The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
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It has been stated that 1 in 3 adults in the USA is not getting enough sleep, and this is a problem. Sleep deprivation can cause a whole range of negative things, from accidents at work to health conditions that can permanently affect you. As a result, it is important that you get enough sleep, and that you learn how to improve your nighttime schedule if your pattern is way off base. We know it isnât an easy thing to try and overcome, but with this handy guide, we are here to help you out.Â
We know that we can answer all of your questions, concerns, and more, so keep on reading and see if you (or someone you know) could be suffering from this common ailment.
To read the whole topic please see the link below:
Students Develops Jelly Drops to Support Dementia Patients Like his Grandmother
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As we age, we naturally lose our sense of thirst, increasing our risk of dehydration. This risk is even greater among older individuals living with dementia. Individuals with dementia may experience trouble swallowing thin liquids as well as memory loss. This was true for Lewis Hornsbyâs grandmother, Pat, who struggled with dehydration. After an unexpected rush to the hospital, Lewis found his grandmother had been severely dehydrated, and it took 24 hours on IV fluids for her to return to her normal state.
Recognizing his grandmotherâs struggle with dehydration, Lewis, an innovative engineering student at the Imperial College of London, developed âJelly Drops.â These colorful, jelly-like treats contain over 90% water as well as other ingredients that give it its solid state. This solid state allows the body to slowly break down the Jelly Drop, maximizing hydration. But Lewisâ Â innovation does not end with the Jelly Drop alone. The Jelly Drops are stored in a clear box so that you can see the colorful treats. The box also contains a booklet with talking points to encourage social interaction between care home residents and their caretakers. Lewisâ innovative Jelly Drops is a result of thoughtful research. Some of this research involved living in his grandmotherâs care home and observing the behaviors of residents as well as meeting with dementia psychologists and doctors.
Lewis has already received two awards for his Jelly Drops invention: the Helen Hamlyn Design Award â Snowdon Award for Disability as well as the Dyson School of Design Engineering DESIRE Award for Social Impact. According to hisÂ Facebook page, Jelly Drops are not available for purchase at this time as he is conducting further research and trials using the product.
Published by:Â https://upstream.mj.unc.edu/category/mental-health/
Blood Pressure Treatment Might Protect your Brain
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Aggressively treating high blood pressure might help ward off cognitive changes, according to findings presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in July. Researchers from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial compared two strategies to manage high blood pressure in more than 9,300 older adults (average age about 68). One strategy aims to achieve the standard treatment level for high systolic blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading), keeping it under 140 mm Hg. The more aggressive strategy sets a goal of less than 120 mm Hg. The aggressive strategy reduced not only heart risks, but seemed to protect the brain.
People in the more aggressively controlled blood pressure group were 19% less likely than those in the standard treatment group to develop new cases of mild cognitive impairment (often a forerunner to dementia). They were also 15% less likely to develop any form of dementia or mild cognitive impairment. This study provides another reason to work with your doctor to reduce high blood pressure.
Canât sleep? You May be at Risk for Atrial Fibrillation
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If you have problems sleeping through the night, you may be at risk for atrial fibrillation (afib), an irregular heart rate that may cause heart palpitations and is a leading cause of stroke.
A study published online June 25, 2018, byÂ HeartRhythmÂ reviewed four studies and found a link between afib and poor sleep. In one study, people with afib had more frequent nighttime awakenings compared with those who did not have the condition. In the other studies, poor sleep quality, including frequent nighttime awakenings and less REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, predicted which individuals would develop afib.
It’s not clear how poor sleep may be a possible risk factor for afib, but the researchers noted that other studies have shown that sleep apnea â a disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and restarts â is also associated with a higher risk of afib, although the exact reason is unknown.
They suggested people speak with their doctor about any sleep problems and try to practice better sleep hygiene â for instance by going to bed at the same time each night; creating a dark, cool sleeping environment; and avoiding caffeine and screen time before bedtime.
Antidepressants tied to weight gain
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We’re learning more about the link between weight gain and several major classes of antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like sertraline (Zoloft), and tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil). Research has shown that putting on pounds is a possible short-term side effect of the medications. But a study published May 23, 2018, inÂ The BMJÂ suggests that antidepressants are also associated with sustained weight gain. Researchers analyzed the health information of more than 300,000 people in the United Kingdom (average age 51) who’d had their weight and body mass index measured at doctor appointments between 2004 and 2014. About 18% had been prescribed antidepressants. During the study period, people who took antidepressants had a 21% higher risk for a 5% or greater weight gain, compared with people who didn’t take antidepressants. The risk peaked in the second and third years. There was no evidence of weight gain after seven years. The study was observational and didn’t prove that antidepressants cause weight gain. But researchers hope the findings will encourage people to talk to their doctors about weight gain as a possible side effect of antidepressants, and plan for potential and even delayed weight gain if they’re using the medications.
Headache Me This
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What causes headaches? I find myself Googling this at least once every few months when a particularly nasty or persistent headache of my own decides to show up. And I think itâs because I never really get a satisfying explanation from my searches, likely due to the fact that there are hundreds of headache types and only 10% have a known cause. Letâs focus on primary headaches, ones not caused by an underlying condition.
There are a lot of culprits for primary headaches. Nerves/blood vessels/tissue around the skull, muscles of the head/neck, and chemical changes within the brain can spur on that pain. So what triggers these physical pain signalers? It is probably no surprise that stress or alcohol are included. Skipping meals, poor posture (thanks, laptops), disrupted sleep patterns, and changing weather as well.
Some of these triggers are outside of our control like the weather, but there are measures we can take for prevention. Even though yes, easier said than done, try to avoid known stressors where possible. Eat low-processed meals at regular intervals and prioritize consistent sleep habits. Deficiencies in magnesium may play a role so eat some avocado and nuts. And when all else fails, put the screens away, take a warm shower, apply a soothing compress to the neck, and go the heck to sleep. Admittedly just writing about all the things that I should be doing right now has not made my headache go away, so off to self-care I go.
Are you Processing or are you Ruminating?
I am a self-described over-thinker.Â From a young age, my family often complained that I over analyzedÂ everything.Â While this has served me well in many pursuits, I recently read that it may not be so great for my health.
According to a recent article byÂ U.S. News and World Report, rumination over stressful or negative events may lead to prolonged psychological recovery time along with increased blood pressure and heart rateÂ (1).Â While Iâm still an advocate for processing difficult situations, rumination is different.Â Rumination typically leads to repeatedly and cyclically thinking about the same situation while creating moods that spiral downward (1).Â Â People often end up ruminating without realizing it; they think theyâre attempting to problem-solve instead (1). Â I know this speaks to the analytical âMs. Fix-itâ in me.
According to the article, people can identify if theyâre in rumination mode by asking themselves if their thoughts are unproductive, creating feelings of being overwhelmed, or causing distractions from their surroundings (1).Â Suggestions to get past this include distraction by taking a walk or enjoying a hobby (1).
Now, all of this is said with a giant caveat-Â Â if you feel like you need mental health help, get it.Â Rumination often happens when people are dealing with something traumatic in their lives.Â I am by no means telling you to shove your feelings down and avoid them.Â What I am encouraging you to do is stop and ask yourself if youâre having the same negative thoughts over and over again.Â If you feel like itâs something minor, you may want to stop and distract yourself to break the cycle.Â If itâs something thatâs a big deal to you, then you may need to enlist the help of a mental health professional.
Thinking about situations is helpful, but if three days have passed, and youâre still thinking about how the coffee-shop barista spelled your name wrong, you may be ruminating and hurting your health in the process.
Study Confirms Grad Students have Higher Rates of Anxiety and Depression
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Iâm currently in my second semester of grad school, and I have heard many people talking positively about mental healthcare since Iâve been here.Â Within the first few days of classes in August, we were informed where and how to get mental health help on campus.Â I know plenty of people who have sought assistance with their mental health, and they speak about it without any sort of stigma.Â All of this talk got me wondering, whatâs behind this positivity?Â Is it:
A) My department is super supportive
B) Weâre a bunch of public health enthusiasts who want to dismantle stigma in every way we can
C) Thereâs a huge need for mental healthcare among graduate students
It turns out that the answer is likely: D) all of the above.
According to a recent study published inÂ Nature BiotechnologyÂ the prevalence of both moderate to severe and anxiety and moderate to severe depression is over six times higher in graduate students than in the general population (1).Â The good news is that the study also found that a good work-life balance helps improve mental health (1).Â This means the next time someone tells you to take care of yourself, theyâre not just repeating trite advice.Â It really is important.
If youâre one of the many grad students (or anyone for that matter) who feels overwhelmed, know that youâre not alone.Â Many of us are there with you, and itâs OK if you need to enlist the help of a professional.Â Personally, I view this as a sign of strength instead of weakness.
Always Worried about your Health? You May be Dealing with Health Anxiety Disorder
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You spend hours on the Internet researching health information. When you get a scratchy throat you automatically think cancer â not a cold. And even when medical tests come back showing that you’re healthy, it doesn’t make you feel better. In the back of your mind you still feel like something is wrong.
If this sounds like you or a loved one, it may be health anxiety.
Health anxiety is a condition that causes healthy people to worry that they are sick â even when they have no symptoms, or minor symptoms like a scratchy throat.
“People with health anxiety for the most part tend to fear severe illness, such as HIV, cancer, or dementia. They worry far less about strep throat, twisting their ankle, or getting a cold,” says Dr. Timothy Scarella, instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. This fear that they have a serious illness can interfere with their daily life. It might lead them to seek out unnecessary testing, to waste hours in the doctor’s office, and to spend days consumed by worry. But it’s not only their own health that people with health anxiety may focus on. “Some people also worry excessively about their children’s health,” he says.
Health anxiety is a relatively common condition, known to affect some 4% to 5% of people. But experts believe it may be underreported and that the percentage could be closer to 12% â or even twice that, says Dr. Scarella. Unlike other anxiety disorders that are more prevalent in women, health anxiety appears to affect men and women equally.
Not all health worries indicate health anxiety
Being concerned about your health is not the same as health anxiety. It’s normal to be worried about your health from time to time. You may wonder if your stomachache is a sign of a more serious condition. If you have had a severe illness in the past, you may be anxious about an upcoming imaging scan.
“There is a difference â at least medically speaking â between a person who has no symptoms or minimal symptoms and is frequently worried and anxious about being or getting sick and a person who is worried about concerning symptoms,” says Dr. Scarella. However, he notes that anxiety about real health conditions can also become problematic.
People with health anxiety often misinterpret normal or benign physical symptoms and attribute them to something more serious. For example, if they were to compress an arm while asleep, instead of rolling over and shaking off the numb feeling, they might worry they were having a stroke. Symptoms produced by anxiety â which can include muscle pain, chest pain, heart rate changes, headaches, and dizziness, among others â can heighten existing anxiety about one’s health.
Is it health anxiety?
So how do you know if you are sick, or if you’re just anxious about being sick? Here are some telltale signs of health anxiety:
- You have no symptoms, but still fear that you are sick.
- When a doctor reassures you that you don’t have an illness or a test shows you’re healthy, it doesn’t relieve your nervousness.
- You find yourself constantly seeking health information online.
- If you read a news story about a disease, you start worrying that you have it.
- Your worries about your health are interfering with your life, family, work, or hobbies and activities.
Most often, people with health anxiety have a pattern of this behavior that a primary care physician may begin to notice over time. “I talk to people who call their doctor five, six, or seven times a week,” says Dr. Scarella. “Every three or four months they may go to their doctor looking for an HIV test despite the fact that they haven’t had any new sexual partners or any experiences that would elevate their risk.”
Does testing ease the nerves?
While testing may seem like a quick, easy way to alleviate health-related worries, for people in whom health anxiety has become uncontrollable, testing rarely provides lasting relief. “Repeated testing is unable to reassure people with health anxiety; people don’t feel calmed when they get new information that disproves their fear,” says Dr. Scarella. Doctors often fall into this trap, thinking “What’s the harm in doing a test to reassure this person?” It seems like a reasonable approach. But, ultimately, no amount of testing ends the worry, Dr. Scarella says, and in fact, it may only serve to reinforce the anxiety.
While some people constantly consult their doctor and request testing, in other cases health anxiety causes people to avoid the doctor entirely, which can lead to treatable conditions going undiagnosed. “There are real risks in not going to the doctor â for example, not getting appropriate cancer screenings,” says Dr. Scarella. This avoidance can become very dangerous when someone has a real condition but is afraid to get checked out for fear of bad newsâsuch as a person who has appendicitis but puts off going to the doctor.
Treating health anxiety
“The most important thing to know about health anxiety is that it’s a treatable problem,” says Dr. Scarella. Statistics show that anxiety disorders, in general, are vastly undertreated. Only 37% of people with anxiety disorders receive treatment, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
This may reflect the stigma related to these conditions, and in the case of health anxiety, people may not actually attribute their symptoms to anxiety, but truly believe they are sick. And they may not know that help is available.
For people who are suffering from health anxiety, it’s not helpful to tell them that their symptoms are fake or it’s all in their head, says Dr. Scarella. “It’s often more constructive to encourage them to look at what the worry is doing to their life,” he says. “How is it interfering with the things they enjoy?”
If you suspect you might have health anxiety, focus on what you’re losing. Would you rather spend several hours in the emergency room waiting for a test result â when you already had the same test two weeks ago â or do something you love?
Then seek an evaluation from a mental health professional. Your primary care doctor can provide a referral.
It’s common for people with health anxiety to have other mental health conditions as well, such as depression, other types of anxiety disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder, says Dr. Scarella. Because of this, treatment may need to address multiple issues. Treatment options include medications and psychotherapy, often in the form of talk therapy, which can help you manage and move past your worries.
But ultimately, those who seek help are often able to overcome the constant anxiety. “This can get better,” says Dr. Scarella.
Depression Risks in the Medicine Cabinet
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Are you taking a medication that has depression or suicidal thinking as a potential side effect? One or both risks have been linked to use of more than 200 prescription and over-the-counter pills, including medicines that treat high blood pressure, heartburn, pain, and headaches. The more of these drugs you use, the higher the likelihood that you’ll experience depression, suggests a study published June 12, 2018, inÂ The Journal of the American Medical Association. Working with five surveys conducted over a nine-year period, researchers evaluated health information from 26,192 adults. About 37% of them reported taking such medications. Of individuals taking three or more of the medications with depression as a possible side effect, about 15% reported depression, compared with about 5% in people not using those medications. Even for people already taking an antidepressant, the addition of one or more of the identified medicines was linked to higher rates of depression. This study was based on surveys, so it didn’t prove that the medications caused the reported depression. Nonetheless, if you think you’re depressed (and have symptoms such as apathy, hopelessness, changes in sleep or eating habits, and persistent fatigue), ask your doctor if any of the medicines you are taking may be responsible.
Looking for an Earlier Sign of Alzheimerâs Disease
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Are you worried about your mental sharpness? Or maybe that of a loved oneâs?
Mild forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. If you have trouble remembering someone’s name but it comes to you later, that’s not a serious memory problem.
But if memory problems are seriously affecting your daily life, they could be earlyÂ signs of Alzheimer’s disease. While the number of symptoms you have and how strong they are vary, itâs important to identify the early signs. You need to ask yourself some tough questions.
This is the most common symptom. Do you easily forget information you just learned? Do you lose track of important dates, names, and events? Do you forget big things even happened? Do you ask for the same information over and over? Do you rely heavily on memory aids like Post-it notes or reminders on your smartphone?
- Trouble planning and problem solving
Do you have trouble making plans and sticking to them? Is it tricky to follow a recipe, even one youâve used many times? Is it hard to concentrate on detailed tasks, especially if they involve numbers? For example, can you keep track of your bills and balance your checkbook?
- Daily tasks are a challenge
Even familiar things can become hard. Do you have trouble driving to a location you go to often? Can you complete an ordinary task at work? Do you forget the rules of your favorite game?
- Times and places are confusing
Can you fully grasp something thatâs not happening right now? Are you disoriented? Do you get lost easily? Do you forget where you are? Do you remember how you got there?
- Changes inÂ vision
Is it harder to read the words on the page? Do you have trouble judging distance? Can you tell colors apart? This is important because it can affect your driving.
- Words and conversations are frustrating
Vocabulary becomes hard. Can you find the right word youâre looking for? Or do you call things by the wrong name?
Conversations can be a struggle. Do you avoid joining in? Are you able to follow along? Do you suddenly stop in the middle of a discussion because you donât know what to say? Do you keep repeating yourself?
- You lose things
Everyone misplaces things from time to time, but can you retrace your steps to find them again? Do you put things in unusual places, like your watch in the refrigerator? Do you accuse people of taking things?
- Lapse in judgment
Have you made poor decisions lately? Do you make mistakes with money, like giving it away when you normally wouldnât?
Are you showering as often? Do you take less care of yourself? Do you dress for the wrong weather?
- Social withdrawal
Are you scaling back on projects at work? Are you less involved with your favorite hobbies? Do you lack motivation? Do you find yourself watching television or sleeping more than usual?
- Mood changes
Do you get upset more easily? Do you feel depressed, scared, or anxious? Are you suspicious of people?
Seeing Your Doctor
If you notice these signs, talk with your doctor. She will evaluate your physical andÂ mental health. She will look over your medical history and do a mental status test, which looks at your memory, ability to solve simple problems, and thinking skills. She may also doÂ bloodÂ orÂ brainÂ imaging tests.
She may then refer you to someone who specializes inÂ Alzheimerâs, like a neurologist (a doctor who specializes in treating theÂ brain and nervous system), psychiatrist,Â psychologist, or geriatrician (a doctor who specializes in treating older people).
Why You Should Make an Appointment Now
The sooner you know, the better. Starting treatment may help relieve symptoms and keep you independent longer.
It also helps you plan better. You can work out living arrangements, make financial and legal decisions, and build up your support network.
A Different Type of Stress Eating
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Exercise has long been prescribed as a remedy to anxiety and stress. Are there certain nutrients that may help as well?
Vitamin B1:Â Prevents the production of excess lactic acid (often recognized as a biochemical factor in triggering anxiety).
Vitamin B6:Â Helps make mood-influencing neurotransmitters including serotonin, GABA, and norepinephrine.
Vitamin B9:Â Maintains homocysteine levels (high levels linked to anxiety) by converting into mood-stabilizing S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) and antioxidant glutathione.
Vitamin B12:Â Serves in production of methionine, precursor of SAMe, necessary for myelin sheath and nerve function.
Magnesium:Â Reduces lactic acid levels, binds to and stimulates GABA receptors, and can regulate the stress response by suppressing stress hormones.
Zinc:Â Stimulates enzymes necessary in the synthesis of serotonin and GABA.
Tryptophan:Â Acts as the amino acid precursor to serotonin.
Omega-3 fatty acids:Â Decreases proinflammatory cytokins, small proteins that interfere with the regulation of glutamate (a neurotransmitter that is associated with anxiety).
Vitamin C:Â Moderates the release of stress hormones like cortisol.
Breath in… Breath out..
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Feeling anxious or stressed? Consider diaphragmatic or âdeep breathingâ exercises! Deep breathing can be a helpful technique for relaxing both mind and body, as well as stress and anxiety management. It can even improve our energy levels!
With deep breathing, we are able to consciously control our breathing, lower our blood pressure and heart rate, and relax our muscles. During normal breathing, we typically breathe shallow breaths using our chest and not our bellies. However, with deep breathing, we breathe with our bellies, taking in slow, deep breaths.
One key muscle involved in the process of deep breathing is our diaphragm, located between our chest and abdomen. When we inhale, we contract our diaphragm, expanding our abdomen, which then pushes air into our lungs. We then exhale, relaxing our diaphragm, and air is pushed out of our lungs.
The Brain Controls the Body, but can the Body Control the Brain?
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We allÂ know our moods can affect how active we are, but did you know how much you move canÂ alsoÂ have an affect on our mood?
Thatâs right, according to researchers at Harvard Medical School, the connection between your brain and your body is a two-way street. TheyÂ foundthat consistent exercise, such as running, cycling, and aerobics can affect your mood by increasing a protein found in the brain calledÂ brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or simply BDNF, which aids in the growth of nerve fibers.
OtherÂ studiesÂ have shown that those with ADHD can reduce their symptoms (although only temporarily) by doing 20-minutes of exercises such as cycling. Afterward, participants were motivated to do tasks that required thought and were less depressed, tired, and confused.
Forms of meditation, such as yoga, qigong, and tai chi were allÂ shownÂ to be helpful at alleviating depression, by allowing people to pay closer attention to their bodies and not on external factors. These changes in posture, breathing, and rhythm have all shown to affect the brain in a positive way. In some cases, people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) no longer met the qualifications for it once they began practice meditative movement.
Additionally, anotherÂ studyÂ has shown that while exercise is beneficial for well being, self-esteem if further improved when moving synchronously with someone else. Moving along with someone else also showed signs of cooperation and charity toward others, as well as improved memory and recall skills.
Ultimately, these findings only stress the close connection held between your brain and body, and show that how much you move can not only help you stay physically fit, but can also affect the way you think and feel. These findings also present an alternative remedy to more traditional treatments for depression, such as psychotherapy and medication.
So next time you find yourself exhausted and completely overwhelmed, put on your sneakers and take a few minutes to get some exercise. Youâll not only sleep better, but in time, you may find yourself feeling more positive about life as well.
Are you Feeling Lucky?
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Everyoneâs heard the phrase âthe luck of the Irishâ but it turns out that you donât need to be Irish nor do you need to find a four leaf clover in order to experience the benefits of good luck, all you have to do is believe that luck is one of your stable intrinsic personal attributes.
A belief in luck was originally thought by psychologists to be an irrational and maladaptive belief with negative consequences for health. For example, if you believe that youâre lucky you may engage in risky behaviors like smoking or indoor tanning because you donât think youâll suffer harmful consequences like cancer.
However, psychologists now believe that a belief in luck might actually be a positive attribute which could lead to greater feelings of confidence, control, and optimism. In addition to allowing people to be more open and optimistic about new experiences and opportunities, people who believe in luck have also been shown to beÂ less likely to suffer from depression and anxietyÂ than those who do not believe in luck.
Also, when negative events outside of their control occur, those who believe in luck may be better able to cope with these experiences due to their increased ability to remain optimistic and persevere.