People do not talk about it enough, but getting a good night’s rest is vital to your health. Doctor Matthew Bogard, M.D. has published advice for those who are severely affected.
Sleep serves important functions for your health. If you don’t sleep well, it does not only affect your performance the next day, it may have adverse long-term implications. The newest informational article by Matthew Bogard, MD is available on his blog at https://matthewbogardmd.blogspot.com/
Have you been suffering from sleep deprivation? If a person is under a lot of stress, it is normal for that to impact both the duration and quality of sleep. This can impact the mental and physical health of a person. A proper night’s sleep of about 7 to 9 hours is recommended for every person, depending on age and other factors.
Today, about 40% of the adults in the US sleep less than 7 hours a night, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And because of this, these people begin to suffer from lack of sleep which eventually results in both mental and physical health issues.
Effects of Sleep deprivation
If a person is not getting enough sleep at night, this can negatively affect a person's mood, lower your energy, and create difficulty in concentrating. Lack of sleep also causes a general inability to function normally as a human should. And that is not all; sleep deprivation can have very severe consequences in a few situations. For example, if a person is operating heavy machinery or driving and falls asleep due to extreme fatigue, it can be deadly.
Getting just one night of poor sleep doesn't cause a lot of harm, but if it persists over time it increases the risk of many chronic health conditions. Those who keep sleep less than 7 hours every night are in danger of suffering from the following conditions:
· kidney disease
· heart disease
While there are many factors that cause any of these conditions, lack of sleep can independently contribute to their development.
The link between Sleep and Stress
There are a lot of negative connotations of stress, but it's known to be a response developed by animals and humans which permits them to easily deal with dangerous or crucial situations. When a human is stressed, the central nervous system releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Due to these hormones, the heart rate is increased so that it can circulate blood much more efficiently to the muscles and the vital organs. In short, it helps the body to take a quick action when necessary.
This reaction that the CNS provides is called the fight-or-flight response. During the initial stages of evolution, this response was very important for human survival. Today, there are issues that do not need such a response, but the body still triggers the fight-or-flight response for issues that are not a threat to the person - such issues as relationship difficulties or problems at work.
Effects of Stress on the Body in the Long-Term
Occasionally, having a stressful feeling is normal, but the constant feeling stress is dangerous to the human body. This is because it can cause the CNS to sustain a heightened state of arousal which can last for extended periods. And if a person stays in such a state for a longer time, it can influence the mental and physical health in the long term. One of the effects of the stress is sleep deprivation.
This prolonged stress response makes sleep difficult. It can also cause anxious and unsettling thoughts to enter a person's mind at night. And this eventually leads to more insufficient sleep that then causes further stress.
How to reduce stress to improve sleep?
If you are a person suffering from stress or sleepless nights, it is important to reduce the stress. This will improve the sleep that you get at night. But for this, you would need to change some things in your lifestyle.
This is something that nearly everyone knows about, and is the best technique to reduce stress. This is a relaxation routine that helps you to become more aware of your present moment. Its objective is to help the person recognize all the sensations, feelings, and thoughts that are taking place outside and inside the body without reacting to them. If a person takes the time to practice meditation for about 10 to 30 minutes before going to bed every day it will help them have a much better sleep and also reduce the stress levels.
Exercising is excellent treatment for many diseases; it is also great for stress and can help you get a much better sleep at night. It does wonders in improving the well-being, physical health and mental health of a person.
Other lifestyle changes
Changing the below things in your lifestyle can also help to reduce the stress and improve the sleep:
· Receiving support from family and friends.
· Avoid taking any work home or checking work emails at home.
· Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake.
· Adjusting to a healthy diet.
Even though reducing stress can be highly challenging, it is not impossible and does wonders for a person's health.
The complete article is available on the blog of Dr. Matthew Bogard at https://matthewbogardmd.blogspot.com/
Matthew Bogard, MD
Dr. Matt Bogard practices Emergency Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. During his time at Nebraska College of Medicine, he was selected to join the Advanced Rural Training Program, a four-year residency program that trains physicians to provide comprehensive full-spectrum medical care. During his residency, Dr. Bogard served on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, was active with the Nebraska Medical Association, mentored multiple medical students and was honored by the Nebraska Legislature as “Family Physician of the Day.” Matthew Bogard primarily practices Emergency Medicine.
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewbogard/
Trying to lose or gain weight via unhealthy practices is not uncommon. Both men and women alike will resort to meal skipping, fasting, and smoking to reduce appetite and consuming stimulants such as caffeine, prescription drugs and energy drinks to replace actual food. Other more damaging methods include taking diet pills, laxatives, diuretics or purging. Unhealthy dietary practices cause weight regain after a period of time. People who indulge in these will also show signs of depression or develop eating disorders.
Healthy weight gain or loss may be challenging and may take more time. But instead of following extreme diet plans for a few weeks, it is infinitely better to develop a lifestyle that automatically supports and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Why is healthy weight important?
Maintaining a healthy weight is important because it helps prevent many diseases and conditions that may otherwise find their way into your life if you were overweight or underweight. Being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk of developing serious health problems such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems and even certain cancers.
Being underweight as well comes with its own set of problems. These include anemia, osteoporosis, decreased immune function, fertility issues and growth and development issues in children and teenagers. If you are underweight, then you are more like to suffer from complications from surgery as well.
The key to maintaining a healthy weight is balancing the amount of energy you consume and the amount you of energy you spend carrying out daily tasks. If your calorie intake is the same as the number of calories spent, then there is a balance of energy and your weight will stay the same.
If your calorie intake surpasses the amount of calories you spend, the result is weight gain. If the opposite happens, the result is weight loss.
Managing Healthy Weight Loss
Some key takeaways for managing a healthy weight loss include:
* Exercise. Indulging in physical activity on a regular basis will help burn the extra calories you consume. It also builds muscle, which is equally healthy. Walking instead of using the car or public transport wherever possible and cycling to work or school are great ways to increase your daily level of activity. If you want to burn more calories, you can also join a gym and workout. This will help build your muscles. More muscle mass means more calories get burnt even when you are not exercising.
* Spend less time in front of screens. People who watch a lot of television, play video games or spend an excessive amount of time on their phones, tablets, or computers are more likely to be overweight. Use this time more constructively and get an adequate amount of sleep as well.
* Don’t skip breakfast. A lot of people have a habit of skipping breakfast in the morning. This is detrimental to your health as breakfast gets your metabolism going and burns calories to give you the energy you need. People who skip breakfast are likely to feel hungrier later. They end up consuming a larger portion of calories than they originally would have if they had breakfast.
* Eat more fruits and vegetables. These contain fiber and will serve to be more fulfilling by decreasing your desire to overeat.
* Avoid sugary drinks such as juice drinks, energy drinks and sodas. They are empty calories that only add to your obesity. Go for water or low-fat milk instead.
In case you are planning to start a more vigorous exercise program, then do consult a doctor, especially if you bear health concerns like shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain or pressure, an irregular heartbeat, blood clots, hernia, or joint swelling
Managing Healthy Weight Gain
Being underweight can be attributed to several causes. Besides serious illnesses that may result in weight loss, being underweight is also a result of medication that suppresses your appetite, excessive exercise, excessive stress, and enzyme deficiencies.
If you are underweight, then you should try to gain weight gradually until you reach a healthy weight. Some key takeaways in managing a healthy weight gain include:
* Eat healthy. If you’re trying to gain weight, then eat foods that are high in energy content. Start with a good breakfast. Consider having porridge made with full-fat milk and chopped fruits or raisins to give your day a healthy boost. Eggs on toast are also a good option. For snacks, milkshakes are an ideal choice. You can also add milk powder to them for extra protein.
* Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Like with weight loss, you should have at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day.
* Increase your protein intake. Have beans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat.
* Drink plenty of water but avoid fluids just before meals in case you feel too full to eat later.
* Have more dairy products. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, then dairy alternatives such as soya drinks and yogurts also work.
* Avoid foods that are full of saturated fat and sugar such as chocolate, cakes and sugary beverages. These may be high in calories but result in unhealthy weight gain by increasing body fat instead of lean body mass. They also increase the risk of developing high levels of cholesterol in your blood.
* You can also get more calories in your meals by topping them with cheese, nuts and seeds.
* Exercise. This strenuous activity will not only increase muscle mass and add weight to your body but will also increase your appetite and calorie intake.
If you are unable to gain weight, then it is advisable to consult a doctor for a medical checkup and ensure there is no serious underlying medical cause. The doctor may test you for Diabetes mellitus, HIV/AIDS, enzyme deficiencies, Tuberculosis, malignancies, an overactive thyroid gland, cystic fibrosis or any other physical condition that could be hampering weight gain.
*** Dr. Matt Bogard practices Emergency Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. During his time at Nebraska College of Medicine, he was selected to join the Advanced Rural Training Program, a four-year residency program that trains physicians to provide comprehensive full-spectrum medical care. During his residency, Dr. Bogard served on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, was active with the Nebraska Medical Association, mentored multiple medical students and was honored by the Nebraska Legislature as “Family Physician of the Day.” Matthew Bogard primarily practices Emergency Medicine.
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewbogard/
Dr. Bogard publishes a Blog with health information for the entire family.