Neuroscience

Causes Of Hypertension

There is little doubt that there are probably thousands of people walking the streets today who have a dangerously high blood pressure, yet they are completely unaware of it.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure leads to many different medical problems such as

    Stroke
    Coronary Disease
    Kidney disease

Different factors for causing high blood pressure include

    Excess alcohol
    Excess salt
    Excess sodium
    Stress (Up to a point)

The problem with high blood pressure (or hypertension, to give it it’s proper name) is that very often people are unaware they are suffering from it until they start suffering the side effects. This is one of the reasons why it is called the “silent killer”

There is little doubt that salt intake has a direct effect on blood pressure. Both this and the ingestion of dietary potassium have been found to have adverse effects on a person’s health.
Obesity
is another major problem. Overweight people are more liable to have a higher blood pressure than their slim counterpart. The heart and other vital organs have to work harder which leads to added strain.

Alcohol also plays a direct part in hypertension. It has been found in several studies, that the higher the alcohol consumption, the higher the blood pressure. However similar studies have also shown that moderate drinkers appear to have a lower blood pressure than non drinkers. This probably bears out the old assumption a little of what you fancy does you good!

Curing Insomnia with Behavior Modification

The amount of sleep a person needs actually depends on the age and amount of physical and mental activity a person engages to. For example, an infant who does not perform any strenuous task and undergoing a period of rapid growth needs 16 to 18 hours of sleep.

The same thing applies to teenagers who are experiencing the biological challenges of puberty. More often than not they require at least 9 hours of sleep every night for that matter.

Adults, on the other hand, requires 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day but changes if one engages to a vigorous activity which requires too much bodily strength. From this figures alone, we can see that sleep requirement varies from person to person.

Moreover, older individuals in their 60s above usually sleep a bit shorter due to some physical factors researchers are trying to find out. One study even shows as the body grows older the amount of melatonin, the chemical which induces sleep, a body produces diminishes and becomes irregular.

It doesn’t take to be a rocket scientist to understand the benefits of sleeping. But in some ways, to practically appreciate the benefits of a thing, we sometimes need to experience the consequences it creates when it’s omitted.

Treating Insomnia – Do OTC Meds Work?

Natural methods in curing insomnia are always preferred but upon a doctors approval the following over the counter medicines are formulated to stimulate sleep.

Diphenhydramine (Excedrin, Nytol, Sominex)
Doxylamine (Unisom)

The following on the other hand are medications that need to have doctors prescription to avail:

    Zolpidem (Ambien)
    Zaleplon (Sonata)
    Flurazepam (Dalmane)
    Estazolam (ProSom)
    Temazepam (Restori)
    Triazolam (Halcion)

Although these medicines are chemicals that trigger sleep, long periods of usage lessens its effectiveness.

Insomnia in Infants and Children

Usually, people suffering from insomnia blame this on too much stress, worries, depression and a very worrisome life.

People mostly believe that these feelings cannot be experienced by infants and children because they are too young to worry about anything. Based on this reasoning, some people think that insomnia would not occur in children. But this is not true. Just like adults, insomnia can also happen to children and infants.

Children have different sleeping habits and time patterns. For infants who are one week old, the average length of sleep per day is 16 hours. There are parents that believe that babies who sleep less are geniuses or have a high I.Q. But there is no scientific evidence to support this belief. Babies usually wake once every evening at the minimum. Unless breast fed, infants can go back to sleep on their own.

Insomnia or sleeping disorders can be defined in the following parameters:

• Having a hard time to sleep at night
• A person who wakes up very early
• A person who wakes up often at night

This ailment can cause the feeling of tiredness and drowsiness even after waking up in the morning. A person with insomnia also has a hard time concentrating.

Diagnosis of Sleeping Disorders

To check if a person has a sleeping disorder, a diagnosis is made by a physician specially trained in sleep medicine. After a physical examination of the upper airway and an interview with lots of questions, if it the tests have determined that the patient has a sleeping disorder, one will have to undergo a polysomnogram (sleep test).

Most sleep centers and labs monitor 16 different sleep parameters including EEG, EKG, eye movement, chin movement, air flow, chest effort, abdomen effort, SaO2, snoring and leg movement. Each parameter serves to help the physician make a correct diagnosis.

Test are conducted in a sleep room much like a motel room. A technician will paste electrodes at certain points on your head, face, body and legs. Those electrodes will be hooked to monitoring equipment that will record the entire night study. Most patients do not experience anxiety or difficulty in going to sleep. The patients in most case are extremely sleepy and will be asleep in just a few minutes.

Once a correct diagnosis has been made, the doctor may recommend a variety of

Sleep Apnea Treatments

Types of treatments for sleep apnea include;

1. Behavioral Therapy. Is usually all that is needed for a mild case. It changes the person behavior towards the use of alcohol, tobacco which affects the airway. For an obese person, the therapy also includes weight loss program. Overweight persons can benefit from losing weight. Even a small amount of weight loss will lower the frequency of apnea in majority of patients.

2. Physical or Mechanical Therapy. Here is one of the most effective ways of treating sleep apnea. During the therapy, the patient wears a mask on his nose during sleep while applying air pressure to the nasal passages. The therapy provides air pressure to keep the airway from narrowing.

3. Surgery for adults. Surgery is considered only when other alternative therapy failed or if the patient volunteered to. Surgery aims to remove unnecessary tissue build-up in the throat to open up the airway.

The best cure to sleep apnea is prevention. There are several ways to prevent one from having to develop sleep apnea and reduce the frequency of the attacks:

1. Many Sleep apnea patients are obese. Maintaining a healthy weight is a sure way to prevent the frequency of apnea episodes since it increases the volume of oxygen in the blood. Studies showed that a 10 percent decrease in weight would reduce the frequency of apnea episodes up to 26 percent.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea makes an active person feel sleepy in the morning and affects their concentration in work. Severe sleep apnea could lead to depression, memory loses, irritability, and other negative socio-psychological conditions. Sleep apnea could increase the risk of having a heart attack, high blood pressure and even stroke. One should suspect having a sleep apnea disorder when the following conditions occur:

1. Heavy snoring during sleep while struggling to breath. This is usually monitored by the spouse or room mate.

2. Co-workers noticing one’s lack of concentration at work and falling to sleep frequently.

3. Headaches upon waking up from sleep.

4. Frequent urination at night.

5. Heartburn during the night.

6. Frequent changing in sleep position restlessly.

7. Night time choking episodes.

Detecting sleep apnea is a collaborative effort among your family physician, neurologist, and pulmonologist. Among the tests for diagnosing person with such disorder are Polysommography and The Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). Polysomnography monitors different functions of the body during sleep such as brain activity, movement of the eye, movement of the muscles, heart beating, blood oxygen. The test will also determine whether the condition is moderate or severe. The Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) measures how fast the individual fall into sleep. Normal people fall into sleep in 10 to 20 minutes on the average while people with sleep apnea disorder fall into sleep in 5 minutes or less. Additionally, MSLT is use to measure the daytime sleepiness of the person.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a health condition far more serious than what most would think of. Sleep apnea is a health condition that happens when one’s breathing during sleep stop for a while, usually 10 seconds or even longer. Sleep apnea could happen 5 to 45 times per hour.

Sleep apnea is usually associated with choking sensations and often leads to headaches and sleepiness during the day. Its moderateness or severity is measured with respect to the frequency of episodes per hour, whether you have no breathing (apnea) or slower breathing (hyponea).

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