strokeAccording to the findings of a recently concluded research study the atrial fibrillation (AF) may play an intermediary role in the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and stroke, research findings suggest.

Resaerchers at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, USA observed that  patients with OSA who had a stroke had significantly higher rates of atrial fibrillation, even after accounting for potential confounders, than their peers without stroke.

“This could potentially indicate that patients with OSA and AF need aggressive treatment to mitigate the risk of future stroke,” the researchers say, although they caution that as theirs was a case-control study, a causal relationship between AF and stroke could not be established. Read the rest of this entry

childhood-obesityObesity now affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s triple the rate from just one generation ago.

A New Jersey Childhood Obesity Study found 40 percent of Vineland children between ages 6 and 11 are overweight, compared to 21 percent nationally.

Almost 90 percent of children aren’t eating enough vegetables. Majority of the children aren’t physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. This unhealthy reality has long-term consequences, too.

As weight increases so do the risks for coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems and gynecological problems. Read the rest of this entry

MiscarriageInfertility and miscarriages can be aggravated by obstructive sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome. A recent study showed that having 3 miscarriages increases your chances of having heart disease by over 5 times normal.

If you think about the physiology, it makes sense: Breathing pauses during sleep, whether or not it’s an apnea, can cause a physiologic state of stress. In other words, you’ll have too much adrenaline, which you need to fight or run from danger. It’s also common knowledge that if you’re in a fight or flight situation, the last thing you need to do is to reproduce. Physiologically, stress has a way of diminishing or reducing nervous innervation and blood flow to your reproductive organs and digestive system (as well as your skin, hands and feet). Read the rest of this entry

Vitamins and Minerals to Stay Healthy

health vitamins mineralsVitamins and minerals are so important that health fails if you don’t get a steady supply of them. Do you know what you can do to make sure your body gets enough of all the vitamins and minerals it needs? Or how these nutrients lower the risk of diseases, including stroke, diabetes, sleep disorders, and cancers?

You can find out in Vitamins and Minerals, a Special Health Report from the doctors at Harvard Medical School. This instructive and empowering report will give you a practical understanding of the roles these nutrients play in protecting health and preventing illness. Read the rest of this entry

central sleep apneaAlong with obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is one of the two main forms of sleep apnea, a dangerous class of sleep disorders characterized by an interruption of breathing of 10 seconds or more numerous times an hour during sleep.

Dangers of Central Sleep Apnea 

Although central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea, it is just as dangerous.

Central sleep apnea can result in severe morning headaches, daytime fatigue, anxiety, depression, short-term memory problems and difficulty focusing.  Read the rest of this entry

sleep aidsSome prescription medicines, as well as some prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids, can cause problems with sleep. The fix may be to adjust the type or dose of medication or seek sleep behavior therapy.

Prescription sleep aids and other prescription medications can interfere with much-needed sleep, reports the December 2012 Harvard Health Letter.

Sleep is essential to good health, and a lack of it can lead to sleep apneaheart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, weight gain, and diabetes. Yet one in five Americans struggle with insomnia every night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. “Prescription drugs can be a serious problem,” says sleep expert Dr Lawrence Epstein, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Some prescription sleep aids, when taken for long periods of time, become less effective and actually interfere with sleep.

Other types of prescription medications may also interfere with sleep. Some contain stimulants that make it difficult to fall asleep. Others—like steroids, antidepressants, and some medicines for migraine, heart disease, and allergies—can wake you with nausea, night sweats, or needing to go to the bathroom.

Various Types of Sleep Related Disorders

Sometimes lack of sleep is caused by disorders that can also cause problems during the day. Examples include:

sleep related disorderNight sweats, which are caused by menopause, cancer, and infections.

Hypersomnia, which is excessive day time sleepiness caused by narcolepsy, being overweight, use of certain medicines, or drug and alcohol use.

Kleine Leven syndrome, where sufferers sleep up to 20 hours a day for several weeks.

Insomnia, which affects 30 to 50% of the population.

Narcolepsy, where sufferers may fall asleep easily during the day.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, where limbs move rhythmically during sleep.

Six percent of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a condition where the sufferer stops breathing for 10 to 30 seconds, up to 400 times a night. Two to four percent of the American population suffers from apnea without a diagnosis. Sleep Apnea sufferers are six times more likely to die in a traffic accident due to fatigue. People who sleep next to apnea sufferers lose an average of one hour of sleep per night, and people with untreated apnea are four times more likely to suffer a stroke. Half of those with sleep apnea snore heavily.

sleep apnea1 Sleep apnea is a common and potentially deadly sleep disorder in which your breathing may stop for 10 seconds or more multiple times per hour.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are two primary forms of sleep apnea:
– Obstructive sleep apnea
– Central sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the result of an airway obstruction that is typically caused by overly relaxed muscles in the throat. When these muscles relax, tissue in the throat can collapse, narrowing the airway and preventing adequate oxygen intake. Read the rest of this entry

sunita williams actiwatchTo develop measures to improve the quality and duration of sleep in space, scientists are conducting the Sleep — Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure During Spaceflight — Long investigation or Sleep-Long. This study examines the sleep — wake patterns of the crew members while they are aboard the space station.

The quality and duration of slumber impact human health, attitude, and ability to focus. The Institute of Medicine released a report in 2006 stating that chronic sleep loss could lead to hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke and multiple psychiatric disorders. Crew members spend years training for missions on strenuous schedules and then, when they finally reach the space station, their coordinated timetable does not allow for hitting the snooze button.

The Sleep — Long investigation uses an objective approach to monitoring sleep by having the crew wear an Actiwatch. This device, which resembles a wristwatch, monitors sleep/wake activity using a miniature accelerometer that records crew movement. The Actiwatch also measures the ambient light conditions during the study. There is a subjective element to the investigation, as well, in which the crew maintains a daily sleep log for the duration of one week, every third week while aboard the space station.

Scientists compare sleep-wake activity and light exposure patterns from the data obtained in orbit with the baseline data collected on Earth. Results from the investigation may lead to changes in lighting requirements, sleep shifting schedules and workload plans for future space station occupants.

The study may also help to indicate when additional measures are needed to minimize the risks of sleep deprivation in orbit. Findings from the study will not only benefit the crew of the space station for the immediate future, but also have important implications for future long-duration exploration. Such findings may also provide improved sleep aids for those suffering from insomnia here on Earth, as well as benefit shift workers, such as hospital, law enforcement, and military staff.

Read Complete Article By by Jessica NimonNASA’s Johnson Space Center

Sleep Apnea:The Deadly Sleep Disorder

One of the most common health disorders among people around the world is “sleep apnea”. In its simplest sense ‘sleep apnea’ can be understood as one or more pauses in normal breathing. In many cases the shallow breathing during sleep is also termed as ‘sleep apnea’.

A pause in normal breathing during sleep may have an undefined duration. Meaning thereby, the pause could be for a few seconds only or it can even stretch up to few minutes.

Similarly, the rate of occurrence of such pauses during sleep may also vary up to great ranges. It could be five times per hour or even up to 30 times an hour. Normal breathing generally starts immediately after such a pause but this re-start could generate a snoring or choking sound as well.

Once a person is a victim of ‘sleep apnea’ this disorder converts in to a chronic disorder slowly over the years. In majority of the cases people never realize that the ‘sleep apnea disorder’ has crept in their lives. Read the rest of this entry

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