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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: sleep

Sleep & Clothing Size

We have had had some spectacular weather the last week or so in our area. It makes sleeping so much nicer. Did you know that lack of sleep may be one of the culprits for that expanding waist line? A new study out of Great Britain suggests that insufficient sleep may cause you to go up a waist size. Those who averaged 6 hours sleep a night had waists that were about 1.2 inches larger than those that slept around 9 hours a night. Those with less sleep also weighed more. The theory is that less sleep causes an imbalance between two hormones that tell you when to eat and when to stop. Less sleep may upset that balance, making you eat more. Sleeping less also seems to be tied to slower metabolism. Thus, less sleep combines two factors that may contribute to the perfect storm toward weight gain and increased waist size!!.

Shut down sooner!!

Did you ever wonder if working all those long work days and weeks are paying off health wise?  Those long hours may pay off financially, however there is growing evidence that they may be raising your risk of atrial fibrillation. A-fib is an irregular and often rapid heartbeat that can cause blood clots and other complications. A huge study of more than 85,000 men and women found that those who worked at least 55 hours per week were 40% more likely to develop a heart complication of atrial fibrillation compared to workers who only worked 35-40 hours per week.  Only 10% of those in the study had pre-existing heart conditions prior to the study.  Though our brain tells us to shut down at the end of the work day, our heart may be telling us the same thing!!

Sleep and Dementia Risk

I have mentioned several times, that getting the proper amount of sleep is so important to our health.  Generally speaking, less than five hours of sleep is not good and seven to nine hours of sleep is the best.  However, did you know that if you are an older adult and sleep too much, you might be at risk for dementia?  A recent study published in “Neurology” found adults who consistently sleep more than nine hours a night are more likely to develop dementia accompanied by smaller brain volume and poor executive function. It also appears that having a higher education level may help reduce the risks of dementia.  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.  If you are an adult that sleeps consistently longer than nine hours nightly, you may wish to follow up with your doc!

Live longer and healthier??

Are you one of those who would like to look a bit younger or just age more slowly?  Well, there are a few things that you can do that may help a bit.  Five simple things you can do without breaking a sweat are: hydrating yourself, as it is important to the function of all your cells, make sure you drink quality liquids all day long.  Many people do not drink enough fluids daily. Add more phytonutrients into your diet as they are plant based foods and essential for health and wellness. Eat more veggies as well as low-sugar fruits. Get enough rest. Try to get the same amount of nightly sleep that you might get on a relaxing vacation. A good nights sleep is worth its weight in gold. Have fun. Don’t sweat the small stuff, stress reduction is very beneficial to health. Keep yourself moving, Even minimal exercise daily has shown to have critical impact on our health.  Make an effort to move more when ever there is a chance.  Use it or lose it!!

Earworms !!!

Have you ever had an “earworm” ? Have you ever had a song or tune that you couldn’t get it out of your head?  Especially, in the wee hours of the night when trying to sleep? Researchers now understand why?  They call these tunes earworms.  Basically, the melody is distinctive, has unique interval patterns within the pitches that set them apart from the average pop song. The song must be interesting but not too complicated for the brain to remember.  Tempo is also important as faster paced songs are more likely to pop into your head at inappropriate moments and more difficult to dislodge from the brain.  There is no one cure but some people say that seeking out the tune and listening to it all the way through to get closure helps.  Doesn’t work for everyone.  So when you go to bed tonight….remember Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star…!!

Sleep, Health, Teens & Risky Behavior

I’ve discussed the benefits of sleep before however consider the established consequences of chronic sleep problems: increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke among other issues.  Did you know another population at risk are teens.  A recent study by the CDC suggests that teens who get less than 7 hours of sleep a night are more likely to engage in one or more risky health behaviors including texting and driving, and driving (or riding with a driver who had been drinking), or not wearing a seat belt compared to teens who get 9 hours of sleep per night or more. Ways to help improve sleep for teens and adults is to keep a consistent sleep-wake schedule even on weekends. Nap wisely, no more than 20-30 minutes in the early afternoon, as to not interfering with the ability to fall asleep at night. Exercise 30-60 minutes 3-4 times weekly. Avoid exercise 2-3 hours before bed time.  Go to bed hungry, limit food 1-2 hours before sleep time.  Keep the bedroom comfortable, dark and quiet.

Disease risk and reducing fat!

Practical Solutions

Disease risk and reducing ectopic fat isn’t always easy or well known.  Last time I discussed how the location of lipid tissue (ectopic fat) in the body can increase the risk of disease. That is, it is not so much how much fat you have, the danger may lie in where it is located.  So, how do we deal with it and reduce our risks?

Diet

First, when it comes to reducing the risk of cardiometabolic disease, diet is key, however it must be sustainable. Meaning it must be incorporated as a way of life.  Recent research indicates that eating three meals daily: with breakfast as the biggest calorie source, may be better than several smaller meals daily, due to alterations in insulin production. Also consider and identify any food sensitivities that need to be eliminated.

Exercise

Exercising with high intensity interval training is a great way to burn fat as fuel .  When lifting weights, it is good to lift heavier weights, utilizing less repetitions to failure. For example instead of 12-15 reps with a light weight, perform 10-12 reps, with the last rep to failure.  This will help increase muscle mass which will then increase your metabolic rate. Try to move after a meal, walking etc., Use the new activity trackers to keep record and shoot for 10,000 steps daily.

Lifestyle

Sleep and sleep patterns are important to reduce disease risk as poor sleep patterns are associated with both weight gain and metabolic syndrome.  Studies have shown that those with 5 or fewer hours of sleep on a continual basis, gain weight compared to those who sleep longer (7-9 hours).  Controlling stress is another factor in improving health.  Stress increases cortisol production which then has great impact on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.

Nutrition:

These nutraceuticals are more recommended for reducing the risk of disease by providing healthy metabolic processes rather than losing weight. Berberine is good for supporting healthy insulin and blood sugar levels. An appropriate dosage are up to 500 mg, three times daily.  Melatonin supports healthy sleep, is associated with fat loss and helps maintain a proper circadian cycle. Fish oil supports healthy signaling mechanisms associated with metabolic syndrome.  It can help reduce the risk of incidence of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and support healthy insulin signaling. Curcumin helps support healthy insulin response s well as healthy glucose and lipid profiles.  MCT oil helps suppress the accumulation of body fat in men and women.  Talk  to your physician about taking any supplement if you are on medications of any type.

I hope this provides some reasonable information on how to reduce your risk of disease!!

 

Lack of sleep and cold risk

Sleep tight! If you have the sniffles and feel like you are coming down with a cold, you may not be getting enough sleep.  A recent small study showed a correlation between individuals who got less than 6 hours of sleep and an increased risk of catching a cold virus.  Those who slept less 6 hours a night were four times more likely to catch a cold, while those who slept less than 5 hours were more than 4.5 times at risk.  Those who slept 7 or more hours had less risk of catching the cold. Sleep plays an important role in regulating our immune response and apparently the shortened sleep seems to alter our inflammatory responses that help fight off viruses.

Sleep & Adult Health

Do you wake up almost as tired as you went to bed? Sleep is one of those issues we all deal with at some time in our lives.  Sleep is critical to health, but how much do we really need?  A recommendation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society indicates adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.  This is in order to prevent or reduce the risk of health issues due to chronic lack of sleep. Though they did not have a recommendation for an upper limit to sleep, less than 6 hours of sleep was determined “inadequate to sustain health and safety in adults.”  Is it time to reassess your sleep needs?

Chiropractic, Natural Light & Health

As Chiropractors go, we often think we help light up the health world in times of dark health, but did you know that natural light can contribute to better health also. A recent study reports that those employees that are exposed to natural light at the office have higher quality sleep, sleep longer, are more active and have a better quality of life. It seems the exposure to natural light, particularly in the morning, is quite beneficial to your health. Even architects are now taking this into account with the designs of buildings and office layouts. If you sit in a cubicle with no exposure to natural light, you might bring this up to your boss! Good luck!