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Articles tagged with: sleep

By Letting Teenagers Get More Sleep, the U.S. May Save $9 Billion a Year

By Letting Teenagers Get More Sleep, the U.S. May Save $9 Billion a Year
Published Tuesday, 12 September 2017

It’s That Time of Year Again

School’s back in session, and any parent knows how hard it is to get their teenagers out of bed in the morning. According a 2015 CDC study, public schools nationwide usually start classes at 8:03 AM, and in New Jersey, public middle and high schools average an 8:00 AM start time. Most experts recommend that adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 get 8-10 hours of sleep per night in order to have healthy development and higher performance during the day.

Biological Changes in Teens Affect Sleep Patterns

For students beginning school at these average start times, getting the recommended amount of sleep per night would require them to go to sleep at 9:00 PM. However, sleep researchers have shown that teenagers are on a later sleep-wake clock than children and adults, causing them to naturally fall asleep around 11:00 PM. Therefore, waking up a teenager at 6:00 AM to get ready for school is often the equivalent of waking a typical adult out of a deep sleep at 4:00 AM.

By the end of high school, most American teenagers average about 7 hours of sleep per night during the school week. The CDC states that sleep deprivation can often lead to obesity, reduced physical activity, symptoms of depression, unhealthy risk behaviors, and poor performance in school or work. Wendy Troxel, a renowned sleep researcher, says in her recent TED Talk, “In fact, many of the, shall we say, unpleasant characteristics that we chalk up to being a teenager – moodiness, irritability, laziness, depression – could be a product of chronic sleep deprivation.”

School Policies Slow to Change

With all of this research concerning teenagers’ sleeping habits, the American Academy of Pediatrics officially recommended in 2014 that middle and high schools begin classes no earlier than 8:30 AM.  Currently, only 18% of the nation’s public schools start at this time or later. As many districts stagger bus schedules, having middle and high school students go in earlier and younger children arrive later, many officials believe this change would not be cost effective because districts would have to purchase more buses and hire more drivers.

However, the RAND Corporation just released an exhaustive study which claims that changing the start of classes to 8:30 AM in public middle and high schools would actually save the U.S. over $9 billion a year. The study states that allowing teenagers to get the recommended amount of sleep at night would increase academic performance leading to overall higher lifetime earnings, and it would decrease the rate of car crashes involving drowsy teenagers. These projected savings would far outweigh the costs for adjusting school districts’ bus schedules and upgrading school infrastructure to account for later dismissal times.

A recent bill introduced in the California legislature would require a minimum 8:30 AM start time for the state’s public middle and high schools. If the bill and its implementation are successful, perhaps this evidence would kick start a nationwide change that may ultimately benefit the country financially and would definitely benefit our teenagers’ personal health. 

How to Promote Good Sleep Hygiene in Teenagers

According to Slate author and School Start Later California advocate, Lisa Lewis, “teens are often still seen as the root cause of their sleepiness.” While research about teen’s biological sleeping patterns demonstrate that this is not always the case, distractions from electronic devices and busy schedules surely can contribute to sleep deprivation in teens. If your child’s classes begin before the recommended start times, there are still a few simple steps you can take to promote good sleep hygiene.

  • Schedule a regular bedtime and wake time: While many teenagers may be resistant to having a “bedtime”, the CDC says that adolescents with parent-set bedtimes usually get more sleep than those whose parents do not schedule one. This practice is beneficial for adults and children as well.
  • Dim the house lights during the evening: Teens who are exposed to more light at night are more likely to get less sleep.
  • Implement a media curfew: Turn off any electronic devices including cell phones, televisions, computers, and tablets at least an hour before bedtime. Consider removing any of these distractions from the bedrooms as well.
  • Limit caffeine intake: Many sleep-deprived teenagers turn to energy drinks and coffee in order to stay alert during the school day. High caffeine intake, especially late at night, could affect sleep behaviors and quality.
  • Contact your local school district: If you believe your child’s school should have a later start time, get involved! Bring the issue to school administrators or at your next PTA meeting.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for everyone’s physical and mental health, regardless of age. Learn how chiropractic adjustments can help you sleep better and make an appointment today!

Sleep Issues Linked to Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

Sleep Issues
Published Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Nation of Poor Sleepers

Insufficient sleep affects 50-70 million adults in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call poor sleep a “public health problem”, and many studies demonstrate that sleep problems increase one’s risk for diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, many side effects of Alzheimer’s disease are sleep-related, including insomnia and nighttime wandering. However, poor sleep many not only be a side-effect of Alzheimer’s disease, but also a contributing factor to its development. Over the past decade, numerous studies have indicated a correlation between disrupted sleep in middle-aged life and the onset of Alzheimer’s later in life.

Studying Sleep and Alzheimer's Disease

  • In 2009, researchers from Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis found that sticky amyloid plaques built up in the brains of sleep-deprived mice. Alzheimer’s experts regard deposits of amyloid plaques as the first known preclinical stage of the disease, occurring before any signs of memory loss begin to appear.
  • While observing mice, scientists determined in 2013 that animals’ brains enter into a cleansing process during deep sleep, in which many toxins, including amyloid plaques, are cleared out of the brain tissue by the glymphatic system. They theorized that human brains undergo a similar process.
  • More recently, studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference reported that participants who suffered from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and similar sleep-related breathing disorders had greater increases in amyloid deposits over a three-year period.
  • In early July, the journal, Neurology also published a study of 101 participants who all had known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, including family history and the presence of the APOE gene. The participants underwent a lumbar puncture and self-reported their sleep habits throughout the length of the study.
  • After analyzing participants’ spinal fluids, researchers found that those who reported frequent sleep issues were more likely to have brain cell damage and inflammation associated with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Hope for Early Detection

"Our findings align with the idea that worse sleep may contribute to the accumulation of Alzheimer's-related proteins in the brain," Dr. Barbard Bendlin of Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center said to CNN. "The fact that we can find these effects in people who are cognitively healthy and close to middle age suggest that these relationships appear early, perhaps providing a window of opportunity for intervention." Brendlin suggests that these findings could help reduce the number of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s by 5.7 million over the next 30 years.

Get Some Rest!

A good night’s sleep can do wonders for a person’s mood, performance, and health. While scientists need more research and studies to determine which comes first, insufficient sleep or Alzheimer’s disease, the data illustrates that there is a definite correlation between the two. So do yourself a favor and try to get a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Give your brain time to rest and cleanse itself.

For some tips on getting a good night’s sleep, check out this list from the National Sleep Foundation.

[VIDEO] What Interferes with Nerve Impulses

Dr. Levine presents different factors that interrupt normal nerve function

What Interferes with Nerve Impulses
Published Thursday, 29 June 2017

Video Transcript - What Interferes with Nerve Impulses

Nerve impulses, life energy is affected by stress. Stress is huge. We think of stress generally in something that's bothering us or that we're thinking about. Stress comes in three forms. It's physical, it's chemical, it's emotional. Many of us have all three forms in play. Those three forms of stress will breakdown the nervous system. Increases the adrenal function. Increases blood pressure. Increases cortisol into the system, and that will break down neural function and your immune system. It's important that we identify the stresses.

Here in the office, not only are we dealing with the effects of stress which might be neck pain, back pain, headaches, but we're also identifying the causes of that stress. Maybe it's poor diet. Maybe it's lack of exercises which is probably number one. Maybe it's an old injury or fall that wasn't treated properly. Family stress especially around the holidays. Financial stress.

Either you live within your means or you don't. There's many people, regardless of their income, that have a great deal of stress and has no bearing on the dollar amount. It's how they manage it. Emotional, physical, chemical stresses. That's why our job is to get to the cause of the problem. Not just functionally, but on an emotional level, physical and chemical level.

There is good stress. Stress forces us to wake up every day and make a difference in society. The time I spent working with Seton Hall University and their basketball team, there was stress every time there was a tournament game. It was stress before each game. When that bell rang at the end and the two hands were over, the stress was over until we prepared for the next game. In sports, there's stress. In life, there's stress, but that forces us to produce and it forces us to rise to the occasion. Sometimes, we need to get uncomfortable in ourselves to grow to the next level.

Reducing Cancer Fatigue with Exercise and Therapy

New study shows that drugs are not as effective at treating CRF

Reducing Cancer Fatigue with Exercise and Therapy
Published Tuesday, 09 May 2017

One of the most common symptoms of cancer treatments is fatigue. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy can feel exhausted and heavy, with little to no desire to join in everyday activities. This type of fatigue oftentimes cannot be cured by simply getting more sleep. A report by The JAMA Network released in early March revealed that non-drug treatments such as exercise or psychotherapy are more effective for reducing cancer-related-fatigue (CRF) than pharmaceutical solutions.

  • The JAMA Network’s report analyzed 113 individual studies monitoring over 11,500 unique participants, in order to determine which treatment – exercise, psychological, the combination of exercise and psychological, and pharmaceutical – normally recommended for CRF is most effective.
  • Exercise and psychological treatments, as well as the combination of the two, reduced fatigue by 26 to 30 percent during and after cancer treatment.
  • Pharmaceutical treatments were only seen to reduce fatigue by 9 percent.
  • The authors of the study urge doctors to prescribe exercise or psychological interventions as first-line treatments for CRF.
  • The main author of the study, Dr. Karen Mustian of the University of Rochester Medical Center, says that the exercise therapy doesn’t necessarily have to be intense or vigorous. Most of the studies analyzed included walking and resistance training exercises. Also, the psychological treatment does not only mean structured therapy appointments with a counselor, but can also include group sessions and actively practicing mindfulness.

This report demonstrates that pharmaceutical treatments should no longer be the go-to prescription for patients dealing with CRF. Physical activity and psychological therapy can often do more to help reduce this fatigue than drugs or caffeine, even if they do not always seem like the easiest solutions.

Dr. Mustian in an interview said, “While our knee-jerk reactions might be to retreat, and to rest, and for caretakers to be very protective…actually encouraging [cancer patients] to be more active, asking them to get up and go for a 10-minute walk and walking with them – those kinds of things can make some of the most drastic positive impacts in the entire experience that someone would have with cancer.”

Read more about the report and real life success stories here

Sound Sleep Advice

Published Saturday, 12 September 2015

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the following advices are recommended:

1. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it.

2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine.

Foods that help you sleep

Published Friday, 17 July 2015

Try having one of these snacks one hour before bedtime. Kiwis are rich in serotonin, a hormone and neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Cheese and whole-wheat-crackers contain 80% carbohydrates and 20% protein, the best ratio for boosting serotonin. But skip aged cheeses, such as Parmesan—they have an amino acid that can raise levels of stimulating chemicals. Tart cherry juice contains high levels of the hormone melatonin, which may help you sleep longer and more soundly.

Better Ways!

Published Saturday, 21 February 2015

Better bedtime reading. Adult volunteers who used electronic readers or tablets, such as iPads, for four hours before bedtime had a harder time falling asleep…got less rapid eye movement (REM) sleep…and felt less alert and rested the next morning than when they spent the same amount of time reading a printed book. Why: Tablets emit blue light directly into the reader’s eyes, which can suppress the sleep hormone melatonin and disrupt the circadian clock.

Sleep and Alzheimer's

Published Saturday, 24 January 2015

A long-term study of initially healthy 65-year-olds found that those who slept the least (about five hours or less without waking) tended to have fewer neurons (brain cells) in a part of the brain that controls sleep. Also: Many in the study who developed Alzheimer’s disease were those who had fewer neurons and less sleep. To protect your brain: Keep neurons healthy with good sleep habits, and seek treatment if you suspect you may have a sleep disorder.

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