Category Archives: Sleep

Learning How to Sleep Longer Could Benefit Your Heart

The next time you feel lazy for rolling over and giving in to the urge to go back to sleep, remember this – learning how to sleep longer might be doing more than recharging your energy, it could also be keeping your coronary arteries and your heart healthy.

Since the heart needs a constant supply of blood rich in oxygen, the arteries that deliver this supply are super important.

If you have a build up of fatty matter, calcium, proteins and inflammatory cells within the arteries, plaque forms and can lead to trouble such as a heart attack (actually death of cells in the heart muscle) or another heart “event”.

Current numbers have over 1 million Americans having heart attacks each year. The amount of permanent damage that’s done to the heart depends on the size of the area of the heart that’s supplied by the unhealthy artery, and the time between the injury and getting treatment.

Even after treatment and healing of the heart, the ability of this vital muscle to pump blood through your body is diminished. Just how diminished depends on many factors.

New research appearing in the December 24/31, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association makes a fascinating connection between the amount of sleep you get and the likelihood of coronary artery calcification.

This work is the first of its kind to try and objectively measure sleep and use this as a marker for coronary artery calcification and heart disease.

The team of researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center focused on about 500 middle aged and healthy U.S. adults over a five-year period.

These participants were part of another study known as the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, an ongoing project begun in 1985. This long-term study is intended to look at the impact of various factors on the development of coronary artery disease.

At the start of the research the participants had their coronary arteries scanned via computed tomography (CT) scan. They also wore wrist devices, specially designed to measure sleep duration for six nights.

Finally, subjects provided details on their sleeping habits and kept a log of their hours in bed. The group averaged about 6 hours of sleep per night, with few getting more than 8 hours.

At the end of the five-year study subjects had another CT scan that found 12% of participants had developed coronary artery calcification during the study.

Those who slept longer, as reported and confirmed by the wrist monitors were less likely to have developed the artery calcification.

Those who slept less than five hours per night had a 27% greater chance of having calcification in their coronary arteries.

This number fell to 11% for those who got from 5 to 7 hours a night, and went down to 6% for those who got more than seven hours (lucky souls!) of sleep each night.

The benefits of more sleep seemed to be greatest for women.

“One hour more of sleep decreased the estimated odds of calcification by 33%,” University of Chicago’s Christopher Ryan King, and colleagues write. This reduction takes into account the person’s age, sex, race, education level, smoking status and sleep apnea risk.

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Are these 7 mistakes killing your sleep?

Frustratingly, at least 25% of adults suffer from insomnia -

With around 18 million prescriptions written every year for expensive sleeping pills…

…it’s clear that there’s a national epidemic.

So, what do doctors do when they can’t sleep?

Here’s the answer.

Learn how a retired M.D. Laney Chouest from New Orleans broke his 5-year addiction to Ambien, and now sleeps peacefully without medication.

Also, how a Licensed Psychologist, Sharon Stein McNamara, Ed.D.from Minnesota broke the insomnia cycle.

Click through to regain your energy and finally get a full and restful nights sleep.

Learning How to Sleep Longer Could Benefit Your Heart… continued

The team agrees that more work is needed to confirm the results and lean how the length of sleep is linked to the calcification of these arteries. Just how much sleep is best must also be uncovered by future studies.

Other work has shown that partial sleep depravation may be a risk factor for all kinds of common medical problems. Things like weight gain, diabetes and hypertension.

For now, the good news for you sleepy heads who like to sleep longer, is to roll over and get some more shut eye – your heart might just thank you for it later.

The amazing link between sleep and memory

Napping is a guilty pleasure… one all of us, if we’re lucky, engage in at one time or another, especially during the cold, dark months of winter.

And it seems interestingly that new research has found the link between sleep and memory and that short naps help actually improve to our creativity and our ability to see the big picture.

Too many of us, in our got-to-be-everywhere, 24/7 world, try to act like sleep is something we can do without. But we can’t.

Enter the power nap… a short 15 to 20 minute rest period outside our normal nightly routine, just enough to get us through.

Sleep depravation is a major problem that’s a factor behind many types of accidents, not the least of which happen when driving.

Surveys show that most adults don’t get the seven to eight hours recommended each night to recharge, rebuild and remember.

Over time, lack of sleep can seriously impact the body, leaving you open to diabetes, heart disease and other dangerous conditions.

You only have to think about when you have been ill, and restorative nature of sleep, and how you wake feeling better.

In fact, sleep is as important as a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise keeping the body strong and healthy.

“Not only do we need to remember to sleep, but most certainly we sleep to remember,” says Dr. William Fishbein, a cognitive neuroscientist at the City University of New York, one of our nation’s leading urban public universities. Dr. Fishbein presented the sleep and memory research last week In Washington D.C. at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

As a natural part of aging our sleep becomes more fragmented, we wake more often during the night. Serious conditions like sleep apnea, where breathing stops for short periods so that you are jolted wake, make getting a good night’s sleep impossible.

But fragmented sleep impacts us effects us for days as well. Research on both animals and human subjects shows that we continue to struggle for weeks, even after our sleeping patterns return to normal.

The most recent research on sleep has focused less on the duration of your sleeping period and more on the quality of the sleep, termed sleep intensity.

This period of very deep sleep, known as slow wave sleep (not as well known as dreaming REM sleep) comes first, helping the brain process memories so they stay put. Dr. Fishbein had suspected a bigger role for slow wave sleep periods… perhaps the reason power naps leave us so refreshed.

In the research, 20 English-speaking college students were shown lists of Chinese words of two characters – mother, sister, maid. Then half the students took a nap, and were closely monitored to be sure they didn’t go from slow wave sleep to the REM (dreaming) stage.

When they woke, they took a multiple-choice test of Chinese words they’d never seen. Subjects who napped (an unheard of 90 minute nap) did much better at automatically learning that the first of the two-pair characters in the words they’d memorized earlier always meant the same thing – female. This group, more than the non-nappers were more likely to choose a new word with characters that meant “princess” not “ape.”

“The nap group has essentially teased out what’s going on,” Fishbein concludes.

Another study used a different approach to prove the importance of slow wave sleep on memory.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin interrupted subjects’ slow wave sleep with a beep that was just loud enough to disturb sleep, but not fully rouse the subject.

Upon waking those people who’d been beeped couldn’t remember a task they’d learned the day before as well as subjects whose slow-wave sleep hadn’t been disrupted by the tone.

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Sleep less BUT have more energy

Do you find there’s not enough hours in the day to do all you’d like…Do you wake up feeling groggy and fatigued?

What if I told you you could sleep less and have MORE energy? I bet you’d snatch my hand off!

Think about all the things you could achieve with another 2 – 3 hours in the day.

Discover the new sleep solution designed with renowned Tiredness Expert Tina Hagen…

A study showed the effectiveness of these breakthrough techniques with:

- 98% of volunteers reported an increase in their energy levels
- 90% said they have no trouble getting up in the morning
- 72% said they felt healthier
- 87% said that they are able to think more clearly

Click through to find out how to sleep less BUT gain more energy

Napping… Now Guilt Free continued

The “take to bed” message is this.

If you suspect sleep apnea, get yourself treated. Just as you eat well and exercise to keep your body (and mind) healthy, do all you can to foster good sleep habits so your body, mind and memory get the chance to recharge.

Regularly depriving yourself of sleep… and then playing catch up on the weekend is sleep’s version of binge eating – not healthy for the long haul.

As for all you nappers out there… take heart; the sum of all this latest sleep research stands in support of those sleep and memory, and that power naps leave you recharged and ready to go.

Improve Your Concentration The Two Best Things You Can Do

With our super busy, highly scheduled, technology driven world, it’s no wonder we all lose our focus every once in a while.

But it’s not only the external distractions like the TV or the kids in the yard, it’s the internal ones… being stressed, angry or exhausted that can have an impact on our concentration levels.

If you’re finding you’re becoming easily distracted, struggling to concentrate and forgetting important tasks or appointments then these tips will help you stay sharp, focused and on target:

#1 Get enough sleep:
When you’re tired you’re also deprived of oxygen, which your body needs to produce the brain chemicals that help you focus.

Even a single night lying awake can leave you forgetful and having trouble concentrating for any length of time.

A good night’s sleep is your brain’s reset button… and according to Edward Hallowell, M.D. author of CrazyBusy, you need to get enough sleep so that you wake up without an alarm.

To help get a good nights sleep have a look at your bedtime routine:

- You should avoid watching TV and using the PC for an hour before bed to help your body and mind wind down.
- Try reading a book (not horror) or magazine instead.
- Make sure your bedroom is clutter free and a nice relaxing space to be.
- A warm (not too hot) shower or bath can help you relax before getting into bed.
- Keep your bedroom a cool temperature and try and have the window open to allow air to circulate.

Also a healthy snack (apple and piece of cheese) with a glass of water can be a great, natural pick me up if you’re flagging through the late afternoon.

#2 Watch the tension:
When you’re stressed or angry you get a rush of brain chemicals, like norepinephrine and cortisol, that cause you to hyperfocus “like a deer in the headlights,” says psychologist Lucy Jo Palladino.

While once upon a time this ability to focus saved us from potential predators, today it only robs us of our focus by keeping your mind on something stressful or that makes you angry.

Your best bet here is to get up and get moving. You need to burn off the energy.

Plus the activity will flood your body with oxygen and your brain with chemicals.

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The REAL ‘secret’ Behind Positive Thought

Affirmations have long been recognized as a powerful way to manifest desires and motivate.

And for this reason, people from all walks of life – from athletic
coaches, to sales professionals, to religious leaders, and peak
performance experts (like Anthony Robbins) – all use the practice of affirmations.

But there’s now been an advance that will take people’s affirmations to the next level…

Imagine multiplying the power of your affirmations exponentially so the results aren’t only more dramatic — but they also manifest in record time?

All from the comfort of your own home – with no expensive seminars to attend.

Click through to discover how to use the power of your computer to boost your success

The Two Best Things You Can Do To Improve Your Concentration continued

Studies show that those who get two sessions of aerobic activity per week have better concentration levels than those who don’t get up and move.

Getting up and doing some star jumps or taking the stairs instead of the lift at work can help to release tension and are activities that are easily slotted into your day.

Another helpful tip?

Connect with other people… University of Michigan research released earlier this year found that spending just ten minutes talking to another person can improve your memory and test performance.

A great excuse to find some time to meet a friend for coffee or chat on the phone to someone you’ve spoken to for awhile.

Regular Activity Lack Of Sleep And Cancer Risk

Being active is well known to reduce a woman’s cancer risk, but when you’re lying in bed warm and comfortable and the alarm goes off for your early morning workout it can be hard to find the motivation to ‘get up and go’.

Now a new study examines how a lack of sleep might blunt the effectiveness of all that exercise in reducing your cancer risk.

According to a ten year study of nearly 6,000 women led by James McClain, Ph.D., a cancer prevention fellow at the National Cancer Institute, people at the top half of the physical activity levels had a 25% reduction in their cancer risk.

But, if you were a woman from 18 to 65 years old who got about an hour a day of moderate activity yet slept fewer than 7 hours a night, much of the exercise benefit was lost.

Of course this group still had a reduced risk compared to those women who exercised the least.

The take away message is: be active, but get enough sleep or it won’t do you as much good.

The novel research was presented last month during an international meeting in Washington D.C. on cancer prevention hosted by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

The next step for researchers is to investigate the mechanisms underlying sleep and exercise to try and understand the role of each in preventing cancer.

“The important thing to remember here is that nobody was protected unless they were active,” McClain says. “So I certainly don’t think the take-home message is to sacrifice activity to get more sleep. But I think it needs to be more of a conscious thought that both physical activity and sleep are important factors for young to middle-aged women.”

There are any number of health problems that come as the result of a lack of sleep…

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Certified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer breaks rank…

We all know sessions with a Personal Trainer and visits to a Health Advisor costs an ‘arm and a leg’…

Thankfully Mike Geary (a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) has blown the lid off the ‘Professional’ health industry and released a no-cost “no-gimick” report which reveals an explosive truth about fat loss…

And he’s giving this report away – you can get your copy here at Lean Body Fitness Secrets

Regular Activity, Lack Of Sleep And Cancer Risk continued

Glucose intolerance, imbalances of ghrelin and leptin (appetite regulators), increases in C-reactive proteins in the blood as well as other problems.

And of course during sleep our healing processes are engaged allowing our bodies to recover better from exercise. A good nights sleep also reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, meaning that psychologically you are more able to face the day and any exercise regime you may have planned.

Getting the right amount of sleep for you gives you the energy you need to be more active and function at peak performance throughout the day.

If you find you’re struggling to sleep, which many people do as they age be sure to practice good sleep habits to ensure you get the rest you need.

The study didn’t make specific recommendations on how much exercise would be enough, but McClain suggest using the government’s physical activity guidelines as a starting point. They suggest getting at least 5 hours of modest exercise, or 2½ hours of intense exercise per week.

The good thing is that normal household chores slot under the modest exercise banner, so you can count that towards your total for the week.

Fans Reduce SIDS Risk By 72 Percent

SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is one of the most horrible and heartbreaking losses a family can endure. 
Striking an otherwise healthy baby of between 1 month and one year old, SIDS is the diagnosis given when a child of this age dies suddenly and an exact cause can’t be found even after a full medical and legal investigation. 

And while amazing strides have been made in cutting the risk of SIDS, about 2,500 infants continue to die suddenly in the United States each year.

For these parents it is the worst kind of pain… a living nightmare you don’t wish on your worst enemy. It hurts every minute of every day of the rest of your life.

These parents can take some small comfort knowing that investigations into exactly what causes SIDS are moving forward. There is a lot of good work being done. 

Many experts are coming to believe the condition involves an underlying abnormality (like a brain defect that affects breathing) combined with sleeping in an unsafe position or being exposed to an environmental challenge during a key period of growth. 

Other things we do know…
* SIDS is most common in babies 2 to 4 months old.
* 90% of SIDS cases happen in babies less than 6 months old.
* 20% of SIDS deaths happen in childcare settings.
* SIDS is more common in cold weather.
* SIDS happens more often during sleep, between the hours of 10:00 pm and 10:00 am  

Researchers in California at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research found that babies who slept in a room with a fan running had a 72% lower risk of SIDS compared to those who slept without a fan.

Opening a window, another way to circulate the air in the sleeping space, brought the risk of SIDS down 36%.

The study appears in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine and is the first to look for an association between better air circulation and reduced risk of SIDS.

Financed by the National Institutes of Health, this research involved data on 185 babies who died of SIDS from 1997 to 2000 in ten Northern California counties as well as Los Angeles County.

The SIDS babies were compared to 312 infants who were a match in age, socio economic status and ethnic backgrounds in those same counties.

Dr. De-Kun Li, study senior author said, “The baby’s sleeping environment really matters. This seems to suggest that by improving room ventilation we can further reduce risk.”

The researchers noted that using a fan reduced the risk of SIDS most for babies in poor sleeping environments. 

Of course using a fan doesn’t mean you should stop doing all the other very easy, sensible things the American Academy of Pediatrics  recommends to prevent SIDS….

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Announcing: New Hope for Smokers Wanting to Quit

Hypnosis works for smokers…

It’s recognized by The American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and the British Medical Association (BMA).

Also, hypnotherapy, and similar methods have been used by tens of thousands of people for various ailments, complaints and addictions – and now a new program has been created that promises some amazing results…

A guaranteed outcome of being able to permanently stop smoking with only a single one hour session.

Take a look at the simplest way to do this here

New Study: Fans Reduce SIDS Risk By 72% continued…

* Babies should always sleep on their backs.
* Firm mattresses should be the only sleeping surface — no waterbeds or air mattresses either.
* No thick quilts or comforters — being overheated during sleep puts your baby at risk.
* Pillows and stuffed toys should not be in the bed with babies.
* A dedicated sleeping space that’s free of drafts and is of a comfortable, steady temperature.
* Don’t smoke (or let anyone else smoke) around your baby. 

More work is needed, but because the idea of circulating the air in a baby’s room is in line with some SIDS theories, it’s certainly worth a try. 

Fans are affordable, and offer another benefit, the sound offers a soothing setting for a baby to sleep, blocking out much of the other routine noise of the house.

Good for you, perhaps life saving for your baby.

Sweet Smells May Bring Sweet Dreams

Here’s a good reason to appreciate flowers for more than just how beautiful they look or how wonderful they make you feel.

Pleasing floral smells may also improve your dreams. The relationship between smells and dreams was presented at last month’s Chicago meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

The work had been conducted by German researchers who looked at the role of pleasing smells and the emotions of dreaming subjects.

Studies like this can be difficult to conduct.

You need to use a stimulus that’s strong enough to influence a dream but not so strong it wakes the subject. Some smells, like peppermint, also irritate the nasal passages. The smells used in this study were chosen with this in mind.

Fifteen female subjects spent 30 days allowing the research team to monitor their brainwaves during sleep in order to tell when they reached the REM phase of sleep.

This is the stage when most dreams happen. At this point the women were exposed to a high dose of scents (pleasant like roses; unpleasant like rotten eggs) for ten seconds and woken a minute later to record their dreams.

Amazingly the women didn’t dream of smelling anything but pleasant scents were related to pleasant emotions in dreams. Bad smells brought reports of troubling emotions.

Boris Stuck, lead researcher for the study and a professor of otorhinolaryngology at Heidelberg University, noted that, “It obviously does not determine what you dream about, but it influences how you experience a dream.”

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Sleep less BUT have more energy (like Jay Leno)

Do you find there’s not enough hours in the day to do all you’d like…Do you wake up feeling groggy and fatigued?

What if I told you you could sleep less and have MORE energy? I bet you’d snatch my hand off!

Think about all the things you could achieve with another 2 – 3 hours in the day.

Discover the new sleep solution designed with renowned Tiredness Expert Tina Hagen…

A study showed the effectiveness of these breakthrough techniques with:

- 98% of volunteers reported an increase in their energy levels
- 90% said they have no trouble getting up in the morning
- 72% said they felt healthier
- 87% said that they are able to think more clearly

Click through to find out how to sleep less BUT gain more energy

Sweet Smells May Bring Sweet Dreams continued…Earlier studies have shown that stimulation like pressure or vibration as well as sounds can have an impact on the content and emotional tone of dreams.

Experts also know that smell is the only sense that doesn’t “sleep” – allowing information to reach the limbic system, a part of the brain involved with memory and emotion. All the other senses must pass through the thalamus, which is closed when you sleep.

The researchers are hoping that this work will lead to treatments that can be used with those suffering post traumatic stress syndrome, nightmares or sleep disorders.

In the future they hope it may be possible to create a compact machine that monitors brain activity and releases a pleasing scent under the nose at the right moment during dreaming.

In the meantime having some pleasant smelling scents in your bedroom could help you have sweet dreams.