supplements for insomnia

Study Links Allergies to Sleep Quality

Are your allergies connected to how well you sleep?

A study conducted by New York Medical College says there is a link between your REM sleep and your allergy symptoms.

We all know getting enough quality sleep is key to good overall health. This first-of-its-kind study is a breakthrough for many suffering from allergies.

“When I started focusing on the new REM-RDI numbers, I was able to connect patient’s symptoms such as fatigue, allergies, nasal blockage or congestion” with REM abnormalities, said Dr. Berson. “This led to the correlation of tired allergic patients having a problem during REM and some patients who were tired and had REM-RDI elevations testing positive for allergies.”

While the new approach can provide patients with sleep issues better diagnoses and new symptoms to look for, Dr. Berson cautions that there is no one-size-fits-all diagnosis.

“Every patient is different and the study aims to provide more clarity on the relationship between allergies and a person’s overall quality of sleep,” said Dr. Berson. “The airway begins in the nose and its anatomic form needs to be properly balanced with its function. This shows that Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctors, as well as allergists and sleep physicians, should be collaborating more closely to help pinpoint sleeping problems patients may be facing.”

If you’re having trouble sleeping try iSleep Herb Pack a combination of herbs used together for over 500 years which will not interfere with any allergy medication you may be taking.  iSleep herbs will help quiet your mind and stop the ruminating process. A quiet mind helps you get to REM sleep much faster and longer. Give it a try here, or find it on Amazon here.

 

Get A Good Night’s Sleep – Insomnia Can Affect Your Heart!

According to the European Heart Journal, a study conducted on 54,000 Norwegians over 11 years revealed that having symptoms of insomnia was linked to an increased risk of heart failure.

Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up un-refreshed were the symptoms of insomnia recorded in the questionnaires that were used to gather data.

Many health, behavioral and demographic factors were controlled in the study and it was found that having just one of the symptoms of insomnia increased chances of heart disease by 17 percent! Having two symptoms increased the chances by 92 percent, and having all three nearly tripled the risk.

The interesting factor about this study is that insomnia was a risk independent of other cardiovascular risks, i.e. none of the participants started out with heart disease, but at the 11year follow up, 1,412 cases of heart disease were documented.

The study suggests that chronic insomnia leads to high blood pressure which leads to a higher heart rate. Both are known to increase risk for heart failure.

Lars E. Laugsand, lead author of the study and postdoctoral fellow at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, stated “We cannot claim that insomnia is causing heart failure,” but acknowledges that insomnia plays a measurable role in the  propensity of heart problems among individuals.

If you are having difficulty with sleep, consider using Chinese herbs. Pacific Herbs iSleep is a safe and effective formula without side effects that will help you get the rest you need. And according to this study, better sleep may protect your heart!

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Chinese Herbs From A Western Medicine Viewpoint

How a Harvard-trained doctor began to appreciate Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM.

As a child growing up in China, I was always aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is what we refer to as Eastern medicine, in contrast to the Western medicine we know from U.S. hospitals. I never understood much about TCM, only that it somehow involves herbs and that many Chinese people used it. The more I progressed in my medical training in major U.S. academic centers, the more distanced I felt from TCM. Why should I learn about something that lacks evidence, when there’s so much to know about for which there is good research?

 

Last fall, I went to China on a research trip. While my study is primarily on its Western medical system, I was so fascinated by what I learned of Eastern medicine that I spent many free evenings observing TCM practitioners. There is so much I didn’t know. As a discipline, TCM is far too complex for me to understand in my short observation, but there are some very important “lessons from the East” that are applicable to our Western medical practice:

 

#1. Listen—really listen. The first TCM practitioner I shadowed explained to me that to practice TCM is to “listen with your whole body”. Pay attention and use every sense you have, he said. I watched this doctor as he diagnosed a woman with new-onset cervical cancer and severe anemia the moment she walked into his exam room, and within two minutes, without blood tests or CTs, sent her to be admitted to a (Western) medical service. I’ve seen expert clinicians make remarkable diagnoses, but this was something else!

“How could you know what you had and that she needed to be admitted?” I asked.

“I smelled the cervical cancer,” he said. “I looked and saw the anemia. I heard her speak and I knew she could not care for herself at home.” (I followed her records in the hospital; he was right on all accounts.)

 

#2. Focus on the  diagnosis. I watched another TCM doctor patiently explain to a young woman with long-standing abdominal pain why painkillers were not the answer.

“Why should we treat you for something if we don’t know what it is?” he said. “Let’s find out the diagnosis first.” What an important lesson for us—to always begin the diagnosis.

 

#3. Treat the whole person. “A big difference between our two practices,” said one TCM doctor, “Is that Western medicine treats people as organs. Eastern medicine treats people as a whole.” Indeed, I watched her inquire about family, diet, and life stressors. She counseled on issues of family planning, food safety, and managing debt. She even helped patients who needed advice on caring for the their elderly parents and choosing schools for their child. This is truly “whole person” care!

 

#4. Health is not just about disease, but also about wellness. There is a term in Chinese that does not have its exact equivalent in English. The closest translation is probably “tune-up to remain in balance”, but it doesn’t do the term justice, because it refers to maintaining and promoting wellness. Many choose to see a TCM doctor not because they are ill, but because they want to be well. They believe TCM helps them keep in balance. It’s an important lesson for doctors and patients alike to address wellness and prevention.

 

#5. Medicine is a life-long practice. Western medicine reveres the newest as the best; in contrast, patients revere old TCM doctors for their knowledge and experience. Practicing doctors do not rest on their laurels.

“This is a practice that has taken thousands of years to develop,” I was told. “That’s why you must keep learning throughout your life, and even then you will only learn just a small fraction.” Western medicine should be no different: not only are there new medical advances all the time, doctors need to continually improve their skills in the art of medicine.

 

#6. Evidence is in the eyes of the beholder. Evidence-based medicine was my mantra in Western medical training, so I was highly skeptical of the anecdotes I heard. But then I met so many patients who said that they were able to get relief from Eastern remedies while Western treatments failed them. Could there be a placebo effect? Sure. Is research important? Of course. But research is done on populations, and our treatment is of individuals. It has taken me a while to accept that I may not always be able to explain why—but that the care should be for the individual patient, not a population of patients.

“In a way, there is more evidence for our type of medicine than for yours,” a TCM teacher told me. “We have four thousand years of experience—that must count for something!”

 

There is so much I have not covered about TCM. Its practices vary regionally, and no doubt, there are more and less capable practitioners (as there are in Western medicine). More research into TCM methods will be important. However, regardless of whether we Western doctors want to prescribe TCM treatments, we should recognize there is much to learn from Eastern medicine, including what it means to be a physician to really care for our patients. Upon my return from China, I, for one, have a new found appreciation for Eastern medical practice and a renewed understanding of holistic medical care.

The 5 Biggest “Health Insurance” Tips You Will Ever Need

Love your body, be healthy and prevent disease.I having been surrounded (quite literally) for the past three days by so called “healthy products”,  everything from fortified lolly pops, safer nail polish to every type of infused water possible. I had three days of endless conversations with wellness experts from around the world, Naturopaths, Dieticians, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Herbalists, Homeopaths and Bio-Chemists to name a few. Every health professional I spoke to had the same resounding theme, the key to better health is not in any one of these hot new health products that you’ll find at the Natural Products Expo and later on a store shelf.  It’s not about curing a disease, it’s about PREVENTING it in the first place. The key is and always has been about PREVENTION.

So how do you PREVENT disease?  It’s actually not that difficult. Everyone can do it.
What you eat of course plays a big part and being a fast food society does cause “eating challenges”. (the subject of a later blog)
However, every health practitioner that I spoke with agreed that since all dis-ease (disease) is associated with inflammation and hormonal imbalances, getting those two area of the body in balance is the beginning to true prevention.
Think of prevention as the most cost effective “health insurance” available. Here are 5 tips to help your body be less acidic and more alkaline to keep inflammation to a minimum and a couple easy steps to balancing your hormones. (especially essential for women)
1. Reduce the sugar, it leads to inflammation. This includes fruit juices and products sweetened with fruit juice.  Most fruit is highly acidic.
2. Stay away from artificial hormones such as birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy and artificial “muscle building” powders. You can easily balance your own hormones through exercise and diet and you won’t need hormone replacements.
3. Get good quality sleep. Sleep helps the body heal and restores natural energy. When you sleep well, you will naturally produce more hormones. You won’t need that artificial, sugar laced energy drink and one cup of coffee will be enough. 
4. Add tea’s rather than coffee to your diet. There a thousand types of teas to choose from bags, loose leaf everyone can find something pleasing. Green teas (and others) naturally reduce body acidity and help reduce inflammation. Don’t misunderstand coffee has health benefits, but adding variety to your diet with tea’s provides other unique health benefits.
5. Exercise and learn some new stress releasing techniques like Yoga, Qi Gong breathing, Tai Qi and other types of relaxation / breathing exercises to reduce your stress. (All sorts of Youtube videos are freely available on these subjects) Get at least 45 minutes of sustained exercise everyday even if it’s just a brisk walk. Movement helps stimulate natural hormone production in your thymus, pituitary, adrenals and thyroid glands. Do it daily, for the greatest disease insurance.
It’s been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, I think it’s something closer to a ton of cure.
This post is proud to be part of “Prevention Not Prescription Tues” at The Kathleen Show

Harvard Says Menopause Hormone Therapy Carries Proven Heart Risks

A very important study was just released from Harvard School of Public Health by the National Institute of Health.  This study on women’s health confirmed that combination hormone therapy used commonly for symptoms due to menopause increases a woman’s risk for heart disease.
 
 
“New analysis from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) confirm that combination hormone therapy increases the risk of heart disease in healthy postmenopausal women. Researchers report a trend toward an increased risk of heart disease during the first two years of hormone therapy among women who began therapy within 10 years of menopause, and a more marked elevation of risk among women who began hormone therapy more than 10 years after menopause. Analysis indicate that overall a woman’s risk of heart disease more than doubles within the first two years of taking combination HT.”
 
 
My hope is that this study will be read by the throngs of women who visit their medical doctors looking for a quick fix for hot flashes and night sweats.  Understanding these proven risks will surely save lives. There is a better way to treat menopausal symptoms using Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs. This less understood Complementary and Alternative Medicine has been practiced in Asia for centuries with truly remarkable results. Today nearly every community across America has an Acupuncturist and the profession is growing.
 
 
Jacques E. Rossouw, M.D., chief of the NHLBI Women's Health Initiative Branch and a coauthor of the paper, added, "Although the number of recently menopausal women who would be expected to suffer a heart attack during the first years of combination hormone therapy is small, the risk is likely to be real.”
 
 
The risk  of taking hormone therapy is real!   It can’t be much clearer than that. Yet, to me it sounds like Dr. Rossouw’s statement doesn’t want to cause panic so he says the risk is small. But if even one women dies unnecessarily from a heart attack due to hormone replacement therapy, in my book, that’s one heart attack and one life to many.     
 
 
I treat many women with menopausal symptoms and I understand how uncomfortable hot flashes and night sweats can be. Routinely I hear the common complaints about quality of sleep, how difficult it is to dress comfortably and all the other dryness issues from hair to nails to skin, etc.   I treat women with Acupuncture and with Chinese herbs. I don’t do anything miraculous as an Acupuncturist, but my patients get great results.  It’s the acupuncture and herbs that balance the body naturally and help ease the symptoms of menopause.
 
 
It’s also not a quick fix, many patients come for three to six months on a  weekly basis and are very compliant about taking the herbal formulas. Again it’s not me, it’s Chinese medicine that understands the relationship of Yin and Yang energy in the body and has been perfected throughout the last 2000 years.
 
 
My hope is that all women will ease into the change of life and experience little to no uncomfortable symptoms. But when they do, spread the word that help is available using Chinese Medicine and Chinese herbs that does not carry proven risk factors such as heart attacks. Acupuncture is safe and effective when performed by a licensed Acupuncturist. If you need a referral we are here to help. Use the yellow contact button on the left and just let us know your looking for an acupuncturist in your hometown.  
 
 
I always give links to studies in my articles, here’s the link for this one. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/feb2010/nhlbi-15.htm