Chronic Sore Throat – Causes and Natural Treatment

Some people pick up a recurring sore throat, whilst others rarely or never succumb to this condition. Let’s have a look at some of the common causes of a persistent sore throat:

Low immunity

The resistance of your body to disease, can determine how often you get a recurring sore throat. If you have poor immunity you are more likely to pick up infections and their accompanying symptoms. Your immune system can be suppressed by a poor diet, stress, smoking, an underlying disease or a genetic weakness.

Chronic viral infection

Some viruses are latent viruses that remain in the body for life, and can be reactivated when you are run down or under stress. Examples are the Epstein Barr virus that causes mononucleosis or glandular fever, and the herpes virus that causes recurrent cold sores and ulcers. When these viruses recur infective symptoms like a painful throat, fever and malaise are common.

Chronic bacterial infection

Bacteria like Chlamydia pneumonia, mycoplasma and Rickettsia can cause low grade infections which last for years. These bacteria live inside your cells and are difficult to eradicate from the body. A combination of conventional and natural medicine is the best approach.

Chronic fungal infection

A persistent sore throat can be triggered by a thrush or Candida. These infections are characterized by white patches on the inside of the mouth and throat. Candida infections are common in those with suppressed immunity.

Allergy

Food and environmental allergens like pollen, mold, dust mite and animal dander are common throat irritants that can trigger throat pain and inflammation.

Food and chemical sensitivities

Sensitivities to particular foods and chemicals are well known causes of respiratory symptoms like runny nose, sneezing and an irritated throat. Chemicals like chlorine, cleaning agents, nail polish, pesticides, glues, petrol and aerosol sprays are common triggers.

Reflux

If your throat is worse in the morning it may be due to reflux. Acid travels up from the stomach into the esophagus, and if the esophageal valve is weak, the acid can irritate the back of the throat.

Overuse of the voice

Strain of the vocal chords can result in a persistent painful throat. This is commonly seen in teachers, singers and presenters. Voice training can reduce this condition.

Tumors

A recurrent sore throat which is accompanied by weight loss, a lump in the throat, blood in the phlegm and voice hoarseness may point to a throat tumor. Excess alcohol and smoking can contribute to throat cancers.

Mouth breathing

People who breathe through their mouth or those with sleep apnea often complain of a constant sore throat.

Dry air

Dry air like that found in heated homes or offices can dry out the mucous membranes of the throat, leaving it prone to irritation. A humidifier or some natural plants can help maintain a good moisture content of the air and minimize throat soreness.

Drug reactions

Certain medications can trigger adverse side effects in some people. If you suspect your medication may be causing your chronic sore throat then discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist.

Emotional blocks

Recently there has been a resurgence in the belief that our emotions can trigger recurrent health problems. In the case of a constant sore throat, there may be a block in the ability to stand up for oneself, express thoughts and to reveal true emotions. If you think there may be an emotional component in your health problems it is worth chatting to a counselor or NLP practitioner.

Chronic sore throat treatment

Fortunately, through general lifestyle practices like a healthy diet, stress reduction, regular exercise, pinpointing allergens and sensitivities and boosting immunity through nutrients, herbs and emotional support, most of these triggers for chronic sore throats can be eliminated.

Prevent Tonsil Stones – Healthy Foods For Preventing Tonsilloliths

This might sound slightly cliche, but the best cure for disease lies in the prevention. This is more so for tonsil stones. The best way to prevent tonsil stones lies in the foods people consume on an everyday basis. Many people want a quick fix solution to get rid of tonsil rocks, many opt for surgical removal of their tonsils, little do they know that the secret to prevent tonsil stones lies within the foods people can consume.

Below are a few food types that will help prevent tonsil stones:

Celery – Munching on celery increases the flow of saliva, which destroys oral bacteria.

Wasabi – This is a commonly used food in Japanese cuisine. This food eliminates teeth bacteria. Use in minimal quantities. Mix with soya sauce to add as seasoning to foods.

Shitake Mushrooms – A powerful anti-bacterial food. Consume several pieces a week.

Onion – Has a horrible after taste but excellent for killing bacteria. You can chew on parsley or mint leaves to reduce the smell of the onions.

Cucumber – This vegetable is a natural disinfectant for the mouth.

Water – Drinking water keeps saliva flowing. You should also gargle 3 times a day to remove foods that can get caught inside the mouth.

Additionally, you will need to avoid foods that stimulate bacterial growth, these include meats, coffee and sugary foods.

With a combination of good dental hygiene and some healthy food choices, you will you will be able to easily prevent tonsil stones from being a nuisance in your life.

Diabetes in Astrology

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder of the endocrine gland pancreas. When we eat, the pancreas automatically produces the appropriate amount of insulin to break down the sugar into glucose which is the main source of energy.

Diabetic people’s pancreas either produces little or no insulin, hence excess glucose build up in the blood which overflows into the urine. In this way the body loses its main source of energy and subsequently becomes weak.

In astrology by the careful examination of the horoscope, it is possible to predict the susceptibility to the disease diabetes.

Astrological factors influencing diabetes are:

  • Ascendant: the general build up and strength of physical body
  • Venus: rules kidney, suppression of urine
  • Moon: rules pancreatic action and blood flow, urinary derangement
  • Jupiter: arteries, veins, degeneration, diabetes
  • Sign cancer: rules pancreas, blood
  • Sign Libra: rules kidneys,and excretory system
  • Sign Sagittarius: arterial system
  • 6th house: house of disease

Planetary combination’s which cause diabetes are:

Venus:

  • Venus afflicted by Sun/Mars in watery signs.
  • Venus and Jupiter are afflicted by malefic and a malefic planet is posited in 8th house gives diabetes.
  • Malefic Venus placed in ascendant/inauspicious house.
  • Venus and Jupiter are afflicted by malefic and a malefic is posited in the ascendant.
  • Venus combined with a malefic in 8th house and also aspected by a malefic.
  • Ascendant is afflicted by malefic and its lord is in depression/set/hammed between malefic/inimical sign and Venus placed/aspect 8th house causes diabetes.
  • Venus placed in 2nd house, ascendant is aspected by malefic and lord of ascendant placed in 6th house in the state of debilitation.

Moon:

  • Moon afflicted by Sun/Mars in watery sign.
  • Moon is heavily afflicted by Saturn
  • Moon in a watery sign and that’s sign lord placed in 6th house again aspected by a watery sign planet indicates diabetes.
  • Moon placed in a watery sign and lord of that sign is placed in 6th house and aspected by Mercury [which is placed in watery sign].
  • Moon and Jupiter are afflicted by malefic and a malefic sitting in 8th house.

Jupiter:

  • Saturn heavily afflicts Jupiter.
  • Jupiter placed in Purvashadha constellation.
  • Jupiter situated in the constellation of Rahu and afflicted by it.

Sign Cancer/Libra/7th house:

  • Two or more malefic planets placed in 7th house or sign Libra.
  • Sign Cancer is heavily afflicted by Saturn.

6th /8th house:

  • 6th lord is placed in 8th house or vice versa.
  • Two or more malefic planets placed in 6th house.
  • Rahu combined with lord of 8th house in 8th house/trine causes diabetes to the native.
  • A very negative malefic planet sitting in 8th house and Jupiter and Venus are heavily afflicted indicates diabetes.
  • Lords of 4th and 7th house are placed in 6th/8th/12 house.
  • Lord of 6th/7th combined with lord of 12th house and aspected by Saturn indicates diabetes disease.

General:

  • Two or more malefic planets placed in watery signs.
  • Lords of 4th and 7th are sitting in inimical signs and aspected by malefic
  • Lord of 3rd combined with mercury and Mars in ascendant indicates diabetes.
  • Mercury posited in the sign of Jupiter [Sagittarius and Pisces] and aspected by Mars may cause diabetes.

BY

GEETA JHA [SPIRITUAL HEALER]

INDIA

Type 2 Diabetes – The Effect of Phenylalanine on Blood Sugar

Although Type 2 diabetes is typically controlled using a variety of medications, diet and exercise, this is still sometimes not enough for some individuals to lead a normal lifestyle. Following these types of strict mandates is often too challenging and overwhelming, leaving significant opportunity for failure. That’s why some Type 2 diabetics have turned to more natural treatments that do not offer side effects and are easier to manage. One of these is phenylalanine.

There are many supplements on the market that are as effective as phenylalanine, but have been given much more exposure. Even though this supplement has helped many Type 2 diabetics lower their blood sugar, there are still diabetics who remain largely unaware of its existence.

Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that has shown promising capabilities of helping to control blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics. Although it is not a complete formula for success, it offers many diabetics an alternative to using prescription medications. Having this additional choice is helpful for many who experience side effects while taking anti-diabetic drugs.

What is the overall purpose of phenylalanine? This amino acid is a building block, essential for the formation of protein. This amino acid is found in many common foods including, but not limited to fish, poultry and eggs.

There are three different types of phenylalanine. One type, L-phenylalanine, is naturally found in the body. The two others forms, D-phenylalanine and DL-phenylalanine, have to be synthetically manufactured. DL-phenylalanine is the result of combining one-half of phenylalanine and one-half D-phenylalanine.

The preferred method for taking this supplement is to do so immediately before eating. This allows it to help manage blood sugar levels while you eat, and immediately afterwards, by stimulating an increased production of insulin.

But phenylalanine is not for everyone. Some individuals who try this supplement may be at risk of lowering their blood sugar levels too far. For this reason, anyone interested in giving it a try needs to be cleared by their doctor according to their medical history and the state of their Type 2 diabetes. Plus, you will need to be advised of a recommended dosage.

Although natural supplements have proven to be beneficial for many Type 2 diabetics, they are not for every diabetic. And they should never be taken in place of medications prescribed by a doctor. If you are interested in giving phenylalanine a try, you will want to talk to your doctor first. He can instruct you as to whether this supplement is right for you. It is also recommended diabetics not skip or stop their prescription drugs until they have consulted with their doctor.

Childhood Obesity – Causes and Prevention

Today, childhood obesity is considered a serious and widespread struggle faced by many children around the world. In fact, childhood obesity has become an epidemic that has tripled or quadrupled in the last 40 to 50 years affecting almost 1 in 5 children. Children who are overweight are at a higher risk of suffering from hypertension, gastrointestinal problems, heart diseases and type II diabetes. Of course, on top of these health issues, obese children may further suffer from the emotional distress. Simply being labeled as fat, obese children can easily suffer from low self-esteem and depression.

When it comes to childhood obesity, parents in particular are required to take full responsibility for controlling their child’s weight and must not settle with the idea that their child will later outgrow this. A great misconception among parents is that an obese child is healthier the more robust they are. This is typical amongst parents who are in denial regarding their child’s weight management issues. Usually, these parents only admit that problem does exist once their child’s health issues surface.

There are many factors that contribute to childhood obesity, from dietary habits to sedentary behavior to emotional problems to genetic predisposition. But even though these factors exist, there are many ways to help prevent childhood obesity.

It is apparent that a person who consumes more calories than his or her body burns can lead to obesity over time. Usually, a diet composed of sugary, processed foods with a high-calorie and low-nutrient content contributes largely to the risk of childhood obesity. In fact, children nowadays have no regular eating pattern; they eat even when they are not hungry or while watching TV and then tend ignore foods that are healthy for them.

Another contributing factor to obesity is inactivity. Children today are engaged in less physical activity than ever before. They are found playing computer and video games instead of committing to exercise. How your children spend their time and the kinds of activities they engage in plays a vital role in overcoming childhood obesity.

Still, some children undergoing emotional distress may resort to comfort eating. Normally, stressful life situations such death, abuse or even an ordinary upsets in everyday life may result to emotional eating for a child. Here, the child eats not out of hunger but primarily because they are unaware or unsuccessful in handling these emotions.

Furthermore, some studies have shown that obesity is genetic. An obese child could have an obese parent or other obese siblings. These children are more likely to gain excess fat due to their genetic make up. But of course, genetic predisposition does not guarantee childhood obesity. With proper nutrition and contributing lifestyle factors, there is very little reason why a child must be obese.

Be mindful that if an obese child develops diabetes during childhood, he or she is more likely to live a shorter life span as compared to those without diabetes. This is because diabetes is likely to build up kidney failure or heart disease or other associated effects of diabetes such as blindness.

As you can see, it would be wise to try and prevent childhood obesity. You can do so by following these recommendations. Seek medical attention before making any drastic change to an obese child’s lifestyle. Begin slowly by setting realistic goals for your child. One simple way is to start reducing the amount of refined sugar intake in your child’s diet. Encourage them to drink plenty of water and to engage in daily exercise, at the same time prohibit snacking between meals. You can even go further by seeking advice from a dietitian who can help develop an appropriate weight management program for your child.

Childhood obesity is a very real problem in our society. But we can take charge and help the youth of today learn to live a healthier life. It is up to us to help encourage health and fitness in today’s youth.

Dry Skin Rash – Dry Skin Rash Diet

If you are suffering with a dry skin rash or eczema, whichever, I want you to try a eating plan for ten days to see what difference a certain way of eating will have on your rash. I can predict that your skin rash will transform to some degree. You might find that your rash disappears completely. That is how confident I am about this eating plan.

Post why?

Because by following this eating plan, "The 10 Day Raw Plan", you will be introducing high quantity and high quality nutrients into your body; high quality vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and phyto-hormones. All of which will heal, detox and rejuvenate your skin. These foods will eliminate stored wastes from your body efficiently and will rejuvenate your skin all over your body. You will begin to see that you skin is smoother and your rash heals at a much quicker pace.

Other benefits of following "The 10 Day Raw Plan" are:

Toned flesh, firmer, smoother and clearer skin. You will also notice that you have brighter and clearer eyes and will feel a lot calmer; physically and emotionally.

The basis of "The 10 Day Raw Plan" is as follows:

Dry Skin Rash Diet – Tip # 1

First thing in the morning you drink a large glass of raw fruit and / or vegetable juice. You should also add an element of green food such as spinach, green cabbage or spirulina.

Dry Skin Rash Diet – Tip # 2

The second meal of the day is a large raw, organic salad which contains many difference vegetables. There should be at least 7 different types of food. Serve your salad with two teaspoons mix of sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and prepare a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.

Here are some vegetables for you to choose from: collards, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, watercress, kale, rocket, radicchio, fennel, carrots chard, turnips, parsnips, radishes, beetroot, celery, yams, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and swedes.

Dry Skin Rash Diet – Tip # 3

The last main meal of the day is made up of some grain and vegetables. You can prepare some brown rice and steam vegetables. Or you can stir fry the vegetables.

Best Remedy for Sore Throat: Simple Natural Treatments

A sore throat may be caused by a viral or a bacterial infection. Viral infections, such as the common cold, flu and mononucleosis, are more common. Bacterial infections include strep, mycoplasma and hemophilus-conditions which are considerably more serious than viral infections. However, bacterial infections respond well to antibiotics, whereas viral infections don’t. If your sore, itchy throat is caused by a viral infection, as is the case for most people, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of traditional, natural and folk remedies. Explore the list and perhaps you’ll come across your best remedy for sore throat-a remedy that always works for you.

There are many different home remedies for a sore throat, and the simplest ones are often the most effective. Many remedies take effect in as little as an hour, but some can take overnight to work. If you try a home remedy, and your symptoms persist overnight, visit your doctor.

A very common remedy is gargling with warm salt water. This ubiquitous treatment has been around for ages, and seems to work wonders on a sore, itchy throat. To prepare, simply add about a teaspoon of table salt to a mug of warm water and stir until the salt dissolves. Gargle the solution slowly. The entire mug should take about 15 to 20 minutes to finish. Many people vouch that this is the best remedy for sore throat. But everyone responds differently to different treatments so you should check which one works best for you.

A simple home remedy is a solution made by combining unfiltered apple cider vinegar, honey and warm water. To prepare, add one spoonful of apple cider vinegar, and one spoonful of honey to a mug of warm water. Gargle with the mixture as many times as necessary.

Another remedy for soothing, lasting relief makes use of honey, lemon juice, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper. For this classic recipe you’ll need one teaspoon honey, two teaspoons lemon juice, one teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Combine all ingredients and add to a mug of warm water, and stir. Gargle with the mixture three or four times a day. This treatment is one of the most effective sore throat remedies that you can make at home.

Another quick remedy, although not strictly ‘natural,’ calls for the use of a handy little device in your room-a humidifier or vaporizer. Since your air passages are swollen and irritated when you have a sore throat, the cool or warm mist created by a humidifier or vaporizer can soothe the air passages and prevent hoarseness. But make sure that you do not overdo it; excessive use of a humidifier or vaporizer can make your room too damp and cold, which can be counterproductive. If you do not own a humidifier or vaporizer, simply fill a shallow pan with water and place it somewhere safe in your room.

Whenever you make your own home remedy, give the mixture a few tries before you pass a verdict on its efficacy. Even the best remedy for sore throat will not work right away, and remember that most recipes should be gargled approximately once every hour for best results.

Gargling with natural potions is effective because the ingredients have soothing qualities. The best remedy for sore throat will have the following properties-it will be a warm solution and it will either coat or cleanse your sore throat. A salt and water mixture is a warm solution that cleanses, whereas honey recipes are warm solutions that coat the mouth.

So, what’s the best remedy for a sore throat? Many would argue that it’s prevention. Even if you’re not feeling under the weather, take active steps to prevent sore throat, say, by using a humidifier every night, or avoiding smoking or even secondhand smoking.

Remember, if your sore throat persists for longer than a week, see a doctor because it might be an underlying symptom of something more severe.

Home Remedies for Psoriasis: Cure Psoriasis Skin Disease Naturally

Psoriasis is believed to be an auto-immune condition. It is characterized by patches of red scaly skin known as plaques. This unattractive skin condition can be very uncomfortable. The constant itching and inflammation can be quite distressing. The appearance of the skin may cause embarrassment. Over all this can be very frustrating for the psoriasis sufferer.

Psoriasis can be a condition difficult to treat. It is a stubbornly persistent affliction. In deciding how to treat your psoriasis, you may want to consider some of the many home remedies that have been successful for other people. At this time we will take a look at just a few of the many natural treatments for psoriasis.

Aloe Vera is a very popular treatment for psoriasis as well as many other skin conditions. Just apply pure aloe Vera juice or gel directly to the skin you want to treat. It will be effective in improving the affected area and providing soothing relief.

An Epsom salt soak is another effective way to achieve relief. After soaking you will want to apply a little olive oil to your skin to protect the skin and promote healing.

Applying buttermilk compresses is one of the best home remedies for treating psoriasis. Soak a cloth with buttermilk and apply the cloth directly to the area that needs treatment. Let the cloth rest there for about twenty minutes.

Taking Milk Thistle is great for internal cleansing and will be of great benefit for the psoriasis sufferer. This supplement should be taken daily.

Applying oil of Avocado to the affected areas has been very helpful in treating psoriasis for some people, just liberally dab the oil on and let it soak in.

Make a solution of lime juice and water. Dab the mixture onto the affected areas. This is also very helpful for those who suffer with acne.

Vitamin E oil dabbed on the skin is another one of the many natural treatments for psoriasis. Vitamin E is well known for its great benefits to our skin.

Chamomile tea is probably one of the best home remedies for psoriasis. Take one half cup of Chamomile tea and mix in three tablespoons of avocado oil then apply the mixture to the affected areas.

Find a birch tree and get some of the bark. Boil it in water and apply the liquid to the irritated skin. This is one of the old time favorites that is still as effective as ever.

An Oatmeal bath is very soothing and is known to relieve the itching and inflammation associated with psoriasis. Just soaking in the tub with a handful of oatmeal ground into a fine powder is great for relieving the pain and itching that may be accompany psoriasis.

Knowing that there are so many viable options when looking at home remedies for psoriasis, can give you hope that you will find the relief that you have been hoping for. Now that you know how to treat psoriasis. Start using one or more of these natural treatments and find the relief that you need.

A Toenail Fungus Removal Tactic You MUST Try Before Getting Laser Surgery For Toenail Fungus

Laser surgery is a drastic step to take in removing toenail fungus, but the embarrassment and discomfort of thickened, enlarged and yellowed nails makes the procedure seem an attractive option. Onychomycosis, or toenail fungus, can become so disfiguring to the nails that it causes pain when walking. There ARE home treatments you should try before resorting to surgery.

Tea tree oil will get rid of toenail fungus rather quickly.

This natural substance is a clear or nearly clear solution that has a distinct camphor-type odor. It is not to be confused with tea oil, which is primarily used for cooking. Tea tree oil, when applied daily, will kill all existing fungus on and under the nail. It's very effective if you faithfully apply the solution daily.

Simply clean the toenails and apply the tea tree oil to the nail, cuticle area and underneath the nail using a clean cotton swab. Place a loose sock over the feet and repeat this once daily. You should notice results in a week or two.

Bleach Water misted onto the fungus plagued nails works …
… But it very irritating to sensitive skin.

A mixture of 40 parts bleach and 60 parts water will work. Mist the toe nails and beneath the edge of the nails once a day. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Do not leave the bleach water on the area for longer than a few minutes. Application should only be done once per day.

Distilled white vinegar is a proven method of getting rid of toenail fungus …

… But seems to work better on milder cases.

Soak the feet in a warm solution of half vinegar and half water. Allow the feet to soak for 20-30 minutes at a time. Rinse and repeat the process once a day.

Camphor gels that are used to help clear the sinuses are said to work well in killing toenail fungus. Liberally coat the nail and beneath the nail with the gel and leave it on. Place loose fitting socks over the feet. The great thing about this treatment is that it can go wherever you go. The gel should be applied twice a day.

There are quite a few things you can try before getting laser surgery for chronic toenail fungus. All of these methods are inexpensive and easy to do right at home. Give one a try and you might be surprised at the results.

Food Allergy Network

In the world several people suffer from allergy problems. People become miserable especially when they don’t understand what is happening and what reason is behind this. For allergic patients it is important to determine the cause of disease. After determination of the exact cause of disease, you can get a correct diagnosis. After getting relief from your trouble, you can live a normal life.

Understanding Allergies

Exaggerated reaction by our immune system in response to contact with certain foreign substance is known as allergy. Important role of our immune system is to provide protection to our body for any damages which may occur through external attacks like harm whether, food, animal dander, dust mites, etc.

Food allergy is common matter. Symptoms of food allergy are headache, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. In many cases respiratory pips swell up which is also know as anaphylaxis. Due to this swelling you are unable to breathe normally. This respiratory problem will increase if immediate action is not taken.

Food Allergy Network Help

It’s very difficult to find exact food item which may cause allergy. In our food intake huge number and several different varieties of items are included, so it’s very hard and tricky to find food item which causes you allergies.

However the food allergy network will help in finding answers of almost all related question. Actually allergy will help you to learn about your body and readings symptoms in depth as well as in depth you can study reactions.

Food allergies are very sensitive because you need to watch constantly for the items responsible for allergy. It may be canned food or food in restaurant. Sometimes it can get really hard especially if you are allergic to a product such as milk which can be found in a huge number of food items.

Food Allergy will provide and suggest medications. Before starting treatment food allergy network is very useful. However always remember to discuss with your allergist before starting treatment.

Helpful Tip

Allergies are very miserable when you can not identify cause of that allergy. However need not worries because several tests are present to find out cause so as to cure it. Allergies can occur in age group since from child to old.

Are You Sleeping?

All of us love sleep. After a meal we feel sleepy, when we do a lot of work we feel tired and require rest in the form of sleep. Sleep refreshes our mind and provides us better power to concentrate on our tasks. Truly speaking sleep is a condition which is coordinated by both the sensory and motor nerves recognized by the state of complete or partial unconsciousness where all the voluntary muscles are inactive. It is a state that is different from hibernation or coma. It has been found that all mammals, birds, certain reptiles, amphibians and fishes also sleep. Studies show that in all animals sleep plays an important role in survival. The mechanisms under sleep are still the topic of scientific research.

In all animals sleep is divided into two broad types. First one is the rapid eye movement (REM) and the second one is the non-rapid eye movement (NREM). Both these phases have different physiological, neurological and psychological characteristics. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has further divided NREM sleep into three stages which includes the NI, N2 and the N3 stages. N3 stage is also termed as the delta or the slow wave sleep (SWS). The sleep cycle starts with the REM stage which is preceded by the NREM stage. The early part of the night constitutes of the deep sleep and the later part of the night includes the NREM sleep followed by the natural awakening. Alfred Lee Loomis and his co-workers in 1937 described the stages of sleep from A to E which includes the stages from wakefulness to the deep sleep for the first time. William Dement and Nathaniel Kleitman in 1953 reclassified the stages of sleep as REM and NREM and this classification was standardized by Allan Rechtschaffen and Anthony Kales in 1968 in R&K sleep scoring manual.

The different stages of sleep and its characters are assessed by polysomnography in a sleep specific laboratory. The sleep cycle is recorded by taking certain parameters like the electroencephalogram of the brain waves, electrooculography (EOG) of eye movements and the electromyography (EMG) of the activity of the skeletal muscles. In human beings each sleep cycle lasts for about 90-110 minutes at an average and each has a distinct physiological mechanism.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that the NREM sleep consists of three stages which comprise the N1, N2, and the N3 stages. Little dreaming has been observed in this stage. N1 stage is also called as drowsy sleep and is accompanied by the alpha waves (8-13 Hz) to theta waves (4-7 Hz) of the brain. Jerks and hallucinations are often experienced by some people during this stage. N2 stage comprises sleep spindles (11-16 Hz) to K-complexes. The EMG depicts decreased muscular activity and consciousness and is 45%-55% of the total sleep in all individuals. N3 is characterized by presence of delta waves (0.5-2 Hz) and night mares, bed wetting, sleep talking and sleep walking have been found to be associated with this stage.The rapid eye movement (REM) comprises 20%-25% of the total sleep in all individuals. REM includes rapid movements of the eyes as well as rapid low voltage EEG.memorable dreaming has been observed in this stage. Muscular atonia has been observed in this stage and active physical movements are found in this stage.

Sleep is under the control of circadian clock and sleep-wake homeostasis. Circadian clock is the internal timekeeping, temperature fluctuating, enzyme controlling device that works with the neurotransmitter adenosine. High levels of adenosine are responsible for the sleepy behavior. In diurnal animals circadian clock is responsible for the secretion of a hormone termed as melatonin which causes sleepiness by decreasing the core temperature of the body. The timing of sleep is affected by chronotype which is the time interval between the structured and the restorative sleep. Awakening is controlled by circadian rhythm for example; a person who wakes up early in the morning will not be able to sleep more at the dawn. The circadian rhythm that controls the sleep duration is mediated by a gene DEC2. Mutation in this gene may lead to sleep of two hours less as compared to the normal individuals.

The optimal amount of sleep is affected by the concentration of the hormone melatonin and the core temperature of the body. Human sleep can vary with age. The deprivation of sleep is responsible for a number of symptoms that can badly affect human health. The important ones are irritability, in cognitive impairment, memory loss, hallucinations, impaired immune system, symptoms similar to ADHD. Others include risk of diabetes, increased heart rate, tremors and decreased temperature. Children need more hours of sleep in order to develop and function properly. The new born babies sleep for about 18 hours after which the sleep hours begin to decrease as age advances. New born babies spend 9 hours in REM sleep.

Sleep debt may be defined as the period of not getting enough rest and proper sleep which leads to mental, physical and emotional fatigue. The causes of irritability after sleep are yet not clear. The amount of sleep related behavior is under genetic control, mutation in BHLHB3 gene reduces the amount of sleep in normal persons from 8 hours to only 6 hours. A number of functions have been assigned for sleep for which a number of theories have been suggested. Wound healing has been observed to appear better during sleep. The immune system becomes stronger when proper sleep is taken. Sleep duration also affects somatic growth as the growth hormone secretion has been found to be increased during sleeplessness. Energy is conserved during sleep which is responsible for the better performance of the body. Studies have shown that the non-REM sleep is the anabolic state of body which is characterized by physiological processes of growth and rejuvenation of an organism’s nervous, muscular and skeletal systems. REM sleep is responsible for the development of brain.

Scientists have shown that sleep has a positive effect of memory processing also. Memory has been found to be affected by different stages of sleep such as the REM and slow wave sleep. Dreaming is an important part of sleep. Dreaming may be defined as the perception of sound and images during sleep. Dreaming is affected by pons and is observed during the REM phase of sleep. Many theories have been proposed for dreaming one such theory is the John Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley’s activation synthesis theory. This theory highlights that dreaming is associated with the random firing of the neurons in the cerebral cortex during the REM sleep. A number of substances are known to stimulate sleep like caffeine, cocaine and energy drinks.

It can be concluded that sleep is an important aspect of human life affecting the mental, physical and physiological aspects of human health.

6 Depression Busters

Most of us have been there, and sometimes without warning. Depression typically attacks those who have suffered a loss, physical and mental abuse, have low self-esteem or are experiencing a lack of fulfillment. The degrees in the severity of depression vary from bouts of mild depression extending to more severe, medical conditions such as bi-polar disorder.

For the milder bouts of depression, it is much simpler to find higher ground than it is for a person who is suffering from a more serious condition.

Although triggered by our own thought processes, depression often throws us into an emotional vacuum that affects our ability to reason and therefore can be very debilitating. The common approach to treating depression is therapy and prescribed drugs such as anti-depressants. Having suffered bouts of depression in my younger years, which ranged in severity, I am speaking from experience when I say that taking medication to manage depression is equivalent to having surgery to lose weight. The root of the problem is not being addressed. If we do not take action by seeking to educate ourselves about how to gain control of our thoughts and change our thought processes, the effects of depression will continue to repeatedly present themselves, along with the undesirable side-effects of taking medications.

Below are six natural methods that can be used to relieve the symptoms of depression. Understanding that there is a lot of difficulty in taking action while in a depressed state, it is important to incorporate these actions into daily life as more of a preventative measure rather than waiting until depression strikes. Either way, always seek higher ground, beginning with the next highest thought and move from that point to the next. Do not try to reach the top of the mountain in a single jump because it will usually result in frustration, leading to a deeper depression. Just take it one step, one thought, at a time.

1. Read, listen to and / or watch empowering material such as personal development books, audios and videos. Make this a daily habit. It is important to explore and learn about yourself and how you process thoughts and why. Once you discover how to become conscious of your own thoughts, you can then begin to learn how to control them. This will not happen overnight, but like everything else there has to be a starting point so why wait? Start today.

2. A healthy diet and exercise play a key role in not only your physical wellness, but your mental wellness. No new news here. Natural foods are full of nutrients and vitamins that promote both physical and mental health, thus warding off depression. Stay clear of foods that are high in sugar. Not only do they have negative effects on the body, but high doses of sugar contribute to mood swings and disorders. Remember the Twinkie defense?

3. Action is life's keyword, both mentally and physically. When we exercise, our body produces hormones and other chemicals that relieve pain, reduce stress, enhance the immune system and relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. There are several other benefits to exercise and if you are one of my regular readers, you know that I promote exercise in nearly every article. Post why? Because I am a huge advocate of healthy mind, healthy body – and visa versa. Even a brisk walk can change your entire outlook.

4. It's short and simple – get out of your head and start a project. Write a poem, paint a picture, build a house – do anything positive or productive that will shift your focus from you to it.

5. Find a reason to laugh. I personally love to watch comedy clips. You can also read comics, make faces in the mirror – whatever tickles your funny bone. Have you ever experienced one of those hysterically funny moments that when you thought about it at a later date it made you laugh again as if it had just happened? Collect as many of those moments as you can so you can pull from the memory file when needed. Laugh often – it's life's miracle cure. Seriously.

6. Meditation is a mandatory part of my life and I strongly recommend it to my clients and others. I've had many people tell me that they do not have the time or patience to meditate or they would not know where to begin. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be a spiritual guru to understand and learn meditation. There are several beginners guides, online and otherwise, that will guide you through the process. It's very simple and as you continue to practice meditation, you will wonder how you ever got along without it. You can start with ten minutes or less (I recommend five minutes for newbies) and then gradually work your way up from there. My own meditations last approximately 30 minutes. Surely, you can afford to spend 30 minutes a day toward your own wellness. Meditation not will not only prevent bouts of depression, but will enhance your well-being on every level.

Life is not always easy and I'm not sure it was meant to be. What I do know is we do not have to live it in a place of misery, struggle and despair. We have the ability and the power to transform our lives both physically and mentally. We are not helpless victims. It really is just a matter of taking action and you can start by taking the first step. What is the first step? Begin educating yourself, about yourself. Only you hold the power to change and heal your best friend – you.

Rare Phobias: Feet Phobia – Fear of Bare Feet

Are you one of these people that nervously step in shoe shops? Can`t you bare the sight, feel or sound of your or somebody else`s feet? If your answer to one of these questions is `yes` you might be suffering from feet phobia, known as podophobia.

Feet phobia is one of the rarest phobias as only 1 in 1000 people has it. However, it could impact your life in quite surprising ways that many without this phobia may not have considered.

To give just a few examples this unusual fear could prevent you from going to a swimming pool, exercising in a gym, shoe shopping or wearing flip flops. Feet phobia could be quite harmless, a bit annoying and at times frustrating. However, it could also cause life limitations. Therefore, it is important to judge carefully how much does it impacts on your or somebody else’s day to day life.

What exactly is feet phobia (or podophobia)?

Feet phobia like any other phobia is an irrational, inexplicable fear. People suffering from Podophobia feel very nervous, afraid, upset or even disgusted by feet in general. The exact cause of podophobia is not yet fully understood. The symptoms include an overwhelming sense of anxiety, sweating, rapid heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, breathing difficulty and a desire to run away when seeing or even thinking of feet. Some people will experience panic attacks and very unpleasant feelings when confronted with feet. Of course one person’s symptoms can be different and/or more intense than other. This fear could make some feel uncomfortable or irritated. For others it could get so intense that it interferes with their normal life.

The fear may be related to the person`s own or somebody else`s feet. A phobia sufferers generally do not like the appearance of their or somebody else’s feet, or feel of feet as they view feet as being gross and unsightly. This person may also feel uncomfortable when other people are looking at or touching his or her feet. He or she will even sleep in socks or shoes and won’t even consider buying or wearing open toed shoes or sandals of any kind. He or she may also hate the smell of feet and while thinking of feet imagine contracting fungal type infections or a verruca what makes it even worse. The uncomfortable feelings would also appear while discussing feet or problems related to feet. The phobia sufferer may avoid watching any kind of TV documentary on feet, or adverts on the television. One of my friends who suffer from feet phobia to prevent unpleasant feelings introduced a rule in her house. You must wear shoes in his house. If the shoes are really dirty he allows you to wear socks or a pair of his own shoes. He won`t even let his girlfriend touch his feet or take her socks off around him.

When should you seek help to cure feet phobia?

Most fears and phobias, including the phobia and fear of feet, are not serious especially if they do not significantly impact your normal daily life. But if your phobia of feet results in avoiding situations on a regular basis preventing you from functioning or enjoying life you should consider seeking medical advice. Regardless of how long you have suffered from it, despite the unpleasant life limitations you have endured because of your fear, your fear of feet can be overcomed.

Night Anxiety – Signs, Symptoms and Top Methods to Prevent Anxiety at Night

If you suffer from night anxiety, be aware – you are definitely not alone. 50% -70% of anxiety and panic disorder sufferers have reported having night anxiety attacks as well. You would think that anxiety and stress could at least give you a break at night – but no. Maybe you are worried about losing your job. You go to bed, but toss and turn for an hour. Finally you get out of bed at 2 A.M with full blown anxiety or panic attack.

How You Become Afraid of the Night

Your anxiety quickly spreads to other areas: a nine o’clock doctor’s appointment, the urgent tasks you didn’t get to accomplish today, and the presentation you’re going to blow if you don’t get some sleep. Awful thoughts fill your head:…”I’m going to be a wreck tomorrow”, “This thing will drive me crazy”…”Am I going to die tonight?”

After a few nights of these repeated thoughts, you start being afraid of the night starting with early evening. It is a hopeless situation.

My Little Story

I used to be sure that I am going to die. With what was racing in my mind, there was no way to drift back to sleep if I could go to sleep at all. The quiet of the night, the isolation and “night sounds” were daily triggers to my night anxiety. I couldn’t sit still, but I didn’t have much energy to move. I could pace around for hours thinking how I am going to lose my mind. I didn’t have a spouse or anyone else to lean on.

Over the years I found just a few methods that gave me some relief from night anxiety, I wanted to share them with you:

The Best Methods to Fight Night Anxiety:

1. Avoiding prescription drugs – I have tried that out – and it gave me a little relief – but the goal is to get through night anxiety without creating another problem – chemical dependency. Besides, these drugs will never cure the condition, only temporarily relieve symptoms.

2. Avoiding Caffeine, nicotine or wine in the evening- these only made the problem worse. I actually tried living with or without them and witnessed the difference. These can actually make your attacks worse and caffeine can actually give you insomnia, thus you can’t sleep at all.

3. Drinking valerian or St.John’s wart tea – actually helped me (sometimes) prevent night anxiety.

4. Avoiding bad night habits – Don’t look at the clock! Ever!

Turn the clock around to face the wall, or hide it in a drawer or under the bed. I was constantly checking the time and that reinforced my thought that I’ll never get back to sleep.

Don’t stay in bed more than 15 minutes. I used to do this to remind my brain that the bed is the place to sleep – not the place for stressing, worrying and obsessing. Night anxiety should not happen in bed.

Don’t go back to bed too soon. I only went back to bed when I felt I could fall asleep right away. I watched, on purpose, a boring TV show or read a boring book.

Before going to sleep, try to watch something funny on TV. Never an action film or sad drama. Something light, funny and even stupid. Give your brain a break and a chance to escape from everyday worries.

The Happy End: How Did I Put Night Anxiety behind Me

Anxiety did not “attack me” only in the middle of the night. It was happening all the time, out of nowhere and without apparent reason. I finally acknowledged that I suffer from anxiety and panic disorder and while these methods were very good, I wanted to go to the core and cure the condition – not just the symptoms. That was the first day of the rest of my life.

Review of 6 "Stop Snoring Mouth Guards"

If you’ve been awoken by a loved one who informs you they can’t sleep because of your snoring, you know it’s time to look at stop snoring mouth guards for their peace of mind, and yours. Don’t worry, these guards have been tested and shown to work. These mouth pieces are worth a shot.

1. AveoTSD

This device holds the tongue in place, and is good for those heavy sleepers who have a problem with their tongue blocking their airway. It’s composed of a very comfortable silicone, and essentially holds your tongue towards the front of the mouth. By doing so, the device is able to keep the airway unobstructed.

2. Elastic Mandibular Advancement Appliance

This second stop snoring mouth guards is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and is great for people who suffer from sleep apnea. It’s basically a device that employs adjustable, stretchable straps to hold the lower jaw forward. It has proven to effectively treat sleep apnea.

3. Elastomeric Sleep Appliance

This is another silicone mouth piece, which is custom-fit for every user. Your dentist will have to create this device, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of sleep apnea.

4. Full Breath Solution

This is another of the tongue-stabilizing stop snoring mouth guards. It helps to prevent the tongue from blocking the back of the throat and preventing air flow, which causes snoring and apnea in the first place.

5. MPowRX

This is one of the few OTC (over-the-counter) mouth guards carried by local groceries and pharmacies. It uses the same action as many of the others – holds the tongue in such a way as to prevent your airway from being blocked.

6. The Noiselezz Mouthpiece

This snore-preventing mouth piece is made individually, customized for the user. It holds your mandible forward so that your airway is unobstructed by your tongue. This particular device was first created in Denmark, though there are many North American distributors as well.

If you want a solution for a quiet sleep, then try one of these stop snoring mouth guards. Your snoring will either be done away with entirely or reduced greatly. These mouth pieces can be of the custom-made variety, or over-the-counter, which means there’s one to fit your budget. If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, then the custom-fit models may be best. Just be sure to do the proper research and make sure the device you decide on is right in your case.