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Showing posts from February, 2018

Narcolepsy

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What is Narcolepsy?Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder, stemming from the brain’s inability to regulate periods of sleep and wakefulness (Michael Breus, Ph.D., ABSM).  Most of the time those who suffer from Narcolepsy will feel that they are rested and ready for the day but then will become extremely tired throughout the day and may fall asleep involuntarily. 
Symptoms of NarcolepsyExcessive Daytime Sleepiness is exactly what it sounds like, being excessively tired regardless of how much sleep you've gotten.  
Cataplexy is sudden muscle weakness and loss of voluntary muscle control. This can often times be brought on by strong emotions making it a difficult to deal with.
Sleep paralysis, hallucinations, fragmented sleep, insomnia, and automatic behaviors are also signs of narcolepsy. 
CausesWhen cataplexy is present it is almost always connected to extremely low levels of hypocretin.  Hypocretin is a chemical that naturally occurs and promotes our feelings of wakefulness and regular…

Acupuncture

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What is acupuncture?Acupuncture is a technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body.  This is most often done by inserting thin needles.  
Are there risks? The main risk from acupuncture is non-sterile needles and incorrect delivery.  Make sure that when you are scheduling your acupuncture you go with a professional with a sound reputation and a very clean office.  Most states require a diploma from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for licensing to practice acupuncture.
Benefits Acupuncture is used by many to treat pain, stress, headaches, and more.  Relieving your body of stress and pain can lead to being able to fall asleep faster and sleep better.  Those who suffer from insomnia can also find relief after acupuncture. Beijing University of Chinese Medicine performed a large analysis that showed "patients who were taking medications or herbal treatments to help with sleep, adding acupuncture therapy showed bette…

Your Sleep, Your Mind, Your Food

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"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." Virginia Woolf This quote perfectly explains the relationship between your diet and your health.  At the very core of your health is the nutrition you put into your body.  The food you eat should contain nutrition that will give you the vitamins, protein, calories, minerals, etc., that our bodies need to thrive.  Without the correct balance of nutrition we can be left feeling sluggish, hungry even after a meal, or even ill. 

Get in the right nutrition Most of us know the importance of having the right balance of fruits, veggies, protein, grains, fats, etc., in our diets.  There is more to finding the right nutrition for your body that needs to be considered.  Many people have intolerances to food that they may not even be aware of.  Dairy and gluten are the biggest hidden sensitivites.  These can cause many health problems that aren't as obvious as perhaps a nut allergy where it's immediately …

Why Can't You Sleep?

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Can't get to sleep? Ask yourself a few questions the next time you can't get to sleep.  
1) Did you check your phone right before bed? 2) Are you going to bed at different times every night?  Where you in bed by 11 last night and trying to get into bed at 9 tonight? 3) Did you have that super yummy coffee on your lunch break? Or even later? 4) Is your bed comfortable?  5) Are you hot? Or is there a ton of light in your room?
Any of these factors can lead to struggling with falling asleep.  Make sure to avoid screens about an hour before bed, get to sleep at the same time each night, skip that coffee in the afternoon, and make your room super comfortable! 

Are you too stressed to sleep?

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Are you stressed?  Listen to your body and find out if you are stressed.  Signs that you are too stressed include your mind is racing and you just can't stop thinking, extremely tense muscles, and racing heart. If you have any of these problems your stress may be preventing you from sleeping. 
De-stress So you've determined that you are stressed and it is probably keeping you from sleeping well, so now you're stressing about your stress, which leads you to lose sleep and then the lack of sleep leads to more stress.  It is a horrible cycle.  What can you do?  De-stress!  Try some of the following relaxing techniques.
Take a warm bath Drink your favorite warm tea.

Try a new caffeine-free blend 

Breathing Techniques

Close your eyes and notice your breathing. Turn all your attention to your natural breathing pattern and feel the air enter and leave your nose or mouth. Visualize the flow of air as it passes through your mouth, airways, down into your belly, and back out again. S…

Your Body's Natural Clock

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Your body's natural clock In our last blog, we discussed jet lag and the effects of travel on our body's natural "clock".  Let's learn more about that natural clock and how it effects our sleep. 
What is our natural clock? Our body's natural Circadian Biological Clock regulates the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day.  Your body's circadian rhythm dips and rises throughout the day.  Adults usually experience the largest dips during early morning times around 2 to 4 am and afternoon. Making sure that you have had plenty of rest will help you to avoid a serious dip in the afternoon that can leave you feeling drowsy at work.   Changes to your natural clockYou may notice that your teen seems to suddenly be sleeping in and staying up late.  This is due to changes in their circadian rhythm.  Many teens experience a delay in their sleeping phases and suddenly they are struggling to fall asleep before 11:00 PM. Their circadian rhyth…

Jet Lag

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What is Jet Lag?Jet Lag is a very common temporary sleep disorder.  Most people have experienced this disorder while traveling.  It's not only for those flying long distances but for driving and any sort of travel that takes you from your usual time zone.  
What causes Jet Lag?Circadian Rhythms are the key to jet lag. Our exposure to sunlight helps to determine our sleeping patterns.  Jet lag comes from your body's natural biological "clock" becoming thrown off from the time zone changes.  Your body has a natural "clock" where it is used to the sun going down, then bedtime.  But when you change time zones your body is used to the sun being down at a different time and you can experience jet lag. 

What can you do about Jet Lag? Try to arrive at your destination in the early evening and stay up until 10:00 PM.  Make sure you start working on local time by setting your watch to the local time when you begin your trip.  Start getting ready by getting up and goi…