research shows that it may contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. (My emphasis)

But not all colors of light have the same effect. Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. And the proliferation of electronics with screens, as well as energy-efficient lighting, is increasing our exposure to blue wavelengths, especially after sundown.

Daily rhythms influenced by light

Everyone has slightly different circadian rhythms, but the average length is 24 and one-quarter hours. The circadian rhythm of people who stay up late is slightly longer, while the rhythms of earlier birds fall short of 24 hours. Dr. Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School showed, in 1981, that daylight keeps a person’s internal clock aligned with the environment.

The health risks of nighttime light

Study after study has linked working the night shift and exposure to light at night to several types of cancer (breast, prostate), diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It’s not exactly clear why nighttime light exposure seems to be so bad for us. But we do know that exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, and there’s some experimental evidence (it’s very preliminary) that lower melatonin levels might explain the association with cancer.

A Harvard study shed a little bit of light on the possible connection to diabetes and possibly obesity. The researchers put 10 people on a schedule that gradually shifted the timing of their circadian rhythms. Their blood sugar levels increased, throwing them into a prediabetic state, and levels of leptin, a hormone that leaves people feeling full after a meal, went down.

Even dim light can interfere with a person’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion. A mere eight lux—a level of brightness exceeded by most table lamps and about twice that of a night light—has an effect, notes Stephen Lockley, a Harvard sleep researcher. Light at night is part of the reason so many people don’t get enough sleep, says Lockley, and researchers have linked short sleep to increased risk for depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

The power of the blues

While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).

In another study of blue light, researchers at the University of Toronto compared the melatonin levels of people exposed to bright indoor light who were wearing blue-light–blocking goggles to people exposed to regular dim light without wearing goggles. The fact that the levels of the hormone were about the same in the two groups strengthens the hypothesis that blue light is a potent suppressor of melatonin. It also suggests that shift workers and night owls could perhaps protect themselves if they wore eyewear that blocks blue light. Inexpensive sunglasses with orange-tinted lenses block blue light, but they also block other colors, so they’re not suitable for use indoors at night. Glasses that block out only blue light can cost up to $80.

Less-blue light

If blue light does have adverse health effects, then environmental concerns, and the quest for energy-efficient lighting, could be at odds with personal health. Those curlicue compact fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights are much more energy-efficient than the old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs we grew up with. But they also tend to produce more blue light.

The physics of fluorescent lights can’t be changed, but coatings inside the bulbs can be so they produce a warmer, less blue light. LED lights are more efficient than fluorescent lights, but they also produce a fair amount of light in the blue spectrum. Richard Hansler, a light researcher at John Carroll University in Cleveland, notes that ordinary incandescent lights also produce some blue light, although less than most fluorescent lightbulbs.

What you can do

  • Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
  • Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.
  • If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night.
  • Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.When I work on my computer late at night, I always wear a pair of blue blocker sunglasses. You can buy them on Amazon for under $20. I have no problems getting to sleep.

    Tony

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Sleep Trackers Can Prompt Sleep Problems

I wrote just three days ago in my post on sleep mistakes, “Sleep is one of the truly under-appreciated aspects of living a long and healthy life….” So, I sympathize with anyone taking steps to improve their sleep. It turns out, however, that using some of the new devices can have a negative impact on your overnight rest. The following is from the Rush University Medical Center.

A 39-year-old man whom we’ll call Mr. R received a sleep-tracking device from his girlfriend. Since starting a new job several years earlier, he sometimes had trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Not surprisingly, the next day he’d feel tired, irritable and absentminded.

Sleeping

A man sleeping

Based on data generated by his girlfriend’s gift, Mr. R concluded those symptoms occurred only after he failed to get eight hours of sleep the night before. He set himself an ambitious goal: “to achieve,” as he later told a therapist, “at least eight hours of sleep every night.”

His gauge for deciding whether he had succeeded: his new sleep tracker. And so each night, Mr. R went to bed feeling the pressure of ensuring that the next morning the tracker would display the desired eight hours — a self-induced level of increasing anxiety that’s hardly the ideal recipe for achieving a sound night’s sleep.

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The Sleep Cure: The Fountain of Youth May Be Close at Hand

I couldn’t agree more with these healthy sleep sentiments. Check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep for more details.

Tony

Mark Zielinski knew he was onto something when his mice stopped sleeping. Normally, the animals woke and slept on a 12-hour cycle. When the lights were on in the lab, the mice were active. When it went dark on a timer, down they went. But Zielinski, who teaches psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, had recently […]

via The Sleep Cure: The Fountain of Youth May Be Closer Than You Ever Thought — Our Better Health

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Poor sleep may raise risk for irregular heart rhythms – AHA

Regular readers know that I feel strongly that sleep is one of the cornerstones of good health. You can check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep? for more details.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA):
• Poor sleep – even if you don’t have sleep apnea – may be linked to higher risks of developing an irregular heartbeat.
• In addition, getting less rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep may also be linked to higher atrial fibrillation risks.

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Disruptions in sleep may be raising your risks of an irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation (AF), according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016. Continue reading

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Foods That Help Increase Melatonin

Sleep is one of the underappreciated aspects of good health. Please check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep for more.

melatonin benefits

Tony

Our Better Health

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland situated in your brain. This chemical offers so many benefits, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that melatonin protects the heart from damage. It’s also proven to help ward off cancer.

However, the most popular role played by melatonin is the regulation of the circadian rhythm — your body clock. Individuals lacking in melatonin often find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Melatonin is something that you will find on various internet articles pertaining to how to combat insomnia.

Because of the ability of melatonin to combat sleep deprivation, so many pharmaceutical companies offer the said hormone in supplement form. The downside to taking melatonin supplements is every capsule or tablet usually contains synthetic ingredients. Their intake can actually do more harm than good in the long run because of the man-made chemicals in them.

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More Bad News about Inadequate Sleep

I created the Page – How Important is a good night’s sleep? more than three years ago after taking a course on sleep. My opening sentence is  “Sleep is one of the under-appreciated aspects of our daily lives.” Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution is one of Amazon’s bestsellers.

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Now comes the University of Helsinki reporting on the damage too little sleep does to the
blood vessels.

Getting too little sleep causes changes in the metabolism of cholesterol, demonstrates a study conducted at the University of Helsinki. According to the results, long-term sleep loss may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.

Lack of sleep has previously been found to impact the activation of the immune system, inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism and the hormones that regulate appetite. Now University of Helsinki researchers have found that sleep loss also influences cholesterol metabolism. Continue reading

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Sleep Habits Affect Weight Loss Results, and More

How much sleep is optimal for weight loss? Between seven and nine hours a night is best. Less than seven hours increases the risk of obesity approximately 30 percent and adds an extra five pounds on average.

According to Jean-Philippe Chaput, M.Sc., from Laval University in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, and colleagues, current treatments for obesity have been largely unsuccessful in maintaining long-term weight loss, suggesting the need for new insight into the mechanisms that result in altered metabolism and behavior and may lead to obesity, HUFFPOST HEALTH reported.

The increase in body weight in the U.S. population has been paralleled by a reduction in sleep times. For the past four decades, daily sleep duration has decreased by one and a half to two hours, and the proportion of young adults sleeping less than seven hours per night has more than doubled, from 15.6 percent in 1960 to 37.1 percent in 2002.

Sleep deprivation is a serious problem for physical and mental health reasons even when it is mild, according to Dr. Anthony Goodman in The Great Courses course Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at any Age.

Sleep deprivation is prevalent in all age categories from late teens to the elderly.

The National Sleep Foundation reported that 67 percent of Americans are sleep-deprived. Some 40 percent of Americans sleep less than 7 hours a night and 70 percent sleep less than 8 hours.

College students who have been carefully tested showed that even the slightest decrease in the amount of sleep caused major deficits in their memory and test performance.
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5 Simple Steps to a Good Night’s Sleep – Harvard

As regular readers know, I feel strongly about the importance of a good night’s sleep. It isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity for a healthy life. To understand this better, please check out my Page – How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep.

Here is what Harvard had to say on the subject, “Sleep shortfalls can lead to a range of health problems, from being more likely to catch a cold or gain weight to increased risk of developing heart disease or diabetes.

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While these sleep tips are aimed at women, they apply equally to men.

“For optimum health and function, the average adult should get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. But more than 60% of women regularly fall short of that goal.

“This may be due to insomnia or another underlying condition that may require medical attention. But most women with a sleep debt run it up by burning the candle at both ends — consistently failing to get to bed on time or stay there long enough.

“Don’t worry about repaying the old sleep debt. Just make sure you start getting enough sleep from this point forward — starting tonight. Getting enough sleep is just as important as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. (My emphasis)

Tips for getting the rest you need:

1     Create a sleep sanctuary. Reserve your bedroom for sleep and intimacy. Keep it on the cool side. Banish the television, computer, smartphone or tablet, and other diversions from that space.
2     Nap only if necessary. Taking a nap at the peak of sleepiness in the afternoon can help to supplement hours missed at night. But naps can also interfere with your ability to sleep at night and throw your sleep schedule into disarray. If you need to nap, limit it to 20 to 30 minutes.
3     Avoid caffeine after noon, and go light on alcohol. Caffeine can stay in your body for up to 12 hours. Alcohol can act as a sedative, but it also disturbs sleep.
4     Get regular exercise, but not within three hours of bedtime. Exercise acts as a short-term stimulant.
5     Avoid backsliding into a new debt cycle. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day — at the very least, on weekdays. If need be, use weekends to make up for lost sleep.

For more things women can do to lead longer and healthier lives, you can order A Guide to Women’s Health: Fifty and Forward.

First of all, I think that these five tips are excellent but they also apply equally to both men and women. I am not sure why Harvard has chosen to single out women.

I know that men and women sleep differently. Web MD said, ““There’s no nationally representative data [on gender differences],” says Michael Twery, PhD, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

“Twery says that national health surveillance surveys have recently started to ask questions related to sleep. Such surveys will eventually help researchers break down responses along gender lines, potentially providing more insight into how men and women sleep — and sleep differently.

“Still, there are a few things that we do know now. According to Twery, women suffer from insomnia at two to three times the rate that men do. Men, on the other hand, are twice as likely to have their slumber spoiled by sleep apnea, a chronic condition characterized by brief episodes of restricted breathing.”

Tony

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Design the Ideal Bedroom to Improve Your Sleep – Infographic

Regular readers know I feel strongly that we need to get proper sleep to remain healthy and live a long life. As the infographic below states, nearly half the world’s population suffers from sleep disorders. Herewith some super ideas for creating “the perfect sleep sanctuary and getting the rest your body needs to operate at peak performance.”

To read further on the importance of sleep, check out my Page – How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep?

Design-Your-Bedroom-For-a-Good-Nights-Sleep-1One of the techniques I have adopted for my late night computing is to wear a pair of blue-blocker sunglasses. That way, the blue light from the computer screen doesn’t throw off my circadian rhythms and keep me awake.

In case you didn’t notice, the infographic is from Made.com

Tony

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Napping Reverses Health Effects of Poor Sleep

Nearly three in 10 adults reported they slept an average of six hours or less a night, according to the National Health Interview Survey.

Regular readers know that I feel strongly about the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Check out my Page – How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep to read further on it.

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

A short nap can help relieve stress and bolster the immune systems of men who slept only two hours the previous night, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Lack of sleep is recognized as a public health problem. Insufficient sleep can contribute to reduced productivity as well as vehicle and industrial accidents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, people who sleep too little are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

Nearly three in 10 adults reported they slept an average of six hours or less a night, according to the National Health Interview Survey.

“Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep,” said one of the JCEM study’s authors, Brice Faraut, PhD, of the Université…

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A Good Night’s Sleep May Mean a Good Day’s Work

The researchers even narrowed the ideal amount of nightly sleep for workers down to seven hours, 38 minutes for women, and seven hours, 46 minutes for men, according to the study in the September issue of the journal Sleep.

The team also found that insomnia-related symptoms — waking early in the morning, feeling more tired than others and using sleeping pills — were all linked with a significant increase in time off from work due to illness.

For more on the importance of sleep please check out my Page – How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep?

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Too much, too little slumber linked to raised number of sick days, researchers say.

Getting enough sleep each night may mean you’re less likely to take time off from work due to illness, a new study suggests.

The study included more than 3,700 people in Finland, aged 30 to 64, who were followed for an average of seven years.

Those who slept less than six hours or more than nine hours a night were much more likely to have extended absences from work due to illness, the investigators found. People with the lowest risk for taking time off from work due to sickness were those who slept between seven and eight hours a night.

The researchers even narrowed the ideal amount of nightly sleep for workers down to seven hours, 38 minutes for women, and seven hours, 46 minutes for men, according to the study in the September issue of…

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Top 10 Herbs For Insomnia

Sleep specialist Lisa Shives of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine admits that while research for herbal sleep remedies may not be scientifically conclusive, they have not been found to be dangerously detrimental either. If you complement these herbal remedies with healthy foods beneficial for promoting sleep like those rich in magnesium, avoid caffeine and sweets, engage in a relaxing routine like a warm bath prior bedtime, then the results you reap from herbs can truly be optimized.

Sleep is one of the unsung heroes of good health. Please read How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep, 30 Insane Facts About Sleep, How You Can Improve Your Sleep Habits, How Sleep Makes Your Mind More Creative,
How Much Sleep Do I Need? What Are Healthy Sleep Habits?Oleda Baker on the Health and Beauty Benefits of Sleep for more details.

sleep

Tony

Our Better Health

While most people experience lack of restful sleep from time to time, insomnia is defined as a frequent or chronic inability to fall asleep at night. Of all problems concerning sleep or lack thereof, insomnia is the most prominent and also the least-researched.

If you suffer from chronic sleeplessness, you’d also know how it is to experience daytime fatigue, mood swings and headaches. Often caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitter chemicals like serotonin which regulates our moods and emotions, insomnia is a global concern estimated to affect over 30% people at some point in their lives.

While conventional treatments such as prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills are commonly used by people who suffer from insomnia, other treatments exist which may be preferable for those with qualms about using chemical and synthetic drugs. According to scientific research, insomnia has been effectively treated by herbal formulas, [1] some of which are described…

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Singing Exercises May Help Control Snoring

Cooking with Kathy Man

“Could singing stop snoring? Doctor says vocal exercises could be the key to a peaceful night’s sleep,” the Mail Online website reports after a study found that people who followed a daily exercise programme of singing saw improvements in their snoring.

The news is based on a trial comparing the effects of daily singing exercises with not singing in 127 people with a history of snoring or mild to moderate sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a condition where a person’s breathing is interrupted in their sleep. This prevents them from falling into a deep sleep, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness.

The study found that those who did the singing exercises for three months reported less daytime sleepiness and less frequent snoring than those who didn’t.

But the study’s results are limited by the number of people who dropped out. Among the singing group, 40% of the people assigned to the…

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Oleda Baker on the Health and Beauty Benefits of Sleep – Guest Post

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As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda in December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.

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Oleda wrote a wonderful column about the health and beauty benefits of sleep for the Growing Bolder Community. She has offered to let me reprint it here for you.
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Is there really such a thing as “Beauty Sleep?” Believe me, there is. Here’s why and how to get it.

Stories about models “playing ‘til-the-wee-hours-of-the-morning” (that some filmmakers portray) are not true. It might be true of “would-be” models, but it would put serious ones out of business within a month.

Most models I worked with in New York felt they absolutely needed 7 to 8 hours of sleep to look their best and to stay at the top of their careers. Friday and Saturday nights might have been “party nights” but Sunday night — back to the Beauty Sleep for Monday morning assignments.
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I believe strongly that sleep gets rid of certain chemicals that build up in our bodies every day. There are also several molecules involved in cell-to-cell communication within the brain that are important for sleep and especially for our long-range health and beauty.

Poor sleeping habits can not only rob you of beauty and health but can cause some day-to-day problems, such as general tiredness, feeling irritable, lack of energy, poor concentration and memory, more mishaps and illnesses.

So how well do you sleep? If not well here’s how to get a better quality (soundness) out of your sleep.
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How Much Sleep Do People Really Need?

Another really nice job by the Swiss Chiropractor …. To read further in my blog about sleep check out:

How Does Sleep Affect Body Weight?

Do Seniors Need Less Sleep?

How Inadequate Sleep Can Affect Body Weight

Sleep and the Brain

Sleep Habits Affect Weight Loss and More

How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep?

When it comes to this subject, I like to think I haven’t been asleep at the switch.

Tony

SwissChiropractic's Blog

There is no short, simple answer to the question of how much sleep people really need.  Our requirement differs depending on our age and individual needs.  For instance, preschool-aged children (3 to 5 years) need between 11 and 13 hours of sleep per night.  On the other hand, the elderly may sleep for only three or four hours at a time, with their sleep taken both at night and during the day.  What is not in question is that most people do not get enough sleep for their needs.  Researchers estimate that Yapproximately 10 percent of Americans are chronically sleep deprived.

Sleep deprivation is associated with a higher incidence of accidents, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and psychiatric problems such as depression.  Sleep specialists Donna L. Arand and Michael H. Bonnet say, “There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and…

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