Category Archives: Sleep Problems

CES Ultra is a non-drug approach to treatment sleep problems

A New Treatment for Insomnia? NO! NO! NO!

sleep-treatment

NuCalm, a manufacturer of a topical cream and dietary supplements, that are designed to counteract adrenaline sleep system (for only $89.99 a bottle), has created a sleep system at the heart of which is CES (cranial electroterapy stimulation).

In New York City, the only other place people can get NuCalm is at a handful of dentists’ offices, where the system is used on anxiety-prone patients before some treatments, and at ReCOVER, an athlete-focused recovery studio that just opened.

“Without sleep, everything else, all that exercise and eating right, is moot,” says personal trainer Aaron Drogoszewski, who is also a co-founded the studio.

This is how a customer describes her experience with NuCalm at ReCOVER:

My session begins in a leather recliner chair. A personal trainer has me rub a gel on my neck that he says will “block adrenaline.” The gel contains GABA, a neurotransmitter, and L-Theanine, an amino acid. They work together to open up the GABA receptors in your brain so that the body can relax, claims Solace Lifesciences, the 16-year-old company behind the NuCalm system. These ingredients are generally recognized as safe by the FDA — but are not cleared for use as a sleep therapy.

The trainer then sticks two electrodes to my neck, which will send low pulses of electric currents to my brain to calm my nerves. Admittedly, this does not sound relaxing at all, but I trust that the FDA knew what it was doing when it cleared this type of treatment — cranial electrotherapy stimulation — for treating insomnia, depression and anxiety in 1979.

Next, he hands me noise-canceling headphones that play “binaural beats” — it sounds like your average spa soundtrack, but with separate, slightly different inaudible frequencies delivered to each ear. When heard together, the brain perceives these “binaural beats” as a totally different sound, and some studies have suggested they can boost mood, lower anxiety and improve focus. I cover my eyes with a light-blocking eye mask — the kind that lets you open your eyes and still be in darkness — and he tucks me in with a blanket.

Skeptical of the purported calming effects, I try to think of the things that commonly stress me out, but find them hard to fixate on. I alternate between feeling awake and on the cusp of sleep. After what feels like about 15 minutes, I emerge from my relaxed state to discover I had been out for a whopping 55 minutes.

“You just lose track of time,” I was told as I check my phone to find out what I missed.

When I remove my headphones, eye shades and electrodes, I don’t feel groggy, as I usually do after a nap, nor do I feel the need to drink coffee, as I usually do after basically anything. But I also don’t feel the need to work — it may have done its job a little too well.

While some of NuCalm components, such as the binaural beats and the cranial electrotherapy stimulation, have been studied, NuCalm itself hasn’t, says Dr. Daniel Barone, sleep medicine expert at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian. “But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work,” says Barone, who wrote the book “Let’s Talk About Sleep.”

ReCOVER offers NuCalm for $75 an hour as a way for fitness buffs to de-stress and recover after muscle-straining workouts, or to anyone who just isn’t getting good sleep.

If you like going to a spa or recovery center to relax go to ReCOVER and try their new relaxation system.

Why pay $75/hour plus more for a cream, and have to go to a spa, when you can own the unit for the cost of five visits, but have the ability to, use it whenever and wherever you like at your own convenience and leisure. CES Ultra can be your personal cranial electrotherapy stimulation device which you can use whenever you want it.

“The Telomere Effect” – Why Sleep Is so Crucial for Your Telomeres

ces-telomeres-help-sleep

We all have health spans – the number of years we remain healthy, active and disease-free – and the shortening of our telomeres contributes to ageing and our entry from health span into disease span. But we can [do things that] affect our telomerase and telomeres, that can delay entry from health span to disease span. So we are talking more about keeping people healthier for longer and staving off some diseases of ageing. This is not about extreme life span extension – though of course staying healthier longer does have a reflection in mortality rates.

People who get roughly 7 hours of sleep a night tend to have longer telomeres. People who get five hours or less have much shorter telomeres.

Think about the last time you felt sleep-deprived. Your body probably felt tired and achy, your attention was all over the place, you forgot some important information, or you felt irritable towards those around you. Maybe you spent too much money at Starbucks for an afternoon caffeine boost or ran a stop sign. What you might not have noticed is that poor sleep mucks with your regulation of emotions as well. Sleep deprivation amplifies our emotions (both positive and negative) and makes our stress responses larger—cue an awkward, aggressive rant at the coworker who definitely stole your stapler.

Getting even one night of poor sleep can throw our hormones out of whack. We may develop high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and insulin (the hormone that regulates our blood sugar), and ghrelin (a hormone that makes us hungry). That’s why sleep deprivation is thought to be one of the major highways to obesity.

Getting full sleep restoration on subsequent nights can normalize these changes.

Chronic sleep deprivation affects us on a cellular level. Not surprisingly, your telomeres like being well-rested just as much as you do–people who get roughly 7 or more hours of sleep a night tend to have longer telomeres, especially among the elderly. People who get five hours or less have much shorter telomeres. Hedge your bets and get 7 or more hours of sleep as often as you can.

There are other aspects of disrupted sleep that are also associated with shorter telomeres. Sleep apnea creates oxidative stress, a chemical known to shorten telomeres. It’s thus not surprising that sleep apnea appears to be linked to shorter telomeres. Insomnia and snoring also appear to matter.

Studies have linked longer telomeres with better brainpower, a reduced risk of diseases, and a longer life. And here’s the part relevant to all of us: Getting good sleep quality is related to longer telomeres.

Elizabeth Blackbrun — along with Jack. W. Szostak and Carol W. Greider — was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her help in discovering “how chromosomes are protected by telomeres.”

REF:
https://www.theguardian.com/science
http://www.elle.com/life-love/a43029/telomeres-and-sleep/
https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body

Sleeping Pill Addiction and Abuse

Although people successfully treat short-term insomnia with sleeping pills, many become dependent on them.

ces-help-to-avoid-pill-addiction

People do not normally start out with the intention of becoming addicted. Many start off taking sleeping pills that have been prescribed by their doctor for medicinal purposes. They later become dependent on this medication and might take it even when it is not required. There are also those who use this medication as a means to enhance the effect of alcohol or other drugs. People can grow to like the way that this type of drug sedates them and calms down the mind. Taking sleeping pills can create similar feelings to being drunk on alcohol. It can be tempting for individuals to abuse these substances as a way to escape their problems.

The Dangers of Sleeping Pill Addiction

Sleeping pill addiction can lead to deterioration in the quality of life and there are possible health consequences as well. The dangers associated with sleeping pill addiction will depend on the type of drug that is being abused but will usually include:

  • Withdrawals symptoms will commence if the individual tries to quit the drug or significantly reduces the dosage.
  • Increased tolerance
  • The individual will feel compelled to take higher doses of the drug. This means that there is the risk of overdose.
  • This type of drug abuse can lead to depression. There is an increased risk of suicide.
  • People can be at much higher risk of accidents. Sleeping pills cause deterioration in the individual’s sense of coordination.
  • Abuse of these medications can damage body organs.
  • Different physical symptoms are associated with different types of sleeping pill. For instance, benzodiazepine abuse can lead to blurred vision and respiratory problems.
  • There will be an obsession with ensuring a regular supply of the drug. The individual may become willing to break the law or act unethically in their attempts to obtain sleeping pills.

Sleeping Pill Addiction Statistics

About 10% of adults in the US have a problem getting or staying asleep. Up to 40% of adults will occasionally have this problem. Benzodiazepine sleeping pills are the most widely prescribed with up to 100 million prescriptions a year. The number of people who rely on this medication to get to sleep is increasing each year. As more people use the drug there is sure to be a growth in the number who become addicted. Determining an exact figure for people who become addicted to sleeping pills is difficult. Many who end up seeking treatment will also abuse other substances such as alcohol as well.

Natiral Steps v. Sleeping Pills

Research suggests that the most effective method to cure chronic insomnia is to treat the underlying disorder rather than simply use sleeping pills. Cognitive behavioral therapy, in which individuals learn how to change their behaviors to promote better sleeping patterns, is considered the most effective treatment for chronic insomnia.

  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Exercising routinely
  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Avoiding daytime naps
  • Limiting stress

Cranial electrotherapy stimulation can improve sleep quality. You clip electrodes on to your earlobes for 20 minutes every evening to send tiny electric signals to the brain and help you feel more relaxed.

ref: https://www.addictioncenter.com, http://alcoholrehab.com

Sleeping More Will Curb Your Sugar Cravings

sleep-not-eat-sugar

Is the trick to cutting cravings for sugary foods as simple as getting a good night’s sleep? A new small study from the United Kingdom suggests that may be the case.

Earlier research has shown that more than one-third of U.S. adults get 6 hours or less of sleep each night — less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours, according to the study. With that in mind, the researchers chose to examine whether a sleep consultation could help adults get more shut-eye and how doing so might affect their daily nutrient intake.

Spending an extra 90 minutes in bed may not seem like the obvious way to lose weight, but according to a new study, it could be the key to shedding excess pounds.

Scientists from King’s College London have discovered that people who sleep for longer are less likely to pick sugary treats, or reach for comforting carbohydrates.

Lack of sleep was already known to be a risk factor for obesity because it alters levels of hormones which control appetite.

But a new study showed that by getting more sleep, people naturally choose healthier foods within a week, eating on average 10 grams less sugar each day.

In the study, the researchers recruited 21 individuals to participate in a 45-minute sleep consultation designed to extend their sleep time by up to 1.5 hours per night. Another group of 21 participants were also recruited but did not receive intervention in their sleep patterns, therefore serving as the control group, according to the study.

The results showed that the participants who increased the amount of sleep they got each night reduced their added sugar intake by as much as 10 grams the next day compared with the amount of sugar they consumed at the beginning of the study. These participants also had a lower daily carbohydrate intake than the group that did not extend their sleep patterns, the study found.

Getting a good night’s sleep:

Go to bed at roughly the same time every day, even at weekends. Lie-ins make it harder to get to sleep the next night, setting you up for a troubled week.

Avoid screens late at night, especially laptops and tablets. The bright, close light tricks your brain into thinking it is earlier in the day.

Begin winding down for at least an hour before getting into bed, allowing your brain to slow down. Intense activity, be it work or exercise, will keep you awake even if it tires you out.

Keep drinking water. Dehydration is the primary cause of ‘shallow’ sleep, so while you don’t want to wake up needing the loo, take on enough fluids to stop yourself waking up thirsty.

Never go to bed hungry, but eat the right foods before bed. Turkey, warm milk, honey, camomile and Marmite are all recommended.

Use Cranial Electrotherapy to sleep better

Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) uses a gentle electrical impulse applied to the ear lobes that is anatomically transferred to the brain. By allowing the brain to “reset” to its normal rhythms, CES creates a new and healthy habit for your sleep patterns. CES unit is handheld, and is designed to be used at home. Studies show that within two weeks of daily CES use you will see a substantial decline in your sleep problems.

ref: livescience.com / independent.ie / ufl.edu / thetimes.co.uk

Quantity and quality of sleep may act as fountain of youth in old age

“Why do some people age more ‘successfully’ than others?” UC Berkeley researchers think sleep is one of the factors.

As people get older, they sleep less and wake up more frequently. But does that mean older people just need less sleep?

Not according to UC Berkeley researchers, who argue in an article published April 5, 2017 in the journal Neuron that the unmet sleep needs of the elderly elevate their risk of memory loss and a wide range of mental and physical disorders.

The review suggests aging adults may be losing their ability to produce deep, restorative sleep. Furthermore, older people are likely paying for lost sleep both mentally and physically, the reviewers argue.

sleep-for-older-people

“Sleep changes with aging, but it doesn’t just change with aging; it can also start to explain aging itself,” says review co-author Matthew Walker, who leads the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. “Every one of the major diseases that are killing us in first-world nations—from diabetes to obesity to Alzheimer’s disease to cancer—all of those things now have strong causal links to a lack of sleep. And all of those diseases significantly increase in likelihood the older that we get, and especially in dementia.”

Older adults’ sleep loss isn’t due to a busy schedule or simply needing less sleep. As the brain ages, neurons and circuits in the areas that regulate sleep slowly degrade, resulting in a decreased amount of non-REM sleep. Since non-REM deep sleep plays a key role in maintaining memory and cognition, that’s a problem. “There is a debate in the literature as to whether older adults need less sleep, or rather, older adults cannot generate the sleep that they nevertheless need. We discuss this debate at length in the review,” says Walker. “The evidence seems to favor one side—older adults do not have a reduced sleep need, but instead, an impaired ability to generate sleep. The elderly therefore suffer from an unmet sleep need.”

This problem has long flown under the radar in sleep research. Older adults rarely report feeling sleepy or sleep-deprived on surveys but that may be because their brains are accustomed to being sleep-deprived every day. When researchers look for chemical markers of sleep deprivation, older adults have them in spades, and when researchers measure the brain waves of older adults, they often find that key electrical patterns in sleeping brains—such as “slow waves” and “sleep spindles”—are disrupted.

Perhaps even more distressingly, the changes in sleep quality start well before people notice that they are shifting to a more “early-to-bed-early-to-rise” schedule or are waking up in the middle of the night more often. The loss of deep sleep starts as early as the mid-thirties. “It’s particularly dramatic in early middle age when it starts to begin,” says Mander. “The difference between young adults and middle aged adults is bigger than the difference between middle aged adults and older adults. So there seems to be a pretty big change in middle age, which then continues as we get older.”

Another surprising finding the authors address is the resilience of REM sleep to the process of aging—rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, where dreams occur. “It does decline, but it is nowhere near as dramatic as the decline in deep non-REM sleep,” says Walker. “So the question then becomes: why is deep non-REM sleep more vulnerable?”

The authors stress that there is variability between individuals when it comes to sleep loss. Women seem to experience far less deterioration in non-REM deep sleep than men, even though the changes to REM sleep are about the same in those two genders. (Aging-related sleep loss hasn’t been studied in trans and nonbinary people yet.) Faster-than-average sleep deterioration may also be a key risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

If older people are sleeping a little less than they used to — or wake up once at night then quickly fall back asleep — that’s probably not a red flag. But older adults should talk to their doctor if they routinely sleep less than six hours a night, or lack long “consolidated” blocks of sleep. “We need to recognize the causal contribution of sleep disruption in the physical and mental deterioration that underlies aging and dementia. More attention needs to be paid to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disturbance if we are going to extend healthspan, and not just lifespan.”

The hunt for new treatments

Meanwhile, non-pharmaceutical interventions are being explored to boost the quality of sleep, such as electrical stimulation to amplify brain waves during sleep and acoustic tones that act like a metronome to slow brain rhythms.

However, promoting alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids is sure to be challenging.

“The American College of Physicians has acknowledged that sleeping pills should not be the first-line kneejerk response to sleep problems,” Walker said. “Sleeping pills sedate the brain, rather than help it sleep naturally. We must find better treatments for restoring healthy sleep in older adults, and that is now one of our dedicated research missions.”

But people should not wait until old age to care about sleep. People often start losing the capacity for deep sleep in middle age, and that decline continues over the years. In some cases sleep apnea may be to blame. In other cases, people may need lifestyle adjustments that can improve their sleep. The good news is that “behavioral and environmental changes are powerful.” People can improve their sleep by fitting physical and social activity into their daily routine. At night they make sure the bedroom temperature is comfortable and limit exposure to artificial light — especially the blue glow of computer and TV screens. It’s important to have enough daylight, in the morning and afternoon: That helps keep the body’s circadian rhythms (the sleep-wake cycle) on track.

Also important to consider in changing the culture of sleep is the question of quantity versus quality.

“Previously, the conversation has focused on how many hours you need to sleep,” Mander said. “However, you can sleep for a sufficient number of hours, but not obtain the right quality of sleep. We also need to appreciate the importance of sleep quality.

“Indeed, we need both quantity and quality”

REF> news.berkeley.edu, medicalxpress.com/news