WHAT IS SLEEP PARALYSIS?

People with narcolepsy often experience a temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or upon waking. These episodes are usually brief — lasting one or two minutes — but can be frightening. You may be aware of the condition and have no difficulty recalling it afterward, even if you had no control over what was happening to you.
This sleep paralysis mimics the type of temporary paralysis that normally occurs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the period of sleep during which most dreaming occurs. This temporary immobility during REM sleep may prevent your body from acting out dream activity.
Not everyone with sleep paralysis has narcolepsy, however. Many people without narcolepsy experience some episodes of sleep paralysis, especially in young adulthood.
Although there is no cure for narcolepsy, the condition can usually be managed with medication.
A number of lifestyle adjustments may also help, including:
-taking frequent brief naps during the day
-sticking to a strict bedtime routine where you go to bed at the same time each night
-ensuring you get at least eight hours of sleep every night
-avoiding stressful situations, eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking regular exercise (but not too close to bedtime)






PERILS OF DEPRESSION AND PAIN

Pain and depression are closely related. Depression can cause pain — and pain can cause depression. Sometimes pain and depression create a vicious cycle in which pain worsens symptoms of depression, and then the resulting depression worsens feelings of pain.
In many people, depression causes unexplained physical symptoms such as back pain or headaches. This kind of pain may be the first or the only sign of depression.
Pain and the problems it causes can wear you down over time, and may begin to affect your mood. Chronic pain causes a number of problems that can lead to depression, such as trouble sleeping and stress. Disabling pain can cause low self-esteem due to work, legal or financial issues. Depression doesn’t just occur with pain resulting from an injury. It’s also common in people who have pain linked to a health condition such as diabetes or migraines.
To get symptoms of pain and depression under control, you may need separate treatment for each condition. However, some treatments may help with both:
-Antidepressant medications may relieve both pain and depression because of shared chemical messengers in the brain.
-Talk therapy, also called psychological counseling (psychotherapy), can be effective in treating both conditions.
-Stress-reduction techniques, physical activity, exercise, meditation, journaling and other strategies also may help.
-Pain rehabilitation programs provide a team approach to treatment, including medical and psychiatric aspects.
————————————–
Video: Stress Test






INCREDIBLE BENEFITS OF DARK CHOCOLATE!!!

The dark variety of chocolate, far from being a health peril, is actually a nourishing and wholesome food for the body. According to the latest medical research studies, the health benefits of dark chocolate may truly boost human health and provide a variety of valuable health benefits.
Dark chocolate is enriched with many healthy compounds, medically known as flavonoids, that act as traditional curative remedies for treating various body ailments and offering various health benefits from dark chocolate.
Some of the many health benefits of dark chocolate are as follows:
-Blood Pressure: Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as magnesium and copper. These minerals aid in regulating normal blood pressure and subsequently maintaining proper heartbeat levels.
-Stress: Eating a delicious piece of chocolate can possibly reduce stress levels; it works by stimulating the production of endorphins that may give rise to a happy feeling. In addition, the dark chocolate variety contains stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine, which are major stimulants.
-Blood Circulation: Eating dark chocolate not only relaxes the body, but also makes the blood vessels more flexible. It also boosts the functioning of the endothelial cells that line the blood cells. It also decreases the risk of developing innumerable cardiovascular diseases.
-Lowers Cholesterol Levels: Dark chocolate has been medically proven to reduce the bad cholesterol levels in the human body significantly, up to 10-12%.







-Boosting Immunity: The two kinds of flavonoids present in chocolates are mainly Catechins and Epicatechins. Dark chocolate has a high level of Catechins, which boosts the human body’s immune system and possibly prevents major chronic ailments.
-Good for Anemia: The flavonoid compounds are useful in treating anemic patients as well as those having poor dietary habits.
-Rich in Antioxidants: Dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant. Reports from the National Institute of Food & Nutrition Research in Italy suggests that these antioxidants actually neutralize free radicals and other dangerous molecules that may be potential health hazards, causing diseases like cancer, premature aging, and heart disease.
-Cures Depression: The serotonin level in dark chocolate may act as an effective anti-depressant. Dark chocolate contains serotonin, which has nearly identical qualities of anti-depressants.
-Antioxidants: The antioxidants present in dark chocolate helps in fighting against premature aging. The antioxidants also help in fighting against heart diseases.
-Endorphins: One of the most exciting health benefits of dark chocolate is that it helps in enhancing the production of endorphins, which result in the generation of feelings of pleasure in human beings.

IMPROVE BLOOD CIRCULATION NOW!

Do you often find yourself a victim of chest pain, shortness of breath, or headaches? Are you perhaps considered at high risk for a heart attack? Follow these tips to improve your blood circulation throughout your body and lower your risk of a heart attack.
-Walk regularly. Going for walks after meals can help increase circulation and aid your digestive system in doing its job. Walking at least 30 minutes each day is recommended.
-Eat healthy foods and avoid unhealthy foods. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (found in fish oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds). Stay away from overly processed foods, foods with excessive sugar or salt, and foods with unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats)
-Drink right. Drink enough water during the day so that your organs don’t have to fight to produce energy and perform their daily functions. You don’t have to drink liters upon liters a day, but you should drink water when you’re thirsty. Try drinking some warm water, as cold water is known to close up your veins.
Cut out the caffeine. If you can’t live without it, at least minimize your intake. For instance, if you usually have two cups of coffee in the morning, have one instead. Or if you buy your coffee from a cafe somewhere, try switching to decaf or taking your coffee down one size.
Cut out alcohol and other sugary drinks from your diet. Sodas and overly sweet drinks do not improve your circulation, and have especially deleterious health effects.
-Try taking a hot bath or doing other heat treatments. Draw up a nice warm bath (with or without Epsom salts, which are healing mineral salts) and relax for 20 to 30 minutes. Fill up hot water bottles, cover if necessary to avoid burns, and place on extremities to boost blood flow.
-Find healthy outlets for your stress. Over time, stress can have negative effects on the body’s circulation. Find manageable, healthy ways to relieve stress, such as regular exercise, meditation techniques, and psychotherapy, among others.
-Know if it’s bad. Be able to spot when your body is having trouble pumping its blood. Signs that your circulation is less than ideal include:
Tingling in the feet and hands
Cold extremities (fingers and toes)
Bluish-tinted skin
Slow healing times for wounds






DANGERS OF SLEEP APNEA

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep. Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications may include:
-High blood pressure or heart problems. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) is greater than if you don’t. The more severe your sleep apnea, the greater the risk of high blood pressure. However, obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of stroke, regardless of whether or not you have high blood pressure.
-Daytime fatigue. The repeated awakenings associated with sleep apnea make normal, restorative sleep impossible. People with sleep apnea often experience severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability. You may have difficulty concentrating and find yourself falling asleep at work, while watching TV or even when driving. You may also feel irritable, moody or depressed.
-Complications with medications and surgery. Obstructive sleep apnea is also a concern with certain medications and general anesthesia. People with sleep apnea may be more likely to experience complications following major surgery because they’re prone to breathing problems, especially when sedated and lying on their backs.
-Liver problems. People with sleep apnea are more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers are more likely to show signs of scarring.
-Sleep-deprived partners. Loud snoring can keep those around you from getting good rest and eventually disrupt your relationships. It’s not uncommon for a partner to go to another room, or even on another floor of the house, to be able to sleep. Many bed partners of people who snore are sleep-deprived as well.
People with sleep apnea may also complain of memory problems, morning headaches, mood swings or feelings of depression, a need to urinate frequently at night (nocturia), and a decreased interest in sex. Children with untreated sleep apnea may be hyperactive and may be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).






BE AWARE OF RAYNAUD’S DISEASE!

Raynaud’s disease is a condition that causes some areas of your body — such as your fingers, toes, the tip of your nose and your ears — to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud’s disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas.
Women are more likely to have Raynaud’s disease. It’s also more common in people who live in colder climates.
Treatment of Raynaud’s disease depends on its severity and whether you have any other health conditions. For most people, Raynaud’s disease is more a nuisance than a disability.
Raynaud’s disease is more than simply having cold hands and cold feet, and it’s not the same as frostbite. Signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s depend on the frequency, duration and severity of the blood vessel spasms that underlie the disorder. Raynaud’s disease symptoms include:
-Cold fingers and toes
-Sequence of color changes in your skin
in response to cold or stress
-Numb, prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or relief of stress
During an attack of Raynaud’s, affected areas of your skin usually turn white at first. Then, the affected areas often turn blue, feel cold and numb, and your sense of touch is dulled. As circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. The order of the changes of color isn’t the same for all people, and not everyone experiences all three colors.
Occasionally, an attack affects just one or two fingers or toes. Attacks don’t necessarily always affect the same digits. Although Raynaud’s most commonly affects your fingers and toes, the condition can also affect other areas of your body, such as your nose, lips, ears and even nipples. An attack may last less than a minute to several hours.
People who have Raynaud’s accompanied by another disease will likely also have signs and symptoms related to their basic underlying condition.






PHYSICAL CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Likewise, stress and mental health problems can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues causes erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical problem that slows your sexual response may cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction
In most cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. Common causes include:
-Heart disease
-Clogged blood vessels
(atherosclerosis)
-High cholesterol
-High blood pressure
-Diabetes
-Obesity
-Metabolic syndrome
, a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
-Parkinson’s disease
-Multiple sclerosis
-Low testosterone
-Peyronie’s disease
, development of scar tissue inside the penis
-Certain prescription medications
-Tobacco use
-Alcoholism
and other forms of substance abuse
-Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
-Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord






ENDORPHINS VS. STRESS, PAIN AND MORE…

Endorphins are among the brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which function to transmit electrical signals within the nervous system. At least 20 types of endorphins have been demonstrated in humans. Endorphins can be found in the pituitary gland, in other parts of the brain, or distributed throughout the nervous system.
Stress and pain are the two most common factors leading to the release of endorphins. Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine. In contrast to the opiate drugs, however, activation of the opiate receptors by the body’s endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.
In addition to decreased feelings of pain, secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress. Endorphins have been suggested as modulators of the so-called “runner’s high” that athletes achieve with prolonged exercise. While the role of endorphins and other compounds as potential triggers of this euphoric response has been debated extensively by doctors and scientists, it is at least known that the body does produce endorphins in response to prolonged, continuous exercise.
Endorphin release varies among individuals. This means that two people who exercise at the same level or suffer the same degree of pain will not necessarily produce similar levels of endorphins. Certain foods, such as chocolate or chili peppers, can also lead to enhanced secretion of endorphins. In the case of chili peppers, the spicier the pepper, the more endorphins are secreted. The release of endorphins upon ingestion of chocolate likely explains the comforting feelings that many people associate with this food and the craving for chocolate in times of stress.






CAN ANXIETY CAUSE ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?

Stress, anxiety, and erectile dysfunction are closely connected. Stress and anxiety can cause ED. Plus, men facing increased stress or anxiety may also have increased blood pressure and cholesterol. Both of these conditions increase a man’s risk for ED.
It’s important to understand that stress is the body’s response to life’s issues. Stress and anxiety can cause harm to your body. ED is just one of the many ways the damage manifests itself. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious cycle: ED can cause a man further stress and anxiety, which can cause additional ED issues.
Each person stresses about different things. Financial concerns may keep you up at night, but relationship problems may worry a friend. All stress affects the body negatively.
The following are different life stressors that may cause anxiety, which can lead to ED:
-job problems, loss, or stress
-relationship problems and conflicts
-illness or loss of a loved one
-fear of aging
-changes in health
-financial burdens






Sleep Terror Disorders

Also called “night terrors”, these episodes are characterized by extreme terror and a temporary inability to attain full consciousness. The person may abruptly exhibit behaviors of fear, panic, confusion, or an apparent desire to escape. There is no response to soothing from others. They may experience gasping, moaning or screaming. However, the person is not fully awake, and once the episode passes, often returns to normal sleep without ever fully waking up. In most cases, there is no recollection of the episode in the morning.
Like sleepwalking, night terror episodes usually occur during NREM delta (slow wave) sleep. They are most likely to occur during the first part of the night. The timing of the events helps differentiate the episodes from nightmares, which occur during the last third of the sleep period.
While sleep terrors are more common in children, they can occur at any age. Research has shown that a predisposition to night terrors may be hereditary. Emotional stress during the day, fatigue or an irregular routine are thought to trigger episodes. Ensuring a child has the proper amount of sleep, as well as addressing any daytime stresses, will help reduce terrors.