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Friday, November 5, 2010

Secrets to Great Sleep

Rose knows that you already know that pregnancy pains and hot flashes can keep you tossing and turning at night. But there's other health concerns that may be silently interfering with your sleep. Here's how to deal with these sleep stealers, decade by decade.

YOUR 20s and 30s
Check your thyroid. New moms usually blame sluggishness or insomnia on the demands of parenthood, says Dr. Laura Corio, an OB-GYN in private practice in New York City and attending physician at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. But the true culprit may be postpartum thyroiditis, which 5 to 10 percent of women develop in the year following delivery.

Typically, it starts with mild hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), which can rev you up and set off insomnia. After a couple of months, the condition may swing to hypothyroidism, in which a lack of thyroid hormone slows your body's functions, leaving you feeling constantly tired. If you're too jumpy to sleep or have extreme fatigue postpartum, see your doctor.

Say goodbye to sadness. Feeling blue can pack a double whammy when it comes to sleep: Not only can depression (which women are most likely to suffer from during their childbearing years) cause sleep problems such as insomnia, but some antidepressant medications may have sleep-related side effects.

Donna Arand, Ph.D., clinical director of the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio, and an American Academy of Sleep Medicine spokeswoman, recommends a two-fold treatment for insomnia with depression: cognitive behavioral therapy, a therapeutic approach which can be used specifically to target insomnia and bad sleep habits, plus talk therapy aimed at alleviating depression, adding or adjusting medication as appropriate. (The antidepressant trazodone may help with both insomnia and depression.)

YOUR 40s
Notice when you go at night. If you're waking up to pee a lot more lately, don't assume it's a sign of aging -- you might actually have a urinary tract infection (UTI).
"Decreasing estrogen levels in the mid-40s leads to a thinning of the lining of the vagina and bladder, which makes perimenopausal women more prone to infection," says Corio, author of "The Change Before The Change."
Corio adds that women in their early 40s are often very sexually active, which can also lead to more UTIs. Talk to your doc if you notice a change in your bathroom habits.

Deepen zzz's with exercise. Deep, restorative sleep (called delta or slow-wave sleep) decreases in your late 40s, making nighttime awakenings more frequent.

Working out more may help. Your muscles and tissues are repaired during slow-wave sleep, Arand explains. When you give your body more repair work to do thanks to increased physical exertion, it responds by stepping up the amount of slow-wave sleep you'll get.

The type of exercise that's best for triggering slow-wave sleep isn't clear, but aim for 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity on most days, suggests Wilfred R. Pigeon, Ph.D., director of the Sleep and Neurophysiology Research Lab at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

YOUR 50s+
Mind your meds. Prescription drugs you may be taking for high blood pressure and cholesterol could affect your pillow time. Diuretics (used to treat hypertension) can necessitate nighttime visits to the bathroom, says Dr. Annabelle Volgman, a cardiologist and the medical director of the Heart Center for Women at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

If your doc says it's OK, try taking your pills in the morning instead of the evening. And statins for cholesterol-control can deplete your body's muscles of co-enzyme Q10, a natural protein required for normal functioning of muscle cells; the resulting muscle aches might make falling asleep a challenge. If that sounds like you, Volgman suggests asking your doctor if you might benefit from taking a co-Q10 supplement.

Saw less wood. If you're a heavy snorer, your bedmate might not be the only one whose sleep is suffering. Chronic snoring is a major sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder in which breathing briefly stops periodically while you sleep, interrupting and worsening the quality of your snooze time. OSA can have some heavy consequences, such as worsening or increasing the risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, or stroke.
"The risk of developing sleep apnea increases after menopause when progesterone levels drop," Arand says -- possibly because progesterone may help the muscles of the upper airway stay open.
Being overweight is also a big risk factor for OSA (and weight gain is a common occurrence during menopause); in some cases, slimming down can actually cure the disorder. Talk to your doctor about your sleep issues; with treatment, you could be snoozing more peacefully in no time.
resource: shine.yahoo.com
Good Day,
Rose Sheepskill

Monday, October 11, 2010

feng shui nightmares – sleeping under a window and other causes

Rose knows when you sleep under a window your energy levels get weaker over time as it is neither proper support nor protection. If you cannot move your bed there are two feng shui steps you must do: First, a strong and solid headboard and secondly you need heavy drapes/curtains to create a solid wall behind you. The position of your bed is the most important feng shui piece of furniture to optimize personal health and well-being. There are three things that make a great feng shui bed.

Good headboard – While asleep your body is busy repairing and regenerating itself on many levels. Your head needs protection and support just like your back needs support from a good mattress. The best feng shui headboards are made of solid wood.

Good mattress – There are many brands of mattresses on the market today. The better you sleep at night the better your health and productivity during the day.

Good height – To allow a balanced feng shui energy flow under your bed you need to have your bed at a reasonable height above the floor. Beds with built-in storage units are considered bad feng shui beds because the energy cannot flow around your body when you sleep.

If you have these requirements the next thing to consider is the position of the bed or what is known as the feng shui commanding position. This position is the area further from the door/diagonally from the door, but not in line with the door, any door including closet or bathroom. You want to be able to see the door while you are lying in bed, but not be in direct line with door. Your bed should also have a good supporting wall behind it, balance on both sides and no sharp angles from furniture pointing at you while you sleep. Never have electrical appliances on either side of your bed. If you want the best feng shui try to eliminate all electrical appliances from your bedroom. If you switch from an electric alarm clock to a battery operated one you will lower the harmful EMF’s in your bedroom.

Do not place your bed at an angle or in a corner as you should be facing your best feng shui direction. These are the general sleeping directions and their result:

Head pointing:
South: Increased family fights. Good for sex life, though.
South East: Encourages social activity and better communication.
East: Good for old people - keeps people busy and brings career luck.
North East: The Nightmare bed direction. Stimulates motivation, however.
North: Relieves insomnia but slows down life activities.
North West: Promotes deep sleep, good for parents and people with many responsibilities.
West: Makes a person lazy - wanting things lacking the motivation to get them.
South West: Creates good partnerships, though partners are more reluctant to take risks.

The truth be told there are very few bedrooms with the perfect feng shui unless you have had the design while building your home with this in mind. Let’s review some feng shui bedroom challenges.

Mirror facing the bed – A mirror facing the bed is a big no for feng shui. Two schools of thought, the first belief is when you sleep at night your soul is supposed to leave your body and when it leaves the first thing it sees is a reflection of itself and gets startled and this is what causes nightmares and a restless sleep. The second is when you sleep your body recharges itself with fresh chi and the negative chi leaves your body; if there is a mirror facing you the negative chi cannot leave you. This does not just apply to mirrors, anything reflective like a photo, painting, computer screen or metal surface. If you cannot move the mirror place a cloth over it when you sleep.

Bed in line with the door – You do not want you bed in line with any doors.

Beams, chandelier or ceiling fan – The only thing that should be above the bed is a soft canopy. Ceiling beams above the bed are a feng shui nightmare. They can be a source of cutting chi and the beams carry a tremendous load, and this pressure is focused into the beams generating chi which continues downwards, placing direct pressure on you while you sleep.

Some tips:
Paint the beams; drape fabric over the beams; hang bamboo flutes 2-3 inches below the beam to soften the load (the flutes are hung at a 45-degree angle to the beam with the mouthpiece downwards).
Sharp angles – Be sure to neutralize all sharp energy that is aiming at you while you sleep.

Bed under a sloped ceiling – If you sleep under a sloped ceiling you energy is heavily constricted. This will inhibit your body’s ability to regenerate itself. Sloped ceilings contribute to low energy and emotional instability.

Bed access only one side – This will limit the flow of energy to the bed and your body will not receive the optimum help it needs. It also can limit the flow of communication between partners. Even with limited space you can still position the bed to have room on both sides. You may not have room to optimize balance but you can improvise similar nightstand energy on both sides.

Use two small plant stands as night tables or two stacks of books to create the same feeling. Although this feng shui balance rule is especially important for couples do not neglect it if you are sleeping alone. Your body still needs a good flow of energy on both sides of the bed. Restricting a flow of energy will ultimately restrict the energy you need for good health and well-being.

Does your child have nightmares about monsters under the bed or in the closet? Does your young child have difficulty falling asleep? If you don't have proper feng shui bed placement in a child's bed room, this could be the cause. Proper feng shui bed placement gives a child a sense of security and control. This is an important part of a child's development. If your child is having trouble sleeping, make sure the bed is in the command position as the first step to a good night's sleep. If your child wakes during the night because of nightmares or refuses to go to sleep because there are monsters in the closet or under the bed, feng shui bed placement will help provide a feeling of safety and inner peace.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Warning: Baby Sleep Aide Linked to 12 deaths

Rose knows that the childcare giant MOTHERCARE took the dramatic step after US consumer watchdogs said they had "serious" concerns over baby sleep positioner sleep aides.  They urged parents to stop using the product until their children are old enough to roll over.

The warning came after it was reported that some babies had become trapped and suffocated in them.
Mothercare has moved quickly to pull the Head 'n' Back, Resting Up and Snugglenest sleep positioners off its shelves while it reviewed the American announcement.

Last night the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed it had received 12 reports of infants between the ages of one and four months dying when in or next to the positioners over the past 13 years. CPSC chairman Inez Tenenbaum said: "The deaths and dangerous situations resulting from the use of infant sleep positioners are a serious concern to CPSC.

"We urge parents and caregivers to take our warning seriously and stop using these sleep positioners, so that children can have a safer sleep." Mothercare spokeswoman said: "Due to concerns raised in the US over the safety of infant sleep positioners we have decided to remove them from sale while we review the situation."
The CPSC said it had received dozens of reports of infants who were placed on their backs or sides in the positioners only to be found later in potentially hazardous positions within or next to the products. The watchdog said the babies had suffocated in the positioners or become trapped and suffocated between the positioner and the side of their cot. Most of the infants suffocated after rolling from a side to stomach position.
Mothercare advised parents who had already bought the products to stop using them once their baby was able to roll over freely and had started to move around during sleep.

It also said the positioners should not be used for infants under 6 lbs, must not be dismantled and should only be used in a cot on a flat surface. It also repeated advice that babies should always be put to sleep on their back. The positioners typically carry claims that they help to keep infants on their backs and reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Sids).

But the CPSC and the FDA said they were unaware of any scientific studies demonstrating that infant positioners prevented Sids, suffocation or other dangers.
resource: Baby sleep aid link to 12 deaths | The Sun |News
Good Day,
Rose Sheepskill

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sleep Aides: To Nap or Not to Nap

That is the question…Rose knows that many of us sleep around 8 hours per night, which is considered a normal sleeping pattern or monophasic sleep.  On the other hand a biphasic sleeper not only sleeps during the night they also nap during the day. Siestas are considered the norm in Spain and many Latin American countries, not so much in Britain and the U.S.A.   


The siesta takes advantage of what is known as the post lunch dip, a period right after lunch when you feel tired and could fall asleep easy.  Siestas or “power naps” do not last longer than 30 minutes to avoid going into a deeper stage of sleep which would be hard to wake up from.  A power nap revitalizes the mind and body having the same effect of an extra few hours of sleep.  If you take a longer nap, around 90 minutes the body will have time to complete a full cycle of sleep and you would either be in REM or NREM stage 1 upon waking.   


The best time to wake up refreshed is at the end of a sleep cycle.  Sleep cycles have 7 stages and repeat over and over, so if you take a nap and experience one or two cycles wake up exactly at the end to get the most benefit.  Waking up in the middle of a cycle can cause more damage than good.  The average sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes although long-term biphasic sleepers have been known to reduce this time to as little as 75 minutes.  


Biphasic sleep is nothing more than sleeping twice a day usually involving a 30-90 nap and 3 -4 ½ hours of core sleep.  Usually the length of the nap is maintained at a single cycle; both the difference between the nap and core sleep and the length of core sleep should be fine-tuned to suit an individual.  

What are the benefits to napping?  Biphasic sleep can reduce the total number of hours you spend asleep, can increase the quality of sleep and can improve both clarity and frequency of dream recall.  For those that work out, naps have an impact on recovery from weight lifting.  


On the other hand, it may be difficult to interact with monophasic sleepers as far as taking care of business matters.  Other than that the adjustment from monophasic to biphasic sleep takes about a week. You may feel like you are experiencing jetlag. Once you have made the switch to biphasic sleep try to stick to a routine.  Don’t feel bad if you oversleep, you can always start over.  There will be times when you have a social activity you want to attend, or a TV show you want to watch, or you had too much caffeine, just don’t be too hard on yourself as your mind and body are adjusting to your new sleeping schedule and your established routine will get easier with time. 

New research from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that an hour's nap can dramatically boost and restore your brain power. The findings propose that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can make you smarter. In opposition, they reported the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become. Sleep not only rights the wrong from prolonged periods of wakefulness, it moves you past where you were before you took a nap.
  Sleep clears the brain’s short-term memory storage and makes room for new information.  Sleep Researchers have established that fact-based memories are temporarily stored in the hippocampus before being sent to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which may have more storage space.  This memory refreshing process also occurs when nappers are engaged in a specific stage of sleep known as the stage 2 non-REM.  Stage 2 non-REM takes place between deep sleep or NREM and the dream state REM or Rapid Eye Movement.  It is known that during sleep we spend at least half our time in stage 2 non-REM. 

Researchers are continuing to investigate whether the connection between the reduction of sleep and older people are related to the decrease in their ability to learn as we age.
  It may be a link in understanding neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.  The general opinion of people who nap are lazy, have bad sleeping habits and are less productive can be further from the truth according to recent brain research. 

Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy used to make a habit of taking a nap.
  So if employers and their associates want to remain alert and be smarter to do their work, an afternoon nap may be a lucrative solution! So what is the answer …to nap or not to nap?

Good Nap,
Rose Sheepskill

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sleep Aides: Dream Water Review

Rose knows there is finally an all-natural solution that will put an end to those sleepless nights.  Dream Water, which was created by people who themselves were in search of a natural way to cure their own insomnia.  They discovered Dream Water, which is the only zero calorie relaxation drink available.  This innovative product is the safe and easy way to get the sleep you need—naturally.

This all-natural sleep aid can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.  The key to the success of the product is the 3 sleep aid ingredients:
Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid—induces tranquility
Melatonin—regulates the natural cycle of sleep
5-HTP—improves the quality of sleep

These products not only help you fall asleep easy, but are also the key to helping you stay asleep.
Without a good night’s sleep, you can suffer from fatigue and other health problems.  Dream Water helps you get your life back on track with consistent and healthy sleep.  The various products and flavors offered make it easy for you to enjoy it anytime, even when travelling.  The 2.5-ounce Dream Shot is the perfect size for travel.  It is designed with airline restrictions in mind, making it easy to take it with you, even on the plane.  It’s perfect for those early morning or late night flights.  The 8-ounce Dream Water Drink is ideal for daily use at home.

No matter what makes you decide it’s time for a sleep aid, Dream Water is the best, most natural solution available.  Whether you suffer from long-term insomnia or you just need a temporary solution, this all-natural product is the best way to get the sleep you need.  With no side effects, you can easily use it when you need it without worrying about any adverse effects.  From jet lag to insomnia, this is the best solution for sleeplessness.

About the Author:
Find out more about Dream Water and read a Dream Water review.
Article Source

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dr. Oz's "Just 10 Pounds" Weight Loss Challenge - Lose Weight While Sleeping

Rose heard on September 13, 2010, Dr. Mehmet Oz introduced his "Just 10 Pounds" weight loss challenge. "The benefits of losing just 10 pounds are enormous for your heart, liver, knees, pancreas and blood pressure. The incidence of heart disease, diabetes and arthritis can be cut in half," said Dr. Oz. Starting a diet with a goal of only 10 pounds doesn’t seem so inconceivable. Dr. Oz and his team have designed a program to keep you motivated including five fitness commandments. You can sign up for the challenge online at doctoroz.com and track your progress. During Dr. Oz's season he will be following up with participants as well as provide tips to be successful.

One way to lose weight is while you sleep; the longer that you sleep (at least 7 ½ hours) could help you to achieve your weight loss goal. Researchers studied women that made no changes in their eating habits or lifestyle except to get 7 ½ hours of sleep and at the end of a 10 week period the women lost between 6 and 15 pounds. Evidence concludes that the amount of sleep, weight gain and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes are related. The factors find that sleep is associated with hormones that control our sleep/wake cycle such as melatonin. Melatonin tells our bodies to slow down and get ready for sleep when the sun goes down. The human growth hormone, which encourages our body to repair our cells, is released during deep sleep.

Two other hormones that have been implicated in the effects of sleep on weight are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin and ghrelin work together to control our appetite. Ghrelin is released by the gastrointestinal tract to stimulate our appetite while leptin is released by fat cells and signal the brain that you are not hungry. An imbalance of these two hormones can negatively affect hunger. Lack of sleep decreases leptin level while raising ghrelin levels that will cause you to want to eat and eat, because you never feel fully satisfied.

Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea can interfere with our ability to get adequate sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea you are waking up periodically during the night because you stop breathing due to a constrictive airway passage. Poor sleep contributes to weight gain, while weight gain can be part of the cause for sleep apnea. So just losing 10 pounds can help those with sleep apnea.

One way to help you to fall asleep easy is by using a sleep aide that has been around for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese have used honey and Europeans have recommended drinking a warm glass of milk with honey before bedtime since the middle ages. Another remedy is taking two teaspoons of cider vinegar with two teaspoons of honey in a glass of warm water or a teaspoon of honey in your cup of chamomile tea, passionflower tea or just a teaspoon of honey with your peanut butter sandwich with whole grain bread.

Researchers believe that honey restores how long we can sleep without interruption by limiting the release of two stress hormones; cortisol and adrenalin. More information about cortisol and adrenalin see my post: http://asleepeasy.com/asleep-easy-to-lose-weight/.

Honey also stabilizes blood sugar levels and contributes to the release of melatonin. When the glucose portion of honey is digested and passes into the general blood circulation it produces a mild glucose spike which causes the pancreas to release a small amount of insulin that in turns drives tryptophan into the brain where it is converted in serotonin, a key hormone that promotes relaxation.

Serotonin converts into melatonin when it is night causing drowsiness and lowers your body temperature. Melatonin promotes the release of the human growth hormone. Taking just one or two tablespoons of honey an hour before bed can activate this cycle that improve the quality of sleep, burns fat while controlling the release of stress hormones. Note: read your honey’s label, some honeys have a glycemic index between 35 and 87 and has been able to contribute to low increases in glucose levels, even among diabetics.

To get a slim and healthy body it must be fulfilled with these three things: balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and 7-8 hours of sleep. Myths about sleep and eating include what we’ve been told about sleeping right after eating will accumulate in certain parts of our body such as our stomach or hips and that less sleep causes stress which makes us lose weight because we don’t want to eat.

The facts are if your BMI is high, apparently your hours of sleep are associated with your weight gain. For instance it has been reported that people with a BMI of 30 sleep between five to six hours. Your BMI or Body Mass Index is a number calculated from your weight and height that roughly correlates to the percentage of your total weight that comes from fat, as opposed to muscle, bone or organ. The higher a person's BMI, the higher the percentage of fat in their body. If your BMI is under 20, you might be underweight. Between 20 and 25, you are probably at a good healthy weight for your height. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight, and over 35 is considered obese.

What is the relationship between lack of sleep and BMI? Lack of sleep can cause metabolic disturbances. When our metabolism slows down it decreases our ability to burn fat. Lack of sleep improves our taste for eating up to 24%...that’s 350-500 more calories a day!

Other hormones that are produced during sleep are associated with anti-aging, and physical appearance overall. Therefore, lack of sleep will also affect your beauty and physical appearance such as; skin tone and circles under your eyes. Quality of sleep is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise program. With the right amount of sleep Dr. Oz’s "Just 10 Pounds" weight loss challenge will be a piece of cake….or at least a cup of tea with honey.:)
Good Day,
Rose Sheepskill

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Prescription Sleep Aides

Rose knows there are a lot of sleep aides on the market and a new prescription sleep aide that promotes dreaming and improving memory is being formulated by drug researchers and pharmacologists. This new prescription drug targets the orexin system which also is associated with food intake and addiction.  Discovered in 1998, Orexin is a type of hormone that controls or induces a number of physiological reactions and conditions such as narcolepsy, a sleep disorder where people will fall asleep periodically during the day and also experience paralyzing musculo-skeletal contractions. 

Actelion, a Swiss drug company is making public a new drug called  Almorexant's, its main, active ingredient, orexin-RA-1, can block the orexin system.  Studies with rats have shown they slept more soundly and performed better in maze tests the following day suggesting that the drug improves memory capacity.  Measurements of muscle tone and brain activity increased in the dream phase of sleep.  The dream phase of sleep is when memory is hardwired to the brain.  Older sleep medications reduced REM sleep causing people to still feel tired during the day even after a full night of rest. Almorexant also has potential for regulating appetite as it reduces cravings for food.

This new sleep aide is undergoing stage trials and could be available on the market as early as 2012.  Unlike other prescription sleep aides, orexin-RA-1 shows no signs of addiction or loss of effectiveness over time.  However, the stage trials will determine unwanted side effects since existing sleep medications have a number of side effects.  Other tests are being conducted to analyze the drugs effect on the brain and how it can provide other benefits without causing harm to internal systems. 

As of March 2010, the first phase III studies were completed with positive results and the drug was well tolerated. However there is an ongoing non-pivotal program, certain safety observations were made that will require further evaluation and assessment in longer-term. Additional studies are being planned to further establish the clinical profile of Almorexant. They will explore aspects of sleep quality, absence of addiction and improved next-day performance. According to Actelion's website the amorexant development program was recently discussed at a meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration.

When side effects cause more harm than good doctors and therapists advise alternative non-medical solutions for those suffering from insomnia.  There are herbal supplements that might work just as well without addiction or side effects.  Herbal supplements like Melatonin work, it just takes longer to feel the effects.  Combining an herbal supplement with other lifestyle changes can improve one’s sleep.  Cutting down on caffeine, alcohol and large meals before bedtime is a plus.  Avoid stimulating activities such as video games, action movies and exercise.  Although light yoga stretches before bedtime encourage calmness and prepare the body for sleep.

Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, cool, cozy and preferably pet free.  Keep your bedroom a haven for sleep and sex only.  Doing your work, reading and watching television in bed will only keep you up longer.  Adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep to feel well-rested the next day.

If you have a severe case of sleep deprivation it is advised to consult with your doctor as he may recommend a sleep specialist or psychiatric professional for additional testing to determine the cause.   In any case you need to ask your doctor before taking any herbal supplement or over-the-counter medication as some may interfere with other medications or health issues. Using OTC sleep medications without proper consultation could lead to abuse or overdose.

Fortunately, researchers are working on new prescription sleep aides like Almorexant that will help those with insomnia be able to get the sleep they need without the worries associated with other drugs or over-the-counter medications. 
Good Evening,
Rose Sheepskill

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Medical Marijuana Helps Patients with Chronic Pain Sleep

Trying to sleep in constant pain can be difficult.  Studies have found a small amount of medical marijuana can help those with chronic neurological pain sleep.  Pain may begin from an accident or medical condition that damage the nerves from a faulty signal in the body’s central nervous system.  One example is when people experience “phantom limb” when they feel pain from an amputated limb.  There are many treatments for pain and sleeplessness, but there are no cures.  The Sleep Education Blog reports cognitive-behavioral therapy can help patients manage pain and get to sleep and stay asleep through the night.   

The study on medical marijuana and chronic neurological pain appears in the August issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.  A group of 23 pain patients smoked three types of medical-grade marijuana with different levels of tetrahydrocannibinol or THC, the chemical compound that creates the “high”.  They used potencies that included 2.5%, 6% and 9.4% THC, as well as a placebo.  Participants were instructed to smoke the drug three times a day for five days.  They didn’t know which type of marijuana they were smoking.  After a nine day break they switched potencies.  Results showed that patients fell asleep faster and better after they smoked the more potent marijuana.  Some experienced side effects which included; headaches, coughing, dizziness and dry eyes.

These studies are the first clinical trials using and finding the benefits of smoking medical marijuana for those suffering from chronic pain and have sleep problems.  Most prior studies just used THC extract to test marijuana’s medical effectiveness.  Marijuana is general not recommended as a sleep aide as the drug can reduce the amount of time spent in REM sleep and cause the user to become dependent. After using marijuana it can cause a period of insomnia and vivid dreams which will eventually discontinue when sleep cycles return to normal.  Marijuana is not considered a “hard drug” and the effects do not last more than a few hours, especially in small doses and it is commonly used by people that lead stressful lives alleviate their anxiety and enable them to become drowsy enough to fall asleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has not released its position on the use of marijuana as a sleep aide

Medical marijuana is prescribed for those with certain conditions such as; cancer, AIDS, chronic pain, severe nausea or seizures.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

4 Places Bedbugs Love To Hide

Rose knows bedbugs are all over the news -- and apparently, they're all over these 15 cities.
1. New York
2. Philadelphia
3. Detroit
4. Cincinnati
5. Chicago
6. Denver
7. Columbus, Ohio
8. Dayton, Ohio
9. Washington, D.C.
10. Los Angeles
11. Boston
12. Indianapolis
13. Louisville, Ky.
14. Cleveland
15. Minneapolis

Number one on the list is New York City! They've been found in office buildings, hospitals, hotels, theaters and even the Empire State Building. And the bloodsuckers hide in mattresses, furniture and clothing. Is anyone else suddenly itchy?

But it's not just NYC that's being bitten -- bedbugs are a growing problem nationwide. According to the National Pest Management Association, bedbug-related calls to exterminators have jumped by 81 percent in the last 10 years and 57 percent over the last five years.

The good news is that unless you have serious underlying health issues, the critters aren't likely to make you sick. Still, they gross us out. So we asked Missy Henriksen, Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Management Association, where bedbugs hide and what we can do to steer clear. The top spots:

IN HOTEL ROOMS... If you are traveling, thoroughly inspect the entire hotel room before unpacking, including pulling back the sheets, inspecting mattress seams, checking behind the headboard and examining sofas and chairs. If any pests -- or potential evidence of pests -- are spotted, change rooms or hotels, pronto. If you do change rooms, DO not move to an adjacent room or one directly above or below the infestation. Bedbugs are hitchhikers and can move via housekeeping carts, luggage carts, luggage and even through wall sockets.

IN DRESSING ROOMS... Bedbugs have proven to have fabulous fashion sense -- recently, they've been found in several popular retail stores. When trying on potential new items, be sure to hang your clothing on hooks rather than lay them then across the cushioned seats in the dressing room or on the carpeted floors.

As much as you want to wear that adorable new top immediately, resist the urge and wash or dry clean it first (bedbugs can't withstand temperatures higher than 113 degrees). This minimizes the potential that you'll bring a bedbug home with you.

ON CRAIGSLIST...Do not buy used furniture, especially bedding or upholstered items. If you absolutely MUST have a vintage something or other in your home, find a bug expert who can inspect it for bedbugs or eggs.

AT THE OFFICE... Several prominent New York City offices have been shut down in recent weeks thanks to bedbug infestations. To keep your workspace pest-free, keep clutter to a minimum, vacuum frequently (keep a hand-vac in your cube, if possible) and inspect any packages or deliveries that come your way.

If you do suspect you've been bedbugged, contact a licensed pest professional to ID and treat the problem. As the National Pest Management Association says, this is not a DIY pest.Have you dealt with bedbugs?

The Bedbug Registry bedbugregistry.com is a free, public database of bed bug encounters. Use it to check for bed bug reports before booking a hotel room or renting an apartment.

Know anyone who has? Vent below...
resource:   http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/4-places-bedbugs-hide-and-how-to-avoid-them-2371120/

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How to Fall Asleep Quicker for Older Kids

Rose’s sister Kitty knows it tough getting your older children, particularly teens to bed at a decent hour especially on school nights. She has an 11 year old and a teenage that get into the habit of staying up later during the summer when there is no school and they typically sleep in every day, if not all day. It is important to establish a set routine and regular sleep schedule prior to the school year starting. In order for them to feel refreshed and “with it” during the day, teens and older kids should get eight to nine hours of sleep. Here are some suggestions to answer the question: how to fall asleep quicker for older kids?

Establish a nightly routine and sleep schedule. Many older children participate in after school activities such as sports and social events. Not only do they have to make time for these activities they also have to do their homework. Many times than not this usually means they stay up later than they should to complete their tasks to be ready for school the next day. If their extracurricular activities are causing too many late nights it may be advised for them to curtail a few as sleep deprivation will eventually catch up with them and they will fall asleep in class, have a hard time studying for tests and can even cause themselves harm from poor reflexes during physical activities or even driving a car.

Older kids need time to unwind and relax in order to fall asleep at a decent hour just like the rest of us. Encourage your child to get their homework done as soon as possible instead of after dinner, television shows or chores. Giving your child time to themselves (quiet time) while adjusting activities and homework will allow them to get everything done without rushing or stressed so they can relax and still get to bed at a normal hour. Quiet time should be at least an hour before they retire and that means no television, no phone (and that means texting too), no computer, no video games and no loud music. Reading, writing and listening to soothing sounds encourage sleep for all of us. Your older children may object, but if you make it an entire family practice eventually your children will adjust. Quiet time means a quiet home and sometimes this isn’t easy especially if you live in town, have noisy neighbors or barking dogs. External noises that we have no control over can make it difficult for your child to fall asleep at night. White noise can drown out these noises. You can either purchase a white noise machine, but a fan works just as well.

One way to encourage regular bedtimes is to keep them on weekends, vacations and even during the summer. Allowing your child to stay up late and sleep in only makes it more difficult for them to adjust to a new sleep schedule during the school months. You might have to change their bedtime gradually so they aren’t laying in bed for hours trying to fall asleep because they are used to staying up till 12 and you have them in bed at 10. Try adding ten to fifteen minutes every four or five days until their body regulates their sleep/wake cycle.

Limit caffeine, spicy foods before bedtime. Anyone who drinks caffeinated beverages prior to bedtime might have difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep. Try to limit or stop caffeine at least two hours before bedtime. Remember caffeine is also in aspirin and other items besides beverages. In fact it is probably a good idea to limit any liquid at least an hour before retiring, so they don’t have to get up during the night to go to the bathroom. Hot, spicy food may cause indigestion, heart burn and even acid reflux if eaten right before retiring. It is a good idea not to eat them at least 2-3 hours before you lay down to go to sleep. If your child is in the habit of having a snack or drink before bed there are food that will make them drowsy because they are loaded with tryptophan. Try a slice of turkey, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cereal and/or a glass of milk.

If your child is showing signs of sleep deprivation, such as being irritable during the day, doesn’t care about school, grades are falling or they are skipping out on after school activities, you may need to talk to your family doctor about your concerns. Older children’s sleep problems may be caused by different things such as stress caused by a school situation like a problem with another student or teacher, anxiety about not living up to their or your expectations, hormonal factors or peer pressure. Keep an open mind when confronting your child if he talks about any concerns they may be having and offer praise and compassion if you see them stressed or anxious. Allowing them to have a quiet time to reflect and relax will help your child get more sleep so they will feel better about themselves because they are refreshed and reenergized to take on whatever the day may bring.

There are herbal and/or mineral supplements on the market that can help with stress and anxiety like GABA, but it is recommended that you talk to you physician before giving your child any supplement because they are not FDA approved and dosage may be different for a child verses an adult. The subject matter provided in this article is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. For proper treatment for any sleep problem should be provided by your health care professional.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Rose wants to know if you have you ever heard of the sleep disorder sleep sex or sexsomnia? It is a form of sleep walking during NREM or non-rapid eye movement parasomnia which causes people to engage in sexual acts such as fondling, masturbation, sexual intercourse, sexual assault or even rape, sleep exacerbation of persistent sexual arousal syndrome, ictal sexual hyperarousal and ictal orgasm. (“Ictal” is a physiological state like that of a seizure or stroke.) at the same time they are sleeping. There are at least 11 different sex-related sleep disorders that are classified as “sexsomnia,” “sleep sex,” or “atypical sexual behavior during sleep.”

Often objectionable consequences associated with sleep sex as it has been used in criminal rape cases and can cause the sufferers shame and embarrassment. Sexsomnia itself can also take quite a toll on their partner and relationship. Partners may experience cuts and scratches from more aggressive or forced sex. The sexsomniac may awaken with a bruised penis or fractured fingers. Both parties report feelings of bewilderment, guilt, despair, shock, denial, annoyance, confusion, worry and fear.

Can you imagine falling asleep, having sex, and not remembering a thing? You have no clue nor can’t recall any pleasurable effects. You don’t know that you suffer from this sleep disorder until a partner says something or does something like leave you or press charges.

People who have a history of doing other sleep activities such as sleepwalking or sleep talking are more likely to exhibit sexsomnia episodes. Increased episodes are attributed by alcohol, sleep deprivation or even sleep apnea. Men have reported injuries during aggressive masturbation against metal or brick walls because people experiencing a parasomnia are not often violent; they usually pose more of a threat to themselves. Men account for three quarters of the diagnosed cases. To diagnosis this condition a polysomnography is performed at a sleep clinic, but most cases are reported only after criminal charges have been filed. Nearly 8% of those of patients referred to a sleep disorders clinic reported they had initiated or taken part in sexual behavior while sleeping.

The first doctor to coin the term "sleep sex" was Dr. David Saul Rosenfeld, a neurologist and sleep doctor from Los Angeles, California. In some cases, sufferers are aware of their behavior for a long time before they seek help, often because they lack information that it is a medical disorder or for fear that others will judge it as willful behavior rather than a medical condition.

However, the reality of sexsomnia has been confirmed by sleep disorder researchers who have made polygraphic and video recordings of patients with the condition while they are asleep and observed unusual brain wave activity during the episodes similar to that experienced in other NREM arousal parasomnias. It is a mind/body disconnect that occurs during sleep. The treatment has commonalities with other NREM parasomnias, and also involves specific interventions. By avoiding precipitating factors and ensuring a safe environment, the condition could be brought to a high level of control with minimal effort. Your doctor may prescribe clonazepam for treatment.

Clonazepam is used alone or in combination with other medications to control certain types of seizures. It is also used to relieve panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks). Clonazepam is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Generally, people have no awareness of what they are doing and no recollection of it and whether married, coupled or single, any case of sexsomnia involves the “no consent” issue of sex. Sleep invites the opportunity for the surfacing of a person’s basic instincts usually ones that are released inappropriately. The court system, couples, and victims alike are all grappling with the issues of accountability and consequences for one’s actions while asleep.

What makes sleep sex disorders even more perplexing and difficult to sort through is that they do not indicate psychological problems. The people who suffer from these disorders are otherwise psychologically healthy. However, if left untreated, these conditions can increase an individual’s risk of developing a psychological problem, like depression.

Other problems include feelings of:
— A lack of emotional intimacy;
— A sense of repulsion and sexual abandonment;
— Self-incrimination in sexually expressing one’s self.

Some partners of sexsomniacs do, however, report having more satisfying sex during these nightly romps, whether this involves a lover being:
— More aggressive and dominant;
— Kinkier;
— More amorous;
— Gentler;
— More into satisfying his or her partner.

Regardless, it is important for people with sexsomnia and their lovers to recognize sleep sex triggers. These tend to be physical contact with another person in bed, sleep deprivation, stress, and alcohol. As researchers learn more about these disorders, they are also finding that they can be treated with medication.
Good Day,
Rose Sheepskill

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

5 Popular Natural Sleep Aides for Children

Sometimes it is hard to get your child to go to sleep and stay asleep. You’ve tried some the gimmicks and gadgets for children but nothing has worked. There are sleep supplements for children. Here are the 5 popular choices:

1. Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the body by the pineal gland in your brain. Melatonin helps to control your sleep-wake cycle i.e. it tells your body when to go to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. This supplement is popular for adults who work late at night or for those suffering from jet lag as it lessens the time it takes to fall asleep and also increases the length of sleep.

Studies have shown that melatonin can help children with insomnia to fall asleep. Dosage should not exceed 3mgs and it is not recommended to give to children under 10 years of age. Side effects include: daytime drowsiness, headaches, dizziness, stomach upset. According to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality it is safe for short-term use, usually three months or less. The pharmaceutical grade synthetic supplement is available at your local grocer, health food store or pharmacy. DO NOT purchase melatonin is its natural form derived from animal’s pineal glands due to the possibility it could be contaminated.

Talk to your pediatrician before giving melatonin to your child to rule out interaction with other medication or medical reasons such as breathing difficulties or ADHD.

2. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita). Chamomile is one of the oldest herbs used for a sleep aide. It is also very gentle on the body and that is why it is popular for children to use. The active ingredients are flavonoids; chrysin and apigenin that are believed to make one more relaxed and fall asleep more easily. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Many people use chamomile for an upset stomach. There are no known side effects with chamomile; however some people have an allergic reaction especially those with plant or pollen allergies. Most popular as a tea, chamomile is also available in pill form and also blended in a capsule with other sleep supplements like the ones listed below and also including hops and cat nip.

3. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Valerian is a plant belongs to the Valerianaceae family. It has been used for over a thousand years as a mild sedative and hypnotic (a preparation that brings on sleep). It is also a supplemental sleep aide for children to reduce the time they fall asleep and improve their quality of sleep. The parts of the plant that are used for medicinal purposes are the roots and rhizomes (horizontal underground stems), which are typically yellowish-brown in color. The roots and rhizomes are harvested in the autumn of the plant's second year. They can be freeze-dried and used to prepare tablets or capsules containing the ground herb. Juice can be pressed from the fresh root, or the root may be mixed with alcohol to become a fluid extract or tincture of valerian.

When valerian is used to relieve tension or induce sleep, it is frequently combined with either passion flower ( Passiflora incarnata ), lemon balm ( Melissa officinalis ) or skullcap ( Scutellaria laterifolia ). Because valerian tea has a somewhat bitter taste, flavorings are often added, including peppermint or fruit flavor, to make a more pleasant-tasting drink. Adults may use the dosages.

• 2–3 g dried root in tea, up to several times daily
• 1/4–1/2 tsp (1–3 mL) valerian tincture, up to several times daily
• 1/4 tsp (1–2 mL) fluid extract
• 150–300 mg valerian extract, standardized to contain0.8% valerenic acid

To relieve insomnia, one of the above dosages may be taken 30–45 min before bedtime. It may take one to two weeks of regular use before the herbal preparation takes effect.

When giving valerian to children, recommended adult dosages should be adjusted in proportion to the child's weight. Most dosages of herbal products are calculated for an adult weighing 150 lb (70 kg). A child weighing 75 lb (35 kg) should therefore receive 1/2 the adult dose. Not recommended for children under the age of three.
Side effects include nausea, headaches, dizziness, vivid dreams, weakened heartbeat and even paralysis.

4. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis). Lemon balm is a mint plant that has been used in Europe and has been approved in Germany as a supplement to treat insomnia in conjunction with a nervous stomach as it protects the gastrointestinal tract against ulcers. It's gentle enough for very small children and is a favorite remedy for colic. Taken as a tea it is very tasty, but according to a German study children benefit greatly if valerian is combined with lemon balm in tablets. Dosage: 160mg of valerian root dry extract and 80mg of lemon balm leaf dry extract. Not known to have any toxicity or side effects.

5. Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata). This herb was used by the Aztecs to help relax the mind and induce sleep. Its active ingredient harmine and related compounds help inhibit the breakdown of serotonin. As a neurotransmitter, serotonin helps to relay messages from one area of the brain to another. Because of the widespread distribution of its cells, it is believed to influence a variety of psychological and other body functions including sleep.

Passion flower also contains chrysin, the same flavonoid found in chamomile. It is an especially helpful sleep aid for sleep disorders caused by chronic pain, muscle conditions and anxiety. It can be taken as a tea, tincture or as capsules and safe for children. However, because the most common side effect of passion flower is drowsiness, don’t give it to them unless you plan to have your child sleep for while.

Now that you know these 5 natural sleep aids for children, always consult your pediatrician first if you are thinking of using any of them for your child. He should evaluate your child’s medical history and establish the correct dosage for each supplement.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Coping with Sleepwalking and Sleep Eating

Since I can’t watch TV during the day I tape my favorite shows so I can watch them at night.  Recently on Doctor Oz he did a segment on sleep eaters. My friend and associate, Dr. Luke Sleepwalker finds that people who are sleepwalking will binge on food, take a walk outside or even think their closet is the bathroom!  Reports have shown that up to 1 million adults could be sleepwalkers who eat, in fact, may patients who are obese have been diagnosed with a sleep-eating condition   Sleep eating could be dangerous not only because of the extra calories and fat you consume in your sleep, but some people will even eat nonfood items like cigarettes or toxic cleaning products.

The guest on Dr. Oz’s show said the most bizarre thing she ever ate in her sleep was a steel wool cleaning pad, and it was only when her nephew told her about this that she realized she was sleepwalking and eating.  You’d think if the nephew would have stopped her before ingesting the pad.  Very often, people who do sleep-eating are either on restrictive diets during the day or prescription sleep pills.  Restrictive dieting or medications can alter your ability to become paralyzed while asleep, therefore you can act out during REM sleep.  In REM sleep you dream and your body naturally paralyzes itself so you don’t act out. 

Doctors have classified the nighttime sleep-related eating disorder (SRED) as parasomnia which is a category of sleep disorders related to sleepwalking (somnambulism), night terror and periodic limb movement disorder. People with SRED sleepwalk their way to the kitchen to forge on food and nonfood items more than one time during the night.  Not only is obesity an issue these folks can experience cuts and burns are they try to prepare food and could also be life-threatening for those that are diabetic and must monitor their diet for proper insulin management. Because sleep-eaters get up through the night they never experience an uninterrupted night’s sleep which can cause mental and physical side effects such as memory loss, fatigue, depression, limited motor skills and even heart decease.

Dr Sleepwalker also talks about night-eating syndrome (NES).  Different from SRED this is an eating disorder associated with people having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep and usually suffers from insomnia.  NES sufferers eat dinner between 8pm and 6am and eat uncontrollably with a continued urge to eat during periods of wakefulness.  People with NES consume 50% of their daily calories at night eating high-calorie carbohydrates.

Another nocturnal nuisance is night-eating syndrome (NES). This problem is a little different from SRED and may technically not be a sleep disorder, but an eating disorder instead. Many people with NES however have trouble falling or staying asleep, a symptom of insomnia, which is why the lines are blurred to its classification. Alternatively, NES and SRED may be part of the same syndrome, but different parts of the spectrum. Regardless, this problem can be equally detrimental to one's health.  These people are at high risk for substance abuse and depression.

If you feel you have SRED or NES it is advised to seek medical counseling as a medical professional can diagnosis your disorder though a proper sleep study.  In order to help the doctor determine the correct treatment there are a few steps you can take such as; medical exam, keep a sleep journal, review all drugs, over-the-counter medications and supplements, establish a sleep routine, get rid of high calorie foods and make note of your calorie intake. Sleep-eating is associated by sleepwalking and excess nocturnal overeating known as compulsive hyperphagia.  Even though sleep-eaters are unaware and unconscious of their behavior there are sketchy memories and signs that they are in fact suffering from this condition.  A messy kitchen, candy wrappers on the floor, food smeared on face and hands and/or indigestion.

In fact 1 to 3 percent of the population is affected by sleep eating and more common among younger women in their late 20’s. Also sleep-eating may be genetically linked and those affected have a history of alcoholism, drug abuse or another sleep disorder and is directly linked to the onset of another medical problem that is why it is necessary to seek professional care from a doctor or sleep specialist to determine any underlying causes. Underlying causes may include sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, drug abuse, drug withdrawal, chronic autoimmune hepatitis or acute stress.   
Treatment for those that have been diagnosed with a sleep-eating disorder may find interventions available to them other than prescription medication. If their condition is caused by acute stress, stress management courses or hypnosis may be recommended.  Lifestyle changes such as a change in diet, eating at different times during the day and reducing caffeine and alcohol maybe an alternative to medication.  If the underlying problem is sleepwalking, some medications have been found to be helpful are those in the benzodiazepine family.  Supplements such as GABA are known to help those with restless leg syndrome (RLS). 

Another similar sleep-related eating disorder that is different from sleep eating the individual is awake during episodes of nocturnal bingeing. This disorder has many names: nocturnal eating (or drinking) syndrome, nighttime hunger, nocturnal eating, night eating or drinking (syndrome), or the "Dagwood" syndrome. Affected individuals, usually children, are physically unable to sleep without food intake and are experiencing weight gain as well as insomnia. 

This is usually behavioral as infants are conditioned to have a bottle right before bedtime.  As the child grows they continue to have a drink or a bedtime snack and refuse to go to bed unless their request is granted. 

Eating or drinking at night is usually a conditioned, conscious behavior, although it is a disorder, in many cases night eating is not caused by a mental or physical condition and can be corrected with healthy lifestyle changes.  Undue stress, an ulcer or Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) has also been projected as a possible cause of nighttime eating. Low blood sugar can be determined by a glucose tolerance test.

Treatment for an adult with night eating should be determined by a physician so they can rule out another condition such as Hypoglycemia. Correcting the behavior may take longer with an adult than with a child, but overtime establishing a healthy daily life by eating smaller more frequent meals, reducing carbohydrates while increasing proteins before bedtime and reducing stress may help.  Protein metabolizes slowly and stabilizes the blood sugar levels which should help alleviate the uncontrollable urge to eat and drink often late at night and for those that suffered from night eating should fall sleep and stay asleep through the night.

Why Benadryl is a bad sleep aide

reourse: Julie's Health Club 
It's tempting to pop a Benadryl when you can't sleep. But seemingly benign over-the-counter drugs taken for insomnia and other common conditions, such as allergies, motion sickness or incontinence, can damage the aging brain, according to research published in the journal Neurology.

The drugs, called anticholinergics, work by blocking acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter.  They're widely used, especially by the elderly and sold under the names Benadryl, Dramamine, Exedrin PM, Nytrol, Sominex and Tylenol PM. Some anticholinergics, such as  Paxil, Detrol, Demerol and Elavil, are available only by prescription. (Here’s a list of medications with anticholinergic effects.)

In a six-year observational study, researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine, the Regenstrief Institute and Wishard Health Services evaluated 1,652 Indianapolis area African-Americans over the age of 70 who had normal cognitive function when the study began. The study was longitudinal, which means it collected data on people at more than one time point and analyzed the change.

The scientists monitored cognition and tracked all over-the-counter and prescription medications taken by study participants. They found that consistently taking one anticholinergic "significantly increased an individual’s risk of developing mild cognitive impairment" while taking two of the drugs doubled the risk.

The finding was especially significant for African Americans, who are already known to be at high risk for developing cognitive impairment, said lead author Noll Campbell, a clinical pharmacist with Wishard Health Services. But the results can be generalized to other races, the researchers said.

Indiana University geriatrician Malaz Boustani, a study co-author and investigator at the Regenstrief Institute, discourages his patients from taking the drugs. But one bright spot in the study, was that the medications were linked with mild mental impairment, involving memory loss without functional disability, but not with Alzheimer's Disease, said Boustani.

Previous studies have shown negative short term effects on cognition and  found a link between anticholinergics and delirium, a rapid change in a person’s mental state. This was one of the few that used longer term data.

It's possible that sleeplessness could be driving both the ingestion of the drugs and cognitive decine. But animal studies have found a direct effect of anticholinergics on neuron health, said Boustani.

The researchers next hope to conduct randomized controlled trials—the gold standard of research--and to focus on  “whether anticholinergic-induced cognitive impairment may be reversible,” said Boustani, the founder and scientific director of the Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia.

Sleep Aides: New Bath Salts

resource: Bath and Body Co.

We’re excited to bring a new line of all natural therapeutic bath salts to our customers. Our bath salts are specifically formulated to help detoxify and comfort your body in four unique formulas: Sleep Aid, Sports Therapy, Sinus & Cold Relief and Detox Therapy.

Sleep Aid Bath Salts2
Our Sleep Aid therapeutic bath formula is a relaxing, sleep-inducing mixture of botanicals and calming essential oils in an effervescent blend of healing salts. We’ve added lavender, chamomile and vanilla to help calm and relax you. A bath soak in our Sleep Aides blend will cradle  you to sleep in no time.

If you need serious relief from a weekend of overindulgence or a stressful day at the office, take a soak in our Detox Therapy bath formula. Flush out the toxins from your body with our cleansing blend of 100% natural ingredients.

Our Sinus & Cold Relief bath formula blends essential oils and healing salts to relax muscles and aid in sinus decongestion. We use a soothing blend of peppermint and eucalyptus to help provide fast sinus relief in just one aromatic and effervescent bath soak.

If you are looking for a natural remedy to comfort you after hard day’s play, turn to our Sports Therapy bath soak. Our 100% natural formula reduces minor sports-related aches and pains, soothes bruises and strains. A soothing blend of essential oils and epsom salts reduce inflammation and helps to reduce tomorrow’s stiffness.
All of our therapeutic bath salt formulas come in our 16 oz. eco-friendly brown bags.  Add 1 cup or more to a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes or more for soothing, aromatherapeutic relief.

Sleep Aides: Zeo Personal Sleep Coach

resource: Coolest Gadgets
zeopersonalsleepcoach Rose knows that alarm clock technology has changed very little since its first appeared on the market, as it is just a loud sound programmed to get you up at a time that you would prefer to be sleeping. Most “improvements” are usually a louder sound, or some kind of activity to make the user alert, like the Dynamite Alarm Clock. I’ve seen one that uses scents to aid the early riser, but this was just a concept for now.

Zeo has come out with the first alarm clock that I have seen that actually wants to help you sleep. In fact, this product is billed as a Personal Sleep Coach. Sleep coach? I’ve heard of a life coach, but this is not ridiculous.

The user of the Personal Sleep Coach must wear a headband that will track sleep patterns with a sensor. This sensor can detect electrical signals from the brain, and wirelessly transmits its results to the display. Your sleep record is saved on the SD card that you can see sticking out of it.

From there, the user can upload the information to the myZeo Personal Coaching Web site, and learn about ways to improve their sleeping program. Not a bad idea. This is probably the only alarm clock that I would want by my bedside, as I sometimes have a problem with my sleeping.

See the 2011 Best Sleep Gadget Gifts   for more gift giving ideas or buy one for yourself...you deserve a good night's sleep too!

At last, someone has made an alarm clock that I don’t want to curse. Of course, some of you might have a problem with the high price tag.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Can’t Sleep Because of Bills

While Washington is contemplating to extend unemployment benefits to 2.5 million out-of-work Americans many of those Americans can’t sleep because of bills.  As unemployment rises to a 62 year high, benefits for those that have been out of work for more than six months expired 48 days ago with 5 jobless Americans vying for every job opening available.  CreditCard.com poll reported in June, 2009 that one in five Americans suffer from restless nights and insomnia because of financial troubles including paying for their credit cards. 

Many credit card holders have seen their interest rates increased as well as added fees in the last year causing several to file for bankruptcy. The poll which was conducted by GfK Roper, a division of GfK Custom Research North America asked over a 1000 Americans why they couldn’t sleep and their response was; can’t save money for retirement, can’t afford health insurance, inability to pay mortgage or rent, education or credit cards. 

There is little doubt that today’s economy is causing many Americans to have sleeplessness nights.  Some have considered financial counseling to reduce stress and alleviate anxiety in order to sleep at night.  Others meditate or use self-hypnotic tapes to keep their mind off their financial problems before they go to bed. 
  Women were more likely than men to lose sleep over financial matters due to fluctuating hormone levels that interrupt normal sleep patterns caused by stress.  If a spouse or loved one is in financial trouble the women of the family feel the impact in their sleep.  Since many men lost their jobs the wife has picked up a low paying job just to keep employment benefit such as health insurance, life insurance, an accident plan and/or dental and vision for the family. 

Older people were mainly concerned over health care and younger adults reported losing sleep over saving for retirement.  Almost half of those polled or 48% worried about paying their mortgage/rent and 32% suffer from lack of sleep due to credit card debt.   Since the poll many more are losing sleep due to the change in interest rates and the retirement loss many faced when Wall Street had its meltdown. 

For those that wonder, how much sleep do I really need?  Well, if you are having difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, waking up too early in the morning and feeling restless during the day you are not getting enough sleep.  Lack of sleep also affects work performance and concentration, so if you aren’t getting enough sleep at night because you are stressed about work and bills, you may not be able to get or keep a job….it’s a catch 22.  If you can’t keep your job to get your health care you can’t afford to get COBRA to obtain counseling for your financial difficulties or a doctor for your sleep disorder.  If it isn’t one thing it is another. 

If Washington manages to get both the Senate and the House to agree on extending unemployment benefits for millions of Americans at least then for those that can’t sleep because of bills might rest a little easier, if not at least they will be surprised.