The Value of Sleep

ValueOfSleepSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Treating sleep as a priority rather than a luxury may be more valuable than most of us realize. Maybe we should start to think of sleep as an insurance policy for healthy longevity. Although sleep is critical for both short and long term health, statistics show that more than a third of American adults do not get sufficient sleep on a regular basis. While we might believe we can skimp on sleep and not suffer any consequences, there’s a big difference between the amount of sleep one can get by on and the amount needed for optimal daily function. Lack of sleep exacts a toll on mood, perception and judgment, and can result in reduced efficiency and productivity, as well as increased errors, accidents and injuries.

What we may not realize is that when it comes to disease prevention and life expectancy, sleep quality is just as invaluable as sleep quantity. If it seems that you are giving yourself enough sleep time but have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, you may not be spending enough time in the different stages of sleep. There are four stages of sleep that constitute a sleep cycle. Typically, an individual will experience four to five non-sequential sleep cycles lasting from a few minutes to 120 minutes during the night. Sleep begins in stage 1 and progresses into stages 2, and 3. After stage 3 sleep, stage 2 sleep is repeated before entering REM sleep. Once REM sleep is over, the body usually returns to stage 2 sleep.

The four stages of sleep

  • Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) Stage 1: This is the drowsy transition period between wakefulness and sleep, which generally lasts about five to ten minutes. During this short period of light sleep muscles start to relax, as breathing and brain activity begin to slow. This is also the time that some people may experience abrupt muscle spasms or jerks, as well as a sensation of falling. If awakened during this stage, one may not realize they have been sleeping.
  • NREM Stage 2: During this stage the body temperature drops, heart rate begins to slow and the brain begins to produce sleep spindles, which are short bursts of brain activity that play an essential role in sensory processing and long term memory consolidation.
  • NREM Stage 3: This is when deep sleep occurs. Of all the sleep stages, stage 3 is the most restorative. During deep sleep, the body repairs itself and builds energy for the day ahead; human growth hormone is released, which stimulates cellular growth and reproduction; heartbeat, blood pressure and breathing slow to their lowest levels; and deep, slow brain waves, known as delta waves, begin to emerge.
  • REM (rapid eye movement) Stage 4: Considered an active sleep state, REM sleep is characterized by jerking eye movements, increased respiration rate, rising blood pressure and increased brain activity, similar to the levels experienced when awake. Dreams can be experienced in all stages of sleep but usually are most vivid in REM sleep. Studies show that everyone dreams, although we may not remember them unless awakened during REM sleep. The REM stage is a bit of a paradox, as while the brain and other body systems become more active, muscles become more relaxed and voluntary muscles become temporarily immobilized, possibly to prevent injury while trying to act out our dreams. Generally, one enters REM sleep about 90 minutes after falling asleep, with deeper, increasingly longer periods occurring toward morning.

While individual sleep requirements vary, most healthcare professionals agree that seven to nine hours of sleep each night is favorable for peak mental, physical and physiological function. Along with diet, exercise, stress management and proper supplementation, quality rest has a pronounced impact on brain, immune and metabolic functions. Sleep impacts every bodily system including neurological, cardiovascular, immune and respiratory systems. Research shows that chronic sleep deprivation, as well as poor quality sleep, increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.

Ultimately, the amount of sleep you need is best determined by allowing yourself to sleep until you naturally awaken well rested and refreshed. If your body has been chronically deprived of adequate sleep, you may need to give yourself as much rest as life circumstances will allow. Thereafter you can use feelings of morning restfulness or fatigue as measures for the proper amount of sleep for you. Addressing sleep issues helps to insure that the body has had ample time to restore and rejuvenate the cells, allowing for improved energy balance, efficiency, mood, productivity and overall health and function. For a longer, happier, healthier lifespan, make time for much needed, often ignored, quality sleep.

Need some sleep support? We have a solution:

Sleep Balance HerbalSleep Balance Herbal by Diamond Formulations: Formulated to address occasional restless sleep and promote normal restorative sleep, Sleep Balance Herbal provides well-researched therapeutic ingredients that discourage disrupted sleep and provide calming support for natural, restful sleep. This formula promotes sleep onset, improves sleep quality and aids in regulating sleep patterns. Free of wheat, yeast, soy, gluten, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO, kosher formulation.

References:
Sleep and Disease Risk: http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-and-disease-risk
How Much Sleep Do You Really Need To Be Healthy? https://drbenkim.com/how-much-sleep-need.html
The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Hormones and Metabolism. https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/502825
Erythropoietin. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/erythropoietin/
The Relationship Between Sleep and Life Expectancy. https://www.verywellhealth.com/sleep-duration-and-longevity-2224291
Sleep Spindle. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/sleep-spindle
The 4 Stages of Sleep (NREM and REM Sleep Cycles). https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-four-stages-of-sleep-2795920
Stages of Sleep and Sleep Cycles: https://www.tuck.com/stages/

Frequent Urination — What’s Normal, What’s Not

FrequentUrinationJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Largely considered an inconvenient condition, frequent or urgent urination can affect both men and women. Sometimes referred to as overactive bladder, frequent urination is usually manageable, often by dealing with an underlying condition. During the day it’s not unusual to urinate every two to four hours dependent upon fluid consumption and hydration status. In general waking once or even twice during the night is considered within normal limits, although many can sleep through the night without having to go. If you are a healthy, non-pregnant adult having to urinate more than eight times daily, you may need to check in with your healthcare provider to eliminate any underlying causes.

Men and women who frequently wake during the night to urinate may wonder whether it’s a cause for concern. Known as nocturia, getting up multiple times several nights or more each week results in sleep disruption and becomes more common as we age. Symptoms can include frequent or excessive urination, as well as urgency and reduced urine. Getting up during the night can become a habit and may simply be the result of consuming caffeine, alcohol or other fluids within two to three hours before bedtime. Like frequent daytime urination, nocturia can have underlying minor or more serious causes, including  a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or prostate problems.

Frequent urination accompanied by increased thirst, weight loss, or increased appetite, as well as pain with urination, fever, signs of blood in the urine and a frequent urge to urinate with little output may all be cause for concern. As well, those aged 65 and older who get up more than twice nightly, should likely see their general practitioner.

Some common causes of incontinence

  • Certain medications, including those for high blood pressure, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, sedatives, narcotics and diuretics can cause urinary incontinence in men and women.
  • Alcohol and caffeinated beverages cause the body to produce more urine. Consumed in excess this can result in nighttime waking.
  • With aging, bladder capacity tends to dwindle. As we grow older, we tend to sleep less soundly, so we are more easily aroused by the urge to urinate.
  • To help avoid getting up during the night, those with edema, or lower leg swelling, should consider elevating the legs a few hours before bed. This allows fluid to redistribute into the bloodstream where it can be filtered by the kidneys and excreted. Lower leg edema should not be ignored, as it can be a sign of a weakened cardiovascular system.
  • Waking up with urinary urgency or burning with urination may be a symptom of a urinary tract infection.
  • An enlarged prostate can lead to a thickening of the bladder wall, which results in reduced bladder capacity and elasticity, and therefore increased frequency of urination day and night. Male incontinence is also associated with prostatitis, a painful inflammation of the prostate gland.
  • Increased urge and frequency is associated with disease processes that affect brain function, including dementia, Parkinson’s and stroke.
  • Diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinson’s can damage the nerves that control the bladder.

What you can do:

  • If you are properly hydrated and have no issues with kidney function drinking several glasses of liquid in the evening will likely result in waking up at night.
  • To avoid sleep disruption due to fluid consumption, drink plenty of water during the day and limit fluids several hours before bed, especially alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
  • Elevate the legs or wear compression stockings to prevent fluid buildup.
  • A short afternoon nap can be helpful for those who wake frequently during the night. As well, lying down allows excess fluids to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Changing the timing of prescription medications that increase urination may also help.
  • Loss of excess weight can help ease symptoms. Obesity can place extra pressure on the pelvic floor and bladder.
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles can result in incontinence. Strengthening the pelvic floor with Kegel exercises can help control or prevent urinary incontinence.
  • Timed voiding, in which one urinates on a schedule and slowly extends the time between trips, can help one regain control of an overactive bladder, especially when combined with other lifestyle changes and pelvic muscle exercises.
  • Prescription medications can help the bladder empty more fully during urination. Other drugs tighten muscles and can lessen leakage.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality products in support of urinary tract and overall health:

Urinary DefenseUrinary Defense® by Priority One®: This natural herbal blend provides nutritional support for urinary tract comfort and a healthy urinary system. The formula provides a patented cranberry extract containing active anthocyanins and natural cranberry fiber and is designed to deliver the nutrients to the lower gastrointestinal tract for enhanced absorption and utilization. Gluten, preservative, sweetener, flavor and phthalate free. Non-GMO formulation.

Bladder EaseBladder Ease™ by Vitanica®: Bladder Ease is designed to provide herbal and nutritional support for continuous, intermittent, or full bladder discomfort. Handpicked ingredients help to strengthen bladder walls and may support a healthier inflammatory response in the urinary tract. Free of preservatives, binders, artificial colorings and flavorings, sugar, lactose, salt, wheat, gluten, soybeans, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Vegan formulation.

AZO Bladder Control...AZO Bladder Control® with Go-Less® by AZO: Derived from naturally sourced pumpkin seed and soy germ extracts, this safe, drug-free proprietary formula helps reduce the urge to urinate and supports healthy control by sustaining the bladder muscle and pelvic floor. Free of gluten, yeast and artificial color and flavor.

Ultimate FloraMax...Ultimate FloraMax™ Total Woman Care 90 Billion by Advanced Naturals®: This high potency multi-strain probiotic formula is designed for support of women’s digestive, immune, vaginal and urinary tract health. Gluten, soy, dairy and artificial ingredient free.

 

Better Man HCPBetter Man HCP by Interceuticals®: Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, this clinically tested, all natural men’s formula helps improve blood circulation, as well as modulate testosterone and neuromuscular functions in support of better bladder control, prostate health, stronger libido, increased energy and overall wellbeing.

References:
Frequent nocturnal urination in older men is associated with arterial stiffness: The Nagayama study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31399710
Nocturnal Excretion in Healthy Older Women and Rationale for a Safer Approach to Sleep Disruption. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31437310
Urination: Frequent Urination. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15533-urination–frequent-urination
Medications that can cause urinary incontinence. https://www.health.harvard.edu/bladder-and-bowel/medications-that-can-cause-urinary-incontinence
Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/urinary-incontinence-older-adults

NeoCell® – Featured Brand

NeocellSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center offers NeoCell®, a line a supplements designed to activate the body’s natural radiance from the inside out. For over 20 years, NeoCell® has developed and manufactured naturally-based, premium anti-aging formulas for joint support, skin hydration and collagen formation to promote youthful skin and healthy hair and nails. Products are manufactured to exceed Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) utilizing carefully sourced food-grade raw materials. Manufactured in their own facility, NeoCell’s trusted science-based products are designed to support the body’s own collagen production to reveal the beauty within.

To see more products from NeoCell®, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Beauty Burst Gourmet...Beauty Burst Gourmet Collagen Super Fruit Punch Soft Chews: These truly yummy, very popular soft chews deliver high absorption nutrients that work together to hydrate and strengthen hair, skin and nails. Ingredients include Collagen Type 1 and 3 to build firm smooth skin, hyaluronic acid to nourish and hydrate, and vitamin C essential for collagen production.

Move Matrix Advanced...Move Matrix™ Advanced Joint Hydrator:  Move Matrix™ provides scientifically advanced ingredients that work synergistically to promote joint flexibility and mobility, healthy connective tissue and a healthy inflammatory response. Bioavailable, efficacious ingredients include Bioactive NeoCell Collagen™ Type 2, hyaluronic acid, MSM, glucosamine, chondroitin and Move Matrix™, an antioxidant botanical complex. Naturally flavored and colored. Free of gluten, soy, wheat, lactose, palm oil, starch, yeast and artificial ingredients. Non-GMO formulation.

Joint Burst Tropical...Joint Burst Tropical Tang Soft Chews: These tropical fruit flavored soft chews provide powerful ingredients that work synergistically to support joint strength, hydration and flexibility, as well as a healthy inflammatory response. Ingredients include collagen type 2, hyaluronic acid and turmeric root extract. Gluten, soy, wheat, lactose, palm oil, yeast and artificial flavoring free. Non-GMO formulation.

Derma Matrix...Derma Matrix™ Collagen Skin Complex: Derma Matrix is designed to visibly reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and promote firm, smooth, nourished and hydrated skin. Specific ingredients support healthy collagen synthesis, aid in healthy collagen formation and support cell turnover and elasticity. Formulated for maximum absorption and efficacy, this proprietary powdered formula dissolves instantly in water or juice or can be added to your favorite smoothie. Gluten, soy, wheat, yeast, starch, lactose and artificial flavoring free. Non-GMO formulation.