Tag Archives: Health Concerns

Find out what’s really keeping you awake

(ARA) – What do sleep deprivation and pain have in common? Much more than most people realize. First, many people suffer from both conditions. More than 150 million Americans say they are not getting enough sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And back pain affects more than 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives; as we grow older, more than 50 percent of us will have chronic pain of some sort, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Second, and more importantly, each condition deeply affects the other. Sleep expert Pete Bils, who is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the vice president sleep innovation and clinical research at Sleep Number, says pain and sleeplessness can become an unhealthy cycle that negatively impacts quality of life.

“Pain disturbs sleep, taking away from its restful and restorative properties. And poor sleep actually lowers our threshold for pain, perpetuating the problem cycle,” says Bils. “The reduction of pain, both during the day and at night, will promote better sleep, and better sleep could induce an overall lessening in pain.”

Lack of sleep can lead to more than just irritability, lethargy and health concerns. In fact, research shows that sleep deprivation is a contributing factor to a wide array of health issues, including weight gain, stress, illness and chronic pain.

So, what is a sleep-deprived person in pain to do? Bils, who’s work involves researching, investigating and helping develop new technologies to promote better sleep, offers the following six tips to help pain sufferers get a good night’s sleep:

1. Watch your medication. Most pain medications significantly alter sleep patterns and may contribute to enhanced pain perception during the day. Discuss alternatives with your doctor if you’re having problems sleeping.

2. Stretch. Many pain conditions have proven therapies to naturally reduce pain levels. These include low-impact exercises, relaxation techniques or changes in lifestyle, such as diet and exercise.

3. Get enough quality sleep. Research shows that poor sleep is a risk factor for developing chronic pain later in life. Poor sleep can also make you feel more pain. Making sleep a top priority is essential to manage pain.

4. Re-evaluate your mattress. It’s a myth that “firmer is better” for people with back pain. Recent clinical studies conclude that an overly firm mattress can actually contribute to pain. The best mattress is one that supports your unique and ever-changing body. A bed that allows you to adjust the firmness on each side, like the Sleep Number bed is ideal because it helps keep your head, neck and shoulders in alignment. In fact, in clinical tests performed by Sleep Number at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Marsh Health Center facilities, participants reported feeling relief from back pain after sleeping on a Sleep Number bed for 28 days.

5. Watch your posture. Your spine is dynamic. Pay attention to your body mechanics both during the waking hours and at night, working to keep a lengthened, straight spine. Your office chair and your sleep surface should support your body in a way that doesn’t put stress on your spine.

6. Avoid poor sleep habits. Certain habits can contribute to poor sleep, such as caffeine and alcohol consumption, vigorous exercise in the evening, and computer and television use in the bedroom. Focus on establishing a nightly sleep routine to help your body relax. Consider adding relaxation techniques, such as deep abdominal breathing, to your routine to help you fall asleep.

“Millions of Americans endure it, and billions of dollars are spent treating it. Back pain sufferers are searching for relief,” says Bils. “Realizing that sleep can affect pain and vice versa is half the battle. If pain sufferers commit to getting consistent, restful sleep, they can help manage their pain and truly improve their quality of life.”

For more helpful sleep tips visit www.sleepnumber.com or your local Sleep Number store.

Find out what’s really keeping you awake

(ARA) – What do sleep deprivation and pain have in common? Much more than most people realize. First, many people suffer from both conditions. More than 150 million Americans say they are not getting enough sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And back pain affects more than 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives; as we grow older, more than 50 percent of us will have chronic pain of some sort, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Second, and more importantly, each condition deeply affects the other. Sleep expert Pete Bils, who is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the vice president sleep innovation and clinical research at Sleep Number, says pain and sleeplessness can become an unhealthy cycle that negatively impacts quality of life.

“Pain disturbs sleep, taking away from its restful and restorative properties. And poor sleep actually lowers our threshold for pain, perpetuating the problem cycle,” says Bils. “The reduction of pain, both during the day and at night, will promote better sleep, and better sleep could induce an overall lessening in pain.”

Lack of sleep can lead to more than just irritability, lethargy and health concerns. In fact, research shows that sleep deprivation is a contributing factor to a wide array of health issues, including weight gain, stress, illness and chronic pain.

So, what is a sleep-deprived person in pain to do? Bils, who’s work involves researching, investigating and helping develop new technologies to promote better sleep, offers the following six tips to help pain sufferers get a good night’s sleep:

1. Watch your medication. Most pain medications significantly alter sleep patterns and may contribute to enhanced pain perception during the day. Discuss alternatives with your doctor if you’re having problems sleeping.

2. Stretch. Many pain conditions have proven therapies to naturally reduce pain levels. These include low-impact exercises, relaxation techniques or changes in lifestyle, such as diet and exercise.

3. Get enough quality sleep. Research shows that poor sleep is a risk factor for developing chronic pain later in life. Poor sleep can also make you feel more pain. Making sleep a top priority is essential to manage pain.

4. Re-evaluate your mattress. It’s a myth that “firmer is better” for people with back pain. Recent clinical studies conclude that an overly firm mattress can actually contribute to pain. The best mattress is one that supports your unique and ever-changing body. A bed that allows you to adjust the firmness on each side, like the Sleep Number bed is ideal because it helps keep your head, neck and shoulders in alignment. In fact, in clinical tests performed by Sleep Number at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Marsh Health Center facilities, participants reported feeling relief from back pain after sleeping on a Sleep Number bed for 28 days.

5. Watch your posture. Your spine is dynamic. Pay attention to your body mechanics both during the waking hours and at night, working to keep a lengthened, straight spine. Your office chair and your sleep surface should support your body in a way that doesn’t put stress on your spine.

6. Avoid poor sleep habits. Certain habits can contribute to poor sleep, such as caffeine and alcohol consumption, vigorous exercise in the evening, and computer and television use in the bedroom. Focus on establishing a nightly sleep routine to help your body relax. Consider adding relaxation techniques, such as deep abdominal breathing, to your routine to help you fall asleep.

“Millions of Americans endure it, and billions of dollars are spent treating it. Back pain sufferers are searching for relief,” says Bils. “Realizing that sleep can affect pain and vice versa is half the battle. If pain sufferers commit to getting consistent, restful sleep, they can help manage their pain and truly improve their quality of life.”

For more helpful sleep tips visit www.sleepnumber.com or your local Sleep Number store.

Find out what’s really keeping you awake

(ARA) – What do sleep deprivation and pain have in common? Much more than most people realize. First, many people suffer from both conditions. More than 150 million Americans say they are not getting enough sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And back pain affects more than 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives; as we grow older, more than 50 percent of us will have chronic pain of some sort, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Second, and more importantly, each condition deeply affects the other. Sleep expert Pete Bils, who is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the vice president sleep innovation and clinical research at Sleep Number, says pain and sleeplessness can become an unhealthy cycle that negatively impacts quality of life.

“Pain disturbs sleep, taking away from its restful and restorative properties. And poor sleep actually lowers our threshold for pain, perpetuating the problem cycle,” says Bils. “The reduction of pain, both during the day and at night, will promote better sleep, and better sleep could induce an overall lessening in pain.”

Lack of sleep can lead to more than just irritability, lethargy and health concerns. In fact, research shows that sleep deprivation is a contributing factor to a wide array of health issues, including weight gain, stress, illness and chronic pain.

So, what is a sleep-deprived person in pain to do? Bils, who’s work involves researching, investigating and helping develop new technologies to promote better sleep, offers the following six tips to help pain sufferers get a good night’s sleep:

1. Watch your medication. Most pain medications significantly alter sleep patterns and may contribute to enhanced pain perception during the day. Discuss alternatives with your doctor if you’re having problems sleeping.

2. Stretch. Many pain conditions have proven therapies to naturally reduce pain levels. These include low-impact exercises, relaxation techniques or changes in lifestyle, such as diet and exercise.

3. Get enough quality sleep. Research shows that poor sleep is a risk factor for developing chronic pain later in life. Poor sleep can also make you feel more pain. Making sleep a top priority is essential to manage pain.

4. Re-evaluate your mattress. It’s a myth that “firmer is better” for people with back pain. Recent clinical studies conclude that an overly firm mattress can actually contribute to pain. The best mattress is one that supports your unique and ever-changing body. A bed that allows you to adjust the firmness on each side, like the Sleep Number bed is ideal because it helps keep your head, neck and shoulders in alignment. In fact, in clinical tests performed by Sleep Number at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Marsh Health Center facilities, participants reported feeling relief from back pain after sleeping on a Sleep Number bed for 28 days.

5. Watch your posture. Your spine is dynamic. Pay attention to your body mechanics both during the waking hours and at night, working to keep a lengthened, straight spine. Your office chair and your sleep surface should support your body in a way that doesn’t put stress on your spine.

6. Avoid poor sleep habits. Certain habits can contribute to poor sleep, such as caffeine and alcohol consumption, vigorous exercise in the evening, and computer and television use in the bedroom. Focus on establishing a nightly sleep routine to help your body relax. Consider adding relaxation techniques, such as deep abdominal breathing, to your routine to help you fall asleep.

“Millions of Americans endure it, and billions of dollars are spent treating it. Back pain sufferers are searching for relief,” says Bils. “Realizing that sleep can affect pain and vice versa is half the battle. If pain sufferers commit to getting consistent, restful sleep, they can help manage their pain and truly improve their quality of life.”

For more helpful sleep tips visit www.sleepnumber.com or your local Sleep Number store.

Why so shy? What females of the Facebook generation are not sharing in the OB/GYN office that could affect their health

(ARA) – Although Millennials and Gen Xers have led society into a new world of personal disclosure and information sharing online, only one in four women between ages 18-34 with a regular health care provider (HCP) has initiated a conversation about their sexual health with the provider — and four in ten weren’t too comfortable about it.

Nationally recognized internist and co-author of the new book “What the Yuck?: The Freaky & Fabulous Truth About Your Body,” Roshini Raj, MD, warns that this health reticence among the “TMI Generation” may come at a cost: women who withhold information through shyness or discomfort may unintentionally impact their sexual health evaluations or they may even end up with a birth control method that doesn’t suit their lifestyle.

“Healthy Communication,” is a campaign created for women, by women, to help all women have more courageous conversations with their health care providers about subjects like sexual health that can be found on iVillage.com/health.

Good communication between patients and their health care providers is vital — but sharing sexual and reproductive health details with their HCP is not common practice for most women. The Healthy Communication survey, recently conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, examined the quality of relationships women ages 18 to 34 feel they have with their health care providers when seeking sexual health information, well-woman exams or birth control.

To get the most out of their annual ob/gyn visit, Dr. Raj insists that women should prepare in advance for candid conversations. Digital Natives, the subjects of the survey, may love interactive tools and online articles.

“If women cannot have open and honest conversations with their health care providers to express health concerns, ask questions and report the changes happening in their lives, health issues may go unchecked and diagnoses may be missed,” says Dr. Raj, Healthy Communication campaign adviser “Women who take a passive role in conversations with their health care provider could be compromising their health.”

Education and Empowerment

According to the Healthy Communication survey, only one-third of the women feel “informed, confident, relaxed or knowledgeable” when discussing their birth control. To combat this growing problem and help women become better sexual health conversationalists, Dr. Raj and Merck & Co., Inc. are launching Healthy Communication which can be found on iVillage.com/health. The site will provide educational resources to help women be more confident initiating a sex health conversation with their health care provider.

About the Survey

The survey of 370 women 18 to 34 years of age was conducted online in November 2009 by Opinion Research Corporation, on behalf of Schering Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. Respondents were from online panel sources in the United States.