Posts Tagged ‘sleep’
On the first day of CES I attended a Digital Health Summit panel discussion hosted by Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post. To introduce the discussion, she described Americans’ increase in antidepressants, sleep medications, and stress, and how 75% of healthcare spending is spent on preventable diseases, and 80% of medications are for pain. All of these conditions are preventable through other means, she said.
The panel discussed a perfect storm of multiple trends: (1) stress (and I’d add sleep deprivation) is a killer, (2) our broken & expensive sick care system, and (3) technology & wearable devices that can help us focus on health & wellness. Market researchers note that 30 million wearable devices shipped in 2012, going to 60 million in the next year. In addition, 44 million health apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets this year.
I attended CES in person this year instead of monitoring the show from the comfort of my home office and writing my traditional report, CES in Pajamas. On the first day I attended “The Digital Health Revolution: Body, Mind and Soul,” a panel discussion hosted by Arianna Huffington and am thrilled that Huffington Post is so prominently promoting conversation and innovation supporting better health & wellness. Its GPS for the Soul smartphone app, for example, complements lifestyle articles around the theme “Less Stress, More Living.” Here’s an article that Arianna published on the first day.
CES 2013, GPS for the Soul and the Digital Health Revolution
By Arianna Huffington, 1/07/2013
Greetings from Las Vegas, where I’ve landed in the midst of a perfect storm. I’m not talking about the weather — it’s a crisp, beautiful day here. No, I’m talking about one of those moments in which several trends converge to create something larger, a moment we will look back on as the time everything changed. Read the rest of this entry »
By Marlo Thomas, award-winning actress, author and activist
(original on Huffington Post)
I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t get rattled easily — I get my work done, I pace myself, I’m cool under pressure. But that’s during the workday. Once I get in bed, all bets are off. My mind begins to tick, and then I start making lists — and the next thing you know, I’m the Queen of Eyes Wide Open. “Toss” and “Turn” are my middle names.
So, I’ve recently begun researching what’s behind those sleepless nights, and I’ve been amazed at what I’ve read. Did you know that insomnia affects women nearly twice as much as men– but women are more likely than men to report their insomnia to their doctor? Were you aware that the optimal temperature for deep sleep is around 68 degrees — which is why we keep flopping around at night when it’s too warm? And did you know that if you fall asleep in five minutes or less, chances are you are sleep-deprived? Ideally, it should take you ten to fifteen minutes to drift off at night. Read the rest of this entry »
The findings, published in the journalExperimental Biology and Medicine, showed that sleep-deprived rats had decreased bone mineral density — which researchers said in the study indicated osteoporosis. The rats also had less fat in their bone marrow than fully-rested rats, as well as double the amount of megakaryocytes, which are bone marrow cells that produce platelets.
By Susan Redline, MD, MPH and Dr. Michelle A. Williams, ScD
Individuals from disadvantaged neighborhoods and racial/ethnic minorities are at increased risk for sleep disorders due to a variety of environmental exposures, occupational and psychosocial conditions, and possibly genetic factors. Editor: They also have higher rates of obesity and other health conditions, and they don’t live as long.
A wide range of serious health problems disproportionately afflict individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. These conditions, which reduce quality of life and shorten lifespan, include heart disease, stroke, diabetes,asthma, and cancer. Other health problems commonly associated with poverty are obesity,pregnancy complications, increased infant mortality,HIV/AIDS and dental disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s “Healthy People 2020,” which sets 10-year national objectives for improving the health of the nation, has prioritized the need to close the gap in these “health disparities.” There are numerous potential targets for improving the health of low-income people, such as improving nutrition and access to health care. In addition, accumulating research points to a need to improve sleep as means for improving alertness and daily functioning, as well as for reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Past articles promoted the health & productivity benefits of good sleep, but what about a short nap? The folks at Patio Productions shared this great infographic on the science and statistics of napping, spent inside or in the majestic outdoors. Enjoy, and pass it along to friends.
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.