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 close to 20 years experience in helping people improve their health. I specialize in nutritional medicine, which is the secret of "true" preventative medicine. Yes, if I'm successful in getting people to follow my advice, I will put myself out of a job.
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The importance of ZZZZZZ's
Is anyone else as excited as I am that summer has FINALLY arrived? (I'm pretty far north, so I have to wait through about 8 months of winter to get it).
Being so far north, it also means that the sun is out until almost 11pm and starts getting light shortly after 4am. I LOVE the long days of light, but it DOES cause some issues with sleep sometimes. Judging from the number of questions and complaints I'm getting in the pharmacy, it is a common issue for us all.
Being one of those people that needs more sleep than average to function well, I dedicate this e-zine to my fellow snoozers...
How well are you sleeping? Really. Answer these questions to get an objective idea:
- Do you wake up several times a night?
- Is there light coming into your room during the hours you sleep? (including streetlight & even moonlight)
- Do you need a blaring alarm clock to wake up on weekdays?
- Do you need caffeine in the morning to function?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may not be getting enough rest.
That's a serious problem, because lack of sleep doesn't just make you tired, it can shorten your lifespan and increase your risk of disease.
Sleep is important to regulate body temperature, blood pressure, secretion of hormones, brain activity and lots more. Probably its most important function though is cellular repair. That's why without it, you're shortening your lifespan, etc.
On a side note, that's also why it's important to take a twice daily multivitamin with plenty of minerals, like Usana's Essentials, so that there are plenty of the nutrients necessary for repair available to your body while you're sleeping. An added bonus is that some minerals actually have a relaxing effect that may help you sleep. Coincidence? I think not.
Here's just a few of the physical effects of a lack of proper sleep:
- Fatigue (obviously!)
- Slowed reflexes
- Blunted senses (touch, taste, sound, etc.)
- Impaired memory and concentration
- Mood swings & irritability
- Chronic sleep problems can lead to depression, diabetes, high blood pressure & even hallucinations
And much more...
How much sleep do you really need?
We've always heard that you need 8 hours of sleep a night, but in actuality the number can vary from person to person. Some people need 9 hours to feel rested, while others may only need 6.
Here's a simple way to find out your magic number: One weekend, go to bed on Friday night at your regular time without having anything that affects sleep, like caffeine, stress, alcohol, sleeping pills, etc. The first time you wake up Saturday morning (on your own), take a note of the time (even if you decide to squeeze in a bit more sleep). Do the same thing Saturday night and by Sunday morning, you should be able to tell how much sleep your body is naturally requesting. So if your natural waking time came after 7 hours of sleep, that's what your body needs.
And turns out my Mom was right about what time those hours of sleep start at. 8 hours of sleep from 10:00-6:00 is more restorative than from 12:00-8:00. Here's why: most of the hormones that are responsible for repair are released earlier in the evening, starting an hour or two after sunset. If you're sleeping during the time when they would normally peak (between 9 & midnight), you'll have much better repair.
One of the most important of these hormones that peaks early in the evening is Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which stimulates cell growth. It's very important for weight control as well because it tells fat cells to release the energy they're storing and to reduce additional storage. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean you can sleep yourself thin (wouldn't that be awesome?) BUT you can certainly help your cause by timing your sleep properly.
Yes, this is all wonderful news you say, but how do I actually get more restful sleep?
Stay tuned... next e-zine will include lots of specific helpful tips to help you get more zzzzzzz's!
Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...
Bob was having trouble getting to sleep at night. He went to see his doctor, who prescribed some extra strong, sleeping pills. Sunday night Bob took the pills, slept well and was awake before he heard the alarm. He took his time getting to the office, strolled in and said to the boss. "I didn't have a bit of trouble getting up this morning."
"That's fine," roared the boss, "but where were you Monday & Tuesday?"
and one more groaner...
An accountant is having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. "Doctor, I just can't get to sleep at night."
"Have you tried counting sheep?"
"That's the problem - I make a mistake and then spend three hours trying to find it."
What's New at
Low Glycemic Diet
Not only is eating a low glycemic diet the healthiest way to eat, it is truly the most effective AND, more importantly, permanent weight loss diet you could ever do.
Check out my new web page
Antioxidant Discussion Forums
Create your very own webpage on my site! (Don't worry- you don't need to know anything about how to do it. If you can type, done!) If you have an interesting story to share or have a comment or question about a topic on the site, you can post it right onto the website. Read about how others have been affected by antioxidants, make a comment on someone else's submission or post your own.
It's fun. It's free. And you don't have to register for anything.
Click here to post your own story, comment or question.
Here are links to informative and/or interesting news articles on nutrition...
Omega Oils Protect The Heart From Mental Stress
One Soda A Day Can Increase Diabetes Risk By 22%
Nutritional Supplement Delays Advancement Of Parkinson's And Familial Dysautonomia
Iodine Deficiency In Pregnant Women May Harm Babies' IQs
Vitamin D May Help Treat Asthma
Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!
See you next month...
Good Health to You,
Kristy Russ, BScPharm
Pharmacist and Health Consultant
P.S. Give your body the best nutrition possible. You'll not only feel better now, but you'll also have that quality of life in the future that you've always imagined for yourself. Click here to find out more.