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A Good Night’s Sleep: Essential for Health

This seems self-evident…and yet research studies consistently show that we are sleeping 1 to 2 hours less a night than previous generations. We are also being exposed to artificial light late at night, which interferes with our sleep patterns. Here are 2 recent studies that show how important sleep is to 2 growing populations. First, if you have high blood pressure, check out this article  HERE . If you are diabetic or have heart disease (or are at risk) then please read HERE .  For those who want to know more about our circadian rhythm, you’ll want to read HERE .

As the seasons start changing, sleep patterns may become slightly disturbed. Some folks need to eat a small protein/fat snack before bed to keep their blood sugar regulated. Others just need to eat a meal 2 hours before bed. There is research that shows that for many (especially people with adrenal fatigue), the hours before midnight are “better” for quality sleep than after midnight. Like with diet, there isn’t a “one size fits all”; however, if you are experiencing sleep difficulties, try a few of these easy inexpensive possibilities: 3 mg of the hormone melatonin about one half hour before bed; no television or computer work an hour before going to sleep; reading with a full spectrum light bulb; sleeping with eye shades if you can’t make your bedroom completely dark.

And yes, there are many helpful herbs; however, I find that they should be used only if the above suggestions don’t work. As for essential oils, lavender, sweet marjoram and bergamot are very beneficial. Some folks use one scent and others may need to rotate. Just a drop or 2 on your pillowcase can ease your way into sleep.

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Some Interesting Tidbits That Hit My Radar

For the next few posts I’ll be talking about heavy metals: why we need to pay attention to them; how to detox from them; and strategies for keeping healthy in an increasingly toxic world. Until then, here are a few interesting articles that caught my attention this week:

Sleep is increasingly becoming a precious “commodity” in our lives….check out this article on sleep deprivation for some excellent reasons why it’s now time to put a good night’s sleep at the top of our “to do” list.

A client recently shared with me that her blood test showed that she was anemic. If you are having issues with iron absorption, here is a good article on anemia.  What the article does not say, however, is that iron from meat is sometimes more easily absorbed than iron from vegetarian and supplement sources. Some experimentation may be necessary before this condition is stabilized.

For those of us who are still eating dairy products, here is an article that will hopefully nudge you into the “organic only” column. The contamination of milk  is especially important to consider if you have children who are drinking milk as part of their diet.

Are you beginning to forget as you age? Here is a new study about Acetyl-L-Carnitine and how it helps stabilize brain structure and memory.