Sleep

  1. Sleep apnea linked to depression and insomnia

    Doctors can miss this DEADLY condition

    It's not just any old medical mistake.

    It's the kind of error that could have devastating -- perhaps even DEADLY -- consequences.

    And no one will ever realize that your doctor screwed up!

    The problem is depression. At least, that's what HE'LL think. Tell him you're not quite feeling like yourself and are having some struggles sleeping, and he'll be absolutely certain you're battling this mood disorder.

    You know what that means: Your doctor will hand you a prescription for an antidepressant and send you on your way, thinking his work is done.

    Now, the latest research reveals how he didn't do his job at all.

    He missed a key warning sign of a major undiagnosed health problem -- one that quietly affects millions of Americans and can lead to major chronic illness such as heart disease.

    It's sleep apnea, the condition where window-rattling snores are followed by complete silence as you stop breathing. That causes oxygen levels in the body to plunge, depriving vital organs -- including the heart and brain -- of what they need to function.

    The new study of some 700 middle-aged and older men who'd never been diagnosed with sleep apnea found that more than half of them actually had the condition.

    That's no surprise. Most people who have apnea don't know it, and it's not something that will show up on any routine test in a doctor's office.

    But depression combined with insomnia could be a major indication, as the new study found that 43 percent of men with both conditions also had sleep apnea.

    That means these two symptoms together should be a HUGE red flag.

    Yet doctors are missing it!

    Now, I'm not saying docs should've known all along that insomnia and depression mean the patient has apnea. As far as I know, this study is the first of its kind linking all three conditions at once.

    But they SHOULD know that depression ALWAYS has a cause -- and when a patient reports feeling down and doesn't know why, they shouldn't just write a prescription and send them home.

    They need to dig deeper.

    In this case, the failure to search for that cause -- to actively IGNORE it by giving patients an antidepressant they never even needed -- exposes men to serious long-term risks, as sleep apnea can lead to heart attack, stroke, dementia, and more.

    And that's not the only condition that goes undiagnosed when docs turn to antidepressants.

    Depression with no obvious cause can be a sign of poor diet and nutrition or even hormonal imbalances, especially in older folks.

    If your doc isn't willing to dig deeper to find and fix the real cause, it's time to find a doctor who will. I recommend working closely with a holistic physician.

    If you're in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook

  2. Sleep loss linked to Alzheimer’s damage

    Lost sleep can DESTROY your brain cells!

    There's nothing in the world quite like waking up on a lazy weekend morning after a full night of snoozing.

    No alarm clock.

    No appointments.

    No pressure... no stress... no problem!

    If only EVERY day could feel like that, right?

    Well, friend, life might be too busy to toss the alarm clock. But it should never be too busy to sacrifice your sleep.

    And if you're falling short, it's time to make some adjustments -- because the latest research shows how poor sleep can lead to the kind of damage inside your brain that's been linked directly to Alzheimer's disease.

    That's especially scary news, considering the disease is far deadlier than we ever imagined, as I shared with you earlier this week.

    In the new study, researchers put mice through experiments involving both short-term sleep loss and conditions that mimic chronic struggles with shuteye.

    Even with short-term sleep loss, the researchers saw a frightening change in the glial cells, which are part of the brain's internal maintenance system.

    They're a bit like electricians, working to rewire and remodel the synapses, or the network that allows information to flow between neurons.

    One cell in particular, called an astrocyte, essentially helps trim synapses of unnecessary branches.

    In mice with normal sleep, those electricians were active in about 6 percent of the synapses. But when they missed out on sleep over the short term, their activity jumped by about a third to 8 percent.

    Even worse, chronic sleep problems more than doubled their activity to 13.5 percent.

    That's a sign they could be trimming and pruning unnecessarily, hitting even healthy synapses -- which, in turn, could damage and disrupt your brain's internal communications network.

    And that's not the only change.

    In mice induced to have chronic sleep problems, microglial cells went absolutely haywire.

    In ideal circumstances, microglial cells hunt for damage and brain debris. But when they get overactive, they could end up sweeping out good cells along with the bad ones.

    Don't dismiss this because it was a study on mice.

    In people, an overactive microglial response is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders -- many of which, not coincidentally, are often accompanied by sleep struggles.

    Sometimes, poor habits such as too much late-night television lead to poor sleep.

    But in many cases, especially in older folks, those bedtime battles have nothing to do with TV habits. They're often a result of a hidden problem inside the body that needs some attention.

    Gobbling a sleeping pill won't fix that problem.

    Instead, try something safer in the short term -- like valerian or melatonin -- so you can get the rest you need each night.

    But since these won't fix the underlying problem either, don't stop there. A holistic medical doctor can test you for all the causes of sleep loss and help you get it under control so you can rest easy every night.

    And if you're in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

  3. Sleep apnea increases risk of afib

    Snoring? Here’s what it’s doing to your heart! I'm sure you've heard the term "silent killer" thrown around for conditions like high blood pressure and cancer. But one of the most dangerous conditions of all isn't silent. It's loud and in some cases deafening! The crazy thing about this NOISY killer is that if you have it yourself, you probably...
  4. Sleeping pills boost risk of hip breaks

    Could you break a bone... in your sleep? All you want is a little sleep. It doesn't seem like too much to ask -- yet somehow, ordinary sleep has become an extraordinary struggle. I've got a simple, foolproof plan for getting the shuteye you need, and I'll share the basics in a moment. But first, new research shows what you...
  5. Green coffee bean extract eases insomnia

    Sleep better with this coffee compound Could coffee... help you SLEEP? I know that sounds more than a little wacky. Most folks who drink the stuff use it to wake up, not conk out -- but new research finds one hidden ingredient in coffee could do just the opposite. It could help you to fall asleep faster, especially if you're...
  6. Bone loss linked to sleep problems

    Poor sleep can lead to thinner bone It's bad for your heart... bad for your brain... and new research shows it's literally "bad to the bone." If you have lousy sleep habits, your bones could be slowly crumbling right inside your body, right now! Guys, don't hit the snooze button on this one. I know bone risk SOUNDS like something...
  7. Sleep problems common with age

    Why your sleep is getting worse... and how to fix it Nothing's as good as it used to be, right? The coffee's too bitter, the music's too noisy, and don't even get me started on the garbage that passes for TV these days. And those aren't the only things that have changed over the years. Even SLEEP isn't what is...
  8. Nocturia caused by too much salt

    Cut nighttime bathroom trips with this one change It can literally haunt your dreams. Doesn't matter what's going through your mind as you snooze, eventually the sound of rushing water invades -- and, next thing you know, you're standing next to a river or maybe a waterfall. It's your bladder, sending a signal straight into your brain. You need to...
  9. Ashwagandha can help you sleep better

    Sleep better with this safe herbal remedy Sleep disorders are so common that there are really only two kinds of people in the country: those who have trouble sleeping, and those who haven't had trouble sleeping yet. As you get older, it's almost bound to happen. Right now, some 60 percent of American seniors are struggling to get the rest...
  10. Sleep apnea linked to cognitive decline

    How sleep problems can lead to dementia The biggest health problems are usually the ones we never knew we even had. You might be aware -- constantly -- of arthritis, thanks to that ever-present knee pain. But that's nothing next to the damage that could be quietly unfolding inside your brain, and as it's happening, you don't feel a thing...
  11. Camping can fix sleep problems

    Reset your sleep… this weekend! Trouble sleeping? Don't go looking for the answer at your local CVS. Try the KOA instead! A trip to your local campground could be the best way to reset your body's clock -- and the latest research shows how a simple camping trip can get your sleep schedule back on track. The study -- done...
  12. Insomnia linked to car accidents

    Insomnia can do more than leave you feeling wrecked. It could leave you IN a wreck, increasing your risk of a car accident.
  13. Kidney failure linked to poor sleep

    Kidney failure is a devastating and even deadly condition, and poor sleep could increase your risk of getting it by 19 percent.
  14. Cellphones can disrupt sleep

    Cellphones can make it tougher for you to fall asleep, and tougher to stay asleep – especially if you use them right before bed.
  15. Insomnia eased with talk therapy

    Insomnia is miserable at any age, but it can especially bad for seniors. Now, the latest research shows a drug-free way to get 41 extra minutes.
  16. Sleep shortages can lead to bacterial imbalances

    Sleep is important for every part of your body, including your gut – and missing out can lead to dangerous imbalances in stomach bacteria.
  17. Sleep problems increase heart risk

    Sleep problems can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke in older women.
  18. Napping can be a diabetes warning

    Napping for too long can be a warning sign of diabetes, especially if your daytime dozes last for more than an hour.
  19. CPAP doesn’t cut sleep apnea risks

    CPAP masks are commonly used by apnea patients, but new research shows they don’t actually cut the biggest risks of the disease.
  20. Back pain responds to better sleep

    Back pain can be worsened by poor sleep habits, as new research finds the cells in the spinal discs have their own internal clocks.

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