Posts Tagged ‘sleep’
How can healthcare systems encourage patients to take greater ownership of their health so they live longer? That was the question posed to a Linkedin discussion group that generated some interesting responses. I initially weighed in with:
Public Health and Social Programs
We don’t often think of clean running water, indoor toilets, sanitation systems, and school vaccinations as having profound effects on the health of our citizens, but they have. So too would programs that address poverty, unemployment, and the widening income gap. That’s why next on my list is access to nutritious food, exercise opportunities, and full-time employment, which translates into access to health insurance.
Others said consumers would need support from various health care organizations and suggested several initiatives designed to move from medical response systems to health, wellness and prevention systems. Read the rest of this entry »
You heard me mention color temperature before, and the effect of watching TV or reading on the iPad before bed, but here’s why it’s important. This WebMD article examines the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate sleep & wake cycles (the circadian clock). Melatonin production in the body is triggered by darkness and inhibited by light, and that explains why we have trouble with jet lag, shift work, and winter months with fewer daylight hours.
This Wikipedia article describes light therapy and melatonin supplements as treatment for sleep disorders like insomnia. It also describes the light color temperature, from the warm yellow of incandescent light bulbs, to blue light of the new fluorescent and LED bulbs (or the bluish tint of the iPad and TV screens).
One way to fool the body into producing melatonin earlier so you can go to sleep earlier is to select warm-color light bulbs and have them dimmed in the evening. Another way is to wear DARK AMBER or ORANGE sunglasses in the evening to block blue light (short light wavelengths). And of course, that’s why sleep experts advise against using a computer or watching TV shortly before bed.
We live such busy lives that we’re stressed out and try to fit too much into each day, ignoring our sleep in hopes of getting more accomplished, but that’s effecting our health, work productivity, and sports performance.
What if I told you that not getting great sleep could easily cost you — an extra $300,000 in medical bills and more than $700,000 in net worth? Not getting great sleep could even cheat you out of some $8 million in lifetime earning capacity? Do I have your attention yet? That’s what my conservative spreadsheet model revealed.
It’s National Sleep Awareness Week, so today I write about the importance of sleep and refer to these previous articles by Dr. Bruce Meleski, an intelligent sleep consultant.
- Sleep Balance: Your Path to Better Sleep – “It is not just the amount of sleep but also need the right type of sleep. Slow wave sleep allows the body to restore at the cellular level. Without this cellular repair, the risk of disease increases for obesity, diabetes, depression, and hypertension. Loss of sleep also affects our day to day performance. Sleep loss impacts athletic performance, memory recall, focus acuity, and reaction time.”
- Brain Entrainment for Better Sleep and Health – We humans have many pulses, rhythms, and frequencies that can be measured and recorded, including heart rate, respiration and brain waves. This article describes the various brain frequencies as we rest, sleep, work or play, and ways to induce the desired state.
The two main types of sleep are (1) Non Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREM) and (2) Rapid Eye Movement (REM). NREM sleep has four stages or depth levels.
Stage One is characterized by high frequency (fast), low amplitude (small) brain waves. As we move to Stages Two, Three and Four, the brainwaves get slower and slower (lower frequency), and bigger and bigger (larger amplitude), signaling that we are getting deeper and deeper into sleep. Each stage of sleep delivers a specific renewal, rejuvenation, and recharging function for specific systems of the body.
Most of our hormones are generated during sleep, including the human growth hormone that affects how we grow, age and metabolize food. Since this hormone is what helps keep our weight under control, poor sleep contributes to obesity, diabetes and other conditions that can shorten our lifespan and increase health care costs.
Modeling the Economic Benefits
Poor Sleep , studies show, contributes to decreased energy and work & athletic performance, as well as memory lapses, anxiety, irritability, depression, stress, mood swings, weight gain, marital strife, and a host of health problems. These factors have a significant impact on your lifetime earnings capacity and health care costs, and they can shorten your lifespan. As shown in the model below, not only did the person die earlier, but their health care costs were over twice as much, and their earning capacity was less than half. The model also shows that the lifetime cost of poor sleep easily exceeds $150,000 in accumulated net worth. That would have been a good inheritance for your kids.
Great Sleep, on the other hand, increases your energy, work productivity and athletic performance, and with better memory and a better attitude comes quicker and larger raises and promotions. And that offers you the ability to invest and grow your net worth more quickly. My conservative and realistic approach shows that net worth from great sleep increases over half a million dollars during a lifetime per person. If that savings could be applied to all 100+ million Americans, the total benefit of good sleep would exceed $60 trillion, so policy makers should consider ways to promote good sleep.
The model below is based on my own estimates from anecdotal evidence I’ve seen in other articles, but I’ve not seen any studies that attempt to quantify the economic value over a lifetime. If you know of credible sleep studies that quantify that value, please leave a comment pointing to them.
Today’s article is adapted from The End of Illness by Dr. David B. Agus and an ABC News story about his book. (video below)
“The end of illness is closer than you might think,” says Agus, a professor of medicine at USC. But to achieve that, people must look at their bodies in a whole new way. He and many others like him are challenging long-held beliefs about what “health” means and are promoting health & wellness as ways to extend life, improve vitality, and lower the cost of medical care.
As a cancer doctor and researcher on the front lines, Dr. Agus became infuriated by the statistics and lack of progress within the medical profession, and that got him thinking about alternative approaches. He likens it to “having to go to war to understand peace,” since the goal should be to avoid war in the first place. And shouldn’t the same apply to health – striving for ways to eliminate illness rather than just treat its symptoms? Read the rest of this entry »
Modern Health Talk founder Wayne Caswell is an eLocal.com home improvement expert and contributes to their industry surveys. Their first survey for 2012 is the same as for 2011 – What are the top Home Improvement Trends. Below is an infographic that summarizes answers from 50 eLocal experts, followed by what I submitted for this year’s survey.
The gift of Sleep has benefits beyond the gift itself since it can improve your loved one’s health, vitality, productivity, and even earning capacity.
As Dr. Bruce Meleski (Dr. Mell) wrote in previous articles here and here, good quality sleep impacts your life in a positive way. But it’s not just the amount of sleep; it’s also the quality of sleep. Slow wave sleep allows the body to recover and the cells to rejuvenate. Without this cellular repair, there’s a higher risk of disease, obesity, depression, and hypertension. Quality sleep also impacts work productivity, memory recall, focus acuity, athletic performance, and reaction time.
11 gift ideas presented below (Holiday Gift Ideas: Sleep Gifts For Better Zzz’s provides details & high-res photos).
Parents with adult children in college have another reason to worry about them. While young people are smart enough to find answers to many health questions online with little help, they often spend too much time online, as Cyndi suggests.
By Cyndi Laurenti
Today’s college students are proficient with technology, using it daily in and out of the classroom. However, heavy reliance on technology can lead to negative impacts on the health of many students, and especially those in higher education from college to PhD programs. Mental health disorders and increased risk of developing chronic diseases are just some of the potential effects of overuse or improper use of today’s technology.
Too much screen time leads to mental health problems including an increased incidence of depression among teenagers and young adults, and screens are often used as a substitute for real-life interaction. Obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as repeatedly checking for new messages are another effect of rampant technology use among students.
By Bruce Meleski, PhD, Intelligent Sleep Consultant (part 2 of 2)
The human body has many pulses, rhythms, and frequencies that can be measured and recorded. Heart rate is one of the best known, represented by beats per minute. Depending upon the efficiency of the heart, there can be wide variations in one’s heart rate. Certain conditions also impact heart rate such as exercise, stress, or anxiety.
The brain has electrical frequencies that can be measured and changes during the day are normal. Sleeping slows the brain frequency to a very slow rate allowing the body to rest. Sleep brain waves are known as delta brain waves. Read the rest of this entry »