Get A Good Night’s Sleep – Naturally!

INSOMNIA plagues many of us. With some, it is chronic, with others it is a short term. There are many causes. Among these are stress, indigestion, mineral deficiency, vitamin deficiency, hormone imbalance, too much caffeine, blood sugar issues, prescription drugs, etc.
RESTLESS LEG syndrome is a common form of insomnia. In many cases, it is caused by a pH imbalance in the body and can be helped by supplementing a balanced calcium/magnesium formula. Other cases may be deficiency related and usually respond well to potassium, magnesium, iron or folic acid.
BLOOD SUGAR imbalances will make you wake up in the night and not be able to get back to sleep. If you can’t quit eating high glycemic foods (that is those that make your blood sugar high) in the evening, then take something to help manage your blood sugar and you will sleep better.
HORMONE IMBALANCES make women prone to insomnia around mid-life. A common problem is too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. Natural progesterone is a very calming hormone and many women find that insomnia along with other hormonal related problems will disappear with the use of natural progesterone cream. There are other supplements that help balance hormones while also helping balance insomnia.
STRESS can cause sleep problems. If you can’t eliminate the stress, take supplements that will help balance your body for negative effects of stress. Since stress is so common, see different recommendations below.
Support for the ADRENAL GLANDS will help. The adrenal glands are responsible for part of out stress response – sometimes they get stuck “on” and we can’t relax – or worse, we wake up in the night wide awake and can’t go back to sleep. Taking a supplement to strengthen the adrenal glands can help with both stress and sleep.
Phosphorylated B VITAMINS taken during the day, help reduce stress while at the same time giving an energy boost during the day. A symptom of this B vitamin deficiency is waking in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep.
Natural MOOD ENHANCERS such as St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP and SAM-e also work for better sleep. They regulate serotonin levels and help you feel less stressed during the day and sleep more soundly at night. All of these can be used for both mild depression and insomnia.
And, when you just NEED TO SLEEP, there are many great products. I like something called Total Calm – it works as the label says in the day, and promotes more restful sleep at night. Another favorite for sleep is PheniTropic. This product is relatively new – it works like GABA, but crosses the blood brain barrier. It helps with relaxation and sleep. There are so many combinations of Gaba, 5-HTP, Theanine,Valerian, Hops, Passion Flower, etc. that will help you sleep – find one that works for you.
Aromatherapy using LAVENDER OIL is another good sleep remedy. The smell is very soothing. You can use a few drops of the oil in a warm bath before bedtime or use the drops in a diffuser or on a cotton cloth placed under your pillow.
HERBAL TEAS with chamomile and passion flower are nice; however, if you are allergic to ragweed, stay away from chamomile since it belongs to the same family. All of the herbs in the teas come in capsules too. Again – find what works for you.
Last, but not least, MELATONIN is the hormone that sets the body clock. As we age, we produce less of it – so, it can be a great supplement for some people.
Good health begins with a GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP, so take something natural and get to sleep.

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Magnesium – Are You Deficient?

MAGNESIUM – If you have fatigue, headaches, hypertension, irregular or rapid heartbeat, cramps, muscle tics or twitches, constipation, feelings of despair, irritability, constant worry, nervousness, a feeling of constant stress, bone weakness, PMS, chest pains or insomnia, you could be deficient in magnesium.
MAGNESIUM is a mineral that is often overlooked, particularly in terms of bone health. Conventional thought considers calcium the most important mineral for bone health. However, the United States has one of the highest intakes of dietary calcium and still suffers one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world.
Most people at risk for OSTEOPOROSIS tend to be deficient in magnesium and tend to have diets low in magnesium and/or high in factors that deplete bone mineral stores. Dietary changes that include magnesium rich foods such as dark greens, raw almonds and pinto beans while limiting bone depleting items such as sodas, caffeine and sugar help to restore balance to the body’s mineral stores. Magnesium supplementation that does not include calcium for a short time (30 to 60 days) is also helpful.
While CALCIUM is necessary, the amount included in the average diet is 500 mg per day. Supplementation of only 500 to 700 mg per day is generally necessary to reach the ideal intake of 1000 to 1200 mg per day. With calcium intake at this level, it is best to balance magnesium intake proportionately. A ratio that preserves bone health is between 3 parts calcium to 2 parts magnesium, or 3:2 and 2 parts calcium to 3 parts magnesium, or 2:3. Dietary intake of magnesium is approximately 200 mg. per day. Supplement level necessary to reach the minimum 3:2 ratio would be 500 to 600 mg. per day of magnesium.
While most people aim just to preserve their bones, studies show that BONE DENSITY actually increases with a balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium. One specific study compared 2 groups – one that received dietary advice and another that received both dietary advice plus a supplement containing 600 mg. magnesium and 500 mg. calcium. The group with the supplement increased bone mass 11%, while the other group showed no significant gains. Other significant studies supplementing only magnesium (no calcium) resulted in bone density increases of 7% and 8%.
MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY actually prevents calcium from being deposited in the bones. It also impairs function of the major organs and systems including the kidneys, the adrenal glands, the heart, the brain, the digestive system and the muscles. Magnesium deficiency results in impaired nerve transmissions, restricts carbohydrate metabolism, inhibits the function of B vitamins, retards cell growth and slows the production of DNA.
SUPPLEMENTING with magnesium will help you relax and be less stressed while helping your whole body. If you have signs of magnesium deficiency, consider supplementing.

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Energy – Get More Now!

ENERGY, more commonly lack of energy, is one of the most frequent complaints that I hear. Unfortunately, there is not one pill, or one answer that applies to everyone.
Every cell in our body is ALIVE with electric energy that comes from the right balance of minerals, fluids, vitamins and other nutrients. If we don’t have the right balance of nutrients in our bodies, we don’t just shrivel up and die, we adapt. Our bodies have incredible wisdom in each cell that allows us to still function even without optimum fuel (nutrition).
Without the RIGHT NUTRIENTS, the body has to decide what absolutely has to run and what can wait until another time. Another common decision for the body is what to do with the stuff it just doesn’t have time to deal with or doesn’t recognize. The result of these decisions is the story of our personal health. It is affected by what we eat and drink, what kind of air we breathe, our thoughts, our emotions, and the stress in our everyday lives.
The BODY always does its best with the circumstances it has been given, usually it just needs some more favorable circumstances so it can function at its optimum level. Most commonly, a lack of energy is your body’s way of saying that it is overwhelmed. The trick is to figure out what is overwhelming it. Is it simply the commitments in your life such as work, parenting, chores, social obligations, etc.? Or is it diet and nutrition or a chronic health problem that needs attention? Or is it a combination of these things?
QUICK FIXES are sometimes possible. Supplements like Energy Plus, Adaptogen, or Adrenal Support will help support your body so it has more energy. It’s important to take a good multi-vitamin with these and if you are over 40, you may need a sublingual B12 too.
But there are SLOW FIXES too. Eating right for your body can have amazing results over time. Most people do not eat enough quality protein or enough vegetables. And most people consume too much sugar, caffeine, and refined carbohydrates. Balancing the diet has great long-lasting results. And it’s important to fill in nutritional gaps with a high-quality multi-vitamin.
With LACK OF ENERGY in the body, I have 2 basic questions in my mind. The first is to identify any deficiencies of essential nutrients that may be causing the body to malfunction. The second is to identify anything that needs to be eliminated from the body or from the diet so that balance can be restored. These may include non-beneficial foods, parasites, environmental toxins, etc.
LOW ENERGY is normally a COMBINATION of both of these questions. The answers vary individually, but usually lie in the nutritional realm. Natural ways to increase energy involve eating a healthy balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of rest and using herbs and vitamins to help rebalance the body.
A for another slow fix, consider HERBAL CLEANSES. They tend to help energy levels in the body as they help clear out any congestion in organs of elimination that may be bringing you energy level down. I am always amazed at how much better people feel after a whole body cleanse.
Anyone can be healthier and more ENERGETIC with a diet and lifestyle suited to the needs of their body.

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Time to Clean!

CLEANSING the body periodically is one of the tenets of natural health. The purpose of cleansing is to assist the body in eliminating harmful toxins which helps the body run more effectively and efficiently which translates to better health.
As adults, 80% of our ENERGY goes towards eliminating byproducts of normal metabolism from our bodies. Our bodies are actually very good at eliminating things that we don’t need; however, our modern diets with lots of refined and processed foods tend overwhelm our bodies and clog not just our arteries, but our livers, colons, lymph system and kidneys as well.
From a natural perspective, DEFICIENCY or CONGESTION are the underlying cause of most health problems. Congestion involves both overconsumption and reduced eliminative function. Many of our acute and chronic diseases result from clogged tissues, suffocated cells, and subsequent loss of vital energy. Frequent colds and flu’s, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and allergies are all consequences of congestive disorders.
CONGESTION occurs when we eat and/or drink more than our bodies can utilize and eliminate. I am not just referring to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. The standard American diet includes many foods that tend to be congesting such as fats, heavy meats, dairy products, refined foods and chemicals such as artificial sweeteners, preservatives, stabilizers, flavor enhancers, etc.
CONGESTION isn’t just the result of wrong foods and portions. Many of our habits interfere with digestion, overloading the body with food that cannot be metabolized and increasing our chances of toxicity or congestive overload. Things that interfere with digestion include inadequate chewing, eating too fast, drinking too much liquid with meals and eating when stressed. Another cause of poor digestion is drugs that lower production of stomach acid.
INTERNAL CLEANSING is the antidote to congestion. Cleaning our internal organs allows our body to eliminate what it doesn’t need and what it is too congested to eliminate without help. A clean body has more energy, sleeps better, thinks more clearly, digests and assimilates food efficiently, and has fewer health problems.
There are many METHODS of cleansing. One of the oldest is fasting. Herbal cleansing is another popular method. There many products available today that contain herbs for all of the major channels of elimination. I recommend cleaning the body at least twice per year. My favorite is a 30 day herbal cleanse. If you haven’t ever done an internal cleanse, try one. Your body will thank you.

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