Thursday, September 17, 2015

You can’t live without it-do you get enough?

Although most people are aware that you must have water and nutrients to survive, there’s another thing that you absolutely can’t live without.


Sadly, even though sleep is vital for optimal health, current estimates show that about 47 percent of us have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. 

Lacking sleep takes its toll in countless ways—and it doesn’t take a lot to start to see the difference. 
Here is how just one poor night’s sleep can affect your body:

  • Your mood becomes depressed
  • Your ability to concentrate drops
  • Levels of essential nutrients like zinc and magnesium fall
  • Vitamin C gets used up at a startling rate
  • Your immune cells’ functioning goes way down
Is your switch always flipped to ON?
One of the most common factors behind insomnia is a high level of stress, tension and/or anxiety. 
And since about sixty-three percent of people report suffering from stress, and more than half of all doctor’s visits are for stress-related conditions, it’s easy to see why so many of us are sleep-deprived.

Here is a quiz you can take to see if stress, tension and anxiety may be playing a part in your poor sleep patterns.

  1. ¨  Do you awaken during the night more than once other than to urinate?
  2. ¨  Are you a light sleeper?
  3. ¨  Do you have difficulty falling asleep?
  4. ¨  When you awaken during the night, do you start to think about stressors like your job, commitments, etc.?
  5. ¨  Do you wake up in the morning feeling unrested?
  6. ¨  Do you have difficulty relaxing?
  7. ¨  Do you often toss and turn, can’t get comfortable or have muscle cramping?
  8. ¨  Do you find yourself feeling irritable or depressed?
  9. ¨  Do you get angry easily?
  10. ¨  Do you find you are impatient with others?
  11. ¨  Are you easily upset or offended?
  12. ¨  Do you have muscle tension or “twitching”—repeated tapping of feet, jiggling your legs, etc.?
  13. ¨  Have you been told you are anxious or depressed?
  14. ¨  Have you ever seen a doctor for anxiety or depression?

Scoring interpretation:
Three or fewer yes answers: Stress, tension and anxiety are likely not affecting your sleep patterns

Four to six yes answers:  Stress, tension and anxiety may be affecting your sleep patterns

Seven or more yes answers: Stress, tension and anxiety are likely affecting your sleep patterns

Turn the tables and start sleeping better
The good news is you can turn the tables and start sleeping better at night.  You just need to look at all the possible factors behind your poor sleep and do something about them.

Here are seven very effective ideas to consider:

1- Chill out
If stress, anxiety and/or tension are playing a part in your insomnia, it’s time to chill out.

A skilled counselor can be a tremendous help—but make sure they are actually “helping” and not just pushing sleep drugs at you (which can do more harm than good).

Exercise is a great stress and tension reliever. 

Avoid late night TV watching, especially news channels or suspenseful, sad or violent movies. 
Having heart-pounding or upsetting images in your mind can flip your anxiety and tension switch and leave you counting sheep into the billions.

2- Avoid sugar and stimulants
Most people are aware that drinking caffeinated beverages (including soda, coffee and tea) can lead to a night filled with tossing and turning, but sugar is a culprit too. 

A diet high in sugar and refined carbs can trigger elevated cortisol levels, and since cortisol is one of your body’s “fight or flight reaction” hormones, that can hamper your ability to fall asleep, stay asleep and/or wake up refreshed. 

3- Support better nourishment & digestion
When your body needs nutrients, it NEEDS NUTRIENTS--and it doesn't care if it has to wake you up at 2 am to let you know that.

So if you regularly skip meals, go to bed hungry or lack nutrients because you’re a junk food junkie, not having proper nourishment is a great way to make sure you'll be staring at the ceiling.

In addition, poor digestion can lead to late night attacks of gas, acid reflux, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. 

The best way to prevent having your sleep disturbed by a wrenching gut or a need for nutrients and to encourage more sound digestion is to eat nourishing meals that your body can break down easier!

Now know this: Eating right does NOT have to mean deprivation, eating bland meals or existing on "rabbit food."

The Great Taste No Pain eating system will show you how to easily put together delicious, nutritious meals that your body can more efficiently break down.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how tasty good-for-you meals can be, and will enjoy the benefit of not only better sleep but very likely less gas, bloating, heartburn and constipation too!

4- Calm those restless legs or muscle cramps
Many people lose sleep from muscle cramps or restless legs.

If that includes you, consider taking 250 mg. of magnesium at night, plus 400-800 IUs of Vitamin E each day—that can help make a big difference.

5- Consider alternatives to medications
Some medications like bronchodilators for asthma and certain antidepressants can trigger insomnia. 

If you are on any kind of medication, check the package insert to see if insomnia is a side effect and if so, talk to your doctor about alternatives.

6- Get sources of B6 and tryptophan
Adequate amounts of Vitamin B6 and tryptophan are needed for you to get sleepy.  Tryptophan is the precursor to the neurotransmitters melatonin (which regulates your sleep/wake cycle) and serotonin (which is your natural feel good chemical).  Vitamin B6 is crucial for nervous system health.

Good sources of B6 include spinach, bell peppers, garlic, tuna, cauliflower, bananas, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, kale and cod.

Tryptophan is found in chicken, cheese, tuna, tofu, eggs, nuts, seeds and milk.

7- Get enough Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Studies have shown that a higher level of the Omega-3 EFA Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is associated with better sleep.

And considering that our typical processed/fast food diets are anemic when it comes to providing proper levels of Omega-3 EFAs, it’s certainly no surprise that we’re paying the price in countless ways—poor sleep included!

But you can easily help turn that around with a quality fish oil formula that contains the crucial DHA, as well as its “partner” in brain and cardiovascular health—Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). 

VitalMega-3 is your ticket to making sure your body has the Omega-3 EFAs it so desperately needs. 

VitalMega-3 provides 1,200 mg of Omega-3s in each and every daily two-capsule serving, including the all-important EPA and DHA in the 3:2 ratio recommended by experts.

The Sandman’s calling YOU!
When you look at all the possible reasons for your poor sleep and do what you can to turn them around, you too can start getting a regular call from the Sandman.

And your body will benefit in ways you can’t even imagine!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

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