Tuesday, August 30, 2011

High Blood Pressure Chocolate and Sleep

What causes high blood pressure? What is the connection between high blood pressure, chocolate and sleep? First we need to state the difference between primary and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension accounts for 95% of all high blood pressure cases (roughly 72 million Americans) it is multifactorial, that means, there are multiple factors or causes that contribute to producing high blood pressure and is far more common than secondary hypertension that is caused by a specific abnormality. The basic causes are not always known but certain associations have been recognized in people that are prone to high blood pressure; like those that intake a lot of salt and are advancing in age, African Americans, obese, genetically predisposition and suffer from renal insufficiency.

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Approximately 30% of cases of primary hypertension are attributable to genetic factors. Incidences of high blood pressure are greater among African Americans than among Caucasians or Asians and in individuals who have one or two parents with hypertension, high blood pressure is twice as common. The vast majority of patients with primary hypertension have in common a particular abnormality of the arteries or what is known as hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis). This condition is present in those individuals whose primary hypertension is associated with genetic factors, obesity, lack of exercise, overuse of salt, and aging.

High blood pressure and sleep: A lack of deep sleep may be one of the reasons why people develop high blood pressure. A study of older men (age 65 and older) that was recently published found that those who got the least amount of deep sleep were 80% more likely to develop high blood pressure, compared to those who got longer, less interrupted sleep. This study monitored 800 men over a 3 year period with an at-home sleep test that measured sleep patterns and NREM or deep sleep. Results found that poor quality sleep or reduced deep sleep puts people at risk of hypertension and that it is independent from those that suffer from sleep apnea. Deep sleep is the time the body restores and repairs itself. When you are sleeping deeply your blood pressure drops, your breathing slows and your heart rate slows. When you get less deep sleep your blood pressure doesn’t drop enough which may damage your blood vessels. How do you know if you aren’t getting enough deep sleep?

If you are not getting enough deep sleep you are tired during the day, you snore or may stop breathing periodically during the night. Your medication may also cause you to sleep poorly. Ask your doctor for an alternative medication or see if reducing the dose or changing the time when you take it helps (from pm to am). Your quality of sleep is something you need to pay attention to.

What can high blood pressure cause? It’s known as the silent killer and puts people at increase risk for heart disease including; heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, peripheral artery disease, and aortic aneurysms (weakening of the wall of the aorta, leading to widening or ballooning of the aorta).

[caption id="attachment_1541" align="alignright" width="240" caption="High Blood Pressure Dark Chocolate and Sleep - Moderate Chocolate Calorie Intake"][/caption]

High blood pressure and chocolate: Five of the seven studies reported a beneficial link between higher levels of chocolate consumptions and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They found that “the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke, compared with the lowest levels of consumption.” The evidence in these studies supports further controlled trials using well-defined preparations of chocolate before they can determine the actual effect of chocolate on heart disease. If the compounds in cocoa can reduce high blood pressure and help with other heart related conditions; it will be important to identify and isolate them to determine the proper dose and best form of treatment. Probably a pill and not a candy bar. :(

Eating chocolate has a positive impact on human health, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, namely reducing blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity.

But remember moderation is the key because chocolate, as we all know, is full of calories, and eating too much of it could lead to weight gain, diabetes, or even heart disease – the very ailment some believe chocolate is working to prevent in the first place. When scientists discover the apparent health benefits of chocolate they will find ways to reduce its fat and sugar contents and that would make this “superfood” one sweet treat.

Chocolate and sleep: An article written on chefday.com states that Britain has found further evidence of the health benefits in extra-dark chocolate. The flavanols abundant in raw cocoa powder and dark chocolate (like those found in green tea) help protect cells from oxygen free radicals and reduce inflammation damage. The new findings seem to broaden its benefits far beyond the cardiovascular and anti-cancer benefits documented in numerous prior research reports.

The new evidence was gathered in a study with those that suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). See more on CFS. CFS is characterized by extreme exhaustion, mental confusion, poor stamina and a variety of flu-like symptoms. The study used patients with different degrees of CFS severity from fatigue due to daily activities to those that were frequently bedridden. Participants consumed 1.6 ounces of extra-dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids) daily for eight weeks then stopped for two weeks. After the two week period, they consumed a simulated dark chocolate for another eight weeks. The report showed that they felt less fatigued during the weeks they ate the extra-dark chocolate and began feeling exhausted again when they switched to the placebo chocolate.

Impaired sleep is common among CFS patients, and one possible explanation for the symptom-relief experienced by the test subjects is that dark chocolate is known to increase brain levels of the relaxing, mood-lifting, sleep-enhancing neurotransmitter serotonin, much like the relief a CFS patient gets from taking a serotonin boosting anti-depressant. See other serotonin foods like serotonin chocolate.

[caption id="attachment_1542" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Eat Sleep Chocolate...no no no it's High Blood Pressure Chocolate Sleep"][/caption]

Dark chocolate contains a greater percentage of cocoa solids than does milk chocolate or white chocolate. Because of this, dark chocolate will contain more caffeine than either of these two. Dark chocolate is made with varying percentages of cocoa bean. Chocolate is often labeled either as semi-sweet or bittersweet, terms that are not well defined, though semi-sweet is typically sweeter than bittersweet. So does chocolate contain caffeine? The answer is yes. Does chocolate contain lots of caffeine? The answer is no. Hershey’s milk chocolate bar contains 9 milligrams of caffeine verses 30 milligrams in a Hershey’s dark chocolate candy bar. A typical cup of brewed tea has 40 milligrams.

So should the caffeine that is in chocolate be a concern? It probably should be if you are not healthy or caffeine sensitive. Otherwise, I doubt that the amount of caffeine in chocolate is enough to affect most people unless enormous amounts of chocolate are consumed. In other words if eating or drinking caffeine before bedtime keeps you up you should stay away from chocolate as a late night snack. Chocolate also has another stimulant known as theobromine. Theobromine is the compound that make chocolate dangerous to dogs and cats because it metabolizes so slowly. Theobromine increases your heart rate and can cause sleeplessness and is found in small amounts in dark chocolate. Caffeine and theobromine are stimulants that counteract afternoon sleepiness and many use it as a boost to get through the day. So if you are worried about high blood pressure or have bouts of chronic fatigue, eat some dark chocolate, it’s good for your health. When this superfood is eaten in moderation it can be enormously pleasurable, and one of the most pleasurable foods to be found anywhere is chocolate.

Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The content provided in High Blood Pressure Chocolate and Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families 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, August 28, 2011

Extreme Tiredness in Women

Extreme tiredness in women differs from tiredness associated with occasional fatigue or afternoon sleepiness. Occasional fatigue or afternoon sleepiness goes away with adequate rest and sound, deep sleep. Extreme tiredness that does not go away with rest and nutrition may indicate an underlying disorder or cause that your physician should evaluate. An ongoing physical or mental condition that causes extreme tiredness may or may not be treatable. According to LiveStrong.com the following are four reasons why women (and men) may be suffering from extreme tiredness.

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Anemia: Your red blood cells contain hemoglobin, or a protein high in iron, which carries oxygen throughout the body. Anemia is a reduction in the number of red blood cells, which causes a reduction in the oxygen-rich blood that reaches the tissues and organs of the body. Causes of anemia include blood loss, inadequate red blood cell production and destruction of red blood cells. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute they stated that the most common symptom of anemia is fatigue. Anemia ranges from mild to severe, which may require a blood transfusion or blood and marrow stem cell transplants to produce new blood cells. Not getting enough sleep that causes afternoon sleepiness may also be the result of restless leg syndrome (RLS) a sleep disorder. Restless legs syndrome is more common in those with iron-deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is caused by insufficient dietary intake or absorption of iron to replace losses from menstruation or losses due to diseases. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, and low iron levels result in decreased absorption of hemoglobin into red blood cells. In the United States, 20% of all women of childbearing age have iron deficiency anemia, compared with only 2% of adult men. Mild to moderate iron-deficiency anemia is treated by oral iron supplementation with ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, or ferrous gluconate. When taking iron supplements, it is very common to experience stomach upset and/or darkening of the feces. The stomach upset can be alleviated by taking the iron with food; however, this decreases the amount of iron absorbed. Vitamin C aids in the body's ability to absorb iron, so taking oral iron supplements with orange juice is beneficial.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is prolonged, severe fatigue that does not go away with rest, and there are no known underlying conditions contributing to the fatigue. MedlinePlus, a service of the National Institutes of Health, reports that CFS is most common in women from age 30 to 50. Women are four times as likely as men to develop CFS. No diagnostic criteria exist for CFS. The only way to obtain a diagnosis is to rule out other causes of extreme tiredness, such as infections, autoimmune disorders, depression, muscle diseases, tumors or nerve disorders. A higher percentage of women with CFS may experience irregular and painful menstrual cycles, hormone imbalances affecting menstruation, a worsening of symptoms at menopause and ovarian cysts than healthy women. Some medical professionals suspect an association between CFS and endometriosis, but data is still very preliminary. Women and men with CFS may be at higher risk for osteoporosis, due to restrictive diets and inability to perform weight-bearing exercise.

In addition to the extreme, long-lasting fatigue, symptoms associated with CFS include a mild fever, joint pain without swelling, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating and muscle aches. CFS treatment focuses on symptom management, such as good nutrition, muscle relaxation and sleep aids along with cognitive behavior therapy. See more information about chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. Some people say their CFS symptoms get better with complementary or alternative treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, yoga, stretching, or self-hypnosis. Treating chronic fatigue syndrome with alternative methods, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies claim to cure CFS, but they might do more harm than good. Talk to your doctor before seeing someone else for treatment or before trying alternative therapies.

Cancer-Related Fatigue: Cancer-related fatigue, or CRF, is common in all types of cancer and cancer treatment. (CRF - sometimes simply called "cancer fatigue") is one of the most common side effects of cancer and its treatments. It is often described as "paralyzing." Usually, it comes on suddenly, does not result from activity or exertion, and is not relieved by rest or sleep. It may not end - even when treatment is complete. The extent of the fatigue depends on the location of the cancer and the type of treatment regimen required. The National Cancer Institute reports that fatigue is common following chemotherapy or radiation therapy, with long-term fatigue more common in older patients with advanced cancer or those receiving both types of therapy. Other causes of CRF include underlying anemia, toxins from the treatment, anxiety, sleep disorders and medications in addition to the chemotherapy.

Relaxation techniques such as audio tapes that teach deep breathing or visualization can help reduce stress and minimize cancer fatigue. The first step in treating fatigue is knowing that the problem exists. Many people don't bother to mention fatigue to their doctors because they believe it is normal. It is vital that you discuss this and all symptoms or side effects with your health care provider. Then, efforts can be directed at determining the cause of the problem and prescribing appropriate treatment. Your particular cancer treatment regimen, with its known side effects, may provide clues for your doctor or health care professional

[caption id="attachment_1537" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Extreme Tiredness in Women - Sjogren's Syndrome"][/caption]

Sjogren's Syndrome: Sjogren's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder. Also known as "Mikulicz disease" and "Sicca syndrome", it is a systemic chronic autoimmune disease in which immune cells attack and destroy the exocrine glands that produce tears and saliva. Nine out of ten Sjögren's patients are women and the average age of onset is late 40s, although Sjögren's occurs in all age groups in both women and men. It is estimated to strike as many as 4 million people in the United States alone making it the second most common autoimmune rheumatic disease.

Excessive tiredness, muscle aches and pains, joint pain, dry mouth and dry eyes are common symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome. There are two types of Sjogren's syndrome: primary--the disease is not associated with any other illness; and secondary--other diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis are present. The Cleveland Clinic reports that more than a million people in the United States have Sjogren's syndrome, and over 90 percent are women.

It is important to rule out hypothyroidism (which may develop in up to 20% of Sjögren's syndrome patients), anemia (due to decreased production of blood cells as well as blood loss from taking medicines such as aspirin, Advil or Naproxen for the joint pains), and poor sleeping patterns (especially due to frequent trips to the bathroom at night because of large oral fluid intake during the day). Decrease in memory and concentration sometimes occurs and may be to the release of inflammatory substances by the immune system. They can also occur due to disrupted sleep pattern. Skin rashes, lung inflammation, swollen lymph nodes, and other symptoms also occur.

The initial trigger that sets off the autoimmune conditions remains unknown. Circumstantial evidence suggests that a virus is involved. One possible candidate is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which causes infectious mononucleosis, a condition characterized by sore throat and swollen glands, joint aches and fatigue. Virtually all adults have been infected with Epstein Barr infection by the age 20 years. After the initial infection, this virus normally resides in the salivary glands for life but causes no problems. Some experts have speculated that this virus (or a closely-related virus) may trigger an autoimmune response in genetically susceptible individuals. It needs to be emphasized that there is no direct proof that those with Epstein Barr virus symptoms or EBV itself plays a significant role in Sjögren's syndrome.

Fatigue is probably the most common complaint in patients with Sjögren's syndrome. Fatigue may have many causes, including those related directly and indirectly to the Sjögren's syndrome. Two types of fatigue should be considered. The first type is late morning or early afternoon sleepiness. In this case, the patient arises with adequate energy but simply "runs out of gas." This type of fatigue suggests an inflammatory or metabolic development. Patients describe this type of fatigue as "flu-like" symptoms, and it results from an active immune system producing specific hormones of inflammation called interleukins. To help determine whether fatigue is due to active inflammation, blood tests called "sedimentation rate" or "C-reactive protein" are ordered by your physician, since these tests are usually elevated by the same interleukins that cause fatigue.

A second type of fatigue is "morning fatigue," where the patient arises in the morning and does not feel that he/she has obtained an adequate night's sleep. This is also quite common in Sjögren's syndrome and may exist in addition to "inflammatory" fatigue. For example, patients may have inadequate sleep due to joint or muscle pain. Also, Sjögren's patients often drink a great deal of liquid during the day because of dry mouth and throat. Then at night, the patient may be awakened three or four times to urinate. This disrupts the sleep pattern and leads to morning fatigue. When this is the case, it is best to treat the symptoms directly and better sleep should follow. For example, humidifiers and oral lubricants (i.e., saliva substitutes) at night might be beneficial. Nonetheless, there may be periods when one doesn't sleep well, and it is important not to allow certain negative sleep rituals to become habits. All persons, especially those with a tendency to poor sleep or daytime fatigue should adhere to the following general suggestions for good sleep:

1. Maintain a regular and consistent wake-up time. Do not oversleep or spend excessive amounts of time in bed.

2. If unable to sleep, it is better to get up and do something else that is quiet, restful, and enjoyable, such as reading, knitting, or doing a puzzle. Do not lay in bed and try too hard to sleep.

3. A steady daily amount of exercise probably deepens sleep.

4. Stress reduction techniques such as meditation, biofeedback, or progressive relaxation are encouraged.

5. Caffeine should be avoided after lunch, and alcohol should be avoided after dinner. In some people, even one cup of coffee or one alcoholic beverage is enough to disturb sleep.

6. The bedroom should be quiet, dark, and comfortable. During the daytime, exposure to sunlight for even one hour at a regular time can strengthen circadian rhythms and improve the quality of sleep. Especially in San Diego, get outside for your lunch hour or take a walk after dinner.

Sometimes following good sleep habits is not enough to improve afternoon sleepiness and poor sleep due to extreme tiredness. If this is the case, a specific evaluation for sleep disorders can be done. Certain people may have a higher risk of physiologic sleep disorders including muscle cramping, including RLS which requires additional treatment on its own. Treatment can vary depending on the severity of the muscle spasms. Some patients respond to quinine and vitamin E at bedtime, while others require prescription medication like Klonopin. Klonopin (clonazepam), a member of a drug family called benzodiazepams (that includes Valium and Ativan) have the ability to prevent muscle spasms and were first developed to prevent muscle rigidity associated with seizures. Medications such as Elavil (amitriptyline) or Pamelor (nortriptyline) are commonly prescribed for sleep disorders but are generally not well tolerated by Sjögren's patients due to their side effect of increased dryness.

Finally, sleep disruption can occur due to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is suspected in patients who snore loudly or awake at night gasping for breath. Patients with recent weight gain (often due to corticosteroids) may develop sleep apnea. This problem requires the expertise of a sleep center for evaluating and treating chronic fatigue. See more information regarding sleep apnea in: Sleep Apnea vs Depression. The content provided in Extreme Tiredness in Women is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

Resources: Various Wikipedia data, LiveStrong’s author Norene Anderson a registered nurse with intensive care experience in a wide range of medical conditions and treatments. Anderson received her associate degree in nursing from Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri and myalgia.com/sjogrens.htm

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

The number one symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an overwhelming tiredness or exhaustion that lasts at least 6 months and does not get better with rest. This exhaustion is so severe it interferes with daily life. Other names of CFS include Epstein-Barr, yuppie flu and me (myalgic encephalomyelitis). There are eight official chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms besides fatigue and they are; loss of memory, enlarged lymph nodes in neck or armpit, unexplained muscle pain or weakness, joint aches and pains, sore throat, chronic headaches, numbness or tingling in hands and feet and afternoon sleepiness. Other common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome may include; fever and chills, irritable bowel, night sweats, chest pain, shortness of breath, chronic cough, sensitivity to light, allergies, irregular heartbeat, dizziness (orthostatic hypotension), balance problems and psychological problems like depression, mood swings, anxiety and panic attacks.

[caption id="attachment_1529" align="alignright" width="129" caption="Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms - Fatigue"][/caption]

The general feeling is one of incredible fatigue and inability to do even the simplest of tasks without becoming exhausted, inability to cope with any stress and insomnia. Common chronic fatigue syndrome causes for women is a magnesium deficiency. A magnesium deficiency has been found in those that suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia (fibro meaning the thin tissue that wraps around the muscles and myalgia meaning muscle pain) is also called fibrositis and shares many symptoms with CFA. Reports show that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue disorder can also be caused by the accumulation of toxins and infections from both environment and lifestyle including being exposed to prescription drugs at birth. These substances can break down the immune system and deplete nutrient reserves which in turn deplete our body of magnesium. Magnesium is an important part of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue treatment. Magnesium reduces fatigue, muscle pain and chemical sensitivity.

Along with a magnesium deficiency, a recent journal Science reported that 68 out of 101 patients with symptoms of chronic fatigue were infected with the infectious virus XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus). XMRV is a retrovirus and a member of the same family of viruses as the AIDS virus. These viruses insert themselves into their host’s genetic material or their RNA and stays for life. Although their (scientists) have not yet proven that the virus causes CFS, in theory people with CFS may have other underlying conditions that make them prone to being infected by XMRV. More studies are needed to explain the connection. Doctors at the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic are testing antiretroviral drugs that treat HIV on patients with chronic fatigue. If the drugs work it will help prove that XMRV causes CFS.

[caption id="attachment_1531" align="alignright" width="300" caption="CFS cartoon"][/caption]

CFS is intensely frustrating to doctors because it is not understood, there is no effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome and many patients are sick for a long time. For this reason, a chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis can only be determined after a thorough evaluation has ruled out other conditions with similar symptoms such as lupus, mono, sleep apnea, diabetes, MS, STIs and certain types of cancer.

The content provided in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families 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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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Muscle Spasms are Symptoms of Low Potassium in Women

This article will cover potassium and how it affects sleep, good sources of potassium in foods, potassium deficiency symptoms, potassium supplements and potassium supplements side effects, including overdose. Potassium symbol K for the Neo-Latin term kalium is a vital and necessary mineral for the proper function of organs, fluids and muscles. Because it contributes to muscle function restless leg syndrome (RLS) and muscle spasms are symptoms of low potassium in women. Do you ever wake up during the middle of the night grabbing your calf from a painful charley horse? Do you find it hard to fall to sleep easy at night because of restless leg syndrome (RLS)? Do you have muscle spasms in your legs or arms that disrupt your sleep? An article written by the New England Journal of Medicine in 1998 illustrated how low levels of potassium has various effects on the central nervous system causing conditions like tinnitus, memory loss, anxiety, sleep problems from muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, afternoon sleepiness and confusion.

[caption id="attachment_1514" align="alignright" width="400" caption="Foods Rich in Potassium for RLS and muscle spasms aid sleep"][/caption]

Hypokalemia or a potassium deficiency can be caused by either the lack of potassium intake or losing too much in your urine or intestines. Some doctors recommend a potassium supplement to prevent RLS, but a diet rich in potassium can keep this mineral at healthy levels. Low potassium levels are often caused by a magnesium deficiency. See more information about magnesium and how it can help you sleep better. Potassium is abundant in fruits and vegetables, proteins and dairy.

Potassium Fruit: We’ve all heard that eating a banana is a good source of potassium for muscle cramps, but did you know that one of the richest sources of potassium is papaya, which contains about 781 mg of potassium per fruit? A cup of prune juice provides 781 mg of potassium per serving. Other good fruit sources include cherries, cantaloupe, bananas, raisins, mangos and kiwi fruit.

Apples are a good source of vitamin C and can supply you with vitamin B6 and potassium, both of which may promote a good night’s sleep. Vitamin C can help decrease blood pressure, improve your breathing and lower your blood sugar, helping you to relax and breathe properly as you sleep. Potassium helps to maintain a regular heart beat and achieves proper nerve transmissions that induce relaxation and sleep. Vitamin B6 can reduce stress and help you sleep by promoting the release of the mood-elevating neurotransmitter serotonin. See more information on serotonin foods. In addition, it is essential to breaking down fats and using energy, potentially helping you to burn fat as you sleep.

A medium-sized apple also contains approximately 15 percent of your daily fiber, providing necessary bulk to keep you full as you sleep. The insoluble fiber in an apple also helps to retain its water in your intestines. This prevents bathroom breaks through the night, aids digestion and helps to cleanse your colon as you sleep. The soluble fiber in apples, on the other hand, is broken down by your body and can help to lower blood cholesterol levels, making for better circulation and sleep over time.

Calories, Carbs and Sugar Apples vs Banana and Other Fruit

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Apples contain almost no fat and they are low in calories, with a medium-sized apple adding only 72 calories to your daily intake and only 2 fat calories. Apples contain 3.3g fiber, 14.34g of sugar and 19.06g of carbs, (carbohydrate content arises mainly from simple sugars and fiber). The blood sugar-regulating properties of apples draw out the breakdown of these simple sugars, helping you to avoid energy surges as you sleep. Coupled with their high fiber content, this slow breakdown of simple sugars makes apples a fine snack for filling yourself up before sleeping and remaining full throughout the night. If you are watching your carbohydrates and sugar intake an apple is the better choice even though a banana has twice the amount potassium.  A medium size banana (7” – 8” long) has 105 calories, calories from fat 4 with 26.95g of carbs, 3.1g fiber and 14.43g of sugar which makes it one of the higher carb fruits along with pineapples. The South Beach Diet lists apples and cantaloupe in their low to medium sugar content group, while pineapples and kiwi are considered medium to high and bananas along with mangos, prunes, raisins and cherries are listed very high in sugar. Bananas are not allowed in their Phase 2 program. South Beach Diet dictates you shall have no bananas today.

Potassium Vegetables: Tomatoes are a good source of potassium, according to Drugs.com. One cup of tomato juice contains 535 mg of potassium, while a fresh tomato contains about 400 mg. A single sweet potato, eaten with the skin on, contains about 508 mg of potassium. Other vegetables with high potassium levels are avocado, asparagus, pumpkin, romaine lettuce, raw celery, raw carrots, raw cauliflower, raw broccoli, raw cabbage, cooked turnip greens, boiled chard, boiled collard greens, eggplant, boiled beets, boiled mustard greens, snap and string green beans and mushrooms.

Potassium Protein: A half-cup of cooked pinto beans contains 400 mg of potassium, according to Drugs.com. A cup of soymilk provides 345 mg. Other rich sources of potassium among protein foods include lentils, dried peas, salmon, turkey, beef, sunflower seeds and peanut butter.

Potassium Dairy: A 6-oz. serving of yogurt contains 398 mg of potassium, according to Drugs.com. A cup of 2 percent milk contains 377 mg, while a cup of low-fat cottage cheese provides 217 mg of potassium.

How much potassium do we need? Both men and women, to maintain maximum health, should be getting at least 2,000 to 4000 mg, or at least 4.7 grams, of potassium each day. It’s been shown that U.S. and U.K. women between the ages of 31 and 50 are likely to be getting less than 50 percent of the amount of potassium needed.

Getting insufficient potassium can result in a wide range of symptoms; fatigue, blood pressure problems, racing or irregular heartbeat, musculoskeletal pain or weakness,, fluid retention, constipation, increased cholesterol, mental difficulties like depression, confusion, anxiety, and insomnia, thirstiness, headaches, slowed reflexes, stunted growth, and too much protein in the urine.

If you think you are one of the millions of people who are not getting enough potassium from their diets, you may feel you need to start taking one of the available potassium citrate supplements. like Twinlab Potassium Capsules, 180 Count (Pack of 3) that are on the market today.  The University of Maryland Medical Center recommended the potassium citrate dosage for adults is 2,000 mg each day. Do you exercise excessively? If so, you may be losing excessive bodily fluid, and potassium, through perspiration. Women concerned about developing osteoporosis should know that calcium loss can accompany potassium deficiency. People with irritable bowel syndrome, or frequent diarrhea, can be suffering excessive fluid, and potassium loss. The highly processed foods and some prescription medications can increase the likelihood of potassium deficiency.

Can I take too much Potassium Citrate? If you suffer from either kidney disease or kidney failure, avoid potassium citrate supplements; their negative consequences could far outweigh their benefits. If you’re on a medication with listed potassium restrictions, don’t take a supplement without first notifying your doctor. In fact, you should contact your doctor before taking any supplement. Avoid other salt products, which may also contain potassium, consuming them could lead to an accidental excess of potassium, with its accompanying side effects. If you do accidentally ingest enough potassium to create an overdose, contact your doctor and follow his instructions to the letter.

Potassium overdose side effects are an altered heart rate, a change in blood pressure, and stomach discomfort. Proven Potassium citrate side effects can include stomach discomfort with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; contact your physician if you experience any of these to a severe extent. If you experience black, tarry stools or an unpleasant taste in your mouth and can’t reach your doctor, go to the nearest emergency room. You might also suffer side effects like numbness or tingling of the hands and feet, irregular or rapid heartbeat, muscle weakness, and mental confusion. Should you accidentally overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency room and follow their instructions. Symptoms of an overdose, which can include confusion, irregular heartbeat, and weakness are similar to the symptoms of side effects, seek attention immediately.

The content provided in Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Muscle Spasms are Symptoms of Low Potassium in Women is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and asleepeasy.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Sleep Better with a Memory Foam Futon Mattress vs a Traditional and Innerspring Futon Mattresses

Today you can pick up a futon for as little as $150.00 at your local Wal-Mart or Target store and that includes the futon frame and the mattress. A futon is great for a smaller guest bedroom, basement or den. It still provides an option for a bed and a sofa and today’s futons are much more stylish and comfortable. I purchased a futon in 1994 for $300.00 and the mattress was very hard to sleep on. You have a choice of futon mattresses today; the traditional foam and cotton, the innerspring and the memory foam mattress.

[caption id="attachment_1509" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Futon cartoon at a sleep easy"][/caption]

All provide comfort and unlike a regular mattress it also folds when using the futon as a couch. A futon mattress that easily folds can be a challenge as well as one that is comfortable and fits your needs.

Foam and Cotton Futon Mattresses or the Traditional Mattress is good for all year round as the cotton fabric allows the mattress to breathe therefore keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Just like the one I purchased in ’94 traditional mattress can still be too hard for comfort.

Innerspring Futon Mattresses are like traditional bed mattresses and feels like a typical bed. Innerspring mattresses are harder to fold so if you would use it a lot you should take this into consideration.

Memory Foam or Latex Foam Mattresses are easy to fold, excellent for supporting the body as it will alleviate your pressure points such as your shoulders or hips. It is a good idea to purchase a terry cloth cover with your memory foam mattress as this will help keep you cooler during the night. Latex foam doesn’t need a terry cloth cover, but with any mattress it is best to buy a futon mattress cover as it will protect it from spills and moisture. Futon mattress covers come in a variety of fabrics and designs. Memory foam or latex foam futon mattresses are considered upgraded mattresses that cost more but in the long run they will outlast the traditional or innerspring mattress and are much more comfortable to sleep on.

If you have purchased a traditional or innerspring futon mattress you may consider getting a memory foam topper that can provide the best comfort for the money. Serta 3-Pound Memory Foam Full 1-1/2-Inch Mattress TopperMattress Pads) (starts around $68) that will mold to the contours of your body while providing support to your pressure points. If you sleep on your side like me, you will find that it helps with your shoulders and your hips as it levels out your body’s weight through the foam topper. Many people find that sleep aide foam toppers alleviate tension and stress. This Serta memory foam mattress topper is the perfect fit for your full size futon mattress and you can fold it up for storage when you are using the futon as a couch.

With this memory foam mattress topper I would recommend a Terry Cloth Waterproof Mattress Protector, Full SizeWater-Resistant Mattress Pads). As you know memory foam responds to heat. Your body’s heat will mold the topper to your body as you will feel you are in a cocoon. Your body’s heat can become trapped between you and the foam topper and you could over heat. For this reason it is advisable always cover your foam topper with a terry cloth cover as it will keep you cooler. It will provide an area between you and the foam topper to circulate air and keep you cooler during the night.

Purchasing a sleep aid foam topper will not only extend the life of your mattress and save you money in the meantime; it will allow you to have the comfort you deserve for a restful night sleep. An addition benefit, a memory foam mattress topper doesn’t provide an environment for dust mites and bed bugs to live due to its dense properties. Not only will this protect you from blood sucking bug bites, but will minimize allergies. Now there’s a really good reason to get a sleep aid foam topper, yes?

The content provided in Sleep Better with a Memory Foam Futon Mattress vs a Traditional and Innerspring Futon Mattresses is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families 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, August 18, 2011

Sleep Apnea vs Depression

For many years I had felt exhausted, suffering from poor sleep and was told I was a loud snorer. See: Why do I snore for more information. As I got older I began to gain weight because I was always too busy to exercise. Putting on 50 lbs in 10 years I no longer had any energy for an active life. Caffeine became my friend as I drank coffee and tea constantly to stay awake, but eventually that stopped working. In addition to my declining health I developed hyperhidrosis a condition where you constantly sweat. My family life began to suffer because all I wanted to do was sleep which is a symptom of depression. I had a hard time falling asleep easy, but once I did I wanted sleep nine or more hours.

[caption id="attachment_1505" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Sleep Apnea vs Depression is like Snoring vs CPAP"][/caption]

Finally I went to a doctor and he tried several types of anti-depressants that helped but my symptoms didn’t go away. On a recent flight I found that I slept more soundly when I was in an upright position, so I consulted with my physician and he suggested that I have a sleep study. The results of the sleep study found that my symptoms were due to lack of sleep from sleep apnea and not depression.

What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a general term for breathing problems that occur during sleep. People with sleep apnea stop breathing throughout the night up to 100 times an hour. Sleep apnea affects approximately 20 million adults and has serious negative health effects when present with other conditions. Sleep apnea vs depression may cause the same symptoms but many patients are misdiagnosis with depression instead of sleep apnea. If you are suffering from heart failure, high blood pressure or diabetes treating your sleep apnea may improve these conditions in addition to making you feel better.

Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include; excessive afternoon sleepiness, loud snoring, irregular breathing during sleep, restless sleep, difficulty concentrating, depression, morning headaches, hyperhidrosis, high blood pressure and gaining weight. Many people are not even aware that they have sleep apnea. Often it is their bed partner that is first to witness their symptoms of sleep apnea.

Good news is that sleep apnea can be treated easily. I was prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy machine for my condition. After starting therapy, my quality of life improved immediately. I felt much better after my very first night on therapy. My doctor began withdrawing me from my depression medication. Now after three years I am no longer on medication, no longer feel depressed and have renewed energy. Now I only have one cup of coffee in the morning and stick to a healthy diet and exercise program. Over a year of exercising I lost 20 lbs!

What is CPAP therapy? CPAP therapy is the most widely accepted treatment for sleep apnea. A bedside device that gently delivers pressurized air through a nasal mask or pillow system. The pressure acts like an air splint to keep the upper airway open to prevent apnea. CPAP treatment does not involve drugs or surgery. It has help numbers of people enjoy a healthier night sleep and healthier life. Many people experience the results of the therapy quickly, often after one night of use. There is no cure for sleep apnea at this time.

In addition to using a CPAP machine your doctor may recommend throat exercises. Your doctor is the best person to decide which throat exercises are suitable for you depending on the nature and location of your apnea. There are all kinds of throat exercises for sleep apnea since these exercises focus on throat muscles to reduce fat accumulation that obstructs normal breathing. Throat exercises for sleep apnea work the soft palate, the palatopharyngeal arch, tongue and nasopharynx. Some of these exercises can involve singing that works the lax muscles in the upper region of the throat. Yawning repeatedly is another exercise that helps stretch relevant muscles. Remember it may take awhile for you to see the effects from these exercises, so it is important to be patient and diligent for the best results

[caption id="attachment_1504" align="alignright" width="275" caption="Didgeridoo for sleep apnea - circular breathing to improve airway function"][/caption]

Some other throat exercises for those that have trouble with CPAP is learning to play an aboriginal instrument called the didgeridoo. The didgeridoo is a wind instrument that is common among the indigenous people of northern Australia. It is a cylindrical, wooden instrument that may be from 3 to 10 feet in length. The didgeridoo is played with a special breathing technique called circular breathing. This involves breathing in through the nose while expelling air out of the mouth using the tongue and cheeks. Vibrating lips will produce a continuous hum that a skilled player can sustain for as long as desired, with the supply of air constantly replenished.

In a Swiss study published in the British Medical Journal, it was found that didgeridoo playing is an effective alternative treatment for moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It was theorized that the circular breathing technique may improve muscular tone of the upper airway and reduces the collapsibility that is common in sleep apnea. More information about the Didgeridoo Store Ultimate Didgeridoo Package 1.5Didgeridoos) and read the customer's reviews.

In addition to the CPAP, stretching the throat by yawning, tongue pushing, vowel repetition or contracting your muscles in the back of your throat may strengthen the airway passage and prevent further constriction along with reducing the severity of sleep apnea symptoms.

The content provided in Sleep Apnea vs Depression is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families 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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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why do I Snore

Are you asking yourself “Why do I snore”? If you have sleep apnea, your airways can be blocked or narrowed during sleep because your throat muscles and tongue relax more than usual, your tongue and tonsils are large compared to the opening into your windpipe, you’re overweight due to the extra soft fat tissue can thicken the wall of the windpipe causing the inside opening to narrow and make it harder to keep open, the shape of your head and neck may cause a smaller airway size in the mouth and throat area or the aging process limits the brain’s ability to keep your throat muscles stiff during sleep causing your inability to fall asleep easy and stay asleep during the night.

[caption id="attachment_1501" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Why do I snore? Snoring cartoon"][/caption]

Why should you be concerned? Not enough airflow into your lungs when your airways are fully or partly blocked during sleep can cause loud snoring and a drop in blood oxygen levels. When the oxygen drops to dangerous levels, it triggers your brain to disturb you sleep. This helps tighten the upper airway muscles and open your windpipe. Normal breaths start again often with loud snorts or choking sounds. Frequent drops in oxygen levels and reduced sleep quality trigger the release of stress hormones. These compounds raise your heart rate and increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and irregular heartbeats. The hormones also raise the risk for, or worsen heat failure. Untreated sleep apnea can also lead to changes in how your body uses energy. These changes increase your risk for obesity and diabetes.

What are the signs of sleep apnea? Loud and chronic snoring, along with pauses that may occur in snoring and choking or gasping may follow the pauses. The snoring usually is loudest when you sleep on your back; it may be less noisy when you turn on your side. Snoring may not happen every night, but overtime, snoring may happen more often and get louder. You’re asleep when the snoring or gasping occurs. You will not know that you’re having problems breathing or be able to judge how severe the problem may be. Your bed partner or family members will often notice these problems before you do. Not everyone that snores has sleep apnea.

Afternoon sleepiness is another sign of sleep apnea as you may fight sleep during the day, at work or while driving. You may find yourself rapidly falling asleep during the quiet moments of the day went you are not active. Other signs and symptoms may be morning headaches, memory or learning problems, inability to concentrate, feeling irritable depressed or have mood swings, urination at night and dry throat in the morning.

How is sleep apnea treated? According to the National Institute on Aging, if it is mild avoid alcohol and medicines that make you sleepy. They make it harder for your throat to stay open while you are asleep. Lose weight, even 10% of weight loss can improve your symptoms. To keep your throat open, sleep on your side instead of your back. A Sleep Better Visco Bed Wedge PillowBed Pillows) or the popular Snore-No-More PillowMassage & Relaxation Products) can help you from turning onto your back. If needed, talk to your doctor about nose sprays, breathing devices or allergy medications that may help keep your nasal passages open during the night. Stop smoking can help snore treatment.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea. A CPAP machine has a mask that fits over your mouth and nose, or just over your nose. The machine gently blows air into your throat. The air pressure is adjusted so that it’s just enough to stop the airways from becoming narrowed or blocked during sleep. A sleep technician will set up the machine and adjust it based on your doctor’s orders. If you have trouble with your CPAP, work with your sleep specialist so steps can be taken to reduce side effects. There are many different types of machines and masks. People who have severe sleep apnea generally feel better after they start treatment.

[caption id="attachment_1500" align="alignright" width="246" caption="Why do I snore? Use a CPAP pillow to help you sleep easy"][/caption]

Continuing health needs by following up with your doctor regularly to make sure the treatment is working. Tell him or her if the treatment is causing side effects you can’t handle. This is especially important if you’re getting CPAP treatment as it takes awhile to adjust to the machine. If you’re not comfortable with your CPAP or it doesn’t seem to be working, tell your doctor. You may have to switch your machine, mask or you may need treatment to relieve CPAP side effects. A Sleep Apnea Pillow - CPAP Pillow - CPAP Nasal Pillow a Sleep Apnea Mask Device Pillow, Pillow For Sleep Apnea may help you sleep better while using the machine while sleeping.
Try not to gain weight as excess weight can worsen sleep apnea and require adjustments to your CPAP device. Weight loss can relieve your sleep apnea. Until you apnea is properly treated, know the dangers of driving or operating heavy machinery when you are sleepy. If you have surgery that requires medicine that puts you to sleep, let your doctor know you have sleep apnea. They might have to take extra steps to make sure your airway stays open during the surgery.

Sleep apnea is usually a chronic condition that disrupts sleep three or more nights a week. It is estimated that more than 12 million American adults have sleep apnea and more than half of the people who have this condition are overweight. Doctors diagnose sleep apnea based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam and results from sleep studies.

The content provided in Why do I Snore is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families 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, August 15, 2011

Grief Depression and Insomnia

Hundreds of mourners gathered Monday, August, 15, 2011, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds to remember five people killed when high winds caused an outdoor stage to collapse onto an audience awaiting the start of a country music concert. Four of the victims died at the scene: Alina Bigjohny, 23, of Fort Wayne; Christina Santiago, 29, of Chicago; Tammy Vandam, 42, of Wanatah; and 49-year-old Glenn Goodrich of Indianapolis. Nathan Byrd, a 51-year-old stagehand from Indianapolis who was atop the rigging when it fell, died overnight.

[caption id="attachment_1493" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Indianapolis Fairgrounds Tragedy August 13, 2012"][/caption]

My heart and prayers go out to each family and friends of the deceased. A tragic death is much more shocking then caring for and watching a loved one pass from an illness. You start to go through the grieving process with them while they are alive and by the time they are ready to pass both of you are in the acceptance stage. Though there may be a time of mourning, a lot of people are grateful that their loved one no longer has to suffer. A tragic, sudden death is often a loss that does not make sense. The journeyofhearts.org defines a Sudden Loss as one that occurs without any forewarning. A Traumatic Death is one that is sudden, unanticipated, violent, mutilating or destructive, random and/or preventable, involves multiple deaths or one in which the mourner has a personal encounter with death.

Family and friends of the victims now realize that life is not always fair and that sometimes bad things happen to good people. With a sudden death many feel shaken, unsure and vulnerable; their safe world they once knew no longer exists. The mourner’s grief response is intensified since there was little opportunity to prepare for the loss and say good-bye. This type of loss generates feelings of shock, anger, guilt, depression, despair and hopelessness. The most common symptoms of grief and major depression include insomnia (not being able to fall asleep easy, can’t stay asleep during the night, wake-up too early and afternoon sleepiness), lack of appetite, withdrawal from people/everyday activities and feelings of sadness and loss.

Marital and family relationships can become strained along with grief, depression and insomnia. Stress and anxiety lead to many nights where they toss and turn rehashing the event thinking about what they could have or should have done to prevent the tragedy and wondering why they survived when others have died. Since the Indianapolis event was public these mourners also have to deal with the intrusion by the media, replaying the tragic event, over and over.

Symptoms of grief are considered abnormal if they last longer than two months especially if they involve thoughts of suicide or intense hallucinations. Major depression is one of a number of mental disorders that may be associated with the death of a loved one; anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder are also prevalent. Anxiety disorder includes restlessness, difficulty sleeping, racing heart, sweating, shortness of breath and unneeded worrying. If these symptoms are present after the death of a loved one, they should seek help from grief counseling, especially if they last more than two months.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms most commonly occur if the person witnessed the death or were themselves in danger at the time of the loved one’s death. These are; avoidance which include feeling of detachment, lack of interest and thoughts of having no future, hypervigilance or hyperarousal causing extreme awareness, easily startled, unable to focus, angry and having difficulty sleeping and reliving the event to the extent that it interferes with daily activities and physical reactions that remind you of the loss.

Intense symptoms of grief that last more than 14 months is often distinguished by difficulty acknowledging the death of your loved one, or disbelief; continuing to act as though your loved one is still alive — like setting a place for them at the table; and extreme distress from grief with little hope for the future. Anyone struggling with this type of grief should seek help from a therapist who has experience working with grief and loss, and they would also likely benefit from a consultation with a physician or psychiatrist about their grief symptoms and/or join grief support groups.

It is possible to get past grief and severe depression and start living again. Seek out these support groups in your area — their doctor or local hospital should be able to recommend one. Though they may feel alone, there are many people available to help. What can you do? The best thing you can do is spend time with that person, and listen to them work through their grief. Avoid saying phrases like 'with time, you'll get over this'. This is false comfort and denies the person their need to mourn properly. Offer practical help, such as cooking dinner or shopping for food - when a person is grieving, it is usually hard to focus on everyday tasks. It can be helpful to be aware of the five stages of grief and remember that intense emotions and swift changes in mood are normal.

The five stages of grief:


In the denial stage we refuse to believe what has happened. We try in our mind to tell ourselves that life is as it was before our loss. We can even make believe to an extent by reenacting rituals that we used to go through with our loved one. Making an extra cup of tea for our loved one who is no longer there, rushing back to tell someone that you have met an old friend. Flashing back to times and conversations in the past as though they were here with us now. They can all be part of this stage.


They get angry. The anger can manifest itself in many ways. They blame others for their loss. They can become easily agitated having emotional outbursts. They can even become angry with themselves. Care must be taken here not to let them turn this anger inwards. Release of this anger is a far better way to cope with grief in many experiences.


Bargaining can be within or if they are religious with their god. Often they will offer something to try to take away the reality of what has happened. They may try to make a deal, to have their loved one back as they were before the tragic event occurred. It is only human to want thing as they were before.


Depression is a very likely outcome for all people that grieve for a loss. This is what I would consider the most difficult stage of the five to deal with. There can be a feeling listlessness and tiredness. They may burst helplessly into tears and have feeling like there is no purpose to life any more. Feeling guilty, like everything is their fault. They may find they feel like they are being punished. Pleasure and happiness can be difficult to achieve even from things and activities which they have always enjoyed. There can even be thoughts of suicide. There are many different ways in which this stage of grief can manifest itself. If they at any time in this stage they feel like self inflicting harm, please do seek professional counseling. Self preservation is a must.


The final stage of grief. It is when they realize that life has to go on. They can now accept their loss. They can regain their energy because sleep has been restored. Goals can be set for the future. It may take some time to get here but they will.

Grief professionals often use the concept of "Grief Work" to help the bereaved through grief resolution. One common definition of Grief Work is summarized by the acronym TEAR:

T = To accept the reality of the loss
E = Experience the pain of the loss
A = Adjust to the new environment without their loved one
R = Reinvest in the new reality

This is Grief Work. It begins when the honeymoon period is over, the friends have stopped calling, everyone thinks you should be over it and everything is supposed to be back to normal.

It is important for the grieving person to take care of him/herself following a sudden loss. He/she is dealing with an event that is beyond their control. One way of helping is to do things that help re-establish the person’s sense of control over their world. It is also important for them to focus on the basics they need for day-to-day survival. Have them maintain a normal routine. Even if it is difficult to do regular activities, try to anyway. Putting more structure into a daily routine will help one to feel more in control. They should get enough sleep, at least plenty of rest. It may be helpful for them to keep lists, write notes or keep a schedule. Have them try and get some regular exercise, even if it is just taking a walk on a nice sunny day. This can help relieve stress and tension and the vitamin D is good for them. Help them keep a balanced diet and watch out for junk food or high calorie comfort food binges. Have them drink plenty of water and drink alcohol in moderation. Alcohol should not be used as a way of masking the pain. Let them do what comforts, sustains & recharges. Remind them of other difficult times and how they have survived them; drawing upon their inner strength. Remind them to take it one hour at a time, one day at a time.

Moving beyond intense feelings of grief and severe depression after the death of a loved one will take effort. It helps to know where to turn for help if they can’t manage on their own. The content provided in Grief Depression and Insomnia is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families 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, August 14, 2011

Sleep Better with Panicyl for Anxiety

According to Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) stress and anxiety may cause sleep related problems or make physical and mental health conditions worse. An anxiety disorder can cause insomnia symptoms; can’t fall asleep easy, can’t fall back to sleep after waking up during the night, wake up too early and afternoon sleepiness. While sleep disorders like sleep apnea, sleepwalking, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome (RLS), bruxism (teeth grinding) not only keep you awake but they also interfere with physical, mental and emotional functioning that causes stress and anxiety. There are many health concerns when people don’t get enough sleep such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity. There are many anti-anxiety drugs on the market, but many have bad side effects and can be addicting. So what can you do? You can sleep better with Panicyl for anxiety, because it is not only manufactured in an FDA registered facility to adhere to many quality control and safety standards; it contains ingredients like GABA which will not only help you to relax, it can also reduce anxiety.

[caption id="attachment_1488" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Anxiety over Anti-Anxiety Medication? Sleep Better with Panicyl for Anxiety"][/caption]

Panicyl’s other active ingredients are: Ashwaganda or Ashwagandha an ancient Indian anti-anxiety remedy. Ashwaganda suppresses dopamine receptors in the brain that helps the body adapt to stress by calming and rebuilding the nervous system. It also aides in muscle relation and helps support the thyroid gland. L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea and has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress, produce feelings of relaxation and doesn’t cause drowsiness. L-Theanine stimulates the body to produce calming amino acids such as dopamine, GABA and tryptophan.

Korean Ginseng (Panax) is primary used as Chinese medicine to treat weakness and fatigue. Ginseng products are referred to as “tonics” a term that has been replaced by “adaptogens” which purportedly increases resistance to physical, chemical and biological stress enables the individual to build up their vitality and promotes physical and mental capacity. Ginsengs active ingredient is ginsenosides that are steroid-like photochemicals that give ginseng the ability to counter the effects of stress. Therefore, the effects of ginseng components work on certain brain functions that are most responsive to stress.

L-Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid that forms three neurotransmitter; dopamine, ephrine and serotonin, which is responsible for memory function, mood, appetite and muscle coordination. Studies have shown it also helps with depression, anxiety, fights afternoon sleepiness and irritability. L-Tyrosine is not produced by the body therefore we have to get it from animal and plant proteins, and then we convert it into 5-HTP then serotonin. More about serotonin see: Serotonin Foods. Serotonin is known to create calm feelings and general well-being. Research has discovered a link between a serotonin imbalance with depression and anxiety disorders.

Rhodiola Rosea is effective for improving mood and alleviating depression symptoms. It also optimizes serotonin and dopamine levels. Along with Rhodiola Rosea, Vinpocetine helps with memory and brain functions including; memory enhancement, increase cognitive performance, improved cerebral circulation and higher mental acuity and awareness.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is responsible for good mood and sound sleep. It balances excitability with inhibition. Too much excitability can cause you to be anxious, restless, irritable and can lead to insomnia and seizures. Many people that suffer from anxiety attacks have a GABA deficiency. GABA not only induces relaxation but also reduces anxiety. More information about GABA and Sleep.

Other Panicly’s ingredients are; Vitamin B6 that helps manufacture serotonin and boosts the immune system during time of anxiety, Vitamin B12 which supports the nervous system and Folic Acid a member of the B Vitamin family that relieves depression that is associated with anxiety.

More often times than not symptoms of an anxiety disorder are ignored. Simple, easy Beyondblue anxiety checklists can help you determine if you or a loved one should see a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment.

General Anxiety Disorder:

[caption id="attachment_1489" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Anxiety Girl! Sleep Better with Panicyl for Anxiety"][/caption]

In the last six months or have the following symptoms on more days than not felt very worried, found it hard to stop worrying and/or find it hard to do your normal every activities without feeling anxious? If yes to all three questions you might also experience the following; felt on edge, easily tired, difficult concentrating, irritable, muscle pain and having trouble sleeping. If you answer yes to these additional conditions it is important to see a doctor.

Panic Disorder:

Within a 10 minute period have you felt four or more of the following; sweaty, shaky, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, feel like you are choking, nauseous or pain in the abdomen, dizzy, numb or tingly, feel detached from yourself, hot or cold flushes, scared of going crazy or thoughts of dying? If you answered yes to ALL those conditions and you felt scared for more than a month, it is important to see a doctor.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

Have you experienced or seen something that involved death, injury and/or abuse and felt helpless or scared? Have nightmares of the event for at least a month? Find it hard to continue with your daily life? If you answered yes to all these questions you might also experience at least three of the following; avoid activities that remind you of the event, have trouble remembering parts of the event, disinterested in things you once enjoyed, trouble feeling positive emotions and/or think less about your future. You may also experience two of the following; difficulty sleeping, easily angered, trouble focusing, felt defensive and easily startled.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

Have you had repetitive thoughts or concerns that are not about real life problems, done the same act repeatedly in the same precise manner, constantly cleaning yourself or your belongings, continually checking to see if the windows/doors are locked and appliances are turned off, relieved in the short term that you have completed something, but feel compelled to repeat it, recognize these feelings, thoughts and behaviors are unreasonable, found that these behaviors take up more than one hour of your day or interfere with your normal routine? If yes, please contact your doctor.


Have you felt nervous when faced with an object or situation such as; flying on an airplane, going near an animal, getting a shot, going to a social event? Do you avoid situations that might cause you to face your phobia?

Some people can experience symptoms related to other anxiety disorders. If symptoms of anxiety are left untreated it can cause problems with your marriage, family, job and cause you to abuse drugs and alcohol, lose your temper and have thoughts of suicide. If you feel you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety make sure you contact a physician and ask him about taking Panicyl - Natural Relief For Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Depression, & Stress (60 caps)Stress Reduction Products). You should always talk to your doctor before taking a supplement as it may interfere with other medical conditions or medication. Isn’t time you got the sleep you deserve?

The content provided in Sleep Better with Panicyl for Anxiety is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and asleepeasy.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coconut Water Health Benefits Sleep

Anxiety can affect our sleep and natural anxiety remedies are more readily available on the market than ever. Magnesium is a vital mineral and perhaps one of the most important natural remedy for anxiety because of its effectiveness, record of safe use, availability and value. Anxiety impairs our ability to fall asleep easy which can lead to many a sleepless night. Over time insomnia can develop which puts you at risk for other health problems such as; heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Although there are many anxiety medications, these medications only relieve the symptoms and are not a long-term solution. Coconut water health benefits sleep because it contains magnesium which naturally calms the nervous system and the muscles that help you to relax. More information about Coconut water see: Dr. Oz Show Stress Sleep and Weight Loss Tips

[caption id="attachment_1484" align="alignright" width="229" caption="ZICO Natural coconut water - magnesium, calcium and potassium"][/caption]

If you have a magnesium deficiency it can worsen the symptoms of anxiety, as can sleep deprivation. Along with magnesium, calcium and potassium deficiency can cause psychological disorders such as depression, personality changes, hallucinations, confusion, seizures and even coma. Physical symptoms are muscle pain, restless leg syndrome (RLS), tremors or heart failure. Deficiencies in macrominerals are referred to as the “real silent killers” as six are required for the function of the brain, muscles, heart, bones and vital for the body’s cells. The six macrominerals are; sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium which are cations, chlorine and phosphorus that are accompanying anions.

Macrominerals are primary ions of electrolytes, the body uses electrolytes to maintain acid-base balance, fluid balance and for neurological, nerve and muscle function. Eating foods rich in magnesium (see foods rich in magnesium), is one way to correct your magnesium deficiency naturally. Magnesium, along with calcium and potassium is found in coconut water. What is the best coconut water brand?

According to CNN, coconut water which got its claim to fame due to many celebrities promoting it as the “new” health fad for being a way to stay hydrated. The nutritional value of coconut water is that it is filled with electrolytes like sodium and magnesium, the slightly sweet water has come to be seen as a natural alternative to sports drinks like Gatorade, ZYM or Vitalyte. (Sports drinks don't hydrate better than water, but you are likely to drink more, which leads to better hydration).

[caption id="attachment_1482" align="alignright" width="265" caption="Zico Coconut Water Recipe"][/caption]

According to a report just recently released by an independent health-product testing firm, the nutritional content of some coconut water brands don’t live up to what’s on their label. Researchers tested the sodium, potassium, magnesium and sugar content on three leading brands and found only one, Zico Natural, contained the stated amount of these four ingredients. (this is one Zico Natural coconut water recipe I found on their site) The sugar and potassium content of Vita Coco and coconut water O.N.E. matched their label, but the sodium and magnesium (two key nutrients for hydration) were much lower. Since having electrolytes are a main selling point, many consumers are not getting what they paid for.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t test nutrient content on foods and they don’t specify how companies should do so. Nor do they prohibit manufacturers from using average values if the nutrient content varies from batch to batch as long as the company is confident that the values obtained meet FDA's compliance criteria. These test results don’t mean that the consumer shouldn’t drink coconut water brands that have lower than expected electrolyte levels, the health benefits of coconut water is a low-calorie alternative to soda or fruit juice.

Zico touts their ZICO Natural is all-natural Pure Premium Coconut Water from Brazilian coconuts, for light-tasting refreshment and hydration. They hand-harvest their coconuts when the water inside reaches a peak level of potassium and the perfect balance of electrolytes. Captured 100% pure, it contains no fat, no added sugar and no cholesterol. One 14 oz bottle contains 27mg of calcium and 35mg of magnesium. Calcium and magnesium act as natural sedatives. It is recommended for those that need something extra to fall

[caption id="attachment_1483" align="alignright" width="289" caption="ZICO Natural Coconut water has 35mg of magnesium to sleep easy"][/caption]

asleep at night to get 600 mg calcium and 250-500 mg magnesium. You may still have to add a daily supplement to meet your nutritional requirements, look for a calcium-magnesium combined supplement in a 2:1 ratio and take it in the evening or drink 7 ½ or more bottles of ZICO Natural Coconut Water! You may fall asleep, but you’ll be getting up all night going to the bathroom. ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water, Natural, 11.2-Ounce Tetra Paks (Pack of 12)Water) is available online or at a health food store.

Please do not take a supplement until you talk to your doctor as many supplements interfere with other medical problems or medications. He will also recommend the proper dose for your age, sex and medical history. For example, according to WebMD, the daily Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for elemental magnesium are; Age 1-3 years, 80 mg; 4-8 years, 130 mg; 9-13 years, 240 mg; 14-18 years, 410 mg (boys) and 360 mg (girls); 19-30 years, 400 mg (men) and 310 mg (women); 31 years and older, 420 mg (men) and 320 mg (women). For pregnant women age 14-18 years, the RDA is 400 mg; 19-30 years, 350 mg; 31-50 years, 360 mg. For lactating women age 14-18 years, the RDA is 360 mg; 19-30 years, 310 mg; 31-50 years, 320 mg.

Speaking of medication, anxiety medication has side effects and safety concerns least being that they can be very addictive. Most side effects from anti-anxiety medication include; low libido, constipation, dizziness, dry mouth and lack of focus to name a few. Drinking coconut water with magnesium, potassium and calcium is a safer solution to alleviate anxiety without side effects and it will help you to relax so you can fall asleep easy.

The content provided in Coconut Water Health Benefits Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and asleepeasy.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Too Much Magnesium Side Effects – Hypermagnesemia

If you do not get enough magnesium you can develop sleep disorders such as not being able to fall asleep easy due to anxiety, insomnia and restless leg syndrome (RLS). It is also known to cause muscle weakness, abnormal heartbeat, low blood pressure, hyperventilation, mental confusion and possibly eye twitches. It is best to contact your doctor to see if you have a magnesium deficiency otherwise too much magnesium side effects are drowsiness, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, coma and muscle paralysis. Although not very common is hypermagnesemia a condition when the kidneys are unable to eliminate excess magnesium from the body. Your body regulates magnesium levels by shifting magnesium into and out of cells. When there is a breakdown or destruction of cells, the electrolyte magnesium moves from inside the cell, to outside of the cell wall. This shift of magnesium outside of the cells causes hypermagnesemia.

The most common effect of hypermagnesemia is renal failure, but some other conditions are; hypothyroidism, Addison disease, depression and familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia. Hypocalciuric means low levels of calcium in the urine and hypercalcemia is high levels of calcium in the blood. A high concentration of magnesium bring about the condition known as bradycardia which can result in fainting, shortness of breath or if severe enough cardiac arrest. Diagnosis is usually easy to determine by measuring serum magnesium levels in your blood.

[caption id="attachment_1478" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Too Much Magnesium Side Effects- Instead of Laxatives eat Lima Beans"][/caption]

You can be getting too much magnesium in your diet by taking a magnesium supplement, form of laxatives (milk of magnesia) or an antacid. Hypermagnesemia has been reported after enemas containing magnesium. If your doctor has determined you have too much magnesium he may prescribe medications to lower the levels, like calcium. Avoid supplements, laxatives and antacids if your kidneys aren’t working properly. If you rely on a laxative because you get easily constipated increase your diet to include fiber and fruit. 25 grams to 35 grams of fiber a day should keep your bowels moving. High fiber foods include cereals, breads and starchy vegetables (such as corn, green peas, potatoes and lima beans). I LOVE LIMA BEANS! Speaking about beans, you also should include dried beans and legumes, whether they're pinto beans, red beans, lima beans, black beans, navy beans or garbanzo beans as they are excellent sources of fiber. More information see: Magnesium Rich Foods

A number of prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause constipation. If you're currently taking any medication, you might want to ask your doctor or pharmacist whether it could be causing your constipation. Among the drugs that can cause constipation are calcium-channel blockers taken for high blood pressure, beta blockers, some antidepressants, narcotics and other pain medications, antihistamines (to a lesser degree), certain decongestants and some antacids. Antacids that contain calcium or aluminum are binding and can cause constipation; antacids that contain magnesium tend not to cause constipation. If you are unsure what's in your antacid, check the label or ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Drink plenty of liquid to decrease your chances of being dehydrated, which can lead to constipation. Drink 2 to 3 liters of fluid every 24 hours, unless you were told to restrict your fluid intake. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these can cause you to have electrolyte disturbances and alcohol stimulates renal excretion of magnesium.

If you have severely elevated levels your doctor may order dialysis treatments. Severely elevated levels can affect your ability to eat because you are nauseous or vomiting. It is important to talk to your doctor right away if you feel too weak to move and/or have heart palpitations. Remember the possibility for a magnesium overdose is from magnesium supplements or products that contain magnesium and nearly impossible from diet alone. Have your doctor check your magnesium levels and make sure you have a list of all your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements that you are taking. Until your test results come back and you need something extra to reduce your anxiety so you can fall sleep easy or relieve symptoms of RLS eat magnesium rich foods such as nuts, oatmeal, bananas or shredded wheat cereal.  For more information see Magnesium Sleep

The content provided in Too Much Magnesium Side Effects – Hypermagnesemia is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families 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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