Tag Archives: sleep

Wellness Wednesday March 11

sleep solutions titleSo glad you are stopping by for Wellness Wednesday this week! With the time change we are feeling like we have jet lag in the mornings. So I headed online to look for ways to help us get back to a healthy sleep schedule. I pinned this article about tart cherry juice from Health Home & Happiness.  This “sleepy dust” from Butter Believer is another idea that would be easy to whip up tonight before bed. And this magnesium body butter from Radiant Life blog is my all-time favorite for relaxing. I just rub it on my feet right before bed to moisturize and calm at the same time. What are your favorite sleep remedies? Write a blog and tell us about it by linking back here at Wellness Wednesday!


Sleep Deprivation: Are We Torturing Ourselves?

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torture?

Sleep deprivation is used by government agents around the world as part of prisoner interrogation and torture. The European Convention on Human Rights calls it inhumane and degrading. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez oil spill were all related to sleep deprivation.  So why do we do it to ourselves voluntarily?

My daughter tells me a lot of the girls on her softball team like to brag about who stayed up the latest. A 4th grade boy in my Sunday School class came in one morning and said, “I stayed up until 3 watching TV!” Another mom I know told me she routinely stays up until at least 2a.m. doing little projects or reading, and then she’ll get up at 6a.m. to start breakfast. And since Facebook puts a time stamp on your posts and I can routinely see friends who have posted well after midnight. This is voluntary sleep deprivation folks!

Food, sleep, physical activity, and stress management are the four big health areas which can make or break our health. Going without sleep is a big form of stress both physically and mentally.  Depression, irritability, temper tantrums, loss of memory, and inability to focus are all signs of sleep deprivation. But so are heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure all related to chronic lack of sleep. Even weight gain is related.

We need to make sleep a priority for ourselves and our children. Sleep is essential for optimal growth in children and teens, but it is also essential for growth in adults. Adults may have stopped growing taller, but we still continue to grow new cells throughout our bodies to repair and replace the ones that have worn out. From 10p.m. to 2a.m. is the peak repair and detoxification time for everyone, children and adults. So don’t think you can stay up until 2a.m. and just sleep in the next day to make up for it – it doesn’t work that way.

How much sleep is enough? It depends on the individual but as a general rule adults need 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours each night. Babies and toddlers can sleep up to 12 hours. Children and teens need close to 10 hours, so don’t let your teenager tell you they can stay up late and get up early – they need that extra couple of hours pretty much all the way through college!

How can you get on a good sleep schedule? The number one thing that regulates your sleep cycle is light.  Natural light during the day stimulates your circadian rhythm to get in sync. As evening comes the amount of light should decrease, and that include artificial light. By 9p.m. in the summer and earlier in fall and winter you should dim the lights and close down the computer.  There are computer programs you can get that will automatically dim your computer lights in the evening to reduce the stimulation that light gives your brain that keeps you awake. You can also wear amber-tinted glasses which will do the same thing.

Kids are most at risk with all their technology devices. Their brains desperately need sleep, so make it a hard and fast rule that all devices are turned off completely at bedtime. Don’t put those cell phones next to the bed, put them across the room or in another room completely and turn them off!

Getting some kind of exercise each day will help you feel ready for bed at night. So will avoiding any caffeinated drinks after about 2p.m. Then you can create a sleep environment for each family member that is relaxing, comfortable, quiet and dark. Sleeping in the darkest room possible will help you sleep more deeply and release more melatonin naturally.

Sleep is when we repair. Sleep is when we regenerate tissue. Sleep is when we increase and boost our immune system. Sleep is when we reboot a lot of our body’s processes. Make it a priority starting tonight!

Leave us a comment and share your best tips for falling asleep and getting a good night’s rest.

RJ sleeping on the floor

Make sleep a priority

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11 Ways to Get Your Energy Back and Restore Your Adrenals

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized.

I’m so thankful for all of the people who have the creative ability, time and energy to put together these fabulous informational online summits I’ve been enjoying lately! The Reversing Diabetes Summit in May, the Grow Your Own Food Summit in early July, and now the Functional Health Summit going on as I write this.  Today’s presentation on natural approaches to adrenal burnout from Dr. Ron Grisanti was one I wished I could have heard about two years ago when I first became aware I was suffering from adrenal fatigue. Knowing what Dr. Grisanti shared would have helped speed my own recovery and also answered a lot of questions about what was going on.

I don’t remember how I first heard about adrenal fatigue or adrenal burnout, but I did find a lot of good advice from Dr. Wilson’s book Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome. If you are tired all the time but have difficulty falling asleep (night owl), or find yourself getting dizzy when you stand up too quickly, or have a constant craving for salt you might want to look into this further. Dr. Wilson has a quiz on his website that can get you started.  Be sure to ask your doctor if you suspect it for yourself.  In the meantime, anyone can benefit from these 11 tips from Dr. Grisanti to restoring energy and nurturing your adrenals.

1. Remove the stressors in your life – both the internal and external ones. External stressors include the obvious ones like job, finances, relationships, and environmental toxins. Internal stressors might be harder to see and can be things like undiagnosed gluten sensitivity, GI infections, leaky gut, impacted teeth or prescription medication reactions.

2. Go to sleep by 10pm every night. Physically our bodies use the time between 10pm and 2am to repair and detoxify. If you aren’t asleep it can’t happen.

3. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine stimulates your adrenals, and if they are already taxed then caffeine can push them off the cliff.

4. Keep your glycemic load low. Look up the Glycemic Index and try to choose most of your foods from the list of those at 50 or lower on the glycemic scale. A Paleo-style diet is recommended.

5. Minimize TV and computer use – especially after 8pm.

6. Exercise as much as you can tolerate, but don’t over do it. And certainly don’t do long-duration cardio workouts like distance running which can actually harm your adrenals. Instead do HIIT exercises (High Intensity Interval Training) and resistance training as well as yoga or tai chi.

7. Stop multi-tasking. Doing everything all at once and living a fast-paced lifestyle creates cumulative stress on your adrenals. Slow it down and concentrate on one thing at a time. Consider using meditation or HeartMath technology.

8. Don’t skip breakfast. Take time the night before to plan your breakfast the next morning so you won’t be too rushed to eat. Half of an avocado and a scrambled eggs with some fermented salsa will give you lots of healthy fats and protein plus antioxidants and probiotics for a great start. Check out the Breakfast Recipes here on this site using the links on the right side of this page.

9. Don’t eat sugar. This is a time for serious recovery, so be serious with your diet. Sugar only adds to your stress by causing inflammation throughout your body.

10. Use a high quality sea salt and use it liberally (unless you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure). The adrenals use a lot of salt.

11. Balance your carb/protein/fat intake. Most people eat too many of the wrong kinds of carbs and not enough of the right kinds of fat. Again, a Paleo diet is recommended.

Again, your doctor can test you for adrenal fatigue through blood tests, cortisol tests and other specific tests. He can also help you determine if you might have food allergies, heavy metal toxicity or other issues that could be causing your fatigue.

Restoring your adrenals to optimum health is one of the longest health journeys you can take – because it takes a long time to wear them down in the first place and you can’t undo years, maybe decades, of abuse in just a few weeks. Don’t give up hope – and try out these suggestions. Pin this article for later, or Tweet it to share with friends using the media buttons at the top of the page. Leave us a comment and let me know what you have found to be the most helpful thing in your recovery journey!

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