Words of wisdom and miscellaneous facts by Dr. Wysong and others. This is an accumulation over several decades and the accuracy cannot be attested to.
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Sleep is necessary for both mental and physical health. Lack of it is deadly at worst, and at the least will impair memory and our ability to think. Additionally, sleep deprivation causes changes in the brain to such a degree that brain activity becomes similar to people who have psychiatric disorders. Lack of good sleep results in metabolic alterations that make us feel hungry. Severe lack of sleep causes the brain to stop producing new cells, increases our risk of diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and accelerates aging.
Adults need to get between six and nine solid hours of sleep each night. Everyone has advice about this, but here’s some more: Monitor what you eat before bedtime to see how it influences your sleep. If you nap during the day, make it as early as possible and short. Long naps just use up your sleep-inducing melatonin. Sleep in the dark. Unplug appliances and electronics to decrease electrical fields. Ground your bed to the earth (see Going Bare). Watch television programs that are educational—such concentration creates sleepiness. Better yet, read or listen to educational and self-improvement tapes. Do not engage in arguments before bedtime or read letters that may be upsetting. Turn the phone off. Keep room temperature on the cool side but be sure to have plenty of covers. Do physical activity during the day that creates tiredness. Get as much sunshine as possible. Let fresh air into the room, or if closed use a negative ion generator.
Get to bed as early as possible to maximize hours of sleep. (We have lives, so waking time is not as flexible as the get-to-bed time can be.) If you wake in the middle of the night, stay in bed, keep your eyes closed to rest them, and solve some of the problems that lie before you for the next day or create something in your mind. Use supplements as necessary, but do not use sleep drugs. Figure out why you are not sleeping and fix it.
Paranoid for Good Reason?
Just so the nagging fears that keep us awake at 3:00 AM can be properly organized, the people at Insure.com recently worked with Kilbourne in San Diego to weigh everyday risks. Here are just a few of the fun facts—
You are 50 times more likely to be killed by a bee than by a shark; you are far more likely to be killed by a car (40,000 annually) than a gun (not counting suicides only about 13,000 annually); a backyard trampoline is more likely to injure you (100,000 per year) but a backyard pool is far more likely to kill you (1,000 American pool drownings per year); lightning really is dangerous (42 deaths per year on average) but hail is rarely fatal (last reported 1979). Of course you are still more likely to be killed by lightning than a plane crash. And finally, believe it or not, you should not stop fearing the plague if you are in the Western part of the U.S. – bubonic plague is endemic among ground squirrels in the West, and far more likely to kill you than a mountain lion, although admittedly unlikely.
Of course none of this is to mention the number one killer today that people are clamoring for more free access to—modern medical care (see Stopping the Number One Killer). Insure.com, Inc.
Radon is an odorless but dangerous radioactive gas created by decaying uranium found in water, rock, or soil. It is second only to smoking as a lung cancer cause, and can be found in old homes as well as new construction. Some people believe granite countertops, now so popular, may be a source of radon in new homes and apartments. The Environmental Protection Agency advises that we ask whether the home or apartment we are moving into has been tested, and follow up to get it done if it has not. If your radon readings remain above 4 pCi/L, you will need to have radon reduction repairs with expert advice. Each state has a state radon office, or you can also turn to the National Radon Helpline – (800) 557-2366 – for advice. AOL News.
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