Tag females

Connectivity: The Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Brains — PsyBlog

Connectivity: The Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Brains — PsyBlog.

A fascinating new study on the brains of 949 young people finds striking gender differences in the brain’s connectivity between males and females (Ingalhalikar et al., 2013).

From the 428 males in the study, the researchers found that the connections in men’s minds ran more between the front and the back, within the same half of the brain.

This may help to explain men’s advantage with motor and spatial skills over women since front-to-back connections help link perception with action.

This may help explain women’s improved memory and social skills, since communication between the halves of the brain helps link intuition with analysis.

To read more, click the link above.

Your Valentine Wants You to Get Treated for Sleep Apnea!


She has been telling you for months to get your sleep apnea diagnosed and treated, but you have been putting it off. You have argued, “I don’t snore. I am not tired. It is just stress. I have been working too much.”

But, you have been dozing off in the recliner. You are cranky, nervous, and irritable. You are inattentive to her needs. Your sex drive is down. Your problem-solving skills, innovative ability, interpersonal skills, and your energy level are down. It is about time you listened to her and got treated. That would be the true Valentine’s day gift that will keep on giving for the rest of your life.

Sleep apnea, a serious and fatal yet severely under diagnosed disorder affects approximately 20 percent of the adult population. Snoring, daytime fatigue, witnessed apnea (cessation of respiration for more than ten seconds), morning headaches, dry throat, and waking up gasping for air are common features of this disorder, which is being increasingly recognized as a formidable enemy of a full and joyous life. It prevents the person from reaching deep and restorative stages of sleep, making the person grumpy, irritable, nervous, forgetful, inattentive, and tired.

It also increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, and early death because of nightly struggle to breathe, which causes frequent elevation of blood pressure and sustained drop in blood oxygen level while simultaneously increasing the oxygen consumption of the heart muscles. Untreated, the sleep apnea increases the risk of motor vehicular and industrial accidents. It can also contribute to erectile difficulties.

Use the STOP questionnaire to determine your risk for obstructive sleep apnea.

  • S … Do you snore loudly?
  • T … Do you often feel tired, fatigued, or sleepy during the daytime?
  • O … Has anyone observed you stop breathing during sleep?
  • P … Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?

If you answer yes to two or more of these questions, then you are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, and you should talk to your doctor.

To make an accurate diagnosis, you may need an overnight sleep study in a sleep lab where your respirations, the oxygen level, heart rate, EKG, leg movements, and sleep stages will be monitored all night long without using needles. Now, there is also a convenient and economical alternative in Apnea Link, a home sleet test. Talk to your doctor about it.

The commonest and most successful treatment includes wearing a mask hooked to a machine, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which acts as a pneumatic splint and prevents your throat from collapsing at night. Weight reduction, oral appliance (a customized denture that keeps your lower jaw pulled forward), and ENT surgery are the other options.

It is extremely rewarding to be treated for sleep apnea. Patients tell me:

  • “Doc, I did not know how sleepy I was until I started wearing CPAP.”
  • “A hazy screen has been lifted off from my eyes.”
  • “I thought it was all stress and aging, but now I feel young again.”
  • “I am thinking clearer. I am planning better. I am getting more done at work and home.”
  • “I have so much energy that I don’t know what to do with it.”
  • “My blood pressure is better; my sugars are better controlled.”
  • “I should have done this a long time ago.”

Listen to your Valentine and please talk to your doctor and get treated. It will give you a new life.

If you need additional information, please visit http://www.md4lungs.com. If you are in Michiana, please call our clinic at 574-534-9911.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ayurveda: How to treat insomnia | Sify Health


Ayurveda Q&A: How to treat insomnia | Sify Health.


Insomnia again

Insomnia again (Photo credit: Foodie In Disguise)


This is an interesting article from Dr Gowthaman (Medical Director, Dr Gowthaman’s Ayurveda Panchakarma Center, Chennai, India) for those interested in Ayurvedic treatment. Please remember that these supplements have not been approved by FDA. Always talk to your doctor before starting any supplements.

Sleep is a natural phenomenon of giving adequate rest to the body and mind. When this natural phenomenon is disturbed it leads to sleep disorders. Causes for insomnia are an irregular sleep-wake schedule, physical disorders, anxiety, and stress etc.

According to Ayurveda, sleep is one of the supporting pillars of life. Along with diet, sleep is important for good health and well-being. Ayurveda does not dictate eight hours of sleep for everyone, the amount of sleep you need depends on your mind-body constitution or Prakruti. People with Kapha constitution need the most sleep – about 8-9 hours in order to feel rested. Pittas are next, with a need of 7-8 hours. Vata can manage with 6-7 hours of sleep.

In Ayurveda, insomnia is known as Anidra. Aggravated vata, pitta dosa is the main cause for insomnia. The Ayurvedic treatment of insomnia focuses on balancing the aggravated Dosa through herbal medicines as well as customized diet, lifestyle treatment plans. Besides that, relaxation of mind is also important part of the treatment.

Types of Insomnia
-Difficulty falling asleep (sleep-onset insomnia): Commonly, people have difficulty falling asleep. In Ayurveda it’s called vathaja sleep disorder.
-Difficulty staying asleep (sleep maintenance insomnia): Older people are more likely to have difficulty staying asleep it’s a pitta type sleep disorder.
-Early morning drowsiness: you wake up feeling dull and lethargic; it’s a kapha type of insomnia.

Ayurvedic Herbs for Insomnia
– Jadamamsi is a natural sleep inducer; it can be taken 1tsp at bed time with milk.
– Vacha root is another effective drug; it can be taken along with Amla, Brahmi powder at bed time.
– Grind some fried cumin seed to a fine powder. Mix them with the pulp of a ripe banana. Eating this at night induces sleep.
– Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Thagaram,poppy seeds are some other Ayurvedic herbs for treating insomnia.

Ayurveda Therapies for Insomnia
Rvita approach for insomnia – For insomnia only sleeping pills does not give permanent relief, Ayurveda recommends a holistic approach which intend to solve the root cause for the insomnia. Doing holistic treatment with Pancha karma Treatment, yoga, meditation and life style recommendation.
– Sirodhara: It’s a very effective treatment for insomnia. Traditionally In this therapy medicated oil is poured on patient’s forehead from specific distance and for specific time frame, milk also used for this treatment. It brings relief to most of the associated factors of insomnia such as anxiety, stress and calms your mind.
– Abhyangam: This full body Ayurvedic massage with medicated oil relaxes the body and removes tensions, and induce sound sleep. Head massage with Brahmi oil is very effective for insomnia.
Pada Abhyangam or Foot Massage with Ksheerabala oil provides relaxation to the body and mind helps good sleep.
– Thalam: In thalam Herbal powder is mixed with medicated oil and is applied on the center part of the head.Thalam is the best treatment to cure variety of conditions like insomnia, stress, tension, and different mental conditions. For good sleep Ksheerabala oil mixed with Kachurathichoornamis used.
– Meditation and yoga: Mind is very significant in insomnia treatment. The mind and body are intimately connected, creating peaceful feelings in the mind is will help us to stay calm and away from anxiety and depression which are the major causes of insomnia. The meditation improves in sleep quality.

Read more at http://tinyurl.com/bbz9q5d

Lack of sleep may cause obesity by affecting brain’s ability to choose healthy food

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See Wikipedia:Sleep deprivation). Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lack of sleep may cause obesity by affecting brain’s ability to choose healthy food – Telegraph.

Two new studies that scanned the brains of people who have been sleep deprived have revealed their brains react differently when presented with choices of healthy and unhealthy food compared to those who have had adequate sleep.

The research showed that key areas of the brain related to reward were activated while activity in regions that control behaviour were inhibited.

The findings may help to explain the link between sleep deprivation and obesity.

Dr Marie-Pierre St-Onge, from Columbia University in New York who led one of the studies, said: “The results suggest that, under restricted sleep, individuals will find unhealthy foods highly salient and rewarding, which may lead to greater consumption of those foods.”

In her study 25 men and women of normal weight were asked to look at images of healthy and unhealthy food while in an fMRI scanner after five nights where their sleep was either restricted to just four hours or they were allowed to get up to nine hours.

In those who had less sleep, the reward centres of the brain were more active when shown pictures of unhealthy food compared to those who had more sleep.

When they were shown pictures of healthy food this area of the brain did not activate.

Dr St-Onge, who is presenting the research at the annual conference of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, added: “This may suggest greater propensity to succumb to unhealthy foods when one is sleep restricted.

“Indeed, food intake data from this same study showed participants ate more overall and consumed more fat after a period of sleep restriction compared to regular sleep.”

The second study, also being presented at the conference, looked at 23 healthy adults after a normal nights sleep and a night where their sleep had been restricted.

After each night, the participants were asked to rate how much they wanted food items shown to them while inside a fMRI scanner.

Stephanie Greer, who conducted the work at the sleep and neuroimaging laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, said sleep deprivation impaired the activity in the frontal lobe of the participants brains – an area critical for behaviour control and making choices.

She said they failed to see any activity in areas of the brain associated with reward in this study.

She said: “It seems to be about he regions higher up in the brain, specifically within the frontal lobe, failing to integrate all the different signals that help us normally make wise choices about the food we eat.”

She added that if people cannot make the right choices about what food to eat after suffering from poor sleep, it may explain why other studies have found a lack of sleep is risk factor for obesity.

Sleep Doc’s 6 Tips for Sound Sleep during Menopause

It is possible to sleep well even with hot flashes!

The following tips will help you sleep better even during menopause.

  1. Avoid foods that are spicy or acidic because these may trigger hot flashes. Try foods rich in soy because they might minimize hot flashes.
  2. Avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, especially before bedtime. These will make your hot flashes worse.
  3. Dress in lightweight clothes to improve sleep efficiency. Avoid heavy, insulating blankets, and consider using a fan or air-conditioner to cool the air and increase circulation. If your spouse is shivering, have a small, portable heater next to his side of the bed.
  4. Reduce stress and worry as much as possible. Try relaxation techniques, massage, and exercise. Talk to a behavioral health professional if you are depressed, anxious, or having problems.
  5. It is vital that you follow sleep hygiene and insomnia instructions discussed in an earlier blog.
  6. Try consolidating your sleep by going to bed thirty minutes later than your usual bedtime. As we age, we spend more time in bed, but we sleep less.

During the transition phase leading to menopause, over several years, a woman’s ovaries gradually decrease production of estrogen and progesterone. One year after menstrual periods have stopped, a woman reaches menopause, usually around the age of fifty. Menopause is a time of major hormonal, physical, and psychological change. Natural changes in sleep also occur, characterized by longer time to sleep onset, frequent awakenings, decreased amount of deep sleep, and poor sleep architecture. From perimenopause to post menopause, women report hot flashes, mood disorders, insomnia, and sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep problems are often accompanied by depression and anxiety, which make insomnia worse. This is the reason post-menopausal women are not satisfied with their sleep. As many as 61 percent report insomnia symptoms. Snoring and sleep apnea have also been found to be more common and more severe in post-menopausal women as their upper airway dilator muscles become flabby with aging.

Changing and decreasing levels of estrogen cause many menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, which are unexpected feelings of heat all over the body accompanied by sweating. They usually begin around the face and spread to the chest, affecting 75 to 85 percent of women around menopause. On average, hot flashes last three minutes and lead to reduced sleep efficiency. Most women experience these for one year, but about 25 percent have hot flashes for five years. Hot flashes interrupt sleep and reduce the amount of deep sleep, leading to suboptimal alertness and suboptimal leadership the following day.

Talk to your doctor about estrogen (estrogen replacement therapy or ERT) or estrogen and progesterone (hormone replacement therapy or HRT), nutritional products, and medications such as calcium supplements, vitamin D, and bisphosphonates for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of the bones). Also, talk about estrogen creams and rings for vaginal dryness. Also, discuss alternative treatment for menopausal symptoms such as soy products (tofu, soybeans, and soy milk). They contain phytoestrogen, a plant hormone similar to estrogen. Soy products may lessen hot flashes. Phytoestrogens is also available in over-the-counter nutritional supplements (ginseng, extract of red clover, or black cohosh). The FDA does not regulate these supplements. Their proper doses, safety, and long-term effects and risks are not yet known.

Typically, a leader’s career spans five to six decades. And toward the later part of your career, because of your vast experience, lifelong network of experts, and wisdom that comes only with age, you are worth more than you ever were. This makes it imperative that you take good care of your sleep so that you can continue to contribute to the welfare of the human race.

Share this freely with your friends and family.

Sleep Well, Lead Well.

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