The Connection Between Your Diet, Exercise, and Sleep

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The Connection Between Your Diet, Exercise, and Sleep

The Connection Between Your Diet, Exercise, and Sleep

Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2021 at 10:11 pm    

For many, the new year is a time to renew their personal promises of eating healthier, getting more sleep, and exercising more frequently. However, many people do not realize the myriad ways that diet, exercise, and sleep can affect each other. Scientists have discovered an intricate, highly symbiotic relationship between each of these factors of healthy living, and it is necessary to understand it in order to reap the ultimate benefits.

One of the most obvious benefits of healthy eating is that it fuels the body for exercise and staying energized throughout the day. It keeps our bodies in check by lowering our risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity, but it offers benefits for our mental health, as well.

According to the Sleep Foundation, healthy eating can help reduce the risk of developing anxiety and depression. Plus, fueling our bodies with the right foods to help us exercise regularly will reduce feelings of depression and hopelessness. Exercising releases endorphins, hormones that keep us feeling happy and motivated.

Being mindful of our diet also has an impact on our sleep habits. The Sleep Foundation suggests that eating too close to bedtime or consuming too many caffeinated beverages can hinder our ability to fall asleep. Additionally, if you do not have enough calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, and E, you could have more trouble falling asleep at night.

A study from 2010 entitled “Exercise as a Treatment to Enhance Sleep” suggests that engaging in aerobic exercise or weightlifting can actually improve your quality of sleep. However, researchers found that exercising in the afternoon or early evening is the best option. Getting a workout in right before bedtime actually does more harm than good, hindering your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Some studies have even suggested that regular exercise can help to reduce the effects of sleep apnea in some patients.

Getting quality sleep each night gives our bodies the opportunity to heal and recover from the day’s activities and workouts. It also gives our brains a chance to temporarily take a break before the stimulation of the next day. People who do not get enough sleep tend to overeat and experience stress, anxiety, and depression more often. They are also at a higher risk of developing health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, and stroke, according to the department of neurology at Columbia University.

Contact Silent Night Therapy

If you are not getting enough sleep and worry about how this could affect your health, don’t hesitate to reach out to Silent Night Therapy. Our sleep specialists are here to help. Call us at (631) 983-2463 or fill out a contact form online.


Will a Good Night’s Sleep Help My Heart?

Posted on Wednesday, December 30th, 2020 at 12:46 am    

The quantity and quality of sleep you get each night has a profound effect on your overall health. You may not realize it, but getting a good night’s sleep can have a major impact on your stress levels, blood pressure, and cardiovascular fitness.

The most common sleep disorders that Americans experience are sleep apnea and insomnia. Scientists believe that up to 25% of American adults suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to breathe more shallowly and more irregularly while you sleep. This is caused by tissues in the mouth and throat that block the airway. People who suffer from sleep apnea often wake up in the morning still feeling tired and groggy.

The Journal of the American Heart Association recently published a study that found that in a study of 500 women, those who suffered from sleep disorders had worse eating habits than others. Those who did not get enough quality sleep tended to eat more food in general, and more foods with added sugars. Diet is linked very closely to the risk of developing cardiovascular problems down the road. People who overeat or are obese are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found evidence that suggests that people who sleep irregularly are more likely to develop heart disease. Conversely, the participants who had regular bedtimes and more consistent sleep durations were less likely to develop heart disease.

These studies do not conclusively link poor sleep habits to a decline in cardiovascular health, but they do suggest that there is a connection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked poor sleep with Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, all of which can contribute to cardiovascular problems.

Make an Appointment With Silent Night Therapy

If you are worried that your sleeping patterns put you at a higher risk of developing more severe health problems, call Silent Night Therapy to put your mind at ease. Our sleep specialists will work with you to find the source of your disruptive sleep, whether it is insomnia, sleep apnea, or another issue. Please give us a call at (631) 983-2463 or contact us online.


Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Alzheimer’s

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2020 at 8:49 pm    

We already know that sleep is vital to combating a number of maladies such as stress, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and high blood pressure. And we know that sleep deprivation can increase an individual’s risk of suffering from a stroke, heart disease, and more. But recently, scientists have uncovered an alarming link between sleep deprivation and the onset of Alzheimer’s.

A recent study published in Neurology suggests that people who do not get deep, healthy sleep are more susceptible to brain cell death. Sleep apnea contributes to a decline of oxygen levels in your blood as you sleep, which can contribute to brain cell death. As a result of this atrophy of the brain, dementia may become more likely to develop.

A good night’s sleep is the best thing you can do for long-term brain health, according to the Sleep Foundation. A full night of healthy, uninterrupted sleep lets your brain rest and recharge and could prevent cognitive degradation that comes with dementia. But experts warn against treating yourself to too much good sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, people who get more than nine hours of sleep each night are at a higher risk of developing dementia than those who get between six and nine. For people older than 65, the recommended amount of sleep each night is no more than eight hours.

One necessary component of a healthy sleep schedule is being in a quiet environment. If you are awoken frequently by a snoring partner – or your own snoring – you may be at a higher risk of falling victim to cognitive degradation. If snoring is a problem, you or your partner may be suffering from sleep apnea. Some warning signs to look out for are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue or drowsiness
  • Headaches upon waking up
  • Moments where you stop breathing during sleep
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Irritability

Improve Your Sleep With Silent Night Therapy

If you are struggling to get through a night without waking up or gasping for air, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Don’t wait to get help until it is too late. The sleep specialists at Silent Night Therapy are ready to help diagnose and treat your sleep disorder. Call us at (631) 983-2463 or schedule a free consultation online.


What Is Parasomnia?

Posted on Monday, October 26th, 2020 at 3:25 pm    

Parasomnia describes any unusual activity that happens right before you sleep, during sleep, and in the moments between sleep and wakefulness. According to the Sleep Foundation, parasomnia often affects children more than adults, though it can affect people of all ages. Parasomnias can describe a number of unusual sleep anomalies, including sleepwalking, night terrors, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and bedwetting, just to name a few.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recognizes three distinct groups of parasomnia: NREM-related, REM-related, and “other.” REM stands for rapid eye movement.

The first group is non-rapid eye movement-related. Non-rapid eye movement sleep constitutes the first 90 or so minutes after you fall asleep. Sleep specialists call this “shallow” sleep. People who experience parasomnias in this stage of sleep will have difficulty remembering the events of their episodes. According to the Sleep Foundation, NREM-related parasomnias include:

  • Confusional arousals
  • Sleepwalking
  • Night or sleep terrors
  • Sexual abnormal behaviors
  • Sleep-related disordered eating habits

The second group is rapid eye movement sleep-related. This REM stage of sleep occurs immediately after the NREM stages of sleep. REM sleep will last about 90 minutes, then your sleep will rotate back to NREM, then REM, and so on. During REM, your eyes move rapidly while closed, breathing accelerates, and heart rate and blood pressure will increase. Parasomnias of REM sleep include:

  • Recurring sleep paralysis
  • REM sleep behavior disorder (RSBD)
  • Nightmare disorder

The final group is simply called “other,” as it describes parasomnias that happen between sleeping and wakefulness. They might include:

  • Bedwetting
  • Hallucinations that persist for several minutes after the person awakes
  • “Exploding head syndrome,” when a person hears a loud noise like an explosion in their head and may see a bright light upon waking, though it is imagined

If you are experiencing any of the events listed above, it is important that you make an appointment with your doctor or a sleep specialist. Parasomnias could be signs of an underlying health issue, such as anxiety, PTSD, or a complication with prescribed medicine.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep With Silent Night Therapy

Parasomnias could be a sign of a more serious sleep problem, such as sleep apnea or insomnia. If you’re having trouble getting restful sleep and are waking up exhausted, then you might have a sleep disorder. The sleep specialists at Silent Night Therapy can diagnose your problems and find reliable solutions. Call us today at (631) 983-2463 or schedule a free consultation online.


Teens Lack Sleep Routine During the Pandemic

Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 12:13 am    

Pandemic sleep issues for teens

Teenagers are not known for their healthy sleep schedules. But a global pandemic has heightened stress levels, altered learning environments, and challenged teenagers on a social level, as well. These factors combine to make for unhealthy sleep schedules that could leave your teen awake until the early morning hours and asleep until the afternoon. Not only does this irregular sleep schedule throw off their daily routine, it can have an effect on their overall health.

Experts generally agree that teenagers need around 9 hours of sleep each night to function optimally. However, melatonin, a hormone released by the body to help you fall asleep, isn’t released in teenaged bodies until later in the night. This makes it harder for teens to fall asleep at an earlier hour. With demanding schedules full of classes, after-school programs, sports, music lessons, and homework, teenagers could be up until very late at night getting everything done. Even if a teenager has the chance to get in bed early, their brains may not let them fall asleep for a couple of hours.

When your teenager doesn’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night, this can throw off their routines and even jeopardize their health. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a weakened immune system and higher levels of stress, which could lead to conditions such as depression and heart disease.

Support a Healthy Sleep Routine

During the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to support your immune system any way you can, including eating healthy foods and getting plenty of sleep.

Experts recommend the following tips to help your teenager get a healthy amount of sleep:

  • Do not bring electronics such as phones and laptops into bed at night.
  • Get plenty of natural light during the day to reset your circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and evening.
  • Limit daytime naps to 20 minutes.
  • Read a book, drink warm tea, or take a warm shower before bed.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep With Silent Night Therapy

Teenagers need a lot of healthy sleep each night to wake up ready for the next day, and so do adults. If you’re having trouble getting restful sleep and are waking up exhausted, then you might have a sleep disorder. The sleep specialists at Silent Night Therapy can diagnose your problems and find reliable sleep solutions. Call our office today at (631) 983-2463 or schedule your free consultation online.


How to Stay Awake When You’re Tired

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2020 at 2:41 pm    

How to stay awake

Between Zoom meetings, online schooling, and scanning a constant news cycle, it can be hard to feel energized in the middle of the day. This is especially true if you are suffering from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Though it might be tempting to reach for another cup of coffee or snag a Red Bull for a quick pick-me-up, there are other, more natural ways to boost your energy.

  1. Get up and move around. Sitting at a desk – whether at the office or in your own home – gets monotonous and worsens fatigue, especially when you are staring at a screen for hours at a time. Experts recommend standing up and moving around, whether it’s taking a short lap around the office or stepping outside for some fresh air. Getting your blood and oxygen pumping through your brain and muscles will do more to keep you energized for longer than eating a candy bar will.
  2. Switch up your work tasks. If you have been working at one particular task or project all day, you are likely to feel exhausted by the afternoon. Give your brain a jolt and switch tasks a few times per day to stimulate your mind. Monotonous tasks can make you just as sleepy as if you had lost hours of sleep the night before, according to one study.
  3. Drink more water. Sleep specialists have found that dehydration compounds sleepiness, so adding a few glasses of cold water to your daily intake could help boost your energy levels. It also helps to eat fruits and vegetables that have high water content, like cucumbers and celery.
  4. Reset your circadian rhythm. Step outside and get at least 30 minutes of sunlight every day to regulate your sleep cycle. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, this could help your body and mind reset.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Silent Night Therapy

The amount and quality of sleep you get every night directly correlates to the quality of your life. If you are having trouble sleeping or staying asleep, this is likely getting in the way of work and quality time with family. You do not have to keep suffering. The sleep apnea specialists at Silent Night Therapy are here to help you diagnose your problems and find solutions. Call us at 631-983-2463 or schedule your free consultation online. A better night’s sleep is only a call away.


What Is Microsleep?

Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2020 at 12:44 am    

What is microsleep?Microsleep is exactly what it sounds like: periods of sleep that last only a few seconds. These short bursts of sleep can happen at any time. You could experience microsleep when you’re at work, driving your car, sitting in class, or watching your kids.

It’s not just an innocent nap; it can be a symptom of a serious health problem. According to Healthline, microsleep is usually a side-effect of more troubling sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or narcolepsy. Visiting a sleep specialist can help you determine which, if any, of these sleep disorders is causing your microsleep.

You’re more likely to experience microsleep if you’re sleep-deprived, and millions of us are. Approximately 1 in 5 American adults don’t get enough sleep. There are a number of reasons why you might be sleep-deprived, including:

  • Working late nights or overnight shifts
  • Being unable to sleep because of stress
  • Sleep disorders
  • Narcolepsy

Some of the most common warning signs that you might be experiencing microsleep are:

  • Sudden and uncontrollable body jerks
  • Not being able to remember the last few minutes
  • Slow blinking
  • Excessive yawning
  • Repetitive head dropping

Many of the symptoms of microsleep are similar to what you experience right before falling asleep at a natural and healthy time of day. But microsleep can happen at any time and anywhere. This’s part of what can make microsleep dangerous.

Luckily, there are simple ways to treat microsleep. Making small changes to your daily routine could help you fall asleep more quickly and get a deeper sleep. This could include cutting your caffeine intake a couple of hours before bed, turning off your phone, laptop, and TV earlier, and keeping your room cooler. If these changes don’t make a difference and you still experience periods of extreme tiredness during the day, it might be time to call a sleep expert.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Sleep Expert

Silent Night Therapy is open again and ready to help patients just like you! Schedule your appointment today to discuss any problems you have with sleeping or staying asleep. If you’re experiencing microsleep, you might need treatment for a more serious sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Consult with one of our team members today to diagnose and solve your problem. Call our office at 631-983-2463 to speak with a sleep specialist.


Foods That Help You Sleep

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 at 12:26 am    

Foods for sleep

Following a regular bedtime routine is one of the most beneficial things you can do for a good night’s sleep. You might take a shower, brush your teeth, and settle in with a good book before falling asleep. But did you know that some foods are better to eat before bedtime than others? Specialists say that eating certain foods before you go to sleep can improve your chances of getting a good night’s rest.

According to Healthline, there are nine foods and beverages that specialists have identified as the most beneficial to eat or drink before bed. They are:

  • Almonds
  • Turkey
  • Chamomile tea
  • Kiwis
  • Cherry juice
  • Walnuts
  • Fatty fish
  • White rice
  • Passionflower tea

Some experts also believe that warm milk, bananas, cottage cheese, and yogurt help you get a good night’s sleep. Consuming these foods and beverages two to three hours before you go to sleep is recommended because it’s less likely to cause acid reflux or an upset stomach.

Many of the items listed above are good sources of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, and serotonin, a chemical produced in the brain that regulates your sleep cycle. Cherry juice and almonds both contain high levels of melatonin, which in turn makes the person who consumes them sleepier sooner. Additionally, some research suggests that high amounts of magnesium in one’s diet can help promote sounder sleep. Walnuts, bananas, and almonds are all rich in magnesium.

Get Help at Silent Night Therapy

If you or your partner have difficulties falling asleep at night, this could be an indication of a more serious underlying health issue, such as sleep apnea or insomnia. Oftentimes, insomnia is caused by factors that are easy to address, but if you are suffering from sleep apnea, more rigorous treatment may be recommended. The specialists at Silent Night Therapy are here to help you through the process.

At Silent Night Therapy, our offices are now open. We understand that our clients are concerned about staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our staff has put in place comprehensive safety protocols to ensure the health of each of our clients. In addition, leaving the safety and comfort of your home is not required to see whether you have sleep apnea – we would be happy to mail an at-home kit right to your home. Contact us at (631) 983-2463 or fill out a contact form on our website today to learn more about our services.


How sleep is important for building muscle

Posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 at 6:11 pm    

Shutterstock 524809933

The bulk of muscle-building happens at the gym, right? This is not correct. It turns out; your body needs long, deep sleep after a workout session to maximize muscle building.

When you lift weights, go for a run, or do some squats, you are breaking down your muscles. When we sleep, our body builds them back up even stronger. This is because as you sleep, the pituitary gland releases a growth hormone that rebuilds and repairs muscle cells. Dr. Michele Olson, a Huntingdon College professor of sports science, says this process moves carbohydrates into the muscle cells as you sleep, providing energy to use amino acids for repairing strained muscles.

Not only does more sleep generally mean bigger muscles after a training session, but less sleep could also mean decreased muscle mass. A 2011 study found that people who only got 5.5 hours of sleep per night saw a 60% reduction in muscle mass by the end of the study. In contrast, the participants who got 8.5 hours of sleep per night experienced an increase of 40% more muscle mass. All participants ate the same amount of calories per day.

The amount of sleep you get each night also dramatically affects your mental health and emotional state, which in turn affects bodily and mental function. Less sleep usually means that you are more stressed and less likely to maintain a healthy routine.

Contact a Sleep Apnea Specialist

Everyone needs and deserves a good night’s sleep – elite athletes and weekend warriors alike! Sleep is essential for letting your body recharge and rebuild itself after a long day. But if you suffer from insomnia or sleep apnea, you are likely not achieving your full potential. The experts at Silent Night Therapy can help.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed many parts of our lives, but our services remain the same. We now offer virtual consultations to ensure the health and safety of our patients. There is no need to leave your house to get tested for sleep apnea – we can mail an at-home kit straight to your door. If you would like to learn more about our services, call us at (631) 983-2463 or fill out a contact form on our website today.


Stress and Sleeping

Posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2020 at 3:07 pm    

The amount of sleep you get each night has a significant impact on your stress levels during the day. According to the American Psychological Association, the average American adult only gets 6.7 hours of sleep per night, which is considerably below the recommended 8-9 hours. But one APA study from 2013 argues that, if Americans got more sleep each night, they would be healthier and happier.

The Need for Sleep

When we sleep, our bodies have a chance to recover and repair themselves for the next day. According to the APA, this is when our brains consolidate our memories, and when our muscles can finally relax and repair. When we don’t get enough sleep, we might lash out at loved ones, fall asleep at the wheel, or be less productive at work. In some cases, people who do not get enough sleep are at a higher risk of developing health complications such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Manage Your Stress

When we are stressed out during the day, it is often hard to fall asleep at night. You may lie awake in bed for 45 minutes or an hour before falling asleep, which in turn shortens your period of sleep, leaving you more irritated the next day. It’s a vicious cycle.

One way to break the cycle is to manage your stress during the day. Not only will stress management leave you feeling healthier and happier, but it will also let you fall asleep more easily. Some ways to reduce stress are:

  • Learn how to say no when you already have too much on your plate. This could be at a job or in your social life. If you explain to your friends or supervisors that you’re already too busy, they should understand and respect that.
  • Set aside an hour each day for a relaxing activity. This could be yoga, pilates, baking, reading, playing with your dog, or writing in a journal. Try to stay away from screens to give your eyes and your brain a break.
  • Ask for help. If you find that you are constantly overwhelmed with the stresses in your life, you might want to seek out help from a therapist or counselor.

It can be hard to prioritize self-care but remember that you not only deserve sleep and stress relief, but your health also depends on them.

Contact Silent Night Therapy

If your daytime stress is getting in the way of your sleep schedule, or if poor sleep leaves you feeling irritable and groggy, you might want to get in touch with a sleep therapist. At Silent Night Therapy, our specialists can help come up with a plan to get you a better night’s sleep. Whether you are suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, we are ready to assist you. Please call our number at 631-983-2463 to schedule your appointment today.