Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

Lyme Disease is Associated With Various Sleep Disorders

https://danielcameronmd.com/lyme-disease-sleep-disorders/

LYME DISEASE IS ASSOCIATED WITH VARIOUS SLEEP DISORDERS

woman awake in bed with lyme disease and a sleep disorder

Patients with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) may experience sleep disturbances, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Researchers found,

“PTLDS participants reported significantly worse global sleep and sleep disturbance scores and worse fatigue, functional impact, and more cognitive-affective depressive symptoms compared to poor-sleeping controls.” [1]

Dr. Robert Bransfield, a New Jersey-based psychiatrist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne illnesses, has seen a broad range of sleep disturbances in Lyme disease patients treated at his practice. He describes the various sleep disorders in the article “Neuropsychiatric Lyme Borreliosis: An Overview with a Focus on a Specialty Psychiatrist’s Clinical Practice.” [2]

The patients experienced:

  • Non-restorative sleep
  • Early insomnia
  • Middle of the night insomnia
  • Early morning insomnia
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loss or reversal of circadian rhythm
  • Restless leg
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal limb movements
  • Sleep apnea (central and/or obstructive)
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations
  • Sleep attacks
  • Cataplexy
  • Narcolepsy

The combination of “non-restorative sleep and chronic unremitting stress appear to play a significant role in disease progression,” explains Bransfield.

“Both non-restorative sleep and the chronic unremitting stress seen in these chronically ill patients contribute to disease perpetuation and progression and are associated with fatigue, cognitive impairments, decreased regenerative functioning, compromised immunity, decreased resistance to infectious disease and neurodegenerative processes,” he writes.

Editor’s note: I have also found that Lyme disease patients can suffer from a broad range of sleep issues. However, it can be difficult to determine whether Lyme disease or a comorbidity is responsible for the sleep disturbance. I have found that antibiotic treatment often improves sleep disorder symptoms.

References:
  1. Weinstein ER, Rebman AW, Aucott JN, Johnson-Greene D, Bechtold KT. Sleep Quality in Well-defined Lyme Disease: A Clinical Cohort Study in Maryland. Sleep. 2018.
  2. Bransfield RC. Neuropsychiatric Lyme Borreliosis: An Overview with a Focus on a Specialty Psychiatrist’s Clinical Practice. Healthcare (Basel). 2018;6(3).
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Chronic lack of sleep is a terrible thing.  Parasites notoriously cause insomnia.  Appropriate treatment for infection(s) is the most important step but often times other adjunctive therapies are needed as well.

FREE: Live Lyme & Sleep Webinar (7/22/20)

https://rawlsmd.com/webinars/lyme-sleep/

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Lyme & Sleep with Dr. Bill Rawls

Wednesday, 7/22 at 8pm EDT (LIVE)

When you have Lyme disease, the pursuit of sleep can become your white whale: You know you need it to help your body heal, and yet sleep evades you each time your head hits the pillow — even when you’re bone-tired and doing everything right to bring on slumber.

Why is sleep dysfunction so common among Lyme patients, and what can you do to get the restorative rest your body needs to fire up its natural healing processes?

Join a live webinar with Dr. Bill Rawls, author of the bestselling book Unlocking Lyme, who knows firsthand what it’s like to live with chronic Lyme disease and related sleep issues. He’ll shed new light on how Lyme sabotages sleep on a cellular and hormonal level, and share natural ways to simultaneously support your recovery and cultivate much-needed sleep.

PLUS: Don’t miss an exclusive gift for webinar attendees, and have your questions ready for a LIVE Q&A on Lyme and chronic pain with Dr. Rawls.

Dr. Rawls will discuss:

  • Why sleep dysfunction is both a key component of Lyme disease and an obstacle to recovery
  • How it’s possible to feel completely exhausted at night and yet still struggle to sleep
  • Hidden sleep disruptors we encounter every day
  • The 6 key steps to reclaiming restorative rest
  • The best herbs and natural remedies that do the double duty of encouraging Lyme recovery and cultivating normal sleep 
  • Numerous insights during the live Q&A with Dr. Rawls

(To reserve your seat, click on top link)

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For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/12/18/5-tips-to-calm-a-restless-mind-before-going-to-sleep/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/04/20/a-remedy-for-lyme-related-insomnia/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/23/sleep-sweet-sleep/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/04/02/cant-sleep-18-plants-herbs-can-help/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overcome Lyme Brain – Causes & Solutions

https://rawlsmd.com/health-articles/how-to-overcome-lyme-brain-causes-and-solutions

How to Overcome Lyme Brain: Causes and Solutions | RawlsMD

How to Overcome Lyme Brain: Causes and Solutions

by Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio
Posted 2/17/20

Forgetful. Zoned out. Unable to concentrate. These are just a few ways people describe the disconcerting constellation of neurological symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease known as Lyme brain, a muddled mental feeling that impairs some degree of a person’s cognition.

Although the exact prevalence of the condition isn’t known, the majority of chronic Lyme patients will cycle through episodes of Lyme brain from time to time. It can be frustrating and debilitating. Missteps like showing up to a doctor’s appointment on the wrong day, forgetting to refill a prescription before it runs out, or desperately searching for your glasses only to discover they’ve been on top of your head all along can make you feel as though you’re losing your mind. Some people will even notice problems with word finding, reading comprehension, and writing.

Is there a way to stop it? Here, we look at some of the underlying causes of this neurological phenomenon, plus ways to help improve the distressing symptoms.

Cause #1: Untreated Infections

Lyme disease and Lyme coinfections like babesia, bartonella, and mycoplasmacontribute to metabolic and immune changes in the body because the microbes can be low-grade and persist for long periods of time. While no system of the body is off-limits, the central nervous system and the endocrine system are particularly vulnerable.

Germs in the blood. Leukocytes attack the virus. Immunity of the body. 3D illustration on medical research

“When pathogens invade the nervous system, white blood cells — immune cells like lymphocytes and plasmocytes — flood into the white matter of the brain and the spinal cord,” says Dr. Bill Rawls, Medical Director of RawlsMD and Vital Plan. “This causes a cascade of inflammatory immune messengers, called cytokines, in cerebrospinal fluid.”

This influx of proinflammatory cytokines causes neuroinflammation in the brain, which can contribute to a range of neurological symptoms, including those associated with Lyme brain. Because most Lyme patients have a compromised immune system, the body struggles to keep the offending pathogens in check.

The outcome? You continue to experience a prolonged inflammatory response and resulting symptoms until you’re able to suppress the harmful, stealth infections.

Solution: Suppress Harmful Microbes and Support Brain Health

To improve brain function, you’ll have to address persistent, low-grade infections. There may be a time and a place for heroic therapies such as antibioticsgut microbiome, too.

wooden spoon with herbal supplement on top, leafs underneath

A more restorative approach to subdue harmful pathogens is using herbal therapy, which has a balancing effect on the microbiome and the various systems of the body. Plus, some herbs can safely pass into the brain.

Not sure where to begin? Dr. Rawls’ preferred herbs specifically for brain health include:

  1. Lion’s Mane: This mushroom contains compounds called erinacines and hericenones, which cross the blood-brain barrier. There, they support normal levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), a peptide produced by the body that’s essential to nerve cell growth, maintenance, and survival. When NGF levels are in a healthy range, you notice that you have improved mental clarity, focus, and memory.
  2. Cat’s Claw: Native to the Amazon, cat’s claw has a long history of traditional use for the treatment of a wide range of inflammatory conditions, and it’s well-known among Lyme disease patients. The herb supports immune function and helps balance the body’s microbiome.
  3. Bacopa: A traditional Indian herb, bacopa has been used to bring balance and calm to the nervous system for thousands of years.
  4. Ashwagandha: Native to India and Africa, ashwagandha is used for its ability to balance, energize, and rejuvenate. Ashwagandha is a calming adaptogen that is particularly useful in balancing the HPA axis in the brain (the control center for hormone regulation), which leads to improved stress resistance, better sleep, and reduced brain fog.
  5. Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo is one of the oldest living trees on earth. Current and traditional uses of the herb include enhancing blood flow, protecting brain and nerve functions, and supporting cognition.

Cause #2: Toxic Build-Up

As you treat Lyme disease, you’re likely to experience a Herherimer reaction (or herx). With the use of any antimicrobial (prescription or otherwise), a large number of bacteria die off, causing an inpouring of dead bacteria called endotoxins throughout the body. This forces the immune system’s inflammatory response into overdrive.

Bacterial die-off can also produce byproducts that are toxic to the nervous system (neurotoxic) like quinolinic acid, ammonia, and acetaldehyde, which can exacerbate cognitive symptoms like brain fog. These toxic byproducts can also come from a microbiome imbalance such as a small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO) and candida overgrowth.

Solution: Augment Your Body’s Detoxification Efforts

Start with the antioxidants glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). These were shown to help to support the liver’s ability to detoxify, mitigate the neurocognitive symptoms of Lyme disease, and lessen the accumulation of toxins as a result of treatment in a 2018 article in the journal Healthcare.

Raw yucca starch on the wooden table - Manihot esculenta.

Additionally, supplementing with molybdenum and yucca root can be beneficial, too. Molybdenum is a trace mineral that is normally present in small amounts in the body, similar to magnesium, iron, or manganese. Though a molybdenum deficiency isn’t common, adding a small amount of molybdenum — prepared in microgram doses — may help to neutralize excess ammonia and acetaldehyde and curb Lyme brain.

Similarly, the herb yucca root can be used to decrease ammonia levels. Typically, yucca comes in a capsule or powder.

Cause #3: Poor Sleep

Stress, inflammation, and infections can all disrupt your sleep, which only serves to worsen the symptoms associated with Lyme brain. Indeed, some short and long-term consequences related to poor sleep that are reminiscent of Lyme brain include mood disorders, cognitive dysfunction, memory problems, and performance deficits, among others, according to a 2017 review in the journal Nature and Science of Sleep. Sleep dysfunction alone could be the cause of Lyme brain in certain individuals.

Although it’s easy to see how a lack of sleep could be a significant factor contributing to neurocognitive issues, knowing how to improve the situation is a whole different battle. Generally, it will take some trial and error to find the repertoire of tricks and sleep hacks that will be helpful to you, but practicing solid sleep hygiene is paramount to decreasing the symptoms of Lyme brain.

Solution: Implement Good Sleep Hygiene

woman asleep in her bed, night time, white sheets

Going back to the basics of sleep hygiene can help you get a better night’s rest. They include:

  • Maintain a consistent bedtime routine. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
  • Get exposure to sunlight. The majority of us spend a substantial part of our day indoors. But getting sunlight throughout the day, especially in the morning, can help to reset your circadian rhythm so you’re tired when you’re supposed to be.
  • Wind down at night. Many people with Lyme disease experience a tired-but-wired feeling when they try to go to bed — they’re utterly exhausted, but their bodies won’t calm down enough to let them drift off. If this describes you, try spending 10-15 minutes before your bedtime doing some gentle stretching to relieve muscle tension, reduce pain, and bring on the calm.
  • Turn off electronics by 9 PM. When you’re lying in bed wide-awake and waiting for sleep to come, it can be very tempting to pass the time by watching your favorite TV show or scrolling on your phone. But the blue light that’s emitted from electronic devices can disrupt the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. So, instead of helping you fall asleep, electronic devices may be contributing to wakefulness. If you must be on your computer or phone at bedtime, try blue-light-blocking devices such as filters or glasses to keep your exposure to a minimum.
  • Make sure you have a comfortable bed. If you notice that you feel stiff or have greater pain in the morning, that’s a clue that your mattress could be an obstacle to quality sleep, and it might be time to invest in a new one. Most mattress companies will offer financing options so that you don’t need to shell out the funds all at once if you don’t have them.

Cause #4: Exposure to Mold

About 50% of homes have experienced some amount of water damage and contain mold. When exposure to toxic mold is coupled with Lyme disease and Lyme coinfections, all of your symptoms can intensify, including the cognitive issues that accompany Lyme brain, such as:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Mood swings
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Forgetfulness

Solution: Locate and Clean Up Moisture and Mold

cleaning of room wall from mold with metal brush

To avoid further exacerbating your symptoms, you may need to consult with a professional to safely find and remediate sources of mold in your home — a good idea in general, since doing it yourself will ramp up your exposure. In the meantime, here are some things you can do on your own:

  1. Place a HEPA air purifier in the areas of your home where you spend the most time, especially your bedroom. Reducing your exposure to mold while you sleep may help you wake up feeling more alert and refreshed.
  2. Reduce your humidity levels to as low as possible — ideally, between 30% to 50%. Dehumidifiers and air conditioners can be useful tools to keep in check the humidity mold loves.
  3. Routinely inspect your heating and air conditioning systems for mold, and if necessary, have them cleaned.
  4. Consider eliminating rugs or carpet in rooms that are known to contain high levels of moisture, such as the bathroom or basement.
  5. Keep your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry rooms well ventilated.
  6. If you have an attic, make sure the space is dry and doesn’t contain moisture.

There’s no doubt that Lyme brain can be a frightening and overwhelming symptom of Lyme disease, and many of the potential causes overlap with one another, which can make sorting things out a bit tricky. But begin to chip away at the causes as best you can. Over time, you’ll start to notice clearer thinking, improved memory, and better cognitive functioning. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and you can recover!

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.  You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

REFERENCES
1. Bransfield RC. Neuropsychiatric Lyme Borreliosis: An Overview with a Focus on a Specialty Psychiatrist’s Clinical Practice. Healthcare. 2018 Sep; 6(3): 104. doi: 10.3390/healthcare6030104
2. Basic Facts about Mold and Dampness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
3. Horowitz RI, Freeman PR. Precision Medicine: The Role of the MSIDS Model in Defining, Diagnosing, and Treating Chronic Lyme Disease/Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome and Other Chronic Illness: Part 2. Healthcare. 2018 Dec; 6(4): 129. doi: 10.3390/healthcare6040129
4. Medic G, Wille M, Hemels MEH. Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nature and Science of Sleep. 2017; 9: 151–161. doi: 10.2147/NSS.S134864
5. Overview of Minerals. Merck Manual website. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/disorders-of-nutrition/minerals/overview-of-minerals
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5 Tips to Calm a Restless Mind Before Going to Sleep

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-savvy-psychologist/201912/5-tips-calm-restless-mind-going-sleep?

5 Tips to Calm a Restless Mind Before Going to Sleep

If your mind won’t turn off at bedtime, use these tips to work with your brain.

Posted Dec 03, 2019

How did you sleep last night? We seem to ask ourselves this question daily, and when we do, it’s almost as if we’re taking note of our overall state of mind: How do I feel? Am I all there today?

And no wonder! It can be discouraging and frazzling when all we want is the soothing balm of sleep to heal the stress from our day, but infuriatingly, when we lie down to sleep, our brains just won’t shut off. Paradoxically, sometimes the more stressful our days are, the harder it is to quiet the brain for sleep at night…. (See link for full article)

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For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/23/sleep-sweet-sleep/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/04/02/cant-sleep-18-plants-herbs-can-help/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/05/05/ambien-other-sleep-aids-get-fdas-blackbox-label-its-strongest-warning/

 

 

 

 

Detoxing With Infrared Saunas

https://dariningelsnd.com/detoxing-infrared-saunas/

Toxins are everywhere. They are in the water we drink, the air we breathe, the fabric and products we wear on our skin and the food we eat. Over time, even the smallest amounts can build up, hindering the body’s natural detoxification process.

When detoxification pathways are impaired, there can be negative impacts on the immune system, skin, and channels of elimination.

Saunas have been around for many years. The process of heating your body’s temperature enhances metabolism and also creates a calorie burn, similar to exercise. Not only that, but bacteria and viruses do not do well in the heat so, “sweating it out” if you are sick can be beneficial to your health.

The process of sweating allows our body to detoxify naturally. When your internal temperature rises, this stimulates your sweat glands so you perspire.

Exercise, steam saunas and infrared saunas promote a great deal of sweating. However, infrared saunas are far superior than traditional steam saunas.

Infrared saunas penetrate further into the skin’s layers and facilitate detoxification at a much deeper level. It can aid in eliminating a significant amount of environmental toxins and heavy metals, including mercury, arsenic and cadmium.

Woman massaging leg in sauna

Other benefits of infrared sauna include:

  • Weight & body fat reduction
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Easing chronic pain
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Alleviating joint stiffness
  • Aiding in recovery of endurance exercise
  • Minimizing fatigue

Couple using sauna

A few things to consider while adding sauna therapy into your regimen:

Drink plenty of fluids and be sure to add minerals to your water. You will need these as you will sweat them out. You may also need to add sea salt to your foods, depending on your individual health condition.

Start off with 5-10 minutes of sauna therapy per session and work your way up until you reach no more than 30 minutes. It may take some time for your body to adjust to the heat.

Focus on foods that are alkalizing. When your body is alkalized, it is able to detoxify much more efficiently.

Be sure to get plenty of rest. Allow your body to recuperate. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Saunas are part of an integrative protocol for better health. Meditation, exercise and positive emotional well-being will only maximize the benefits you get from using infrared saunas.

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More on Detoxification:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/07/23/the-science-of-detoxification-how-to-boost-your-natural-detox-powers/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/04/18/sauna-for-prevention-of-cardiovascular-alzheimers-disease-for-detoxification/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/03/31/how-to-detox-naturally-for-healthy-aging/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2015/12/06/tips-for-newbies/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/01/26/lyme-herxheimer-reactions-dr-rawls/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/01/07/your-liver-is-your-detox-organ-heres-why-how-to-support-it/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/02/24/top-3-lyme-detox-myths-busted-dr-rawls/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/02/dmso-msm-for-lyme-msids/