In light of our upcoming event on sleep that I will be co- presenting with colleagues Sheryl Rosenthal Karen Yanku and Maher Benham I present to the readers a recapitulation of a wonderful webinar by Dr. Ladd McNamara on Sleep Stress and Longevity that was broadcast as a webinar. It's clear that North Americans are not getting enough sleep and it is effecting everything from our weight to our vital organs, emotions and day to day performance. The webinar had close to 300 attendees! The need is clear. We need to slow down, turn off our gadgets at night and for our health's sake get a good nights rest! I have long felt my sleep was sacred. Thanks to The Mulherns and Dr. McNamara for making this information available.
Introduction to Dr. Ladd McNamara
Graduated: Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas with a Medical Degree in 1989.
Residency: Obstetrics and Gynecology at George Washington Univ. Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 1993.
Received "Resident of the Year Award," and "Teaching Resident of the Year Award." Board Certified in Ob/Gyn from 1995 through 2005.
1993: Practiced medicine in Atlanta, specializing in Ob/Gyn, Laser Laparoscopy, Menopausal Management, Anti-Aging and Nutraceutical Medicine.
Retired from Practice in December 2003 to become Full-Time Author, International Speaker, and Independent Sales with USANA Health Sciences.
Sleep Stress and LongevityHumans can survive longer without food than sleep. The lack of sleep is calculated to cause 25,000 deaths annually resulting in 2.5 million disabling injuries with $56 Billion dollars spent on the aftermath. Today 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. With the average use of TV and the internet ranging to about 6 to 7 hours per day (or more in the case of our children) our sleep is being interrupted by factors that were unheard of to our grand parents and for Boomers, our parents. The price of lack of sleep is premature aging, a weakend heart, a liver that has difficulty functioning properly and a weakend endocrine system. The stress placed on the body due to lack of sleep leads to other symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, head aches, difficulty in thinking, memory loss as the frontal cortex is affected, depression, poor motor skills and personality changes and premature aging. 20 minutes of stress keeps cortisol levels up for 8 hours which can lead to weight gain.
The stress and strain that is created on the bodily organs is one layer of what happens when we are sleep deprived. Our bodies release adrenaline and cortisol which in turn raises blood pressure and blood sugar and increases the heart rate. This is like punching a hole in the wall of our arteries which we call a heart attack. Lack of sleep contributes to a resistance to our own insulin, problems such as obesity heart disease, stroke, cancer and even mental illness start to appear. For those who work late or on night shifts the problem becomes more complicated and it has been shown to be just as bad as jet lag. In other words instead of going for more food when you are tired go for more sleep in the form of a nap if you can't get to bed earlier. There is also a link to a higher incidence of breast cancer. The abnormal production of cortisol contributes to lymphoma a result of lack of sleep. Cortisol can suppress the immune system so if you are experiencing a restless nights sleep look to your caffeine intake, your stress levels and your hormones. These issues can be easily addressed with proper supplementation, a cutting back on caffeine if that adversely affects you and beginning simple exercise like walking 30 minutes per day. Another organ, our skin, that is affected by lack of sleep contributes to that one thing no one wants - looking old. If you want to look younger get more sleep. Collagen is the glue that holds skin cells together and the lack of it leads to wrinkling and the inability of the skin to retain moisture. Your body needs adequate rest to produce collagen. The term "beauty rest" is not an arbitrary term having it's roots in the reality of how the body works. Like everything in life systems work in a synergistic manner and the human body is a master piece in synergy. This underscores the fact that night time and sleep time is a restorative healing time for the entire body.
Melatonin The Master Hormone
Melatonin is the hormone that helps us sleep at night. It's purpose it to drive the brain into deeper stages of sleep. As we age we produce less and less of it. (You may have noticed the aged don't sleep that much) It is the master in a cascade effect of all the hormones such as cortisol, dopamine, seratonin, glokogon, cytokoes and HGH or the growth hormone. HGH function is to keep you healthy by reducing the livers uptake of glucose. HGH promotes and builds muscle strength, builds bones, strengthens the immune system and helps regulate sexual drive and function. Most commercial melatonin products is made from animal glands. However Pure Rest is not. It is a bioavailable synthetic mimic of our own melatonin. Not a drug, it helps replace the melatonin we lose over time. Lepatin is part of this important hormone group. It's job is to tell the brain "Stop eating. I've had enough. " Lepatin reduces hunger by increasing satiety. Chewing your food thoroughly in a peaceful environment is a simple step you can take to aid your body in the digestive process. Wolfing down food in a stressful environment does more harm than good. It also explains why people feel hungry again a short time after eating as if they had not eaten at all. Again these processes in the body are interrelated and how you treat or mistreat one aspect of your health has a direct impact on the rest of it.
Simple Steps for Better Sleep* Restorative Sleep can be aided with optimal in take of Omega 3 fatty acids
* Magnesium plays an important role in getting adequate sleep
* Massage helps relax and can mimic restorative sleep
* Emotional release is important; laughing, crying and the healthy management of stress and anger through exercise
* Phoshatidylserine (available in a soy version) can help reduce the production of excess cortisol
*Sleep in a darkened room
* Unplug and remove all gadgets including night lights, cellphones and computers
* Get to bed at a decent hour at the same time every night
* Find a relaxing routine to prepare for bed