Category Archives: Health and disease

The quest for rest: tips to curb insomnia

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Image via Mail Online

#Insomnia #SleepDisorders #Genetics #MentalHealth #SelfImprovement #HealthTips #LiveWell @MailOnline #TrendStatistics @PhilipsResp

In our modern society, insomnia, like depression and stress, has become something that most people are familiar with. I am sure everyone has gone through a period of sleeplessness at one point or another of their lives.

Insomnia, though, is more than just sleeplessness, it is the inability of a person to fall asleep or stay asleep and can go on for long periods of time. Have a look at this definition, “According to guidelines from a physician group, insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school.” [Sleep Foundation] Acute insomnia occurs when life circumstances cause stress. This type of insomnia is often short in duration and will resolve itself, often without medical intervention. Chronic insomnia is the inability of a person to sleep or fall asleep for a period of at 3 nights. This condition recurs over a period of at least 3 months.

As I said, modern society causes anxiety and stress, which in turn causes worry, worry that keeps us awake at night. But if you are struggling to cope with your insomnia, there may be another reason than day to day stress. Scientists recently discovered that there is a link between the presence of at least 7 genes and insomnia.

Gina Roberts-Grey writes: “Scientists say some people’s genes increase their stress-reactivity. And that increased stress response increases the likelihood of poor sleep and developing insomnia.” [sleepapnea.com] So if a close relative suffered from chronic insomnia, and you cannot catch some needed shut-eye, your genes may be to blame.

Professor Eus Van Someren, of Vrije University, Amsterdam, and his team found that one of the identified genes has previously been associated with restless leg syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS). They also found a strong genetic overlap with other traits such as anxiety disorders, depression and neuroticism [Mail Online].

Mail Online also reports that 1 out of 10 British citizens suffer from insomnia and the CDC states that 1 out of 3 US citizens have difficulty falling or staying asleep [Trendstatistics]. With these statistics in mind, professor van Someren says that his hope is that their research will lead to further study that can help with the development of better medication to treat insomnia [Mail Online].

If you are one of the millions of people feeling fuzzy-brained and schlepping through your days with bloodshot eyes, here are some tips that may help you get that rest you yearn for.

Dragonfire Nutrition says that the “quality of your sleep is closely related to the quality of your waking hours.  Live happily and actively, and sleep will come more easily.”

They came up with ways that can help you calm down and ease into a restful sleep, without medication. Their tips can be introduced into your daily schedule without any effort and many of them are actually just plain common sense. Things like softening the mood with gentle music and low lighting, not eating a meal late at night, exercise, meditation techniques and more.

You can find all Dragonfire Nutrition‘s tips on combating insomnia here.

If you are tired (literally) of sitting wide eyed every single night while your family sleeps the sleep of the just, you will definitely benefit from these tips. Have a look and try them out today. You will not be disappointed.

Good night!

SOURCES:

DRAGONFIRE NUTRITION.  2017.  How to live a sleep-friendly lifestyle.  [Web:] Dragonfire Nutritionbit.ly/2fUtYHh

ROBERTS-GREY, Gina.  Is Insomnia Hereditary?  [Web:] sleepapnea.combit.ly/1R3zO1D

SLEEP FOUNDATIONWhat is Insomnia? [Web:] The National Sleep Foundationbit.ly/2pQP4db

TANNER, Claudia.  2017.  Insomnia is not ‘all in your head’ – it could be in your genetic make-up, scientists have discovered for the first time.  [Web:] Mail Onlinedailym.ai/2wbRwOk

TRENDSTATISTICS.  2016.  9 Fascinating Insomnia and Sleep Statistics.  [Web:] trendstatistics.combit.ly/2kUoyxI

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5 Unhealthy Habits Everyone Needs To Ditch Now: A Doctor Explains

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Photo: twenty20

Article via @mindbodygreen by dr Rachel Abrams

“Is it possible to avoid heart attacks, ulcers, headaches, cancer, and other poor health events? YES! It is true that we don’t have complete control over the universe, and sometimes, “shit happens,” but it is very clear that negative health triggers increase our risk for poor health events. Knowing what they are and avoiding them just might save your life.” [Abrams:2017]

Dr Rachel Abrams tells us how bad stress, inactivity, unconscious eating and a few other bad habits, can influence our physical well-being.

Read the full article here.

SOURCES:

ABRAMS, Rachel, Dr.  2017.  MBG (Mind Body Green)

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An Important Question About Alzheimer’s Finally Answered

Via @mindbodygreen by @emma_loewe

[Excerpt only. Read full article here.]

Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that affects an estimated 5.3 million Americans.

But beyond its widespread reach, there’s not much we know for sure about the brain disorder. Its cause and progression have yet to be conclusively explained, and scientists can’t figure out why it’s so much more common in older populations. (More than 90% of cases occur in people 60 or over.)

Amidst all the questions surrounding Alzheimer’s, researchers at the University of California just uncovered an important answer. After compiling data from previous studies, they’ve located the brain region where the disease first strikes: the locus coeruleus (LC). [Continue reading here.]

Source:

LOEWE, Emma.  2016.  Researchers Just Answered An Important Question About Alzheimer’s [Web:] Mind Body Green.  [Date of Access:] 19 February 2016.

Image Source: 

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Delicious Smoothie that Promotes Clear Skin

Via @eHow by #LillyWallace

Image by Lilly Wallace for @eHow

[Excerpt only. Read full article here.]

“A nutrition-dense diet abundant in fresh, organic, antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits does more than make you feel good — it helps you look good too with healthy, glowing skin. The following smoothie recipe includes five taste-pleasing ingredients that provide plenty of skin-healing vitamins, antioxidants and other essential nutrients.” [1]

How will your skin benefit from the ingredients?

Cucumber – very hydrating with anti-oxidant and anti-inflamatory benefits.

Carrots – provide high amounts of vitamins and phytonutrients which will protect the skin against sunburn.

Banana – vitamins and flavonoids with anti-oxidant effects.

Coconut water – contains vitamins B and C, which are anti-oxidants and helps to repair damaged skin.

Oranges – source of vitamin C that promotes skin elasticity.

Click here for more information on the beneficial effect of the smoothie as well as the recipe.

Source:

  1. Smoothie Recipe for Clear Skin (with Pictures) | eHow

5 Signs of Stroke

Via @PreventionMag

One is never too young to suffer a stroke. Alexa Tucker says in her article for Prevention Magazine: “While the majority of strokes do occur in people ages 65 and older, about 10% of all strokes happen to those under 45—and women are more at risk than men. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, each year more than 100,000 women under the age of 65 will have a stroke. That means you or someone you know could be affected at some point in her life—and sooner than you’d expect.” [Tucker: 2015]

Here are five signs you should be watching for:

  1. Feeling weak or numb on one side of your body.
  2. Having trouble speaking.
  3. Severe headache.
  4. Vision loss.
  5. A sudden onset of any or all of these symptoms.

[Click here to read the full article.] 

Source:

TUCKER, Alexa.  2015/09/18.  You’re not too young to have a stroke: Here are 5 signs you need to watch for.  [Web:] Prevention Magazine. [Date of Access:] 21 September 2015.

@PreventionMag

The 8 worst foods to eat at night

Via @preventionmag

Original article by Victoria Wolk

Having a big meal before retiring for the night or late night snacking can be hazardous for your health; and not only because your Mother told you to refrain from such practices. The old wives’ tale that the food would ‘’lie in your stomach and give you nightmares’’ may not be accurate, but it can cause something that will definite be a source of discomfort. It is something called ‘’silent reflux’’.

Victoria Wolk explains: ‘’No doubt you’re familiar with acid reflux, which occurs when digestive juices back up into the chest and/or throat and cause a burning sensation. But there’s also something called “silent reflux,” which is different from common heartburn. It has the same causes but without the usual symptoms. Instead of indigestion, sufferers get sore throats, chronic coughs, and have difficulty swallowing.” [1]

Wolk continues to discuss the findings of Jamie Koufman, a New York City laryngologist. She discovered that nearly 50% of Americans suffer from silent reflux and they do not even realize it. Koufman continues to say that: “The single greatest risk factor is, by far, the time that people eat dinner” [1]  and suggests that we should be “having supper no later than 3 hours before bed”. [1]

In addition to restricting your final meal of the day to no less than 3 hours before bedtime, Wolk adds that one should avoid snacking before going to sleep and, if you cannot resist the temptation, there are 8 types of food that one should definitely not have:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Soda
  3. Fatty foods
  4. Chocolate
  5. Cheese
  6. Nuts
  7. Citrus
  8. Coffee

[The reasons why Wolk suggests avoidance of these foods before bedtime is detailed in the original article. Read it here.]

This, of course, doesn’t mean that one should go to sleep hungry. From time to time we will all be struck by sudden cravings at midnight. The secret is to choose wisely. Dr. Koufman suggests that you select food low in acid like bananas or a bowl of low-sugar cereal with low-fat milk. She says that she is, herself, partial to soothing chamomile tea.

SOURCE: