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How ALERT Are You?

The word “ALERT” is actually a noun, verb and adjective.

Noun: the state of being watchful for possible danger.

Verb: warn (someone) of a danger, threat, or problem, typically with the intention of having it avoided or dealt with.

Adjective: quick to notice any unusual and potentially dangerous or difficult circumstances; vigilant.

Being “alert” depends on many factors such as:

  • The quantity and quality of sleep
  • Age
  • General health condition/concurrent medical problems
  • Medications being taken 
  • How much stress is present
  • Use of recreational drugs and/or alcohol

There are really no objective tests that can quantify a person’s level of “alertness” and therefore this is much more a subjective sensation.  However, we all strive to be as “alert” as possible as this heightened state of alertness is beneficial to our safety and well-being, as detailed in the definitions above.

Controlling weight improved our global state of “alertness” by several mechanisms:

  1. Improved quality of sleep
  2. Less chance/severity of concurrent medical conditions that reduce our alertness
  3. Less need for medications that can impair alertness
  4. Improved breathing mechanics that can raise blood oxygen levels

And for those of you that find it fun to pick out all of the typos I make in writing these blogs, I will have you know that my level of alertness is far better later morning than 4 AM when I write these things!

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