Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby Blankets and SIDS

There are various factors when it comes to choosing baby’s bedding. Baby blankets should ensure the safety of the child and unlike adults your baby will not care what color the blanket or that it matches the room’s d├ęcor. Infants generally do not need a pillow or a heavy comforter until they are older due to the risk of suffocation. In today’s market you can purchase either the traditional baby blanket or opt for a wearable blanket otherwise known as a sleep sack. When purchasing either a blanket or sleep sack, make sure it is not very large or the baby might get entangled feeling uncomfortable or have trouble breathing. Also the material should be soft and smooth like 100% cotton, as well as washable.

What new information is available about baby blankets and SIDS? Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS studies found that the leading cause of death among infants aged 1-12 months have found overheating and suffocation to be among the top reasons babies have unexplained crib death. A 2009 report in the American Academy of Pediatrics states that soft bedding increases the risk of SIDS by five times and recommends against soft objects or loose bedding in the crib, the common culprit being baby blankets.





Today baby blankets and sleep sacks are designed to alleviate SIDS risk. To prevent overheating, baby blankets are much thinner than adult blankets. Sleep sacks are thin plus it also doesn’t cover the arms leaving the warmth to be provided by the baby’s pajamas. Sleep sacks are worn as outerwear fitting snuggly so the baby has little risk of becoming entangled during the night, allowing them to sleep easy. The AAP recommends if you use a baby blanket it is to be thin and tucked around the crib and they endorse the use of sleep sacks.

The Halo Innovations SleepSack Wearable Blanket Organic Cotton- Green/Blue Dots, Medium replaces loose blankets for safer sleep. It's the first and only wearable blanket endorsed by the SIDS Alliance and reduces the risk of rebreathing (the inhalation of carbon dioxide), which has been associated as a possible cause of sudden infant death syndrome. The Organic Cotton SleepSack Wearable Blanket is made of 100% organically-grown cotton that is free of chemicals, dyes and preservatives. The special collection was created with both safety and environmentalism in mind. This cotton is great for use in warmer temperatures. The size Small fits newborns to 6 months, 23" to 26" and 10 lbs. to 18 lbs.

Many experts and doctors believe that swaddling promotes sleep because it resembles the feeling in the womb and due to the sleep sack shape it doesn’t allow for swaddling. A study done by the Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School in 2007 found that swaddling is a risk factor for developing dysplasia of the hip. Parents have to determine the baby’s needs when deciding on a baby blanket or sleep sack when providing safety and a restful night sleep for their baby.

Other safety decisions parents need to make for the baby’s restful night sleep is their sleeping position. Numerous studies have found a higher incidence of SIDS among babies placed on their stomachs. Sleeping on their stomach puts pressure on the infant’s jaw narrowing the air passage way obstructing breathing. Another theory is that stomach sleeping can increase the risk of rebreathing or inhaling their own exhaled air, particularly if the infant is sleeping on a soft mattress, a memory foam mattress, large baby blanket, pillow or crib full of stuffed animals. The soft surface and other items placed in the bed could create a small enclosure around the baby’s mouth and trap exhaled air. As the baby breathes in its exhaled air the oxygen level drops and carbon dioxide accumulates. The lack of oxygen could contribute to SIDS.

Since the AAP's recommendation, the rate of SIDS has dropped by over 50%. Still, SIDS remains the leading cause of death in young infants, so it's important to keep reminding parents about the necessity of back sleeping.

In addition to placing healthy infants on their backs to sleep, the AAP suggests these measures to help reduce the risk of SIDS:

• Place your baby on a firm mattress to sleep, never on a pillow, waterbed, sheepskin, couch, chair, or other soft surface. To prevent rebreathing, do not put blankets, comforters, stuffed toys, or pillows near the baby.

• Make sure your baby does not get too warm while sleeping. Keep the room at a temperature that feels comfortable for an adult in a short-sleeve shirt. Some researchers suggest that a baby who gets too warm could go into a deeper sleep, making it more difficult to awaken.

• If your baby has GERD, be sure to follow your doctor's guidelines on feeding and sleep positions.

• Put your baby to sleep with a pacifier during the first year of life. If your baby rejects the pacifier, don't force it. Pacifiers have been linked with lower risk of SIDS. If you're breastfeeding, try to wait until after the baby is 1 month old so that breastfeeding can be established.

• While infants can be brought into a parent's bed for nursing or comforting, parents should return them to their cribs or bassinets when they're ready to sleep. It's a good idea to keep the cribs and bassinets in the room where parents' sleep. This has been linked with a lower risk of SIDS.

The content provided in Baby Blankets and SIDS is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rest Assured on Seven (7) Hours of Sleep

Experts believe that your rest is assured on seven (7) hours of sleep, but what if you are sick with a cold or flu? How many hours do you need when you are sick? Suffering from a hacking cough, throbbing head, a sore throat and a stuffy nose; you’ve got a cold or even the flu and all you want to do is sleep easy. With all these symptoms you might find that a restful night’s sleep is impossible, especially since cold and flu symptoms seem to get worse at night and can interfere with sleep at a critical time when your body needs rest the most. Congestion also worsens during the night as we produce more mucus and it forces us to breathe through our mouth instead of our nose when we lie down in bed. Mouth breathing irritates airways causing us to cough more often that can interrupt our sleep. The end result, we get less sleep and wake up feeling drained, which only makes your cold and flu symptoms seem worse.

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Cold medication may help us with our symptoms, but can affect our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep by making us feel jittery and nervous, especially if you are taking a decongestant, pseudoephedrine that is commonly found in some cough medications. Diphenhydramine found in Benadryl and other cold and allergy medications can have a paradoxical effect making some of us sleepy. Until you know how you will react to these medications is it best to avoid them after 6pm especially if you have to work early the next day. If you have a stuffy nose, try a topical nasal spray decongestant and/or external nasal strips to keep your breathing passages open while you’re asleep.

Do you take a nighttime liquid cold medication right before you go to sleep? Many doctors don’t recommend them because of their alcohol content. Alcohol can cause you to relax and fall asleep faster, but can interfere with deep sleep which is needed the most when you are recovering from a cold. Alcohol also causes dehydration that can make cold symptoms worse. Acetaminophen tablets are best and the safest remedy to use at bedtime according to experts at WebMD. Keep in mind that many multi-symptom medications already contain this ingredient, so make sure you check labels.

When you don’t feel well little things seem more irritating and annoying so make sure you have a comfy sleep environment while you are ill. See: Sleep Environment for more information on how to keep your room sleep inducive and reduce the number of night awakenings. A humidifier or vaporizer can also help keep the air moist and can make it easier to breath and calm a cough. Remember to drain and clean it every night otherwise you could circulate bacteria back into the air. You can give yourself a steam treatment in your own bathroom by turning your shower on full blast and inhaling the steam for about 10 minutes. This will loosen congestion and hydrate your nasal and throat passages.

6 More Ways to Sleep Better With a Cold

If you're still having problems sleeping during your cold or flu, the experts at WebMD offer six more tips that might help you feel better and get a better night's rest.

1. Drink at least 64 ounces of fluid a day. This will help maintain hydration in the nasal passages and throat, which in turn will help you feel more comfortable. If your liquids include fruit juices high in vitamin C, you'll also get a nutritional boost.

2. Drink a cup of warm, caffeine-free liquid before bedtime: herbal tea and honey, honey and warm water, decaffeinated coffee, or clear broth. This can open nasal passages, soothe a sore throat, and help you sleep.

3. Suck on hard candy before bedtime to moisten the throat, and keep a water bottle in easy reach to help quell a nighttime coughing spell.

4. If you must take a medicine for symptoms, opt for single products -- such as a pain reliever, a decongestant, or a cough medicine -- rather than a combination cold pill. Less is more, and many cold remedies have more than you need.

5. Read the labels of any medicines you do take, and make certain there is no crossover in ingredients. For example, if your multi-symptom pill also contains acetaminophen, you won't want to take an extra for pain or fever.

6. Don't be tempted to take a sleeping pill when you have a cold or flu, even if you take them regularly. A sleeping pill can make it harder to get up in the morning. If you are using sleeping pills regularly, never take them with any cold medicines, particularly those containing alcohol.

Here are 10 cold and flu survival tips from Lifescripts:

1. Washing works

One sure way to reduce your risk of getting sick is keeping your hands clean. Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact: To get sick you have to touch something contaminated by someone who already has the virus. Blankets and pillows on airplanes are notorious for harboring nasty bugs. And health clubs that don’t scrub down their equipment may not be so healthy after all. Television remote controls are also havens for viruses.

But washing our hands all day is easier said than done. We come into contact with contaminated surfaces pretty much every time we set our palms down. And we’re reluctant, hurried scrubbers: Only two-thirds of men and 80% of women wash their hands after using the restroom – and most don’t wash adequately. The CDC recommends a 20-second scrub – about the time is takes to sing the alphabet song at a moderate pace, a lot longer than most people spend.

Another winning strategy: Keep a bottle of hand-sanitizing gel with you and use it frequently. These gels are highly effective and often less harsh on your skin than frequent soap and water washes.

2. Hands off

Beware of contaminated surfaces, fixtures and other shared objects. If you think you touched an unsanitary surface, don’t touch your face until after you clean your hands. And nail biters beware: Viruses are spread by bringing your now-contaminated hands into contact with mucous membranes in your mouth, nose or eyes. From there, the viruses scoot into your throat, nose and sinuses. At home, make sure whoever has a cold doesn’t go near anybody else’s towels.

3. Get a shot

For those whose immune systems are weak – the elderly, young children and diabetics – a flu shot can be a life saver, lessening the impact of the flu virus. Most doctors recommend the shot for all age groups. The vaccine is an inactive virus, so it won’t actually give you the flu – although in rare cases, people develop flu-like symptoms for a day or two after a shot.

4. Stay home

If you’re the one who’s sick, there’s no reason to spread the misery. Call in sick so you won’t infect others with your sneezing and coughing. However, if you can’t stay home, take precautionary measures to limit other people’s exposure. Covering your mouth and nose may prevent a germ-laden blast, but it will leave your hands covered with germs. Wash frequently, as this will limit how many people you can infect. Use a disposable tissue or, if stuck without one, cough into your elbow or arm instead. But really, do everyone a favor and stay home.

5. Check your medicine cabinet

The use of vitamin C to treat or prevent colds has many supporters, including the late Nobel Prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling. But most studies have not shown much effect, particularly on those who already had a cold. Some studies suggest, however, that children who regularly take vitamin C before a cold may suffer fewer days of illness.

Those overexposed to cold temperatures or who are under stressful conditions, such as soldiers and endurance athletes, seem to benefit the most from preventive vitamin C: They had as much as a 50% reduction in colds.

Echinacea, too, has had mixed reports. However, a recent study in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases has reopened the debate. Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that preventive use of Echinacea reduced chances of developing a cold by 58% and reduced a cold’s duration by a day and a half.

Zinc is another controversial therapy. Half the controlled studies looking at its effectiveness found that zinc reduced the cold’s severity and/or duration. The other half found no such effect. And no research has shown a preventive effect. A review of more than 100 studies on zinc and colds by Stanford University found that zinc nasal gel may cut a cold’s duration, but not the chances of catching a cold.

One caution, though: More than 80 milligrams of zinc per day may increase the likelihood of urinary tract infections in women.

You can try acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help dull aches and pains. Decongestants, antihistamines or a combination may help relieve congestion, coughs and drippy noses. However, many combination medications contain pain relievers, so be sure to read the labels on the packaging. You don’t want to get multiple doses of the same thing and end up overdosing.

6. Abandon the gym

You can’t sweat out a cold by exercising. In fact, that may make matters worse. Sweating may cause dehydration, further weakening you at a time when your appetite and energy are already low. Also, exercise can worsen the muscle soreness and aching common to viral illnesses. Take it easy.

7. Sip the soup

Most warm soups provide a respite from the symptoms of colds or flu, soothing the throat and opening up sinus passages (if only briefly). They also provide needed fluid.

Yet soups may do even more: In 2000, researchers found that chicken soup might contain a number of anti-inflammatory substances. The findings don’t mean chicken soup’s a cure but certainly it’s a comforting way to nourish your way back to wellness.

8. Stay warm

Chilly temperatures do not cause colds or flu; winter is simply the time when viruses tend to spread. But the stress that can come from chronic cold exposure may lower your immune system, making you more vulnerable to viruses. So your mother was right: Pull out the hats and gloves.

9. Call your doctor

[caption id="attachment_857" align="alignright" width="269" caption="Rest Assured on Seven (7) Hours of Sleep - Sleep Environment "][/caption]

Two antiviral medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Tamiflu and Relenz. If you start taking them within the first two days of flu symptoms, they may reduce both the intensity and the duration of your symptoms. Doctors usually prescribe them for five days. Alas, no antiviral medications can curb the common cold.

While most colds go away without incident within days or weeks, sometimes they do pave the way for other problems like sinus or ear infections and bronchitis. Ring the doctor if your cold becomes severe, if you have a high fever, ear pain, a sinus headache, or a cough that gets worse or produces green or brown sputum.

10. Do as your mother says

There’s no getting around it. Mom may not have had the science down, but in general her advice was solid. The best ways to avoid a cold or flu in the first place include eating lots of fruits and vegetables, which boost the immune system; exercising at least 30 minutes most days; getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep; and trying to keep stress at bay.

According to the Mayo Clinic, people who consistently get enough sleep have a stronger immune system and are less likely to get sick if exposed to a virus. When you sleep, your body produces proteins called cytokines. These proteins help fight infections, so if you have higher levels, you are better able to fight infections. You may avoid getting sick altogether, or if you do get sick, you can recover more quickly. You will also have more mental and physical energy and a better memory. People who slept less than seven hours were about three times more likely to get a cold than people who slept seven to eight hours a night.

In conclusion, it seems that 7-8 hours of sleep keep us from getting sick and help us recover from a cold or flu when we are sick. It’s the quality of sleep that is just as important as the quantity of sleep because healing takes place most effectively in deeper phases of sleep. More information about the quality and quantity of sleep see: mind your p’s and q’s … The content in Rest Assured on Seven (7) Hours of Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Body Clock Secrets to Sleep Easy

A new study released in Scotland shows that by unlocking your body clock secrets to sleep easy will treat other conditions like jet lag and illnesses such as diabetes. Scientist now understand that the body clock works in all forms of life and this new knowledge will help treat health related issues for individuals with out-of-sync internal clocks similar to those suffering from insomnia due to split-shift or night-shift work. Experts believe that jet lag causes metabolic disorders like diabetes, mental health problems and even cancer. Studies have concluded that we share the same 24-hour clock or circadian rhythm with all other forms of living organisms and it dates back to early life on Earth.

[caption id="attachment_849" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Body Clock Secrets to Sleep Easy "][/caption]

Edinburgh University and Cambridge University worked together with French biologists in a study that showed us the circadian clock controls patterns of daily and seasonal activity from sleep cycles to butterfly migrations to flowers opening. Another study from the Cambridge University’s Institute of Metabolic Science identified 24-hour rhythms in red blood cells for the very first time. This is important because circadian rhythms have always been assumed to be linked to DNA and gene activity, but red blood cells do not have DNA. By furthering this knowledge they hope to learn how the 24-hour clock works and how it is linked to health disorders which will lead to new therapies and treatments for these conditions. This groundbreaking research shows that body clocks are ancient mechanisms and are far more important and sophisticated than previously realized.

Of more than 5300 people surveyed for the Great British Sleep Survey, 37% had some form of insomnia and 24% had other sleep-related problems such as teeth-grinding, sleeping excessively, poor concentration, weight gain or sleep apnea. Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night according to the National Sleep Foundation. Unfortunately, lack of sleep due to insomnia which is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep not only can cause health problems, it can be a symptom of a health problem. Hormones, especially in menopause or pregnant women can trigger insomnia. Periods of stress or a major life change can cause reactive insomnia which over time will eventually go away on its own, but if sleepless nights add up and just thinking about going to bed causes stress, this is what’s known as chronic insomnia and should be discussed with your physician.

Another health problem that causes sleep problems is restless leg syndrome which is a neurological disorder associated with unpleasant sensations in the legs causing an uncontrollable urge to move when resting or sleeping. The sensations have been described as burning, creeping, tugging or even insects crawling inside the legs. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS) than men. The cause is unclear, but seems related to iron and/or a dopamine deficiency. Treatment for RLS depends on the severity of the symptoms. For less serious cases massage therapy or heating pads may relax the muscles. Iron supplements, anti-seizure medication or drugs that mimic dopamine may be required. Drugs that trigger RLS include antidepressants, tranquilizers and over-the-counter (OTC) allergy and cold medications with antihistamines.

[caption id="attachment_850" align="alignright" width="285" caption="Body Clock Secrets to Sleep Easy - Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome"][/caption]

Treating a health problem can cure your insomnia and fix your broken body clock, but what if your insomnia is not health related? What if it is caused by jet lag, Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (need to sleep longer) or Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome (sleeping and waking early)? Split-shift of night-shift workers can find it difficult to readjust to a normal night of sleeping. Jet lag is usually a temporary sleep problem and after a few days our body clock resets to it normal rhythm. The longer the distance, the longer it will take to correct itself. Work, education and relationships require constant adaptation of our circadian rhythm. Normally most of us adjust to life changes, but for some sleep problems persist because of a circadian disorder.

Until scientist figure out from their finding how to help fix our body’s internal clock….what can we do in the meantime?

Often a gradual move back to a normal sleep schedule can be achieved by waking earlier or later slowly over a period of weeks can correct the body’s clock. Check with your doctor to see if you need or can take melatonin. Your body produces less melatonin as you age. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland and it affects our body’s sleep/wake cycle.

Get as much light as possible. When you wake up, you should get as much bright light as you can as this will tell your brain that it is morning and reset your biological clock. This is the best time of day to get your exercise and get your vitamin D too. If you prefer to stay inside, stay in a well lit room. Your doctor may suggest Bright Light Therapy as it will affect the production of melatonin and can be used at different times of day to alter patterns of sleeping and waking.

According to Dr. Mark Rosekind of Alertness Solutions, if you have messed up your body clock and get sleepy during the day a cup of coffee and a short power nap (20 min) can give you the energy you need to get through the day. Also talk to your doctor about medications you are taking as some contain caffeine and should be taken earlier in the day and not close to bedtime. The content in Body Clock Secrets to Sleep Easy is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rheumatoid Arthritis Sleep Tips and Foods that Trigger RA Symptoms

According to John Hopkins rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common, persistent systemic disorder that can cause inflammation of joints throughout the body. Early stage of RA the thin layer of tissue known as the synovial membrane that provides lubrication to ease movement to the joints become inflamed and thickened, causing pain and limited joint movement. Later as the disease progresses, the cartilage and the ends of the bones in the joint erode. The result is severe joint damage and deformity. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and stiffness in the joints. RA is usually in the small joints of the hands and wrists but can progress to the elbows, shoulders, knees, hips, ankles, feet and neck. In some cases organs including eyes, heart and lungs may become inflamed too. Research suggests that RA is an autoimmune disorder caused by the attack of the immune system on some of the body’s own cells. RA develops between the ages of 20 and 50 and the chances increase with age. Women are three times more likely than men to develop RA. Treatment includes that RA sufferers need over 10 hours of sleep at night, or eight hours with a two hour nap during the day. What are other rheumatoid arthritis sleep tips and foods that trigger RA symptoms?

[caption id="attachment_844" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Rheumatoid Arthritis Sleep Tips and Foods that Trigger RA Symptoms - Deformed Joints"][/caption]

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients need quantity and quality sleep to in order to fight debilitating pain and fatigue. Rest is one of the only things that can enable those living with RA to function in a somewhat normal manner. Rheumatoid arthritis patients frequently complain that restful or adequate sleep is elusive. To promote sleep practice and patients are required to get the rest they need. See: Mind Your P's and Q's Easy Sleep Techniques Meditation and Self Hypnosis

• Pursue physical comfort. Deal with pain and discomfort as much as possible ahead of bedtime. This not only includes pain medicine, but also could include heat patches or creams. Look for your ultimate mattress and pillow. A memory foam mattress allows your weight to be distributed across the surface and your hip and shoulder will sink in and the foam will contour to other areas providing support for your whole body. A good mattress and pillow will help alleviate joint stiffness in the morning.

• Attempt to relax. Release the intense stress of another day living with RA. Things that might help include a gentle massage, warm bath, a cup of chamomile tea, aroma therapy, sleep music and non-constrictive clothing.

• Watch out for medicine. Some drugs or medications interfere with sleep. These may include various vitamins, cold medications, prednisone, and blood pressure medicines. Check with your pharmacist. Some can take methotrexate at bedtime successfully, but it if bothers you, you may decide to take it earlier in the day.

• Be careful about food and drink: Some foods and drinks promote sleep and some interfere. Caffeine is the obvious one, but watch to see what bothers you, such as sugar. A typical safe snack is a banana or a turkey sandwich with milk – full of L-tryptophan and potassium to fight leg cramps. Alcohol and nicotine are also known sleep stealers. More food triggers below.

• Take hormones earlier in the day. Many hormones such as estrogen or thyroid supplements can interfere with sleep if taken near bedtime.

What foods trigger RA symptom? Antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, high-fiber grains, lean cut meats can all help reduce RA aches and pains. Animal products such as red meat, pork, poultry, eggs and butter can increase inflammation in the body. If you love eggs, make an omelet with egg whites only. Choose leaner cuts of meat like; sirloin steak, chicken breast and pork. Since milk has tryptophan in it which can help you fall asleep easy, switch to skim or no-fat. All fat is not bad, you can get polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in olive oil, nuts and avocados.

Trans-fatty acids and oils that are chemically processed are in snacks and spread contain a C-reactive protein a marker doctors use to indicate the amount of inflammation is in the blood. TFA-rich foods have a profound effect on inflammatory markers making them twice as dangerous as saturated fats. Just look at the nutrition label on packaged and processed foods as food manufacturers are required to list trans fats. Note: even if the label states zero trans fats the FDA allows a product to contain up to half a gram of trans fat per serving. What does that mean? You may exceed your maximum daily recommended amount with just three pieces of toast with a trans-fat-free margarine. Did you know that foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids can actually reduce levels of the C-reactive protein? If you crave a snack, eat nuts that are a great source of omega-3 instead of chips. Replace margarine with Smart Balance Omega-3 Buttery Spread which contains omega-3 rich flaxseed and fish oil.

[caption id="attachment_845" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Rheumatoid Arthritis Sleep Tips and Foods that Trigger RA Symptoms - Joint Comparison"][/caption]

Besides chips other comfort foods like cakes, cookies are high on the glycemic index as they break down quickly into sugar making your insulin levels increase, causing inflammation. If you crave something sweet eat it with some protein to slow down the glucose process. White flour, potatoes and rice will also break down quickly into sugar. Replace white bread, potatoes and rice with whole grains, sweet potatoes and brown rice as they are on the lower end of the GI index. For something sweet, but healthy try Bing cherries, apples and pears. Bake apples or pears with cinnamon to make a dessert as cinnamon help regulate your blood sugar.

Some people with RA not only eat foods that trigger RA symptoms but they also have an allergic reaction to some foods. Food intolerance reaction include; bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and headaches. If you have food allergies your immune system creates antibodies that cause inflammation. In order to find which foods are causing your food allergies fist pick healthier substitutes. Keep track of physical reactions to foods in a food diary. By eliminating foods and reintroducing them to see if you get a negative reaction. Also a food diary will help your doctor treat your RA. The content in Rheumatoid Arthritis Sleep Tips and Foods that Trigger RA Symptoms is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Couples Sleep Easy Together or Apart

Do couples sleep easy together or apart? My grandparents, my parents and even Lucy and Desi slept apart in their twin beds. The Sleep and Biological Rhythms found that women sleep less when they share a bed verses men sleep better next to their partner. According to the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center, Mark Mahowald, more couples are sleeping separately, because women have a tougher time sharing a bed with men as they are likely to be snorers. But snoring may not be the only problem; other illnesses and sleep disturbances, different work schedules, different sleep schedules or disagreements on firmness of the mattress are also sleep stealers. In addition, women tend to be lighter sleepers due to their motherly instincts to wake easily to a crying child. Men are very dependent on close relationships and are much happier and healthier when they sleep with their partner than men that are single and sleep alone. Experts agree that couples should look for solutions to snoring and other sleep problems before sleeping in separate beds.

[caption id="attachment_839" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Couples Sleep Easy Together or Apart - Lucy and Desi Twin Beds"][/caption]

If your partner snores, tosses and turns or hogs the covers it might not be entirely your partners fault for your lack of sleep. Sleepers often move together almost in a choreographed sequence and if your partner moves a lot during the night you will too, however sleeping together is still better than sleeping alone on a twin mattress. One of the best ways to improve your marriage sleep is to get a comfortable queen or king mattress. If your bed is five years or older it might have lumps and sagging spots that cause stiff aching joints. A better mattress can reduce tossing and turning. For those that steal the covers during the night, try having your own blankets so you won’t wake up during the night because you are too cold.

Snoring can be the result of dry air that results in stuffiness and congestion. Try a humidifier and/or nasal strips to keep the airways moist and open. If your partner is overweight, fat directly contributes to snoring and can cause sleep apnea. Chronic snoring should be checked out by your physician. If your partner wakes up periodically during the night with a sudden gasp for breath the excess weight on their neck may be causing a constriction to their airway passage. Losing just 10% of their weight can help reduce signs of sleep apnea and alleviate snoring. And we all know if you turn a snorer on their side they will snore less.

Sleeping with children can add to sleep problems. You should encourage children to sleep in their own bed so you can enjoy the space you have and not worry about getting kicked or jabbed during the night. Co-sleeping with children can also lead to suffocation according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Keep your television out of your bedroom or at least off at night. A study found that couples with a TV in the bedroom are less intimate than those without. Watching television in bed can also keep you up later than you should and you won’t get right amount of sleep you need to be refreshed the next day. It can also keep you from falling asleep easy because your mind is racing over the horror movie you just watched. Speaking of intimacy, a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 25% of couples reported feeling so sleepy they lost their sex drive. In a recent survey in Great Britton, 80% of those polled said they would choose a good night's sleep over a night of passion. This sample included both men and women!

Report have shown that people actually sleep sounder alone, but are sleeping better together. There is something that is beneficially to sleeping together that outweighs sleep disruptions from their sleep partner. You share a bed to find comfort and emotional intimacy even if you don’t get the best night’s sleep. Many reasons for sleep problem can include; which side of the bed they want to sleep on, different sleep positions, temperature of the room, sheet textures, teeth grinding, night light or no light, sleep music or no noise, size and firmness of bed, window open or fan on, number of pillows, time to go to bed and get up in the morning and your partners inability to sleep.

[caption id="attachment_840" align="alignright" width="249" caption="Couples Sleep Easy Together or Apart - Adults Too Tall for Twin Bed"][/caption]

If any of these reasons are other than medical (teeth grinding, snoring or insomnia) you need to be realistic and come to a compromise. One compromise might be to sleep in separate bedrooms or twin beds. Sleeping separately can save a marriage as many couple sacrifice comfort to be close to their partner, but after about five years people just want a good night’s sleep.

If you are considering a twin mattress review these twin bed stats:

Twin Mattress Size Dimensions

Twin Bed or Single Bed

• Overall dimensions: 39" wide x 75" long
• Width per person: 39''
• Advantages: Due to its small size, it easily fits in to small bedrooms. Twin bed sheets are least expensive of all sheet sizes and come in different patterns.
• Disadvantage: Its standard size is quite short for many adults.

Twin Extra Long Bed

• Overall dimensions: 39" wide x 80" long
• Width per person: 39"
• Advantages: This bed is 5'' longer than the standard twin bed and so is comfortable for taller teens and adults. For more flexibility, two extra long twin beds are a good option. It can either be used single or pushed together to form a king size bed.
• Disadvantages: The twin bed bedding is difficult to find as it's not available in all patterns.

The content in Couples Sleep Easy Together or Apart is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Loss Weight Tip SLEEP

Want to lose weight? A great loss weight tip SLEEP! It is true the more you sleep it will actually help you loss excess pounds. During the day the more active you are it is easier to maintain your weight, but at night the opposite is true. According to research, getting plenty of deep sleep is a major key to weight loss. In fact, sleeping less than the recommended seven hours of sleep can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. A 2010 University of Chicago study reported that those who slept 8.5 hours lost 56% more body fat than those that slept only 5.5 hours. Why? Too little sleep may change your metabolism, so you will burn more calories slowly. It also alters levels of hormones that affect body fat. If you eat more, every extra hour of sleep means you are 21% less likely to eat high calorie night time snacks. Your body may mistake chronic sleepiness for hunger and people will eat when they don’t really need too. So, sleep easy and deep to lose weight!

Here are 12 tips experts feel how you can get enough sleep, so you will lose weight.

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1. How many hours of sleep do you need. If you feel rested after six hours of sleep, wake up without an alarm and don’t get drowsy during the day you are probably getting enough sleep. If you are tired during the day and need caffeine to stay awake, you are getting less than you need. Establishing a sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help you get into a good sleeping habit. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier every night and see how you feel the next day to determine how many hours you need. Slowly adjusting the time you go to bed will help you to fall asleep easier than making a dramatic change from 6 hours to 8.5 hours, as you will just lie there tossing and turning and increasing your stress level. If you find you can’t fall asleep, get up and do something boring or relaxing like taking a warm bath or reading a dull book.

2. Control your stress level. Do you dread going to bed because you can’t fall asleep easy? Before you go to bed write down what is causing your stress. When you get your worries or to-do-list out of your head and onto paper it will help you prioritize your life and can make problems more manageable, so you can deal with them the next day.

3. According to Dr. Chokroverty, the program director for clinical neurophysiology and sleep medicine, wine may help you to fall asleep, but when it wears off, you wake up. Alcohol interferes with serotonin neurotransmitters which help you to in the deeper, restorative stage of sleep. If you like to have a drink, have it at least 2 hours prior to bedtime.

4. Shut down all electronics; TV, computer, iPhone Touch, cell phone, video games and other gadgets at least an hour before bed. Electronics that activate the brain will inhibit sleep. Try to listen to sleep music mp3, white noise or a hypnotic CD instead. These will not only help relax your mind but will help keep you from thinking about all the things you have to do the next day.

5. Try to avoid caffeine and nicotine before bedtime. Coffee and cigarettes may help wake you up but they also prevent you from sleeping soundly at night. Caffeine takes eight hours to leave the body, so don’t drink coffee, soda or take medication that contain caffeine in the afternoon.

6. Sleep environment is essential for a good night sleep. Your bedroom should be cool, quiet, dark and even pet free. You also want to associate your bedroom with sleep. If you watch TV or search on your computer you will train your brain to associate your bed as a play you “play” instead of sleep. Also light from these devices will inhibit production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle. If you can’t control the light or noise in your room you may want to purchase some ear plugs or a mask. You can also turn on a fan to diminish external noises like noisy neighbors or dogs barking. The Better Sleep Council recommends that the ideal sleep temperature is about 65 degrees. Pets are great for the heart, but they can interrupt your sleep by jumping up on your bed during the night. If you must have your pets in your bedroom train them to sleep in their own pet bed on the floor.

7. Exercise is also great for your heart, but if you want to sleep better it is advised not to work out late in the evening. Exercise raises the body’s core temperature and makes it hard for you to fall asleep easy. The best time of day to exercise is early in the morning, but if this time is inconvenient for you try to work out at least four hours before your bedtime.

8. Some of us need to have a nightly snack, because they feel if they go to sleep hungry they don’t sleep well and will wake up earlier in the morning. Food that are full of tryptophan, an amino acid that causes drowsiness are; whole grains, chicken, turkey, eggs or a glass of warm milk. My best nightly snack is milk toast, just heat some milk and toast your whole wheat bread. Butter your bread and cut up into one inch squares, place in a bowl. Pour warm milk over bread and add a teaspoon of sugar or 2 teaspoons of honey (see more about honey below).

9. I love to nap, but taking a nap late in the day can cause me to go to be way past my bedtime. Also taking a nap may mean you are sleep deprived at night. If you love to nap, a power nap is the best. A short 30 minute nap before 4pm will invigorate you and still allow you to stick to your bedtime schedule.

10. You may have a nutrient deficiency if you are having trouble sleeping. See my article on Magnesium and Sleep for more information. Dr Kravich recommends 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium for premenopausal women and 1,500 mg for menopausal women –along with 500 mg of magnesium for every 1,000 mg of calcium. And take them before bedtime. But watch out: Magnesium has a laxative effect. You should check with your doctor before taking any supplement.

11. Do you suffer from nightly heartburn or acid reflux? A study done in 2010 by the University of Oklahoma, more than 2/3rds of us experience some kind of discomfort during the night and 40% of these conditions disturb sleep. It is important to talk to your doctor if you suffer from heartburn, indigestion or acid reflux night after night, because it may lead to other health issues; like cancer.

12. As with any condition, having trouble with sleeping could be caused by an underlying health issue; like sleep apnea which is an interruption of breathing while asleep which increases your chances of gaining weight. Treating sleep apnea can be enough to help you lose weight and losing weight is enough to treat sleep apnea.

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Getting enough sleep not only helps you to lose weight it also helps you to be more productive and allows you to have the energy you need to maintain your weight during the day. Some believe that not only should we get a good night’s rest we also need to speed up our metabolism and balance blood sugar levels that let our recovery hormones burn stored fat. Honey has the ability to fuel our liver because it contains fructose and glucose that can do just that. The The Hibernation Diet uses honey to help us lose weight while we sleep and aides in sleep, period. Do you wake up during the night? Suffer from night sweats? Experience acid reflux? Get up to go to the bathroom during the night? Wake up still tired? Get leg cramps during the night or wake with a dry throat? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Hibernation Diet maybe what you need.

The Hibernation Diet’s creator, a British pharmacist and a sports nutritionist, emphasize on giving your body “the right fuel to work with.” This could mean that the Hibernation Diet, coupled with a sensible calorie-count diet, could work to your advantage, especially if your chosen calories come from healthy food such as whole wheat products and grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat in reasonable portion sizes. After all, we are not talking about honey as a miracle cure, but something to aid your body while you sleep.

Two to three spoonfuls of honey can be taken in mixed with a warm glass of milk, tea or in milk toast. When starting a new diet it is advised to consult with your physician to ensure that you will not encounter any adverse effects to any other medical issues. If you’re on a calorie-count diet, the calorie content of one tablespoon of honey is roughly 65 calories (calories found on the bottle/jar). That is 1 1/4th more than a teaspoon of granulated sugar.

The content in Weight Loss Tip SLEEP is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Adjustable Beds aid Easy Sleep

In the last 30 years there are many choices when it comes to adjustable beds. People are looking for an alternative choice to the flat beds and want one that reclines, elevates and provides heat and massage options. Also adjustable beds aid easy sleep by alleviating acid reflux by elevating the upper body, provide comfort for those with back pain, osteoarthritis and multiple sclerosis. If you are looking to purchase an adjustable bed there are many reviews on line to provide information on the different brands and technology, because you are not only considering a new mattress but also the electric bed frame. Make sure you read reports about understanding adjustable beds and go to a sleep store to test different mattress choices. There are two types of mattresses for adjustable beds the coil springs and the air adjustable mattress as well as latex and memory foam which are flexible enough for an adjustable bed frame.

The following is an overview of the technical differences between various mattress choices including their sleep aide benefits.

Coil spring mattresses still rank the most popular as they dominate 80% of the market. First patented in 1865, the coil spring mattress differs from the adjustable bed mattress as it is able to bend into various positions. Unlike the flat mattress where the coils are connected together, an adjustable bed mattresses’ coils remain independent thus likely to transfer motion. The more expensive models have a layer of memory foam, latex or a pillow top. In some states the only government standard is a flammability test. Although a coil spring mattress may be the best value in today’s market, the coils can create pressure points especially with your shoulders and hips which can cause you to sleep restlessly.

Memory foam is made to be completely pliable, so it works on both a standard and adjustable bed frame. This mattress will mold to your body so there are no pressure points and is great for anyone with back pain. (I got a memory foam mattress pad topper for Christmas and I have degenerative disk disease, believe me it really helps me get up in the morning without any stiffness or pain.) There are many manufacturers that make a memory foam mattress, but Tempur-Pedic is one of the more well-known brands. Remember when looking at memory foam mattresses there are four factors that determine the quality of the product; the firmness of the foam should be between 2-6 lbs, the ILD rating also determines how hard or soft the material, the H.R. or resilience factor determines how fast the mattress bounces back and the tensile of the mattress shows how well it will stretch by the weight of the sleeper. It is very important to know the warranty and return policy of a mattress. Most manufacturers feel a 3-4 lb firmness is more commonly sold as cost greatly depends on the above four factors. A 5 lb mattress may have a 20 year warranty because it does have a longer lifespan. More information about the four factors on memoryfoammattresspadtoppers.blogspot.com

When you first get your memory foam mattress it will initially have a chemical odor, but this will dissipate over time. Also make sure you have a terry cloth cover over your memory foam mattress, it not only helps keep your mattress clean, you will stay cooler by allowing air to move between you and the foam mattress.

Latex foam is a naturally ensuing substance made from the milky sap of the rubber tree and like memory foam can be flexible enough for both flat and adjustable beds, but is also hypo-allergenic. Mold, mildew and bacteria cannot live in latex and it is also very resilient to dust mites. Two major differences between memory foam and latex foam are; latex has no chemical smell and latex provides breathability which cools in the warmer weather and warms in the cool weather, as memory foam can retain body heat (the reason a terry cloth cover is needed).

There are also two types of latex foam; synthetic and natural and two types of blended synthetic foam; Talalay process and Dunlop process. The blended synthetic foam mattresses use approximately 60% synthetic and 40% natural latex and are primarily sold in the U.S. China makes synthetic foam mattresses that are less expensive and have a shorter lifespan. The most expensive is 100% latex as it doesn’t involve using toxic chemicals and can have a lifespan up to 30 years.

Air bed mattress is one mattress that is, itself, adjustable as you have the option to raise or lower an area of the mattress as well as the overall firmness. Please note that not all models of air mattresses are made for adjustable bed frames as most are used for camping. The air mattress composition consists of inner air chambers, four thick foam side rails that create the firm edge, a cover, a plastic or wood base, an electric pump and a remote control. The more expensive models have a pillow or memory foam pad. Most stores offer a 30 day return policy as this type of bed may require getting used to. An air bed helps people that need maximum circulation and reduction in pressure points therefore is widely used in the health care industry. The Self Adjusting Technology or SAT mattress uses no pumps, but an intake/release valve system to self adjusts to the patient’s weight. This mattress is also available for home use.

Dual adjustable air beds are recommended for couples as it allows each sleeper to control the firmness on their side of the bed by remote control. If more firmness is desired a memory or latex foam topper can be added. It is best to pay a little more for a quiet pump as less expensive models have air pumps that are very load and disturbing if your partner has to adjust the bed during the night.

Here is important information regarding electric adjustable bed frames:

An electric adjustable bed are electrically operated metal frames or bases where a mattress is places. When looking for an adjustable bed frame here are some features to consider; a quiet motor, a remote control (preferably programmable), backup power, built in massage and a wallhugger option that keeps the bed lined up with the nightstands when raised. If you have a king or queen mattress you may consider either a single or split frame to allow each person to adjust their side of the bed. A split frame could cost up to $1000 or more.

Hospital electric beds are designed with the patient in mind as they provide safety, comfort and assistants for those that are disabled or ill. They are available as fully electric (higher cost), semi-electric and manual (lower cost).

Tempur-Pedic has seven mattresses choices that range from $1499 to $5999 with widths from 8” to 14”. These mattresses can be used on flat or adjustable bed frames. Their adjustable bed frames have wireless remote controls and massage features. They also sell memory foam pillows for added comfort and support.

Craftmatic adjustable beds all sit on frames made by Leggett and Platt. They have four models to choose from; the Monaco, luxury model which comes with massage and heat options with high density foam or latex mattresses, other models I, II and III with III the least expensive has a coil spring mattress. To obtain more information about a Craftmatic you need to request a brochure from their website.

Sleep Comfort beds offer a variety of mattress choices such as coil spring, memory foam and latex. Manufactured out of San Diego, this company offers a maintenance program on their beds in all 50 states.

Select Comfort beds are the ‘Sleep Number’ beds that allow each person to adjust their side of the bed with their own firmness ‘number’. Not all mattress models come with an adjustable bed frame as this company touts their mattresses adjustable firmness, but frames can be purchased separately. Their mattresses’ inner core is an air bed that is surrounded by thick foam rails for support, covered in memory foam and enclosed in a mattress cover for additional comfort.

Other brands for adjustable beds are GoldenRest which provides models for both home and hospital use, Niagra, Serta, Sealy, Spring Air and Simmons that offer a wide range of sizes and models to choose from. The content in Adjustable Beds aid Easy Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dr Oz Show $5 Friday Stress Sleep and Weight Loss Tips

Dr. Oz Show called $5 Friday gave tips for stress, sleep and weight loss which include a Pool Noodle Massage, Rene Barbier Mediterranean Wine, Crackling Fire Sound Effect, Liquid Melatonin Extract, a Salad Blaster Bowl, Psyllium and Pure Coconut Water. What got a lot of the quests excited is that Dr Oz is doing a Cash Giveaway. He gave everyone in his audience a $5 bill and those who got a $5 bill with Dr. Oz’s face in it got to go to the cash machine. Each had 10 seconds to grab as many $5 bills as they could get a hold of. As with any cash machine, you are only allowed to grab the money in the air and not on the ground. Rules also included that they grab a colored bill as well. The first lady grabbed $155, the second $85 and the third $75. Dr. Oz added a zero to the end of each winning amount then totaled the numbers to equal $3150. What does this mean? Three lucky home viewers have a chance to win $3150 on Monday at 3pm!

Dr Oz: Pool Noodle Massage

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Dr. Oz and Carmen Wong Ulrich, author of The Real Cost of Living, showed us how to reduce stress for only $5. She stated that massages are the best but expensive, so you want to duplicate the feeling at home. Pool Noodles can be purchased online for less than $5 and there are two massages you can do; one is to lie on top of the noodle horizontally and roll up and down, second lie on the Pool Noodle vertically along your spine and roll side to side.

Dr Oz: Rene Barbier Mediterranean Wine – $5 Wine

Another stress reliever, according to Dr Oz, is a $5 bottle of wine. If you find it hard to fall asleep easy, because you can’t stop thinking about all the things you have to do and relax. Did you know constant worrying will cause neurotransmitters in your brain to continue produce stress hormones and by drinking a little wine, you slow down your neurotransmitters? Carmen Ulrich said that Spanish and Portuguese wines are very inexpensive while being great quality. You can get a delicious bottle of Rene Barbier Mediterranean Wine for $4.49 online.

Dr Oz: Crackling Fire Sound Effect Sleep Remedy

While the sleep industry makes 23 billion a year, Dr Oz said that one sleep aid that helps you get a good night sleep only cost 99 cents, Crackling Fire Sound Effect mp3 or CD. Listening to sleep music will help your brain think of something else instead of your to-do-list, what is known as a Fire and Ice Approach by Carmen Ulrich.

Dr Oz: Sleep Ice Packs

Many times I have talked about staying cool during the night will help you sleep. Ulrich concurred that you want to be cool while you sleep and there are Sleep Ice Packs available for $30. But you can save a few bucks and buy a regular ice pack that you just slip inside of your pillowcase to cool you down at night. This may also be beneficial for anyone suffering from night sweats.

Dr Oz: Melatonin Extract & Chamomile Tea

Dr Oz said that a great Sleep Remedy is to mix 2 tsp of Liquid Melatonin Extract into a glass of chamomile tea before you go to bed. Add honey for some extra flavor. Honey also helps you to fall asleep. I found 2oz of Melatonin Extract for $4.99 online. (6oz=1tsp) You can also find melatonin extract at your pharmacy or local health food store.

Dr Oz: Salad Blaster Bowl to Control Calories

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Salad Blaster Bowl is when you put your salad in the plastic bowl portion of the container and then there is a little compartment in the lid that holds just two ounces of dressing. All you do is push down on the little salad dressing compartment and the salad dressing gets dispensed over the salad, you shake it up, and you have the perfect fresh salad. Dr Oz said that you can buy the Salad Blaster Bowl at The Container Store. A large Salad Blaster Bowl is also available on Amazon.com for $3.99. The large bowl contains 40oz of salad, 3oz of dressing and a gel cold pack that will keep your salad cold, if traveling. Great for taking to work!

Dr Oz: Psyllium for Weight Loss

Dr Oz said that Psyllium Seeds or Psyllium Tablets are fabulous fibers that make you feel full so that you eat less. Just eat one Psyllium Wafer and a glass of water, to prevent constipation and gas. Taking this product without adequate fluid may cause it to swell and block your throat or esophagus and may cause choking. Do not take this product if you have difficulty swallowing. Metamucil offers Psyllium Wafers that are flavored with cinnamon or apple crisp. Carlson Labs Psyllium Fiber Supplement, 500mg available on amazon.com for $3.64.

Dr Oz: Coconut Water Boosts Metabolism

Dr Oz said that Pure Coconut Water costs around $2 and boosts your metabolism because Coconut Water contains Arginine. Arginine enhances the function of muscle – helping muscles use calories more efficiently so that they don’t end up as stored fat. Coconut Water quickly metabolizes and functions in some ways as an antioxidant. Coconut has been shown to have some benefit for hypothyroidism, particularly the virgin coconut oil. Both the anti-viral and hypothyroid benefits may be due to coconut's general immune system support. More information about hypothyroidism and sleep see:  hyperthyroidism hypothyroidism and sleeping.

Dr Oz: Free Cash Giveaway

For a chance to win $3150 in Dr Oz’s Free Money Giveaway, log onto Dr Oz’s website at 3 pm on January 10, 2011. The first three people to go to Dr Oz’s website on January 10th at 3 pm will each win $3150!

The content in Dr Oz Show $5 Friday Stress Sleep and Weight Loss Tips is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Sleep Environment

Can you fall asleep easy anywhere? We all know people who can fall asleep on the beach, while riding in a car or watching TV. I even know someone who will probably fall asleep watching the Jets/Colts football game. When your sleep/wake cycle is under control you can relax enough to sleep anywhere. However, if you sleep cycle is disrupted you must make sure that your sleep environment is just as important as establishing a sleep routine.

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Our mind is sensitive to associations, for instance, do you get excited when you go to the airport even if you are just there to pick someone up? The airport is associated with travelling as your bed is associated with sleep. Do you have a favorite chair or sofa where you sit at the end of a long day to relax? Sometimes I find it easier to fall asleep there instead of my bed! This is the power of association and by creating positive sleep associations that will influence when you go to bed this will encourage sleep. It is very important to change negative sleep habits and create new positive ones. For one, there are a lot of things people do in bed that disrupt sleep. Reading, eating and watching television in bed are all habits that keep us from falling asleep. These people got into the habit of being insomniacs. There are only three things you should do in bed and they are; sleep, make love and listen to a sleep mp3.

This means no computer, no video games, no reading and no eating in your bedroom. Remove all electronics from your room and even turn the alarm clock away from you so you are not distracted by its light or constantly checking the time. Constantly checking the time will only cause you to become more frustrated with your inability to fall asleep, as a result this will keep you awake longer because your heart rate has increased due to being anxious or stressed. If you lie in bed for more than 20 minutes get up and do something boring like writing in your sleep journal or making your to-do-list. Sometimes getting the thoughts that are keeping you awake down on paper will help your brain release these frustrations and enable you to relax. Go back to bed when you feel sleepy.

One way to control your sleep environment is by the amount of light and dark will affect your sleep. Light and dark releases hormones in our brain called cortisol, which wakes us up in the daylight and melatonin, which induces sleep at night. So in order to fall asleep easy and stay asleep all night you should keep your bedroom really dark all night. Sometimes it is hard to control the amount of light that comes into your room. Summer sun, outside street lights or oncoming traffic can be eliminated by blinds or black curtains. If you are travelling you can wear an eye mask, like the ones you get on the airplane.

Another important change to your sleep environment is controlling noise. If you live in a high traffic area or live next to noisy neighbors I bet after awhile you aren’t even aware of these sounds because the mind learns to ignore unimportant stimulus. Your mind gets used to hearing repeated sounds and after awhile you can ignore them and sleep peacefully. It’s the sounds we aren’t used to that wake us up during the night. So if you fall asleep to your television and we unconsciously hear something we think is important (like that new gadget they are trying to sell), dogs barking or a siren we will wake up. To eliminate outside noises that we have no control of we can listen to a sleep mp3, white noise or simply turn on a fan or wear ear plugs.

[caption id="attachment_813" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Sleep Environment - Bed and Bedroom Not Too Hot or Too Cold"][/caption]

Lastly research has shown that we sleep best when we are comfortably warm and snug in our bed when the temperature is cool. I wake up a lot during the night if the room is too warm. Covers on, covers off, feet out or feet in these sleep stealers can be diverted if only the room temperature is around 69 degrees. A too cold room can also wake you during the night because your body temperature gradually falls and is at its lowest around four in the morning. You need to make sure your bedding will keep you warm enough to keep you cozy all night long. Make sure you are not allergic to your bedding as this will cause you to become congested or even break out in a rash. Try 100% cotton or organic sheets, pillowcase and blankets. Your allergy can also be caused by your laundry detergent.

The content in Sleep Environment is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Monday, January 3, 2011

How do you know if you are sleep deprived Take this quiz to find out

How do you know if you are sleep deprived? Your body will send you plenty of signals, but some of us are so used to being sleep deprived we don’t even notice. Sleep deprivation is just like a habit we have to unlearn and be conscious of in order to correct our sleep/wake cycle and get our sleep schedule on track. Take this quiz to find out if you are sleep deprived.

[caption id="attachment_806" align="alignright" width="300" caption="How do you know if you are sleep deprived? Hard to do simple tasks"][/caption]

Do you get frustrated easily? Are you overwhelmed by minor details? When you are sleep deprived you have a hard time distinguishing between relevant and important information. The simplest decisions can become an exaggerated importance. Major decisions are put off until the last minute as it is hard to adapt to changing circumstances.

Do you get sick easy? People who are sleep deprived are more vulnerable to infection than those that are well rested. If you sleep less than seven hours at night you are more likely to catch a cold than those that receive eight hours or more.

Do you feel hungry even when you have eaten? Chronic sleep deprivation may alter blood sugar levels causing the body to produce less leptin, a hormone that curbs appetite and more ghrelin that stimulates hunger urges. You are more likely to overeat when you get less sleep and the foods you snack on may be less nutritious or give you short bursts of energy, like sweets. Sleep deprivation also reduces self-control and lack of energy so instead of making a healthy meal you grab something easy like a donut or fast food.

Are you clumsy? Research has determined that people who have less sleep are less accurate with their motor skills. Impaired reflexes and lack of concentration cause people to react slower to things that arise in their path. Scientists at the Stanford University Sleep Research Center have found that people that become drowsy during the day will develop “micro-sleeps” that last one or two seconds that throw off balance and depth perception. Micro-sleep can be just long enough for you to drop something or trip.

Do you experience mood swings? Without proper sleep you can become emotionally unstable, due to more activity in the amygdale an area in the brain that processes fear and anxiety. Bad sleep equates to bad moods such as grumpiness and irritability. If you find yourself affected by mood swings and sudden bursts of irritability throughout a normal day, might be a sign that you aren’t getting the right amount of sleep. Lack of sleep may make your feel more depressed or sad because your brain stores memories that trigger negative responses than those that are positive or neutral.

Are you tired even if you have a full night of rest? This might suggest that you have been waking up periodically during the night, caused by snoring due to congestion or obstructions in the airway passage, identified by doctors as OSA. Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is when people literally stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, often for a minute or longer and as many as hundreds of times during a single night. Many times OSA is treated by lifestyle changes for instance, losing weight, hormone replacement therapy, avoiding alcohol, sleeping on your side. Severe cases are usually diagnosed at a sleep clinic where the individual stays overnight where their sleep is monitored. The sleep study will tell the physician that the patient will either considered for a CPAP or Continuous Positive Airways Pressure machine which will blow air into the throat during the night or surgery to remove, shrink or stiffen the excess tissue in the back of the throat. If you wake up with a sore achy throat it may be a sign you have OSA and you should consult with your physician.

Drinking alcohol before going to be might allow you to fall asleep easy, but it is known to wake you during the night when the effect wears off. Hormonal problems, increased blood pressure and obesity are also recognized as conditions that cause you to wake up during the night.

Do you depend on caffeine or other stimulants to give you energy during the day? Many people enjoy a few cups of coffee a day without having a sleep disorder. But if you find your base energy level is close to exhaustion and the only way you can function properly is with caffeine you may be sleep deprived. You may also find it easier to fall asleep if you avoid caffeine in the afternoon or at night.

Waking up feeling energized means getting enough sleep by relieving daily stress and anxiety, finding ways to help you relax and finding drug free solutions to maintain healthy sleep cycles. Overtime, sleep deprivation can develop into chronic insomnia. Chronic insomniacs try all manners of treatments in an effort to get a good night sleep like a glass of warm milk or listening to a hypnotic sleep inducing mp3/CD. Many these methods act as a smoke screen  and may work for a period of time, but they will not get to the root of the problem. Before sleep deprivation develops into chronic insomnia you need to address the actual cause.

[caption id="attachment_804" align="alignright" width="242" caption="How do you know if you are sleep deprived? Change negative thoughts"][/caption]

Many experts believe that chronic insomnia is less about sleep and more about negative beliefs about sleep and until we make some mental changes no sleep aid will work. If you believe your problem is incurable, that something is basically wrong with you, that your sleep deprivation is different than anyone else even the strongest prescription sleeping pill will not have an effect. When you try a new sleep aid do you lie in bed and tell yourself that this is not going to work? Just like the symptoms of sleep deprivation being an insomniac can become who we are, it is a part of our identity. By changing not only your lifestyle but the way you think (which may be contributing to the problem) you can start to turn your life around. You need to know that there is nothing different about your problem, identify negative thoughts and attitudes and see how they are reinforcing your sleep deprivation and/or general health and focus on the positive aspects of your life. You may not have anything physically or psychologically wrong with you that is causing your sleep deprivation other than just developing an unhealthy habit.

The content in How do you know if you are sleep deprived? Take this quiz to find out is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Child Sleep Routine with Cloud B

The best way, in my opinion, to get your children to sleep is to have a routine. Not keeping a routine can always effect how they go to sleep each night. Establishing a set time to go to bed at night and getting up in the morning you will be able to know exactly how much sleep your child needs to feel refreshed during the day. If they are not tired when you lay them down at night it can become complicated, therefore it is best to start their routine at least an hour before bedtime. This allows them to wind down and will train their mind and body when it is time to go to sleep as this will eventually become a habit for them.

Not only does your child have to feel secure and safe to have peace of mind to be able to relax enough to fall asleep easy. They also need to calm down by having a story read to them, watch a short movie or television show. You can also help them calm down by giving them a warm bath. It is best to have both parents involved in the nightly routine so the children don’t depend on just one parent to put them to bed. As a result, if they wake up during the night they won’t depend on the same parent to put them back to sleep. Once your child is in bed they may also have a blanket or stuffed animal that they want as part of their routine. This helps them rely on themselves to fall asleep and not the parent, so over time if they wake up during the night they can find the comfort and security in the object and not expect a parent to put them back to sleep.

[caption id="attachment_799" align="alignright" width="227" caption="Child Sleep Routine with Cloud B"][/caption]

A good plush animal can be stuffed with dried lavender which is an herb that induces sleep. Cloud B Lavender Lab has aromatherapy packets of 100% lavender in the head, back and bottom, which produce aroma for up to five years. To release the aroma gently squeeze the animal. If your child is afraid of the dark and wants a night light, Cloud B Twilight Constellation Turtle projects a complete starry night sky onto the walls and ceiling of any room, making night-time less scary and more fun. Choose from three soothing color options to create a magical, tranquil environment that helps children from age three and up to ease into restful sleep. Cloud B Sleep Sheep has four soothing sounds that help drown out distracting noises and let your children drift into dreamland. Having a plush animal helps a restless child have something to cuddle with while listening to relaxing, repetitive sounds. The four sounds include: a mother’s heartbeat, spring showers, ocean waves and whale songs. Child sleep routine with Cloud B products like Cloud b Sleep Sheep - Four Soothing Sounds From Nature are available at amazon.com and cloudb.com.

For more information on how to calm a baby to sleep see:  Calming a Baby to Sleep
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Heartburn Sleep Tips Techniques and the Mattress Genie Bed Lift System

What can you do for heartburn other than popping antacids like candy? Did you know that if you drink one less carbonated beverage a day will decrease the risk of heartburn by 30%? Or switching your lighter roast coffee for darker roasted can reduce stomach acids? Even if you eat 3 hours before bedtime can help with GERD or acid reflux. 40% of people in the U.S. have heartburn at least once a month and 10% of us get it daily. Chronic heartburn is a sign of acid reflux a condition when left untreated can increase the risk of esophageal cancer. Less heartburn means better sleep as four out of ten people with GERD have sleep problems. Laying down causes a backwash of acid from your stomach to your throat and by trying some heartburn sleep tips and techniques you could reduce your acid reflux by 60%.

Prescription medications aren’t your only relief option as there are other ways to keep your stomach acids from going into your esophagus. Elevate your head with the mattress genie bed lift system, avoid chocolate and spicy foods, cut back on salt and fat, eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains and lose 10% of your body fat. If you are taking benzodiazepines like Valium, Xanax or Halcyon to fall asleep ask your doctor for an alternative medication as these drugs can increase heartburn by 50%, because they relax the muscle valve that keeps the acid in your stomach. Other tips include taking a walk after eating a big meal, chewing gum (not mint) and drinking milk to reduce the chance for heartburn. Other heartburn triggers are citrus fruits, tomatoes, raw onions, garlic, black pepper, vinegar, fatty and spicy foods, light roasted coffee and alcoholic beverages.

[caption id="attachment_788" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Heartburn Sleep Tips Techniques and the Mattress Genie Bed Lift System"][/caption]

Avoiding heartburn food triggers, changing acid causing medications and using the Mattress Genie Bed Lift System will reduce acid reflux and help you to fall asleep easy and stay asleep throughout the night. The Mattress Genie Bed Lift System can transform your mattress into an adjustable bed for a fraction of the cost of a mechanical adjustable bed. With just the touch of a button, you can raise your bed to the angle that best suits your needs. It uses electricity to pump air into the lift chamber which is made of thick, durable polymer with double edge seams to prevent the air from escaping. Pressing the up button can raise your head up to 26 inches and pressing the down button to lower your head or choose the flat button to completely flatten the lift system. The system is portable and easy to pack for overnight stays. Installing is easy as you place it under your sleep mattress, attach the hose and plug it in! It works with all types of mattresses; coil, spring, futon or memory foam.

[caption id="attachment_789" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Heartburn Sleep Tips Techniques and the Mattress Genie Bed Lift System"][/caption]

Now everyone can enjoy the comfort and luxury of an adjustable bed! The Mattress Genie bed wedge provides a simple solution for raising your mattress and reducing the pain and discomfort caused by GERD, acid reflux, heartburn, congestion, snoring and other sleep disorders.

One Amazon product review states: “Product gives adjustable lift to the head of the bed without causing you to slide down in the bed as the automatic bed did. We have tried them all: pillows, block elevators and the electric bed and this product has proven superior. Very easy to use and effective at preventing reflux over night....”

The content in Heartburn Sleep Tips Techniques and the Mattress Genie Bed Lift System is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

This article is dedicated to my late husband, Bob, he passed away from esophageal cancer in 1999 from heartburn that lead to GERD. That is why it is very important for you to take care of your heartburn by trying some of these tips and techniques and are under the care of your family doctor.
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Insomnia Sleep Music Mp3

Are you too stressed and anxious to fall asleep easy? You can’t seem to relax because your heart is racing and your mind is thinking about how you are going to pay your bills or keeping track of all the things you need to do. How can you wind down to fall asleep? One way is to listen to an insomnia sleep music mp3 as it will allow you to focus on the sounds of ocean waves, a thunderstorm, binaural beats or even hypnotic subliminal relaxation suggestions through instrumental music. You will be able to fall asleep naturally as your mind listens to the sleep music instead of thinking about what is making you stressed.

Stress and anxiety are the number one causes of insomnia and many doctors recommend alternative ways to overcome these conditions without prescription medication. It is important to alleviate stress before it turns an occasional night of sleeplessness into chronic insomnia which causes other health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes or even depression.

Using sleep music is useful in overcoming stress, lowering blood pressure and improving your overall health and mood by getting the sleep that you need. It is necessary to alter your sleep music method as your brain will become accustom to hearing the same thing every night and needs new stimuli to respond effectively.

[caption id="attachment_776" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Insomnia Sleep Music Mp3 - Brain Waves Beta and Alpha"][/caption]

Hypnotic subliminal relaxation suggestions through instrumental music is one way your body can unwind as your mind will gently be immersed with repetitive words to help slow down into what is known as alpha waves and allow you to drift off to sleep. Every 90 minutes you complete a sleep cycle as your brain waves become slower and slower until you will reach your delta waves or what is known as deep sleep. The delta stage of sleep is your most refreshing sleep and completing an entire sleep cycle is important for health and wellbeing. Many insomnia sleep music mp3s incorporate natural brainwave patterns as beats and tones are embedded into the sound to mimic the brain’s pulses and in doing so will help you to fall asleep and stay asleep until you reach the deep sleep of delta.

[caption id="attachment_777" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Insomnia Sleep Music Mp3 - Brain Waves Theta and Delta"][/caption]

Many people wake up periodically during the night and by listening to their sleep music again they can fall back to sleep naturally. Sleep mp3’s can represent sounds other than instrumental music like those of ocean waves, a thunderstorm or even white noise. White noise is a type of noise that is produced by combining sounds of all different frequencies together. If you took all of the imaginable tones that a human can hear and combined them together, you would have white noise. Because white noise contains all frequencies, it is frequently used to mask other sounds and creates a sense of calm, making it easier to concentrate, relax and/or sleep.

Binaural beats are also a way to divert your brain from over thinking and create a kind of a beat used to induce sleep. This form of brainwave entrainment works better when used with isochoric tones because binaural beats require the listener to use stereo headphones. Isochoric tones do not require headphones and combining the beats will be more comfortable to listen to in bed. There have been a number of claims regarding binaural beats, among them that they may help people memorize and learn, stop smoking, help dieting, tackle erectile dysfunction and improve athletic performance.

Scientific research into binaural beats is very limited. No conclusive studies have been released to support the wilder claims listed above. However, some studies indicate that binaural beats may have a relaxing effect.

For more information see: Insomnia MP3

The content in Insomnia Sleep Music MP3 is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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