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Is your bedroom keeping you from sleeping?
June 18, 2015

This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have over 20 years experience in helping people improve their health.

I help people get healthy, and more importantly, stay that way so they're not miserable and just slowly dying for the last 20 years of their lives, which IS the "norm" today.

For even more information go to


I'm finding it hard to believe that it's the end of June already. My kids are all excited that there is only 1 week of school left... How is that possible?!?

People are always telling me how time passes more quickly the older you get and I'm horrified to discover that they're right. And this year has been particularly quick because I've had so much else going on in my life. Building a business is definitely no small task.

All the more reason why you have to live in the moment- because life will pass you by without you even realizing it. That means that you're focussed on exactly what you're doing. So if you're spending time with friends or family, focus on that only- don't be thinking about all the other stuff that needs doing. Sometimes you have to consciously do it. Try it and see what a difference it makes to your satisfaction (and stress level).

How much melatonin is your body making?

Okay, last issue on sleep. I know I'm dwelling on this, but it's just so darn important to your health AND it's so common to not get enough that it needs to be fixed.

Remember that sleep deprivation is responsible for many health problems and even early death! Check out the back issues if your memory needs refreshing... (back issue link at the end of this e-mail)

Did you try all the sleep tips from the last issue? If you're still having troubles, read on- there's more in this one.

The focus today is melatonin- a hormone that your body naturally makes in the evening in response to lower light. It's what tells your body that it's time to sleep.

Melatonin is controlled solely by light. When it's dark, your body starts making it until it senses light (even through your eyelids). Evolutionarily (a word I just made up), it was meant to put you to sleep a few hours after sunset and wake you up shortly after sunrise. It worked great up until a hundred years ago, when we started using artificial light which extended the natural day. And the more gadgets that have entered our households, the more messed up our melatonin production has become.

To help your body's natural melatonin production, start reproducing "natural" light patterns. Keep lighting fairly dim in the evening and try not to be focussing on light sources like computer screens, cell phones and even TV for at least an hour before going to bed.

Make sure to keep lighting relatively dim while you're getting ready for bed too- that means bedroom and bathroom lighting. (That's my hubby's problem- we have the lights dimmed in the living room and head to bed all sleepy and then he insists on turning on the zillion watts of light in our bathroom while he's brushing his teeth instead of the nice indirect light we have. Then he wonders why he doesn't sleep well- go figure ;-)

It's extremely important to make sure that you have no light in the room while you're sleeping!!! As soon as the body senses light, melatonin production stops and that signals your body to wake up.

Here are the main sources of light at night and what to do about them:

  • Light coming through the window
    Obviously streetlights in the city are an issue, but even moonlight will stop melatonin production. So put some kind of light-blocking curtains or blinds on your bedroom windows.
  • Digital displays from electronics.
    Yes, even these give off enough light to affect melatonin. Get rid of them if you can or at the very least turn them away from the bed.

    Of course, most alarm clocks are digital now, so when choosing one, try to at least get one with a red display. Melatonin production is most sensitive to blue light (which is most electronics today unfortunately).

  • Middle-of-the-night bathroom trips.
    First of all, try to stop drinking a couple of hours before bed so your sleep isn't interupted by a full bladder. If you must get up, try not to turn a light on (or at least use the dimmest one possible). Even a quick flash of light is enough to stop melatonin production.

  • Ideally your room should be dark enough that you can't see anything but the slightest shadows when your eyes are open. If that's not possible, get yourself a sleep mask. Make sure it's only tight enough to stay on and be comfortable- you don't want to block any circulation while you're sleeping especially- even a small amount of pressure can do it.

    If all of these sleep tips fail, you may benefit from taking a melatonin supplement. Unlike other sleeping pills, which interfere with REM sleep, melatonin just gives your body what it's supposed to be making anyway. You may need anywhere from 0.5 to 5mg- start with 2mg and go up or down as needed. Sometimes all it takes is a few good sleeps in a row to break that cycle of sleeplessness. If you end up needing it every night, then so be it- it's better than sleeping pills.

    Just like other supplements, though, you have to be very choosy about your melatonin supplement. The market is flooded with so-called melatonin supplements that don't actually have any melatonin in them or have such a low quality that it does no good, or worse, also has something else in it to make you sleepy but wrecks your sleep or isn't even safe!

    For sure it needs to be a sublingual tablet (one that you let dissolve under your tongue instead of swallowing). Melatonin is not well-absorbed by the gut at all, so if the company hasn't even taken that into account, it doesn't bode well for the overall quality.

    I would highly recommend PureRest, made by Usana Health Sciences. It is a highly potent and pure melatonin supplement you can trust to be safe and effective. It's quick-acting so you can take it about 1/2 hour before bed and even if you wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and can't get back to sleep (Don't worry, it will be out of your system by 7 or 8 so you can still get up when you need to.) Order some here...

    Speaking of supplements, here's another tip: if you're taking a "multi" supplement that has the mineral component in a separate tablet (which you should if you've followed my previous advice about supplements), take the minerals in the evening with supper. Minerals like calcium & magnesium have a natural relaxing effect so you can make use of that...

    So now you're armed with lots of usable tips to send yourself off to dreamland... I'll await all the thankyou notes from your boss and family for the happier, healthier, more productive person I've just created. ;-)

    Another Grateful Customer...

    "I highly recommend Kristy's program. I loved eating as much as I want and not having to count calories! I never felt hungry!

    I've never felt so good about my body before. I lost 17 lbs and 4 pant sizes. Now that I'm 5 months pregnant with my first baby I feel so good about how I look and feel and still weigh less than my 'pre-program weight."

    Juleene K.

    Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...

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