Blue Light and Sleep Cycle
Blue Light Blocking and Sleep
Saunas aren’t commonplace for people in warmer regions of the world. That’s because, in places like Birmingham, Alabama, you can walk outside and feel sauna like effects. Colder regions of the world, especially in Europe, use saunas more often. Fortunately for those users, sauna bathing may have remarkable health effects.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, sauna bathing reduces fatal cardiac events and all cause mortality. The study was quite large using 2,315 men ages 42-60 from eastern Finland. The study shows a 23% and 48% reduction of fatal cardiac heart disease (CHD) by using the sauna 2-3 times and 4-7 times per week respectively. Compared to men going 1 time per week, there is a 27% and 24% decrease risk for fatal cardiovascular death (FCD) and all cause mortality (ACM) respectively for 2-3 sauna sessions. Furthermore, 4 sauna sessions or more decreased the risk of FCD and ACM by a 2 fold average. Those are impressive numbers considering you sit in a room for 20 minutes.
Scientists aren’t sure why sauna sessions reduce the risk of cardiac and all cause mortality. Most believe that sauna sessions increase blood vessel function. Previous studies show positive effects with many vascular and heart functions.
Finnish saunas use dry heat to make you sweat. It’s like using a heater. Wet saunas use water and heat to create humidity to heat your body. Thus, you may not get the same beneficial effects using a wet sauna.
In conclusion, more investigation is needed involving sauna bathing and vascular function.
If you enjoy this health information, be sure to click here to subscribe to our monthly Core News.
Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography studied the amounts of toxic material in yellowfin (YF) tuna. The findings from the Gulf of Mexico and Northeast Atlantic ocean YF tuna were not good. YF tuna from those regions contained 36 times the normal amount of contaminants! Contaminants include pesticides, flame retardants, and chemicals (banned in 1979) from coolants and electronics.
We fast every day. Hence the word, breakfast. Whether you break your fast at 7 or 11 AM, it may be good to track the amount of time between dinner and breakfast. The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study involving 2413 women diagnosed with breast cancer. Data shows the mean fasting time (time between dinner and breakfast) averaged 12.5 hours.
Fasting less than 13 hours increases chances of cancer re-occurrence by 36%. 36%! A simple change like eating one day’s ration of food within a 10-11 hour period could reduce chances of cancer by 36%. That’s eye opening. Not to mention, 13 hour fasting reduced HbA1c (diabetic marker) and increased nighttime sleep. What does this mean for those who haven’t been diagnosed with breast cancer?
I’m at the age where a lot of my friends have kids. Lots of adorable pictures pop on social media of babies and toddlers. All different sizes. Tall, chunky (my favorite), and tiny. Baby checks always include growth rate metrics like height-age, weight-age, and weight-height to name a few. That data is collected and compared to the national average. Luckily for them stunted growth isn’t a problem.
Unfortunately stunted growth is more prevalent in developing countries due to lack of quality nutrition. A research study gave babies 6 to 9 months old, eggs to eat and compared them to a control group (no eggs). Children given eggs were 47% less likely to have stunted growth. Researchers use eggs due to there abundance and low cost. This study may not have much relevance to people reading this because nutritional resources and support are ample in this country, but I believe this speaks more to the nutritional value of an egg.
After lunch, do you have this insatiable feeling of needing to nap? If you do, you will probably nod off staring at your computer while trying to look like you are doing work. You may even try to crawl into the dark cavernous depths under your work desk. Among the thoughts of counting sheep, you should be thinking about what you had for lunch.
Let’s say a typical work desk lunch is a soda, chips/pretzels, and a sandwich. That combination is a recipe for a post lunch nap. Why? Glucose. Sugar in the soda, carbohydrates (carbs) from potatoes, and carbs from sandwich bread all add up to a big helping of glucose. Do you drink diet soda?The diet soda may be harmful to your weight goals and your cardiovascular health. Diet soda has been linked to unfavorable studies causing: increased stroke and dementia and no weight loss.
Anyways, a glucose filled meal inhibits or decreases a brain signaling structure called orexin. Orexin plays a role in sleep/wake cycle as well as feeding behavior and reward system. People with chronically low levels of orexin can suffer from narcolepsy. Narcolepsy causes extreme daytime drowsiness.
So, if you eat a pasta filled lunch (carbs-glucose) you’ll feel sleepy. On the other hand, protein increases orexin. So a lunch of vegetables and protein will decrease the likelihood you will “nod off” after lunch. Not only will you feel more awake; you are more likely to be active. If you are stuck at work, at least you’ll be more productive.
I’m not saying your lunch is the only reason why you are sleepy. You may have watched a creepy episode of The Walking Dead. Who knows? Your circadian rhythm, amount of nighttime and daytime light, and food quality are all factors of general drowsiness during the day. Reconsider your lunch before taking drastic measures to stay awake.
This article is a couple months late due to flu and respiratory tract infections sweeping across the U.S. I’ve been reporting the benefits of vitamin D3 (VD3) for quite a while. Not only is it necessary for optimal skeletal bone formation, but it has protective immune effects as well. VD3 is so important that I’ve begun selling the supplement in the office. Enough chest puffing though. What about the study?
The British Medical Journal published a study on February 15th citing vitamin D’s (VD) role in the protective effects against acute respiratory infections. The effects of daily to weekly VD showed better results in participants with lower levels of VD. This is not the only study that cites strengthened immune responses with VD supplementation. In fact, this study used data from 25 randomized control trails (gold standard of research) using 10,933 participants.
There is no recommended daily amount of VD. Thus it is hard to say exactly how much to take. Dosage depends on weight, skin color, season, and daily exposure to sunlight. The darker the skin the more sun you need to get optimal amounts of VD. If your job requires you to be indoors and it’s winter of fall, then you are more susceptible to a vitamin d deficiency. Also you will need more VD if you have a high percentage of body fat.
Journal articles have shown safe amounts in the range of up to 10,000 IU. I recommend 2,000-3,000 IU of VD3 which is more bio-available than vitamin D2. Ultimately, it’s hard to gauge an optimal level since there is much disparity between individuals and seasons. If you want to get a good idea of your VD3 levels get a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. A reading of 32 ng/ml or less is deficient, so 40 to 50 ng/ml is optimal.
Lastly, I recommend a supplement with VD3 with K2. Vitamin K2 directs calcium into the bone instead of other places in the body.
During the 1960’s sugar wasn’t blamed. In 1967, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) put the blame on saturated for heart disease on fats. Consequently, heart disease research from a food science and public health perspective is flawed. Most of all, the NEJM is one of the largest and respected medical journals in the world.
The Sugar Research Foundation compromised this study by giving a total of $19,000 to the head researchers. $19,000 is equivalent to $50,000 today. This study combined with bad research by Dr. Ancel Keys results in the many low fat diets seen today. Improper benefits and bad research put the public at risk by blaming the wrong substance on heart disease. Fortunately, emerging science continues to minimize the connection between saturated fat and heart disease.
Let’s say the bad studies linked the heart disease epidemic to sugar. Government agencies would have stricter limits on sugar and carbohydrate intake. “Warning, sugar increases the likelihood for heart disease. ” Would the U.S. still be one of the unhealthiest countries in the world? Would the obesity rates of our kids and teenagers still be high and increasing? I think not. Let’s break down common sweeteners and which are the best.
The sweeteners listed below are highly processed. Processed means to heat, freeze, ferment, or add chemicals to make a product.
Evidence shows a link between artificial sweeteners and oxidative stress and inflammation which cause damage to organs and the brain. Furthermore, artificial sweeteners increase risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type two diabetes, and heart disease. Also, high use of artificial sweeteners alters good gut bacteria. Since sweeteners are widespread in processed foods and drinks, high accumulation is attainable. Studies using Splenda and mice showed evidence of reduction in beneficial gut flora and reduced fecal PH (acidic). Normal body PH is alkaline. There is enough evidence to suggest removing these harmful substances from your diet. Make sure to check your ingredient labels too!
Stevia is a popular plant because it’s sweet and may be medicinal. The healthy compound in Stevia is steviol glycosides. Stevia is an antioxidant, natural preservative, antimicrobial, and anitfungal. Stevia is thermostable therefore cooking with it will not change the chemical structure. It’s stable at 392 degrees Fahrenheit. When comparing stevia to other artificial sweeteners, stevia is much healthier by far.
I recommend Sweet Drops by SweetLeaf. Sweet Drops uses Stevia extract with natural flavors.The natural flavors contain ingredients from herbs, fruits, and vegetables. In conclusion, avoid artificial sweeteners and use SweetLeaf or local honey.
Thanksgiving is this Thursday! Bring on the turkey, dressing, and desserts. Oh yeah, your relatives will be there too! A Thanksgiving day is not totally complete without cranberry sauce. Personally I never eat it. Something that slides out of a can and maintains its tubular shape isn’t appetizing to me, but there is a large segment of the population that obviously enjoy the taste. This article isn’t about cranberry sauce. In this article we will discuss some of the health benefits of cranberry juice.
Like most dark colored fruits, cranberries are loaded with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. The polyphenols in cranberries reduce the affects of bacteria that form plaque buildup on your teeth. Also cranberry juice provides gum protection because the polyphenols inhibit the process of gum inflammation and the destructive enzymes that damage the gums.
Eating fruits and vegetables has an inverse risk for chronic diseases and cancer. In this study cranberry extract was used on breast cancer cells. The cranberry extract significantly decreased breast cancer cell replication/ reproduction. This study used cranberry extract; thus this study is limited in benefits for actual cranberry juice.
This study shows low calorie cranberry juice reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors. Risk factors included blood pressure, c reactive protein (inflammation marker), triglycerides, and glucose concentrations. Low calorie cranberry juice has shown to have similar effects of an ACE inhibitor/high blood pressure medications.
The power of the cranberry is a result of the antioxidants it possesses. That’s why it’s so important to eat dark colored fruits and vegetables. Not only are you optimizing many cellular functions through its vitamins and minerals, but you’ll also be receiving the fiber you need. Drinking cranberry or pomegranate juice is a convenient way to get these important micro nutrients. Pass on the cranberry sauce, and drink 3-4 oz daily of cranberry juice. You can eat them whole which would be more beneficial. When you buy cranberry juice (try this one) make sure it’s not from concentrate or has added sugars.
Attention parents. I have some homework that could influence your child’s health. How much does your child’s backpack weigh? If a child who weighs 100 pounds is wearing a 10 to 15 pound backpack, then that child is at an increased risk for low back pain or back pathology. Studies show that 92% of children carry backpacks that are 10% to 22% of their body weight. I was in school once, and I remember lugging around 3 to 4 heavy books, 2-3 binders, and a lunch box. Who knows, I may have been packing some Pogs or a Yo-Yo too. Let’s examine some backpack strategies to keep your kids healthy.
When a child’s backpack is over 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, the body’s normal center of gravity is shifted backwards or posteriorly. As the normal center of gravity is shifted posteriorly, abnormal loading of the spine will cause compression of the discs and associated spinal structures like articular facets. Along with spinal compression; children will compensate the weight by rounding their shoulders and jutting their head forward. Have you heard of the analogy, “As the twig is bent so grows the tree?” There is a lot of truth to that because minor spinal shifts or deviations of the spine will progress causing secondary conditions or symptoms if not corrected.
Chronic rounded shoulders can cause abnormal shoulder mechanics leading to shoulder injury. Permanent forward head posture or Anterior Head Syndrome (AHS) can cause spinal pathology and other symptoms such as headaches. Take a look at Justin Bieber’s lateral mugshot. It saddens me to see kids and teens with AHS because without a comprehensive plan to fix the shifts of the spine; spinal degeneration will accelerate at a more rapid pace. Anterior Head Syndrome is no different than your car being out of alignment. This will cause abnormal wear and tear on your tires and may cause your car to veer to one side.
You could try roller backpacks, but apparently those can be tripping hazards and may be hard to lug up stairs. A child with back pain or neck pain is extremely worrisome. Thus, it’s important to take the steps necessary to prevent future spinal problems.
A Structural Correction Chiropractor Finds Solutions