Diane McLaren's Healthy You Naturally Monthly Newsletter

Issue 6.2010

Diane McLaren C.C.Ir., R.O.H.P., R.N.C.P.

Do you get enough? Did you know lack of sleep is the North American deficiency that most people do not even realize they have. 

In this issue you'll learn:

  • You can not catch up on missed sleep
  • Sleep delivers much more than just a feeling of rest
  • How to improve your quality of sleep

I hope you find value in this information and thank you for allowing me to share my passion, training and experience in nutrition, holistic healing, natural health and wellness with you.  I welcome your comments & feedback! 

Warm & Healthy Regards,

Warm & Healthy Regards, Diane

Diane McLaren C.C.Ir., R.O.H.P., R.N.C.P.
Natural Health Practitioner
(905) 855-3000

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Are you dying for a good night’s sleep?

From birth, we spend a third of our lives asleep, but after many years of intense research, science still doesn't know why!  We all know we can't live without sleep so let's look into why quality of sleep directly affects our health, and what we can do about it.

Are you dying for a good night’s sleep

How often have you put off a decision until you've had time to sleep on it?

Consider a quote by John Steinbeck "It is a common experience, that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” 

Too many people are not just sick and tired of struggling with weight or battling symptoms of illness, they are actually sick just because they are tired!

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot catch up on lost sleep!

When you sleep less than you are mean to, melatonin is not the only hormone affected, in fact, there are at least 10 different hormones as well as many more neurotransmitters in the brain that scramble when you do not sleep well/enough.

Melatonin is just the tip of the iceberg!

It is all the other shifts that negatively affect appetite, fertility, stress, mental and cardiac health, happiness and so on!

Of course there are now countless research studies linking a lack of adequate restful sleep with accident rates.  The dangers of operating machinery including motor vehicles continues to take its toll.

When you become aware of the impacts and begin improving your quantity and quality of daily sleep, you will:

  • Lose weight and easily maintain it
  • Curb craving for carbohydrates
  • Dramatically improve levels of depression
  • Lower blood pressure and stress levels
  • Reverse symptoms of Type II diabetes
  • Minimize risks of heart disease
  • Reduce the potential for developing cancer
  • Improve the ability to learn, remember and recollect information
  • Notice heightened awareness and clarity of real-time thinking
  • Enjoy more positive moods and an ability to better cope with challenges
  • Get more done, in less time with less effort

Not bad for getting a few quality zzz's each night but for many, getting good, adequate sleep is difficult.

Why is it difficult to get a decent night's sleep?

The trouble began with the invention of the light bulb.

The human body evolved based on its environment over tens of thousands of years whereas our modern reality spans not much more than a hundred years.

  • When we do not sleep in synch with seasonal light exposure, we alter our pre-wired biological rhythms that control hormones and neurotransmitters determining appetite, fertility, mental and physical health. 
  • By relying on artificial light and warmth to extend our days, we fool our bodies into living in a perpetual state of summer.  
  • Anticipating the food scarcity and inactivity of each winter season, our bodies automatically begin storing fat and slowing the metabolism to sustain us thought months of hibernation and hunger ... that never arrives.

 The additional effects of work place stress and long hours cannot be ignored!

How to get a good night's sleep?

The demands of today’s lifestyle are never ending but the one part of your day you should covet is your sleep time. 

Sleeping, eating, and sex control aging by counter-acting the effects of stress giving our bodies time to recover.   Sleep is “the great healer”. 

Research at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., shows that less than an average of 8 hours of sleep at night causes premature aging and the science of circadian rhythmicity (light-and-dark cycles) explains how sleeping controls eating and stress.

The hormonal changes caused by sleep deprivation and more free radicals mean faster aging.

  • Avoid the effects of sleep deprivation and pre-mature aging by establishing a regular, restful sleep cycle even if it’s only 7 hours (8-9 in winter) 
  • Go to bed at the same time every night
  • Adopt a relaxing routine, bath, herbal tea, reading 20-30 minutes before bed time, Do not eat 2-3 hours before going to bed as it impairs both digestion and sleep
  • Consider avoiding any caffeine after noon

Don't try to change everything tomorrow. 

Instead, focus on making 1 or 2 small changes like no coffee after 11:30 am.  Try that for a week or two then move on to 15 minutes of personal time each evening and make sure everyone knows it's your time for reading or a favourite hobby. 

In a few weeks establish your bed time and what you'll be doing in preparation e.g. reading, bath, etc.

You didn't fall out of the habit of poor sleep overnight so give yourself a break and take it slow.  As you begin to change old habits, you'll find you ability to relax improves and that in turn will contribute to better sleep .. and the many benefits of it!

Want to learn more?  Get the book "Lights Out" by T.S. Wiley and Formby.

Want a personalized wellness plan?

If you have questions about sleep, troubling symptoms, a weight goal or would like to know how to get a formal wellness plan in motion, I would be honored to be of service. 

Consulting services are available in office or by-phone in Canada or the USA. 

Healthy regards,!

Diane McLaren
Healthy You Naturally Wellness Centre
(905) 855-3000

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