This report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says, “Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic.”
Continued public health surveillance of sleep quality, duration, behaviors, and disorders is needed to monitor sleep difficulties and their health impact.
Sleep is increasingly recognized as important to public health, with sleep insufficiency linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors.1 Unintentionally falling asleep, nodding off while driving, and having difficulty performing daily tasks because of sleepiness all may contribute to these hazardous outcomes. Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.1 Sleep insufficiency may be caused by broad scale societal factors such as round-the-clock access to technology and work schedules, but sleep disorders such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea also play an important role.1 An estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder1. Notably, snoring is a major indicator of obstructive sleep apnea. Read the rest of this entry »
A while back, at a networking event for healthcare marketers, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Julie Reardon. She has a Family Medicine and Integrative Medicine practice in Austin and has a different view of holistic health, saying that “Too many times we ‘diet’ and fail to ‘live it.’” She uses the term LIVE IT as an acronym for:
L earn about healthy eating & living;
I ncorporate more veggies in your diet;
V italize your diet with vitamins & supplements;
I magine how you Want to feel; and
T hink before you eat, and eat slowly
Before we left the meeting, she insisted that I hunt down Dr. Esther Sternberg’s PBS documentary, “The Science of Healing,” and I watched it today on NetFlix. Here’s a short clip Read the rest of this entry »
Dr. Mike Evans is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital.
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- SLEEP — Could it be our high stress and deficient sleep? Sleep deprivation (sleeping less than 6 hours/night when we need 7-9) is associated with 2.5 times higher Diabetes risk, 62% increase in risk of Breast Cancer, 48% increased risk of Heart Disease, 27% higher Obesity risk, and even higher risk of developing early Alzheimer’s. Heck, it makes you 20% more likely to die in 20 years. Read the rest of this entry »
Consumers are learning how sleep affects health, safety and productivity, thanks to a flood of articles in the scientific literature and mainstream news media. Today I responded to Collecting Data on a Good Night’s Sleep, an article in The New York Times about all of the fitness activity trackers and under-the-mattress sensors.
These sensors basically tell you what you already know — you don’t sleep well — but few actually help you sleep better. Some attempt to monitor sleep and wake you at the best time close to when you set your alarm. They may even show graphs of sleep patterns, based on how much you move or even your heart rate, but they can’t be very accurate without also measuring brainwave activity. Zeo was the one product I know of that did that fairly well, but it ended up going under. Read the rest of this entry »
By Sandy Getzky
Not getting enough rest? If your mind has trouble settling down at night, you can easily end up tossing and turning instead of getting much needed sleep. Instead of worrying about an argument you had with a co-worker or what to do about that stubborn nail fungus problem, focus on helping your mind calm down for the night. Here are five things you should do before you go to bed each night.
1. Stay Away From Electronics
Spend a couple hours before bedtime with a good book instead of staring at your TV, phone or laptop screen. These electronic items can be very distracting and stimulate your brain. The light from the screen can also make it more difficult for your brain to enter sleep mode. In addition to avoiding screen time, keep the lights in your bedroom or living room dim. Read the rest of this entry »
From The Good and Bad News About Your Sleep Debt (Forbes, 2/23/20145)
“Sleep, science tells us, is a lot like a bank account with a minimum balance penalty. You can short the account a few days a month as long as you replenish it with fresh funds before the penalty kicks in. This understanding, known colloquially as “paying off your sleep debt,” has held sway over sleep research for the last few decades, and has served as a comfortable context for popular media to discuss sleep with weary eyed readers and listeners.
The question is — just how scientifically valid is the sleep debt theory?” Read the rest of this entry »
By Mary Ross, Health & Wellness Expert
The stress of being a loved one’s caregiver can be overwhelming. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of family caregivers reported a decline in their own health since care began. They also reported that this decline affected the quality of care they gave, and that they put their care recipient’s needs over their own and didn’t go to the doctor or have time to take care of their own needs. This stress can cause caregivers to become depressed, exhausted or ill. There is even a name for a caregiver whose health starts to deteriorate due to the stress of their responsibilities: caregiver syndrome. If you’re tasked with taking care of a loved one, reduce the stress and risks to your own health with these tips: Read the rest of this entry »
By Wayne Caswell
Sleep deprivation has become a terrifying problem in our on-the-go society, where working more and sleeping less can be seen as a badge of honor. But even nodding off momentarily can have disastrous results, as we saw in graphic news reports of the December Bronx Metro-North train derailment.
“I was in a daze,” engineer William Rockerfeller told investigators about the moments leading up to the crash. “I don’t know what I was thinking about, and the next thing I know, I was hitting the brakes.”
Sleep scientists think Rockerfeller may have slipped into what’s known as microsleep, when parts of the brain are awake and parts just doze off for a few seconds. But his momentary lack of attention before approaching a dangerous curve too fast derailed more than just the train; it also ended the lives of four people, injured more than 70 others, and probably cost Rockerfeller his career.
Short sleep, or getting less than 6 hours when 7-9 hours is recommended, drastically dampens our attentiveness and reaction times, as well as our health overall. While I’ll describe the negative effects of Short sleep, this article is really about the positive benefits of Restorative sleep, and it concludes with an excellent speech on the topic by Arianna Huffington. I hope it motivates you to add a New Years’ resolution — get more sleep. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr. David Nash wrote an interesting article on KevinMD.com, noting ”an unprecedented groundswell of interest in health and wellness — and the corresponding emergence of a Wellbeing Economy.” He described the Wellbeing Economy as accounting for “the health, social, and economic factors that affect the wellbeing of individuals, countries, and the world we live in.”
Examples included wellness programs in corporations and insurance plans, new university classes & degree programs stressing wellness, new research & technology developments, public sector policies on the federal & state level, and changes in health care delivery that includes wellness programs in retail clinics. But Nash did not mention the relationship between Sleep and Wellness, so I added the following comment.