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.

 

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.

Tackling Sleep Disorders in The Work Place

Pac Herbs natural sleep aid iSleepNeed something to keep you from dragging through your day? Want something to inspire you so the boss will notice what a great asset you really are?    We all have those days where we are just dragging our butts to the office and sleep walking through our work day.

Here are a few tips I use to keep me going when the all I really want to do is go back to bed.

#1.  Coffee works for a while, but I prefer natures superfuel, a straight up ginseng drink. It perks up my mental focus and gives me the energy to make it through the evening commute.  Ginseng is one of the most studied Chinese herbs, it’s used world wide for treating stress, helps improve mental clarity and alertness.

#2.  Fresh Air! Get your butt outside at lunch time and walk. It’s sounds easy when the weathers nice but no one’s going out there in the middle of winter.  So hit the stairwell’s or the company gym treadmill if you have one. No-body is meant to stay sitting all day.

#3.   Power Nap on your break!  Take 15 minutes with an ipod and a eye mask and get away from it all.  If you don’t have an ipod there’s plenty of great meditations on line or find some soothing music on Pandora.  If all that fails, ear plugs are easy and cheap.

#4.  Early to bed, early to rise, may not fit everyone’s lifestyle, but it does make for good advice if you’re trying to impress the boss and stay awake on the job.  Try it a couple of times, you never know, it might just grow on you. 

#5.   Stay hydrated. Don’t reach for a soft drink or another cup of coffee which will dehydrate you even more.  Your best bet is green tea.  Green tea contains natural catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate  (say that one 5x fast)   (EGCG) a powerful anti-oxidant.  What sets green tea apart is the way it is processed. Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized.

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