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According to recent estimates, approximately 35% of adults in the United States suffer from sleep deprivation. For some individuals this difficulty is caused by physical or emotional problems.

It is well-known that sleep deprivation causes numerous health problems, ranging from cognitive impairment, an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and even an increased risk for cancer. The reason for this increased risk is simple: sleep is the time when the body repairs damaged cells and processes the brain's activities. Consequently, chronic sleep deprivation results in both physical and emotional damage.

However, a new study led by Dr. Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, added another item to the list of negative consequences caused by insufficient sleep: increased sensitivity to pain. Dr. Walker and his colleagues published their findings in the Journal of Neuroscience.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 20% of adults in the United States are living with chronic pain. Dr. Walker and his research team began their study by testing the pain thresholds of a group of individuals without sleep difficulties. The participants' brains were scanned using a functional MRI machine while increasing levels of heat were applied to their legs in order to determine each participant’s pain threshold.

After pain thresholds were determined, the same study was repeated after the participants were kept awake for an entire night. The research revealed that the participants sensitivity to heat, as well as their pain thresholds, occurred at lower temperatures, demonstrating. that sensitivity to pain increases when there is inadequate sleep.

More specifically, the research team determined via functional MRI scanning that the brain's somatosensory cortex (a region of the brain associated with pain), was hyperactive when the participants had an inadequate night's sleep. This confirmed the hypothesis that sleep deprivation interferes with the neural circuitry involved in pain processing.

The team also showed that the specific part of the brain responsible for releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, was less active after an inadequate night's sleep. Since dopamine increases pleasure and relieves pain, Dr. Walker explained that, "Sleep loss not only amplifies the pain-sensing regions in the brain but blocks the natural analgesia centers, too."

The scientists replicated their findings in a second study involving approximately 250 adults with a wide variety of sleep patterns. Initially, each participant’s sleep pattern and pain sensitivity level was determined. The participants were monitored for several days in order to collect a sufficient amount of data to make statistically valid inferences. An analysis of the data collected showed that even small changes in the participants sleep patterns affected their sensitivity to pain.

Dr. Walker pointed out, "The optimistic take away here is that sleep is a natural analgesic that can help manage and lower pain. [...] Yet ironically, one environment where people are in the most pain is the worst place for sleep — the noisy hospital ward. Our findings suggest that patient care would be markedly improved, and hospital beds cleared sooner, if uninterrupted sleep were embraced as an integral component of healthcare management."

The take away message for us is clear: ensuring a good nights sleep is one of the simplest steps we can take to improve our overall health and to experience less pain in our day-to-day lives. In order to achieve this goal, it is important to turn off all electronic devices 1 to 2 hours before going to bed, and make sure to allow ourselves a sufficient amount of time to sleep, approximately eight hours. Pleasant dreams!

Regency’s Heart & Lung Center has an on-site sleep study program. In addition to unlocking Medicare benefits for Bipap utilization when discharged home, it allows us to ensure our residents can optimize their crucial sleeping hours to achieve optimal health.

It’s one of the ways that Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, offers the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. It also includes listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

According to recent estimates, approximately 35% of adults in the United States suffer from sleep deprivation. For some individuals this difficulty is caused by physical or emotional problems.

It is well-known that sleep deprivation causes numerous health problems, ranging from cognitive impairment, an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and even an increased risk for cancer. The reason for this increased risk is simple: sleep is the time when the body repairs damaged cells and processes the brain's activities. Consequently, chronic sleep deprivation results in both physical and emotional damage.

However, a new study led by Dr. Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, added another item to the list of negative consequences caused by insufficient sleep: increased sensitivity to pain. Dr. Walker and his colleagues published their findings in the Journal of Neuroscience.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 20% of adults in the United States are living with chronic pain. Dr. Walker and his research team began their study by testing the pain thresholds of a group of individuals without sleep difficulties. The participants' brains were scanned using a functional MRI machine while increasing levels of heat were applied to their legs in order to determine each participant’s pain threshold.

After pain thresholds were determined, the same study was repeated after the participants were kept awake for an entire night. The research revealed that the participants sensitivity to heat, as well as their pain thresholds, occurred at lower temperatures, demonstrating. that sensitivity to pain increases when there is inadequate sleep.

More specifically, the research team determined via functional MRI scanning that the brain's somatosensory cortex (a region of the brain associated with pain), was hyperactive when the participants had an inadequate night's sleep. This confirmed the hypothesis that sleep deprivation interferes with the neural circuitry involved in pain processing.

The team also showed that the specific part of the brain responsible for releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, was less active after an inadequate night's sleep. Since dopamine increases pleasure and relieves pain, Dr. Walker explained that, "Sleep loss not only amplifies the pain-sensing regions in the brain but blocks the natural analgesia centers, too."

The scientists replicated their findings in a second study involving approximately 250 adults with a wide variety of sleep patterns. Initially, each participant’s sleep pattern and pain sensitivity level was determined. The participants were monitored for several days in order to collect a sufficient amount of data to make statistically valid inferences. An analysis of the data collected showed that even small changes in the participants sleep patterns affected their sensitivity to pain.

Dr. Walker pointed out, "The optimistic take away here is that sleep is a natural analgesic that can help manage and lower pain. [...] Yet ironically, one environment where people are in the most pain is the worst place for sleep — the noisy hospital ward. Our findings suggest that patient care would be markedly improved, and hospital beds cleared sooner, if uninterrupted sleep were embraced as an integral component of healthcare management."

The take away message for us is clear: ensuring a good nights sleep is one of the simplest steps we can take to improve our overall health and to experience less pain in our day-to-day lives. In order to achieve this goal, it is important to turn off all electronic devices 1 to 2 hours before going to bed, and make sure to allow ourselves a sufficient amount of time to sleep, approximately eight hours. Pleasant dreams!

Regency’s Heart & Lung Center has an on-site sleep study program. In addition to unlocking Medicare benefits for Bipap utilization when discharged home, it allows us to ensure our residents can optimize their crucial sleeping hours to achieve optimal health.

It’s one of the ways that Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, offers the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. It also includes listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

In a healthy adult, at rest, the heart beats between 60 and 100 times a minute. Cells in the upper right chamber of the heart generate an electrical signal that travels through the heart, and makes it beat, a sort of cardiac “spark plug,” if you will.

However, if for some reason the heart’s “sparkplug” is not working properly, the heart will not beat regularly, a condition known as arrhythmia. In some cases, arrhythmia needs to be addressed by inserting an artificial spark plug, known as a pacemaker.

 

Who Might Need a Pacemaker?

Pacemakers are most commonly used to treat bradycardia, an abnormally slow heartbeat. Other disorders, such as heart block, heart failure, and Long QT Syndrome, may also need to be brought under control with a pacemaker.

Does a Pacemaker Require Open-Heart Surgery?

No. Pacemakers are inserted through a small incision, usually under local anesthesia. In most cases, insertion takes approximately two hours. Patients are generally able to leave the hospital within a couple of days.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Recovery can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) recommends enrollment in a cardiac rehabilitation program following pacemaker surgery. Cardiac rehab provides coordinated care, and is the safest way for a pacemaker patient to ease themselves back into their normal life. Medicare and most insurance plans cover cardiac rehab for pacemaker insertions.

Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers’ cardiac care provides rehabilitation at the highest level recommended by the ACC. Contact Regency by clicking here.

Do I Have to Limit My Activities If I Have a Pacemaker?

Once you have been cleared by your doctor, you do not need to limit your activities after pacemaker insertion.

However strong electromagnetic fields may interfere with the functioning of your pacemaker. For this reason, people with pacemakers should not have MRIs.

Your doctor will give you a pacemaker ID card, which you should carry with you at all times. You should also consider wearing a MedicAlert bracelet that states that you have a pacemaker.

Cell phones are safe, but should be kept at least6 to 12 inches away from the pacemaker.

Metal detectors, such as those found at airports and some stores, are generally safe. You will want to minimize your exposure by walking through them quickly and by not standing near them.

Hand-held metal detectors, however, do pose some risk. If you are selected for special screening with a hand-held device at the airport, it is important to show your pacemaker ID card. The staff will then check you in a different way.

Some medical devices may also interfere with pacemakers. Always inform your doctor that you have a pacemaker before undergoing any procedure.

How Long Will My Pacemaker Last?

Typically, the part of the pacemaker that wears out is the battery. Most pacemaker batteries last between 5 and 15 years. The procedure to replace the battery is quick, and does not require much recovery time.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in the most appropriate and patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

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