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Why Do We Sleep?

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English: University of Rochester, NY, Meliora ...

English: University of Rochester, NY, Meliora statues outside of Rush Rhees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sleeping is so necessary for us. We fall asleep watching TV, in the park as well as in bed. If we don’t get enough we get cranky. Why is it so important. Scientists don’t know everything about sleep but at the University of Rochester, they have found one reason we sleep. It is to clear out the junk in our brains. This clean up is important for a fresh start each day.

We also know that lack of sleep can lead to health disorders, mood disorders and depression. Are you getting enough sleep?

 

Sleep is so Basic yet so important

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Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See Wikipedia:Sleep deprivation). Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lack of sleep can cause so many problems to our health. We take sleep for granted but it is part of being alive. We don’t know exactly what sleep does for us but we do know it’s important. Our health can suffer, we start to have problems thinking and our immune system suffers. Medications have been around for a long time but have side effects and can be addictive. Try meditation and diet changes (see my last BLOG). If you are not getting a good & restful sleep … TAKE ACTION!

Eat Kiwi’s if you have trouble Sleeping!

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Insomnia smiley

Insomnia smiley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Greger says insomnia can be helped by eating kiwis. If you suffer from insomnia, watch the below video. Lack of sleep is associated with ill-health. Scientists still don’t fully understand why we sleep or how much sleep we need. Two kiwis and hour before sleep seems to help. Test subjects went from 6 hours of sleep a night to 7 just by eating kiwi fruit.

We all have a choice of taking our medicine from a bottle or a plant. Mine comes from plants. Where does yours come from?

 

 

Tart Cherries for a good Night’s sleep

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Dr Greger says eating tart cherries can help you sleep better. Melatonin  in cherries can cross from stomach to brain and help us relax and sleep. In older people melatonin drops off with age which might account for insomnia in elderly. Plants evolved with us and gave us the nutrients we need to live, and to be healthy and happy. Eat your fruits and vegetables. You can take the harsh way and eat supplements or the natural way and eat more fruits and vegetables. Change your diet and exercise more.

These mechanisms are epigenetic related. Nutrients from our food source enter different cell types and may cause an epigenetic reaction. “We really are What we Eat”!

The Bing cherry owes its development to the Ch...

The Bing cherry owes its development to the Chinese-American horticulturalist Ah Bing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Light and its Effects on our Health!

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SleepDeprivation-1939

SleepDeprivation-1939 (Photo credit: DonJinTX)

The Therapy Book had another great BLOG on how light affects us.  The BLOG says, “A 2001 study revealed that sleep deprivation could lead to insulin resistance, a risk factor for the development of adult onset diabetes. A 2002 study showed chronic sleep deprivation could decrease immune function and make a person more susceptible to infection.” “high levels of cortisol and its precursor, adrenocorticotropic hormone” can lead to stress and lower our immune systems response. Hormones are epigenetic triggers. They trigger genes in each cell that respond to the stimulus. Sometimes this response is good and healthy and sometimes it’s bad and unhealthy. Our bodies are not trying to make us unhealthy only react to our environment.

Sleeping with Epigenetics

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sleep apnea mask

sleep apnea mask (Photo credit: safoocat)

Sleep Apnea is a growing concern. One symptom is snoring while asleep. It is caused by the soft tissue of your throat and tongue closing causing you to stop breathing. Our bodies react by snoring to cause the passages to re-open and we start breathing again. In worst cases you can stop breathing permanently and die or have a stroke. Our bodies react through epigenetics by increasing the amount of hematocrit which helps get limited oxygen to organs more efficiently. One solution is surgery and another is using a machine called PAP (Positive Airway Pressure). CPAP is one such machine. These machines blow air into your nose to help keep your passages open. The problem is that even people with a mild case of sleep apnea are being prescribed these machines. They cause a reverse epigenetic reaction. Our bodies return to normal levels of hematocrit. You become addicted to the machine. It feels good. If you take a nap or sleep without the machine you may have serious problems with breathing. When confronted, doctors will agree that losing weight and training yourself to sleep on your side will also help mild cases. You should also avoid alcohol before bed. Epigenetics is the program that runs us as humans. Everything in life affects it. If you have sleep apnea, research it carefully, get multiple opinions, decide on what path of action is best for you. Get healthy before attaching yourself to a machine for life.

Sleep apnea is also associated with diseases such as alzheimers and diabetes.