PROPEAQ Light Therapy Glasses: Energise Your Life!

PROPEAQ are premium light glasses which, together with their app, give you the means to take back control of your body clock (circadian rhythm); enabling you to feel energised and achieve peak performance when you need it most.

Propeaq also helps with adjustment to jetlag and night shift working, and can be used to address insomnia & other sleep cycle disorders.

The remarkable successes of the Dutch team at the Rio Olympics, who arrived equipped with PROPEAQ bears great testament to their effectiveness. PROPEAQ are now available in the UK from Peak Health Online, simply click here to explore more.

 

Propeaq: Feel the light, feel the energy,

PROPEAQ are premium light glasses which, together with their app, give you the means to take back control of your body clock (circadian rhythm) providing you with the means to feel energised and achieve peak performance when you need it most. They will also help you adjust to night shift and to deal with insomnia & other sleep cycle disorders. The remarkable successes of the Dutch team at the Rio Olympics, who arrived equipped with PROPEAQ bears great testament to their effectiveness. PROPEAQ are now available in the UK from: PeakHealthOnline.com

Posted by Peak Health Online on Wednesday, 30 May 2018

 

 


 

 

Sleeping Pills: Side-effects too troublesome to ignore.

An American actress recently hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons; but her latest claims raise serious questions about the side-effects of apparently “safe” medications

Roseanne racist tweet: Can sleeping pills change your behaviour?

Roseanne Barr has claimed that she was under the influence of the drug Ambien when she posted her already infamous racist tweet (since removed). But what do we know about Ambien and its side effects?

Ambien is the American tradename for zolpidem, a commonly used “hypnotic” sleeping tablet. In the UK, it is also known as Stilnoct. Sleeping pills are widely used in the UK. Data from the NHS suggests that in England over 700,000 prescriptions for hypnotics are dispensed every month, with over 50,000 scripts for zolpidem.

Sleeping tablets work on certain nerve systems within the brain. Most sleeping pills work via the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) nerve system to induce sleep. Other commonly used hypnotics in the UK include zopiclone and benzodiazepines, such as nitrazepam (Mogadon), diazepam (Valium) and temazepam. These drugs, like all other medicines, can have side effects. Historically, insomnia was treated with benzodiazepines. But in 1988, the UK’s Committee for the Safety of Medicines issued a warning that benzodiazepines should only be used to treat insomnia if it was severe or disabling. And due to the risk of withdrawal effects, they should be stopped gradually.

The so-called “z-drugs” (zolpidem, zopiclone and zaleplon) were originally marketed as safer, non-addictive alternatives to benzodiazepines in the 1990s. But over time it has become apparent that they have similar problems to the earlier drugs. These problems include tolerance, dependence and drowsiness. Sleeping tablets, like alcohol, are sedatives, and may cause confusion, drowsiness and falls. In older people, sedatives are associated with frailty.

Problems, such as drowsiness, can persist to the next day resulting in a “hangover” like effect. This can reduce alertness affecting the person’s ability to drive or operate machinery. Increasing awareness of this problem led the American (FDA) and European (EMEA) regulators to issue warnings in 2013 and 2014. The European regulator recommended that patients should be warned that such medicines may increase the risk of road traffic accidents. Sleeping tablets can also cause disinhibition, inappropriate behaviour and memory loss in a similar way to alcohol. Violence and aggressive behaviour has also been reported. Zolpidem in particular appears to be associated with bizarre and compulsive behaviour that is unexpected and difficult to predict.

These bizarre behaviours include sleep-eating and sleep-driving. The patient may appear to be awake, but unaware of their actions and may carry out routine activities such as driving, household tasks, cooking and eating. The next day the person may have little or no memory of their actions. Some patients have also reported sleep sex (having sex while asleep). A psychotic-like state has also been reported with zolpidem, with patients reporting hearing voices or seeing things that aren’t there (auditory and visual hallucinations), as well as feeling paralysed, and very real and sometimes violent nightmares. Worryingly, because these behaviours are accompanied by memory loss, it is likely that they are under-reported and we don’t know how common they are.

Drug abuse
Even more worryingly, the z-drugs are increasingly abused. Zopiclone, the most commonly prescribed z-drug, has a street name (Zim-zim or Zimmers) and a street price of about £1 per tablet. The drug’s potential for abuse is now thought to be higher than previously believed. One user reported: “Zimmers are really addictive, and the rattle is about five times worse than the rattle from gear [heroin].”

The z-drugs, such as zolpidem, were originally introduced as safer, non-addictive alternatives to benzodiazepines such as Valium. But it appears that they cause similar problems. Hangover, addiction and dependence have all been reported. Zolpidem in particular appears to be associated with bizarre inappropriate behaviours that people can’t remember.

Sanofi, the company that manufactures Ambien, said in a statement following Barr’s tweet: “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

Explore More:
To explore the latest innovations to aid sleep without the use of medications, you’ll find them here, whilst our home page is here

About the author:
This article was written by Ian Maidment, who is Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, Aston University, Birmingham.

Source Material:
This article was first published on 30th May, 2018, in the academic discussion journal ‘The Conversation’ and is reproduced here under CCL copyright regulations. The original articel, together with all active links may be viewed here

AVE: Its use in concussion & brain injury

A video lecture by Dave Siever of Mind Alive Inc, discussing the effects of Audio-Visual Entrainment in concussion, traumatic brain injury & Alzheimer’s disease.


To view our range of Minds Alive Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE) devices, discussed in the lecture, please click here

ADHD: Top academic discusses associative learning

Lisa Gatzke-Kopp, of Pennsylvania State University, discusses how associative learning differs in children with ADHD


Lisa Gatzke-Kopp, Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University, spoke on “The ABCs of ADHD: Inside the Brains of Kids with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders” at one of the regular Research Unplugged events on campus.

Further information:

To read more about the use of Audiovisual Entrainment for the non-pharmaceutical management of ADHD, please see here. To view products designed to improve concentration and learning in children and adults with ADHD, please see here.

Intuition: A trusted friend or a sign of madness?

Is it rational to trust your gut feelings? A neuroscientist explains

By Valerie van Mulukom

Imagine the director of a big company announcing an important decision and justifying it with it being based on a gut feeling. This would be met with disbelief – surely important decisions have to be thought over carefully, deliberately and rationally?

Indeed, relying on your intuition generally has a bad reputation, especially in the Western part of the world where analytic thinking has been steadily promoted over the past decades. Gradually, many have come to think that humans have progressed from relying on primitive, magical and religious thinking to analytic and scientific thinking. As a result, they view emotions and intuition as fallible, even whimsical, tools.

However, this attitude is based on a myth of cognitive progress. Emotions are actually not dumb responses that always need to be ignored or even corrected by rational faculties. They are appraisals of what you have just experienced or thought of – in this sense, they are also a form of information processing.

Intuition or gut feelings are also the result of a lot of processing that happens in the brain. Research suggests that the brain is a large predictive machine, constantly comparing incoming sensory information and current experiences against stored knowledge and memories of previous experiences, and predicting what will come next. This is described in what scientists call the “predictive processing framework”.

This ensures that the brain is always as prepared to deal with the current situation as optimally as possible. When a mismatch occurs (something that wasn’t predicted), your brain updates its cognitive models.

This matching between prior models (based on past experience) and current experience happens automatically and subconsciously. Intuitions occur when your brain has made a significant match or mismatch (between the cognitive model and current experience), but this has not yet reached your conscious awareness.

For example, you may be driving on a country road in the dark listening to some music, when suddenly you have an intuition to drive more to one side of the lane. As you continue driving, you notice that you have only just missed a massive pothole that could have significantly damaged your car. You are glad you relied on your gut feeling even if you don’t know where it came from. In reality, the car in the far distance in front of you made a similar small swerve (since they are locals and know the road), and you picked up on this without consciously registering it.

When you have a lot of experience in a certain area, the brain has more information to match the current experience against. This makes your intuitions more reliable. This means that, as with creativity, your intuition can actually improve with experience.

Biased understanding

In the psychological literature, intuition is often explained as one of two general modes of thinking, along with analytic reasoning. Intuitive thinking is described as automatic, fast, and subconscious. Analytic thinking, on the other hand, is slow, logical, conscious and deliberate.

Many take the division between analytic and intuitive thinking to mean that the two types of processing (or “thinking styles”) are opposites, working in a see-saw manner. However, a recent meta-analysis – an investigation where the impact of a group of studies is measured – has shown that analytic and intuitive thinking are typically not correlated and could happen at the same time.

So while it is true that one style of thinking likely feels dominant over the other in any situation – in particular analytic thinking – the subconscious nature of intuitive thinking makes it hard to determine exactly when it occurs, since so much happens under the bonnet of our awareness.

Indeed, the two thinking styles are in fact complementary and can work in concert – we regularly employ them together. Even groundbreaking scientific research may start with intuitive knowledge that enables scientists to formulate innovative ideas and hypotheses, which later can be validated through rigorous testing and analysis.

What’s more, while intuition is seen as sloppy and inaccurate, analytic thinking can be detrimental as well. Studies have shown that over-thinking can seriously hinder our decision-making process.

In other cases, analytic thinking may simply consist of post-hoc justifications or rationalisations of decisions based on intuitive thinking. This occurs for example when we have to explain our decisions in moral dilemmas. This effect has let some people refer to analytic thinking as the “press secretary” or “inner lawyer” of intuition. Oftentimes we don’t know why we make decisions, but we still want to have reasons for our decisions.

Trusting instincts

So should we just rely on our intuition, given that it aids our decision-making? It’s complicated. Because intuition relies on evolutionarily older, automatic and fast processing, it also falls prey to misguidances, such as cognitive biases. These are systematic errors in thinking, that can automatically occur. Despite this, familiarising yourself with common cognitive biases can help you spot them in future occasions: there are good tips about how to do that here and here.

Similarly, since fast processing is ancient, it can sometimes be a little out of date. Consider for example a plate of donuts. While you may be attracted to eat them all, it is unlikely that you need this large an amount of sugars and fats. However, in the hunter-gatherers’ time, stocking up on energy would have been a wise instinct.

Thus, for every situation that involves a decision based on your assessment, consider whether your intuition has correctly assessed the situation. Is it an evolutionary old or new situation? Does it involve cognitive biases? Do you have experience or expertise in this type of situation? If it is evolutionary old, involves a cognitive bias, and you don’t have expertise in it, then rely on analytic thinking. If not, feel free to trust your intuitive thinking.

It is time to stop the witch hunt on intuition, and see it for what it is: a fast, automatic, subconscious processing style that can provide us with very useful information that deliberate analysing can’t. We need to accept that intuitive and analytic thinking should occur together, and be weighed up against each other in difficult decision-making situations.

Explore further: 

To explore our range of medication-free options to support your physical and psychological well-being, please return to our home page here

Authors and Source Material: 

The author of this article is Valarie Van Mulukom, who is Research Associate in Psychology at Coventry University. The article first appeared in the academic discussion journal “The Conversation” on May 16th, 2018. it is reproduced here under CCL copyright permissions. The original article, together with active links to references, may be viewed here