October 31, 2010 in Health and Fitness (E)
[prMac.com] Hannover, Germany - The personal and adaptive alarm clock The Gentle Alarm is a new and easy to use sleep cycle alarm clock for iPhone and iPod touch. Its patented mechanism serves to reduce stress hormone levels. Therefore it makes weight loss easier, increases skeletal muscle mass, improves cognitive performance, physical fitness and general health.
What is cortisol?
Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal cortex in the adrenal gland that plays different roles: Its primary function is to increase the amino acid supply to the liver when there are low levels present. This act, however, serves to increase protein catabolism. Cortisol also serves to increase blood pressure, blood sugar levels and will have an immunosuppressive effect on the body. Thus, when high levels are seen over time, there is also an increased chance of becoming ill due to a decreased functioning of the immune system.
What affects the release of cortisol?
Potentially, one of the largest factors that can affect the release of cortisol in the body is stress. When you are under a great deal of stress, be it from work, your relationships or financial matters, and if and when it reaches a very high level, the body will start releasing more cortisol. Also cigarette smoking is associated with elevated cortisol levels.
Cortisol is the body's primary stress hormone. When the brain stimulates its release in response to physical or emotional stress, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol into the blood. Cortisol helps the body regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
It also is an antiinflammatory, an antiallergic agent and reduces the actions of the immune system. Many synthetic versions of cortisol have medicinal uses.
Studies show cortisol levels are altered in many people with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, pain and overweight and could be what makes it so difficult to deal with stress, either physical (such as infection or exertion) or psychological.
Normally, it's present in the body at higher levels in the morning after waking up, and at its lowest at night. Although stress isn't the only reason that cortisol is secreted into the bloodstream, it has been termed "the stress hormone" because it's also secreted in higher levels during the body's 'fight or flight' response to stress, and is responsible for several stress-related changes in the body.
Small increases of cortisol have some positive effects: A quick burst of energy for survival reasons, heightened memory functions, a burst of increased immunity, lower sensitivity to pain and it helps maintain homeostasis in the body.
While cortisol is an important and helpful part of the body's response to stress, it's important that the body's relaxation response to be activated so the body's functions can return to normal following a stressful event.
Unfortunately, in our current highstress culture, the body's stress response is activated so often that the body doesn't always have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress.
Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:
Impaired cognitive performance, suppressed thyroid function, blood sugar imbalances, decreased bone density, decrease in muscle tissue, skeletal muscle wasting, higher blood pressure, lowered immunity and inflammatory responses and slowed wound healing.
And other health consequences like increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, the development of metabolic syndrome, higher levels of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL).
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, "The gentle alarm".
Compared to conventional alarm clocks, the revolutionary 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, pain reduction, enhanced male virility and erectile function, improvement of cognitive performance, improvement of fatigue 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.
The Gentle Alarm was developed for iPhone in collaboration with Craft mobile and can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes AppStore for iPhone or iPod touch (requires iPhone OS Version 3.0 or newer).
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.): Specialist in Neurology is Head of the Neurolo-gical Department, Niedersachsen Medical Center, Bad Nenndorf, Germany. Copyright (C) 2010 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.