We’ve surely all had one of those days where life seems to get the best of us. We become overwhelmed by all we have not accomplished. We compare ourselves to others. Our negative self talk ultimately results in a feeling of worthlessness. It can be enough to throw you back into bed, the covers above your head. You think maybe sleeping it off will be better. And while waking up to a new day is a great way to get over your bout of insecurity, some people find themselves experiencing this negativity day in and day out. Others may not even know it’s happening to them, and are suffering from other health issues as a result.
If you’re a bad sleeper — which tens of millions of people are — you might want to consider your sense of purpose in life.
The findings of the new study, out of Northwestern University, which looked to finding new options for treating such issues as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, provide scientists new data on how our state of mind may affect how well we sleep. It’s the first to examine such a connection over a longer period.
The study, which took place over a year, involved asking 823 adults between the ages of 60 and 100, 32 questions about their sleep habits and outlook on life. The sleep quality measured in the study spanned trouble falling asleep, staying asleep through the night, and feeling sleepy during the day.
The study also had the participants answer a series of statements, which included “I feel good when I think of what I’ve done in the past and what I hope to do in the future” and “some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them,” as a means for pointing out someone’s outlook on life.
Of the participants who said their lives had the most meaning, 63 percent were revealed to be less likely to experience sleep apnea, and 52 percent were less likely to have restless legs syndrome. They also had moderately better sleep quality overall.
“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep.”
Waking up at the same time every night without an alarm clock might be a sign that you need to pay attention to. You are a human being with energies flowing through your body that you may be unaware of.
Previous articles have explained energy meridians that are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. These energy meridians are important for the practices of acupuncture and acupressure.
The energy meridians of the body are also connected to a clock system that according to ancient Chinese medicine is energizing different parts of your body at different times of the day. Waking between 3am and 5am every night is a sign that energies in that corresponding part of your body are blocked or weak.
Between 9 and 11pm is typically bedtime for most people. Difficulty falling asleep during this time is a sign of excess stress and worries from the day. Positive mantras, meditation, or successive muscle tension and relaxation exercises are recommended to help you sleep.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, this time frame is the time that the energy meridian of the gall bladder is active. Waking up at this time frame is associated with emotional disappointment. Practice unconditional self-acceptance and forgiveness of others in order to get back to sleep.
This is the energy meridian associated with the Chinese medicine body clock and the liver. Waking up at this time is associated with the emotions of anger and excess yang energy. Try drinking cool water and taking ownership of the situation that caused you to feel angry in order to rest peacefully through the night.
Waking up between 3am and 5am is associated with the energy meridian that runs through the lungs and the emotion of sadness. To help yourself get back to sleep, try some slow, deep breathing and express faith in your Higher Power to help you.
If the time that you awaken is between 3:00 am and 5:00am, it could also be a sign of your Higher Power alerting you to pay attention to messages that are being sent to align you with your higher purpose. Read more below about this important time frame for wakefulness.
The energy flow is in the large intestines during this time of the morning. Emotional blockages are also associated with this time of the early morning. Try stretching your muscles or using the restroom to help yourself get back to sleep.
IF YOU WAKE UP AT THE SAME TIME EVERY NIGHT, THIS MAY BE WHY
Our brains are not quite fully awake when we suddenly awaken at night. According to The NewYorker.com ‘One of the consequences of waking up suddenly, and too early, is a phenomenon called sleep inertia. First given a name in 1976, sleep inertia refers to that period between waking and being fully awake when you feel groggy. The more abruptly you are awakened, the more severe the sleep inertia.’
When we suddenly wake in the night, the prefrontal cortex part of the brain that is involved in decision-making and self-control is not awake yet. We are not capable of intelligent thoughts when we wake in the night so avoid making any important decisions.
Your sleep cycle is a time when you dream and you can also receive messages from the Divine about your path. Dreams can reveal details about the spiritual journey that you are on. As a human being on a spiritual journey, you need to be aware of the signs that your Higher Power is sending to you.
In the same way that emotional problems can manifest in the body as pain, your spirituality can also manifest in bodily form as well. The divine inner spark that we all posses is being called upon at the time that you are waking up. This signal from your Higher Power is something to tune into.
Many people believe that we are here to learn and develop our being and to become the best versions of ourselves. Some people call this process of moving to a higher level of awareness or consciousness an ascension. Being aware of your higher purpose is part of this process.
A new study published in brain reveals that just one night of sleep disruption causes an increase in amyloid beta in the brains of healthy, middle aged people. A full week of sleep disturbances leads to a build up of Tau, another protein associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The study sheds light on why poor sleep has previously been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Summary: A new study published in brain reveals that just one night of sleep disruption causes an increase in amyloid beta in the brains of healthy, middle aged people. A full week of sleep disturbances leads to a build up of Tau, another protein associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The study sheds light on why poor sleep has previously been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Poor sleep leads to increase in Alzheimer’s proteins associated with cognitive decline.
A good night’s sleep refreshes body and mind, but a poor night’s sleep can do just the opposite. A study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and Stanford University has shown that disrupting just one night of sleep in healthy, middle-aged adults causes an increase in amyloid beta, a brain protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. And a week of tossing and turning leads to an increase in another brain protein, tau, which has been linked to brain damage in Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.
“We showed that poor sleep is associated with higher levels of two Alzheimer’s-associated proteins,” said David M. Holtzman, MD, the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor, head of the Department of Neurology and the study’s senior author. “We think that perhaps chronic poor sleep during middle age may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s later in life.”
These findings, published July 10 in the journal Brain, may help explain why poor sleep has been associated with the development of dementias such as Alzheimer’s.
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by gradual memory loss and cognitive decline. The brains of people with Alzheimer’s are dotted with plaques of amyloid beta protein and tangles of tau protein, which together cause brain tissue to atrophy and die. There are no therapies that have been proven to prevent, slow or reverse the course of the disease.
Previous studies by Holtzman, co-first author Yo-El Ju, MD, an assistant professor of neurology, and others have shown that poor sleep increases the risk of cognitive problems. People with sleep apnea, for example, a condition in which people repeatedly stop breathing at night, are at risk for developing mild cognitive impairment an average of 10 years earlier than people without the sleep disorder. Mild cognitive impairment is an early warning sign for Alzheimer’s disease.
But it wasn’t clear how poor sleep damages the brain. To find out, the researchers — Holtzman; Ju; co-first author and graduate student Sharon Ooms of Radboud; Jurgen Claassen, MD, PhD, of Radboud; Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD, of Stanford; and colleagues — studied 17 healthy adults ages 35 to 65 with no sleep problems or cognitive impairments. Each participant wore an activity monitor on the wrist for up to two weeks that measured how much time they spent sleeping each night.
After five or more successive nights of wearing the monitor, each participant came to the School of Medicine to spend a night in a specially designed sleep room. The room is dark, soundproof, climate-controlled and just big enough for one; a perfect place for sleeping, even as the participants wore headphones over the ears and electrodes on the scalp to monitor brain waves.
Half the participants were randomly assigned to have their sleep disrupted during the night they spent in the sleep room. Every time their brain signals settled into the slow-wave pattern characteristic of deep, dreamless sleep, the researchers sent a series of beeps through the headphones, gradually getting louder, until the participants’ slow-wave patterns dissipated and they entered shallower sleep.
The next morning, the participants who had been beeped out of slow-wave sleep reported feeling tired and unrefreshed, even though they had slept just as long as usual and rarely recalled being awakened during the night. Each underwent a spinal tap so the researchers could measure the levels of amyloid beta and tau in the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
A month or more later, the process was repeated, except that those who had their sleep disrupted the first time were allowed to sleep through the night undisturbed, and those who had slept uninterrupted the first time were disturbed by beeps when they began to enter slow-wave sleep.
The researchers compared each participant’s amyloid beta and tau levels after the disrupted night to the levels after the uninterrupted night, and found a 10 percent increase in amyloid beta levels after a single night of interrupted sleep, but no corresponding increase in tau levels. However, participants whose activity monitors showed they had slept poorly at home for the week before the spinal tap showed a spike in levels of tau.
“We were not surprised to find that tau levels didn’t budge after just one night of disrupted sleep while amyloid levels did, because amyloid levels normally change more quickly than tau levels,” Ju said. “But we could see, when the participants had several bad nights in a row at home, that their tau levels had risen.”
Slow-wave sleep is the deep sleep that people need to wake up feeling rested. Sleep apnea disrupts slow-wave sleep, so people with the disorder often wake up feeling unrefreshed, even after a full eight hours of shut-eye.
Slow-wave sleep is also the time when neurons rest and the brain clears away the molecular byproducts of mental activity that accumulate during the day, when the brain is busily thinking and working.
Ju thinks it is unlikely that a single night or even a week of poor sleep, miserable though it may be, has much effect on overall risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid beta and tau levels probably go back down the next time the person has a good night’s sleep, she said.
“The main concern is people who have chronic sleep problems,” Ju said. “I think that may lead to chronically elevated amyloid levels, which animal studies have shown lead to increased risk of amyloid plaques and Alzheimer’s.”
Ju emphasized that her study was not designed to determine whether sleeping more or sleeping better reduce risk of Alzheimer’s but, she said, neither can hurt.
“Many, many Americans are chronically sleep-deprived, and it negatively affects their health in many ways,” Ju said. “At this point, we can’t say whether improving sleep will reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. All we can really say is that bad sleep increases levels of some proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. But a good night’s sleep is something you want to be striving for anyway.”
Funding: Funding provided by National Institutes of Health, J.P.B Foundation, Alzheimer Nederland, Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
Source: Judy Martin Finch – WUSTL
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Yo-El Ju.
Original Research: Full open access research for “Slow wave sleep disruption increases cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β levels” by Yo-El S. Ju, Sharon J. Ooms, Courtney Sutphen, Shannon L. Macauley, Margaret A. Zangrilli, Gina Jerome, Anne M. Fagan, Emmanuel Mignot, John M. Zempel, Jurgen A.H.R. Claassen, and David M. Holtzman in Brain. Published online July 10 2017 doi:10.1093/brain/awx148
Don’t believe the hype – cannabis is not a gateway drug, it is a medicine. From helping people naturally relieve their anxiety to literally curing cancer (over 100 studies have validated this), the plant is incredibly therapeutic. Because it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, however, marijuana is still illegal in many U.S. states.Fortunately, new findings from a study published in Frontiers In Pharmacology seem to support arguments for its decriminalization. Preliminary investigations by medical researchers from McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Tufts University indicate that pot actually improves cognitive performance.
For the study, entitled “Splendor in the Grass? A Pilot Study Assessing the Impact of Medical Marijuana on Executive Function,” behavioral scientists tracked 24 certified medical marijuana patients over a three-month dosing period. The patients were repeatedly measured for cognitive proficiency through a series of intelligence tests, including the STrrop Color Word Test and Trail Making Test.
Lead researcher, Staci Gruber, is the director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) program at McLean Hospital. As KINDLAND reports, her initial report is positive. The first benefit reported is that medical marijuana led to patients excelling at brainteasers with enhanced speed and accuracy.
Says the McLean Hospital report:
“After three months of medical marijuana treatment, patients actually performed better, in terms of their ability to perform certain cognitive tasks, specifically those mediated by the frontal cortex,” explained Gruber.
Study participants also reported improvements in their specific clinical conditions, sleep, and overall health as well as a decreased use of conventional medications, particularly opiates.
“We saw a 42 percent reduction in opioid use,” reported Gruber. “This is significant, particularly for those of us in Massachusetts and other areas of the country where the opioid epidemic is ravaging so many. This preliminary finding certainly warrants deeper and broader investigation.”
The preliminary findings from the McLean Hospital’s pilot study indicates that humans do receive benefits from smoking cannabis that exceed a temporary reduction of pain and/or anxiety. Considering one of the most common arguments against legalizing cannabis for recreational use is that it makes people lazy and stupid, this data has profound implications.
“People are going to use it,” Gruber concluded. “It’s up to us to figure out the very best and safest ways in which they can do that.”
You might reconsider the consequence of these seemingly innocuous habits when you learn how they can inhibit neurological function and cause the brain to age.
Remember, for the most part, your comfort zone isn’t doing you any favours. Break away from your normal routine and explore, write, create and travel. Try new things that stimulate the senses. Learning new skills keeps your brain young, and should be a priority at every age.
Not eating breakfast can lead to lower blood sugar levels, which ultimately deprives your brain of nutrients. If your brain isn’t given sufficient nutrition, it begins to degenerate. Eat a healthy, filling breakfast high in protein.
Smoking cigarettes can cause obstruction of blood flow to the brain, and also can lead to escape of blood into brain tissue. Smoking can cause brain cells to shrink, and has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, strokes,
Eating sugar triggers inflammatory responses throughout the body, which ultimately stresses and ages cells. This can effect “from cognitive function to psychological wellbeing”. Sugar also has been linked to depression and anxiety.
When you’ve chronically been deprived of sleep, the brain is forced to emit stress responses which inflame and incite brain degeneration. Not sleeping naturally induces bad moods, lethargy and leads to depression and weight gain due to cortisol production. If you are in this habit currently, you may not realize it, but once you have a little sleep, you will soon notice the positive effect it has on your brain.
If you’re dependent on sleeping with a blanket covering your head then you might want to reconsider. The more ventilation, the better, because you want to be exposed to oxygen. Allow the body and mind to breathe in fresh air— the fresher the better. Open the windows, use fans, light incense, herbs, or aromatherapy.
When you overindulge on food, the body can become overloaded by the refined sugars and fats, and release stress responses as a result. These types of foods also clog arteries, which can lead to blockages in the brain.
The brain craves intellectual stimulation. Spend time with people who challenge your traditional patterns of thinking. The brain can get into ruts of small-minded thinking, which ultimately inhibit growth. This is how evolution is able to take place, by developing adaptation to our respective environments. Humans need to express themselves verbally and spend time with people who are different from themselves.
Some citifies (sic)experience more air pollution because they use wood-burning stoves or burn carbon in electricity production. You can look up the air quality index in your area, here.
The brain functions like a muscle, and therefore it needs to be rested in order for exercise to be integrated. When the brain experiences the type of relaxation induced by meditation, it clears passages and triggers change on a deep level. This improves cognitive functions. Most daily actions are taking place on a superficial level, which produces a natural anxiety in most people, which is an unhealthy habit. Meditation helps inhibit this type of hyperactivity, stressful mode of the brain.
Our modern-day anxieties about sleep are the symptom of another, more complicated disease in society today.
Source: The Night Shift | New Republic
For $149, a company called Hello will sell you Sense, a two-and-a-half-inch, machine-tooled orb that watches you while you sleep. Tracking room temperature and other data through the night, the device awards you a “sleep score” between 0 and 100, based on how well you rested. You can then boost your rating by following certain tips and best practices, like shelling out for a humidifier or fiddling with the thermostat. It’s not clear how much this element of gamification helps you drift off, but Hello’s numbers are certainly on the rise: Founder James Proud, a protégé of Peter Thiel, has raised more than $40 million in funding, and garnered admiring profiles from the likes of Forbes and Business Insider.
Sense, and a host of apps and biobehavioral doodads like it, are the vanguard of a vast new industry that promises a better-rested future. From meditation apps to glasses that prevent screen-induced eye strain to green tea lotions, this brave new world of sleep products ranges from new age to high-tech and back again. Arianna Huffington, in her latest iteration, has emerged as a sleep guru, preaching that Americans are trapped in a “sleep crisis”—one that can conveniently be ameliorated by following the steps outlined in her book The Sleep Revolution or buying products (eye masks, pajamas, microbiome-analysis kits, light bulbs that imitate a sunrise) from Thrive Global, her wellness startup.
Such companies find a primed market. Up to 70 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder, and millions more self-medicate with booze, drugs, meditation, diets, or elaborate hygiene regimens. Offices are strewn with Red Bulls, coffee machines, and (when budgets allow) the occasional napping pod. We complain about sleeplessness in the same way we complain about how busy we are: as a signal of our success and engagement with society.
The less sleep we get, the more it has come to mean. As the new sleep industry has flourished, so has a whole field of study, dedicated to the culture surrounding sleep. Countless new books, relying on the language of efficiency and hacking, analyze the “sleep paradox” and “smarter sleep.” In 2015, the mattress startup Casper launched a magazine about sleep, titled Van Winkle’s, and there is hardly a lifestyle publication in America for which sleep isn’t a staple subject.
What all this thinking tends to ignore is that our current sleep dysfunction is not a glitch, a minor bump in the smooth running of a success-oriented society, but an inextricable part of our working lives. If millions are experiencing a crisis of sleep, it reflects a full-scale unraveling, a crisis centuries in the making.
It wasn’t always this way. Sleep as we know it—along with many of its disorders—is a relatively recent development. For most of human history, sleep was social, Benjamin Reiss argues in Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World, a new cultural and anthropological examination of sleep through the ages. It was “generally distributed in several chunks throughout the day and night” and it varied to fit into the changing of the seasons and of daily life. People slept longer in winter to conserve energy, and between short bouts of sleep there was time to have sex, pray, or socialize. Don Quixote could satisfy himself with one short spell, but his companion Sancho Panza slumbered much longer, spending “from night to morning” in uninterrupted repose.
Just as different cultures developed distinct notions of family and hospitality, they fostered different sleep rituals. Among the Asabano people of Papua New Guinea, it is polite, even an honor, to offer to sleep in the same bed or room as a guest. Co-sleeping offers protection, warmth, and comfort. In other contexts, though, co-sleeping can feel threatening: Homeless shelters, Reiss notes, are often loud and dangerous, with people coming and going at all hours, many of them suffering from untreated mental illness. And since co-sleeping can also contribute to the spread of disease, the practice eventually came to be associated, at least in the United States, with the very poor and destitute. “Massive group sleep was really only for the neglected or unwanted members of society,” Reiss writes.
During the Industrial Revolution, a new kind of “sleep dogma” took hold, one immediately recognizable to many Westerners today. The new “sleep norms” included “sleeping in private” and “consolidating one’s sleep at night”—the eight hours we now think of as a gold standard for proper rest. Children were trained to “reproduce these norms,” and those who couldn’t learn to sleep this way were diagnosed as medical exceptions. Society began to hum to the carefully managed timetables of factories, offices, schools, and militaries. Civilized people now rose early in the morning, labored during the day, and slept at night—customs that served to create “hearty, autonomous, self-willed adults who could march off confidently into the workforce” and toil more productively.