Tuesday, October 30, 2012

If You Know What's Good For You ... (Part 11)


New Discoveries About How Gut Bacteria Can Have Profound Implications for Your Health
By Dr. Mercola
December 29, 2012
Your body is loaded with bacteria, of both good and bad varieties. In fact, about 100 trillion bacteria live inside you, which is more than 10 times the number of cells you have in your body! The ideal balance between these bacteria is about 85 percent "good" and 15 percent "bad". This ratio is one of the critical factors determining your health, as the good bacteria are essential for:
The proper development of your immune system
Protection against over-growth of other microorganisms that could cause disease
Digestion of food and absorption of nutrients
Influencing gene activity and expression
Fascinating Discovery: Bacteria are in Constant Communication with Each Other
In the featured video above, Bonnie Bassler with Princeton New Jersey, explains a radical discovery related to all these bacteria housed within your body.
It turns out that bacteria (both good and bad) have a very sophisticated way of communicating with each other, and once they receive the signal that their numbers are sufficient to carry out their genetic function, they launch into action as a synchronized unit.
This lets them both coordinate their defenses and/or mount attacks—a fact that has stunning implications for medicine. For example, new medicines that interfere with this line of communication between dangerous bacteria could provide a revolutionary new form of antibiotics.
Since bacteria are single-celled organisms, they have only one string of DNA. Hence they contain very few genes, which encode the traits they're supposed to carry out. The way bacteria multiply is by consuming nutrients from their environment, grow to twice their size, and then divide down the middle. We've known for some time that once bacteria reach a critical mass, they can overwhelm your immune system. But no one understood the mechanism behind it, until now...
How Bacteria Communicate
Researchers have discovered that bacteria communicate with each other using a chemical language called "quorum sensing." As it turns out, every type of bacteria make and secrete small molecules. When a bacterium is alone, these molecules simply float away. But when there's a large enough group of bacteria, these secreted molecules increase in proportion to the number of bacteria emitting them. When the molecules reach a certain amount, the bacteria can tell how many neighbors it has, and suddenly all the bacteria begin to act as a synchronized group, based on the group behavior programmed into its genes.
But that's not all. Not only do bacteria communicate in this way between their own species; they're all "multi-lingual," and can determine the presence and strength of other bacterial colonies!
Essentially, they can count how many of its own kind there are compared to the amount of another species. They then use that information to decide what tasks to carry out, depending on who's in a minority and who's in the majority of any given population of bacteria.
This information can have any number of implications for science and medicine. For example, they're already working on a new generation of antibiotics that can jam the sensing mechanism of a specific pathogen rather than killing it. They're also considering creating pro-quorum sensing drugs that can boost the communication between beneficial bacteria to make them operate more efficiently.

Optimizing Your Gut Flora is Crucial for Good Health

There may be far more complexity to this picture than what we're currently seeing. However, the finding is an intriguing one, and may lead to all sorts of new discoveries about how your body works to maintain optimal health. One thing is becoming quite evident however, and that is the importance of optimizing your intestinal flora.
Unfortunately, many are still unaware of the fact that the micro-organisms living in their digestive tracts form a very important "inner ecosystem" that influences countless aspects of health. More specifically, the type and quantity of organisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases, including mental health problems. This becomes easier to understand once you know that:
About 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, and Your gut quite literally functions as your second brain, as it is created of the same tissue. During fetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system while the other develops into your enteric nervous system. These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen.
So truly, your gut flora influences both physiology and psychology. As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (below), a medical doctor with a postgraduate degree in neurology, toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. She believes the epidemic of autism and other learning disorders originate in the gut, and manifest as a condition known as Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS).
GAPS can also stand for Gut and Physiology Syndrome, which is the title of her second book, which is currently being written. In both cases, the treatment is identical—"heal and seal" your gut, and continually feed it beneficial bacteria to maintain the ideal ratio of good and bad bacteria.
Why Children's Gut Flora Should Ideally Be Tested within Days of Birth

If your child has the metabolic characteristics of GAPS, they are predisposed to vaccine damage, and should therefore NOT be immunized until it has been reversed. In fact, Dr. Campbell-McBride's book Gut and Psychology Syndrome1 contains an entire chapter outlining what health care professionals need to do to improve the vaccination strategy, because the standard vaccination protocol is bound to damage GAPS babies.
Fortunately, it is possible to identify GAPS within the first weeks of your baby's life, which can help you make better informed decisions about vaccinations, and how to proceed to set your child on the path to a healthy life.
One of the KEY issues is to screen all children BEFORE they are immunized, and if they have the metabolic characteristics of GAPS, they should avoid inoculations until that is reversed. Dr. Campbell describes the entire process in, but in summary, the tests involve analyzing a stool sample to determine the state of your baby's gut flora, followed by a urine test to check for metabolites, which can give you a picture of the state of your child's immune system.
These non-invasive tests are available in most laboratories around the world, and typically run around $80-100 each in the US. This is pocket-change compared to the incredible expense of treating an autistic child once the damage is done... If you're pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or know someone who is, I can't recommend Dr. Campbell-McBride's book enough. You can also find more information on her website: www.GAPS.me, and on her blog at www.doctor-natasha.com.

Is Your Gut Flora Damaged?

Your gut bacteria are very vulnerable to your lifestyle. If you eat a lot of sugar and refined grains for instance, your gut bacteria are going to be compromised because sugar feeds bad bacteria and yeast. Your gut bacteria are also very sensitive to:It's really no wonder that poor gut health is more the norm than the exception these days, especially in the Western world. The good news though, is that you CAN optimize your bacterial population rather easily, and any damage to your intestines can also be reversed. Dr. Campbell-McBride's GAPS Nutritional Program is designed to heal and restore the integrity and function of your gut lining. I highly recommend it, particularly if you suffer from any form of autoimmunity- and inflammatory disease, such as:
Multiple sclerosis Type 1 diabetes Rheumatoid arthritis Osteoarthritis
Lupus Crohn's disease Ulcerative colitis Chronic skin conditions
Kidney problems Urinary conditions Allergic and atopic conditions Degenerative conditions
Chronic fatigue syndrome Fibromyalgia Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) Inflammatory bowel diseases
Certain Foods Naturally Promote Healthy Gut Flora
Probiotic supplements are widely available, and if you choose a high-quality version, they are very effective in helping to "reseed" your intestinal tract with good bacteria. Though I don't recommend taking excessive amounts of supplements, a high-quality probiotic is one of my exceptions. That said, long before the invention of the probiotic supplement, native peoples benefitted from probiotics by way of cultured or fermented foods, and these are fundamental part of any healthy diet.
Cultured foods like yogurt and fermented vegetables are excellent sources of natural, healthy bacteria, provided they are not pasteurized. The following video features Caroline Barringer, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), who is an expert in the preparation of the foods prescribed in Dr. Campbell-McBride's GAPS program. Here she discusses the process of fermenting your own vegetables—it's actually much easier than you might think, and taste great too!
Caroline recommends eating about a quarter to a half a cup of fermented vegetables, or cultured food such as raw yoghurt, per day. Kombucha, a fermented drink, is another great addition to your diet. The key is variety. The greater the variety of fermented and cultured foods you include in your diet, the better, as each food will inoculate your gut with a variety of different microorganisms. Examples of fermented and cultured foods include:
Yoghurt/Kefir made from raw milk   Kombucha Fermented vegetables, such as olives, pickles, sauerkraut and more Raw milk cheeses made from grass-fed milk
Miso Natto Tempeh Kimchee
Another oft-forgotten boon of fermented foods is that they are some of the best chelators available. The beneficial bacteria in these foods are very potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals from your body. According to Dr. Campbell-McBride, the GAPS Nutritional Protocol restores your own detoxification system in about 90 percent of people, and the fermented/cultured foods are instrumental in this self-healing process. If you eat them on a regular basis (ideally, daily) you will keep your digestive tract well supplied with good bacteria.
There may still be times when a probiotic supplement is necessary, such as when you stray from your healthy diet and consume excess grains or sugar, if you have to take antibiotics, when traveling to foreign countries or when eating at suspicious restaurants. But use the supplement as it's intended -- as a "supplement" to, not a replacement for, cultured foods.

Additional Resource

In addition to the wealth of information shared in the interview above,
www.Immunitrition.com is another helpful resource where you can learn more about cultured and fermented foods. If you're so inclined, you can also find information about how to become a Certified Healing Foods Specialist here.
Additionally, if for whatever reason you just don't have the time, effort, energy, ambition, motivation, or discipline to ferment your own foods, but you understand and appreciate the value of them, Caroline has a company that sells them. I used hers for a month before I started making my own. So, if you just want to put your toe in the water and see if you like them, you can order a jar or two and try them out. I feel very strongly that if we can catalyze a movement to get more people to implement this ancient dietary wisdom to their normal eating patterns, then we'll start seeing a radical change in health.

Nothing Natural About "Natural Flavor"
by David Richards
October 29, 2012
(left, "natural flavor with other natural flavors?")
"Natural" can mean they used a secretion from a Beaver's anal gland to construct the flavor...
For health conscious people, the modern supermarket is a minefield.
Food labels contain misleading language which trick us into eating toxic food.
A telling example is the food industry's Orwellian definition of 'Natural Flavouring'.
A 'natural' ingredient should be something produced by nature. Say, a natural flavouring in strawberry yoghurt should be made from strawberries. However, the food industry allows synthetic and dangerous chemicals to be defined as natural.
To qualify as 'natural', a flavour must only be derived from something natural. This can be everything from meat to tree bark, flowers to roots. This essence can then be put through all kinds of processes; oxidation, boiling and so forth, that completely alters it.
Eat up!
Here are a few examples of "natural" flavours:
Castoreum - made from a secretion from a Beaver's anal gland. Beaver's use this chemical to mark their territory. This chemical is processed and then used in a variety of products, including ice cream, candy and alcoholic drinks.
L- Cysteine - a common flavour enhancer made from either duck feathers or human hair. Most of the human hair variety is from Chinese women who sell it to factories to support their families.
No sane person would eat food with 'beaver's anal gland secretion' or 'the hair of impoverished Chinese women' listed on the ingredients. So how does the food industry get us to eat this stuff? They simply don't list the nasty ingredients!
The US Food and Drug Administration does not require food companies to disclose the ingredients of their flavour additives so long as the chemicals in them are considered by the agency to be GRAS ("generally recognized as safe.").
The FDA has been forcing cancer-causing GMO corn covertly on the American population for years. Do we trust their definition of 'safe'?
The FDA allows forms of MSG to be labelled as a natural flavour. MSG is proven to cause brain lesions, neurodegenerative disease and obesity.
Natural Flavours are even found in organic foods, because an organic product must only be 95% organic, meaning 5% can be a chemical cocktail.
Processed Food
Our supermarkets shelves are stacked with dead food.
Most food rots quickly, so companies have to find ways to preserve it. These include: boiling, freezing, mineral removal, pressurizing, dehydration and so forth. All these processes leech the taste out of food. So food companies add chemicals back in to make it taste real.
In his book Fast Food Nation, Eric Scholsser describes his visit to the IFF factory, the world's largest flavour company. The building contained dozens of laboratories, with men in white coats concocting every flavour imaginable.
IFF also manufactures perfume, deodorant, dishwashing detergent, shampoo, furniture polish and floor wax. The science involved in creating these products and food flavours is the same: the manipulation of volatile chemicals.
As Scholesser puts it, 'The basic science behind the scent of your shaving cream is the same as that governing the flavor of your TV dinner.'
For the most part we don't eat real food. We eat food simulacrums, low in nutrients and full of chemicals.
Is it any wonder so many people are sick?
Processed food is proven to cause cancer, depression and autoimmune diseases.
The food industry is monopolized by a few companies.
Bruce Bradley spent 15 years as a food marketer at big guns General Mills and Nabisco. The horrors of what he saw led him to quit his job and become an activist warning against the dangers of processed foods.
The trend he witnessed was clear: 'In response to Wall Street profit pressures and the growing power of retailers like Walmart, the food industry has undergone a tremendous wave of consolidation and cost cutting.'
A select group of multi-national food companies wield tremendous lobbying power. They have a pathological drive for profit and a total disregard for our health. They pay off government regulators, who allow them to poison us.
'As consumers' health concerns have increased, processed food manufacturers have become even more aggressive in making dubious health claims.'
Bradley explains that while processed food sells cheaply in stores, the overall price to society is very high.
'Over the long-term, you always get what you pay for. Cheap food is very expensive once you add up the true costs -- like the taxes you pay to subsidize Big Food companies, health consequences like obesity or diabetes, the devastating harm to our environment, and the inhumane treatment of animals raised within the industrialized food system.'
Clearly, we need to boycott the big food corporations.
To get us to eat their toxic products, the food industry has turned food labels into a foreign language.
Who gave them the right to re-define the word natural? How dare they CORRUPT the English language.
Almost every food product on the shelves contains artificial chemicals, many of which are known to cause disease.
When mega food corporations are in bed with government regulators, the result is legalized murder.
Castoreum - http://gentleworld.org/the-gross-truth-about-natural-flavors/ [see below]
L-Cysteine - hair of Chinese women http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-disgusting-ingredients-youve-probably-eaten-today.php
FDA promote GMOs http://www.gmfreecymru.org/pivotal_papers/revealed.htm
MSG is a natural flavour - http://www.naturalnews.com/036308_natural_flavors_MSG_aspartame.html
Organic foods can contain toxic additives - http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/what-is-natural-flavor.html
Processed food is dead - http://www.alsearsmd.com/naturals-dirty-little-secrets/
Processed food causes:
1. Cancer http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors/
2. Depression - http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505269_162-57410808/too-much-junk-food-can-lead-to-depression-study/
3. http://www.remedypsoriasis.com/the-causes-of-autoimmune-diseases/
Bruce Bradley - http://grist.org/food/2011-11-02-confessions-of-a-big-food-executive/
Natural Flavors & Castoreum
by Angel Flinn
Natural Flavors…
The name sounds innocent enough, but these mild-sounding words are used by the food industry as an umbrella term for some pretty horrible stuff, including certain ingredients that come from extreme animal abuse.
The exact definition of natural flavors from the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
When the phrase ‘natural flavors’ appears on a package, the best move is to call the company and find out what the flavors are actually made from. Of course, I say this assuming that we’re all the kind of people who would be horrified to find out that we might have come close to ingesting fluid from the sex glands of beavers.
Think that sounds absurd? Then you must not have heard of castoreum, which is “used extensively in perfumery and has been added to food as a flavor ingredient for at least 80 years.”
Castoreum is a bitter, orange-brown, odoriferous, oily secretion, found in two sacs between the anus and the external genitals of beavers. The discharge of the castor sac is combined with the beaver’s urine, and used during scent marking of territory. Both male and female beavers possess a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands located in two cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail.
Castoreum is a product of the trapping industry. When beavers are skinned for their fur, these glands are taken out, and are sold after being smoked or sun-dried to prevent putrefaction…
Well, that’s a relief.
The European Beaver was hunted to near extinction, both for fur and for castoreum, which was also believed to have medicinal properties. The North American beaver population was once more than 60 million, but as of 1988 was 6–12 million, largely due to extensive hunting and trapping. Although sources report that beaver populations have now recovered to a stable level, some experts say that today’s American beaver population is only 5 percent of what it was when Europeans first settled in North America.
Castoreum is used in “high class” perfumery for “refined leathery nuances.” It is also reportedly used in some incense, and to contribute to the flavor and odor of cigarettes. In food, castoreum is used to flavor candies, drinks, and desserts such as puddings.
Grossed out? Horrified that humans think nothing of killing innocent beings so we can dress ourselves in their fur and flavor our candies with their secretions? I have a solution for you: Go vegan – really vegan. Don’t use cosmetics that are made using animal products, read the ingredients on food packages, call customer support when you see those scary words, ‘natural flavors’, and guess what? You’ll never eat anyone’s anal fluid again.
Want a Good Night's Sleep? Then Never Do These Things Before Bed
By Dr. Mercola
October 02, 2010
Sleep is one of the great mysteries of life. Like gravity or the quantum field, we still don't understand exactly why we sleep—although we are learning more about it every day.
We do know, however, that good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health.
Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health.
Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on your health.
For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:
Dramatically weaken your immune system
Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions
Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you've already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight
Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep—meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day
Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability
When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin (a hormone AND an antioxidant) and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.
Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders, including:
Heart disease
Stomach ulcers
Mood disorders like depression
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, such as Peak Fitness Technique). Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger.
One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause.
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.
The good news is, there are many natural techniques you can learn to restore your "sleep health."
Whether you have difficulty falling asleep, waking up too often, or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning—or maybe you simply want to improve the quality of your sleep—you are bound to find some relief from my tips and tricks below.
**If you are interested in more information about sleep or any of the 33 items listed, I invite you to delve into the links that follow, which are grouped by subject.

Optimizing Your Sleep Sanctuary
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. Close your bedroom door, and get rid of night-lights. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your clock radio. Cover your windows—I recommend using blackout shades or drapes.

All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. 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.
Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F
. 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 60 to 68 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.
Check your bedroom for
electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). 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, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house.
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.
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. I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock, an alarm that combines 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, simulating sunrise.
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.
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
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.
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.
Establish a bedtime routine.
This could include meditation, deep breathing, 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.
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.
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.
Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed
. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.
Also eat a small piece of fruit
. This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.
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.
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.
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 to bed reduces night waking. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful to keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. Personally, I have been doing this for 15 years, but prefer to do it in the morning when my brain is functioning at its peak and my cortisol levels are high.
Lifestyle Suggestions That Enhance Sleep

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 guidelines elsewhere on my web site.
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).
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.
Make certain you are exercising regularly.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don't exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.
Lose excess weight
. Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can seriously impair your sleep. Please refer to my nutrition plan forrecommendations.
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.
Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician
. Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.
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.
If All Else Fails
My 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.
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. If that isn't possible, you may want to consider a melatonin supplement. In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue. Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep.
Also See:
If You Know What's Good For You ...
(Part 1)
19 February 2009
(Part 2)
01 August 2009
(Part 3)
02 March 2010
(Part 4)
28 September 2010
(Part 5)
15 March 2011
(Part 6)
20 July 2011
(Part 7)
09 October 2011
(Part 8)
12 December 2011
(Part 9)
09 March 2012
(Part 10)
12 July 2012
Vitamins, Genetic Food, Health
03 April 2007
FDA - Drugs, Vaccines & Vitamin Supplements
(Part 1)
07 July 2008
How Safe Is Our Food?
(Part 1)
06 December 2008
(Part 2)
26 March 2009
Genetic Manipulated Foods Are Not Healthy!
24 May 2009
Losing Weight - Are Diets Detrimental to Health?
16 September 2010
No More Floride in the Water - Waterloo, Ontario
08 November 2010
Why is Fluoride in Our Water?
09 January 2011
Medication Errors are a Major Killer!
(Part 1)
04 February 2011
Can't Sleep? There is Help!
08 February 2011
Avoid Chemotherapy and Radiation!
19 November 2011