Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Non-Medical Solutions to Raising Your Low T Level

March 23, 2017

I am often asked by patients what can a man do to raise his testosterone level without taking testosterone replacement therapy?  Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful.

  1. Exercise and lift weights

If you want to increase your testosterone levels, you will need to increase your exercise frequency. Regular exercise will not only help you by preventing different lifestyle related health problems, but it will also help you by boosting your testosterone levels. Men who regularly exercise have a higher testosterone levels. Even elderly men will also have higher testosterone levels if they regularly exercise.

  1. Reduce stress and cortisol levels

If you are suffering from long-term stress, it can increase the levels of cortisol hormone. If your cortisol levels are high, testosterone levels will decrease.

That’s why, you need to reduce stress as much as possible and which will also decrease the cortisol levels in your body. Regular exercise, whole foods, good sleep, balanced lifestyle and laughter can help you to reduce stress and also improve your overall health.

  1. Get more Vitamin D

Vitamin D offers several health benefits and it boosts testosterone naturally. If you consume just 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, it can increase testosterone levels in the body by 25%.

You can get more vitamin D by increasing your exposure to sunlight regularly. You can also take a daily supplement of 3,000 IU of a vitamin D3 supplement.

4. Get Enough Sleep.

A lack of sleep affects a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body. This, in turn, can have a harmful impact on your testosterone.

The time honored goal is try for 7 to 8 hours per night.

5. Keep a Healthy Weight.

Obesity can have a deleterious effect on your testosterone levels.  Exercise and diet can improve your testosterone and also is good for your heart to avoid obesity.

6. Review Your Medications.

Some medicines can cause a drop in your testosterone level. These include: pain medications, steroids (prednisone), anabolic steroids such as those used by athletes and body builders, and anti-depressants.

7. Deep 6 the Supplements.

You may be bombarded with unsolicited snail mail and E –mail offering testosterone boosting supplements such as DHEA.  Let the truth be told, you are wasting your money as these supplements will not boost your testosterone.

Bottom Line:  Although these suggestions are helpful, they are just a step in the right direction.  For more information about testosterone replacement therapy, speak to your physician.

News To Know About Power Napping

April 11, 2015

My mother, St. Sara (the only Jewish saint!) had a habit of taking a 15-20 minute nap every afternoon and then she had a recharged battery and was able to be exuberant and energetic for 5-6 additional hours. Naps can be quite beneficial to most people who already sleep well at night.

Americans are a sleep-deprived nation. Naps can improve our overall daily functioning. This blog will discuss the benefits of afternoon napping.

Naps can be very beneficial for workplace performance. Short naps have been routinely demonstrated to reduce accidents and mistakes while also improving attention, concentration, performance and alertness. Naps also help boost your mood and ability to manage stress. Naps can be used proactively to gain energy for a late night out. They can even be used effectively to combat drowsy driving when a short snooze is taken just before getting behind the wheel or using heavy machinery.

Routine, planned naps are necessary for some people, while others find that taking an occasional nap when sleepy might be all that is needed. For example, patients with narcolepsy find that planned short naps are crucial to managing their sleepiness every day.

Although it seems simple to take a nap, there are a few tricks to optimize the benefits of a midday snooze. Here are a few tricks from Dr. Oz to getting in a great power nap.

  1. Short, 20-minute power naps are generally much better than longer ones since longer naps cause you to get into deeper stages of sleep, leading to an increased feeling of grogginess upon awakening. Longer naps can also interfere with nighttime sleep. Shorter naps are typically refreshing and can help increase alertness for a few hours.
  1. Make sure that your sleep environment is comfortable, quiet, dark and cool. If you are at home, try to nap only in your bed. If you aren’t at home, find a place where you can either lie down or recline. Block as much light as possible coming into the room (or get a light-blocking eye mask), and consider using a white noise machine, fan or silicone earplugs to block the noise around you.
  2. Power naps taken before 2 p.m. tend not to interfere as much with nighttime sleep, so earlier naps are better. If you find that you have trouble sleeping at night, avoid napping during the day.

Bottom Line: Getting enough sleep is important to our health and well being. Taking a short afternoon nap is an excellent to recharge our batteries just like my mother, St. Sara, was able to do for her whole life.

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.

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!”

Signs of Good Health: Check Your Color-Your Pee and Not Your Hair!1

April 8, 2012

Sometimes we get caught up with work and neglect our health.  We don’t see the subtle signs of stress, poor performance, and deteriorating health.  There are easy signs that you look for that will help you manage your health and get you back on track.

Do a color check of your urine.  A dark urine can indicate a lack of hydration.  The opposite also holds true: the lighter the color of your urine, the better your state of hydration.  Proper hydration aids the absorption of nutrients and helps increase energy levels.  If your urine is darker than usual, the cure is simple, go to the water tap and poor yourself a big one!

Other tell-tale signs include your resting heart rate.  Before you get out of bed, take your pulse.  There are even free apps that will make this easy to do.  Usually your heart rate will stay within a few beats per minute.  However, you are overworked or experiencing too much stress, your heart rate increases to send more oxygen to your body and brain.  If your heart rate is high in the morning, get a little extra sleep and decrease the caffeine consumption.

 

Check your weight.  If you lose or gain more than 1% of your body weight from one day to the next, something may be wrong.  Lack of nourishment and hydration (your pee color will also help with this issue of hydration) can impair your higher-level mental functions.  Or you may have been so distracted that you failed to notice that you were over-eating.

Bottom Line:  Pay attention to your state of hydration, your pulse and your body weight.  These are easy to monitor and will help put you back on track for good health.