#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, #health, #pain, #sleep, #sleep show, BACK PAIN, CHRONIC PAIN, sleep, sleep deprivation, sleep sunday, sleeping

SLEEP SUNDAY – IS IT SAD YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM OR SOMETHING ELSE?…

At this time of year, one in eight of us can suffer from winter blues and one in 50 of us suffer from SAD (Seasonal Effective Disorder) through lack of sunlight. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, these figures could double.

It’s the sunlight that tells your brain to produce serotonin, which is needed to boost your mood and energy. Lack of it as autumn turns to winter causes an increase in the production of melatonin (which makes us sleepy) and a reduction in serotonin is what can cause depression.

One of the most obvious ways to treat SAD is to get outside in the daylight for at least 20 minutes a day but you can also invest in a light box. Light therapy is the most effective way of decreasing the symptoms. Also it is believed that eating foods rich in an amino acid called tryptophan increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Taking vitamin D supplements for only five days in late winter has also improved the mood of people with SAD. It can also prevent osteoporosis, support immunity, and regulate weight. Of course, the best way to get Vitamin D is through the effects of sunlight on bare skin. Amazingly they say that Vitamin D lasts for 60 days in the body so if you got away for your annual holiday in the summer, it will mean your levels should be fine until November, but most of us missed out on this last year. Other sources of Vitamin D can be found in oily fish and eggs, cheese, and poultry. Your GP can check your Vitamin D levels with simple blood tests and put you on a high dose of Vitamin D if you need it so it is well worth having a word with your GP about this.

There are a number of other conditions that can leave you feeling tired. Iron levels are one of the first things that can affect energy levels and cause tiredness. It could be an under-active thyroid which can be a cause of tiredness and the falling hormone levels that occur at menopause.

As well as the above, some medications can also cause lethargy, including beta-blockers, some antihistamines, codeine-based painkillers, and also some antidepressants. Also, some sleeping tablets may help to get you through the night, but some can cause daytime fatigue. Of course, anxiety, stress, and depression are also triggers for sapping energy levels which are unfortunately affecting many people at the moment. Fatigue can also be a sign of diabetes.

It is a well-known fact that we can suffer from a mid-afternoon slump as our bodies are designed to have two periods of sleep.

According to the NHS, we are most likely to feel a slump at around 2.16pm as this is about the time that your cortisol level drops, and along with it so can your mood, focus, and motivation. Researchers now say that if you drink iced water, this may help to make you feel more awake by setting off tiny pain triggers.

Other things to try are changing your routine, i.e. walking a different root to work, cleaning your teeth with your left hand. Apparently, the brain responds to these experiences by releasing a rush of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which can make us more alert.

According to Pain News Network, a pilot study has found Green Light Therapy improves Fibromyalgia symptoms. Fibromyalgia patients exposed to green light therapy had significant improvements in their pain, sleep and quality of life, according to a new pilot study published in the journal Pain Medicine.

The small clinical trial by researchers at the University of Arizona is the first to explore the benefits of green light in treating fibromyalgia symptoms. Previous studies have focused on green light therapy as a treatment for migraine headaches. Green light is believed to have a calming effect on the brain and causes less eye strain.

In addition to less pain, patients also reported better mood and sleep, and improvements in their ability to work, exercise and perform chores. Eleven patients said they also reduced their use of pain medication, including opioids, while being exposed to green light.    

Although more research is needed to fully understand how green light therapy works, some commercial products are available to the public without a prescription. Details of which you can find on Pain News Network.

There are also a number of SAD Lights available from Amazon with some having a choice of three colour modes, and although not the exact ‘Green Light’, they do work on the same basis. The ones I found started from £39.99 so they are not too expensive if they do the trick.

Another example is this FITFORT Alarm Clock Wake Up Light-Sunrise/Sunset Simulation Table Bedside Lamp Eyes Protection with FM Radio, Nature Sounds and Touch Control Function. Simply set your alarm time. The clock will gradually brighten from 10% Brightness to 100% in 30 minutes before the alarm time / dimmed from 100% Brightness to 0% in 30 minutes before the bedtime. It guides you to a restful natural sleep and develop a good sleep pattern. It’s a reasonable £25.99 from Amazon.

#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, #health, BACK PAIN, CHRONIC PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH, lower back pain, NECK PAIN, pain, sleep, sleep deprivation, sleep positions, sleep sunday

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT MELATONIN AND HOW IT AFFECTS OUR SLEEP…

Melatonin is a hormone which plays an important part in our sleep regime. It’s production is controlled by exposure to light so with the darker nights now upon us the melatonin secretion rises to help us feel tired. It’s produced by the pineal gland in the brain, but it’s also found in other areas, such as the eyes, bone marrow, and gut.

In the morning when we wake up the light shuts melatonin production down so that we can stop feeling sleepy but there are other ways to regulate our melatonin levels to help us sleep better. There are many things to avoid which will help your melatonin levels which include stress, smoking, exposure to too much light at night (including blue light), not getting enough natural light during the day, shift work, and aging all affect melatonin production.

To help improve your melatonin levels try and get to sleep before midnight and up your natural light exposure if you can by going outside for a regular walk preferably when the sun is out. Healthline say that taking a melatonin supplement may help counter low levels and normalize your internal clock. Healthline go on to say that if you want to try melatonin, start with 0.5 mg (500 micrograms) or 1 mg 30 minutes before bed. If that doesn’t work, try increasing it to 3–5 mg or follow the instructions on the supplement.

You can buy Neuro Rest Sleeping Tablets, Natural Melatonin Sources from Amazon for £16.97 which supports the full sleep cycle and supports the sound, restorative rest you need to get to sleep and for the entire night. They are –

  • Holistic, Multi-Ingredient Blend: Unlike melatonin that is only designed to help you fall asleep, or just 5-HTP that helps once you’re asleep, Neuro Rest has a unique blend of ingredients that combine to deliver a time-released formula all night long
  • A Supplement, Not a Sedative: Use our sleep aid tablets with peace of mind, knowing you won’t struggle to wake up the next morning or feel drowsy all day. It’s non-habit forming even when taken daily so you can use it only when you need it, without concern
  • Naturally Formulated: While some sleep aid tablets are made from synthetic sources, Neuro Rest is produced from natural food sources. They are suitable for vegetarians & vegans, are free of GMOs & are made in the UK according to strict quality standards
  • Works Better the Longer You Use It: Neuro Rest is formulated to help you achieve rejuvenating, high-quality sleep night after night. Most see noticeable benefits within the first 5-10 days, but after 2-3 weeks experience the maximum benefits of regularly good sleep

There is also a great book on Melatonin, ‘The Magic of Melatonin: How This Amazing Hormone Will Help You Sleep, Reduce Pain, Relieve Anxiety, Slow Aging, and Much More’ by Dr Jan-Dirk Fauteck.

Dr. Fauteck addresses the impact of proper supplemental melatonin and various studies and research done on the topic. Melatonin has been widely used to correct problems of sleep disorders, and while this book looks into that research further and breaks down the impact of melatonin and sleep, it also addresses research that addresses melatonin use for its ability to regulate the circadian clock in general and impact other areas of health such oxidative stress, neuropsychiatric disorders, headaches, chronic pain, digestion, diabetes, fertility, pregnancy, cancer, and many age-related diseases.

In this book, Dr. Fauteck summarizes critical information related to the necessity of maintaining regular biological rhythms and describes the pathological consequences of circadian rhythm disturbances. He provides a clear description of how melatonin is produced and secreted, how the prevailing artificially imposed light/dark cycle can disturb its rhythm, and how this translates into other potential pathologies.

#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, #health, #pain, Back Pain, backpainblog, CHRONIC PAIN, fibromylagia, HEALTH, sleep, sleep deprivation, sleep positions, sleep sunday

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT 5 WAYS TO USE LAVENDER TO HELP YOU SLEEP…

A study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that people who wore a lavender patch with 55ul or microliters of lavender essential oil reported better sleep compare to those who did not have the patch. The sleep patches from Bodytox, £23 for 14 patches.

  • Absorbs the body’s excrements
  • More restful night’s sleep
  • Promote health and well being
  • Aromatherapy with lavender may improve sleep quality
  • Also promote relaxation and lift mood

Another new way to help you sleep is the Tisserand Lavender Warming Body Wrap.

Feel soothed & relaxed with the Tisserand Lavender scented body wrap made with Flaxseed, fragranced with 100% natural pure Lavender Essential Oil.

Developed to warm tired muscles, relax the mind and ease tension. For extra comfort, this body wrap is comprised of three evenly weighted sections to easily mould to the body.

Simply heat your body wrap in the microwave to release the soothing aroma of Lavender and soothe the body and mind before you go to bed. Finish with a spray of Lavender on your pillow and enjoy a peaceful nights sleep. At £13.10 it would also make a great Christmas gift.

In aromatherapy, the lavender essential oil is highly regarded for its soothing and balancing effects. When used at bedtime, lavender helps to calm the mind and promote sleep.

It’s also used to soothe aches and pains and skin problems and as an insect repellent.

It lends a delicate flavour to casseroles, scones, roast lamb, and even ice-cream. It is a tonic to the cardiovascular and digestive system, it can lower blood pressure and can help to thin the blood due to the presence of coumarins.

Looking through the Internet brought me some brilliant websites which has some good products to help you sleep including slumber gel, which you apply to your temples and pulse points for only £7.95

Clear your head and be present in the moment with their mindful pulse point roller balls made with 100% natural pure essential oils. BREATHE DEEP blend of Orange, Petitgrain & Coriander gives your mind a break when it’s time to stop. MIND CLEAR blend of Peppermint, Lavender & Lemon allows you to declutter your mind & find clarity. REAL CALM blend of Lavender, Bergamot & Patchouli helps you to take time out & feel serene. Available from Amazon and other retailers – I keep mine in the drawer by my bed for if I am having a difficult night. £13

Take a warm bath with Lavender oils. Sprinkle a few drops of the essential oil of your choice in a candle diffuser, or dilute two drops in 1 tsp. of avocado or almond oil, then rub it onto the back of your hand.