Tag Archives: sleep

For Long Term Health, Make Sleep a Priority

SleepPriorityJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

As it is estimated that 50 –70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, it’s safe to say that many of us know how exactly how it feels to lose a night or two of sleep. In the short term, inadequate sleep can impair judgment and mental clarity, and negatively affect efficiency, mood, and physical safety. In the long term, sleep loss and sleep disorders have a profound effect on human health. The price we pay for insufficient sleep is an increased risk of chronic disease, overall poor health, and even early mortality. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences, including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke.

Is there an amount of sleep that is considered ideal? While the general recommendation for adults is to strive for seven to eight hours nightly, sleep needs are individual and vary by age, lifestyle and state of health. In other words, infants, toddlers, children and teens require more sleep than adults and the elderly may require less. And then there are those who proclaim that the need for continuous seven to eight hour nightly sleep is a myth and that there are underexplored variations of daily sleep, such as shorter sleep/wake cycles with naps in between, similar to our how our ancestors lived before the advent of electricity. However, it’s believed that only about three percent of the population can get by with just a few hours of nightly sleep without experiencing ill effects. While it’s well documented that short naps are beneficial, many of us don’t have the luxury of time to indulge in them.

History tells us that sleep patterns change, although our need for sleep does not. From the ancient Greeks and Romans who worshipped powerful sleep deities, to Aristotle who concluded that sleep was a time of physical renewal, to King Louis XIV who held court while reclining in one of his many beds, to Napoleon Bonaparte who prescribed “six hours of sleep for a man, seven for a woman and eight for a fool,“ to the present day advice, sleep has been a necessary part of life since the dawn on time. While Aristotle may have believed the “seat of consciousness resided in the heart, and that sleep was a direct result of warm vapors rising from the stomach during digestion,” we now know that sleep is a highly active process during which the day’s events are processed, memories are stored, the body is rejuvenated and energy is restored.

According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, we have two internal systems that regulate when we sleep and when we are awake. These two systems work independently and under normal conditions produce consolidated periods of wakefulness and sleep, but they can become misaligned when we stay up past our usual bedtime, work shift work, are jet lagged, suffer from a sleep disorder, or are under a lot of stress. When we disconnect from the natural cycles of activity and sleep, chronic sleep deprivation can result. Despite the fact that sleep loss is considered by some to be a public health issue, the management and treatment of sleep is not often addressed. Those who struggle with insomnia, sleep apnea, chronic pain, restless leg syndrome and other sleep difficulties may want to seek a consultation with their health care provider or a sleep behavioral specialist. For those of us who don’t prioritize or can’t manage to get regular heathy sleep, the most effective treatment may be a simple understanding of proper sleep habits that enable us to get better rest. Just as we have bedtime routines for our children, establishing a regular and relaxing routine can be a very helpful way to transition into sleep.

Good sleep habits begin way before sundown. Experts recommend no caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime, no alcohol within 3 hours, no exercise or food within 2 -3 hours and no electronics during the last hour before bed. The following simple tips help to establish a routine to aid healthy sleep:

  • To improve your sleep patterns, establish a consistent bedtime routine, and as often as possible go to bed at the same time each night. Sleep is a behavior that can be reinforced positively or negatively. Learn to put yourself to sleep by following better sleep guidelines.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, limit naps to 20 minutes and take them early in the afternoon. Although there are differing opinions regarding the benefits of sleeping in on the weekends, if you are exhausted, sleep.
  • Allow time to transition from activity to sleep. Take the last 30-60 minutes before bed to unwind and relax. You can try reading, taking a bath, stretching, listening to music, meditating, enjoying a cup of herbal tea or anything else that works to calm your mind.
  • Avoid overstimulating activities including high intensity exercise, surfing the internet and late night television. In addition to stimulating the mind, light from devices can interfere with your internal body clock.
  • If you are stressed and worried about the next day’s activities, you won’t fall into a restful sleep. Writing down your thoughts or a plan for the next day’s activities, will help to put your mind at ease so you can rest.
  • Start dimming the lights at least 30 minutes before retiring to allow the natural production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to control sleep/wake cycles. Optimize your light exposure during the day, especially first thing in the morning, and minimize light exposure after dark.
  • Once in bed, if you find you are still awake after 30 minutes, ease your frustration by getting up and repeating parts of your bedtime ritual. Keep lighting soft and go back to bed when feeling sleepy.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products to aid restorative sleep:

Kavinace Ultra PM by NeuroScienceKavinace Ultra PM by NeuroScience – This very popular proprietary blend is designed to support calming hormones and neurotransmitters to promote normal, healthy, restorative sleep and relieve symptoms of anxiousness, irritability and stress. Gluten and soy free, vegetarian formula.

 

Sleep Aide by Vital NutrientsSleep Aide by Vital Nutrients – This botanical blend contains valerian and lemon balm, two of the most studied herbs shown to support occasional restless sleep. Additional ingredients and herbals relieve occasional tenseness and irritability, and provide safe, natural calming support for the central nervous system to encourage restful sleep. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.

 

Melatonin PR 3 mg Prolonged-Release (83199-) by Douglas LaboratoriesMelatonin PR by Douglas Laboratories – One serving provides 3 mg of pharmaceutical grade, prolonged-release melatonin, a natural hormone that appears to regulate sleep/wake cycles, support normal immune function and provide free radical protection. Gluten and soy free, vegan formula.

 

5HTP Supreme by Designs for Health

5HTP Supreme by Designs for Health – As a precursor to serotonin production, 5HTP helps to naturally restore serotonin levels to promote healthy mood, reduce food cravings and aid health sleep.

 

References:
Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/
Consequences of Insufficient Sleep. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
Nightly 8-Hour Sleep Isn’t a Rule. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201403/nightly-8-hour-sleep-isnt-rule-its-myth
Historical and Cultural Perspectives of Sleep. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/history

 

 

 

Featured Brand – Gem Elixirz

Gem_ElixirzSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorProfessional Supplement Center now carries Gem Elixirz, a line of aromatherapy sprays made with high quality natural essential oils and semi-precious gemstones.  These sprays are meant to bring about transformation in specific areas of your life.  Included within each spray bottle are predrilled semi-precious stones that can be made into custom jewelry and worn as a transformation tool to assist your intentions.  Gem Elixirz were created by Dr. East Haradin, a licensed acupuncturist and professor of East Asian medicine, in response to patient and student requests.  Dr. Haradin’s Doctoral research was a clinical trial that tested the efficacy of acupuncture in combination with aromatherapy in treatment of stress.  Gem Elixirz are used in healthcare settings and are designed to empower people to reach their highest potential.

Video Gem Elixir

Gem Elixirz are intended for external use only and should be used with consistency over a period of time to reap the full benefits of the oils and stones.  To see the full line of Gem Elixirz Aromatherapy Sprays, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Abundance Elixir Aromatherapy Spray by Gem ElixirzAbundance – Cinnamon, clove, frankincense, ginger, myrrh, orange, patchouli and spruce combine to attract abundance in all areas of your life.  This spray contains citrine, moss agate, peridot and tiger’s eye gemstones intended to attract prosperity and success, enhance self confidence and remove blocks to abundance.  According to the principles of Feng Shui, use Abundance in the west area of your home.

Sleep Elixir Aromatherapy Spray by Gem Elixirz

 

Sleep – Chamomile, lavender, sandalwood and clary sage combine to enhance deep, restful sleep and peaceful dreams.  This spray contains amethyst, hematite and labradorite gemstones to promote calmness, reduce insomnia and restore harmony to the body.

 

Shift Elixir Aromatherapy Spray by Gem Elixirz

Shift – Cypress, grapefruit, lavender, neroli, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang, and clary sage combine to filter out negative energy and remove negative thoughts.  This spray contains aquamarine, calcite, rose quartz and jasper gemstones to harmonize surroundings, remove stagnant energy and infuse positive vibrations.  Use Shift in the south area of your home to attract positive recognition and release self-doubt.

 

Focus Elixir Aromatherapy Spray by Gem Elixirz

Focus – Jasmine, lavender, lemon and rosemary combine to enhance memory and concentration and increase focus.  This spray includes amethyst, Botswana agate and fluorite to support learning and quick thinking.  To be in alignment with your soul’s highest path, use Focus in the north area of your home.

 

Gem Elixirz Aromatherapy Health 5 Pack by Gem Elixirz

Aromatherapy 5 Pack – This boxed set of 5 aromatherapy sprays includes Sleep, Focus, Pain Relief, Calm and Immunity.  The set also includes a jewelry kit and mini brochure.

 

Sleepless Nights? We Have Solutions

SleepSolutionsJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

Almost everyone has occasional bouts of sleeplessness, typically due to stress, anxiety, worry or overstimulation. This is normal and shouldn’t further add to your list of things to worry about, as what’s classified as acute insomnia is usually of brief duration and generally resolves itself. According to the National Institutes of Health, insomnia is a very common problem that affects approximately 30% of Americans. This occasional sleep disruption may result in symptoms such as fatigue, low energy or difficulty concentrating, which can affect your next day’s performance at work or at school. Daily life challenges, emotional upset, grief, hormonal imbalances and unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as overuse of caffeine, tobacco and alcohol, are all believed to contribute to poor quality sleep. While insomnia can occur at any age, women, middle-aged and older adults appear to be at increased risk of sleep disorders.  

Video Sleepless Nights

Chronic insomnia, however, can affect not only your mood and alertness, but also your overall health, your weight, your energy levels and your mental health. While some lifestyle choices may affect healthy sleep patterns, often with chronic insomnia there is a secondary or underlying cause. Medical conditions, such as depression, chronic pain or restless leg syndrome, or side effects of certain medications, such as those used for cardiac or asthmatic conditions, are common factors in chronic insomnia. When insomnia becomes a pattern and interferes with your daily life, you may have chronic insomnia and should see a healthcare provider for diagnosis if:

  • You lie awake and have difficulty falling asleep
  • You struggle to maintain sleep and wake frequently throughout the night several times a week for several months
  • You wake up too early and can’t go back to sleep
  • You have poor quality, restless, or non-restorative sleep
  • You have any combination of these symptoms

Fortunately, for the majority of us, adopting healthy bedtime habits often make it easier to fall and stay asleep. Many times establishing a routine is effective. Avoiding heavy meals and exercise within 4 hours of bedtime, sticking to a regular schedule of sleep and wake times even on weekends, limiting stimulating activities and evening TV and computer time, establishing a soothing wind down routine, making the bedroom dark and cozy and turning down the temperature are all strategies that can aid more restful sleep.  

Professional Supplement Center offers high quality supplement choices to promote restorative sleep.  Here are some of our customers’ favorite sleep support products:

Kavinace Ultra PMKavinace Ultra PM by NeuroScience – Our most popular sleep supplement, this proprietary blend is designed to relieve symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and stress by providing support for the calming neurotransmitters that promote restorative sleep and a normal sleep cycle. Gluten and soy free.

 

Insomnitol Chewable TabletsInsomnitol™ Chewables by Designs for Health® – These great tasting lemon flavored chewable tablets are formulated to supply nutritional support for calm brain activity. Insomnitol™ contains a blend of botanicals, nutrients and neurotransmitter precursors, which help promote the natural ability to fall and stay sleep. Non GMO formulation.

Sleep Time
Sleep Time by Nutritional Frontiers – Formulated to support the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin to effectively promote healthy sleep and reduce stress and anxiety. Vegetarian capsules.

 

References:
About Insomnia. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0023585/
It’s Time to Do Something About Your Sleep. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shrink/201403/its-time-do-something-about-your-sleep
Insomnia Overview. http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/primary-insomnia/overview.html
Insomnia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9155.php?page=2