Counting Sheep Easier Than You Might Think

What do the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine all have in common? The Australian National Sleep Research Project says sleep deprivation contributed to the human mistakes that led to each disaster.

“Getting a good night’s sleep is as important as feeding yourself or putting gas in the car. You absolutely cannot function without it. Start addressing the stress and anxiety in your life by first considering the quality of sleep you get,” says Edward Grandi, Executive Director of the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA).

Stock Your Arsenal for Cold and Flu Season

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – What do the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Challenger space shuttle tragedy and the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine all have in common? The Australian National Sleep Research Project says sleep deprivation contributed to the human mistakes that led to each disaster.
“Getting a good night’s sleep is as important as feeding yourself or putting gas in the car. You absolutely cannot function without it. Start addressing the stress and anxiety in your life by first considering the quality of sleep you get,” says Edward Grandi, executive director of the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA).
New research is discovering that sleep deprivation has its tenacious claws embedded in 17 separate health conditions. Not getting enough sleep can unleash elevated hostility, lead to anxiety and depression, affect weight loss and obesity and increase chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Avoid the woes of sleep deprivation and protect your long-term health by getting enough quality sleep with these tips from ASAA:
* Be wary of late-night eating habits. Going to bed overstuffed or hungry will cause your body to spend more energy on digestion and discomfort than sleep. Plus, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can negatively affect the quality of your slumber.
* Find a sleep schedule and stick to it. Sleep schedules help enforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle, which leads to better sleep. A consistent sleep schedule is even more important for anyone doing shift work — hours that aren’t nine to five — because their inconsistent sleeping habits make them prone to shift work disorder (SWD). SWD is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder characterized by insomnia and excessive drowsiness.
* Avoid using TV or electronics to fall asleep. New research indicates that TV or laptop use before bed interferes with sleep, especially if they are left on during the night. Any kind of artificial light, even alarm clocks, can disturb sleep and disrupt REM cycles.
* Don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor. Everyone has restless nights, but if it’s the norm, there may be an underlying cause. There are 84 different sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, SWD, insomnia and narcolepsy, among others.
If constant snoring is your complaint, you could have sleep apnea, an involuntary halt in breathing that may happen up to 300 times a night. Get more tips for quality sleep at www.sleepapnea.org.

When Alzheimer’s Isn’t Alzheimer’s

Data from many studies suggest that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise. However, many of the symptoms associated with early Alzheimer’s disease are the same as those associated with hearing loss.

According to a recent study led by Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, the risk of dementia increased among participants with at least a mild 25-decibel hearing loss. Participants with more severe hearing loss were most likely to be diagnosed with dementia – and even Alzheimer’s. The relationship between Alzheimer’s and hearing loss should come as no surprise. After all, you can’t remember what someone said if you didn’t hear them say it.

Concerned About Alzheimer’s? It Might Be Hearing Loss Instead

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Data from many studies suggest that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise. However, many of the symptoms associated with early Alzheimer’s disease are the same as those associated with hearing loss.
According to a recent study led by Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, the risk of dementia increased among participants with at least a mild 25-decibel hearing loss. Participants with more severe hearing loss were most likely to be diagnosed with dementia — and even Alzheimer’s. The relationship between Alzheimer’s and hearing loss should come as no surprise. After all, you can’t remember what someone said if you didn’t hear them say it.
Several symptoms are common to both Alzheimer’s and untreated hearing loss. These symptoms include depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation, and problems talking and understanding what is being said. In addition, people with either Alzheimer’s or unidentified hearing loss may have inappropriate responses to social cues, lower scores on tests of mental function, attitudes of denial, defensiveness or negativity and increased distrust of others’ motives, even those of family and friends. Individuals with unidentified hearing loss may appear paranoid and excessively concerned that others are talking about them.
“Untreated hearing loss is a significant quality-of-life issue,” said Sreek Cherukuri, MD, a board-certified ear, nose and throat physician based in Chicago, Ill. “It can cause marital and family strain, lead to social isolation, depression and anxiety. And the solution is so simple.”
To help more people improve their lives by improving their hearing, Dr. Cherukuri designed the MDHearingAid, a comfortable, cost-effective way to improve hearing. “I could see no reason why we couldn’t develop a quality hearing instrument for about the price of an iPhone,” he said.
If you are concerned about a loved one who is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, talk to a doctor about testing for hearing loss. In several studies, even patients with Alzheimer’s showed improved ability to understand and communicate after they were fitted with hearing aids.
“Our mission is to remove cost as an obstacle for the millions with hearing loss that cannot afford a custom hearing aid,” said Dr. Cherukuri.
For more information about a safe, affordable way to improve hearing loss, visit www.MDHearingAid.com or call 800-873-0680.

Triumph Over Shyness: Tips to Beat Social Anxiety Disorder

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Suffering from much more than shyness, people with social anxiety disorder experience severe anxiety in social encounters, often accompanied by a racing heart, shaking, sweating, blushing, nausea, shortness of breath, or other physical symptoms. Most people with the disorder avoid the types of social situations — meeting with coworkers, attending family events, even talking on the phone — that cause them extreme mental and physical distress.

This anxiety disorder can prevent people from participating fully in life. They often become dependent on alcohol if they try to self-medicate. And social anxiety disorder frequently occurs with other anxiety disorders, as well as depression. Studies show that people with depression and social anxiety disorder have an increased rate of suicide attempts.

The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) offers hope in the form of a new self-help book. “Triumph Over Shyness: Conquering Social Anxiety Disorder” (second edition), by Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH, and John R. Walker, PhD, offers tips for handling a socially anxious situation:

* When you are feeling anxious, remind yourself to focus on others.

* Make it your goal to listen carefully to what the other person has to say.

* Think about how that person feels about what he is saying: Is this a situation involving strong emotion?

* Often your attention will move back to yourself. Just accept anxious thoughts and physical sensations and direct your attention back to the other person.

* Don’t spend much time planning or rehearsing what you will say next. This will distract you from listening to the other person.

* Don’t try to figure out what others are thinking about you.

The book is now available through the ADAA bookstore at www.adaa.org. To learn more about social anxiety disorder, visit www.adaa.org/socialanxietydisorder.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder vs. General Anxiety About the Economy

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Worries about finances have long been a leading cause of anxiety for Americans. When asked what stressed people the most in a recent online poll at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America Web site (www.adaa.org), 45 percent responded “personal finances.” They have good reason to feel stress. The U.S. Department of Labor has been reporting record numbers of people receiving unemployment benefits.

Even among those who feel the economy is improving, a majority named it as a source of their stress. Another ADAA online poll confirms that sentiment: Nearly 77 percent said the economic downturn has caused a moderate amount to “a lot of stress.”

If so many people share such deep stress and worry about their bank balances than they did before this financial freefall, does that mean they all have an anxiety disorder? Does it mean anxiety disorders are on the rise? The answer: No.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful and uncertain situations. It’s your body telling you to stay alert and protect yourself, in this case to watch your spending, try to save for an emergency, work to keep your job or consult a trusted financial expert.

However, you may have generalized anxiety disorder if you worry about the economy or your finances for many hours every day, you can’t sleep or perform your usual tasks and you’re aware that your fears are irrational.

Also known as GAD, this type of anxiety disorder differs greatly from the normal anxiety we may feel about the economy or any other stressful event. GAD is not triggered by a specific situation: The world doesn’t need to experience an economic downfall for someone to have GAD. Even in the best of times, GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1 percent of the U.S. population, in any given year, and women are twice as likely to be affected.

People with generalized anxiety disorder experience persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about issues like money, health, family or work for six months or longer. They don’t know how to stop the worry cycle, which they feel is beyond their control. Physical symptoms of GAD may include fatigue, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, irritability, edginess, muscle tension, and gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea.

Help can be found by visiting the ADAA Web site (www.adaa.org), where you can find resources to help manage anxiety, find a local therapist, receive an e-newsletter for people living with anxiety disorders or purchase self-help books.

Living a Better Life in Times of Chaos

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Is your life full of chaos?

Challenges such as stress, anxiety, illness and depression all contribute to a chaotic life. So how do you rid your life of the obstacles to your happiness and change it for the better?

Yehuda Berg says the answer lies within a group of sacred letters from the biblical story of Moses and the Red Sea. In his book “The 72 Names of God,” Berg says that through 72 three-letter combinations taken from three biblical verses, you can find the strength to eliminate negative forces that keep you from living a fulfilling life.

The book explains that the 72 names are not “names” in the literal sense, but visual mantras that are activated spiritually rather than vocally. These spiritual tools come from a tradition called Kabbalah, which is today the fastest-growing global spiritual movement. Contrary to popular belief, Kabbalah is not a religion and you do not have to be Jewish to study it.

According to the teachings of Kabbalah, everything, including our destiny, begins and ends with our own individual behavior. The apparent randomness that we encounter in life is actually a system of cause and effect. Furthermore, the ability to overcome challenges lies in the power of mind over matter.

“The 72 Names of God” encourages readers to meditate on the names and follow through with a physical action to implement positive change in their lives.

Here are a few of the names and their applications:

* Healing: Think about others who also need healing. Be accountable. Blaming someone or something else absolves us of responsibility. Accepting 100 percent responsibility brings about the energy of healing.

* Unconditional Love: You should offer unconditional love to others if you want to have peace and serenity in your life. Love has the power to eradicate all forms of darkness. When you offer love to your enemies, you destroy their darkness and hatred.

* Eliminating Negative Thoughts: When negative thoughts – worry, anxiety, fear, pessimism, uncertainty – invade your mind, focus on thoughts that move you forward, not backward.

* Letting Go: Human nature is to hang on to past regrets and earlier traumas. But you cannot live a fulfilling future if you are hanging on to an unhappy and cynical past. This name gives you the courage to let go.

For more information about “The 72 Names of God,” log on to www.72.com.