Tag: SLEEP

Health Matters: Give Your Body The Rest It Needs Or It Will Take It

When the body needs rest, it will take it.
For the first time in like forever, I went to bed yesterday before 10pm and didn’t get up till 7am this morning!
My body gave me a chilling warning that I needed to rest and it wasn’t taking “no” for an  answer.
As a matter of cultivated habit and routine, I do not generally get to bed till about 2am and I’m usually up by 6.30.
Aside everything else I do, I also have a part time job with Royal Mail which sometimes entails me working night shifts from 10pm to 6pm. Unfortunately, I find it difficult to get back my sleep after such shifts so I could be walking around for 24 hours with no sleep at all!
 
My story is still better than many others here in the UK.
 
We have read of so many cases of folks who simply drop dead or fall asleep but fail to wake up..
 
And many of those are young people in their 50s or 40s and even 30s.
 
People are killing themselves with 2 maybe 3 stressful and physically draining jobs but not getting much sleep – if any at all. This is possibly on top of financial worries, health issues, family problems, problems at work and other emotional troubles.
Stress
 
A while ago, I did a story about a Ghanaian man who laid dead in his room for over 2 weeks before his wife from Ghana, worried that she hadn’t been receiving his habitual daily calls, alerted the UK police, who discovered his rotting body after forcing their way into his apartment.
 
These kind of stories abound and the narrative are always the same. Folks simply falling asleep and dying in their sleep from sheer exhaustion and brain shut-down. People are exhausting themselves and placing too much stress on their body by overworking and not getting enough rest or any sleep.
 
Regular bad night’s sleep raises the risk of potentially fatal heart attacks and strokes … or death from cardiovascular disease, including acute myocardial infarction.
 
An average of 6 to 8 hours sleep is recommended for adults but many regularly take less than 5 hours which is considered a high risk factor and contributor to heart diseases as well as other health problems such as obesity and diabetes.
 
Not having a good night’s sleep or rest when needed is placing a lot of strain on the body.
 
But the body has a way of fighting back and taking it’s much needed rest when necessary. This is why you find some folks falling asleep on the train or bus and sometimes missing their stops; in church or at work. Someone actually fell asleep at a dream job interview and didn’t hear when his name was called!
 
Others have caused serious and often fatal road traffic accidents and pile ups by falling asleep at the wheel. Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related
asleep crash.jpg
8 people were killed in this crash on the M1 caused by a driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel
 
Yesterday, I actually fell asleep in my car for over 30 minutes.
Many times after I have been out, I would sit in my car just to catch up with social media, chill out or listen to music, worship or even pray – but never have I fallen asleep!
But yesterday, was different.
 
I had done a night shift on Friday and only managed to get a couple of hour’s sleep before I had to go out again on Saturday morning. In the evening I had a full house with all the kids home (for the first time in many months) with their dad and his new kids visiting. At the end of the evening, I had to drop my daughter off at her place, get back home to prepare for Church and Sunday School which I was scheduled to teach the following day. As a minister, I had to be at for 7.30 which meant that I had to be up by 6 even though I did not get to bed till after 2.30 am!
exhausted
 
At church, I attended 1 (and a half) services, got back home, quick change and off out again to a meeting – while holding a very long and important phone call (throughout the drive and via my car speaker system)
 
After getting back home, I sat in my car – long enough to catch up on social media and post my last update at exactly 8pm. That’s all I remember cos the next thing I know, I opened my eyes at 8.35pm to the realisation that I had fallen asleep for 30 minutes – with my phone still in my hand and my music still playing!!!!
 
My body had taken over and simply shut down on its own accord!
 
How many people had fallen asleep like that out of sheer exhaustion but failed to wake up…..
 
And thank God I was not driving when I fell asleep……
 
 
Olajumoke Ariyo

HEALTH MATTERS: CHECK OUT 10 BENEFITS OF CUTTING OUT SUGAR

Cutting out sugar isn’t easy, but the health benefits are exponential—and they kick in almost immediately after you rein in your sweet tooth. Here’s exactly what happens.

You will look younger

EATING IC

Sugar equals wrinkles, says Anthony Youn, MD, a plastic surgeon in Troy, Michigan, and author of The Age Fix: A Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals How To Really Look Ten Years Younger. “Sugar causes glycation, a process by which the sugar molecules bind to and deform the collagen and elastin in our skin,” he says. Collagen and elastin are the two main proteins that give our skin its youthful, supple properties, so we want to preserve them as much as possible.”Giving up (or reducing) the amount of sugar you eat can also reduce glucose and insulin spikes in your bloodstream, reducing chronic and acute inflammation linked to aging.” You can get your glow on within 14 days of giving up sugar, Dr. Youn says. (Here’s how to get started cracking a sugar addiction.)

You’ll get happy

 

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You might think eating a cookie will make you happy, but sugar consumption has actually been linked to higher rates of depression,” says Megan Gilmore, a certified nutritionist consultant in Kansas City, Kansas, and author of No Excuses Detox: 100 Recipes to Help You Eat Healthy Every Day. “This may be due to the fact that sugar can lead to chronic inflammation, which impacts brain function.” When you cut out sugar, you might feel that fog lift, along with your mood, in just one to two weeks, she says. Research helps to back this up. Women who consumed foods that ranked high on the glycemic index, including those rich in added sugar, were more likely to be depressed than women who ate fewer of these foods. This study appears in the June 2015 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If you control sugar spikes, you keep your moods in check, confirms Leah Kaufman, MS, registered dietitian at NYU Langone’s Weight Management Program. “Think about a kid on Halloween. After they eat all that sugary candy, they get a sugar high and then they crash,” she says. This is what happens when adults eat sugar too.

You’ll shed pounds

What-Happens-to-Your-Body-When-You-Stop-Eating-Sugar

On average, we consume 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which equals around 350 calories, according to the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “Sugar can be addicting, and when we decrease the amount that we eat, it also stops cravings, so we consume fewer calories and lose weight,” Kaufman says. “When you eat refined sugar, your body may not get the signal that you’re full, causing you to consume too many calories and gain weight,” Gilmore says, adding, “When you replace sugar with nourishing whole foods, your hormones will naturally regulate, sending signals to the brain when you’ve eaten enough.” As a result, you’ll lose weight without trying so hard—often within the first week, she says.

You’ll catch fewer colds

What-Happens-to-Your-Body-When-You-Stop-Eating-SugarSugar contributes to chronic inflammation, which lowers our immune system’s ability to fight off colds and flu, Gilmore says. This is your body on sugar—it’s not pretty. What happens to your body when you stop eating sugar? “You’re likely to have fewer sniffles year-round, and it may also help to reduce your allergy and asthma symptoms too.” A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating 100 grams of sugar lowered white blood cells’ ability to kill bacteria by as much as 50 percent—and this effect lasted for up to 5 hours.

You’ll lower diabetes risk

What-Happens-to-Your-Body-When-You-Stop-Eating-SugarQuitting sugar gives your body’s natural detox systems a chance to do their job. “In the first couple of hours without sugar, your pancreas will start to produce less insulin and your liver will also start to catch up on processing stored toxins,” explains Marc Alabanza, a Certified Nutritional Counselor and program director of GroundSea Fitness, a detox retreat in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. This process will take a little longer if you are already insulin resistant (a pre-diabetes state in which your body produces the hormone insulin, but doesn’t use it properly), he adds. “The time for most of these symptoms to completely subside can run up to five weeks, at which point one will no longer be a slave to refined sugar.” Should you get your blood sugar checked?

You’ll live longer

What-Happens-to-Your-Body-When-You-Stop-Eating-SugarWhen glucose spikes after eating sugary food, our insulin increases to compensate for it, and this activates a part of our nervous system which increases blood pressure and heart rate,” Kaufman says. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, as is diabetes and obesity, both of which have been linked to excessive sugar consumption. Sugar also increases unhealthy blood fats called triglycerides in the blood, which up risk for heart disease and stroke. In one April 2014 study, those who ate the most added sugar were most likely to die from heart disease than their counterparts who consumed the least. These are the clear signs that you need to cut back on sugar.

You’ll improve your breath and your smile

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Your sweet tooth is really anything but when it comes to the health of your smile, says Saul Pressner, DMD, a dentist in New York City. “Sugar is a major cofactor in causing cavities as it interacts with bacteria in your mouth to form the acid that causes decay,” he says. Your breath will also improve as sugar feeds the bacteria that cause bad breath. These benefits will be immediate, and will only get better with time, he says. Try eating these foods that help keep your teeth healthy.

You’ll have better sex

Young couple naked Man and woman in love kissing

For men, eating sugar causes an insulin spike that drives pathways that reduce sex drive and function,” explains Mark Hyman, MD, Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine in Ohio and the Founder of the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. Sugar also wreaks havoc female sex hormones, says Hyman, the author of several books including the 10-Day Detox Diet. This affects more than just sex life and desire, he adds. “It can cause women to lose hair on their head, and grow it on their faces as well as develop acne and irregular periods.” Reversing these effects are among the benefits of cutting out sugar.

You’ll sleep like a baby

SLEEPING

If it’s loaded in sugar, your midnight snack may rob you of the ability to get good night’s sleep, Dr. Hyman says. “People can develop low blood sugar and get night sweats if they have a sugary snack before bed,” he says. “Eating sugar before bed can also supercharge stress hormones, which leads to trouble sleeping. What happens when you stop eating sugar? You will get higher quality z’s within two or three days of kicking the sugar habit, he says. Check out the other changes you could make that will improve your sleep.

Stay the course

FIT FEMALE

It’s not necessarily easy to give up sugar, according to Auckland, New Zealand-based doctor Sharad Paul, MD, author of The Genetics of Health: Understand Your Genes for Better Health. “Sugar is addictive and triggers withdrawal symptoms if we stop eating it,” he says. “Mood changes like anxiety and anger usually last for about two weeks, but up to a month if you have been eating a lot of sugar over a long period of time.” Even artificial sweeteners like aspartame cause withdrawal effects, so it’s best not to use them as means to reduce sugar intake,” he says. Alabanza adds that headaches and flu-like symptoms may also occur, and you can reduce them with exercise, he suggests. “A moderate to brisk paced walk or hike can help by slightly increasing circulation and metabolism, boosting the immune system and giving the person something positive to focus on.”
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