Woman exercising on elliptical

Kickstart Your Heart With These Cardio Staples

There is such a variety of exercise tapes available today, it is sometimes difficult to determine which ones are meant to be taken seriously. Since Joanna Rohrback created a sensation with her much spoofed “Prancercise” video, the health conscious public has been confused by an assortment of bizarre aerobic tapes ranging from the “Dixie Carter Country Hiphop Workout” to the “Japanese Poodle Workout” to the “Exorcise” video. With all this insanity, it is sometimes hard to define what is meant by cardiovascular exercise.

Cardiovascular exercises are so called because they improve the function of the heart, build muscle mass, and enhance consumption and transportation of oxygen. They also strengthen bones, increase joint support and improve cholesterol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a weekly exercise routine consisting of 2 and a half hours of moderate cardiovascular activity or 75 minutes of more vigorous cardio per week. Here are some tried and true examples of cardiovascular staples to help kickstart your health.

In the Gym
The elliptical trainer, which features footpads that require a pedaling motion to operate. is one of the most comprehensive pieces of gym equipment for cardiovascular activity. This, along with the stairclimber and the treadmill, provide their users with opportunities to build endurance and lung capacity while toning the lower body and burning fat.
If instructed gym classes are more your speed, spinning, exercise dancing, and water aerobics are all challenging options. Looking for something more traditional? Step aerobics are an age old way to work the lower body, while jumping rope provides for full body workout, sharpening coordination and boosting lateral movement.

Couple running

Walking and Running
You can burn 180 calories by speed walking at moderate intensity for 30 minutes, while running can double that number. Although body weight can affect the number of calories burned while running, speed has little to do with cardiovascular benefits. Therefore, you can enjoy perks of lower blood pressure, decreased risk of heart attack, and increased lung capacity while still working at a relatively low intensity. However, more vigorous activity has the added benefits of greater calorie melts and metabolism boosts which can last for days after working out.

Sports
If you enjoy competitive sports, racquetball is considered the most heart healthy sport and can burn more than 400 calories in the course of a vigorous 30 minute game. Rowing, skiing and climbing follow hot on its heels, turning in similar figures. Swimming weighs in at a whopping 500 calorie burn in thirty minutes and is known to stimulate circulation, increase endurance and flexibility, and provide stress relief, while strengthening the heart.

Indoor and Outdoor Activities
Biking can be done outdoors or from the comfort of your home and can burn up to 500 calories in a period of 30 minutes. A hilly terrain can increase resistance outdoors for an even greater calorie burn and an increased test of stamina, while stationary bikes include manual intensity adjustments. Equipment free cardio options include unweighted squad, jumping jacks, lunges and squat jumps.

How do you like to kickstart your workout? Let us know how you get your 2 1/2 hours in. We love to hear it!

Woman doing bridge

Add These Bodyweight Exercises To Your Routine

If you are a stunt enthusiast, you may have seen 25- year- old Scott Walker execute a handstand complete with leg extension on the edge of a 40 -foot high -rise in Shanghai without the use of a harness of safety gear. Likewise for the unnamed, but in no way less impressive YouTube star who demonstrated his skills by supporting his body weight with one hand on the edge of a Hong Kong skyscraper or perhaps you viewed the daring young man who showed off his penchant for body curls from a pole located 65 stories above the ground.

Body weight exercises are often celebrated for their ability to be done almost anywhere without the use of equipment. However, some take the interpretation of anywhere more literally than others. If you are one of the many who prefer your workout a little more down to earth, here are some exercises you can add to your routine without the risk of vertigo.

Bridge
Start in a sit -up position with hands behind the ears. Place palms downward with fingers pointed toward the legs. Push with the back and arm muscles until the body forms a lowercase ‘n’ shape with the spine convex and the limbs straight. You can increase the difficulty by entering the exercise from a standing position and gradually bending backward into the bridge.

4-Count Bodybuilder
Count 1: Drop to a squat from a standing position. Place hands on the floor. Count 2: Thrust legs back into push up position. Count 3: Return legs to squat position. Count 4: Return to standing position.

Woman doing seated dip

Seated Dip
Begin with feet on the floor, legs outstretched and hands placed on a level surface between waist and knee height. Straighten arms with shoulders above the hands and then lower the body until the arms are bent at a 90 -degree angle. Raise body into starting position.

L-sit
Sit in L- position, with the upper body perpendicular to the ground and the legs out straight and parallel to the ground. Place the hands beside the gluteus. Then use the arms and hands to push the entire body, legs included, upwards off the ground with the legs remaining parallel, creating isometric tension.

Lunge
Stand on a flat surface. Step forward with one leg and bend down until the knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Bend the back knee so that it almost touches the ground. Return to the starting position by pushing back with front leg and stepping back to bring both feet together.

Rocking Chair
Begin in fully extended plank or push up position. Push body forward six to ten inches, keeping arms straight and then returning to the starting position.

Woman doing lunges outdoors

Shove Offs
Stand in front of an elevated surface with a ledge sturdy enough to bear your weight. Tilt your body forward with your hands and arms extended, holding your back and legs straight. Allow your body to continue to fall forward until you catch your weight on the elevated surface with your palms down and arms bent. Extend arms to push body into upright position.

Dive bomber
Place feet on ground a few inches apart, holding legs straight. Bend over at the waist, placing hands on the ground a few feet in front of the toes so that body forms an inverted ‘v.’ Swing chest and shoulders down in an arc so the chest almost touches the ground. The shoulders and head should be curved in as high an arc as possible, fully arching back, keeping head face forward with pelvis a few inches off the ground. Reverse the motion with shoulders and chest moving through the hands until the body is back at its starting point with arms in line with the back.

What body weight exercises do you do in unusual, or not so unusual places? Let us know how you stay in such great shape. We want to know!

Halved avocado on wooden table

The Health Benefits of An Avocado A Day

According to the story of Adam and Eve, the corruption of the first couple occurs when the members eat an apple. For this, they are banished from the Garden of Eden. Eve is punished with the pain of childbirth, Adam receives a death oracle. That must have been some apple! Of course, the apple is an extremely praiseworthy fruit and one hopes it was worth the price Adam and Eve paid for having eaten it, but if the first humans were willing to risk lifelong punishment over an apple, one can only wonder what they would have been willing to risk if it had been an avocado.

It has been said that happiness is an avocado, and this may well be an absolute truth. After all, what else is actually good for you and tastes like creamy magical natural butter improved tenfold? You don’t need a reason to eat an avocado a day, but just in case you want to hear some, let’s look at a some of the health benefits of avocado.

Avocados Are Nutrient-Rich
Also known as the alligator pear, avocados contain 20 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, B5, B6, E, potassium, and folate. A single serving provides 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats, and, although the avocado has 9 grams of carbohydrates, 7 of those come from fiber. This makes for 2 “net” carbs, qualifying avocados as low-carb. They are also sodium and cholesterol-free and low in saturated fats.

Avocados Lower Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels
Tests done on human participants reveal that avocados can significantly reduce cholesterol levels, lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 22% and increasing HDL cholesterol by as much as 11%, while reducing blood triglycerides by as much as 20%. In addition, one such study showed that the inclusion of avocado in a low-fat diet lead to improvements in the all over cholesterol profile.

Woman presenting avocado

People Who Eat Avocados Are Healthier
According to an analysis of over 17,00 participants, people who ate avocados had a higher nutrient intake than those who did not. They were half as prone to metabolic syndrome, a well-known risk factor for diabetes and heart disease. Avocado eaters had a lower BMI, maintained lower body weights and had less belly fat from those who abstained.

Avocados Help You Absorb Nutrients
Some nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E and K and antioxidants like carotenoids are fat soluble. That means that they need to be combined with fat in order for them to be moved them from the digestive tract and into the body. How can this be done? Studies show that including avocado or avocado oil in your meal can increase the absorption of antioxidants by 2.6 to 15 times.

Avocados Protect Your Eyes
Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are vital nutrients for eye health and have been found in studies to significantly reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Avocados Help You Lose Weight
A study was done involving two groups of people, one of which was instructed to eat a meal containing avocado, the other of which was not. Polling results showed the former group reporting 23% greater satisfaction of appetite and a 28% lowered desire to eat within the next 5 hours than the avocado deprived. Avocados are also low in carbs and high in fiber, two attributes commonly associated with general weight loss.

So, what are you waiting for? Unlock the guac! Let us know your favorite avocado recipes and your favorite ways to get in your daily avocado!

Woman enjoying meal at a cafe

Stress Free Ways To Cut Calories

You know something is big when it gets its own nickname. When Jennifer Lopez became JLo, it was Illuminati confirmed. When Ben and Jennifer united to form Bennifer, the star power was undeniable, and when hunger joined anger to make hanger, you know it wasn’t just a figment of the imagination. Hanger is real. It even has its own meme.

Why do we get hangry? As time passes after you eat, your blood glucose level starts to drop and, if it falls fast enough, your brain perceives it as a life-threatening emergency. Hence the reason you flipped over your desk at work after you were told your lunch hour would be a bit late. So what do you do when you’re trying to cut calories, but want to maintain your cool while doing it? Relax, there are some stress-free ways to diet.

Guilt
If you find yourself going on a major guilt trip every time you sneak that extra cookie, you may have unrealistic goals. If your diet involves cutting your favorite food completely out of your menu or losing 5 pounds a month, you’ve set the bar too high and are giving yourself a greater chance of failure. Clinical psychologist Marlene Schwartz, PhD advises dieters to go easy on themselves. Focus on small goals that will increase your chance of success, like taking a walk during lunch time. According to Schwartz, “Research shows that the more you believe you can lose weight the more likely you are to actually do it.”

Stressed businesswoman

Stress
If your stress levels are through the roof, you might seek some support. A recent study conducted by Ashton University in England showed that dieters who did not have the social support of an organized group showed higher stress-hormone levels than those who belonged to an assigned weight-loss program.

While commercial programs, such as Weight Watchers can help lend a communal feeling to the dieting process. a John Hopkins University study showed that participation in church-based exercise and nutrition programs are just as likely to succeed. The friends you already have can be your biggest cheerleaders. According to Beth Casey Gold, RD, when recruiting your buddies, “emphasize how important it is to you to make these lifestyle changes, then offer specific examples of what kind of encouragement will help and what won’t.” Stress positive reinforcement over negative remarks for best results.

Anger
If you find yourself lashing out at the family, it may be due to a significant cut in carbs, a side effect known by experts as the “Atkin’s Attitude.” “Your body need carbs to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter in your brain that regulates mood, emotion, sleep, and appetite.” informs Judith Wurtman, PhD and director of Women’s Health at MIT. The quick anger fix? Grab a healthy high carb snack like popcorn or whole grain toast. Try to get at least 130 grams of carbs per day to maintain optimal brain function, according to the National Academy of Sciences’ Food and Nutrition Board.

 Temptation
In constructing your diet, focus on long-term changes, rather than short-term deprivation. If you commit to eating nothing but celery and carrots each day, you are probably dieting with an end in sight. Schwartz suggests that you, “gradually incorporate small changes that you’ll stick with for life. Try swapping one unhealthy food out for a healthier one rather than completely depriving yourself. You’ll be less likely to succumb to temptation.

How do you handle hanger? Let us know what works for you. We love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Woman with pruritis

Identifying The Root Causes of Pruritis

Generalized itching, also known as pruritus, can be maddening, perplexing, and even downright depressing. If you are suffering from annoying itchiness, here is some information on pruritus and its causes.

What is Pruritis?
Pruritus can be defined as profuse itchiness of the skin and is a relatively common disorder affecting 20-25% of the population at one time in their lives. The condition can be, but is usually not, accompanied by a rash and the itching can range from a minor itch to a very severe itch, capable of disrupting quality of life. “Acute pruritis” is the term used for pruritus lasting six weeks or less; while “chronic pruritus” is used to refer to cases which exceed a six-week duration. For the majority of cases, there is no identifiable cause. If the condition is chronic and no cause is found, the condition is termed “Idiopathic Chronic Pruritis.”

What are the Causes?
Itching can be caused by many things including allergic manifestation, a side effect of medication, an infection, a skin disorder, or a psychological disorder. It can also be caused by a systemic disease such as, a kidney problem, thyroid disease, a neurologic disease, a blood disorder, liver disease, or connective tissue disorder and malignancy; it can also be caused by pregnancy.

How Is Pruritis Diagnosed?
A board certified allergist should be able to ask the correct questions to discover the cause of pruritis. A detailed family history should be taken from the patient and a thorough physical examination should follow. The next steps may include laboratory tests such as urinalysis, X-rays, skin biopsies , patch tests, and stool samples.

How Is Pruritis Treated?
If a systemic disease is determined to be the root cause, the itching usually subsides after the disease is treated. If there is no identifiable cause, there are a number of treatment alternatives. Medications can be given to lessen or relieve itching. Oral medications are primarily used, but topical creams can also be successful. Medications are usually administered for one to two weeks, but more severe cases may require years of treatment. UV light therapy has also been used, although degrees of success vary.

If you suffer from generalized itching, it is recommend that you seek professional help in finding the cause. Even if no cause is found, you may be given something to reduce or completely relieve your itching. If you have struggled with pruritis, feel free to contact us and share your experience.

Woman measuring her dress size

What It Takes To Drop Two Dress Sizes

You just got an invite to your high school reunion. Great, right? You’ve stayed chummy with all your old friends through social media; now you’ll get some time to catch up face to face. There’s only one problem. The picture on your Facebook page is about two years old and you’ve gone up about two dress sizes since you took it. What are you going to do? You can’t possibly show up looking like you spent the last ten years channel surfing with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s! You need to drop two dress sizes and you need to start now! What can you do?
Well, Khloe Kardashian did it, Jennifer Hudson did it, and Oprah Winfrey did it, several times! Here’s what you need to do to drop two dress sizes in a few weeks time.

Eating
Leading naturopath Max Tomlinson says, “You need to be clever with your diet to see optimum results, especially within a relatively short time frame. Crash dieting or starvation will only lead to weight gain down the line,” These are some of the suggestions Max recommends:

Eat Regularly
If you skip meals, your body will store the food you eat rather than burning it as a source of energy. Regular eating will kick start your metabolism and help you lose weight. Breakfast is the most important meal for raising metabolic rate and ensuring that the body uses food effectively for the remainder of the day.

Control Portions
Try to reduce food intake by 45 percent. Try to consume 1,000 calories per day to lose weight without slowing metabolism.

What to Eat
Avoid empty calories and make sure to eat food that is nutrient rich. Plan a menu consisting of foods such as organic fish, eggs, poultry, lean meat, brown rice, quinoa and oats. Satisfy the RDA with two servings of fruit and three of vegetables, sticking to leafy greens and avoiding peas and sugar rich roots vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes.

What Not to Eat
Steer clear of junk food and saturated fats. Restrict dairy intake, or cut it out completely, and replace it with goat milk and soy cheese. Limit treats like cakes and chips and don’t drink too many fluids. Many people up their liquid intake when they diet, but water can be taxing on your kidneys causing poor digestion and bloating.

Training
Tomlinson says, “When you diet without exercise, at least half of your weight comes for lean body mass. (muscle and non-fat tissue.) This slows your metabolism, setting you up for weight regain as soon as you increase your food intake.” Here’s one of the exercises Tomlinson suggests for his celebrity clientele.

Pile Squats
Stand with your feet a hip-width apart with your feet turned out holding dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing inward. Put your weight on your heals and squat, curling arms to your shoulders and keeping your elbows tucked in. Hold squat, and push your arms up, locking your elbows. Lower arms and come out of squat. Repeat 20-30 times.

Let us know your tips for keeping slim and, if you ever dropped a dress size or two, we’d love to hear how you did it! Let us know!

Woman meditating on the beach

What To Expect From A Transcendental Meditation Course

In the 1960’s an endorsement by the Beatles was priceless. Anything the Fab Four did was sure to be imitated by thousands of young adults around the country, becoming an overnight sensation. In the 1990’s the same could be said of Oprah Winfrey. The daytime talk show host was said to have the “Midas Touch” when something earned her approval, taking the virtually unknown into superstar status. So, what happens to something that gets the thumbs up from both Oprah and the Beatles?

When the Beatles first sat down with the Maharishi in India in the 1960’s, Western attitudes about Indian spirituality would be forever changed. Since then, celebrities and common folk alike have been seeking the comfort of transcendental meditation. If you are pondering taking up a transcendental meditation course, here is a little of what you can expect.

What is Transcendental Meditation?
The transcendental Meditation technique, or ™ is a form of mantra meditation devised by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It involves using a mantra and should be practice 15 to 20 minutes a day. and is one of the most commonly practiced and researched meditation techniques rooted in Hinduism and considered a religious practice toward self development

Practice
The Maharishi believed “bubbles of thought are produced in a stream one after another” and transcendental meditation involved experiencing “a proper thought until its subtlest state is experienced and transcended. Practices include “unstressing” and teachers will instruct students to ignore random thoughts and “attend” to a mantra.

Mantra
Transcendental meditation consists of repeating a mantra while sitting with closed eyes and without assuming a yoga position. The mantra is known as a vehicle which frees the attention of the individual, allowing him or her to travel to a less active state of mental function.

Course Description
The technique is taught in a seven- step- course in a six -day period. It is taught in private or group instruction by a certified teacher. It begins with a one hour introductory lecture which discusses social relationships, health, and the promotion of inner and outer peace. The next part consists of a 45 minute preparatory lecture discussing the transcendental practice and its origins. During the third step, a private interview takes place in which the student and teacher get acquainted and questions can be asked and answered.

The next day, the student begin his first of three 90 to 120 minute teaching sessions. It occurs in a group setting and provides information about correct meditational practice for the individual student based on personal experience. On the third day, the focus is on development of higher stages of human consciousness, outlining the potential of mental growth. Meditators new to the program attend follow up classes to make sure they are practicing properly and to provide a chance for one on one contact with the teacher.

Is transcendental meditation for you? Let us know what you think? Could Oprah and the Beatles have it wrong?

Happy optimistic woman

Optimism, Health, and Longevity

“There are only two things I love in this world: everybody and television.” This is a quote from Kenneth Parcell, the character played by Jack McBrayer on “30 Rock.” Every TV sitcom has its optimist. The against- the -odds type who insist on seeing the good side of every situation. On “Modern Family”, it’s Phil Dunphy, the lovable, if naive, father who says, “When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be all like ‘what?!'” Then there’s Ellie Kemper’s character who plays Erin on “The Office” who thinks disposable cameras are meant to be thrown out before the film is developed and throws the camera in the bin with a smile on her face. Laugh at them though we might, it seems like these charmingly oblivious characters may be on to something. A longer life.

Optimism and Longevity
Researchers at Harvard University have found that a having a highly optimistic outlook may lead to a reduced risk of an early death from heart disease, stroke, and cancer. According to co-author Eric Kim, there are three possible explanations for the connection. ‘The first is that optimistic people just tend to act in healthier ways and there are a lot of studies showing that optimists eat healthier, they exercise more,” said Kim.

Another theory has to do with coping abilities. Optimists tend to accept disagreeable circumstances more easily and adapt accordingly. They are also more likely to seek support from friends and family.

The third, and perhaps most interesting, reason is that optimism has a direct impact on biological function and is associated with more antioxidants and less inflammation. The 2004 Nurses’ Health study measured the optimism level of 70,000 women by asking them questions about subjects including expectations, relaxation, and social activities. They found that the more optimistic ladies had an almost 30% lower risk of death from major diseases than the other women.

Can We Control It?
Researchers say that about 25% of our optimism is genetic and the rest is up to us. Kim says, “Some of it is within our control; some is not…” and, “some people just don’t want to be more optimistic-its a preference and I think we should respect that. I don’t think we should push it upon people.”

Increasing Optimism
If you are sworn to cynicism, you are not alone. After all, we all identified with Garbage singer Shirley Manson when she crooned about only being “happy when it rains.” However, if you want to take a page from the books of the Phil Dunphys among us, here are some ways to keep optimism in the forefront.

  1. Take some time before going to bed to think about everything you have to be grateful for.
  2. Keep a list of the kind acts you’ve performed.
  3. Separate the different aspects of your life; friends, family, job, relationship and jot down your version of the best expectations you have from each of them.
  4. Spend 20 minutes a day imagining what your life would look like if all these aspects lived up to those expectations.

If you are a real life optimist, we would love to know how you do it. Please send input and advice! We love to hear from you!

Fresh potatoes on table

The Health Benefits of Potatoes

So you go to your favorite juice joint and order your lunchtime smoothie? What do you put in it? Almond milk, coconut milk, carrot juice, ginger? What about potato juice? “Potato juice,” you say, “is that even a thing?” And if it is, do you want it? After all, aren’t potatoes full of starch and carbohydrates? Last you heard, the only thing potatoes were good for is making fries, chips, and vodka. Well, prepare to have your mind blown!

Potato juice has a long history of being used as a remedy for everything from skin disorders to inflammation to cancer and is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients. Have a look at the endless benefits for yourself.

For Your Skin

Dark Circles
If dark circles under the eyes are one of your pet peeves, here’s potato juice to the rescue. Just soak some cotton balls in spud juice and place them under your eyes before you go to sleep. In a week, the dark circles should be things of the past.

Anti-Aging
Applying a face mask made with potato juice and curd is a great way to reduce fine lines and hydrate skin. Mix potato juice with olive oil to help eliminate dark circles and crow’s feet.

Blemishes
The anti-inflammatory properties in potato juice is an effective acne treatment. Apply directly to blemishes for best results.

Angular Cheilitis and Eczema
Angular cheilitis is a skin disorder which causes swelling and redness of the corners of the mouth. Potato juice is an anti-inflammatory that can help tone down lesions when applied to the affected area. Potato juice also contains vitamin B complex which can prevent vitamin B deficiency associated with this condition. Drinking potato juice can also be used to treat eczema, another common skin disorder.

For Your Hair

Hair Loss
If you want to speed up hair growth, mix potato juice with egg white and honey. Apply to hair and let it sit for two hours before rinsing with a mild shampoo and water.

Dry Hair
A combination of aloe vera and potato juice can restore the moisture to dry, fly-away hair.

Grey Hair
Use potato juice to rinse shampoo from your hair instead of water to darken gray hair and give it a radiant glow.

For Your Health

Detox
Another benefit of spud juice is its ability to flush toxins from the body. Toxin overload can break down the immune system. Drinking potato juice can ward off health problems caused by bacterial and fungal infection by detoxifying and boosting immune resistance.

Joint Pain and Arthritis
Potato juice’s ability to perform as an anti-inflammatory makes it a great remedy for gout, back pain, joint pain, and arthritis. Drink it before breakfast in the morning for optimal effect.

Weight Loss
Drink it twice daily to help you slim down–once in the morning on an empty stomach and again two or three hours before you hit the hay.

Digestion
Drink potato juice on a regular basis to improve digestion and thwart constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and indigestion. It is also known to have positive effects for those who suffer from GERD and can be used to treat peptic ulcers when combined with carrot juice.

What do you know about potato juice? Let us know how you get the most out of your spuds!

Woman sleeping

Addressing Chronic Sleep Problems

Staying awake all night. It’s been glamorized in rock and roll, pop, hip hop, rap and every other sort of music in between. Doing the walk of shame, showing up bleary-eyed to work the next day, all proudly displayed badges of honor for surviving a night worthy of the wildest of wild men and women throughout the course of history. But if you’re getting the morning after feeling without the experience of the night before, it may be worth taking a closer look.

Sure, staying up all night can be great and looking and feeling unwell may be par for the course after a night of fun, but not if a good night’s sleep was intended. If you are finding yourself suffering from sleep trouble, don’t just shrug it off; it may be a symptom of a medical sleep disorder and treatment may be available.

Sleep Problems
First, it should be acknowledged that there is a distinction between the terms “sleep problem” and “sleep disorder” Sleep problems are often the result of bad habits, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, eating a large meal or exercising heavily before bed. Sleep can also be disturbed by environmental factors such as psychological stress, or jet lag. These problems can usually be solved by eliminating the causes. However, sleep disorders fall under a separate category and usually require medical treatment.

Sleep Disorders

Apnea
Sleep apnea is characterized by an actual cessation of breathing for periods of a few seconds, followed by gasping for air. The sufferer may not be aware of anything unusual occurring until he or
she wakes up feeling hungover with a dry mouth or headache. These symptoms may be accompanied by loss of memory, concentration, and focus. Sleep apnea affects about 7% of the population and is a risk factor for high blood pressure

Treatment
Continuous positive airway pressure CPAP is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. It consists of a face mask or nasal plug which blows air into the nasal passages, allowing air to flow freely.

Surgery
Surgeries can be performed to open the airway be removing tissues that obstruct it, such as tonsils or nasal polyps. However, these are not without risk and the side effects and outcomes can be unpredictable.

Nonspecific Therapy
This addresses behavioral aspects which may be responsible for sleep apnea. Nonspecific therapy commonly involves weight loss, the avoidance of medicine, and adjustment of sleeping position.

Restless Leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome affects about 15% of the population. It is characterized by a “pins and needles feeling” in the legs causing an irresistible urge to move the legs to relieve the feeling. RLS makes falling asleep difficult and may also force the sufferer out of sleep. People with RLS may also suffer from periodic limb movement disorder characterized by repetitive muscle twitches or jerking movements in the toes, knees, or hips. RLS and PLMD have both been associated with other medical conditions, such as anemia.

Treatment
When it comes to treatment of RLS, medications are usually recommended. The three classes include: dopaminergic agents, which produce dopamine in the brain, benzodiazepines, and opioids.

Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is usually indicated by the tendency to fall asleep spontaneously. It is often linked to cataplexy, a sudden weakness brought on by laughter, or intense feelings, sleep paralysis, a situation in which one is half awake and unable to move, and hypnagogic hallucinations, which are intense dreams at the end of sleep. Narcoleptics may also engage in automatic behavior, in which they perform routine tasks without later memory.

Treatment
Behavioral treatment for narcolepsy includes avoiding heavy meals and alcohol, and shift work and making sure nighttime sleep and naps are regularly timed. Medications usually consist of stimulants to increase alertness and antidepressants.

Do you think your suffering from a sleep disorder? If you do, you may not have to deal with it. Go see a medical expert and explore your options. Let us know how it went.