Dr Dingle's Blog / ADHD
Growing up as a child in the 60’s there was lots of space to play on the street, in the big back yards, nearby parks, creeks, the beach and lots of green spaces. While we we have lost a lot of these spaces research is showing that the more “green” we are surrounded with the the healthier it is for us. We exhibit more than just a preference for natural scenes and settings; we suffer health problems when we lose contact with our green surrounds. Increasing evidence indicates that nature provides restorative experiences that directly affect people's physical, social and mental well-being and health in a positive way including decreased mortality.
A recent study found that living in more densely vegetated areas was associated with fewer deaths from causes other than accidents. Using data from the Nurses’ Health Study researchers estimated a 12% lower rate of non-accidental death between women who lived in the most densely versus least densely vegetated areas. When looking at specific causes of death, the researchers estimated a 41% lower rate of kidney disease mortality, a 34% lower rate of respiratory disease mortality, and a 13% lower rate of cancer mortality in the women who lived in the greenest areas, compared with those in the least green areas. A study in the Netherlands found a lower prevalence of diseases in areas with more green space, including coronary heart disease and diabetes. In a cross-sectional study of 11,404 adults in Australia the odds of hospitalization for heart disease or stroke was 37% lower, and the odds of self-reported heart disease or stroke was 16% lower, among adults with highly variable greenness around their home, compared to those in neighborhoods with low variability in greenness. The odds of heart disease or stroke decreased by 7% per unit with every 25% increase in the level of greenness. In an interesting experiment where 14 children undertook two, 15 min bouts of cycling at a moderate exercise intensity while in one situation viewing a film of cycling in a forest setting and another with no visual stimulus. The systolic blood pressure (the top or higher number) 15 minutes after exercise was significantly lower following green exercise compared to the control condition. So if it works for kids it should also work for us we get older.
The rise in obesity is well documented and while there are many contributing factors a systematic review of green space research from sixty studies reported the majority (68%) of papers found a positive association between green spaces and obesity-related health indicators. One study found that increased vegetation was associated with reduced weight among young people living in high population densities and across eight European cities, people were 40% less likely to be obese in the greenest areas. Overall, the majority of studies found some evidence of a relationship with weight and green space. The lower rates of obesity, adverse health and improved health outcomes may be attributable to higher levels of physical activity, such as neighborhood walking which is positively influenced by the natural environment. Walking is the most popular physical activity particularly as we age, and levels of recreational walking have been linked the distance to and attractiveness of local parks and ovals. Many studies have reported that adults with access to a large high-quality park within walking distance (within 1600 m) from home have elevated levels of walking and and in general live longer. In a review of 50 studies twenty studies (40%) reported a positive association between green space and physical activity, including older adults.
Being around vegetation can lead to better mental health and less stress, positive emotions, focus and attention, as well as reduced stress. While walking itself can reduce stress, walking in a natural setting provides greater stress-relieving benefits. Accessible green spaces are ‘escape facilities’, and lack of access to green space contributes to poor mental health. Some of the more potent restorative effects of nature relate to being able to ‘get away’ from everyday settings and immerse oneself in an extensive natural setting that creates a sense of being in a ‘whole other world’.
Perhaps as we decide to age healthier we need to spend more time near green spaces.
Your gut microbiome has an astonishing ability to keep you healthy or ill. The list of diseases that we know of that are linked to the intestinal microbiota grows every day and these diseases are usually complex in terms of both how the disease develops and complications. Having the right balance of good microorganisms in our gut and good gut health is not only essential for good digestion but also in the prevention of or reversing chronic diseases, including.
Poor gut health has been linked with a long list of illnesses including
Asthma and Allergies
Cancers (especially digestive cancers, i.e. bowel and colon and brain tumours)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease including SIBO, Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis
Cardio vascular disease
High blood pressure
Depression, Anxiety and Stress
Skin health and ageing
Eczema, Dermatitis and Psoriasis
Immune system function including susceptibility and tolerance to viruses and bacterial infections like cold and flu.
Colic, Constipation and Diarrhea
Celiac disease and Gluten and lactose intolerance
The list goes on. For example, even in the area of mental illness we have conditions such as
Depression, Anxiety and Stress
ADHD & Autism
Focus and memory
Learning, mental productivity and cognitive decline. As well as controlling some of our needs and desires i.e. food cravings and appetite, our relationships and our social interactions.
These are all impacted by gut health. Because of the role of inflammation, oxidation nutrition and the many functions of the gut microbiome there is not a health condition that is not influenced by the gut microbiome either directly or indirectly.
Because of the multiple functions of the microbiota dysbiosis can manifest as many and multiple health conditions often termed comormidity or multi morbidity. It is not one disease it manifests as many. For example, large studies have shown the multi-morbidity of eczema, rhinitis, and asthma. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients will also frequently suffer from rheumatologic manifestations, liver multimorbidities and lung, namely chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchial asthma, bronchitis and other chronic respiratory disorders in the adult population, gallbladder disease, heart disease and associated morbidity and mortality, anxiety, stress and depression, as well as arthritis, psoriasis, and pericarditis. In one study of 47325 patients they reported 20 different immune mediate diseases associated with IBD including some of those mentioned above and celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
This evidence strongly shows any health condition will have many layers of disease occurring throughout the body at any one time that are related but not connected at the time of diagnosis.
Arguable the biggest health problem facing us today is gut health rivaling the current obesity crisis and tobacco smoking in its impact on our health. Every health condition is linked to gut health and gut healing either directly or indirectly through inflammation and oxidation. Historically every culture understood this and were involved in extensive practices of gut healing and even our own up until 60 or so years ago. The first thing health practitioners throughout history would do is to start to fix the gut.
Until recently the positive effects of the gut microbiome on our digestive system and health has been severely under rated. Wisdom of Chinese doctors from centuries ago, who somehow knew that the intestines were not merely a digestive organ, but the centre of health and wellbeing. Hippocrates was recorded as saying that all illness begins in the gut. Throughout history from the Egyptians till around 80 years ago medicine and the bowels were frequently mentioned in the same sentence and good health revolved around gut health.
Even today the nomadic Maasai tribes in Africa attribute most illnesses to the effect of “pollutants” that block or inhibit digestion. In these communities the plants are used to cure diseases served mainly as strong purgatives and emetics; they "cleanse" the body and digestive system from polluting substances.
With thousands of studies released each year the gut is known to play a major role in many health conditions including mental health issues, cardiovascular disease, allergies and asthma, autoimmune diseases, some cancers and even diabetes and weight gain. Many of these conditions which are now reaching epidemic proportions have been linked to a dysfunctional gut. Studies have shown a strong link between mental health issues including depression and what is called the gut brain axis. We also know the gut is the centre of our immune system and is strongly influenced by the gut microbiome. As a result the gut has a strong link with allergies and asthma. Peanut allergies for example are not caused by peanuts they are brought about by a dysfunctional gut microbiome.
Antibiotics and many gut medications used for controlling acid reflux have been shown to be devastating to gut health a healthy gut microbiome, as well as many of the chemicals we use around the homes and even the personal care products we apply to our skin. Even our activities either promote gut health and gut healing or harm it. Stress sends messages to the opportunistic (bad) microorganisms in the gut to tell them to start to take over from the good ones. Exercise promotes gut health and healing while no exercise or too much exercise does the exact opposite.
Fortunately, in animal studies we know that many of these conditions can be improved and even reversed if the gut microbiome is repaired. 50% of Parkinson’s Disease has been directly linked with poor gut health while improving the gut microbiome has been shown to dramatically improve symptoms.
The research also shows that while probiotics can be useful in gut healing, repairing the gut microbiome requires an understanding of what encourages a healthy gut microbiome in our diet and lifestyle as well as what causes a dysfunctional microbiome. We now know that all the healthy foods we eat, the vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and fruit all feed the gut microbiome which then feeds us and looks after our health. All the studies on healthy diets from the Mediterranean to the original Japanese or the low inflammatory diet (DII) benefit us because they work through the gut to promote gut health and subsequently our health.
Hope you can make it to one of our talks
October 16, 7.00 pm
October 17, 7.00 pm
Your Gut Health, Microbiome and Probiotics
October 18 2017
Bunbury turf club
Blair Street Bunbury 6230 Australia
7.00-9.00 PM each night
7 Steps To Permanent Weight Loss
October 19 2017
Bunbury turf club
Blair Street Bunbury 6230 Australia
7.00-9.00 PM each night
October 20, 9.30 am
October 20, 7.00 pm
October 23, 7.00-9.00 pm
October 24, 9.30 -11.30 am
Your Gut Health, Microbiome and Probiotics
October 24, 2017
St George Community Care 48 Gibney Street
Dog Rock Motel seminar room
303 Middleton Road Mount Clarence 6330
7.00-9.00 PM each night
October 26, 2017
Your Gut Health, Microbiome and Probiotics
October 27 2017
Dangerous Beauty. The toxic truth about cosmetics and personal care products
October 28 2017
The 7 steps to permanent weight loss
We are now surrounded by long list of modern day toxic chemicals in our homes and the personal care products that are impacting on our health. These poisons and potions are playing their role in making us sick and are linked with the increase in disease like breast cancer, hormone imbalances, thyroid problems and even infertility. Even at “so called” normal levels these chemicals contribute to diseases such as fatigue, depression, stress and anxiety and are linked with diabetes, cardio vascular disease, cancer, estrogen and hormone havoc and weight gain.
This presentation will change your attitudes to many things around you and your home, how you clean and what you put on your skin and empower you to make some simple changes to improve your health. We’ll show you that with a few simple modifications you can easily improve the health status of your home, your wellbeing and that of your family.
Gut Health, Microbiome and Probiotics.
Probiotics and a healthy microbiome in our digestive tract is now recognised as one of the most critical conditions for our health and wellbeing. While it is obvious when it comes to many digestive disorders recent research has shown it can be involved in virtually every form of chronic illness. A study in 2016 for example confirmed that up to 50% of Parkinson’s disease can be related to an unhealthy gut microbiome. While many skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and even acne as well as Alzheimer’s, MS, allergies, diabetes type 1 and 2 and high blood pressure are all related to a healthy gut. Even weight gain and weight loss is influenced by your gut microbiome. Both directly and indirectly a healthy gut can determine how healthy you are and even how much weight you put on. However, a healthy gut is determined by many more factors than just supplementing with probiotics or eating yoghurt.
In this one night presentation you will learn about the importance of gut health as well as what steps you can take to improve. This night is a must to see.
7 Steps To Permanent Weight Loss
Diets, counting calories and low fat foods don’t work because they are working against your genes. These diets are going against millions of years of evolution. Studies on these types of diets show impaired mental performance, poor immediate memory and slower reaction times, they lose more muscle and develop metabolic and immune system disorders. Even more disturbing people on these diets lose muscle, end up putting on more weight and die younger.
The reason is that these Diets focus on the wrong thing. They ignore the genetic, biochemical and nutritional needs of your body so they can never succeed.
Learn the secrets of weight loss and the language of talking to your genes. Learn to retune your genes to lose extra kilos of weight without dieting.
Dr Dingle will show you by focusing on nutrient dense foods, supplementation, the right protein foods, probiotics and eliminating toxins you can unlock your genes for weight loss and wellbeing without dieting and exercise.
Dangerous Beauty. The toxic truth about cosmetics and personal care products
The personal care and cosmetic products you use directly influence the health of your family. These products impact their hormone levels and thyroid function and are linked with weight gain. These chemicals are linked with Estrogen overload and hormone imbalances, Breast and prostate cancer, Thyroid dysfunction and hypothyroidism, Impaired immune system, Skin ageing, infertility and testosterone in males and so much more.
Most Personal care products contain parabens, phthalates, solvents, mineral oils and other hormone disrupting chemicals and you won’t even know it because they may be a “secret ingredient” or even formaldehyde hidden under another name.
We now know that many of these toxic chemicals pass through the skin and into the blood where they can accumulate and cause damage and can pass into the placenta and accumulate in breast tissue.
Every application increases the risk and exposure and of greatest concern is that it is young women and girls who are most exposed to these toxins. But no one is exempt. Even girls of 5 and 6 are showing up with high concentrations of these toxins.
The good news is that by learning a little bit and avoiding these chemicals and making a few simple changes to your lives you can make a big difference to the health of your family. Your choices today have the power to affect fertility, breast cancer and weight gain even for the next few generations.
At this presentation you will find out what you can do to protect your family health, what to avoid and what is ok.
Dr Peter Dingle PhD
Exploding old belief systems, Dr Dingle dispels myths and confusion around health and how to create long lasting wellbeing. He puts the real facts at your fingertips, then provides you with personalised options to ensure your choices get you the best out of your future.
Nobody knows wellness like Dr Peter Dingle, Australia’s most engaging and innovative thought leader on the topics of health, wellness and weight loss who presents cutting-edge science in a bold, courageous, humourous and straight-shooting manner.
Dr Dingle is Australia's most popular and qualified professional speaker. He holds 2 Degrees in Science and a PhD, 21 years as an academic at Murdoch University and written 15 books on health and wellness.
Dr Dingle has a unique ability to entertain, educate and involve simultaneously. A natural entertainer, Dr D transports delighted audiences on a journey of truth and laughter that will empower them to optimize energy and health, find better life balance and their health
Dr Peter Dingle is known both in Australia and around the world as one of the most impactful and engaging thought leaders in the Health and Wellness Movement. Over the last 30 Years he has helped hundreds of thousands of people better their lives by cutting through medical and health myths to give the real facts on evidence-based wellness.
In today’s busy and hectic society many see sleep as a luxury rather than what it is – a necessity. More and more people are working overtime, and shift work trying to juggle a busy family life around their work. Along with this, it is not unusual for both parents to be working full time. The advent of our 24/7 society has pushed regular sleep to the side. Because of this, many men and women (and even children) wrongly consider sleep a waste of time.
Sleep is an essential element of the human body, without it we cannot survive. Getting enough sleep is associated with energy, joy, optimistic thinking and coping with negative emotions. Despite this almost 90 percent of Australians suffer from some type sleep disorder at some stage of their lives. Of these, 30 percent suffer from severe sleep disorders. Very few people regularly enjoy the amount or quality of sleep that they need. The estimated economic costs to the country from this are between $3 billion and $7 billion annually. There are also huge, unmeasured physical, psychological, emotional and social costs.
Sleep is complicated in the way that there are many different factors that influence the effectiveness of sleep. It’s not just duration that determines the effectiveness of said sleep, factors such as quality, frame of mind and deepness all contribute to the maximum desired outcome and even our perception of how we sleep. Many factors can play a part in the quality and quantity of our sleep and to maximise our sleep time an understanding of this is essential.
On average a healthy person will spend around one third of their life sleeping (Duman et al, 2009). Sleep is considered a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes will usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost resulting in a decrease in bodily movements and responsiveness to external stimuli (Blanch et al, 2009). Inadequate hours of good quality sleep leads to a disruption to vital biological processes resulting in a decrease in cognitive function mental and physical health (Anderson et al, 2009) including impaired work performance due to a decrease in attention, judgement and responsible decision making (Volkow, 2009).
Why we sleep
Mammals are naturally diurnal animals and sleep for humans are broken into two distinct phases. These phases, Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) and Rapid Eye Movement (REM), represent the depth of sleep and electrical activity in the central nervous system (CNS) (Cirelli & Tononi, 2008). However, sleep is a heightened anabolic state where rejuvenation of many organ systems occurs, especially the immune and nervous systems. NREM is further broken into phases one to three during which have different waves of sleep and cognitive perceptions, phase one for example is associated with hyper‑CNS responses. During this phase the body may quickly jerk out of steep and this will be felt as a falling sensation (Walsh, 2009). Various genetic mutations have been associated with sleep including DEC2 mutations that lower the sleep requirement from eight hours to six and the 600072 prion gene that predisposes to Fatal Familial Insomnia (Kniff in, 2009; McKusick and Kniffin, 2009). The natural circadian rhythms of the body are a result of variations in levels of circulating melatonin hormone, from the pineal gland, and also adenosine levels which increase over the course of the day (Imeri & Opp, 2009).
Among the theories on why humans sleep, scientists have proposed the following:
Sleep may be a way of recharging the brain. The brain has a chance to shut down and repair neurons and to exercise important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate due to lack of activity or over activity.
Sleep gives the brain an opportunity to reorganize data to help find a solution to problem, process newly learned information and organize and archive memories.
Sleep lowers a person’s metabolic rate and energy consumption.
The cardiovascular system also gets a break during sleep. People with normal or high blood pressure experience a 20 to 30% reduction in blood pressure and 10 to 20% reduction in heart rate.
During sleep, the body has a chance to replace chemicals and repair muscles, other tissues and aging or dead cells.
In children and young adults, growth hormones are released during deep sleep (World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Societies
Immune function is highest when we sleep
Detoxing. There appear to be “hidden caves” inside the brain, which open up during sleep, allowing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to flush out potential neurotoxins, like β-amyloid, which has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The research discovered “hidden caves” inside the brain, which open up during sleep, allowing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to flush out potential neurotoxins, like β-amyloid, which has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The interstitial spaces in the mouse’s brain took up only 14% of the brain’s volume while it was awake. Yet, while it slept, this increased by almost two-thirds to take up fully 23% of the brain’s total volume. The effect is that potential neurotoxins, like β-amyloid, are cleared twice as fast during sleep as during waking. While many neurological diseases, like strokes and dementia, are associated with problems sleeping. It could be that lack of sleep, and restriction of the brain’s cleaning system, may cause toxic metabolites to building up, leading to long-term damage.
Most likely we sleep for a combination of these reasons
Part 2 and more coming
There were 15 million preterm births (PTB) (<37 weeks) worldwide and more than 1 million infant deaths from PTB complications each year. PTB is the leading cause of neonatal death and multiple short and long term health problems.
Multiple epidemiologic studies have found an association between higher levels of vitamin D ( 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] ) and lower PTB risk. In this study of 1,064 pregnancies with an overall rate of PTB of 13% women with higher vitamin D ≥40 ng/mL had a 62% lower risk of PTB compared to those <20 ng/mL. This is an outstanding finding and should be shared with everone
In clinical trials, 4000 IU/day of vitamin D was found to safely achieve a concentration of at least 32 ng/mL by early in the second trimester in a diverse group of pregnant women.
Unfortunately we are told to stay out of the sun and not to eat fat (which is why i recommend against both of these). The two major sources of vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients required by the human body. Unlike most vitamins, it is one that we can manufacture on our own, given the right conditions. Despite this, vitamin D is showing up increasingly in populations as the most widespread and critical nutrient deficiency; this deficiency is linked to many diseases and disorders, costing billions of dollars each year. Our changing lifestyles, including increased indoor living and campaigns warning people to stay out of the sun have meant that most people don’t get enough vitamin D. The resulting deficiency is compounded by the consumption of modern and processed foods devoid of any vitamin D.
Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors: D3, also known as cholecalciferol (made from cholesterol), and D2, also known as ergocalciferol. Vitamin D is the only nutrient that can actually be synthesized by the human body, which technically means that it is not a vitamin. The synthesizing of vitamin D in the body can be achieved through contact with solar ultraviolet B radiation emitted by the sun. Without the presence of this solar radiation the only way to get vitamin D is through diet—hence, it is still classified as a “vitamin.”
In addition to vitamin D obtained through UVB exposure to the sun, this vitamin can be found in foods such as eggs, butter and fortified milk, with the highest levels found in fish. Remember, we evolved as fisher- hunter gatherers and fish used to be an essential part of our nutrition. Vitamin D can also be provided by supplements. Numerous studies have concluded that sensible sun exposure and supplementation are the most effective ways of increasing vitamin D levels.
Other deficiencies in vitamin D have been linked with a range of problems with the musculoskeletal system including low bone and muscle problems, as well as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, cancer and impacts on the immune system, Parkinson’s Disease, asthma, pain, and pre eclampsia.
Studies have indicated that vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk and difficulties associated with autoimmune disorders. In particular, there is strong evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus, and weaker evidence for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systematic lupus and erythematosusstar. There is no doubt about the link between vitamin D shortage and multiple sclerosis. There is a 41% decrease in MS risk for every 50 nanomoles per liter increase in 1,25-hydroxyvitamin in the blood. Vitamin D deficiency also predisposes to insulin resistance and pancreatic beta cell dysfunction. In a study of 10,366 Finnish children those given 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day throughout the first year of life experienced a 78% reduced risk of type 1 diabetes.
Considering the evidence, there is an overwhelming agreement between vitamin D researchers that current recommendations of 200 IU per day for children and adults up to 50 years of age for vitamin D need to be increased to 800 IU to 1000 IU vitamin D3. Numerous studies have shown supplementation to be effective in raising blood levels of Vitamin D levels with no evidence of intoxication reported in either the short- or long-term trial.
Sensible sun exposure (or UVB irradiation) along with supplements are required to satisfy the body's vitamin D requirement. To achieve adequate levels of vitamin D we need to get one to two hours of sensible sun exposure a day. While it is prudent to avoid too much sun it is important to remember that the costs of vitamin D deficiency far outweigh the cost of skin cancer and some sun may also be necessary to reduce skin cancers. Remember, we did evolve in the sun but not all day, especially for those with fair skin.
Sleep, like most other processes in our body, is mediated by the interaction of cytokines and chemokines with neurotransmitters (Dilger & Johnson, 2008). During infection our sleep patterns change and interactions of cytokines, especially IL‑1 and IL‑1 2 and the neurotransmitter serotonin amplify (Dantzer et al. 2008; Lange et at. 2006). During sleep, it has been suggested that, the synapses not used during the day's activities are given an opportunity to prime and regenerate, cognitive function also rejuvenates, memories are consolidated and on a cellular level glycogen stores can re‑fuel. However, sleep deprivation has been associated with inflammatory based diseases including obesity, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (lmeri & Opp, 2009).
Sleep deprivation has been shown to further enhance end stage renal disease, decrease vaccine efficacy as attested with both Influenza and Hepatits A vaccines, prolong wound healing, lengthen critical care stays and enhance depression or other psychiatric disorders (Lange et al. 2003; Miller et al. 2004; Koch et al. 2009).
Several recent studies report that reducing sleep to 6.5 or fewer hours for successive nights causes potentially harmful metabolic, hormonal and immune changes. All of the changes are similar to those detected in the normal aging process (Cobb, 2002) and so sleep deprivation could be the biggest indicator of how long you live (Sateia, et al., 2004). There is a strong link between sleep deprivation and low immune system function (Redwine, et al., 2003). A reduction of sleep makes people more prone to infection and potentially more prone to cancer; one study found that poor sleep was associated with a 60 percent increase in breast cancer.
In one study of 153 volunteers who spent less time in bed, or who spent their time in bed tossing and turning instead of snoozing, were much more likely to catch a cold when viruses were dripped into their noses, while those who slept longer and more soundly resisted infection better. The study showed that even relatively minor sleep disturbances can influence the body's reaction to cold viruses ( Cohen et al Archives of Internal Medicine). The men and women who reported fewer than seven hours of sleep on average were 2.94 times more likely to develop sneezing, sore throat and other cold symptoms than those who reported getting eight or more hours of sleep each night. Volunteers who spent less than 92 percent of their time in bed asleep were 5 1/2 times more likely to become ill than better sleepers, they found.
Sleep deprivation also contributes to the physiological state known as fatigue. A fatigued person is accident prone and judgment impaired. After approximately 20 hours of no sleep, reaction times are comparable to having a blood alcohol reading of .08. Staying awake for 24 hours leads to a reduced hand‑to‑eye coordination that is similar to having a blood alcohol content of 0.1. An example of a sleep deprivation accident occurred when a space shuttle mission was aborted 30 seconds before lift‑off because a technician who had worked several consecutive l2hr shifts accidentally released 18,000 pounds of liquid fuel just minutes before the scheduled flight. An investigation of the Challenger space shuttle disaster attributed ground crew fatigue as one of the factors contributing to the disaster. An incident such as this shows the seriousness of the situation and the potential loss of life through human related errors in technical fields. Even operating simple machinery such as forklifts can become extremely dangerous if the operators are not filly alert. Other examples of work related sleep deprivation include a flight which flew 100 miles out over the Pacific before controllers on the ground were able to wake the pilots up using chimes, piped into the cockpit audio. It is common practice for flight attendants to check in on pilots to ensure they do not fall asleep. The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred on a ship with a crew that had had very little sleep, with the accident happening in the middle of the night.
45 to 80% of all nursing home residents suffer from chronic pain and this pain is strongly linked to insomnia (Dodla and Lyons, 2006). In Japan a survey conducted by Tanaka and Shirakawa (2004) found that one in five Japanese people suffer from insomnia, and within the elderly population one in three suffer, because of this the Japanese government increased the needs of insomnia patients at community health sites and names insomnia a refactory disease of the 21st centuary. A similar Honk Kong based study found 11.9% of Chinese people living in Honk Kong suffer from insomnia approximately three times a week and the females were 1.6 times more likely to show symptoms of insomnia than males (Li et a!. 2002).
Accidents, errors and Risk taking
Studies using card games have found that with little sleep, players get stuck in a strategic rut. Sleepy people keep taking risks, even though it’s obviously not working for them.
A study of musicians who practised a new song had improved in speed and accuracy compared with before a night’s sleep. a good night’s sleep can also improve motor performance.
In a study of 1891 male employees compared with those working 6-8 h day(-1) with good sleep characteristics, positive interactive effects for workplace injury were found between long work hours (>8-10 h day(-1) or >10 h day(-1) ) and short sleep duration (<6 h). This study suggests that long work hours coupled with poor sleep characteristics are synergistically associated with increased risk of workplace injury. Greater attention should be paid to manage/treat poor sleep and reduce excessive work hours to improve safety at the workplace (Nakata 2011).
A study looking at the effect of working “standard shifts” (that is, the traditionally accepted long, sleepless shifts) for hospital interns showed that the interns made 36 percent more serious medical errors during a standard work schedule compared to during an intervention schedule that eliminated extended work shifts. The errors included significantly more serious medication errors and 5.6 times as many serious diagnostic errors. As a consequence, the overall rates of serious medical errors were significantly higher during the standard schedule than during the intervention schedule (Landrigan, 2004). Fortunately, most serious medical errors were either intercepted by people who were awake and concentrating or did not result in clinically detectable harm to the patient. How does this affect you? It might be all right if you could always go into hospital at the beginning of the shift or be operated on only by doctors who had just started a shift.
One study found that interns who worked 24-hour shifts made 36 percent more medical errors than those working 16-hour shifts and five times the number of diagnostic errors, and were 61 percent more likely to accidentally cut themselves during procedures.
The study found that the rates of serious medical errors in two intensive care units “were lowered by eliminating extended work shifts and reducing the number of hours interns worked each week.” By asking interns to work less, the hospitals improved their performance.
A number of studies have highlighted the increased number of motor vehicle accidents associated with young adults driving fatigued. It’s conservatively estimated that at least 112 lives could be saved in Australia if fatigue and falling asleep at the wheel were eliminated.
Several studies have highlighted the increased number of motor vehicle accidents associated with young adults driving while fatigued. Fatigue is estimated to be responsible for 35 percent of road accidents. It’s conservatively estimated that at least 112 lives could be saved in Australia every year if fatigue and falling asleep at the wheel were eliminated. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that fatigue and sleep deprivation contribute to about 100,000 highway crashes each year, causing more than 1,500 deaths annually (Sullivan, 2003). At a grander level the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have each been attributed to human errors in which sleep deprivation played a role (Grunstein, 2000).
Research on 59 participants, those who were confirmed night owls (preferring late to bed and late to rise) had lower integrity of the white matter in various areas of the brain (Rosenberg et al 2014). Lower integrity in these areas has been linked to depression and cognitive instability.
Sleep and weight
Obesity in another disorder linked with insomnia. Research shows that diets that are higher in saturated fats are more susceptible to chronic diseases and disorders which includes insomnia (Novak et al. 1995). This is an alarming fact as 20% of the population of the United States of American are overweight or obese (Patterson et al. 2004).
Many studies, including one spanning twenty years, have tested the hypothesis that sleep and obesity are linked and the majority of results show positive correlations (Gangwisch et al. 2005). Further studies, with over 500,000 total participants via meta‑analysis have supported obesity and insomnia in adults and children (Cappuccio et al. 2008). The trends of increasing BMI and reduced sleep hours appear to go hand in hand, along with sleeping troubles related to Sleep Apnoea often seen in obese patients.
This link between Obesity and the symptoms of its associated diseases demonstrates a common trend towards diminishing an individual’s peak performance. Obesity and many of the health conditions which result from it increase the lower productivity levels associated with lower mental and cognitive functioning.
Obesity is also a serious factor in poor sleep habits. In a number of studies obesity was associated with "reduced sleeping hours " (Ko et al (2007). Obesity, particularly abdominal and upper body obesity, is the most significant risk factor for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Patients with sleep apnea often experience daytime sleepiness and difficulty concentrating (Teran-Santos et al, 1999). Studies have also shown a strong association between sleep apnea and the risk of traffic accidents (Terán-Santos et al (1999). In fact, subjects suffering from sleep apnea were at a higher risk than those who had consumed alcohol to be involved in a traffic accident. This has major implications, particularly for overweight and obese workers using any form of equipment of driving vehicles.
This lack in sleep will then leave the employee going to the work already feeling tired, irritable and stressed, therefore making it difficult to concentrate, and highly increasing the chances of being injured or making a mistake which may put fellow workmates in danger (Lynch, 2005) It is situations like this, where the worker comes to work already feeling tired, that the employee is putting his safety and other's safety at risk.
Shift workers are known to be a high-risk group for obesity. In the current study population, rotating-shift workers showed a higher distribution of the highest body mass index compared with daytime workers
In a study of the brains of 24 participants after both a good and a bad night’s sleep. after disturbed sleep, there was increased activity in the depths of the brain, areas which are generally associated with rewards and automatic behaviour. It seems a lack of sleep robs people of their self-control and so their good intentions are quickly forgotten.
What we have discovered is that high-level brain regions required for complex judgments and decisions become blunted by a lack of sleep, while more primal brain structures that control motivation and desire are amplified.”
In other words: lack of sleep robs people of their self-control and so their good intentions are quickly forgotten.
On top of this, the researchers found that after being deprived of sleep, participants displayed greater craving for high-calorie junk food. The more sleep-deprived they were, the greater the cravings. A stufy of 13,284 teenagers found that those who slept poorly also made poor decisions about food. Similarly, a Swedish study found that at a buffet, tired people were more likely to load up their plates.
The link has even been made from poor sleep through to food shopping. A Swedish study found that men who were sleep-deprived bought, on average, 9% more calories than those who’d had a good night’s sleep. These results were likely the result of the poor decision-making. It had been thought that the tendency to eat more after poor sleep was related to the so-called ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin. But the latest studies suggest that it’s simple self-control that is most important in causing the sleep-deprived to over-indulge.