Blog de Ecotienda La Molina

Monitoreando su Salud, Lo que dice de Ud. su Reloj Interno
wakeupalarm If you?re like most of us, you?ve had challenges sleeping at one time or another.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reported in their 2010 study that only 4 in
10 respondents got a good night?s sleep most nights. The NSF, warned about
making the health-depleting mistake of resorting to sleeping pills; at best
ineffective, at worse dangerous!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) collected data that showed
over-the-counter sleep products really do
not
offer significant benefits; if you believe you should resort to
prescription medications, think again. Studies financed by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) found that these sleeping pills only reduced the
average time to get to sleep by just under 13 minutes compared to sugar pills
(placebos) ? not enough of an improvement to warrant the possible side-effects...click to continue reading...

Disorders from Lack of Sleep?

It?s important to keep in mind that without quality sleep, wellness cannot be
achieved. Not only does good sleep affect our immune responses but also can
cascade a series of disorders. The following are the most profound disorders/imbalances caused directly from lack of restorative sleep:

  • Heart Disease
  • Pre-diabetic syndromes ? accelerates appetite even when you?ve just eaten, leading to
    overweight and the consumption of ?comfort? food with more sugar and simple
    carbs; conditions that lead to type 2 diabetes;
  • Pre-mature aging ? growthhormones, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep, arestunted;
  • Susceptibility to stomach ulcers ? stress is accelerated by lack of restorative sleep;
  • Intestinal disorders ? constipation is accelerated when the body is fatigued and stressed
    from lack of sleep ? causing an already compromised immunity to further be
    depleted by the toxic burden of accumulated matter not expelled daily;
  • Brain health ? halts new cell production and can increase levels of corticosterone (CORT), a stress hormone resulting in fewer new brain cell creation in your hippocampus
  • Heart Disease
  • Pre-diabetic syndromes ? accelerates appetite even when you?ve just eaten, leading to
    overweight and the consumption of ?comfort? food with more sugar and simple carbs; conditions that lead to type 2 diabetes;
  • Pre-mature aging ? growth hormones, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep, are stunted;
  • Susceptibility to stomach ulcers ? stress is accelerated by lack of restorative sleep;
  • Intestinal disorders ? constipation is accelerated when the body is fatigued and stressed
    from lack of sleep ? causing an already compromised immunity to further be
    depleted by the toxic burden of accumulated matter not expelled daily;
  • Brain health ? halts new cell production and can increase levels of corticosterone (CORT), a stress hormone resulting in fewer new brain cell creation in your hippocampus

Lack of Sleep Worsens Stress-Related Immune Depression

One of the first studies to provide direct evidence linking sleep with the human
stress-immune relationship dates back to 1998. Stress, interfering with immune
system functions, has also showed slow wound healing.

In the same 1998 study, the researchers discovered that people who were more
likely to awaken during the first sleep cycle also tended to have lower levels
of natural killer cells (NKC). Overall, the age of the patient was the greatest
determinant of NKC level, but sleep disturbances were responsible for about 12
percent of the variance in NKC level.

sleepingdisorders

Living in Sync with Your Natural Body Clock

Sleeping well is one of the cornerstones of optimal health, and if you ignore your poor
sleeping habits, you will, in time, pay a very high price. In general, you will
feel best and maintain optimal health when your lifestyle is in line with your circadian rhythm. It's wise to establish healthful routines of eating, exercising and sleeping, and to stick to them every day, including weekends.

Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Your circadian rhythm has evolved over many years to align your physiology with your environment. However, it operates under the assumption that you are behaving as your ancestors did. Historically, humans slept at night and stayed awake during the day. If you stay up late at night, depriving yourself of sleep, you send conflicting signals to your body.
As a result, your body gets confused and doesn't know whether it should be producing chemicals to help you sleep, or gear up for the beginning of a new day.

Melatonin is another chemical closely tied to your circadian rhythm; a pineal hormone and a very potent antioxidant, created in your brain during sleep.

Among its many functions, melatonin slows the production of estrogen and is well known to suppress tumor development, which is why insomnia may increase your risk of cancer. Melatonin also helps suppress harmful free radicals.

Melatonin production can be severely disrupted simply by exposing yourself to bright light late at night. Just switching a bedside lamp on and off in an otherwise pitch-black room produces an almost immediate drop in melatonin levels. This is why it's so important to turn off the lights as the evening wears on, and avoid watching TV and working on the computer late at night.

Why Melatonin Works

Light and dark are processed and they relayed to the cells throughout the body by the pineal gland, an organ. The eyes deliver information to the pineal gland through different routes that include the retinohypothalamic tract and the suprachiasmatic nuclei. Norepinephrine released from postganglionic nerve endings to the pineal gland helps control the release of melatonin. This release of norepinephrine to the pinealocytes occurs at night, which is when melatonin secretion and levels throughout the body begin to rise.

How Sleep Influences Your Physical Health

Without good restorative sleep, optimal health may remain elusive, even if you eat well and exercise (although those factors will tend to improve your ability to sleep better). Aside from directly impacting your immune function, another explanation for why poor sleep can have such varied detrimental effects on your health is that your circadian system "drives" the rhythms of biological activity at the cellular level; hence, disruptions tend to cascade outward throughout your entire body.

brainclock

Re-setting Your Circadian Rhythm

The following are the basic guidelines I provide my clients when faced with a
baffling set of sleep disorders. Keep in mind that because of individuality,
it?s always best to consult a nutritionally-aware health professional if your
attempts do not produce results.

  • Avoid using electronics at least two
    hours before bedtime (computer, iPad, iPhone, etc.). These electronic devices, particularly the T.V. and computer, have screens that emit blue light ? almost the same as sunlight exposure. When exposed too close to bedtime, your brain
    shuts down the melatonin production believing it?s still daytime. With a healthy circadian rhythm, the brain begins secreting melatonin between 9 and 10 pm. When excessive light is introduced after sunset, you disrupt this natural
    cycle which then manifests as insomnia or un-restorative sleep patterns.
  • Darkness is your friend because a room with light disrupts your internal clock. The
    pineal gland produces the melatonin and serotonin that is so vital for
    biological balance; even a tiny glow from a clock or electronic gadget can
    interfere with sleep. The best remedy is to simply turn face of clock around or
    cover it.
  • To ensure the best possible sleep and healthy hormone production, the following is recommended:

    - Close bedroom door if external light or noise can easily be heard.

    - Avoid loud alarm clocks; instead get one that has a mellow sound or soft music. Waking
    suddenly by jolting the body with loud noise is very stressful to the body.

    - Eliminate night lights in the bedroom and any light visible from the bedroom, if it
    cannot be closed off.

    - When possible use blackout shades, drapes or an eye mask when bedroom is not
    completely dark.

    • Keep bedroom temperature cool. Studies show the optimal sleeping room temperature is between 59-64 degrees. When you sleep, your body?s internal temperature drops to its
      lowest level, usually about four hours after falling asleep. Scientists report
      a cooler room (ambient air temperature) contributes to a better sleep because
      it mimics your body?s natural temperature drop. If you?re cold, use warmer
      nightwear, a lightweight organic down comforter or bedding but don?t raise the overall room temperature.
    • Eliminate all electronic devices because the electro-magnetic fields (EMF?s) disrupt the pineal
      gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, the same as light does. If
      you want to prove to yourself how much exposure is emitted from these devices,
      buy a Gauss Meter. They are available online and range from $49 to $250. For
      those that are already victims of an immune system disorder or reactive to
      EMF?s it is recommended to shut down all power to the bedroom by pulling that
      circuit breaker before going to bed. Remember that EMF?s are emitted especially
      by chargers (cell & cordless phones, iPads, etc.) and, therefore, should be
      kept as far from the bedrooms as possible, preferably at over 15-20 feet.
    • You bed is for sleeping; not for watching T.V., reading, using an iPad, iPhone or listening
      to music. This room should always be your sanctuary for rest and rejuvenation
      and free from anything that stimulates the brain; even bright colors.
    • Avoid sharing your bed with pets, restless sleepers and those who snore. Recent
      studies show that many sleep disorders are actually from sharing a bed with
      someone that constantly interferes with your sleep. In these cases, you might
      be forced to sleep in a separate bed or even bedroom in order to get good
      quality and restorative sleep. I do know of individuals who sleep with their
      pets because it?s calming, if that?s the case and you don?t have allergies to
      them, enjoy but it is not healthy to sleep with your pets as much as you love
      them.

    What encourages healthy sleep?

    • Avoid consuming liquids 2 hours before going to bed; this will
      eliminate or minimize trips to the bathroom that disrupts sleep. Be sure to
      void your bladder just before going to bed.
    • Maintain continuity in times you go to bed and awaken ? even on
      weekends and holidays. Sleeping in, even occasionally, will disrupt your
      natural circadian rhythm. Your body recharges between 11 p.m. and 2: a.m. and
      is also the time your gallbladder ?dumps? toxins. If you?re awake, those toxins
      may back-up into your liver ? your chemical processing plant. We should take
      lessons from history when our ancestors went to bed shortly after sundown, as
      most animals do, and Mother Nature intended for us as well.
    • Create a bedtime routine that includes medications/supplements,
      deep breathing, personal care, etc. Do whatever you need to maintain a pattern
      that becomes automatic so it?s stress free, even laying out your wardrobe or
      packing your brief case for the next day so you don?t have to think about it.
    • Consume a high protein snack a couple of hours before bedtime;
      this helps provide L-tryptophan needed for production of melatonin and
      serotonin ? a neurotransmitter that controls our ?feelings? such as depression,
      hunger, thirst, sleep and other ?moods.? Turkey is my preferred snack because
      it?s high in natural L-tryptophan; the following foods also contain good levels

    -Baked potatoes with their skin
    -Bananas
    -Beans
    -Cheddar
    -Cheese
    -Cottage Cheese
    -Eggs
    -Fish
    -Gruyere (a type of Swiss cheese)
    -Hazelnuts
    -Heated milk
    -Hummus
    -Lentils
    -Kelp
    -Meat(including red meats)
    -Milk
    -Nuts
    -Peanuts
    -Rice
    -Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
    -Sesame Seeds
    -Shellfish
    -Soy Milk
    -Soybean Nuts
    -Sunflower Seeds
    -Swiss cheese
    -Tofu
    -Tuna
    -Turkey
    -Yogurt

    • Eat a small piece of fruit because it helps transport tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier.
    • Avoid grains and sugars before bed; they raise blood sugar and delay sleep. The sugar causes
      an unhealthy rise in blood sugar and when it ?dumps? it can cause you to wake up and then unable to fall back asleep.
    • Create a Zen space for relaxation before bed; a hot bath with organic sea salts and/or an
      essential oil that is calming like lavender, hot shower, or even a steam bath.
      Your body temperature is naturally raised in the late evening and it will fall
      at bedtime helping to induce sleep ? signaling the body it?s time for bed.
    • If you?re one of those who?s feet are always cold, consider placing a hot water bottle or
      microwaveable pack at the foot of your bed. If your feet are cold you will have
      trouble getting and staying asleep. I like an electric bed-warmer pad; I heat the bed about one-hour before bedtime and then unplug it before getting in to avoid EMFs.
    • Do not do any work at least two hours before bedtime so your brain can ?unwind.?
    • If you?re assensitive to caffeine as most of my clients, avoid anything that contains it
      after 2 p.m. Studies show caffeine is not efficiently metabolized in some
      people and they may feel its stimulating effects long after consumption. Also,
      keep in mind that some medications, both prescription and over-the-counter,
      contain caffeine, know what you?re consuming!
    • Don?t exercise atleast two hours before bedtime as it will stimulate your body and mind rather
      than relaxing it; studies show exercise in the morning is best.
    • Studies show that sleep apnea can be caused by excess weight. If you need to lose those extra
      pounds, maybe knowing if can affect your sleep will provide that added incentive.
    • Avoid alcohol;the short-lived calming effect will have the reverse effect hours later because
      it prevents you from entering those deeper stages of sleep so necessary for
      repairing and rejuvenation.

    Natural Sleep Remedies

    Remedy # 1 ?
    Take your calcium and magnesium supplements in the evening; they are both sleep boosters when taken together. Take as much magnesium as tolerated to bowel tolerance (until it creates loose stools), then back down to the tolerated
    amount.

    Remedy # 2 ?
    One of the best natural remedies for restlessness (including restless leg syndrome), calming anxiety, joint and muscle pain, and headaches is Wild Lettuce. The recommended dose is between 50 to 120 mg at bedtime.

    Remedy # 3 ?
    The extract of hops is a mild sedative for anxiety and insomnia when taken approximately 30 minutes before bedtime. The recommended dose is between 30 to 120 mg.

    Remedy # 4 ?
    Pure essential therapeutic oil, as in the blend I use and recommend most often ? containing 21 essentials oils: A proprietary blend of Lavender, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Angelica, Helichrysum, Patchouli, Ravensara, Niaouli, Iris, Pink Lotus, Sweet Marjoram, Black Spruce, Palmarosa, Cinnamon Bark, Spikenard, Black Pepper, Dill, Vetiver, Litsea Cubeba, Rosemary Verbenon and Lime ? a synergistic complex known to alleviate anxiety, depression, insomnia, grief and many forms of emotional distress. A simple ONE drop on your wrist gently rubbed in at bedtime will calm the mind and body without the side effects of medications.

    Remedy # 5 ?
    The hormone that controls sleep is melatonin; more is NOT best. Studies show lower doses are actually more effective. I recommend 0.1 to 0.3 mg before bed and most benefits are derived from a sublingual liquid blend called Liposomal Melatonin Drops. Click here to purchased directly from the manufacturer's Patient Direct Store. You MUST use the cutomer code to purchase: WSBR

    Remedy # 6 ?
    L-theanine, an amino acid derived from green tea, not only helps maintain calm alertness during the day, it also induces a deep sleep at night. Green tea alone does not contain enough of this amino acid to give you the boost and the roost. The one I find is most effective is a brand called Suntheanine because it?s pure L-theanine and not ineffective inactive forms as in other brands.
    Recommended dose is 50 to 200 mg at bedtime. This is readily available in health stores.

    Remedy # 7 ?
    The herb Valerian is highly researched for its benefits in improving sleep, speed of falling asleep and overall quality of sleep. It is most effective used over a long period of time. Recommended dose is 200 to 800 mg before bedtime. Readily available in health stores.

    Remedy # 8 ?
    A nutraceutical blend that contains many of the ingredients listed above, all in one capsule, is called Sleep Factors. It is available at the Patient-Direct Store from the manufacturer, click here to purchase. You MUST use the password: WSBR

    Sleep Factors contains over 15 ingredients including valerian, GABA, 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, melatonin, and L-theanine.

    NOTE: There are many medications that actually deplete melatonin in your body. If you are
    pregnant, nursing or taking medications, be sure to consult with a nutritionally-aware health professional.

    Medications known to deplete Melatonin include:

    - Antidepressants

    - Benzodiazepines

    - Beta-Blockers

    If you travel extensively through various time-zones like I do, I recommend taking a low dose
    time-released Melatonin when boarding your flight; it helps avoid jet-lag and allows you to sleep in transit - arriving at your destination rested and alert.
    I use the sublingual because I find it works best because of its ability to be immediately absorbed.


    The Way I See It?

    Sleep is as important as water, food, clean air and shelter. Sleep deprivation accelerates the aging processes including brain functions (forgetfulness, easily distracted, brain-fog, lack of focus, depression, anxiety, etc.). New cells cannot be created if you do not have adequate sleep.

    I don?t know about you, but my life?s goal is to age without looking or feeling old ? sleep plays a huge part in fulfilling this goal. Skin discoloration, bags under the eyes and wrinkles can all be attributed to lack of quality sleep.

    Begin your wellness plan by first working on getting your Zzzzzzzz?s, Naturally.

    Your Partner in Health,

    Dr. Gloria


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