Tag Archives: vitamins

Shaklee’s Vita-Lea–what so special?

The raw materials of nutritional supplements, whether it can maintain the original natural balance will have to depending on its processing and production processes. Due to manufacturer’s product line features, usually it can revealed from the deployment of multiple vitamin and mineral, let us take a look at Shaklee’s Vita-Lea.

In the processing of multivitamin and mineral, various nutrition gradually fused together until they form a paste, or mixtures. In such, liquids must be removed to produce flakes. Most companies using petroleum products to mashing. Then, they must remove liquid from the pulp into a tablet, here the liquid is alcohol. Normally, when you open a bottle of nutritional supplements which made from alcohol or other petroleum products, you will be able to smell the taste of the oil.

Shaklee only use of pure water to integrate Vita-Lea, when the slurry form a solid tablet, only the water is evaporated, it has no oil or chemical residue can be leave.

What you can do to verify this?

Vita-Lea picture

You just have to heat a nutritional tablet. You will be able to know whether the manufacturer use petroleum products or chemical binders in the manufacturing process. It is advice that you do it outdoors, because if the product processing involves oil (it is likely to involve), after burning the odor will be very pungent and its residue is a cloud of black dirt.

Burning 21

Now, you can do the same test on Shaklee’s Vita-Lea. It odor like charred vegetables and the residue is nothing but a pile of ashes.

Burning vita lea

The integration of multivitamin mineral pulp needs more cost and very time-consuming if using water instead of petroleum products, however, Shaklee insists using only pure water.

Shaklee “Explo-Tab

Some companies produce their so-called “time release” multiple nutritional supplements. They want you to believe that you have achieved something unique and effective. “Time release” multiple nutritional supplements trouble is, many nutrients are early absorbed in the digestive process, but later failed to properly absorb. If the “time release” multiple nutritional supplement failed to correctly release of each nutrient at the appropriate time, then you will lose.

For some nutritional supplements, such as vitamin C, the “time release” system is indeed very useful. But this system is not suitable for a multivitamin and minerals. What appropriate for this kind of product is called “Explo-Tab“. Shaklee’s Vita-Lea has used this technology for many years and effectively release nutrients.

Cross section view of Vita-Lea's tablet

Cross section view of Vita-Lea’s tablet

Cross section view of other multivitamin's tablet

Cross section view of other multivitamin’s tablet

Shaklee’s “Explo-Tab” technology allow tablet to stay in the digestive system for a while, and then quickly explode to release the nutrition. The following describes the “Explo-Tab” operation. If you cut Vita-Lea’s tablet into very fine shreds and observed under microscope, you will see a small white balls. These fine balls are starch grains. When these starch grains get wet, they will be expansion and forcing the tablets “explosion”, and release nutrition within.

Now, let us do some experiments to see how good the multivitamin dissolve.

(Note: The experiment was conducted with Vita-Lea’s tablet and another brand of multivitamin in tab water, just to show what the “Explo-tab” is) 

Put a tablet of Vita-Lea into a glass of tap water, let it dissolve, you can see the above-mentioned activities. If you want to emulate the situation in the stomach, adding a few drops of vinegar to make it acidic. After a while you will see the “Explo-Tab” decomposition. Now, use another multivitamin to make the same test. You will find that other nutritional tablets may (a) cannot be dissolved, (b)a portion dissolved, or (c) dissolved sometime in the next day, depending on the individual brands.

The ingredients is fully released and dissolved within 5 minutes

The ingredients is fully released and dissolved within 5 minutes

Other multivitamin--the ingredients is not released after 12 minutes, only the outer layer (brown colour)is dissolved.

Other multivitamin–the ingredients is not released after 12 minutes, only the outer layer (brown colour)is dissolved.

It is rarely have multivitamins supplements such as the Shaklee’s Vita-Lea which can completely and timely to decompose and release the nutrition.

Who will benefit from Vita-Lea

  • Women who are trying to conceive
  • Anyone interested in promoting long-term health and vitality
  • Anyone whose day-to-day diet is not always optimal
  • Those who are concerned about providing added support for immune function
  • Those who live an especially stressful lifestyle
  • Anyone who gets sick often
  • Those who feel bad and tired more often than they feel good and alert

For more information regarding Vita-Lea, kindly click here.

What You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia has been referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome, fibro myositis, and fibrositis. It is a recently named syndrome that affects 3% to 5% of the general population. It occurs in people of all ages and consists of several different and debilitating symptoms that affect a persons’ physical, mental, and social life. Men are affected but more women are diagnosed. Those with severe symptoms find it difficult or impossible to do even the most basic everyday tasks and up to ¼ of those diagnosed are work disabled. The first drug treatment for fibromyalgia was approved in 2007 and more is being learned every day.

 Symptoms for fibromyalgia include deep excruciating pain all over the body especially in the muscles, insomnia, sleeplessness and sleep disorders, fatigue, brain fog, memory and concentration problems, irritable bowel syndrome, abnormal pain processing, headaches and migraines, jaw pain, nerve pain and weakness, depression, and anxiety. People also experience tender spots and muscle knots which radiate pain and can severely restrict movement.

To diagnose fibromyalgia can be a tricky since the patient looks healthy and tests came back normal. Diagnosis has also been controversial because there is no one thing that points to, nor is there one test that can be performed to come to a simple diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

It was once thought that the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia were all in the person’s head and was not fully accepted as a diagnosis until the 1990’s. Some symptoms can be very similar to other syndromes and diseases so doctors will use a process of eliminating other causes and following certain diagnostic criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in 1990. This criteria includes a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body, meaning above and below your waist and on both sides of your body, for a minimum of 3 months and pain in 11 out of the 18 specially chosen tender points when a specific amount of pressure is applied.

There is no specific known cause although some theories indicate physical and emotional trauma in childhood, stress, disruption of normal dopamine-related neurotransmission, abnormal serotonin metabolism, abnormal levels of tryptophan and a protein involved in transmitting pain signals from the nerves to the brain called substance P, deficiencies in growth hormone secretion, vitamin deficiencies such as B and D, and genetic predisposition among others.

 Relief from fibromyalgia comes from treating the symptoms individually rather than the syndrome as a whole. Some drugs are helpful in relieving symptoms but lose their effectiveness over time and have uncomfortable or dangerous side effects. The best way to get relief is by combining the many options out there such as dietary changes, pain medications, high-quality nutritional supplements, massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, exercise, stretching, counseling, support groups, and for a time if necessary the dangerous ones, anti-depressants and sleep drugs.

The best and most fundamental way to find relief is through nutrition. There is documented evidence and scientific proof that nutrition is the way to heal our bodies. The problem is pharmaceutical companies and government make big money off all these drugs that come with a laundry list of side effects worse than the malady they mask.

Fibromyalgia and diet go hand-in-hand. The first thing to do is to stay away from processed foods and food preservatives, caffeine, coffee, caffeinated tea, soda, a lot of red meat (your body needs some), chocolate/cocoa, alcohol, fried foods, white flour, sugar, gluten, wheat, yeast, high fat dairy products, salt, nutra-sweet and saccharine, and smoking.

The next thing to do is add nutrition; take into account the food you eat along with supplements. Eat 5 to 6 smaller meals through the day that include more raw and steamed vegetables, fatty fish and seafood (be careful of contaminants), yogurt, soups, beans, legumes, simple proteins like chicken, fresh garlic, and nuts such as almonds. Drink lots of water and get a juicer to make your own fresh juice. Reduce your fat intake but do not go to the extreme with a diet too low in fat; fat is needed for muscles to work properly and provides energy.

Nutritional supplements are important because they provide your body with specific nutrients too difficult to get through diet alone especially when you are deficient to begin with. Because there are so many parts of the body affected by fibromyalgia, there are many different supplements that your body will benefit form. Here is a list of important supplements that could help control symptoms of fibromyalgia.

A vitamin/mineral supplement is important to start with. For immune support antioxidants are essential; up to 10,000 mg daily of vitamin C, 400 IU to 800 IU daily of vitamin E (if you have high blood pressure, limit E to 400 IU daily or if you are taking a blood thinner consult your doctor before supplementing with E), 200 micrograms selenium, some suggest up to 5,000 IU to 10,000 IU daily of beta-carotene daily (if you are pregnant or have liver disease ask your doctor before taking a lot of beta-carotene which is pre-vitamin A), quercetin, and grape seed extracts such as those in VIVIX, to start with.

For improved muscle and nerve function, as well as relaxation and to control anxiety and pain, just 500 mg of magnesium inhibits nerve receptors linked to the trigger point pain and regulates the release of neuro-hormones, which relieves muscle tension and spasms, as well as restlessness, tics and twitches (if you have heart or kidney problems double check with your doctor what amount of magnesium you should supplement with, if any).

In today’s world, we are almost all of us magnesium deficient because of the way industrial farming has stripped our soil of nutrients including and most importantly magnesium. One of the best ways to alleviate this deficiency without supplements is: 2 Cups Epsom Salts, 1 Cup baking soda in a hot bathtub. The Epsom salts deliver magnesium to the body while the baking soda is used to neutralize the chemicals in the water if you don’t have filtered water throughout the house. You can even put in a few drops of lavender oil for relaxation. This will help get magnesium into the system as well as detoxify the body. Make sure to rinse off in a luke-warn shower while draining the tub. Relax afterward and drink water that is not too cold.

For energy, mood management and nerve function B complex helps bring oxygen to cells, works closely with folic acid to make red blood cells, improve energy, and prevent anemia, memory loss, nerve damage, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Folic acid is usually deficient in fibromyalgia patients, this leads to depression and makes Prozac treatment less effective; which is a common antidepressant given to fibromyalgia patients. Coenzyme Q10 helps deliver oxygen to cells. To help with joint aches, anti-inflammatory, and pain alfalfa, EPA, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and quercetin. As well as fiber, protein, zinc, pro and pre-biotics, GLA essential fatty acid, calcium, vitamin D, bioflavonoids, and lecithin for cognitive function.

Eat small nutritious meals, take supplements, allow yourself many breaks, stretch often, apply hot and/or cold packs, do relaxation exercises, massage therapy, seek out a group who knows what you’re going through. While there is no single cure or treatment for fibromyalgia, treatment of the symptoms can go a long way in finding relief. Not too long ago fibromyalgia was thought of as something in people’s heads, now there is a path to treatment. More studies are being done and soon maybe a single cause can be found and treated.

What Supplements Are Safe?

Think about the supplements in the grocery stores; they have rows with enticing prices and odd labels. But where do these supplements come from? Who is responsible for the quality control? When it comes to grocery store supplements the answer is more muddled than it should be. Taking a closer look at the companies and what kind of quality control they use is one way to make sure you know what you are buying. Here is yet another great thought provoking message from Dr. Stephen Chaney. (Tips from The Professor: Who’s Testing Your Supplements?)

It’s so tempting…

You’ve been getting your supplements from a company that you know and trust – a company that does clinical studies on their products and performs rigorous quality controls.

You know their products are pure, safe and effective

BUT…

You’re shopping in your favorite drug store or discount store and you see the same supplements for just a couple of dollars!

You can’t help thinking…

“Wow! Here’s the same stuff I’ve been taking for a lot less money”…”Why not save my money?”…”They must have run some quality control tests on their products”…

“After all, how bad can they be?”

The answer is – pretty bad!

The events of 2010 illustrate just how bad.

On March 2nd, 2010 the makers and sellers of fish oil supplements were sued by the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation in California for not telling consumers that their products contained toxic levels of PCBs.

Toxic chemical–PCBs

It is amusing and somewhat scary that the FDA did not initiate this action and force the manufacturers to take their contaminated products off the shelves. Instead an environmental consumers group had to sue them for not including PCBs on the label! They sued them under California proposition 65 which requires a warning label whenever a product contains toxic ingredients.

 The defendants in this lawsuit were Omega Protein, a Houston-based company that is the world’s largest producer of omega-3 fish oil, and the many companies that they produced fish oil for – companies like Rite Aid, CVS, GNC, Now Health Group, Pharmavite, Solgar and Twinlab.

And those aren’t the only ones. The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation only tested 10 omega-3 supplements manufactured by Omega Protein to date and have found PCBs in all of them. They plan to continue testing and to add other companies to the lawsuit if their products are also contaminated.

Even scarier is that many of labels on these products said that the omega-3 supplement was treated to reduce or remove PCBs. As a consumer you were lead to believe that they were safe! The bottom line is that the manufacturer probably didn’t test for PCBs and neither did the companies selling their omega-3 supplements to the consumer. The alternative – that they tested the products, knew that they were contaminated with PCBs and sold them to the public anyway – is even worse.

Salmonella Poisoning

As if that weren’t scary enough the FDA announced a massive recall of products containing textured vegetable protein manufactured by a company called Basic Food Flavors because of salmonella contamination.

The problem is that there are at least 56 different kinds of consumer products containing this company’s textured vegetable protein – including salad dressings, dips, packaged snacks, potato chips and soup mixes (Who knew that salad dressings contained textured vegetable protein?). That means that this recall will be huge. It will affect many foods that most people buy and use every day. Once again, the problem is that neither the manufacturer nor the companies using the textured vegetable protein had run the basic quality control assays that would have detected salmonella contamination.

So what can you do as a consumer? Here are some recommendations:

1) Get your supplements from an established company with a reputation for quality and integrity. It is recommended choosing a company that has been around for a number of years so that you know that their reputation is based on their track record over the years rather than just on hype.

2) Make sure that they run rigorous quality controls on their products. It  is recommended choosing a company that requires pharmaceutical grade quality controls on their products.

3) Make sure that they have published clinical studies on their products that prove both safety and effectiveness. Again it would recommend choosing a company that has many published clinical studies on their products rather than just one or two.

 

Not all supplements are created equal!

Knowing what is in your dietary supplements is just as important as the supplement you take. In the news today there are scares about the safety of many dietary supplements on the store shelves especially with omega-3 fish oils; how do you avoid being caught up in the mayhem?

As the case of fish oil supplements above and other “natural” products have caused many people to stop and wonder what they are buying. The grocery and food store supplements boast low prices but what are you really getting for that lower cost? Mostly nothing at all! The active ingredients in most are of low quality and strength or the pill’s delivery system does not allow it to dissolve in the body properly.

Calcium supplements bought in the store come out looking like they did going in; not one thing was done for your body. Supplements on those shelves do not necessarily do either what they claim or what you think they may do by virtue of their name. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant and you expect that all vitamin E tablets and nutrition would be the same; this could be said with any specific vitamin or mineral. This is just not the case.

The truth is not all supplements are created equal. Quality control and testing are different from company to company. While there are federal and moral standards in place it seems that bad products still get through to store shelves. It seems quality control is not a major priority for most of the companies who sell these products; if they would have tested their products then they would have known of the high levels of PCBs.

It seems that in the fish-oil supplement cases, the manufacturer did NOT test their own products before putting them in their bottles and allowing them to be sold. This begs another question; why has the FDA, who has all the laws in place giving them the power to prevent this from happening, allowed these products to be put on the shelves to begin with?

Shaklee supplement label–you can trust everything write there!

Finding a company who prides themselves upon quality control and testing for their products is the only way to ensure that you are getting and can trust everything printed on the bottle. Companies and products with patents means that no other company can use the exact same ingredients in the exact same concentration or mixture; which means that one product could have better reliability than others that claim either the same thing or something similar.

We see this all the time with generic brands. Using some generic brands of pain relievers and other medications are just fine and as good as the name brand. When dealing with other products however, a lesser company cannot possibly put in all the effective ingredients as the original, especially if that original company has a patent.

What does this mean for Shaklee users? You can be assured that what you see and read on the label is what you get. Shaklee goes to the extreme for quality control and testing, going so far as to bring in third party testing laboratories and getting patents on their products.

“Harmony with nature” for over 50 years

 

There is no other company goes through so much to be so effective. This is second nature to Shaklee; inspired by the founder of the company, Dr. Shaklee, to be in harmony with nature in everything they do. What is even better yet is that they do not stop at one milestone; they keep going and have been doing so for over 50 years.

Dietary supplement safety and environmental protection are the core beliefs behind every Shaklee product. That is why unlike so many other companies, Shaklee offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Bottom line is that you can be comfortable with every Shaklee product you bring into your home to be as effective and powerful as the bottle says. Shaklee has published in many peer reviewed journals and other publications and have been confident enough to send their products to third party testers to be sure of their results. Plus, they do not hesitate to announce it.

Good news should be spread. And Shaklee is the best news of all for those looking for a safe reputable dietary supplement among their other many outstanding products.

Why is beta-carotene so important?

Beta-carotene is a member of over 380 compounds called carotenoids. Carotenoids help give the distinctive deep-colour vegetables their colours. These dark coloured vegetables are the main focus of our antioxidant investigation.

Beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A (which is retinol) in the body as the body needs it; so beta-carotene is pre-vitamin A. Beta-carotene intake is measured in two ways, by International Units (IU) or milligrams (mg). One milligram is equal to 1,666 IU. While vitamin A can be toxic in large amounts, beta-carotene is not, even at high levels. Because of this, it is the ideal vitamin A supplement. Besides being a safe storage form of vitamin A, beta-carotene has other very powerful protective effects on the body.

As a free radical fighter beta-carotene goes after a couple of free radicals for which no enzyme system exists. It is also unique in that it is not destroyed or made inactive when it quenches a free radical. It is also very effective at interrupting oxidant chain reactions spreading from one molecule to another.

Vitamin A is important for immune systems because it keeps skin and mucous membrane cells healthy and moist. Membranes that are healthy stay moist and resistant to cell damage. The moistness inhibits bacteria and viruses from replicating and starting infectious diseases. Healthy cells are also resistant to cancer. This makes it ideal in treating deficiency syndromes.

Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant by helping to protect our cells by supporting skin-cell turnover; the process that keeps cell growth and development running efficiently. Without enough A, skin becomes dry, tough, and scaly. It also helps the health of our eyes, improves night vision and prevents night blindness, promotes formation of strong bones, guards against bacterial, parasitic and viral infections, keeps skin healthy and smooth, guards against heart disease, stroke and lowers blood pressure.

Many researchers believe most people are so deficient in beta-carotene they recommend increasing the foods that contain a lot of beta-carotene as well as taking a supplement. To show that there is no danger of overdose here are some facts. People with a skin disease call porphyria, sensitivity to light, require up to 500,000 IU a day. Children with this disorder have taken up to 100,000 IU a day for years with no adverse effects. You will know if you are getting too much; your skin, especially the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, will turn orange-brown colour. Once the amount is cut back skin returns to normal.

Finding ways to incorporate beta-carotene into your normal everyday foods can be fun and tasty. Pumpkin is one delicious way to get vitamin A into your diet. Just ½ cup of canned pumpkin has more than 16 milligrams of beta carotene, 160%-260% of the daily amount recommended by experts. Other top sources of beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, winter squash, broccoli, apricots, spinach, collard greens, red peppers and blueberries. Kale is another green that cannot be ignored, along with spinach, broccoli and collard greens, it is chock full of zeaxanthin and lutein two powerful antioxidants that help protect against cataracts, retinal disease and damage, and macular degeneration do to age.

 

Try an apricot, cantaloupe and blueberry salad. Add red peppers or roasted red peppers to broccoli for a nice kick. Use spinach and collard greens with onions and garlic and cook up with ground meat to use in any number of dishes from tacos to meatballs. Make healthy cooking fun by experimenting with different vegetables, herbs and spices. Make a “greens” salad with the kale, spinach and collard greens and season it lightly with healthy vinegrettes and a few spices instead of a regular iceberg lettuce salad. Above all take a great beta-carotene supplement along with the change in diet.

By changing the way we eat, what we take and how we prioritize nutrition we can give our bodies the fuel to fight all kinds of diseases and sicknesses. Talk with your doctor about where your health stands now and what your problems are. A little research should help you get a picture of what deficiencies certain vitamins and minerals help. Start eating creatively, get some exercise.  Do this now and make the change. Keep a journal of how you feel over the next year or two to see what improvements you experience. Plus, taking CarotoMax now will give you the carotenoids you need to fight whatever comes later.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get Good Sleep?

Getting enough sleep is as important as eating a good diet, drinking plenty of water and exercising. When we don’t get enough sleep (or get too much) our bodies suffer along with our minds. “Enough sleep” is generally accepted to be 6 to 8 hours every night, but some people feel fine on as little as five hours a night, while others need as much as 9 or 10 in order to feel at their best. When we are sick or stressed out, we tend to need more sleep.

Our sleep patterns are dictated by our circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in your environment. The term circadian comes from Latin words that literally mean around the day, this is what drives the body’s clock and are important in determining human sleep patterns.

The body’s master clock controls the production of melatonin, a hormone and antioxidant that makes you sleepy. Melatonin also helps dictate sleep-wake cycles, cell regeneration, hormone production and release, patterns of brain wave activity, body temperature and other important bodily functions linked to this 24-hour cycle. When circadian rhythms are interrupted your body makes less melatonin which means your body’s ability to fight free radicals is lessened.

When your body can’t repair itself because you haven’t been able to rest, stress related health problems can become major issues. These can include heart disease, stomach ulcers, constipation or depression and mood disorders among other things.

Sleep Deprivation Symptoms

Sleep deprivation can cause serious effects on health. Poor sleep contributes to a weakened immune system, accelerated tumor growth, can cause a “pre-diabetic” state making you feel hungry when you shouldn’t be which can lead to weight gain, impaired memory, decreased mental and physical performance and decreased problem solving abilities.

Symptoms of sleep deprivation can include:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Feeling tired when you wake up
  • Stress, anxiety and/or depression
  • Changes in appetite
  • Obesity
  • Driver Fatigue
  • Slow mental performance
  • Reduced motor skills
  • Mood swings
  • Weakened immune system and frequent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Digestion problems
  • Hormonal imbalance

Sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep and during certain types of exercise. Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger.

Lost sleep is lost forever, and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health. Poor sleep can make your life miserable, as most of you probably know. One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause.

Sleep deprivation can even cause changes in your brain activity similar to those experienced by people with psychiatric disorders, and your body does most of its repairs during sleep, so not getting enough of it can weaken your immune system, leaving you less able to fight off diseases of ALL kinds.

According to Science Daily in an article published February 2, 2008, one of the largest epidemiologic studies of insomnia among adolescents ever conducted has revealed that youths with insomnia, especially chronic insomnia, are at greater risk of future somatic and psychological problems.

The study collected data from more than 4,000 youths between 11 and 17 years of age, with a follow-up one year later on more than 3,000 of them. Almost 14 percent suffered from one or more symptoms of insomnia, and almost half of those had chronic insomnia.

Among those who suffered from insomnia, there was a link to both somatic and psychological dysfunctions. The link to psychological dysfunction was particularly strong.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association lack of sleep can make other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, gastrointestinal tract disorders, kidney disease, and behavioral problems in children worse.

Some Herbs and Tips on how to get good sleep

Optimizing Your Sleep Sanctuary

1.  Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep.

This will help decrease your risk of cancer since your body’s antioxidant power is working to repair the day’s damage.  Close your bedroom door, and get rid of night-lights. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night as best you can, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your clock radio. Cover your windows, try using blackout shades or drapes.

Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock.

Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for ACTION.

2.  Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 25 degrees C. Many people keep their homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 15 to 20 degrees. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.

When you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.

3.  Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). It sounds kind of sci-fi, but these can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well.

To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, or hire someone to do it for you. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house. Not sure if this is totally necessary, but even unplugging unused devices and keeping your alarm clock at the foot of the bed can help.

4.  Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. Remove the clock from view. It will only add to your worry when you stare at it all night… 2 a.m. …3 a.m. … 4:30 a.m.

5.  Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary. A sun alarm clock is a good way to wake up each morning if you can’t wake up with the REAL sun.

They combine the features of a traditional alarm clock (digital display, AM/FM radio, beeper, snooze button, etc) with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity, these clocks simulate a natural sunrise. Some even include a sunset feature where the light fades to darkness over time, which is ideal for anyone who has trouble falling asleep.

6.  Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

7.  If you sleep with a constant snorer or mover, consider separate bedrooms. Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores. If bedfellows are consistently interfering with your sleep, you may want to consider a separate bedroom.

Preparing for Bed

8.  Get to bed as early as possible. Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver, which can further disrupt your health.

Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.

9.  Don’t change your bedtime. You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.

10.  Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, prayer, using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.

11.  Don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.

12.  Go to the bathroom right before bed. This will reduce the chances that you’ll wake up to go in the middle of the night.

13.  Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

14.  Eat a small piece of fruit along with the protein. This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.

15.  Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.

16.  Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed. Stick to baths if showers do more to wake you up than put you to sleep.

 17.  Wear socks to bed. Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. A study has shown that wearing socks reduces night waking. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.

18.  Wear an eye mask to block out light. As discussed earlier, it is very important to sleep in as close to complete darkness as possible. That said, it’s not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains, blinds or drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different schedule than you do). In these cases, an eye mask can be helpful.

19.  Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more). This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow’s deadlines.

20.  No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even completely out of the house. It’s too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function.

21.  Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD. Another favorite is the Sleep Harmony CD, which uses a combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall into deep delta sleep within minutes. The CD works on the principle of “sleep wave entrainment” to assist your brain in gearing down for sleep.

22.  Read something spiritual or uplifting. This may help you relax. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might be tempted to go on reading for hours, instead of going to sleep!

23.  Journaling. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. Try doing it in the morning when the brain is functioning at its peak and cortisol levels are high.

Changes in Your Lifestyle that Can Help You Sleep

24.  Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep. In most cases, the condition causing the drugs to be taken in the first place can be addressed by following the health guidelines. Many people are starting to talk about drugs and their side effects on forums, chat rooms and other places. It’s best to learn as much as you can about each drug, its side effects and what the root cause may be that could be relieved through nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

 25.  Avoid caffeine. At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (for example, diet pills).

26.  Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.

27.  Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don’t exercises too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.

28.  Lose excess weight. Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can seriously impair your sleep.

29.  Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurized dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, and other problems.

30.  Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician. Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.

31.  If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician. The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed.

Other Natural Ways to Improve Sleep

32.  Dr. Mercola’s current favorite fix for insomnia is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Most people can learn the basics of this gentle tapping technique in a few minutes. EFT can help balance your body’s bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to your insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long lasting and improvement is remarkably rapid.

33.  Increase your melatonin. Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night.


34.  Natural supplements. Calcium, magnesium, B-complex, vitamin D, omega 3s which help reduce inflamation, a good multivitamin, Valerian, German chamomile and passion flower are just a few of the ways you can help your body be better equipped to have a good night’s sleep.

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