Benefits of Probiotics and the Best Ways to Add Them to Maximize Results
We live in a hyper-connected world, technological innovation in the health sector is aiding the work of specialists and making the focus on the patient increasingly quicker and more effective, not to mention more cost-effective. We have already seen advances such as digital aspirin, patches for the treatment of diabetes and new ingestible sensors --advances that were only possible to see in a science fiction film are here! In this article, I would like to talk about such advances relating to sleep.
There seems to be a constant battle in life to keep up on two things – sleep and the latest tech. There never seems to be enough time for sleep, while, there seems to be too much technology to keep up with throughout the day. The bigger issue, of course, is that we could benefit from both, especially when they go together. We decided to do some research of our own to determine what technology could really improve our sleeping patterns. Here’s what you need to know:
Whether you’re at work, home, or even the grocery store, you constantly hear people saying how tired they are. You hear it so much, that you probably almost forget that not getting enough sleep is a nationwide problem. For some, not sleeping becomes a bragging right. Our workaholic lifestyles mean we put our sleep on the back-burner. What’s important to remember is that our bodies require sleep whether we like that or not; it's simply the truth.
How little is too little sleep? You are only getting enough sleep if you’re getting more than 7 hours a night. Yes, more than 7. Less than 7 hours a night and you are not getting the rest you need to be productive! Getting enough sleep is crucial to our body’s daily functions, our overall health, and functionality throughout our days. One common symptom that is first noticed from a lack of sleep is brain fog. When your mental clarity takes a turn for the worse, ask yourself: am I getting enough sleep?
"Sleeping less than seven hours per night is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress, and all-cause mortality," the team wrote in the CDC's weekly report.1
Now that we’ve come to terms that not many of us (actually almost half of the population2) don’t get enough sleep, let’s discuss one solution. Technology seems to be the latest solution that continues to grow and show positive results. Since the technology industry and the medical field started focusing and addressing such solutions in recent years, the market’s momentum doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, it is growing at a rapid pace.
The global market for sleep aids and technologies is expected to reach $84.9 billion by 2021 from $66.3 billion in 2016, rising at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from 2016 through 2021.3
Using sleep aids can have some side effects that might keep your doctor from prescribing or encouraging them. OTC pills that contain doxylamine succinate our effective but can interfere with our day-to-day functionality since it takes a while for them to wear off. Other prescription medications like, Ambien (Zolpidem) can be addicting and build a tolerance, requiring you to take more and more to combat insomnia. For some patients, however, they’re a necessity. When it comes to your health, getting enough quality sleep is one of the best things you can do. If you struggle with sleeping -- know that there are plenty of healthtech gadgets and wearables (such as the Apple Watch and FitBit) for you.
It’s important to note that not all health-technology options are the end all and be all for everyone. However, there seems to be such a large variety of choices on the market that you’re bound to find at least one thing that can help you. What’s even more powerful and exciting about the health and technology combination is the ability to track your health. These apps and gadgets can further be connected with Apple's Health App or Samsung's S Health for a trackable history of your sleep habits. Once you can track anything, you can find the issues or data points and then share these results with your doctor.
Sometimes, women’s health can seem complicated and overwhelming. Sleep can sometimes seem like a non-issue. Yet, we are missing a very important step that can reverberate across our entire well-being. If you can present your doctor with data and insightful answers into your symptoms and lifestyle, you will be one step closer to better resolutions. With the type of technology available now, it's now easier more than ever to get the information you need to live a healthier and more restful lifestyle.
Cost can sometimes be a hindrance to health and technology purchases. One way to approach these gadgets is to think about how much of your 24-hour days are meant for sleep and how much sleep is needed for a healthier life. You spend almost one-third of your life sleeping so an investment in something that can help you sleep better - can really pay off.
There is no specific order to these five pieces of technology – all are treated equally. Without further ado, we present to you:
The Motiv Ring tracks a variety of things, including your sleep. When you wear it to bed, the gadget tracks your sleeping patterns, including the duration and quality of sleep. You are able to view the results on your phone in real time. The initial screenings and case studies have shown great results and accuracy. You can currently pre-order the ring from their site and have it in time for Spring.
Are you constantly waking up on the other side of the bed? Do you toss and turn throughout the night and are not sure how to prevent it? This little piece of technology connects to the end of your pillow and will track your movements throughout the night. Through the collected data, you can find how much you move throughout the night. Moving more often means less restful REM sleep. If you move too often that means you are getting very low-quality light sleep and not the deep, restful sleep that your mind and body need.
If you just can’t seem to ever fall asleep and don’t want to rely on pills (some of which can be very addicting), this tech tool may just be the thing you need. Their slogan is, “Fall asleep effortlessly. Wake up refreshed.” The sleep inducer guides you through the ways to fall asleep through breathing and focusing on relaxing and sleeping. It works by transforming "your breathing, in real time, into tones that gradually guide you to prolonged exhalation and slow breathing", according to their website.
The Neogia’s Motio HW is designed for people who suffer from sleep apnea and who want to know how their sleep performance really looks. Sleep apnea "is a common disorder that causes your breathing to stop or get very shallow" according to MedlinePlus.gov. Neogia's device makes it easy to breathe better; you just need to wear it while you sleep and it will let you know how you were breathing throughout the night. The technology gets to know the user over time to ensure the device provides accurate information. There have been case studies done to show how effective this gadget is for prevention of severe cases with the elderly -- but can be helpful for all age groups.
This alarm clock awakens more than just one sense in the mornings. It will go off in intervals for a more natural wake-up through music, and will also give off a pleasant scent. You can customize your choice of scent and melody to ensure a bright and groggy-free morning. Essential oil purifiers have been shown to reduce the time needed to sleep and since smell is such a powerful sense for us, it can be more effective than even auditory alarms that we are all used to (and snooze through).
There are also apps for the iPhone such as "Sleep Cycle". It costs $4.99 annually for the premium subscription. This app can track your movements by using the iPhone's built-in accelerometer. It also has a smart awake feature that will wake you up during your lightest sleep approximately 45 to 5 minutes before you set your alarm. Furthermore, you can add certain behaviors and allow location detecting so that you can track what affects your sleep quality.
Technology like these are important for women’s health by aiding and guiding us with something so essential to our wellness and vitality.
Still not sure what technology would be best for you? Don't know where to begin with wearables and gadgets? No problem. Talk with your doctors and get to the bottom of your sleeping habits. Sleeping truly does affect your everyday health and well-being and the functionality within your body. It’s never too late to start asking your doctor for help with your sleep habits.
Fox, Maggie. "A Third of Americans Aren't Getting Enough Sleep." NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 04 Mar. 2017.
Raj, Natana. "Sleep Aids: Technologies and Global Markets." BCC Research. BBC, n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2017.
Weinswig, Deborah. "Technology Is Taking Over Our Sleep...And It's A Good Thing."Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 26 Feb. 2016. Web. 04 Mar. 201
Brodway Medical Center
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