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“MY HEAD IS SPINNING, AND I CAN’T GET TO SLEEP” - Part 1 of 3

February 5th, 2020

The Role of “Stress”, Worry, Anxiety and Depression in Insomnia

 

Good sleep is critical to a healthy life. This blog is intended for those of you who have trouble getting to sleep due to not being able to “turn your mind off” at night. Insomnia has multiple causes. This addresses a common one.

Usually articles like this are written with the reasons for a method or technique at the beginning of the article, and the technique itself afterwards. I am writing this is reverse order to get right to the point.

The Method

For Three Weeks, avoid as many media sources of upset and antagonism as possible. That means:

- News             - Politics          - Violent or Disturbing Movies, TV or Novels

- Negative comments/ Negative Facebook / Twitter / Instagram posts, Podcasts, etc.

- Negative Emails       - Newspapers             - Magazines    - Negative or Toxic People

Unless you need a media for your work or critical communication, avoid it!

NO PHONES AT BEDTIME!

Try to avoid as well, any people who evaluate you, invalidate you or suppress you. Often, no one thing these people say is particularly harsh, but they send out a constant stream of little invalidation. Unfortunately, sometimes these people are family and those who we love. Do the best you can.

Before you start this project, write down how and what you are feeling; especially regarding your sleep. Include:

  1. How long it takes you to get to sleep
  2. How many times you wake up and for how long and
  3. How rested are you when you wake.

Put it away until after the three-week test period.

At the end of the three weeks, do the same: write down how and what you are feeling.

Compare the two journals; see how much better you feel!

Then make a decision, as to what and how much media, and who, you will allow back into your life.

 

The Background and Reasons

The reasons for insomnia are varied: body pains, snoring sleep partners, animals, illnesses, hormonal conditions, nasal congestion, nutritional deficiencies, mental / emotional distress and so on.

This “test” addresses one of the causes of mental / emotional upset – our consumption of media chaos.

From the Dawn of Time, up to this very second, the great observers of the human condition have remarked upon how certain people and situations create upset in those around them. These suppressive people and situations can directly cause disease and ill health in us! Thanks to research over the last 90 years, we also understand the mechanisms of how this happens in our minds and bodies. This gives us the means to handle these people and situations and improve our health; particularly our sleep.

This report is limited to our response to these people and how these responses affect our sleep; and in turn, the basics of how to remedy that. There is much more to know about these people and situations cause distress and other disease in our lives.

Over the last ten years and especially in the last year, patients have been telling me that they are under greater mental and emotional stress and that they are more anxious, worried and depressed than ever - and that it is affecting their physical health to an unprecedented degree. That is the primary reason that I am writing this, to help you be a healthier you.

Stress / Distress and the Mind - Body Connection

Did you realize that your body is still designed to deal with the stress of a prehistoric world? If a wild animal threatened you, your fight-or-flight response kicked in…your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing all sped up. The hormones adrenaline and cortisol spiked. Inflammation increased in cases where there was an injury or infection. Then, when the threat was gone, your body returned to a state of relaxation in 20 to 60 minutes.

Do you feel tired, have no energy and get overwhelmed?

December 30th, 2019

Let us help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle your day, every day!

Do you want to perform better mentally and physically?

Healthy, refreshing sleep helps us live more vibrant, enjoyable lives in addition to reducing our chances of developing the myriad of disease and dysfunctions listed below. We are more pleasant to those around us, we are more able to handle life’s challenges with less stress.  We are more likely to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves in this lifetime. It is well established that healthy sleep improves sports and mental / academic performance as well.

Can you remember the last time you felt truly rested, refreshed and ready to take on life? Have you ever?  Do you need caffeine or nicotine to feel awake in the morning or maintain energy through the day?

Sleep is so important to our health that without it we can become anything from fatigued to irritable to low-grade anxious to neurotic - and more people than we care to admit are at least a bit psychotic - all because of poor sleep or insufficient sleep.

Nearly every system in our body suffers because of poor sleep. It reduces the effectiveness of our immune system and makes us more susceptible to diseases of all kinds, including:  heart disease, cancer, headaches, high blood pressure, weight gain, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.

Additionally, medical research tells us that head, jaw, and face pains are associated with poor sleep 68% of the time. By actual test in our practice, that number is closer 85%!!

If you have jaw and head pains, it is very likely that you have some sort of sleep disturbance as well. Without solving both problems, you will get partial results at best.

X-rays or blood work are common tests at routine medical or dental appointments. But our sleep, and our breathing during sleep, are far more likely to be major factors in our overall long-term health. However, they are rarely evaluated!! Let’s change that and make sure that our breathing and sleep are checked routinely.

Nothing is more vital than breathing (especially nasal breathing) and sleep is close, if not equally important.

After all, three or four minutes without air and a person is likely dead. Try three days without sleep and they are probably psychotic! That’s how important breathing and sleep are. How we breathe in our sleep is more important yet.

Handling and resolving head face and jaw pains is what we excel at here at the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre. There are many components to pain and sleep.  In addition to the many state-of-the-art therapies we provide for pain and sleep conditions, we collaborate with other medical partners when necessary, to ensure that you get the greatest improvement in your pain and sleep as possible.

For tips on how you can get better sleep, visit our website at www.tmjsleepkansas.com and click on the Health Living tab then select Sleep Hygiene Tips.

For more technical information, check out the Articles section located in the Provider Information part of our website.

Another great reference for more sleep information is: www.sleepfoundation.org.

We all want more vibrant, energetic lives, and better sleep is a major step to those goals. Call us today to get onto the pathway to a better life.

Yours for Better Health,

Dr. Joe Baba

 

 

 

 

How to Shoo the Flu?

December 11th, 2019

Every news media tells us that flu and cold season is here! The evidence is around us - people who are sniffling, coughing and achy.

Sleep plays many important roles in our health. Especially important this time of year, is sufficient, restful and restorative sleep to strengthen our immune system.

During deep sleep, our bodies produce various substances which help protect us from bacteria, viruses, molds and yeasts. Research shows that people who get more deep sleep have fewer colds and flu. So, among the ways to reduce your chances of getting sick anytime, but especially this time of year, get plenty of restful sleep!

Of course, there are more ways to defend against illness such as washing your hands, avoiding unnecessary contact with sick people, managing holiday stress and eating nutritious food and reducing sugars, but remember that good sleep is still one of your powerful tools to increase your immunity against flu and colds.

If you are having trouble sleeping or getting the restful sleep you need to feel vibrant and vital, call our office today and schedule a consultation. We are ready to help.

How to live without headaches?

October 28th, 2019

Did you know, there are said to be around 300 different kinds and causes of headaches? Some of those headaches have similar causes and are put into groups. Two of those groups are ones that we see every day in our clinic:

The first one, is Temporomandibular Headaches. Those are caused by dysfunctions within the jaw joints and extra strains in the muscles that move the jaws; especially in the temples and cheek muscles.

The second group of headaches are called Cervicogenic Headaches. Cervico- means neck and -genic means beginning (as in Genesis); headaches that begin in the neck. As we will see, that is mostly true, but we now know more than when those headaches were first named.

There are major nerves, called the Greater Occipitals that come from the upper neck and the base of the skull, up over the top of the head and may end at the upper part of the eye. There is another pair, called the Lesser Occipitals which come from the bone behind your ear up into the temple area. These nerves pass through the neck muscles. When the neck muscles compress these nerves, a person can feel pain anywhere from the neck, to the eyes, or to the temples.

What is causing the headaches behind your eyes, or in your forehead or temples?

 

Headaches around or behind the eyes, in the forehead or temples are often caused by compressed nerves in the neck. People are likely to notice “muscle” tension in their neck at the same time they have a headache and not make the connection that the real cause of the headache is compressed nerves in their neck.

Compressed neck nerves can come from accidents such as whiplash or facial injuries, poor posture for prolonged periods such as being at a computer, texting, TV, driving, etc. Jaw dysfunctions can also cause alterations to neck posture – or any combination of the above.

However, there is a very big cause that is frequently overlooked!

Reduced nasal breathing alters and worsens neck posture which can impinge on the very nerves which can cause headaches; often causing chronic headaches for which “no cause can be determined.”

 

Do you or anyone you know have forward head posture?

For every inch that the head is held forward, it gains about 10 pounds of stress to the back and neck muscles and causes reduced neck mobility, neck pain, migraine and tension-type headache.

Every day in our clinic, we tell patients that breathing, especially nasal breathing, is our most biologically important function. It is also the least evaluated by healthcare providers!

A great little video which illustrates these concepts very clearly is “Airway and TMJ – English” on YouTube. Watch it several times. It contains a lot of information in three minutes. Most of the video is about the relation between reduced nasal breathing and TM joint problems, but the last portion illustrates the cervicogenic headache.    https://youtu.be/PVxlL_lMces

If you want to know more about what can be done to reduce or eliminate these kinds of headaches, call our office for an evaluation and see if you are a candidate for therapy.

To Your Better Health, Be Well,

Dr. Joe