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HEALTH

The Sleep Deprived Brain…

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Is A Chronic Lack Of Sleep Damaging Your Brain?

Is skipping sleep to accommodate a busy schedule a regular practice for you? 

It’s what has to be done, right?

Your to-do list has more items than hours in the day, and so sleep is the first thing you sacrifice.

We’ve all done it at times. But, what happens if this becomes a pattern?

If you’re not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, you could be causing damage to your brain! 

How? 

I’m glad you asked…

Impact Of Chronic Sleep Deficit

Long-term sleep deprivation can have many negative effects on your health such as: 

  • obesity 
  • heart attack 
  • stroke 
  • a weakened immune system 
  • depression
  • anxiety 

This is because your body indeed needs sleep…and not just to refill your energy supplies. 

When you sleep, your body labors. Your body uses this downtime (sleep) to perform some needful processes internally. 

When you sleep:

  • your cells work to repair themselves 
  • hormones are released 
  • tissue growth occurs 
  • cells make proteins that are needed for proper structure and function
  • nerve cells in the brain are refreshed/cleaned out

And, that last point is what we’ll focus on here…what happens to your brain when you sleep, or rather, when you frequently don’t get enough sleep? 

During sleep, within your brain, memories are stored. 

Your short-term memories turn into long-term memories, and in the process, unneeded information gets trashed or cleared out. 

I’m sure there have been times when, by the end of the day, you just feel like your brain is fried. It’s like your brain is overloaded, and you just can’t think clearly. 

But, then you get a good night of sleep, and you awake refreshed, physically and mentally. 

This mental refreshing is due to those tasks performed within your brain during sleep. 

The decluttering process we’re speaking of is known as phagocytosis. 

Cells that provide protection for neurons clear out synapses (connections) while you sleep, basically pressing the refresh button on your brain. 

This refresh translates to benefits that we generally take for granted: clear memory and effective communication. 

So then, what happens when you regularly skimp on sleep?

Studies show that not getting enough sleep on a regular basis causes the decluttering process to ramp up to detrimental levels. 

It’s like you’re a teenager, and your mom says it’s time to clean that unsightly mess otherwise known as your room. 

She even lends a hand. Things are going well. You can actually see the floor again, and your dresser (you thought had disappeared) is visible. 

But, then mom gets a little (or a lot) carried away, and all of a sudden it’s like:

“Wait! Don’t throw that out. I still wear those jeans!”  And “Don’t throw out that whole stack of papers, my science report is in there too!” 

So, basically, it’s all fun and games until your sleep-starved cells start throwing out more than just the trash!

And, research shows that this is what happens when you frequently do not get enough sleep.

You’ll thus begin to notice your memory, ability to focus, and decision-making skills are affected. 

You might find learning new tasks to be more difficult, and that your creativity has suffered.  

And, over a prolonged period of time, this unregulated nerve cell and synapse destruction from chronic sleep deficits has been associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. 

So, what can you do? 

Maybe it’s as simple as a change in habits, a re-prioritizing of your schedule? 

But, what if you actually have trouble falling asleep, or even staying asleep through the night which is resulting in a regular lack of sleep?

What can you do to facilitate restful sleep each night?

Sleep Hygiene Tips

If you find yourself lacking visits from the sandman, here are a few tips to incorporate so that you can be on your way to getting a good night’s rest…oh, and that’s 7-9 hours for adults, so say the experts!  

Nix The After Dinner Caffeine

Any caffeine too close to bedtime will inevitably keep you awake, making it harder to fall asleep in the first place. But, this isn’t the only problem. 

Caffeine can also lessen the amount of time that your body spends in deep sleep. During deep sleep your body produces needful hormones, facilitates learning, and supports long and short-term memory. 

And, think you’re doing fine if you prefer a smoke instead of a Coke? Think again. Nicotine, like caffeine, is a stimulant, which can equally affect your body’s ability to both fall asleep and get sufficient deep sleep. 

Move Your Body

While exercising close to bedtime isn’t advised for most individuals, moving your body sometime throughout the day is definitely beneficial to a good night’s sleep. 

Studies have shown that even just 10 minutes of aerobic exercise during the day can improve your night of sleep. 

Light Matters

Limiting screen time and spending some time outdoors each day has many benefits, including facilitating a proper night of sleep. 

Our poor, unfortunate ancestors missed out on electricity and electronics…or did they? With the invention of artificial light and blue light from electronics, coupled with less time outdoors, our sleep cycles are suffering. 

You can actually confuse your body as to when it should naturally be time to rest, thus interrupting sleep cycles. 

To facilitate a healthy sleep-wake cycle:

  • turn off electronics approximately two hours before bedtime 
  • get outside at some point during the daytime hours and even after dark 
  • allow natural light to come into your home during the daytime hours
  • limit exposure to light during the nighttime hours  

Prep Your Bedroom

Getting a good night’s rest depends on comfort as well. So, make sure your bed, pillows, and clothes (or lack of clothes, if you prefer) are comfortable. Then, adjust your thermostat.

The experts say that an optimal sleeping temperature is between 60-70 degrees. This is due to findings that show a strong link between thermoregulation and circadian rhythm. 

Routine

Aim for a little Sheldon Cooper quality when it comes to bedtime. Surely The Big Bang Theory character slept in perfect peace and body aiding rest with his propensity for routine. 

When you stick to a routine at bedtime, your body begins to recognize this as a precursor for sleep. These routines can remedy difficulties in falling asleep. 

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each evening and morning. And, taking a warm bath/shower or reading a book (by candlelight for best sleep-promoting benefits) can help you to establish a nighttime, sleep-inducing routine.  

Avoid Melatonin (MIT study reveals why)

Is Melatonin really the best natural sleep aid?

The results of this new MIT study may surprise you.

If you’re waking up with bags under your eyes, feeling foggy-headed, and suffering through 

sleepy, groggy mornings…

You need to know it’s NOT normal.

In fact, a lack of sleep can ruin your health, cause weight gain, and weaken your immune system.

Luckily…new research from Harvard shows that getting the deep and restful sleep you so desperately need… is really quite simple.

You just have to activate your “sleep zone” …

==> Here’s how to do it.

Once you do this, you’ll notice how:

Your energy SOARS…

Your mind feels alert…

Your mood improves…

Your memory is sharp and clear…

You FEEL more motivated…

Don’t let sleep side effects rob you of your energy and mood any longer.

>> Find out how to sleep throughout the night <<

If you want to learn the TRUTH about Melatonin, and discover how to sleep soundly all night long, set aside a few minutes and watch this video now.

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HEALTH

Exploring the Role of the Health Belief Model in Preventative Health Behaviors

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Preventative health behaviors are essential for maintaining overall well-being and preventing the onset of various illnesses and diseases. One model that has been widely used to explain and promote these behaviors is the Health Belief Model (HBM). The HBM is a psychological model that was originally developed in the 1950s by social psychologists Hochbaum, Rosenstock, and Kegels. It aims to explain and predict health behaviors by taking into account individual beliefs and perceptions.

The HBM is based on the premise that individuals are more likely to take action to prevent or control a health issue if they believe that they are susceptible to the issue, that it is severe, that taking action will be beneficial, and that they are capable of taking the necessary steps. These four key elements are known as perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers, respectively.

Perceived susceptibility refers to an individual’s belief about their personal risk of developing a particular health issue. For example, someone who believes that they are at high risk of developing heart disease may be more likely to engage in preventative behaviors such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.

Perceived severity is the individual’s belief about the seriousness of the health issue. If someone believes that the consequences of not taking action to prevent a particular health issue are severe, they may be more motivated to engage in preventative behaviors.

Perceived benefits refer to the individual’s belief that taking action to prevent or control the health issue will be effective in reducing the risk. If someone believes that exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet will help to lower their risk of developing heart disease, they may be more likely to engage in these behaviors.

Perceived barriers are the obstacles that may prevent an individual from taking action to prevent or control a health issue. These barriers may be financial, logistical, or psychological. For example, someone may be deterred from exercising regularly due to a lack of time or access to a gym.

The HBM has been applied to a wide range of preventative health behaviors, including cancer screenings, vaccinations, and healthy lifestyle choices. Research has shown that individuals who have higher levels of perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, and lower levels of barriers are more likely to engage in preventative health behaviors.

Healthcare providers and public health professionals can use the HBM to design interventions and communication strategies that promote preventative health behaviors. By addressing and changing individuals’ beliefs and perceptions, these interventions can help to increase motivation and enable people to take action to protect their health.

In conclusion, the Health Belief Model is a valuable framework for understanding and promoting preventative health behaviors. By considering individuals’ beliefs and perceptions about their health, healthcare providers can design effective interventions that motivate and empower people to take control of their well-being. The HBM plays a crucial role in shaping public health strategies and encouraging individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent the onset of diseases and illnesses.

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How to Perform CPR Fast and Effectively

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(NaturalHealthyNews.com) – EVERYONE HAS SEEN THE tense moments in movies where someone collapses, and someone else dashes to the scene to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

One crucial action, such as retrieving an automated external defibrillator (AED), can make the difference between life and death. This action is typically not given much emphasis.

Follow these life-saving steps immediately:

Step 1: Check the Scene

Check to see if the person is alright by tapping them and asking if there are any chemical spills or downed electrical lines.

Step 2: Check for Breathing

Proceed to the next step immediately if they are not breathing or are only sometimes gasping for air.

Step 3: Call 911 and Grab the AED

Tell anyone close to perform these actions so that you can start CPR. Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., a former president of the American Heart Association, advises skipping the AED and beginning compressions as soon as possible if you have to search for the device that shocks the heart back into rhythm.

Step 4: Start CPR

Use the AED first if it’s nearby: When an AED shock is administered within the first minute of a cardiac arrest, nine out of ten victims survive. Perform chest compressions until aid comes if an AED is not available.

Compressions can increase the chances of survival by two or three times if performed in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest.

How to Do Chest Compressions: Place the heel of one hand in the center of the chest, precisely at the nipple line, while kneeling next to the individual to perform chest compressions.

Put the other one on top of the initial one. Put your fingers together. Locked elbows, apply force quickly. Compress between 100 and 120 times per minute; this is the beat of “Stayin’ Alive.”

Each time, delve two inches deeper.

Step 5: Follow the AED’s Instructions

The AED’s audio instructions walk you through every stage of using it after you turn it on. All you have to do is listen and answer. The instructions will tell you how to position the electrode pads and whether you should click the button to shock someone.

They also recommend restarting CPR if a shock is ineffective.

Step 6: Continue CPR

Hands-only CPR is equally successful in the initial minutes following cardiac arrest in adults and teenagers as it is when combined with rescue breathing.

Continue until your breathing returns, assistance comes, or you cannot continue.

If you are faced with a situation where someone near you requires CPR, follow the step-by-step guide below to potentially save a life.

Copyright 2024. NaturalHealthyNews.com

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HEALTH

Your 4-Week Plan for Better Mental Wellness

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(NaturalHealthyNews.com) – Everything in your day to day and your life is impacted by your mental health. There are other options outside therapy, medication, and even meditation to maximize it.

You can do many little things to improve your mental health, remove obstacles in your path, and achieve your life goals.

Being happy with your mental health does not imply that you never experience terrible days. It means you can handle those days with more extraordinary fortitude and less effort.

And perhaps you can figure out how to prepare yourself for even fewer of them down the road.

This four-week strategy helps you do things differently, think outside the box, overcome obstacles, and feel joy and amazement. In essence, it improves your mental health.

Week 1: Take a Breather

Day 1: Pause for a Minute

Take a moment to ground yourself by noticing 5 things you can see, 4 you can touch, 3 you can hear, 2 you can smell, and 1 you can taste.

Day 2: Focus on Your Breath

Practice 4-7-8 breathing: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, and exhale for 8. Repeat a few times to relax.

Day 3: Let Your Mind Wander

Sit quietly without distractions, allowing your mind to relax and think positively, boosting creativity and mood.

Day 4: Embrace JOMO

Limit social media use and enjoy the joy of missing out (JOMO). Focus on what matters to you rather than online content.

Day 5: Get Some Rest

Prioritize sleep by setting a bedtime, keeping your room cool, and avoiding screens before bed.

Week 2: Ask a Question a Day

Day 1: What’s Going Well?

Focus on what’s working well to boost positivity and well-being.

Day 2: How Will This Decision Affect Me?

Consider the short-, medium-, and long-term consequences of your decisions to reduce anxiety.

Day 3: How Am I Feeling Right Now, Really?

Identify and understand your genuine emotions without labeling them as good or bad.

Day 4: What’s Possible Today?

Adapt to daily challenges by asking what’s achievable rather than striving for perfection.

Day 5: What Can I Let Go Of?

Identify and start letting go of negative self-talk or unhealthy relationships.

Week 3: Fuel Your Mood with Food

Day 1: Eat a Day’s Worth of Greens in One Meal

Incorporate two cups of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, into your diet for mental and physical benefits.

Day 2: Sample the Rainbow

Eat various colorful fruits and vegetables to boost optimism and reduce stress.

Day 3: Dive Into Seafood

Include fatty fish like salmon for omega-3s and vitamin D, which support brain health.

Day 4: Shift Your Snacks

Choose nuts like almonds or walnuts to nourish your brain with essential nutrients.

Day 5: Add Friends

Share meals with friends to enhance mental wellness through social connections.

Week 4: Use These Mind Hacks

Day 1: Embrace Uncertainty

Accepting what you can’t control helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Day 2: Plan for Hurdles

Prepare for daily challenges to stay balanced and resilient.

Day 3: Change Your Language

Reframe negative emotions by noting them as feelings rather than defining yourself by them.

Day 4: Balance Your Negativity with Positivity

Counter negative thoughts with positive ones to improve mental well-being.

Day 5: Be Amazed

Experience awe through nature, art, or inspiring talks to boost creativity and mood.

Mental health impacts how we think, behave, and feel. It’s closely tied to physical health, and nearly everyone faces mental health challenges at some point.

This 30-day plan offers simple daily changes to help reduce stress and anxiety, enhancing mental well-being and resilience.

Copyright 2024. NaturalHealthyNews.com

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