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Monday, June 28, 2010

Dr. Frank Lipman's Anti-Spent Program

Constantly exhausted? Feeling old before your time? Get your bounce back with the energy guru to the stars...

By Dr Frank Lipman
Last updated at 9:31 AM on 28th June 2010
Crashing fatigue, insomnia, panic attacks, caffeine cravings, loss of sex drive and premature aging.
Since I began practicing medicine in the Eighties, I have noticed an alarming health trend.

Despite being apparently disease-free and in the prime of life, people in their 30s, 40s and 50s have been coming to see me in disturbingly increasing numbers for help with these and a host of similar complaints.
Two young women on inflatable hoppers, laughing
Bounce back: You can prevent yourself getting run down by following Dr Lipman's advice
In fact, I'd say that an unbelievable 75 per cent of the people I treat in my practice now are overwhelmed, exhausted and afflicted with this disorder that makes them feel decades older than their years.
I call it Spent, because that's how you feel. You don't have the where-withal to enjoy your life.

You are running on empty - your energy account is in the red. I have worked with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Bacon and Donna Karan, and as a result of the plethora of exhaustion-related health problems I have come across in my work as a GP over the past two decades, I have developed a simple lifestyle programme that has revived many thousands of people, transforming them from feeling weak, overwhelmed, sick and tired, to energized, inspired, strong and profoundly healthy.
It is a six-week regime that you can start to follow and feel the benefits from today.


  1. Do you struggle to get up in the morning?
  2. Do you feel unusually tired most of the time?
  3. Do you need coffee, caffeinated soft drinks or sugary snacks to get going first thing and to keep you going throughout the day?
  4. Although you feel physically exhausted at night, does your mind continue to race?
  5. Do you feel you are ageing too quickly?
  6. Do you suffer from bloating, constipation and/or indigestion?
  7. Is it a struggle to lose weight in spite of dieting and exercise?
  8. Do you have achy muscles and/or joints or tension in your body — particularly your neck and shoulders?
  9. Is you sex drive diminished?
  10. Do you often feel depressed, lack motivation or have trouble concentrating and remembering things?
  11. Does little or nothing seem to rejuvenate you?
  12. Do you find that you fall ill frequently — and that it takes a long time to recover?
If you answered yes to more than three of these questions, you are more than likely Spent. That means, as the name suggests, you are burned out — physically, mentally and spiritually — and you need help. But don’t worry. Although you feel rundown, it is within your power not only to make yourself feel better, but quite possibly better than you’ve ever felt.
The easiest way to work out if you may be suffering from this modern phenomenon is to take my 12-point quiz on the right.

How does a anti-Spent program work? Well, it is all about common-sense really - and keeping in step with the body's natural rhythms.

If you think about it, our bodies are not designed to cope with today's stressful, overloaded lifestyles.

We were not built to be sedentary nor to follow addictive, punishing exercise regimes either. We are not designed to exist on just a few hours sleep a night, live indoors with very little exposure to sun and nature, eat bizarre combinations of processed foods or subsist on faddy low-fat or low-carb diets.

Nor were our brains wired to handle profound amounts of mental and emotional stress. I believe so many of us are exhausted because our modern lifestyle has removed us from nature and we have become divorced from its natural rhythms and cycles.

There are more than 100 rhythms that form our internal body clock. This clock has what are called circadian rhythms, which reflect nature's 24-hour cycle of day and night and govern most of our physiological processes.

Each rhythm influences a unique aspect of body function, including temperature, hormone levels, heart rate, blood pressure, even pain threshold.

As humans, we are physically designed to eat natural and seasonal food and exercise in spurts, with time to rest and recover. We thrive with fresh air, sun and water.

We are built to sleep when the sun goes down and wake when it rises. But very few of us are living this way. Instead, we are living at a pace and rhythm that are completely foreign to our genes and biology.

Though I am not suggesting that everyone gives up their homes and jobs and goes to live on an idyllic desert island, I firmly believe that if we don't move back at least in the direction of our genes, we will all ultimately end up Spent.

Fortunately, I have found that when prompted correctly with natural light and good food at the correct time, appropriate exercise and exposure to nature, our genetic clocks can reset themselves, boost energy levels and mood, and even help us to lose weight.

So here's how to get off the Spent treadmill and begin living life to the full again.

To eliminate fatigue, the following programme should be followed closely for a period of at least six weeks. It is a kind of 'detox' period, after which, some of the forbidden foods can be reintroduced in small quantities and the lifestyle changes can be honed and adapted to suit.

Spent is a multifaceted problem, which means that simply eating better will never be enough to beat it.
A good night's sleep is the second, absolutely essential step for optimal energy levels. Here's how to get quality shut eye.
  • Impose an 'electronic curfew'. Most of us jump from high-speed vertical to horizontal within a matter of minutes at bedtime, and wonder why our thoughts are buzzing and we can't get to sleep. To help your mind and body prepare for sleep and encourage your body's natural sleep-wake cycle to kick in, make it a rule to switch off the television, your laptop and phone at 10pm. 
  • Take time to wind down. Unwinding and relaxing tense muscles is one of the best ways help your body make the transition from racing around to restoring itself. Practice some stretches and then take a 'breathing break' just before you go to bed to aid a relaxed deep sleep. Find a comfortable space, sit down and spend five minutes with eyes closed, concentrating on breathing deeply in and out through your nose. It is a great way to settle the mind and relax the body, and the technique can also be used to control stress and food cravings throughout the day. 
  • Keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Even the smallest blink of light from a mobile phone or an illuminated alarm clock can stimulate the pineal gland in the brain and consequently interfere with the body's natural release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin at bedtime.
 female running
Run for fun: Do gentle exercise rather than pushing your body to the limit or doing nothing at all
Our idea of exercise has become completely distorted. It sometimes feels as if there are only two modes.
First, fanatical exercisers who work out one or even several times a day, pushing their bodies to extreme limits and exhausting themselves.

Then there are the marathon sitters, those who torture their bodies with immobility.
Both approaches can encourage Spent syndrome.

Moderate exercise is the key to beating exhaustion, and walking is the best way to start, whether you are a couch potato or addicted to exercise.

A daily walk burns calories, increases metabolic activity, helps counteract energy-sapping posture problems and massages your internal organs. It also strengthens the abdominal walls and improves breathing.
The key to restorative exercise are short bursts of exertion followed by recovery.

Start striding out at high intensity (so you are slightly breathless, but still able to speak), followed by low-intensity walking for three to four minutes.

Do this every day for a total of 30 minutes, preferably outdoors. Alternating action with rest triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to activate the relaxation response, so instead of stressing your body, you're using movement to relax it.

There's no greater healer of Spent than the sun. For the past 25 years we have been

Spent force
One in five women and one in ten men say they are ‘abnormally tired’ according to a recent study
brainwashed by doctors, dermatologists and skincare companies about the dangers of the sun.
But just as we need darkness to support our sleep cycles, humans need the sun, and in particular morning sun, to regulate their circadian rhythms, stimulating their metabolism, immune system, hormonal functions and vitamin D production.

Try to get 30 minutes of daylight outside peak hours (midday-3pm) every day, maybe while you're doing your daily walk.

In this day and age, it is hard not to fill up our lives with 'shoulds'. I should be working harder. I should be exercising more. I should be making more money. I should be spending more time with my children, friends, family.

But this is a negative form of thinking that loads our brain with more feelings of guilt, worries and stress. Stop 'shoulding' on yourself and concentrate on enjoying the present and the things you love doing.

For the next six weeks you need carefully to rethink what, when and how you eat.
Perfect lunch: Salmon and salad
Perfect lunch: Salmon and salad
1. Cut out processed foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners
Processed foods, white sugar and artificial sweeteners are corrosive to everyone's health and well-being, but for those who are already stressed and tired, they can be poison.

Processed foods and sugar can disrupt key physiological systems, putting the metabolism on a rollercoaster of unnatural and extremely taxing highs and lows that make us feel Spent.
Artificial sweeteners can also trick us into overeating.

For the next six weeks you must avoid processed foods, sugar and sugary foods, and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharine, sucralose and acesulfame K.

Beat any cravings for salty and sugary foods by drinking plenty of plain or sparkling water laced with lemon or mint throughout the day.

Replace empty sugars, such as carbonated drinks, biscuits and cakes with fruit smoothies, a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or a small pot of plain yogurt sweetened with a teaspoon of raw honey.
1000mg of the food supplement glutamine (available from health food stores) taken every four to six hours will reduce cravings by tricking the body into thinking it is getting glucose.

2. Say goodbye to caffeine and alcohol
Eliminating caffeine, particularly coffee and 'energy-boosting' caffeinated drinks from your diet is essential to overcome exhaustion.

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can stay in your body for up to seven hours, or longer if you are taking oral contraceptives, blocking sleep neurotransmitters and over-exciting adrenal glands.

Alcohol is equally disruptive. It cuts oxygen to the brain and is high in sugar. There's no need to go cold turkey, however. Begin by halving your intake of caffeine and alcohol for four days, then gradually cut back day by day until your intake is nil.

You can 'dilute' coffee, by using half regular and half decaffeinated. Dilute wine with fizzy mineral water.

3. Take supplements
A good-quality multi-vitamin and a fish-oil supplement taken daily will help to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need for optimal health and energy.

4. Eat early, eat well
In terms of our physiological food clock, our digestion functions at its most efficient from first thing in the morning until it reaches its peak at midday. For this reason, breakfast and lunch should be your largest meals of the day.

The average person spends 15 hours a day sitting down, according to a WeightWatchers UK survey

A protein and nutrient-rich breakfast is the best way to set your energy levels on the right track for the rest of the day.

A bowl of unsweetened muesli packed with nuts and seeds and served with almond or rice milk is a good choice. Alternatively, try sardines, smoked salmon or poached eggs on rye toast - or a fruit smoothie blended with 3 or 4 tablespoons of protein powder (widely available from health food shops and gyms).
Lunch should be a portion of lean organic protein, such as grilled chicken or fish or a mixed bean or lentil salad, with plenty of vegetables on the side.

As daylight wanes, the body clock slows down the secretion of active hormones and our metabolism. A light salad supper with a small portion of lean, organic protein and some whole grains, such as wild rice, brown rice pasta or quinoa will help you relax and detoxify while you sleep.

To curb cravings, add a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack of dried fruit and nuts or unsweetened yogurt with fresh berries or a slice of rye toast topped with half an avocado and tomato.

For optimal digestion, try to eat your meals and snacks at the same time every day. Sit down for each meal and really savour what you are eating.
resource:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1290120/Constantly-exhausted-Feeling-old-time-Get-bounce-energy

Friday, June 18, 2010

6 Wacky Sleep Behaviors Explained: Sleepwalking - Sleep Eating - Acting Out Dreams - Talking in Your Sleep - Sleep Paralysis - Sleep Apnea

Rose knows for most of us, closing our eyes at the end of the day means drifting off into peaceful slumber. But for some people, the action’s just beginning. Find out what surprising things you might be doing in your sleep…

You think your dreams are weird? You might be doing even odder things when asleep – like eating, walking and talking.

Some nocturnal behaviors are merely annoying, but others are dangerous.

We asked sleep experts to explain 6 unusual bedtime behaviors and when you should seek help.

1. Sleepwalking (Somnabulism)

Until about ages 10-12, sleepwalking is common and normal, says Kathy Gromer, M.D., at the Minnesota Sleep Institute.

So how does it happen?

“When we fall asleep, we have many buttons that go off – eye muscles, hearing, limb muscles,” she says.

With somnabulism, some get “stuck” when waking and don’t come on. For example, the body may have turned on the eyes and ears, but not the brain, she says.

In adulthood, it’s dangerous, because there’s no parent keeping a watchful eye on us.

Gromer once treated a woman who drove to the supermarket, discovered it was closed and walked home. The next morning, a friend found the car in the store’s parking lot, unlocked, the woman’s purse on the front seat. The patient didn’t remember her nocturnal outing because she was in a state of partial arousal, half asleep and half awake.

Sleep solution: If you sleepwalk, safety-proof your home, Gromer advises.

* Lock sliding doors and put car keys out of easy reach.

* Install 2-3 locks on the front door. “By the time the sleeper gets to the third lock, she’ll probably wake up,” she says.

* Eliminate triggers that interfere with a sound night’s sleep, such as too much caffeine, loud TV and sleep apnea (see below). Also, sleeping pills or alcohol may trigger sleepwalking in some people, says Max Hirshkowitz, Ph.D., and author of Sleep Disorders for Dummies.

* An alarm on the bedroom door may work, says Hirshkowitz. If it doesn’t wake you, someone else might hear it and get you back in bed.

If these steps don’t stop the behavior, see a sleep specialist, who may recommend relaxation techniques or antidepressants.

2. Sleep Eating (Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder)

Are you waking up with crumbs in your bed or on the kitchen counter? You could be sleep eating.

The disorder is caused by the same brain malfunctions as sleepwalking, but the sleeper focuses on food.

Often, sleep-eaters chow down on wacky stuff, “like cardboard or cereal with ice cream,” Gromer says.

That’s why it’s dangerous. Hirshkowitz says his patients have set kitchens on fire trying to make a meal or consumed chemicals (from cleaning products, for example) because the refrigerator was locked to prevent nighttime binges.

Sleep solution: Avoid partial-arousal triggers and put away dangerous items, like medication, cleaning products and knives (that might harm sleep eaters making food).

And don’t lock the fridge. It’s better to “eat food,” not cleansers, Hirshkowitz points out.

3. Acting Out Dreams (REM Sleep Behavior Disorder)

If you wake up and realize you’ve been battering a pillow, nightstand or bedroom wall, you could have REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD), a recently discovered condition that researchers don’t yet fully understand.

Here’s how it works: When we’re in deep, rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, we’re temporarily paralyzed. Only heart and breathing muscles are active.

But people with RBD twitch in that state, which means they have muscles working when they shouldn’t.

“They often have very violent dreams… of chasing criminals or trying to beat someone up,” Gromer says.

As a result, they act out on furniture - or worse, a slumbering partner. And the “sleeper” doesn’t wake until they’ve hurt their bedmate.

Both men and women are affected, she says. And it’s more common in younger women and older men, although researchers don’t know why.

Sleep solution: RBD is easy to treat with medication.

“A dose of clonazepam [a psychoactive drug commonly used to control seizures and panic disorders] will do the trick,” Gromer says.

Also, pad bedroom furniture and remove sharp objects to avoid injuries, says Hirshkowitz.
Physically "acting out" dreams when asleep could be an early warning sign of dementia or Parkinson's disease.
Canadian researchers studied 93 people with "REM sleep behavior disorder", which can involve punching or kicking out while dreaming. 
The Neurology study found more than a quarter were diagnosed with a degenerative brain condition over the next five years.
UK experts said the research could help doctors predict the condition. Normally, during "Rapid Eye Movement", or "REM" sleep, our muscles relax and do not move, but people with certain sleep disorders are able to lash out, or cry out.
It is a known symptom of some kinds of brain disease, including Parkinson's disease, and a rare form of dementia called Lewy body dementia.

4. Talking in Your Sleep (Somniloquy)

You’ve probably heard someone mumble while they’re sleeping – or maybe you’ve been accused of it yourself.

Sleep-talking usually occurs between wakefulness and sleep, or when going from one stage to another. A high fever can cause it too.

What you’re saying doesn’t usually relate to your dreams. In fact, when you’re dreaming, it’s the least likely time you’ll talk, because of the deep paralysis that occurs, Hirshkowitz says.

Can nightly chatter harm you?

“Only if you’re saying something you shouldn’t be,” Hirshkowitz says, laughing.

Worry only if nocturnal chatter leaves you so sleep-deprived that you can’t function during the day, he says.

Sleep solution: Anxiety and stress play a role, Hirshkowitz says. A doctor or therapist can help reduce both. When fever’s the cause, treating it should stop the talking.

5. Inability to Move (Sleep Paralysis)

In deep sleep, being unable to move is normal – the brain stops motor activity to keep you from getting up or acting out dreams. But in some cases, you can be partially awake and feel frozen, unable to speak, move or scream.

It’s sometimes accompanied by hallucinations, usually of an evil spirit on your chest, keeping you from breathing. Some sufferers also describe a whirring noise or a feeling of having their life “sucked away” from them, says Hirshkowitz.

Many people with sleep paralysis are embarrassed to talk about it, Hirshkowitz says. “Some think they’re losing their minds.”

Although terrifying, it’s not dangerous.

Sleep solution: Move your eyes quickly back and forth, Hirshkowitz advises. This breaks the feeling of paralysis and wakes you up. Someone’s touch has the same effect.

Frequent sleep paralysis episodes might mean you’re overly tired, so set a regular sleep routine. Also, avoid sleeping on your back; it’s more likely to occur in that position, Hirshkowitz says.

6. Extreme Snoring (Sleep Apnea)

About 40% of women snore – although most don’t like to admit it, Gromer says.

But if your bedmate grumbles that your snoring rattles windows or sounds like you’re gasping for air, you might have sleep apnea, a serious and dangerous disorder that makes you stop breathing for at least 10 seconds at a time.

There are 3 kinds:

* Obstructive sleep apnea – when your throat muscles relax and airway closes as you breathe in

* Central sleep apnea – a less-common variety in which the brain doesn’t send signals to muscles that control breathing

* Complex sleep apnea – a combination of both

Once apnea hits, “Our brain says, ‘I’ve got to save you,’ and wakes you up,” says Gromer. Then you fall asleep again immediately. This can happen 20-60 times an hour, all night long.

The result? Excessive fatigue and increased stress on the heart and blood vessels.

Waking up tired is the primary symptom. “The most common thing I hear [from my sleep apnea patients] is, ‘I sleep, but I have no energy,’” Gromer says.

Sleep solution: See a sleep specialist. They’ll first do a sleep test in a lab to diagnose apnea.

The most common treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a machine with a mask that you wear over your nose. It delivers air pressure and keeps airways open, helping you breathe.

Other options include: surgery to remove excess tissue from the throat or nose to open airways, and oral appliances that keep your throat open (you can get these from your dentist.

The information contained on www.lifescript.com (the "Site") is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for advice from your doctor or healthcare professional. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical condition. Information and statements provided by the site about dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Lifescript does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, third-party products, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned on the Site. Reliance on any information provided by Lifescript is solely at your own risk.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Losing Sleep Over Fibromyalgia?

Rose knows that it’s bad enough that you’re suffering with unexplained pain – now you can’t sleep. No wonder! Sleep disorders are a big problem for most women with fibromyalgia. Find out the top 4 reasons you’re tossing and turning, and how to finally get restful relief…

If you have fibromyalgia, a good night’s sleep might seem like a lost cause.

It is for Lynne Mattallana. Bedtime has become a nightmare in the 16 years since she learned she had the condition.

“My brain just doesn’t shut down,” says Mattallana, 54, of Orange, Calif., founder and president of the National Fibromyalgia Association. “When I finally get to sleep, it’s interrupted.”

Pain may be the hallmark of fibromyalgia, but sleep problems are often its most intolerable symptom.

Fibro patients typically wake up feeling as if they never slept. They struggle to fall and stay asleep and often suffer from so many different sleep disorders that they’re exhausted.


Experts don’t know “whether the pain is responsible for the sleep problems or vice versa,” says Victor Rosenfeld, M.D., medical director of Sleepmed of Santa Barbara, Calif. Or both symptoms could be manifestations of something not yet known.

Researchers speculate that fibromyalgia may be linked with trauma, genetic mutations and autoimmune diseases.

A Mystery Disorder
Fibromyalgia — also called fibromyalgia medical syndrome (FMS) — affects about 6 million people between 20 and 50 years old; 90% are women.

Every patient has different symptoms, but typically they include:

* Unexplained pain
* Fatigue
* Headaches
* Arthritis
* Numb hands and feet
* Difficulty concentrating
* Mood changes

Pain is the tip-off, but some experts suspect that poor sleep plays an even bigger role.

Most patients ranked morning stiffness, fatigue and poor sleep as their biggest complaints — ahead of pain and forgetfulness, according to a 2007 study by noted fibromyalgia researcher Robert T. Bennett, M.D.

What causes the sleep problems? Here are the top 4 culprits:

1. Your racing brain
Danielle Liss, 33, a Las Vegas lawyer and fibromyalgia sufferer, says she frequently battles insomnia.

The reason?

Alpha waves were disrupting her sleep, according to a test in which Liss’s heart rate, breathing, leg movements and brain waves were monitored.

“It’s like trying to sleep after two or three cups of coffee,” says Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., a fibromyalgia expert and author of From Fatigued to Fantastic (Avery).

That’s because fibromyalgia sufferers have an alpha wave pattern typically seen in awake people, according to Harvey Moldofsky, M.D., head of the Sleep Disorders Clinic of the Centers for Sleep in Chronobiology in Toronto.

The pattern, called alpha intrusions or alpha abnormality, prevents them from sinking into the deep sleep stages needed to feel refreshed.

The problem starts in the autonomic nervous system, which controls your body’s involuntary processes such as breathing, heart rate and digestion, with help from the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

For fibromyalgia sufferers, “the SNS is in overdrive and often stays dominant, even during sleep,” Teitelbaum says.

Sleep solution: Like many others with her condition, Liss finally got some shut-eye with prescription medications.

Drugs approved for fibromyalgia, such as Lyrica and Neurontin can help, but many patients need tricyclic antidepressant, which have a sedating effect, such as Desyrel, or atypical antipsychotics such as Zyprexa or Seroquel, which promote drowsiness.

Popular sleep aids such as Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata can bring on slumber, but they often don’t keep fibromyalgia insomniacs asleep.

When it wears off “most people with fibromyalgia will wake up,” says Lucinda Bateman, M.D., an internal medicine specialist who runs the Fatigue Consultation Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Many need a cocktail of medications to get sleep. Liss, for example, takes Klonopin and Pamelor, along with Ambien. On nights when her insomnia is worse, she also takes Tylenol PM.

“I can’t shut off my mind without pills and the perfect sleep environment,” she says.

But don’t mix and match on your own. Consult your doctor before taking any medication, prescription or over-the-counter.

2. Your restless limbs
About 20%-40% of people with fibromyalgia also have overactive limbs at night. This stems from two conditions: periodic limb movement syndrome (PLMS) or restless leg syndrome (RLS).

With RLS, people feel a creepy-crawly sensation in their legs at night. Legs may feel twitchy and tingly and they have an overwhelming urge to move them.

“The other night I forgot to take my RLS medication and I had to get up and run up and down the stairs 50 times,” Mattallana says. “That was the only thing I could do to not jump out of my skin.”

All movement disorders like PLMS and RLS chase slumber away.

“They pop you up into a more wakeful level, so you’re never able to get into a deep sleep,” Bateman says.

Sleep solutions: Drugs to treat RLS include:

* Dopamine agonists, such as Sinemet, Permax, Mirapex and Requip
* Anti-anxiety drugs, such as Klonopin and Ativan
* Anticonvulsants, such as Neurontin

Sometimes, relief is found in over-the-counter pain relievers, baths, massages, and warm or cool compresses. Cut back on caffeine and alcohol consumption too.

Bateman also advises patients to stretch several times a day and drink enough water. Stretching can relieve the restlessness and staying hydrated helps restore electrolytes, because a deficiency may contribute to symptoms.

3. Breathless in bed
We take it for granted that we breathe while we sleep. But that’s not a given for women with fibromyalgia.

About half of all fibromyalgia patients suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Their throats collapse during sleep so they stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time.

Mattallana is one of them. After falling asleep at her desk and while driving, she went for a sleep study. It confirmed she had sleep apnea and was getting only 62% of the oxygen she needed.

“I was dumbfounded,” she says. “I used to hear of it only in overweight people, but many people with fibromyalgia are diagnosed with OSA.”

Sleep solutions: If you’re overweight, losing pounds can often be the cure.

Many patients also need continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines, which help raise the pressure in the airways.

With these machines, the patient breathes in compressed air through a nose or full-face mask hooked up to a machine.

Orthodontic devices that resemble mouth guards can help too, by keeping the lower jaw and tongue forward.

Some fibromyalgia sufferers have a related condition called upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), in which airflow decreases in the upper airway, causing brief sleep disruptions.

Many sleep apnea treatments will work with UARS. Breathing aids, such as a nasal dilator or Breathe Right nose strips, can help too.

4. Teeth grinding
For some fibro sufferers, bedtime means bruxism, a condition that causes them to clench or grind their teeth, typically the result of stress and anxiety.

Bruxism can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), in which the joint that connects the lower and upper jaws becomes stiff, painful and tender.

Sleep solutions: Experts recommend a night guard (a fitted, plastic mouthpiece that resembles a retainer) to protect the teeth from damage.

Relaxation exercises or meditation may ease the stress triggers.

Other remedies: physical therapy, warm compresses or medications, such as cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), a muscle relaxant, or clonazepam (Klonopin), an anticonvulsant.

The Road to Better Sleep
Good lifestyle habits and sleep hygiene also can help bring on the zzz’s.

Liss, for instance, keeps her room no warmer than 73 degrees. She avoids heavy blankets, sleeps with an eye mask every night and uses earplugs when needed.

She has also given up caffeine and sees a massage therapist and a reflexologist, who puts pressure on her reflex points.

Regular exercise can help reduce the pain that keeps you awake. Mattallana walks on her treadmill every day. She also does yoga and meditation and avoids caffeine and sugar after noon.

For Liss, accepting her condition and the limitations it imposes has been the biggest boon to getting enough sleep.

“I’ve had bouts of depression because I want to do more,” she says. “But lately, when I need rest, I reprioritize and set realistic goals about what I can do.”

If you have fibromyalgia, here are some resources for more information and support:

The National Institutes of Health: Information and resources from the U.S. government’s medical research agency.

The National Fibromyalgia Association: A nonprofit support group for people with fibromyalgia.

The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association: This group’s mission is to fund scientific studies on fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia Network: A nonprofit that offers information about the disease from top fibromyalgia clinicians and researchers.

The information contained on www.lifescript.com (the "Site") is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for advice from your doctor or healthcare professional. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical condition. Information and statements provided by the site about dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Lifescript does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, third-party products, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned on the Site. Reliance on any information provided by Lifescript is solely at your own risk.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

9 Tips that Aide Sleep

Rose knows that too many of us toss and turn each night trying to go to sleep.  Did you know that sleep deprivation is harmful to our health?  Lack of sleep can cause heart conditions, diabetes and obesity according to Lisa Shives M.D. a medical director of the Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, IL, and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  She recommends the following 9 tips that  aide sleep. 

NO ELECTRONICS IN THE BEDROOM….that means no TV, no Laptop, no Video Games period!  Your computer’s light triggers your suprachiasmatic nucleus which is a tiny receptor in the brain that regulates your circadian rhythms that control your sleep/wake cycle.  Light generated from electronics overrides the sleep cycle and will limit the amount of melatonin produced.  Melatonin is needed to make us prepare and fall asleep.  As we age we naturally produce less melatonin so we don’t need light from electronics to make this receptor think it’s time to get up.  In fact it would be best to turn everything off an hour or two before retiring.

YOUR BOUDOIR IS FOR SLEEP AND SEX ONLY!   Research has shown that people fall asleep faster without distractions so keep your bedroom quiet.  If outside uncontrollable noises are keeping you awake, try white noise (fan) or ear plugs to drown the noise out.  Street lights shining through your window, get some black out curtains or blinds.  According to David Schulman, M.D., director of Emory Sleep Disorders Laboratory in Atlanta you should reserve your bedroom for sex and sleep only.

RELAX…in 2009 the National Sleep Foundation reported that 30% of 1,000 Americans have a hard time falling asleep because they worry too much.  Stress created by the economy, family issues and keeping a job cause 12% of us to toss and turn almost every night.  Free your mind by concentrating on soothing sounds of waterfalls, ocean waves or a thunderstorm.   Self-hypnotic sleep tapes or CDs also help as your brain will pay attention to the instructions and in no time you will relax and fall asleep naturally.

NO ALCOHOL AS A SLEEP AIDE.  Ok a few drinks will help you fall asleep, but as the alcohol wears off, generally in four hours, you will wake up and it will be harder to fall back to sleep.  A healthier choice would be a cup of Sleepytime decaffeinated tea or a warm glass of milk.  Warm liquids raise your core body temperature and then it will drop rapidly. A cool body helps you sleep better.  But, don’t drink too much or you will be in the same boat and wake up during the night to go to the bathroom.

COOL BEDROOM TEMPERATURE.  Personally I love heavy blankets in my crypt, but results of a 2008 study done in Australia found that insomnia is associated with higher core body temperatures.  For those suffering from menopausal symptoms or nights sweats will agree keeping your bedroom temperature between 60-65 degrees will help your brain cool the body while you are asleep so you fall asleep and stay asleep during the night.  If you like to take a bath as part of your bedtime routine make sure it is not too hot or take it and hour or two before retiring as this raises your core body temperature and you will be too warm to fall asleep.

NO LATE NIGHT DINNER.  Dinner should always be at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.  If you eat later the result may be indigestion, heartburn or acid reflux which will only keep you awake or wake you up during the night.  Hunger can also keep you awake, so don’t go to bed on a completely empty stomach.  If a snack is needed, snack on foods that are rich in tryptophan an amino acid that makes us drowsy.  Try a slice of turkey, nuts, pumpkin seeds, cereal, banana or milk.  And we always wondered why we wanted to nap after a big Thanksgiving meal.  Try to avoid high calorie snacks as these will only end up on your hips and spicy foods will add to the risk of heartburn.

NO CAFFEINE LATE IN THE DAY.  If you have a sleep problem too much caffeine or drinking caffeine too late in the day might be the reason.  Caffeinated beverage are more than you daily cups of joe, its sodas, teas and even energy drinks.  Energy drinks can contain twice the amount of caffeine and take more than twice as long to get rid the affects.

ESTABLISH A BEDTIME ROUTINE.  Going to bed too late, getting up late, working different shifts, jet lag or taking long naps in the afternoon can throw off our sleep/wake cycle and make it harder to fall asleep. Try to set a sleep routine that consists of going to bed and waking up the same time every day.  Eventually your body and brain will prepare itself to become sleepy at night and wake up naturally in the morning without an alarm clock.  How great would that be?

GET UP IF YOU CAN’T SLEEP.  Ok so you have tried the above tips and to no avail you’re still tossing and turning.  GET UP!  If you are lying there for more than 30 minutes it is better to leave your bedroom for awhile and do something else that will make you sleepy like read a boring book or write in a journal.  Try light stretches or yoga exercises, but no vigorous exercising as this will only increase your heart rate. Oh, and stop looking at your alarm clock this will just make your more aware and stressed about not getting the sleep you need.

If you don’t get the sleep you need your production levels decrease, you’re a bit grumpy and you may have trouble operating heavy equipment, but did you know that your sleeping habits can also make you fat?  Scientists are formulating a theory that lack of sleep might contribute to obesity, because lack of sleep influences two hormones that control hunger.  Leptin, made by fat tissue will tell your brain to stop eating and grhelin, made in the stomach tells us when to eat more.  A study found that restricting sleep leptin was suppressed and grhelin increased.  Grhelin and leptin are major players in determining how much we weigh as does growth hormone, insulin, cortisol and melatonin and the activity of each is influenced by how much sleep we receive.  That is why it is important to establish a sleep routine and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, which might mean that we go to bed as early as 9:30 (because going to bed doesn’t mean we go to sleep right away).

As I mentioned before no high calorie snacks before bedtime and this means no simple carbohydrates and sugar/sweet stuff, as these will increase your insulin levels.  High insulin levels will keep you awake.  Alternative choices are whole-wheat crackers which can control insulin and wild lettuce has a history of helping people fall asleep (see below). Lack of sleep is one area doctors are considering in helping people that are obese, as this is just part of the picture, along with little to no exercise and dietary indiscretion.
Good Evening,
Rose Sheepskill

How Eating Sweets Affects Sleep -- powered by eHow.com

Wild Lettuce, Lactuca Virosa

lactuca virosa identification
Wild lettuce , looks likes dandelion leaves but no flower.

Lactuca Virosa has very similar properties to opium, but does not contain any opiates and so it is safe to consume in controlled doses. An extract from the stem is prepared in such a way, very similar to opium and this produces lactucarium.When taken, this gives a mild euphoria and last last a few hours. This is open to abuse by many, but its main medicinal purpose is to aide sleep. In the past it has also been used as anesthesia.

It has a bitter flavoring, and is best used as a tea with lemon or with sugar. It is a powerful sleep aide and is best mixed with valerian root, and hops. This combination will make a deep sleep by promoting drowsiness and is often used in over the counter natural sleep remedies, even available from the supermarket or your local health food store. Some people have been known to even smoke the dried leaves.The liquid from the stem is the most potent part of the plant and is generally too strong to be used as a sleep aide, but it can be put into hot water and frozen into cubes, and this in turn can be used as a ready made tea by just dropping a cube into a hot cup of water before bed.  Freezing will keep it potent for a week.

As usual , the plant has flavonoids, an antioxidant ( such as those in normal tea) as well as coumarins, and  methyl beta phenethylamine.
Wild lettuce
Side effects include distorted vision, loss of balance and is not recommended for nursing or pregnant women.

In identification they plant is similar looking to the crepis japonica, but is different in many ways, including the thickness of the leaves and the texture of the leaves. In the taste, the bitterness is the giveaway.