Helping the Elderly (and us Caretakers) Sleep

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As our population lives longer than ever before, many of us are becoming caretakers for our elderly.

As the brain ages, sleep lightens. When enough sleep is missed, the brain can become over stimulated. Then it becomes even more difficult to get needed rest.

In desperation, most of us tend to reach for either pharmaceutical drugs or natural remedies to help us sleep.

Some elderly people get overstimulated by that which should calm them down. It can be the first dose or an over accumulation of medications or supplements that they haven’t completely metabolized. Read the rest of this entry »

Heal While You Sleep

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Your immune system can’t protect you if you don’t allow it to work, and it works best when you sleep in the dark.

You’ve got to go to bed within a few hours of dark to reset your circadian rhythm. I know this is hard, but it’s crucial to your health. If you are staying up much past midnight every night, you are missing crucial hours of sleeping in the dark. And you can’t make up for it by sleeping in during the daytime.

Although sleep medications are available as temporary relief, they do not promote normal nocturnal hormone production. And without healthy levels of melatonin and prolactin at night, you will not heal.

If you’ve been staying up past midnight, you can’t just go to bed at ten and expect to fall asleep. You must go to bed 15 minutes earlier every few nights. That will slowly reset your nocturnal rhythm so it sticks.

But you have work to do before bed, or you like to watch a few TV shows just to relax. Remember the blue light from the computer and television screens suppresses your melatonin production. That’s why you have trouble falling asleep. You are actually getting a second wind after dark by exposing yourself to the daytime light waves coming from your TV and computer screen. Read the rest of this entry »

Treating Insomnia Naturally

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Insomnia is the bane of modern society. Since the introduction of the electric light over one hundred years ago, nearly half of the world is lit up at night. Artificial light disturbs natural circadian rhythms. The pineal gland produces the sleep hormone—melatonin—only in the dark. Without adequate melatonin production, sleep is disturbed, hormones become imbalanced, and the ability to fight dis-ease is diminished.

The pineal gland, located in the center of the brain, is associated with the crown chakra. Light energy affects pineal production of melatonin. Cells located in our skin called chromocytes carry light wave information to the pineal gland. At dawn, the daylight is a blue wave which stimulates chromocytes to turn off the pineal gland. At dusk, the pink light of sunset blocks the blue rays and the pineal gland begins producing melatonin.

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