Summers Time for fun, Even if it Kills you

When you’re having fun, it’s easy to overlook the importance of safety. In this article, I’ll go over some things to keep in mind while on vacation. I’ll address some safety issues, as well as help you make sure you’re taking care of the important stuff.

But what does this all have to do with sleep? Read on…

Have fun but be SafeFun

It’s finally here! The day you’ve been waiting for. All the planning paid off, and now it’s time to enjoy that time away. But did you forget something? Hopefully, you have everything ready; but you already feel a sense of urgency because you need to get on the road by a certain time. So your stress level is up a notch. But remember, keep it fun.

Then there are all those extra cars on the road. That’s another thing. And that thought raises your stress level another notch. But you’re not the only one whose stress level goes up thinking about theses things. So, we’ve got several things going on here:

1-There are more cars on the road, with people driving more miles.

2-People’s stress levels might a bit higher than usual.

3-Drivers face more distractions.

With all that planning, don’t forget the most important thing…

SAFETY FIRST

First, let’s take a look at some of the things that cause distracted driving. They are:

  • Talking-either with other in the car. Or other people talking. Like kids, for instance.
  • Talking on a cell phone or texting-Pull over if you need to make that call, or send that text.
  • Eating-Stop somewhere, and take time out to eat.
  • Changing radio station/changing temp controls.
  • Reaching to pick up something you dropped.
  • ‘Zoning out’.

And as you can see, they all have one thing in common…paying attention to something other than driving. However, ‘zoning out’ is the biggest cause of distracted driving.

Let’s take a look at some of these things.

Dying to Have fun

Did you know that the highest number of traffic fatalities occur on Memorial Day weekend, with Labor Day and July 4th close behind? In addition to this, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the 100 deadliest days for teenage drivers.

With that, consider the following.

An average car weighs around 4,000 pounds; while an average SUV is somewhere around 6,000 pounds.

At 60 MPH, you travel 88 feet every second. That’s the length of a football field in 3.4 seconds! And drivers who text, take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 88 feet per second, that’s 440 feet or almost one and a half football fields!

And most vehicles are going faster than 88 feet per second on the highway.

Imagine a 4,000-pound chunk of steel barreling down the road at 88 feet per second all by itself. That’s essentially what happens when you take your eyes off the road.

Now, let’s add you into this mix.

You’re on the road, most likely on unfamiliar roads, so at least that helps you stay more alert. However, other factors come into play to add to your distraction/tiredness. Things like kids in the car, a different sleep schedule, sleeping in different places, and driving more than usual. And you can still ‘zone out’ if you drive for too long a time.

Let’s face it, vacations can be tiring.  And drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving and can be just as deadly. See  http://sleepguyblog.com/drowsy-drivers-kill-people/ Yup, here I go again, spoiling all the fun.

But really, you can still have fun if you just keep some things in mind.

Don’t Forget What’s Important

So then, here are some helpful tips on preparing for your awesome vacation:

Maintaining the same sleep schedule is important, but probably not practical or realistic while on vacation.

Get a good nights sleep, not only before the trip but all throughout your vacation as well. Keep in mind that getting a good night’s rest the night before can be more difficult if you’re excited about the trip.

When driving long distance, switch drivers every 2 hrs. Or switch sooner if you feel tired, or find it hard to ‘stay in the moment’. Like, maybe you’re getting anxious, and feel the need to rush things a bit. Stay patient!

Make sure your car is in good shape–Get a tune up before taking off.

Plan your route. Use GPS, and have it ‘dialed in’ before you start out.

Still not sure where to go? Follow this link to some affordable vacation ideas. https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalsBlog/2015/06/19/summer-savings-29-affordable-vacation-rental-destinations

O.K, so you’ve got your trip all planned out, and your car is tuned up and ready to go; but what about you? Are you both physically and mentally ready for this? Because, really, there will already be enough drowsy/distracted drivers out there. You really don’t need to add another one.

Let’s check one more thing.

Have fun, but get it Done

With all that danger out there, it’s even more important that you’re extra alert. With that in mind, let’s talk sleep apnea for a moment.

Do any of the following describe you?

  • Loud chronic snoring.
  • Gasping or choking sounds.
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom.
  • Waking with dry mouth and/or a sore throat.
  • Waking with a morning headache.
  • Are you tired all the time?
  • Being moody and irritable.

If so, have you used any of these excuses for how you are?

  • This is how I always sleep.
  • It’s not that bad.
  • I could just lose some weight.
  • Snoring doesn’t hurt me.
  • I don’t want to wear a mask.

Do you need a sleep study, but are too busy right now? Maybe you’ll wait till fall when the kids are back in school. Perhaps now is a bad time. After all, you’re getting ready for that fun vacation you’ve been planning for some time. You can always go in later, right?

I mean really, who wants to spend a night in some hospital when it’s so nice out? Besides, this is vacation time! And these days are numbered.

Well, if you haven’t already, you might want to see my article on the dangers of untreated sleep apnea http://sleepguyblog.com/alarming-truth-sleep-apnea/

It’s worth not being another statistic.

And yes, you can travel with a CPAP machine. One of my patients is a Doctor who takes his CPAP with when he goes mountain climbing. It’s a special one that adjusts to different elevations.

Conclusion

While it’s nice to get away, it’s even more important to be fully awake and alert while on the road. With increased traffic, comes increased distracted drivers, and increased traffic fatalities. Plan ahead, stay alert, and don’t get in a hurry. And remember, even if you’re ok and alert, there are others who aren’t.

I hope you have lots of fun on your vacation. Be carefree, but not careless.

Till next time…Blessings

 

Are you Tired, Fatigued, or Exhausted?

E is for Exhausted.E stands for Exhausted

After publishing last week’s blog on being tired, http://sleepguyblog.com/not-natural-tired-time/ I saw the need to add some more information. Thus the reason for this follow up. In addition to that, I’ll also show you an often overlooked possible cause of why you’re fatigued and/or exhausted.

Tired, Fatigued, or Exhausted?

In last week’s article, I defined the difference between these three but focused mainly on tiredness. This week, I want to look at fatigue and exhaustion and briefly cover some treatment options.

Again, there’s a significant difference between these. It’s important that you know the difference so you can properly describe your symptoms to your Doctor. This will ensure proper treatment.

TIRED-You still have some energy. However, you can experience muscle weakness. You might also have some memory problems, but a good rest will clear things up

FATIGUE-lack of energy will be accompanied by difficulty concentrating; as well as difficulty sleeping. A rest might not help much, if at all.

EXHAUSTED-By now, you have more than just difficulty concentrating. You’re becoming confused, incoherent, and emotionally ‘numb’. Don’t even waste your time trying to nap at this point.

Tell it Like it is

In this section, I’ll go over some things to be aware of when talking with your Doctor. As you probably already know, it’s really important to accurately describe your symptoms to your Doctor. This will ensure you receive the right treatment. And of course, the more thorough your medical history, the better.

Common questions to ask, or info to include are:

  • Current medications you’re taking, including any natural remedies
  • Any heart disease or Diabetes in your family?
  • Anything causing stress?
  • Whether you did or still do smoke, drink alcohol, or take any illegal drugs.
  • Specific information related to sleep patterns
  • Accurately explain how you feel.

Next, you can use the following sections to help identify your problem areas. This is only a general guide to help you identify areas of concern to talk with your Doctor about. Simply go to the section that describes you.

You haven’t had a sleep study, and you’re fatigued and/or exhausted.

The following are good indicators you could have sleep apnea.

  • You’re told you snore and/or you wake yourself up snoring.
  • You wake up choking or gasping for air.
  • You’re irritable, moody, and/or depressed.
  • You’re tired, fatigued, or downright exhausted.
  • Are you overweight?
  • Have high blood pressure?
  • Do you wake up with a headache?

Why is waking with a headache an issue? What happens is this. You breathe based on the amount of carbon dioxide ( C02) in your blood. When that level reaches a certain point, your brain sends a signal to breathe. This brings in fresh oxygen and gets rid C02.

But if your airway is closing off and you’re not breathing enough, C02 builds up in your body. And this causes headaches. That’s why morning headaches could indicate you have sleep apnea.

Also, remember that sleep apnea can also cause high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes, see http://sleepguyblog.com/alarming-truth-sleep-apnea/ Additionally, your fatigue and/or exhaustion could be due to something other than sleep apnea. I’ll  cover that later in this article.

You have had a sleep study but are still fatigued and/or exhausted.

If you don’t use CPAP:

How long ago was your study? Have you gained a significant amount of weight since then? Any other health issues developed since then? Specifically heart or lung disease? You just might need CPAP now. If it’s been awhile since your last sleep study, and you now have any heart disease, talking to your Doctor about sleep study is even more important,

If you do use CPAP:

Are you having a harder time using the mask? Is your mask uncomfortable? Does the pressure seem too high? Too low? How old is your mask? Sometimes it’s just a matter of a mask adjustment, or changing to a different mask. Sometimes, you just need a change in pressure.

Do any of the following symptoms sound familiar to you?

Do you wake up and find that you’ve taken your mask off during the night? Or do you take your mask off because you can’t stand wearing it anymore? If so, are you using a nasal mask, but have a dry mouth in the morning? Could be that you’re breathing with your mouth, and need either a chin strap or a full face mask.

Has it been awhile since your last study? If symptoms have returned, it might be time for another sleep study. I would suggest you talk with your Doctor about any of these issues, being as thorough as you can.

But if you’re more than just tired, something other than sleep apnea could be the culprit. Next, we’ll take a look at a gland that is very critical to your health but often overlooked.

Stress, Fatigue and the Adrenal Glands

An Adrenal Gland sits right on top of each Kidney and helps you deal with stress. So, when you’re under pressure, these glands release hormones that send you into fight-or-flight mode. These chemicals are called Cortisol and Adrenalin. The 3 stages of your fight or flight response are 1-Alarm 2-Resistance and 3-Exhaustion (there’s that word again)

Symptoms of Adrenal fatigue include, among others:

  • Tiredness.
  • Trouble falling asleep.
  • Sugar and salt craving.
  • The need for caffeine or other stimulants to get you through the day.

The adrenal glands help regulate your sleep/wake cycle. Therefore, if your adrenal glands are overworked because of stress, your sleep will suffer.

Click on the following link for some excellent information by Dr. Jill Carnahan.

Quiz: Could you have Adrenal Fatigue?

Treatment Options

CONVENTIONAL

Modafinil (Provigil)-It promotes wakefulness, but is not a stimulant; so it won’t ‘speed you up’ or make you jittery. In fact, it not only makes you more alert, it actually improves cognitive function, so that you can think more clearly. Available by prescription.

While conventional medicine is good, it mainly deals with effect, not cause. However, there are some good alternative treatments available.

ALTERNATIVE

There are some pretty good Herbal supplements available. However, what works for one person doesn’t work for someone else. Therefore, you might just want to experiment with some of them to see what will work for you. Also, knowing why you’re exhausted will help determine the right treatment for you.

There are a number of herbs that can effectively treat Adrenal stress. see https://holisticprimarycare.net/topics/topics-a-g/chronic-disease/1241-herbal-options-for-managing-adrenal-fatigue.html

If you’re having trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep, Melatonin and Valerian Root have proven to be quite effective in many cases. Additionally, such things as Acupuncture and even meditation and prayer have gotten good results as well.

Conclusion

Many things can cause you to become fatigued or exhausted. And certainly, sleep apnea can be one of those things. However, because you are such a complex being, the answer isn’t always straight forward, or easy to see.

Therefore, knowing some basic definitions, and being able to more accurately describe your symptoms will assure better treatment. And using both conventional and alternative treatments together will give you the best of both worlds.

So how do you deal with stress? If you have a way that works for you, I’d really appreciate any feedback you have; so please leave a comment.

It’s not Natural to be Tired all the Time

Why am I so tired all the time? This is just one of the many questions people ask. I’ll answer that question in this article.

Why Am I Always so Tired?Tired all the time

Actually, the answer is neither simple nor straightforward. And a lot of times it takes more than just a ‘cat nap’.

First of all, how much sleep do we really need? Studies indicate anywhere from  6-9 hours. However, some people need more, and some people need less. What about you?  Are you still tired after getting ‘enough’ sleep? Or do you lay awake forever, trying to get at least a few fleeting moments of shut eye?

In either case, you may be getting enough hours of sleep. But we also need good quality sleep. And a lack of good quality sleep can be downright deadly. Don’t believe me? Read on.

In a moment we’ll have a look at some reasons you might be tired. But first, let’s define the words tired, fatigued, and exhausted. Because there are significant differences between them. And being able to identify these will get you the proper treatment.

Tired, Fatigued, or Exhausted?

Tired-You still have some energy. However, you can experience muscle weakness. You might also have some memory problems, but a good rest will clear things up.

Fatigue– lack of energy will be accompanied by difficulty concentrating; as well as difficulty sleeping. A rest might not help much, if at all.

Exhaustion-By now, you have more than just difficulty concentrating. You’re becoming confused, incoherent, and emotionally ‘numb’. Don’t even waste your time trying to nap at this point.

As you can see, knowing which one you’re dealing with is very important. Again, using the right term to describe your symptoms to your Doctor will help assure the best treatment.

Now, back to reasons you might be tired. Let’s start with sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea

The word Apnea comes from two Greek root words; A, meaning no, and pnea, meaning breath. When you’re awake, your breathing is brisk, and your muscles are tense. However, as you fall asleep, your breathing slows down and your muscles relax. At this point, your airway can become floppy and collapse either partially, or totally.  See diagram.

Tired all the time
If your airway collapses enough, you’ll actually stop breathing. When this happens, it doesn’t take long for your brain to scream for oxygen. It does this by waking you up so that your muscles tense up, and your breathing rate increases. All the while, your heart and blood pressure are going crazy!

That’s how people with sleep apnea spend their nights! If you have a bed partner, they could experience all sorts of commotion. For instance, they’ll hear snoring at various volumes; then periods of silence, followed by loud gasps or snorts. All while watching you thrash around struggling for air.

But what if you sleep alone? What if you have no one to tell you what you do while you snooze? In that case, some things to look for include, waking up gasping for air, and/or morning headaches. Sleep apnea can also cause a bunch of health problems, including heart disease and Diabetes. See http://sleepguyblog.com/alarming-truth-sleep-apnea/

Does any of that sound familiar to you? Could be time to talk with your Doctor about a sleep study. But what if you’ve had a sleep study and you don’t have sleep apnea? Or you have sleep apnea, but CPAP isn’t helping.

What then?

Other Reasons

Let’s take a look at some of the other causes, because there are a number of diseases that can cause tiredness and/or fatigue. The following is just a partial list.

Anemia-http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anemia/home/ovc-20183131

Cancer-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer-related_fatigue

Depression-http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/fatigue#Overview1

Diabetes-http://early-diabetes-symptoms.com/early-symptoms-diabetes/diabetes-tiredness-symptoms/

Heart Disease-http://www.heartfailurematters.org/en_GB/Warning-signs/Increasing-fatigue

Restless Legs Syndrome-http://sleepguyblog.com/can-effectively-treat-restless-legs/

Underactive Thyroid-http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/05/06/what-is-thyroid-related-fatigue.aspx

Also, some of the medications you take for these diseases can cause tiredness as well. However, what if you’ve had a thorough check up, and Doctors can’t find anything?

Is it all in my Head?

Actually, yes, it is. Emotional stress can be exhausting. No, this doesn’t mean you’re crazy, it’s just that People handle situations differently. Thus, what’s stressful to me, may not be to you, and the other way around.

Also, keep in mind there’s good stress and bad stress.

As I mentioned in my article  http://sleepguyblog.com/__poor-quality-sleep-cause-disease/  I talked about balance. So a certain amount of stress is actually beneficial to you. It’s what drives you to succeed or do other things. And if you’ve read that article, you’d understand how stress can do more harm than good if it gets out of control.

Treatment Options

Here’s a rather brief look at some natural treatment options. We’ll cover tiredness here. Fatigue and exhaustion may need more intense therapy and therefore require a combination of both natural and conventional medicine.

Alternative Treatments Include:

Acupuncture-This stuff actually works, folks!

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction– This is basically a combination of meditation and yoga exercises. Studies show this may improve your quality of life.

Ginseng-Increases energy

Rest- That’s right, a good old nap can do wonders; that is unless you’re more than just tired.

Vitamin B12-This is a good source of energy.

Iron supplements-Think iron poor blood here.

Additionally, some of these treatments can also help with fatigue and exhaustion.

Conclusion

So, finding out why you’re tired all the time might not be that easy. Also, knowing the difference between tired, fatigued, and exhausted can help you get the right treatment.

I hope that something in this article sparked your interest to learn more. Maybe you have more questions or a story of your own you’d like to share. Either way, please leave a comment. You might just share something that will greatly help someone else.

Till next time…Blessings.

 

But sleep apnea itself can cause tiredness just because you’re not sleeping well at night
So, what if you’re getting what should be enough sleep, and you’re still tired?

They found you didn’t have sleep apnea and you’re still tired? Or you had a sleep study and are now on CPAP, but still tired?

 

Or are you still tired even using CPAP?
Are you getting ‘enough’ sleep, but are still tired?
Obviously being tired all the time is not our natural state. So if you’re constantly tired, something’s not right, and that something could be deadly.

 

Tired, Fatigued, or Exhausted?

There’s a significant difference between these, and it’s important to know what they are:

Tired-You still have some energy. However, you can experience muscle weakness. You might also have some memory problems, but a good rest will clear things up.

Fatigue– lack of energy will be accompanied by difficulty concentrating; as well as difficulty sleeping.

Exhaustion-At this point, you have more than just difficulty concentrating. You’re now becoming confused, incoherent, and emotionally ‘numb’

Knowing which one you’re dealing with is very important. And using the right term to describe your symptoms to your Doctor will help assure the best treatment.

Ginseng is cinically proven to increase energy.

 

Ginseng is cinically proven to increase energy.

Can Poor Quality Sleep Really Cause Every Disease?

In this article, we’ll take a look at a different aspect of sleep and stress. I’ll show you how stress causes inflammation, and inflammation can ultimately cause many, if not all diseases.

Balance is the key

First of all, too much sleep is just as deadly, as too little sleep. This is because either state puts stress on your body. So then, balance is the key, and therefore, balance equals health.

Look at it this way. Our bodies are balanced when things that should be working are working. However, when things that should work, aren’t working; or, when things that shouldn’t be working are working, an imbalance is created.  And sooner or later, disease will set in.

By the way, if you’re thinking I’m exaggerating by saying too little or too much sleep is deadly, I’m not. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at stress and inflammation as they relate to sleep.

 Inflammation and Sleep

Once again referring to my previous article http://sleepguyblog.com/how-reducing-stress-improves-womens-health/, we saw how sleep causes stress. And stress causes a whole series of events to take place, but we’re going to focus on a little guy called cortisol.

Cortisol regulates your immune system. Too much or too little over a period of time can cause frequent infections, autoimmune diseases, allergies, and chronic inflammation.

So even though Cortisol initially works to reduce inflammation, it eventually sets in motion a process that leads to chronic inflammation. And while inflammation is a part of wound healing, it can eventually cause disease, including cancer.

Also, reducing inflammation leads to suppression of the immune system, exposing us to disease. Yet inflammation itself can also lead to disease! It does this by ‘hiding’ mutated cells so that they go undetected by your immune system.

Remember, it’s all about balance.

I think further clarification is necessary here. That is that inflammation and infection are two different things. An infection can cause inflammation. But inflammation can take place without an infection, which is the focus of this article.

Let’s take a look a closer look at this.

Inflammation and Diseases

When you get an injury, your body responds by making your blood vessels ‘leaky’. This allows certain blood cells to go to the infected area and to properly deal with the invading organism; resulting in redness, swelling and tenderness to the area. Once the invader’s  dealt with, swelling goes down, and things return to normal; or at least they should.

But what if they don’t? What if you’re constantly under stress?  We’ve already seen how inflammation can turn deadly. Therefore,  poor sleep causes stress, and chronic stress causes damaging inflammation, and chronic inflammation could be the cause of every disease. So then, poor quality sleep could be behind most, if not all diseases!

Or put another way. Balance equals health, and imbalance equals disease. Therefore, good quality sleep (balance) equals health; while poor quality sleep(imbalance) equals disease.

The following is a list of some of the diseases caused by inflammation:

1-Allergic diseases, like Asthma, Eczema.

2-Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s.

3-Heart disease.

4-Chronic Inflammation is also a critical component of tumor growth. Although it takes inflammation 20-30 years to produce cancer. Cancer’s also a risk factor for heart disease.

sleep and inflammation

 

 

 

 

In addition to all this, inflammation even causes us to age faster!

So then, if it’s all about balance, what’s the best way to cure disease?

Treat the Cause, not the Symptoms

Guess what? Good quality sleep is an excellent treatment for inflammation.

Again, if disease is caused by imbalance, then restoring balance should restore health. But modern medicine deals with symptoms, not the cause itself. Therefore, by getting to the cause of the disease, many, if not all, diseases could possibly be cured without medicine. Or, are there man made drugs that do restore balance?

Allow me to rant a bit here. And I speak only for myself. But I wonder if entities that stand to make a lot of money selling drugs for diseases are censoring information that prove natural forms of treatment are more effective than modern medicine?

In either case, here’s a list of foods that affect inflammation.

Foods that promote inflammation

Pasteurized dairy products, red meat, refined carbohydrates, sugar.

Foods that reduce inflammation

1-Fiber, Fruits, and Vegetables.

2-Garlic is good because it has a high sulfur content, and sulfur inhibits inflammation.

3-Herbal teas, including green tea which has mild anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition to this acupuncture can effectively treat stress. And studies also show that moderate physical activity does reduce inflammation as well.

Conclusion

We saw how poor sleep causes stress,  stress causes inflammation, and inflammation causes disease. Now if inflammation is the cause of all disease, including premature aging, then a good night’s sleep can keep you healthier. Remember, it’s all about balance. Too much or too little of a good thing becomes a bad thing.

Therefore if inflammation is the common denominator of all diseases, including aging And if inflammation is an imbalance, then restoring balance, not medicine, is the key to curing disease.

And one of the ways to restore balance is to get good quality sleep.

So, what do you think are some good ways to restore balance? Or do you think it’s more involved than that? And can modern medicine really restore balance?

Please leave a comment. I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this.

Any feedback from you will help to improve this blog.

Also, be sure to visit and like my blog on facebook.

Till next time…Blessings.