Archive for the ‘sleep disorder’ Category

Why Sex Is Good For You?

December 27, 2014

Sexual intimacy has been associated with having a heart attack, contacting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or having an unplanned pregnancy. However there are some significant health benefits for engaging in regular sex.

Immune Boosting

Eating well, getting enough sleep, and getting vaccinated are all important in boosting your immune system. Add regular sex to these and you have a great immune system that defends your body against infective organisms. This is because research has shown that those that are sexually active had a higher blood level of certain antibodies than those that were not so active sexually and these antibodies help you fend off infections.

Bladder control for women

About 30% of women will have urinary incontinence at one time or the other in their lives. This is when a person passes urine without intending to. Studies have shown that women who had sex regularly were less likely to develop urinary incontinence as sex helps strengthen their pelvic muscles which is important for bladder control.

Lowers Blood Pressure

People who had more sex have been found to have a lower blood pressure compared to others, ensuring that they stay healthy. One study found that those who regularly had sex had a lower blood pressure compared to those who did not.

Sex is good exercise

It’s been found that on the average, you burn about five calories per minute while having sex. This can be a good source of exercise for those that hardly have time to exercise. The benefits of exercise are quite numerous and sex delivers some of those benefits. For a reference, jogging one mile burns about 100 calories.

Reduces Risk for Heart Attack

Men who had sex regularly were found to have a 50% lesser risk of developing a heart attack. This is not only because it raises your heart rate which is great; it also keeps your sex hormone, estrogen and testosterone, in balance which are important hormones and their balance can help avoid conditions such as osteoporosis and heart disease.

Better Sleep

You may have noticed that you sleep better after sex. This is because the hormone prolactin and melatonin is usually released after an orgasm. This hormone helps with relaxation and the feeling of sleepiness.

Reduces Stress

The arousal associated with sex is great in easing stress. This is because your brain releases some chemicals that help in exciting your entire body. Sex can also help stimulate happiness and boosts self-esteem.

Reduces Pain

Sex can help reduce the feeling of pain. Sex helps release a hormone, endorphins, which are much more potent than morphine, that usually raises your pain threshold. Sexual stimulation can combat chronic pain such as the pain associated with arthritis.

Bottom Line: Sexual intimacy is a healthy activity for consenting adults. This blog provides many of the reasons to engage in sexual activity.

10 Reasons That Sex Contributes to Good Health

June 1, 2014

On so many occasions many of my male and female patients have indicated that as they reach middle age, that sexual intimacy has taken a back seat and is less important than it was years ago. For this blog, I would like to illuminate 10 reasons to take the sex drive off the back shelf and put it on the front burner. Both you and your partner will be glad you did.
Sex not only feels good. It can also be good for you. Here’s what a healthy sex life can do for you.
1. Revs Up Your Immune System Humming
Sexually active people miss fewer days of work and make fewer visits to the doctor.
People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other foreign substances. Researchers found that those men and women who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to those who had sex less often.
You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:
Eat right.
Stay active.
Get enough sleep.
Keep up with your vaccinations.
Use a condom if you don’t know you and your partner’s STD status.
2. Boosts Your Libido
Having sex will make sex better and will improve your libido.
For women, having sex increases vaginal lubrication, blood flow to the pelvis, and elasticity of the vagina, all of which make sex feel better and help you crave more of it.
3. Improves Women’s Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, involuntary loss of urine, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.
Good sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them.
4. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Research suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure. Numerous studies have reported that sexual intercourse lowered systolic blood pressure, the first or top number on your blood pressure test.
5. Counts as Exercise
Sex is a really great form of aerobic exercise. It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for a short cardio workout.
Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV! It bumps up your heart rate.
So get busy! You may even want to clear your schedule to make time for it on a regular basis. Consistency or regular sex helps maximize the benefits.
6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate and provide you with a cardio workout more fun than spinning, sex helps keep your estrogen levels in women and testosterone levels in men in balance.
When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and even heart disease.
Having sex more often may help. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease than the less sexually active men who had sex rarely.
7. Lessens Pain
Before you reach for an aspirin, ibuprofen or a pain pill, try an orgasm.
An orgasm can block pain by releasing endorphins which are much more powerful than morphine. Orgasm releases endorphins that helps raise your pain threshold.
Stimulation without orgasm can also be effective. Vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women report that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache.
8. Send Big “C” Out To Sea
Going for the sexual homerun or orgasm may help ward off prostate cancer.
The prestigious the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer.
You don’t need a partner to reap this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.
9. Improves Sleep
You may nod off more quickly after sex, and for good reason.
After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness after sex.
10. Eases Stress
Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety.
Even touching and hugging can release your body’s natural feel-good hormones. Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.
Sex and intimacy can boost your self-esteem and happiness, too,
Bottom Line: Who would have “thunk” that sex is good for you and can help keep you healthy and well. As my wise Jewish mother, St. Sara, would say, “It may not help but it voidn’t hoit!” Rest in peace St. Sara.

More zzzzzz’s May Protect Against the Big C-The Relationship Of Sleep and Prostate Cancer

January 22, 2014

You have all heard that it’s healthy to get 8 hours of sleep a day. Now you have another reason to make sure that you don’t cheat the sleep fairy. A good nights sleep well may help to protect men from deadly prostate cancer.
Scientists linked higher levels of the night-time hormone melatonin with a 75 per cent reduced risk of advanced disease.
Melatonin is produced in the dark at night. It plays a key role in regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle and influences many other functions associated with the body’s 24-hour clock, or circadian rhythm.
Low levels of the hormone are typically associated with disrupted sleep. Men who reported taking medication for sleep problems, and difficulty falling and staying asleep, had significantly lower amounts of the melatonin marker.
Men whose melatonin marker levels were higher than the middle of the range were 75 per cent less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than those with lower values.
Here are some suggestions for good sleep hygiene and getting a good nights sleep without resorting to medication:
Avoid napping during the day; it can disturb the normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness.
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol too close to bedtime. While alcohol is well known to speed the onset of sleep, it disrupts sleep in the second half as the body begins to metabolize the alcohol, causing arousal.
Exercise can promote good sleep. Vigorous exercise should be taken in the morning or late afternoon. A relaxing exercise, like yoga, can be done before bed to help initiate a restful night’s sleep.
Food can be disruptive right before sleep; stay away from large meals close to bedtime. Also dietary changes can cause sleep problems, if someone is struggling with a sleep problem, it’s not a good time to start experimenting with spicy dishes. And, remember, chocolate has caffeine.
Ensure adequate exposure to natural light. This is particularly important for older people who may not venture outside as frequently as children and adults. Light exposure helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. Try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before trying to go to sleep. Don’t dwell on, or bring your problems to bed.
Associate your bed with sleep. It’s not a good idea to use your bed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or read.
Make sure that the sleep environment is pleasant and relaxing. The bed should be comfortable, the room should not be too hot or cold, or too bright.

Bottom Line: We do know that advanced age, family history of prostate cancer, and African American men have a greater risk of prostate cancer. Add to this list, disrupted sleep, lack of sleep, or sleep deficit can also be added to risk factors associated with prostate cancer. Make sure you get a good nights sleep and you may reduce your risk of prostate cancer. As my wonderful Jewish mother might say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”

You Are Getting Sleepy, Very Sleepy-Rethinking Sleep

September 29, 2012

It is drilled into our psyche that we must have eight hours of sleep every night in order to be healthy. It has been wired into our DNA that 8 hours of sleep are necessary to allow our body to rest, heal, and to be mentally alert the next day. But do we really need 8 hours of sleep? Let’s look at the rest of the worl. Millions of Chinese workers will out their heads on their desk for a nap of an hour after lunch. Daytime napping is come from India to Spain, which is referred to as a siesta.

Research studies show it is common to wake up a little after midnight, lie awake for up to an hour or two, and then drift back to sleep again. It is thought that this segmented sleep or split sleep schedule, may be the most natural or normal way for us to sleep. Often the subjects of the research reported the split sleep schedule gave them a chance for deep thinking such as self-reflection, getting on jump on the next day or even amorous activity.

People who believe they need more sleep and believe that interrupted sleep is a problem and develop sleep anxiety and will often seek sleeping pills or sleep aids from their doctors. If we lie in bed thinking about the sleep we are not getting, we lose the chances of enjoying a peaceful night’s rest.

Other studies have demonstrated that any deep sleep-whether at night or in 30 minute afternoon nap-primes our brains to function at a higher level, letting you awaken with better ideas, find solutions to life’s problems more quickly, and recall information more accurately. Thomas Edison, perhaps one of the brightest minds of the 20th Century was famous for his afternoon naps.

Sleep researchers have now come to conclusion that continuous sleep is not essential for high level job performance. As a result there is now greater acceptance for napping and other alternate daily schedules. Long haul airline pilots are permitted to sleep during these lengthy flights and have been shown to perform better maneuvering the aircraft through the critical take off and landing of the airplane.

The mega Internet company, Google, allows employees to nap at work as they believe napping may improve productivity. Doctors in training are prohibited to work more than 70 hours a week to avoid fatigue and errors when they are sleep deprived.

Bottom Line: Perhaps the day will come that the Spanish siesta will become a part of our culture and we will put aside the dictum of getting 8 hours of shuteye a night.

This article was inspired by an article appearing in the New York Times, September 23, 2012.

Not Enough Sleep Can Lead To Not Enough Sex

August 17, 2012
Sleep Apnea

Appearance Of A Man With Sleep Apnea

Sleep sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. A new study found that erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in patients with sleep apnea.

The study consisted of 92 men with newly diagnosed sleep apnea. 43% of men had ED before treatment with continued positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. There was significant improvement in the men’s ability to engage in sexual intimacy after treatment with the CPAP: a 54% improvement in men with mild ED, 30% improvement in men with moderate ED, and 25% improvement in men with severe ED.

There is a possibility that treatment with the CPAP increases oxygen in the blood stream at night and that better, more complete sleep improves energy and even sex drive or libido.

Bottom Line: If you are suffering from ED and if your partner notices that you are snoring or stop breathing for a few seconds or minutes at night, you may have sleep apnea. This diagnosis can be confirmed in a sleep lab and treatment with a CPAP device is much better than Viagra for sleep apnea. See your doctor and happy dreams!

The Perils of Social Media

July 2, 2012

Just a few decades ago people did not use the Internet. Since the 1990s, the Internet blossomed, growing from external motives, simple e-mail, and chat rooms with anonymous stangers to high-speed Internet access and social media. Social networking sites like Facebook an e-mail\combinations like G-mail allow people to be in perpetual contact 24\7. With the advent of the smart phone, people no longer even need to be at home to be online, which has led to the current state of affairs, of people glued to their smart phones while at lunch or dinner with friends, the movie theater’s, sporting events, and even while praying in church. Too much Internet use can have negative consequences for people and can contribute to psychological and physical problems.
Overusing your smart phone can also have physical effects. Recent studies show that using a smart phone or laptop or Ipad before bed can affect the quality of sleep that you get. Light emitting devices can be inhibit the body’s secretion of melatonin and tell your brain to remain alert, preventing quality sleep.
But the sleep disruption can also come from a mental place. The anxiety created by People’s incessant need to check their Facebook or their e-mail can cause people to lose sleep because of their excessive online use. This lack of sleep can cause additional problems at school or work if the person has trouble focusing because he\she is so tired.
Bottom line: There are good and valid reasons to use social media, assuming you don’t use it at the expense of face-to-face interactions. If you are so involved with social media and reading other people status updates and tweets that you’re not engaging with people in your actual physical world, then this modern technology can be a bad thing. It can lead to increased isolation and alienation from people around you. But like everything else in life, moderation is key.

When You Thought You Have Heard It All: Sex While Sleeping

June 18, 2010

We have all heard of inability to get to sleep or insomnia.  But how many have heard of a new disorder, sexsomia, which is sex while asleep!  This is “problem” when those afflicted have sexual activity with a bed partner while asleep.  Wouldn’t you know it is much more common in men than in women and rarely do men complain of the disorder.  To my knowledge there has been no effective treatment for this condition.  I think they will lynch the doctor who tries to cure the problem!