Monthly Archives: April 2013

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Sleep Study Part 4: Human Peptide Hypocretin Linked to Happiness

happiness

Happiness may not come from your family, friends, or wealth, at least according to a new study. Rather, it comes from a peptide.

Led by the University of California Los Angeles, an international team of researchers has linked levels of hypocretin (a human peptide and neurotransmitter) to happiness. They found that the levels of hypocretin soared when we are happy, and also decreased when we are sad.

Bedtime Rituals

bedtime stories

While some may think bedtime rituals are unnecessary, they are actually quite important. They help you prepare your body for the act of going to sleep. Once they become routine, they provide important cues for your brain that it’s time to enter into your nightly slowdown mode. The problem most people have is deciding what types of activities should be included in their bedtime rituals. Here are a few great ideas.

Sleep Deprivation

sleep deprived

Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night may seem like a long lost memory, let alone a luxury. But not getting enough sleep is known to have health consequences. Accumulating research suggests that sleep deprivation, even in the short term, could pave the way for anxiety, weight gain, insulin sensitivity, stroke and heart disease, memory impairment, hypertension and, well, you get the picture. Sleep deprivation is not okay.

Frequent Urination at Night

bathroom sign

Do you wake up once or more per night because you “gotta go”? Frequent urination at night is quite common. A Sleep in America poll revealed that as many as nearly two-thirds of us report having to get up at night to go to the bathroom.

Why Natural Latex Makes for a Healthier Mattress

natural latex mattress

Natural latex has a lot to offer consumers when it comes to mattresses. Not only does it provide for a much better night’s sleep, but it also has a few secret benefits that aren’t as widely known about latex and the mattresses it creates.

Bed Sores

bed sores

Bed sores, also called pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers, are confined injuries to the skin and its underlying tissue as a result of prolonged and consistent pressure to the skin. This prolonged pressure against the skin inhibits blood supply, which causes the death of underlying tissue. While there are several stages of severity of bed sores, ranging from Stage 1 to Stage 4, It is important to note that in certain cases, bed sores can be life threatening.

How to Stay Asleep

can't sleep

Anyone who has suffered from insomnia, particularly how to stay asleep at night, has spent a lot of time wondering about this very thing. Sleep problems due to interrupted or insufficient sleep can lead to a wide range of health conditions if allowed to go unchecked, according to Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, D.O., who is director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Cleveland Clinic. These health risks include heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. The good news is that you won’t have to worry about how to stay asleep much longer if you put the practical, actionable advice below to work.

What Causes Bags Under the Eyes

bags under eyes

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. They’re the first thing someone usually notices when he or she looks at you. Not only can they hint at your age, but they can signal how much sleep you had the night before or give clues to the bagful of salty chips you had yesterday. While sleep quantity and quality changes and dietary adjustments can help reduce bags under the eyes, medical conditions and genetics also play a role.

Full Moon Effects

full moon

You’ve probably heard countless rumors over the years about full moon effects and what it means to different people. From statements about the “natives” becoming restless on full moon nights to theories about the impact of the moon on wild animals, there are plenty of rumors floating around about what the full moon can do. Even language has incorporated the moon into expressions of craziness such as lunatic and lunacy, which both have lunar roots. Many people also claim that full moon effects on mood are substantial. But, how you separate fact from fiction when determining exactly what it is the full moon really does?

Bright Light Therapy

seasonal affective disorder

Bright light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is a helpful way to treat the winter blues, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), as well as some sleep disorders. SAD is a form of depression, occurring in the fall and winter months, when the amount of daylight and sunshine is reduced.