3 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Man Awake In Bed Suffering With InsomniaSleep. For some of us, it can be painfully elusive.

The problem is that the more we chase sleep, the harder it can be to catch a few ZZZs.

Why?

It’s because lack of sleep stresses our bodies, and stress can interfere with falling asleep or staying asleep.

It’s a frustrating cycle, to say the least.

Regardless of whether you experience frequent bouts of insomnia or an occasional toss-and-turn night, there is hope.

Here are three of our best tips for getting the restorative sleep you need to thrive.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

For most adults, 6-8 hours of sleep is optimal. According to the National Sleep Foundation, so many of us suffer from sleep debt that we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be well rested.

There’s more.

The National Sleep Foundation offers some insights to determine if you’re sleep deprived. Ask yourself these questions:

• Do you need caffeine to get you going and to keep you going during the day?
• Are you drowsy while driving?
• Do you need nine or more hours of sleep to feel refreshed?

If you nodded in agreement to any of the questions listed above, it’s likely you’re not getting quality sleep.

Tips for a Good Night’s Rest

Falling asleep or staying asleep can be accomplished by making some simple lifestyle changes. Here are three effective strategies for busting through your sleep debt.

Exercise. No, you don’t necessarily have to be a workout warrior, but you do have to get moving.

Try going for a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes at least three times a week. For menopausal women, exercising a minimum of three and-a-half hours a week will dramatically improve their quality of sleep.

It’s important, however, to strategically schedule your workouts. Early morning workouts are optimal for your circadian rhythm, while exercising too close to bedtime may actually stimulate you and keep you awake.

Think of your circadian rhythm as your body’s time cue. Because sunlight may enhance melatonin production – the hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycles – it’s a good idea to absorb as much natural sunlight as possible.

If you can’t get out in the sun, arrange your office so that your body can benefit from the sun’s rays as you work. Studies have shown that people who work in sun-lit offices often experience more restful sleep than their co-workers who are hidden away from the sun’s rays.

Eat a balanced diet. You’ll want to eat a balanced diet to promote healthy sleep patterns. Cut down on caffeine consumption, particularly close to bedtime.

Dr. Richard DiCenso suggests that you follow a diet similar to the Mediterranean Diet. It’s important to consume meals with a good mix of fluids, antioxidants, and free radical scavengers (such as leafy, nutrient-dense greens and deep-colored berries).

Take time to wind down. Regardless of how busy your life may get during the day, taking as little as 3-5 minutes at night – before bedtime – to embrace solitude and quiet can go a long way toward falling asleep.

Pray. Meditate. Contemplate. Do what helps you to synchronize your body with your circadian rhythms and to drain away the stress. Over time, this quiet time will be your body’s signal that rest is on its way.

The MAP Can Shine Light on the Cause of Your Sleep Debt

The MAP can alert you to health issues that interfere with your circadian rhythm. The MAP is a non-evasive process that provides a laser focus into what’s really happening inside your body.

With that information, you’ll get a personalized recommendations to take control of your health.

Here’s the good news….

The MAP works, regardless of age, ethnicity, and genetics.

There’s more.

The MAP is an overall assessment of your biological environment that uncovers the root cause of all of your chronic health conditions.

If you’d like to learn more about The MAP and arrange for your own private diagnostic evaluation, enter your first name and e-mail address in the field on the right-hand side of this page. We’ll register you to attend our next webinar and show you how The MAP can help you create a personalized road map to wellness.

Health Risks of Metal Toxicity

Health Risks of Metal ToxicityUnless you work at a construction site or in an industrial plant, you may not give much thought to heavy metals. However, you may be exposed to more metal than you realize. When your exposure becomes acute or chronic, your health may be affected.

More on that in a moment….

Here are a few places where you may come in contact with heavy metals:

• Working at a site where heavy metals are present
• Living near or working in an industrial plant that uses or produces metals
• Exposure to lead-based paint
• Drinking well water that contains arsenic
• Eating fish that contain high levels of mercury
• Inhabiting a home that contains arsenic in the wood
• Exposure to pesticides

Keep in mind that we’re exposed to metal every day. In fact, our bodies need trace amounts of certain metals to thrive. That’s why limited exposure is not likely to cause illness or disease. However, when metals build up in our bodies, they can cause harm to our health.

Commercial products, food, water, medicine, improperly coated food containers, and air pollution can contain metal. It’s impossible to avoid exposure. That’s why it’s a good idea to be aware of your surroundings as well as the symptoms of metal toxicity.

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The MAP Testing Process

The MAP Testing ProcessIf you’re like many of our readers, you know The MAP delivers personalized recommendations for optimal health and wellness; however, you may not know the process we use to get your results.

Here’s how it works. Once you send your test kit to Optimal Wellness Labs, we follow these procedures to develop your protocol.

Biological Fluids and The MAP Process

Biological fluids (urine and saliva) are used as indicators of compromises in the biological environment.

Built into The MAP software is a mathematical algorithm. This algorithm interprets the blood findings based on what is seen in the urine and saliva, measured in increments of .01.

This is where the science delves deeply into your biological environment.

Every .01 deviation from what is considered normal represents the presence or absence of 6 billion molecules. We look at different aspects of the actual evaluation results, which are comprised of an assortment of numbers.

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Facts about Basal Cell Carcinoma

Facts about Basal Cell CarcinomaCancer. It’s that dreaded diagnosis no one ever wants to receive during an exam.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common cancer in the United States is skin cancer. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is its most prevalent form.

How do you get Basal Cell Carcinoma?

BCC affects men twice as often as women and is most common in individuals over the age of 40.

There are many factors that contribute BCC. Here are a few.

• Tanning Beds
• Long-term sun exposure throughout one’s life
• Intensive, short-term sun exposure resulting in sunburn

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How Food Intolerance becomes the REAL Cause of Weight Gain

Here’s a question for you: If you wanted to be your leanest, fittest self and follow the healthiest diet in the world, what would you eat?

You’re probably thinking egg-white veggie omelets, maybe some Greek-style nonfat yogurt, low-calorie whey protein shakes, and perhaps a soy-based veggie burger on a whole-grain bun.

Here’s the real bummer: These so-called healthy foods could be holding your health and your weight hostage.

Sadly, you might be eating these and other foods regularly. You probably don’t even like some of them and only choose them because you are “supposed to.”

How disappointing to discover you’re doing everything “right” yet nothing is working!  The scale won’t budge, your pants won’t zip, and you frequently feel tired, moody, and achy.
The Virgin Diet
According to my good friend, Celebrity Nutrition and Fitness Expert JJ Virgin, foods you think are healthy could be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. She says food intolerances become the hidden source of weight loss resistance for many people.

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Caffeine and Estrogen Imbalance

Caffeine and Estrogen ImbalanceDo you kick-start your day with a hot cup of coffee? Perhaps you indulge in tea, soda, or energy drinks instead.

Unfortunately, that caffeine kick you crave to get through the day may be wreaking havoc on your estrogen levels.

Here’s how.

The Caffeine/Estrogen Connection

Estrogen plays a number of roles in women’s bodies, particularly sexual and reproductive health. Estrogen also promotes breast cancer tumor growth, which is why lowering estrogen levels or blocking estrogen production is often used to prevent or slow cancer reappearance post-surgery.

Additionally, estrogen prevents bone loss. When combined with calcium, vitamin D, and other hormones and minerals, estrogen builds strong bones.

There’s more:

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5 Flu Shot Myths

5 Flu Shot MythsIt’s flu season again, and if you haven’t been immunized you’ll want to do so soon. Unfortunately, thousands of people will get the flu this year because they’re hesitant to get the flu shot.

Listen, it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction about the flu vaccine, especially if the same myths are perpetuated year after year.

However, we’re here to clear the confusion. Here are five common flu shot myths and the truth behind them.

MYTH #1: The flu shot causes the flu. This is the biggest misconception that won’t go away.

Because flu shots are comprised of an inactivated virus, it is scientifically impossible to get the flu. Keep in mind, however, that it takes approximately two weeks for your body to develop immunity to influenza after receiving the vaccine, so you can still get sick during that time if exposed to someone who is infected.

MYTH #2: Flu shots are ineffective. Not true.

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Is Cortisol to Blame for Your Weight Gain?

Is Cortisol to Blame for Your Weight Gain?One of the most common health obstacles we face is keeping our weight in check. You already know that you should eat a healthy diet and exercise, but it’s possible there’s more to your weight gain than calories consumed. Cortisol may be to blame.

Cortisol is the hormone that regulates blood sugar and provides energy so we can get moving. It’s important to understand that cortisol levels fluctuate; therefore, having too much or too little can wreak havoc with our health.

Did you know that high levels of stress can lead to weight gain? Many of us eat “comfort food” to assuage stress, but stress also contributes to higher levels of cortisol. In turn, higher levels of cortisol play a key role in unhealthy food cravings and increased hunger. See the connection?

There’s more.

More cortisol means less testosterone in both men and women. When testosterone is reduced, you lose muscle. When you lose muscle, your body becomes less efficient at burning calories.

Also, cortisol can affect you at the cellular level. Fat cells contain an enzyme called HSD. HSD triggers cortisol, which causes fat cells to grow and store fat.

Signs of High Cortisol

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Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?Stress. It can wreak havoc with our bodies. However, did you know that stress can also lead to adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal gland does not function properly. Physical and emotional stress can precipitate this condition. Here’s how.

Stress disrupts the body’s systems and often interferes with healthy levels of cortisol and adrenaline. When these two hormones are out of balance, it throws your entire system off track.

The adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones, one of which is cortisol – the hormone responsible for handling stress. When your adrenal gland does not produce enough cortisol, adrenal fatigue may result.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

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5 Hormones That Are Critical to Good Health

5 Hormones That Are Critical to Good HealthThere are approximately 150 hormones in the human body. However, most of us can name only a few of them.

Many people jokingly refer to an adolescent’s emerging sexuality as “hormones” or a menopausal woman’s hot flashes as “hormones.” However, hormones are responsible for a lot more: a child’s growth, a woman’s reproduction, and – as they cease to function properly – hormones are related to the ageing process.

In essence, hormones perform critical life functions throughout our lives.

When hormones are not functioning at optimal levels, your body will not function at optimal levels. These naturally occurring chemicals in the body have a major effect on a variety of life processes. They are critical to good health.

Here are five essential hormones that you’ll want to keep in check.

Cortisol

If you’ve heard of the “fight or flight” response, you’re well aware of the function that cortisol plays in our lives. Cortisol is released when we experience stress. If you have low glucose levels, your body will release cortisol to increase blood sugar.

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