Posts Tagged ‘sleep disorders’

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.

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.

Sleep Hygiene-How to Get a Good Night of Z’s

November 11, 2011

More than half of men and women over the age of 65 years complain of a sleep problem. Many middle age and older people sleep less, wake up multiple times a night, and end up not feeling rested in the morning. This article will discuss the common causes of sleep disorders and how to restore a good nights sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene.

Causes Sleep Problems
Several factors may contribute to the inability to sleep well as we get older. Some common causes include:
Probably the most common cause of sleep disorders is poor sleep habits which is often referred to as poor sleep hygeine. Examples include the consumption of alcohol and caffeine shortly before bedtime, increased wakeful time in bed, or late afternoon napping, can also affect a person’s ability to sleep. One of the causes that so many of us don’t recognize as a factor includes overstimulation with late-night activities such as television. The evening news is not meant to put you to sleep but to stimulate you and as a result you may experience insomnia.
There are medications, such as the use of diuretics or water pills that may impair a person’s ability to fall asleep or stay asleep and may even stimulate wakefulness at night. There are also medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and depression that are frequently accompanied by difficulty with sleep. Finally there are sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndromes causing sleep problems.

Restoring Good Sleep Hygiene
Begin by having a fixed bedtime and an awakening time. The body “gets used” to falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed. Even if you are retired or not working, this is an essential component of good sleep habits.

Avoid napping during the day. It is natural to feel sleepy at the end of the afternoon. Avoid the temptation to take a nap at this time as you will certainly have a problem getting to sleep at night. If you do take a late afternoon nap, limit the nap to 30-45 minutes or avoid going into a deep sleep where you start dreaming as this will certainly impair your ability to fall asleep a few hours after your nap.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. Many people believe that alcohol helps them sleep. While alcohol has an immediate sleep-inducing effect, a few hours later as the alcohol levels in your blood start to fall, there is a stimulant or wake-up effect.

Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Regular exercise, particularly in the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. Strenuous exercise within the 2 hours before bedtime, however, can decrease your ability to fall asleep.

Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated. If your bedroom is too cold or too hot, it can keep you awake. A cool (not cold) bedroom is often the most conducive to sleep.

Block out all distracting noise, and eliminate as much light as possible.
 Use blackout curtains to keep the room dark and avoid sunlight entering the room early in the morning.

The bed should be only for sex and sleep. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room. Let your body associate the bed with sleeping and not working.

Try a light snack before bed. Warm milk and foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, such as bananas, may help you to sleep.

If possible, don’t take your worries to bed. Leave your worries about job, school, daily life, etc., behind when you go to bed.

Establish a pre-sleep ritual. Pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading, can help you sleep.
 Avoid thrillers or reading that may stimulate your brain making it difficult to get to sleep.

When all else fails, if you don’t fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, get up, go into another room, and read until sleepy. Most people wake up one or two times a night for various reasons. If you find that you get up in the middle of night and cannot get back to sleep within 15-20 minutes, then do not remain in the bed “trying hard” to sleep. Get out of bed. Leave the bedroom. Read, have a light snack, do some quiet activity, or take a bath. You will generally find that you can get back to sleep 20 minutes or so later.

Bottom Line: Good sleep is part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Practicing good hygiene is part of being able to get to sleep and staying asleep. If these simple measures don’t work, consider speaking to your doctor.