Why I Left Medicine

I know it’s been a while since I last wrote here, but it’s been a busy time for me as an academic surgeon working at one of the busiest hospitals in the epicenter of the Covid pandemic (The Bronx/New York City).

I’m letting you know that I have formally resigned from my position with Montefiore Medical Center. For the past few years, I have been conflicted between responsibilities to my employer vs. the importance of getting helpful information out to you and thousands of other people like you who place a high priority on optimizing your health through better breathing and better sleep. 

With the onset of the pandemic, I have been unable to carve out the time needed to create new content for my website and my podcast. Honestly, I have even thought about shutting down the website entirely, but I realized that this is irresponsible. I truly believe that what I put forth on my website and podcast has the potential to help many more people than seeing one patient at a time.

As you may be already aware, my priority has always been addressing potential health problems long before it’s necessary to see a doctor. And if you do need to see a doctor, make sure that you are treating the main problem that’s causing your symptoms, rather than just covering it up with medications. Therefore, it was a no-brainer for me to leave practicing medicine at this time and to focus full-time on getting my important message out to you as often as possible.

As a result, I am no longer seeing patients in a clinical setting. However, for those of you who still want to see me, I do have a virtual coaching option through this website.

Expect more frequent emails, blogs, podcasts, Youtube videos, and other material from me for the latest in optimal health and wellness through better breathing during sleep. I will be expanding from focusing on obstructive sleep apnea and upper airway resistance syndrome to encompass a wider variety of health-related topics, ones that Kathy and I began to address on our podcast before we stopped last year. I will also reinstate my Ask Dr. Park webinars on a weekly basis, this time on Zoom.

I am looking forward to this new and amazing opportunity to serve you with the latest in optimal breathing-centered wellness.

As my website is now my main source of income, I ask for your support, patience, and encouragement as I embark on a new stage of my career.

Hoping we can all breathe and sleep better together,

Steven Y. Park, MD

P.S. I also just reorganized my website (doctorstevenpark.com) under my new company, Health Wise Media, LLC.

The post Why I Left Medicine appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY.

Does CBD Actually Help Sleep?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis, which is a plant that’s commonly known as marijuana. From cannabis, we derive THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). 

While marijuana is still illegal in many states, cannabis derivates that contain less than 0.3% of THC (hemp) and CBD are legal and can be found in shops across the country. In fact, many people swear by CBD as a way to soothe health ailments—including poor sleep.

CBD’s impact on sleep, though, is a bit complex in nature; and not only that, but present-day research continues to find answers to how CBD impacts the body as a whole. Let’s break down what we know so far, and whether or not you should consider using CBD to help improve your rest.

Effects of Taking CBD

Research has revealed that CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system, altering moods by boosting serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a brain chemical that helps naturally regulate moods. When serotonin levels are balanced, people feel happier, calmer, more focused, less anxious, and more emotionally stable. In relation to sleep health, studies suggest that serotonin deficiencies have been linked to anxiety and subsequently, insomnia.

Unlike THC, CBD does not induce a feeling of being high—it actually reduces the psychoactive (mind-altering) effects of THC. The impact of CBD on a person is dependent on the amount taken. Low doses of CBD can be stimulating for the brain, while high doses act as a sedative.

80% of participants who used CBD as treatment for anxiety reported lower anxiety levels within a month. Sleep improved in more than 65% of participants.

How can CBD Help with Sleep Disorders?

Many studies suggest that a high dose of CBD before bedtime can help improve the sleep quality of those with chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, as well as many other sleep disorders. In one study, 80% of participants who used CBD as a treatment for anxiety reported lower anxiety levels within a month. Sleep also improved in more than 65% of participants.

Important to note is that anxiety and sleep disorders often go hand-in-hand: anxiety can lead to decreased sleep quality, while sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety. One sleep disorder that falls into this category is insomnia. Those with insomnia have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep, and anxiety can cause these symptoms to worsen. Typically, levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) peak in the morning, but those with insomnia experience heightened levels of cortisol in the evening hours, which can lead to increased anxiety about getting inadequate sleep and increase sleeplessness at night.

Another sleep disorder that has been found to be improved by CBD is REM sleep behavior disorder. REM sleep behavior disorder is often found in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients and involves symptoms such as aggressive movements and verbalizing during sleep. A recent study found that patients with REM sleep behavior disorder who experienced symptoms 2-7 times weekly decreased to 0-1 times weekly after being treated with CBD.

What Forms Does CBD Come In?

There are many different forms of CBD commonly available:

  • Oral solutions
  • Oral sprays that are applied under the tongue
  • Oils and tinctures (drops)
  • Vapes and vape juices that are used in a vaping pen
  • Edible items (gummies, cookies, chocolates, beverages)
  • Pills and capsules
  • Topical creams, patches, gels, and ointments

While CBD comes in different concentrations, research is still ongoing. The exact dose to treat sleep issues isn’t fully known and may take some trial and error to determine the best dose for each individual user.

Before treating anxiety and sleep disorders with CBD, be sure to consult your doctor. CBD can react with other medications or supplements, hurting sleep rather than helping it. A healthcare professional, such as Dr. Dibra or Dr. Smith, will be able to provide you with more information on CBD.

Ready to regain control over your sleep health? Please don’t hesitate to reach out so our team can help support you on this journey. Click here to schedule your initial appointment today!

The post Does CBD Actually Help Sleep? appeared first on Sleep Dallas Blog.

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