Health

6 Common Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep and Gadgets That Help

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 in Gadgets, Health | Comments Off on 6 Common Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep and Gadgets That Help

6 Common Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep and Gadgets That Help

Sleeping isn’t easy for some people. In fact, some people find it very hard to sleep, even when their bodies tell them to rest. This is actually a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

If you are one of those people who find it extremely challenging to get a good night’s sleep, you need to find out what is causing your sleeplessness. Learn about the six most common reasons why you can’t sleep.

You Don’t Get Enough Exercise

Many data sets  and research studies have already shown that exercising regularly can help ease anxiety so that you can sleep better. Exercise doesn’t have to be too intense, but also shouldn’t be non-existent. Exercising improves your body’s internal rhythm and can help improve sleep quality. Also, contrary to popular belief, exercising late at night will not disturb your sleep quality.

Your Room Isn’t Dark Enough

It is true that in order to sleep well, your bedroom should be dark enough so that you you are able to relax. Any light, whether it’s from your television, windows, phone, or other device, can affect your ability to sleep well. This is due to that fact that your body reduces its production of melatonin, the hormone that aids in sleep when it senses light around you (even when you’re sleeping). To make your room darker, you should invest in light-blocking window treatments as needed, and shut those electronics off before you go to bed.

Stress

Stress is one of the most common reasons you may not be able to sleep. Going to bed with a head full of thoughts about your bad day at work, a tough family situation, or financial stresses can put a huge strain on your ability to get high quality sleep. Here are a few ways to reduce your stress levels so that you can sleep better:

 

  • Burn off steam by exercising.
  • Keep a journal by your bedside and write out your stressful thoughts to get them off your chest.
  • Meditate, do some light yoga, or try progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Listen to soft music or read a light-hearted book before you go to sleep.

 

Clock-watching

It’s a common problem: you wake up in the middle of the night, usually around the same time as any other night, and think about how much time you have left to sleep before that alarm clock goes off. This is a form of “clockwatching”, and it can result in an unhealthy sleep pattern. The fact that you’re thinking so much about the amount of sleep that you can still get given the time can make you more stressed. You may even end up not sleeping at all.

Distraction from Gadgets

It’s true for many people in this age; checking your phone is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you do before you go to bed. Yes, technology makes lives more efficient, for the most part. However, the problem comes when you can’t sleep well because of your attachment to these devices. Try to stay away from gadgets when you’re about to sleep. This includes your television too, as studies have found that watching television in your bedroom is often a major cause of sleep problems.

Bad Sleeping Pattern

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is one of the most important things you can do to establish a consistent sleeping pattern. If you’re accustomed to staying up until the wee hours of the morning on weekends, this can seriously impact your sleep during the rest of the week. Napping at the wrong time may be another reason you can’t sleep well. If you’re a napper, make sure you’re not dozing off for more than 30 minutes at a time. Also, reserve your naps around 3 pm, which is the best time to get a quick snooze in.

These are the most common reasons why you can’t sleep. There are various ways to address each and every one of them – from habit-forming methods to aroma therapeutic treatments. However, when the natural remedies fail, you can turn to more advanced means.

You can go for these gadgets to really help you with your sleep issues. 

Hush Smart Earplugs

Outside noise can be one of your biggest sleep disruptors, especially if you are living in an urban apartment or noisy neighborhood. Traditional earplugs only go so far in blocking out noise, and noise-canceling headphones can be bulky and uncomfortable. Hush Smart Earplug has addressed these concerns by combining the earplug-headphone concept while you play soothing sounds throughout the night. You can set the earplugs to “communicate” with an app that can play up to 15 different sounds to help you doze your way off to perfect sleep.

Sense by Hello

Another practical gadget to help you with your sleep, Sense is designed to rest on your nightstand to monitor the temperature in your room, your own sleep behaviors and noise levels. Gradually, using internal sensors, the device learns your sleep patterns and wakes you up at the optimal time. You then receive a sleep score and tips to improve the quality of your sleep based on the device’s findings.

DreamPad

Since stress is one of the biggest determining factors why people find it hard to sleep, you need find a way to address this mental challenge. This is where DreamPad comes in. It uses psychoacoustic expertise and Intrasound Technology to deliver calming, gentle music that only you can hear. The technology uses the body’s natural conductivity to create a response that helps you fall and stay asleep. You can purchase the device itself or buy pillows that have the technology built in.

My Snoring Solution

The My Snoring Solution is a unique anti-snoring device that is placed around the entire head using stretchable fabric straps. It is intended to keep your mouth comfortably shut to avoid snoring and give you a much more relaxing sleep.

Aaron Creedon, a reviewer of sleeping devices, reviewed it: “overall I found it effective and a good solution to stop snoring.” When Aaron tested it, it helped him overcome snoring: “The strap holds the chin in the same way a hammock would hold something.  By holding the jaw in place throughout the night, this prevents snoring.  Snoring is basically caused when the mouth is open and the tongue slips into the back of the throat.”

Neuroon

As “the first intelligent sleep mask,” Neuroon operates by blocking out light and using a simulated sunrise to wake you naturally. After connecting an app from your phone to this device, it measures your sleep and provides analytics on the amount of REM, light and deep sleep you experience each night. The best thing is that you can put on the mask and indulge in 20 minutes of light-spectrum therapy to readjust your body’s biorhythms if you need a nap during the day.

Aura Connected Alarm Clock

Traditional alarm clocks blare their wake-up call, jarring you from whatever stage of sleep you’re in at the time. The Aura Connected Alarm Clock is a bedside lamp that uses a customized system to wake you up each morning. You can choose an energizing light, or you can go for a more gradual wake-up program that simulates sunrise. This lamp can play your own music or your choice of more than 20,000 web-based radio stations. Additionally, if you have a Spotify playlist, you can wake up to your own tunes as well.

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7 Early Warning Signs of Low Testosterone

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in Feat, Fitness, Health, Medical gadgets | Comments Off on 7 Early Warning Signs of Low Testosterone

7 Early Warning Signs of Low Testosterone

Having low testosterone is not something men should just shrug off. The problem is that most people can’t easily determine or simply just don’t initially care enough to have themselves checked for testosterone deficiency.

The most well-known and most drastic effect of low testosterone – or low T – is lack of sex drive in men. However, having low testosterone doesn’t only affect your sex drive and your ability to give a satisfactory performance during sex: it can have other serious physiological and psychological effects as well.

strong-vs-weak

Ultimately, having low T serves as a factor in developing high risk medical conditions like diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.

As such, it is imperative to take time and have your testosterone levels checked. To know more how your body relates to testosterone deficiency, here are the most common early warning signs of low testosterone that you should be mindful of:

Low Sex Drive

Naturally produced by the body, testosterone is a hormone that helps build muscle and bone mass. Predominantly found in men, it stimulates sperm production, and increases a man’s libido. That being said, the most adverse symptom of having deficiency in testosterone is the drop in one’s sexual drives.

low-sex-drive

Testosterone plays a key role in libido (sex drive) in both men and women. By nature, men may experience some decline in sex drive as they age. However, someone with low T can likely experience a more drastic drop in his desire to have sex at a much earlier age. Low T can also decrease the sex drive in women, along with other factors, such as other hormonal and mood changes.

Difficulty in Having an Erection

Apart from the psychological sex drive, low testosterone also affects the physical manifestations of sex drive as it decreases the ability for erection. In essence, testosterone alone doesn’t cause an erection, but it stimulates receptors in the brain to produce nitric oxide — a molecule that helps trigger an erection.

When testosterone levels are too low, a man may have difficulty achieving an erection prior to sex or experience spontaneous erections (for example, during sleep). Then again, other health problems can influence erectile function, so it is important to determine whether low T is causing this symptom.

Decreased Volume of Semen Production

Testosterone also plays a huge role in the production of semen – motility of one’s sperm is highly dependent in the production of semen.

The more testosterone a man has, the more semen he produces. Men with low T may notice a decrease in the volume of their semen production during ejaculation. When this happens, it is important to check if the condition is testosterone-related or a result of other serious condition.

Hair Loss

Aside from the aspects of sexuality such as sex drive and erection, testosterone also has its contributions in other bodily functions and that includes hair production. Balding is a natural part of aging for many men, but men with low T may experience a loss of body and facial hair.

Male pattern hair loss is caused by three things: genes, hormones, and age. Roughly one-third of the male population starts to lose hair by the age of 45. By the time retirement rolls around, nearly all men have some degree of hair loss. However, if you are not old enough to be balding but are experiencing loss of hair nonetheless, you might just have testosterone deficiency.

hair-loss

Fatigue & Lack of Energy

Extreme fatigue is another symptom of having low T in men, especially when there’s a noticeable decrease in energy levels. If you feel that your energy level is unusually low despite having nutrition or proper rest, having low T might be a factor. You might be experiencing symptoms of low T if you are tired all of the time, despite getting plenty of sleep, or if you are finding it harder to get motivated to hit the gym or exercise.

It’s absolutely normal to experience dips in energy at points in the day. However, being tired all the time or tiring easily when you exercise could indicate something worse than needing more caffeine. In a study of men and women over the age of 65, scientists found that those with low testosterone easily felt exhausted, weren’t able to walk as fast as their peers with normal testosterone levels, and weren’t as active.

sleepy

Fatigue and lack of energy can consequently cause a lot more problems for people with low T, since they won’t be able to maintain the best lifestyle – for example, they find it hard to do their usual routine like working out, jogging or walking around the block because of their lack of energy.

For men, the doctors say that the best course of action is to look for the natural sources of testosterone such as highly-nutritious food and some organic supplements. There’s also some organically made supplements – you may want to check out the best natural testosterone booster reviews for reference.

Increase in Body Fat

Physically and physiologically, low testosterone aids in an increase in body fat. Physically, men with low T can experience fatigue or low energy, which means that they can’t work out (as previously mentioned). Physiologically, men with low T may also experience increase in body fat. Sometimes, they can develop “gynecomastia”, a condition in which they develop enlarged breasts.

Consequently, patients may experience a struggle to lose weight (especially belly fat). Basically, testosterone helps regulate the placement of muscle and fat in your body, and a lack of this hormone shifts the balance in favor of fat, especially around your middle.

Furthermore, not only does low testosterone keep fat on your body, it also affects your ability to build muscle and can even make you lose the muscle you already have. When researchers measured testosterone levels and muscle density in 430 Japanese women, ages 40 to 79, researchers found low testosterone was associated with loss of muscle in their arms and legs over time.

Depression

Lack of testosterone can also give out signs of depression in men, as testosterone naturally aids in boosting the mood in general.

Researchers have found out that testosterone is significantly effective for boosting mood and treating depression in men with low baseline testosterone levels. In their study, testosterone has worked best in men with minor depression or dysthymia, a subtype of depression that is characterized by less severe but longer-lasting symptoms. On the other hand, the hormone has also proved to be helpful in men with more severe depression, but the effect is not as strong.

depression

A clinical trial looking at testosterone’s effects on depressive symptoms was wrapping up around the same time the St. Louis researchers completed their study. The results of this six-month trial, published in the medical journal “Comprehensive evaluation of androgen replacement therapy in aging Japanese men with late-onset hypogonadism” by Keisuke Okada were consistent with previous studies in showing that testosterone replacement therapy effectively treats depression in men with low testosterone.

This study looked at 50 men with an average age of 57 who had low testosterone and were treated by urologists at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. Thirty of the men were diagnosed with depression at the beginning of the study. For those men, depression symptoms significantly decreased by month 6, and only 11 of the 30 (36.7%) were still suffering from some depression after testosterone therapy.

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Office Worker Back Problems and How to Solve Them

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Feat, Fitness, Gadgets, Health | Comments Off on Office Worker Back Problems and How to Solve Them

Office Worker Back Problems and How to Solve Them

Human bodies are not designed for a sedentary lifestyle.

However, in this technologically driven society, people often feel there is no choice but to spend generous portions of the day sitting in one spot. The age of computers has brought about a surplus of a lot of office-based jobs that requires employees to sit in front of a desk for at least eight hours a day!

back-pain-in-chair

At this rate, even the average healthy person’s back can take a beating from this low-energy lifestyle. Typically, this lifestyle leads to increased pain, stiffness and long-term problems. Science shows that the body is naturally designed to be active, and sedentary positions cause back muscles to tense up from supporting the rest of the body in a single stance for too long. In turn, the spine is also adversely affected.

Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common work-related injuries. More often than not, back pain is caused by accumulation of stress from ordinary work activities such as sitting in an office chair or heavy lifting. There are generally two types of back pain:

  • Non-accidental injury, where pain arises as a result of normal activities and requirements of the task. Poor body mechanics (such as slouching in an office chair), prolonged inactivity, repetitive motions, and fatigue are major contributors to these injuries. This may occur from sitting in an office chair or standing for too long in one position.
  • Accidental injury results when an unexpected event triggers injury during the task. A load that slips or shifts as it is being lifted, or hitting one’s head on a cabinet door are typical office-related examples. These accidents can jolt the neck, back, and other joints with resulting muscle strain or tearing of soft tissues in the back.

experiencing-back-pain

The non-accidental type of injury is what kills our backs. Surely, a few minutes of slouching may not cause a huge back pain, but after having a hundred few minutes accumulated after a week’s worth of poor body mechanics, anyone can definitely feel the back pain kick in.

The easy-access solution for this is ergonomics. Applying ergonomic principles – the study of the workplace as it relates to the worker – can help prevent work-related back pain and back injury, and help maintain a healthy back. The goal of an ergonomics program in industry is to adapt the workplace to a specific worker, depending on the job description, required tasks, and physical makeup of the employee performing those tasks. These, can then be applied to the office equipment, such as the chair or computer keyboard.

However, despite many companies promoting ergonomic working conditions, countless employees still continue to practice poor posture at their desk, even outside the office. Aside from sitting all day at the office, people also tend to sit awkwardly in heavy traffic during daily commute, while eating lunch or during coffee breaks. All this just adds to the stress on the back, which could lead to long-term (and oftentimes permanent) damage to the lower back’s ligaments.

Additionally, living a sedentary lifestyle in general contributes to obesity. This is another cause which can consequently lead to undue strain on the back. The joints and muscles are not designed to endure extra weight as the years go by, and as the bodies are aging and growing frailer, people still tend to demand that they can take on more work. It’s a vicious cycle that is detrimental to the whole body.

And it all starts in the back.

The Macro-level Solution

To treat back problems before they even come, there are ways to strengthen them. Looking at the big picture, strengthening the back requires these basic steps:

slouching-at-desk

  • Stay active. This is the most important thing one can do to prevent and/or relieve back pain. If possible, take frequent breaks at work and walk/jog during lunch hour. Once at home, overcome end-of-day fatigue by hitting the gym or walking the dog. In other words, avoid the TV and Internet!

Engaging in exercise and fitness activities helps keep the back healthy by allowing discs to exchange fluids which is how the disc receives its nutrition. A healthy disc swells with water and squeeze it out, similar to the action of a sponge. This sponge action distributes nutrients to the disc.

Exercising the back also reduces stiffness by keeping the connective fibers of ligaments and tendons flexible. Improved mobility through back exercise helps prevent the connective fibers from tearing under stress, which in turn prevents injury and back pains.

  • Have a discussion with the employer about minimal adjustments that can be done to reduce chronic pain:

This could include getting a chair specifically designed to alleviate back pain or an adjusted schedule to allow for stretches and an active breather from the cubicle.

Also, go out and make a personal effort to find ways to deal with back pain. If people can go out shopping for the best Trench Coats 2016 and the White Coat Black Friday Sale, surely you should be able to find a good deal on an ergonomic chair. Now, if it’s for the relief of back pains, it is important to be mindful of the best market for the best deal on ergonomic furniture, supported attachments and other back pain comforters in the market.

  • When pain is exceptionally bad, call a doctor. While rare, back pain can be a sign of something more serious. If your desk job causes serious damage to the back, it could be causing more damage to other parts of the body as well.

The Micro-level Solution

Here are the most important guidelines from Spine-health.com to help make sure that the office chair and work area are as comfortable as possible, and cause the least amount of stress to the spine:

stretching-in-chair

  • Elbow measure: First, begin by sitting comfortably as close as possible to the desk so that the upper arms are parallel to the spine. Rest hands on the work surface (e.g. desktop, computer keyboard). If the elbows are not at a 90-degree angle, adjust the office chair height either up or down.
  • Thigh measure: Check that the fingers can easily slide under the thigh at the leading edge of the office chair. If it is too tight, the feet should be propped up with an adjustable footrest. For taller people, the desk or work surface may need to be raised to give room for adjustment of the office chair.
  • Calf measure: With the back pushed all the way against the back of the chair, try to pass a clenched fist between the back of the calf and the front of the office chair. If this can’t be done easily, the office chair may be too deep. In this case, the backrest must be adjusted forward. If all else fails, insert a low back support (such as a lumbar support cushion, a pillow or rolled up towel), or just get a new office chair.
  • Low back support: With the back pushed all the ways against the back of the chair, there should be a cushion that causes the lower back to arch slightly so that the body won’t slump forward or slouch down in the chair. This low back support in the office chair is essential to minimize the load (strain) on the back. Never slump or slouch forward in the office chair, as that places extra stress on the structures in the low back, and in particular, on the lumbar discs.

happy-worker

  • Armrest: Adjust the armrest of the office chair so that it just slightly lifts the arms at the shoulders. Use of an armrest on the office chair is important to take some of the strain off the upper spine and shoulders, and it should make one less likely to slouch forward in the chair.
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