Does counting sheep actually help you fall asleep?

by Admin 13, April 2016
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You’ve probably been told that counting sheep will help you sleep, but does it actually work? Counting sheep has been recommended as a method to lull you to sleep when you have trouble sleeping. The concept is simple, imagine a heard of sheep jumping over a fence one by one. The idea is that counting the sheep is so simple and boring that it will cause you to fall asleep. The concept of counting sheep has been around since the for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Shepherds counted their sleep before they would go to sleep to make sure their flock was with them. Well, if it has been around for so long, it must work, right? Wrong. Oxford University conducted a study in 2001 that split 50 people with a history of sleep issues into three groups. Each group was instructed to visualize different scenes. The first group was told to imagine calm relaxing scenes like a waterfall or a beach, the second group were told to imagine sheep jumping over a fence and the third group wasn’t told to do anything and used their own method of attempting to fall asleep.

The results of the study were surprising, the group visualizing relaxing calm scenes fell asleep 20 minutes faster than they had on other non-experimental nights and group two, who counting sheep, took longer to fall asleep than usual.

So, although the advice to count sleep to go to sleep has been around for a long time, we don't recommend it. Instead, visualize a waterfall, a beach or any other relaxing scene to fall asleep faster.

Lack of sleep making you gain weight?!

by Admin 23, March 2016
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Your sleep deprivation could be leaving you more than just cranky. It could be causing you to gain weight! Weight isn't all about vanity either. Maintaining a proper weight is critical to your overall health. When you're at the proper weight, you lower the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. 

The National Sleep Foundation says the recomended sleep range for adults is 7-9 hours. Without enough sleep, your body isn't able to regulate key hormones that factor into the feeling of hunger and ability to feel full: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin, aka the “hunger hormone”, works to regulate hunger and appetite. Leptin, aka the “satiety hormone” is the opposite of ghrelin and works to deter hunger. So, if these hormones could talk, ghrelin would say “I’m hungry… feed me NOW” and leptin would say “I’m full. Time to put the fork down”.

If these hormones aren't regulated properly, your body sends the wrong signals. When your body isn’t getting enough rest, it lowers the levels of leptin in your blood stream and increases the levels of ghrelin.  This will cause your body to signal you're hungry, even when you're not or that you're still not full , when you really are, causing you to over eat and gain weight. In one study, people suffering from lack of sleep consumed 300 more calories per day than the group that was getting enough sleep. That could add up to 30 pounds in one year alone! 

Not only does lack of sleep cause an imbalance in the hormones that control hunger signals, it has also been shown to drastically slow metabolism. This means your body will burn less calories throughout the day than if you had been getting enough sleep. So, combine heavier appetite, inability to tell when you're full and a lower metabolism?! That's just asking for some serious weight gain, which puts your entire body at risk for stroke, diabetes and even cancer. 

How Apple Neglected Sleep

by Admin 20, October 2014
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Apple is launching its newest innovative product in 4 years, the Apple Watch, the companies’ first wearable device. This watch is water-proof and comes in 3 different styles (Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition) with 2 different touch screen sizes (1.5 for women and 1.7 for men).

What’s even more special about this Apple Watch is the potential to “revolutionize” personal healthcare, via the devices pairing with Apples’ new iPhone and health kit software. With health data monitoring becoming a worldwide trend; Apple has reportedly hired experts in sleep research, fitness and nutrition. “Apple Watch gives us the ability to motivate people to be more active and healthy,” Apple CEO Tim Cook stated. The watch can track movement and your heart rate with its sensors on the back of the device. There will be two apps specifically dedicated to fitness.

Among the experts hired to work on Apples highly anticipated project, is Roy J.E.M Raymann. Roy is an expert researcher on sleep, who has extensive experience on wearables, sensors, and non-pharmacological methods of improving sleep quality.  Unfortunately, CEO, Tim Cook was quoted saying “…We think that based on our experience of wearing these (The Apple Watch) that the usage of them will be really significant throughout the day. So we think you’ll want to charge them every night, similar to what a lot of people do with their phone.” 

Tracking sleep patterns has been a major area of focus for popular fitness tracking products on the market. However, the Apple Watch does not track sleep. Almost every wrist-worn activity tracking device offers sleep tracking.  Misfit, Fitbit, & Withings Pulse O2 to name a few, are some of the top sleep and fitness tracking modules.

Because of its advanced features and demanding power requirements, it is expected that users will charge the Apple Watch at night while asleep. The Watch is also a bit bulky and can be uncomfortable to sleep in.  We believe Apple will undoubtedly do a great job at tracking your conscious health, yet it’s lack of data tracking ability in regards to sleep, is a real let down.  Once again Apple’s battery life gets called into question, and this time, it’s the reason 1/3 of your life will not be tracked by Apple’s health kit software. We’re unsure why Apple would go through the hassle and expense to hire a sleep expert but we’re hoping this is proof that they will implement some form of sleep tracking in the near future.

What are your thoughts? 

Will you buy the Apple Watch because of its “revolutionary” health kit or do you believe that the health kit is not complete without a practical sleep tracker?


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