February 25, 2011 in Health and Fitness (E)
[prMac.com] Hannover, Germany - Did you know stress and cortisol may have a direct connection to your weight? In recent years, research has shown that how you deal with everyday stress can affect your waistline in particular. This can be a huge threat to your health because abdominal fat is more dangerous - and increases disease risk more - than fat located in any other part of the body. Excessive abdominal fat is linked directly to serious health conditions like hypertension and diabetes.
Women in particular have been found to accumulate more fat around their waists while they're under stress. In fact, a Yale University study showed that even otherwise - slim persons who are under high stress levels are prone to put on weight on around their abdominal area.
The Cortisol Connection:
What's the connection? When we are stressed out, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has been proven to encourage fat storage in the abdominal area. The worst part is if you don't learn to alleviate stress, cortisol levels stay high even when the original source of stress has subsided. The prolonged effects of cortisol will cause even more fatty deposits to find their way to your middle even when the stress seems to have passed. A recent retrospective study (Nutrition, 2010, Oct 8., Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University Alma Mater Studiorum, Bologna, Italy) investigated the relation between daily urinary free cortisol excretion rate, as a marker of cortisol production rate and waist circumference. Obese persons had significantly higher urinary free cortisol excretion than normal-weight persons.
Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream have been shown to have negative effects, such as: weight gain, overweight, impaired cognitive performance, depression, suppressed thyroid function and blood sugar imbalances, decreased bone density, decrease in skeletal muscle tissue mass and power, skeletal muscle wasting, high blood pressure, lowered immunity, decreased testosterone levels, impaired erectile function, menstrual abnormalities, fatigue, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, headache, migraine, fibromyalgia, muscle pain and poor digestion.
The skin can present with symptoms such as oily skin, acne, eczema, and roughness. Elevated cortisol also decreases the skin's ability to regenerate leading to wrinkles, sagging, and impaired wound healing. Elevated cortisol in pregnant mothers influences cortisol metabolism during the baby's crucial development periods.
The good news is, despite the fact that stress is an unavoidable part of life, there is something you can do about it. Studies have shown that those who make time for exercise have less anxiety (and fewer related physical ailments) than those of us who are sedentary.
The cortisol awakening response is an increase of about 50% in cortisol levels occurring after awakening in the morning. Shortly after awakening, a sharp 38% to 75% (average 50%) increase occurs in the blood level of cortisol.
To keep cortisol levels healthy and under control, Clinical Neurologist Dr. Hans Joerg Stuerenburg, M.D., Ph.D. developed and patented an innovative adaptive stress free alarm clock, "Gentle Alarm".
Compared to conventional alarm clocks, the Gentle Alarm introduces an individualized, natural wake up procedure, which adapts itself to the users' particular needs within a few nights. This patented alarm clock is leading to a gentle and stress free wake up. Sudden, abrupt waking in the morning as with loud, conventional alarm clocks and the associated release of stress hormones from the adrenal gland can be avoided by using this novel and intelligent self adapting, personal sleep cycle alarm clock. Stuerenburg sees health benefits of this intelligent innovation in weight loss, stress reduction, increase of skeletal muscle mass and strength, pain and headache reduction, enhanced male virility and erectile function, improvement of cognitive performance, fatigue, muscle pain and fibromyalgia. And better general health and physical fitness.
The Gentle Alarm is easy to use. In order to be woken up smoothly, sleepers will be guided from the deep sleep phase or dream phase into the light sleep phase by gentle sounds.
Unlike the hitherto existing sleep cycle alarm clocks The Gentle Alarm does not require additional implement such as wristband motion sensors, sound sensors or movement sensors. Users simply set their desired wake up time. After waking up, they merely slide a finger across the screen to stop the alarm. Everything else is taken care of by the patented and intelligent system.
When you couple these facts with the app's smooth interface and user friendly lay out, it comes as no surprise that the "Gentle Alarm" was ranked among the ten best alarm clocks in the entire world. In November 2010 "The Independent", London, UK, one of the four largest British quality newspapers named "Gentle Alarm" (patent pending) for iPhone and iPod touch one of "The ten best alarm clocks" and the best alarm clock - app worldwide. "The Independent" mentioned: "Best alarm clock for stress heads. The Gentle Alarm app for iPhone and iPod touch. This app monitors your natural sleep patterns and produces a personalised waking programme which stirs you from your slumber at the least stressful point of your sleep cycle".
It all sounds so easy, logical and understandable, but who wants to see if the promises are kept must try it.
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later
* 0.6 MB
Pricing and Availability:
The Gentle Alarm 2.1.0 is $3.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Healthcare & Fitness category.
Craft mobile is an agile team specialized on the implementation of iPhone applications. Craft mobile was initiated in 2009 and is a project of Craft AG, Freiburg (established Aug. 2000). Dr. Hans Joerg Stuerenburg (M.D., Ph.D.) is Specialist in Neurology and Head of the Neurological Department, Klinik Niedersachsen, Medical Center, Bad Nenndorf, Germany. Copyright (C) 2011 Craft AG, Freiburg. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.