The Importance of Rest, Sleep Better Tonight

herbs for sleepThere's a great website devoted to women over fifty called It's a place for women to share ideas on health, fashion, their changing bodies and well… all the facts of life.  Recently they held a little contest.  They wanted answers from their readers on this question:

"What do you do when you're having trouble falling asleep at night?  

Here's the winning post…(there were about one hundred different answers, many desperately wanting a good nights sleep.)

"When I can't sleep it's always because I have toooo much in my head. I know I should stop working before trying to sleep. But when I don't… a little lavender essential oil drops on my pillow and behind my ears starts the dreamy process. If I wake up with my head buzzing with ideas, deadlines, projects etc. then I visualize. Each thought in my head is released on a kite string as I sit on my favorite beach in Hawaii watching the most beautiful sunset. As the sun sets, so do I. My thoughts that were keeping me up are safely attached to the kite, retrievable if I need them the next day. "

Yours truly won the contest.  I didn't plug iSleep Herb Pac but I love a packet before bed when my head is buzzing with ideas. It's clear a lot of women (and men)  in those posts would also benefit from our natural sleep aid and these Chinese herbs have such a gentle action you just fall asleep naturally.

I couldn't agree more with what my colleague posted about the importance of sleep, see below.

by: Kath Bartlett, MS, LAc,

I am researching lymphoma, a type of cancer. One of the books I am reading discusses the importance of getting enough rest. This issue cannot be overstated, not only for cancer treatment, but for any type of disease or injury prevention.

Getting adequate rest includes resting during an illness, rather than trying to work through it. Overwork impairs detoxification, so that the chemical toxins we are exposed to in our environment accumulate in the body. The build up of toxins can lead not only to cancer formation, but atopic (allergic) and autoimmune conditions.

Sleep is essential for detoxification and for the release of growth hormone needed to repair and rebuild damaged tissues.

Poor or lack of sleep leads to yin deficiency. Yin deficiency is a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) concept. Yin is a broad category that includes fluids, substance & blood, cool/cold temperature and quiescence. When yin is deficient, heat develops in the body (yin is cool/cold) and the toxins (a heat process) draw deeper in the body. This is why atopic and autoimmune conditions are difficult to treat.

If you are under-employed due to the recession, use this time as an opportunity to improve your health, by getting enough sleep, eating well balanced, home cooked meals and getting adequate exercise.

There was an interesting New York Times article showing that during recessions people are healthier because they work fewer hours, have more time to prepare their own meals & eat less restaurant food and have more time for exercise.

Be careful not to overwork when you are sick. Take the time to nurse your illness and recuperate so that you do not cause the disease to travel deeper in the body.