In This Issue
- Article- 5 Tips for Better Sleep
- Inspirational Quote
- Inspirational Story
- Featured Product on Arc4life.com- Pronex Pneumatic Cervical Traction Unit with $15 dollar discount code attached
Hello everyone! This is the 2nd edition of Arc4Life’s Healthy Sleep, the online newsletter to help you with neck or back pain, proper posture, and sleeping comfortably. Get health tips for how to reduce pain, sleep better, and maintain a healthy spine.
- Article - 5 Tips For Better Sleep
Good, sound sleep means you wake up feeling well rested and refreshed. However, if your nights are filled with frustration and mornings with fatigue, and you’ve checked yourself for the usual culprits like downing 7pm espresso shots or using your bed as a home office, here are some less obvious insomnia-inducing habits that just may be the source. Since these things happen while you’re off in slumberland, they may not be the first to come to mind, but they can cause both sleep and health troubles.
Bedtime milk and cookies sounds like the perfect way to wind down before hitting the sack. But that soothing ritual might be costing you more than a few extra calories. When Oprah tells us she doesn’t dare touch food after 8pm, she’s doing it for weight loss reasons. But even if you’re not a dieting diva, eating late is never a good idea. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, if you’re eating a large meal before bedtime, the digestion process can get in the way of your good night’s sleep. Besides disrupting your REM time, you may also be contributing to a more serious condition, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This occurs when food is pushed back up into the esophagus via stomach acids, causing a burning sensation and sometimes choking and coughing.
Remedy: Do not eat a large meal or snack within two to three hours of bedtime. If this is unavoidable, plan ahead and satisfy your appetite earlier in the evening so all you’ll need is a light snack before going to bed. If you do conk out after your gorge session, be sure to elevate your head with pillows.
- Electrical Stimulation in the Bedroom
Everyone likes a little bedroom stimulation now and again, but just be sure those sparks are coming from your partner or spouse, and not from a love affair with technological gadgetry. Are you unwittingly charging your room with electrical current? The average home is filled with electromagnetic interference, as it is generated from every electric appliance. According to theories in quantum physics, electrical charges fill our air and can disturb sleep. Whether you’re an avid tech junkie or just the average consumer, you likely have a TV, radio, CD player, portable phone and perhaps even a computer, printer, scanner and fax all within your compact sleep space. These pieces of electronic equipment - particularly the TV and computer screen - give off high levels of electromagnetic energy even long after they’re turned off. You’re literally jamming up your air with electronic waves.
- Remedy: Turn off the electricity. Zero is the best number of electronic equipment to have in your bedroom; however, you can cover both your TV and computer screens with fabric before retiring and place a medium-to-large-size plant in your room for every piece of electrical equipment. Palms, peace lilies and spider plants are said to absorb the most electrical current. Digitally displayed alarm clocks emit a high amount of EMI, and should not be kept close to your head. Put them on the other side of your room or switch to a nondigital clock.
- Are You a Stomach Sleeper?
Get in touch with your inner child while you sleep. According to researchers, the best sleeping positions that put the least stress on your joints and organs are on your back or in the semifetal position, where you lay on one side with knees slightly bent, one arm outstretched above the head, the other resting comfortably on the opposing upper arm to cradle the head. Both give your spine and body proper alignment.
However, if your preferred sleep position is on your stomach, you may be asking for trouble. You’ll spend many hundreds of hours smashing your delicate facial skin into a pillow, which helps produce wrinkles, sagging and puffiness, not to mention trauma to your neck, spine and lower back.
Remedy:Change sleep positions. Sleep doctors suggest adhering two tennis balls to your stomach so whenever you try and switch to the old tummy routine, you’ll automatically reposition yourself.
- Increased Blood Cortisol Levels
The highly publicized study that linked lack of sleep with extra weight is accurate on one side of the equation. The study does not suggest getting more sleep will help you lose weight. It says if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’ll feel less equipped to handle stress and your intricate hormonal system will react, increasing stress hormones like cortisol. Higher blood cortisol negatively affects your sleep patterns in a round-robin effect. Numerous studies also show that increased cortisol levels both increase appetite - particularly for sugar and starchy carbohydrates - as well as promote stubborn belly fat. If that’s not enough to want to keep them in check, recent studies also indicate a direct correlation between elevated cortisol levels and high blood pressure, diabetes and a decreased resistance to infection.
Remedy: Put in plenty of pillow time. Get yourself to bed at a reasonable hour so that you’re not dreading the sound of the alarm clock come morning. Figure out how many hours of sleep your body operates best with, and once you start getting that magic number, your hormones will readjust and both your sleep and weight will normalize.
- Sleep Apnea, RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) and PLMD
People tend to think that sleep problems are a part of life, and don’t often think to discuss them with their doctor. But there are certain medical conditions that could be interfering with your sleep, and, since they happen during sleep, they will most often escape your notice.
Snoring isn’t always just a nuisance. It could be a sign of a larger problem. According to the Sleep Research Society, sleep apnea occurs when airflow to the lungs is briefly blocked, most often in the throat, in repeated episodes of gasping, sometimes up to 50 times an hour. Snorting and gasping are the telltale signs. Obesity; the use of nicotine, alcohol or sedatives; hypothyroidism; sleeping on one’s back; and excessive airway tissue are key factors. Sleep apnea can be dangerous to your health, so if you suspect your snoring may be sleep apnea, contact a doctor.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) sends odd, uncomfortable sensations deep within the leg muscles and knees, creating forceful urges to move, particularly at night. Sufferers may jerk themselves awake with leg spasms or kicking movements, preventing a restful night’s sleep. Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) centers in the lower limbs and consists of spasms that can occur up to hundreds of times a night. The telltale signs of PLMD are crumpled bedcovers at the foot of the bed, along with kicking and jerking during sleep and unknowingly awakening many times during the night.
Remedy: If you suspect you might have any of the above sleep disorders, discuss them with your doctor as soon as possible. He or she can recommend a treatment to help get you back on the track to well-restedness.
- Inspirational Quote
“Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God and value it next to conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of, a blessing money can't buy.”- Izaak Walton
- Inspirational Story
This month’s inspirational story is actually the story of Christopher Gardner. Many may not know who he is. He is the subject of the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness” starring Will Smith”. If you have not watched I definitely recommend this title.
Christopher Gardner is the owner and CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings with offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Surmounting acute obstacles on his road to success, Gardner is an avid motivational speaker, addressing the keys to self-empowerment, beating odds, and breaking cycles. Gardner is also a passionate philanthropist committed to many charitable organizations.
The amazing story of Gardner’s life was published as an autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, (Amistad/Harper Collins) on May 23, 2006, and became a New York Times and Washington Post #1 bestseller. Gardner is also the inspiration for the movie The Pursuit of Happyness released by Columbia Pictures on December 15, 2006. The movie was #1 at the box office its opening weekend. Will Smith stars as Gardner and received Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for his performance. Gardner is an associate producer on the movie.
Always hard working and tenacious, a series of circumstances in the early 1980’s left Gardner homeless in San Francisco and the sole guardian of his toddler son. Unwilling to give up Chris Jr. or his dream of financial independence, Gardner started at the bottom. Without connections or a college degree, he earned a spot in the Dean Witter Reynolds training program. Often spending his nights in a church shelter or the bathroom at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Oakland, Gardner was the sole trainee offered a job at Dean Witter Reynolds in 1981. He spent 1983-1987 at Bear Stearns & Co., where he became a top earner, and then in 1987, he founded the brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co. in Chicago.
Born February 9, 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Gardner never knew his father. He lived with his mother, Bettye Jean Gardner, whom he adored, and, when necessary, in foster homes. Despite a life of hardship and emotional scarring, his mother provided him with strong “spiritual genetics” and taught him some of the greatest lessons of his life, which he follows to this day. Bettye Jean convinced him that in spite of where he came from, he could attain whatever goals he set for himself by saying, “If you want to, one day you could make a million dollars.” Gardner believed this to be fact, and knew he would have to find a career he could be passionate about, and one that would allow him to “be world-class at something.”
Straight out of high school, Gardner enlisted in the Navy, just like his uncles, his role models, had done. After the military, Gardner went to San Francisco and took a job as a medical supply salesman. Then he reached a turning point in his life. In a parking lot, he met a man driving a red Ferrari. "He was looking for a parking space. I said, 'You can have mine, but I gotta ask you two questions.' The two questions were: What do you do? And how do you do that? Turns out this guy was a stockbroker and he was making $80,000 a month."
That pivotal encounter gave Gardner a clear career goal and he began knocking on doors, applying for training programs at brokerages even though it meant he would have to live on next to nothing while he learned. When he was finally accepted into a program, he left his job in medical sales. But his plans collapsed when the man who offered him the training slot was fired, and Gardner had no job to go back to. Then he was put in jail for $1,200 in parking violations he couldn't pay. Chris Jr.’s mother left and Gardner, despite his circumstances, fought to keep his son because, as he says, "I made up my mind as a young kid that when I had children they were going to know who their father is, and that he isn’t going anywhere."
Finally managing to enter the training program at Dean Witter Reynolds, Gardner’s meager stipend as a trainee meant he, like so many working poor in America, had a job but couldn't make ends meet. Chris’s co-workers never knew he spent his evenings trying to arrange day care, find food and a safe place for him and his son to sleep. After spending nights in a locked bathroom at an Oakland subway station, Gardner persuaded Rev. Cecil Williams, founder of a new shelter program for homeless women at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, to let him and Chris Jr. stay at the shelter.
Gardner passed his licensing exam in 1981on the first try. He arrived early, stayed late and worked the phones day after day to lure new clients. He and Chris Jr. got an apartment, and in 1983 he joined Bear, Stearns & Company. After becoming a top producer, first in San Francisco and later in New York, Gardner left in 1987 to establish Gardner Rich & Company, Inc., an institutional brokerage firm specializing in the execution of debt, equity and derivative products transactions for some of the nations largest institutions, public pension plans and unions. The company has expanded into Christopher Gardner International Holdings and now has a business project underway in South Africa.
Gardner reaches out to many programs serving the homeless, donating time, assistance, and funds. Foremost among these are the Glide United Methodist Church in San Francisco and The Cara Program in Chicago. At Glide, Gardner assists with fundraising, donates clothes and shoes, and speaks at services and events. He is also involved in a plan to revitalize and provide new housing in the neighborhood around Glide. At Cara, which assists the homeless and at-risk populations in Chicago with comprehensive job training and placement, Gardner speaks at counseling sessions, assists with permanent job placement, and also donates clothing and shoes.
Gardner serves as a board member of the National Fatherhood Initiative, whose mission is to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers. Gardner was the recipient of the group’s Father of the Year Award in 2002.
Gardner is particularly committed to educational organizations. He serves on the board of the National Education Foundation and sponsors two annual awards: the National Education Association’s National Educational Support Personnel Award and the American Federation of Teachers’ Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Award. He is also involved with the Chicago Teachers’ Union, sponsoring activities and outings for Chicago public school kids.
In addition to the father of the Year Award, Gardner has also been honored by the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW) with the 25th Annual Humanitarian Award, and by the Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce with the 2006 Friends of Africa Award.
Chris Gardner’s remarkable story of struggle, faith, entrepreneurialism, and fatherly devotion has catapulted him beyond the notoriety he has found on Wall Street. He has been featured on the “Evening News with Dan Rather,” “20/20,” “Oprah,” “Today Show,” “The View,” “Entertainment Tonight,” CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel as well as being the subject of profiles in numerous newspapers and magazines including People, USA Today, Associated Press, New York Times, Fortune, Jet, Reader’s Digest, Trader Monthly, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He is also a highly sought-after speaker.
- Featured Product - The Pronex Pneumatic Cervical Traction Unit
The Pronex Pneumatic Cervical Traction unit is special because it cradles the reclining patient's head and neck on two soft foam cushions. One cushion supports the occiput (base of the head) and the other rests against the upper trapezius (upper shoulder area). An air-inflated bellows between them and provides more than 20 lbs of continuously adjustable traction. As the bellows expands, it lifts the head upward supporting the cervical curve and maintaining an even distraction (stretch) in the anterior (front) and posterior (back) cervical discs. Patients have total control over the amount of traction applied. Squeezing an inflator bulb increases the pressure, a release knob gently reduces it. There's no strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
The Pronex Cervical traction is user friendly and without restraints. It is portable, comfortable and convenient. This traction device requires no assembly, no weights, no cables, no springs or levers. It's simply restraint free. It encourages regular use by patients at home, helping in breaking the chronic pain cycle.
The special design of the Pronex Pneumatic Cervical traction unit gives anatomically correct traction. This cervical traction device supports the natural curve of the cervical spine (c-curve) and provides an even distraction in the anterior (front) and posterior (back) cervical discs.
Special Discount: $15.00 use code: 15offPronex (expires April 30th, 2007). Go to Arc4life to order your Pronex Pneumatic Traction Unit.
That's all for this month's newsletter
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