Sleep Tips From The Mayo Clinic, Is Sleeping Now a Luxury?

herbs for sleep Is Sleep a luxury?  As our world has become more modern, more convenient and more well, fast paced sleeping seems to be, more of a luxury than a necessity.  We can take pills to quickly put us to sleep and all kinds of drinks and foods to keep us awake.  We can regulate our bodies for 20 hour work days and 4 hours of rest,  or any combination thereof.   With hundreds of TV stations on 24 hours, movies on demand, internet, anytime, anywhere, there just seems like so many better things to do than sleep.  Even little kids know that it's usually much more fun to stay up late, than to go to bed.

Yes,  but our genetics tell us we need 8-9 hours of sleep every night. Sorry, overriding genetics on this issue will only deteriorate your health.  Here are the  highlights from an eight page report about sleeping well from the Mayo Clinic.  

  • Sleep isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity.
  • Restful sleep is just as important to health as adequate nutrition and exercise.
  • Sleep is necessary to think clearly.
  • Studies have shown that being well rested improves the body’s response to infection.
  • Evidence suggests that brains are hard at work during sleep, possibly forming the pathways necessary for learning, making new memories and insights, and coming up with creative solutions to problems.
  • Inadequate sleep is linked to depression and irritability as well as diabetes, weight problems and cravings for high-calorie, high-carbohydrate foods.
  • Sleep problems often can be treated, sleep aids can be both behavioral and medications.
  • In fact, sleep problems often can be traced to treatable health issues. Examples include poor pain control, frequent nighttime urination, or illnesses that cause coughing or shortness of breath.
  • Insomnia and depression often go hand in hand: Many people develop insomnia prior to being depressed. Studies show that unresolved insomnia increases the risk of depression. It’s not clear if one causes the other, but each can worsen if untreated.
  • Antidepressants may have stimulating properties and make insomnia worse. Prescription sleep aids are designed for short term use.

We believe in natural sleep aids here at Pac Herbs.  Our iSleep Herb Pac will help you rest and feel rejuvenated the next day. Get the sleep your body needs to stay healthy, because sleeping is not just a luxury but a necessity for wellness.  Checkout our all natural iSleep Herb Pac, an herbal formula used in Asian cultures for thousands of years.

Tiger Woods May Want to Check Out a Non-Prescription Sleep Aid

I not really much for celebrity gossip but tabloids are reporting Tiger Woods texted his friend Rachel saying “I feel like taking pills is my only alternative” for sleep.  No doubt Tiger has been on the high stress life style for many years.  Fame and fortune do have a price and like millions of people, it’s easy to feel the only way to get a good nights sleep is with the help of a prescription drug.

Would somebody please pass him an  iSleep Herb Pack before he lands in rehab, or pass on an address and I will be happy to send him some.  Poor guy, somebody tell him Chinese herbs have been used for centuries to calm the mind and provide a peaceful, non-addictive way to fall asleep. I  actually feel terrible for anyone who must rely on prescription sleep aids.  It’s a terrible cycle to get into and one that is even harder to break and here is why Tiger should be shining this year.

Fast Facts About Tigers from Jennifer Dubowski, L.Ac.

Are you a Tiger?

You are if you were born in: 1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, or 1998.

The Tiger symbolizes character traits such as bravery, competitiveness and unpredictability. This courageous and fiery fighter was admired by the ancient Chinese as the zodiac sign that kept away the three main tragedies of a household: fire; thieves; and ghosts. The Tiger has other strong qualities and is: a natural leader; generous, intelligent and always alert. Tigers love to be the center of attention and are very charming, although they have a slight tendency to be selfish. Just as their jungle counterparts rely on instinct, so do individuals born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger. The best jobs for Tigers are those that will lead them towards positions of leadership. Tigers make interesting partners – they are creative, passionate and will never bore their mates. They’re expressive, polite and trustworthy, but watch out. Partners need to have a high energy level and a sense of adventure to keep up with a Tiger.

Celebrities born under the sign of the Tiger include: Emily Bronte, Leonardo DiCaprio, Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Marco Polo and Queen Elizabeth II.

Those individuals born in the Year of the Tiger are compatible with the Chinese astrological signs of Horse, Dog, and Dragons. They are incompatible with Goat and Ox.

Colors are Green, Purple



FDA Tells Prescription Sleep Aid Manufacturer to Remove TV AD

Natural Sleep AidsI don’t usually blog about prescription drugs,  I’d much rather talk about herbs, especially Chinese herbs.  But in this case, I consider this more of a “Public Service Announcement”.  Most of my readers have strong feelings against taking any pharmaceutical drugs and have an inherent mistrust of drug companies.  Here’s another reason why a growing segment of the public feels they can’t trust the drug companies or their TV commercials.

June 17, 2010:  According to Carrie Newcomer, a Regulatory Review Officer at the FDA, Division of Drug Marketing, Lunesta, a prescription sleep medication made by Sepracor, has made an “unsubstantiated superiority claims” in a TV commercial.  According to the FDA’s  letter to Sepracor.  “Promotional materials are misleading if they represent or suggest that a drug is safer or more effective than another drug, when this has not been demonstrated by substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience.”

The FDA’s has reviewed a 60 second commercial and has sent a warning letter to Sepracor to immediately cease the dissemination of violative promotional materials for Lunesta.
   This drug has “warnings which include abnormal thinking and behavior (e.g., aggressiveness, bizarre behavior, agitation, hallucinations, depersonalization), complex behaviors (e.g., “sleep-driving,” preparing and eating food, making phone calls, and/or having sex, with amnesia for the event), worsening of depression in primarily depressed patients including suicidal thoughts and actions.”

 “Patients should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness or motor coordination. Lunesta should not be taken with alcohol and can lead to abuse and dependence. The most common adverse reactions associated with this sleep aid includes unpleasant taste in mouth, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness.”


Warning, Those Sleeping Pills May Be Causing Other Health Hazards

  1-Pharmacies-thumb-300x354-103Friends just returned from their traditional summer camping trip.   This years’ trip was more exhausting for one particular husband, he was tired all day long.  He wasn’t getting a restful nights sleep even though he loves to camp, was out in the fresh air and ON vacation.  The problem stems from his addiction to his sleeping pills, which he needs even on a camping trip.  Although the nightly pill provided him some sleep it made him extremely drowsy during the day, especially since he's increased the dosage to get the desired effect.  He often wanted to just sit at the camp site and take a nap. If this you or someone you know, it’s time to kick the sleeping pill habit.  

Sleeping pills are an expensive habit both monetarily and physically because of the lingering side effects. Use of sleeping pills is becoming a growing problem.  If your taking them for any length of time,  you will notice the need to increase your dosage as your body's tolerance grows. At a  certain point they become completely ineffective.  The most popular "A" sleep pills and other sleep medications were designed to be taken for only a week or two at most. If you continue on this  medication  longer than two weeks the greatest concern is the side effects, which according to the label “cannot be anticipated”.

Side effects may include: allergies, daytime drowsiness, dizziness, drugged feeling, headache, indigestion and nausea.  If you experience any of these side effects, the price you pay for a good nights sleep just went up ten fold. For some, using "A", along with taking a SSRI or serotonin boosting antidepressant, will produce unusual changes in their thinking and/or behavior, according to  the insert information. Most definitely alert your doctor if this happens to you.  

Side effects of sleeping pills can also develop or change in intensity, so keep this in mind if you suddenly develop indigestion it may be caused by the sleeping pill, not necessarily related to an otherwise digestive/gut  problem.  Other warning from the manufacturers of this medicine can cause a special type of memory loss. It should not be taken on an overnight airplane flight of less than 7 to 8 hours, since "traveler's amnesia" may occur. Yikes, what’s travelers amnesia? Do you completely forget where you are and where your going.  (Apparently this has happened or it would not be a written warning).

The most common risk with prescription sleep aids used long term, is the risk of increasing the dosage in an attempt to keep the effectiveness as your bodies tolerance level increases. The same problem my friends husband was experiencing.   The overdose warning alone scares me from going near this drug. “People who take too much may become excessively sleepy or even go into a light coma. The symptoms of overdose are more severe if the person is also taking other drugs that depress the central nervous system. Some cases of multiple overdose have been fatal.”

All we want is a good nights sleep, this is just getting to complicated. I don’t  want to die.   I’m baffled that a drug with this many warnings can sell as much as it does. There’s more on the label, lets not miss this part of the warning:  “Until you know whether the medication will have any "carry over" effect the next day, use extreme care while driving, and you should be aware that they may be more apt to fall.”   Hope your  taking mass transit if your using a lot of this drug.  Older adults, in particular need to be careful. All I can figure is most people don’t read this stuff, they do print it in extra small writing.   More from the label, “use "A" cautiously if you have liver problems. It will take longer for its effects to wear off.” “If you take this sleep aid for more than 1 or 2 weeks, consult your doctor before stopping."

Sudden discontinuation of a sleep medicine can bring on withdrawal symptoms ranging from unpleasant feelings to vomiting and cramps.” "When taking "A", do not drink alcohol. It can increase the drug's side effects. If you have breathing problems, they may become worse. "If "A" is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either drug could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor ." 

These are direct quotes from the Ambien official website.  Maybe it's time for a natural sleep aid for that restful night of sleep you so desire.