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Sleep for Joy


Better sleep = better metabolism. I have been saying it for years - since my own experience of being stressed out, overworked and under-slept and not able to lose weight but just recently this fact is getting a good amount of press.

According to Michael Tri H. Do, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute predoctoral fellow from Harvard University, "In recent years, a lot of excitement has accompanied the forging of links between sleep and feeding. For instance, there are neurons that make a substance called orexin. These cells are located in a region of the brain that was long understood to be involved in feeding. Consistent with this, giving rats orexin causes them to eat more, while blocking it causes them to eat very little."

Yikes! This could be enough to put you to sleep right here! He IS right though so let's bring it down to what we can do about it because the basic gist is: if you sleep better, you breathe better, you move better, you look better, you feel better and isn't that what it is all about? YES!

Sleep for Joy - the Nutrition Side

Many of us who have trouble sleeping (whether it be falling asleep or staying asleep) turn to prescription drugs such as Ambien, Sonata, Valium, Xanax, and Restoril, or one of the many over-the-counter options such as Benadryl. Taking this route can be habit forming and this actually then inhibits the body from being able to establish its own sleep rhythm, according to Michael Sateia, M.D. and president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Unless you are suffering from a severe sleep disorder (anyone taking any form of major medication should be consulting with a medical physician) taking a more natural way can be a smarter and safer long-term option for your best health:

1) Tryptophan - a naturally occurring amino acid that makes you sleepy. A tryptophan rich snack an hour before bed can promote sleep.

Try these:

? 2 slices of lean turkey
? a small slice of cheese
? pure (no sugar) yogurt
? a handful of sunflower seeds (high in Vitamin B that enhances the body's conversion of tryptophan).

2) Magnesium - a natural sedative. This powerful mineral can be found in:

? wheat bran
? brewer's yeast
? seaweed products
? almonds
? cashews

3) Chamomile - best taken through sipping a nice cup of chamomile tea an hour before bed. This will calm your digestive track and reduce muscle tightness. For a real knocker-outer add a few drops of a lavender tincture and a 1/2 a teaspoon of honey.

Sleep for Joy - the Lifestyle Side

The way you use your bedroom can have a profound effect on your ability to get a good night's sleep.

1. Recover your bed - If you use your bed (or even your bedroom for some people) for anything other than sleep you may be setting up a psychological barrier to a good night's sleep. Get into bed only when you are really tired. Use another room or chair for reading and especially for watching television. If you live in a studio apartment or dorm room, try to separate your bed from other areas with a desk, curtain or screen.

2. Be dark - the brain associates daylight with being alert and active. Believe it or not, even the glow from a neon clock can translate into daylight for the mind (plus, is it really helpful to wake-up, see the time, calculate how much longer you have to sleep and then worry about it?). Cover your clock, close your curtains and wear a sleep mask if you need to.

3. Fresh air - no matter the season, fresh air is a necessity for a good nights sleep. A stuffy room can remind you of your day or keep your head from clearing. Open the window a crack for the night or wide for a minute before you go to sleep to clear the air.

To your health and success,

Heather Dominick is a Holistic Nutrition Counselor accredited by theAmerican Association of Drugless Practitioners and creator of The Energy Rich Lifestyle Program?. In addition to her nutrition services, she is a motivating and dynamic speaker.

To receive bi-monthly Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips you can: subscribe to her free e-Newsletter at http://www.individual-health.net or register for a free teleclass at freeteleclass@individual-health.net


MORE RESOURCES:

Philly.com

Obama Administration Mulls Nutrition Guidelines That Say Americans Should ...
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Food for thought: is nutrition context-dependent?
Huffington Post
One paradigm that's always stuck out to me as ripe for improvement is the way we (Americans) learn, transmit, and interpret health and nutritional wisdom. How did we decide that low-fat diets are healthy? That "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"?



USDA.gov (press release) (blog)

National Nutrition Month: Raising a Healthier Generation through Diet, Education
USDA.gov (press release) (blog)
Our nutrition assistance programs, such as the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, provide children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy lifestyles for the long term. To make this happen, it's imperative we teach our ...
Schools celebrate child nutrition with push for breakfastWECT-TV6
Grants to Aid New School Lunch, Breakfast StandardsWisconsin Ag Connection

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Distorting Nutrition Facts to Generate Buzz
Huffington Post
In mid-February, the government released a scientific report that will shape its 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Think of it as America's basic nutrition policy. Most people who read the report would have viewed it as a snore; not much has changed.

and more »


The News Journal

March is nutrition month, and start of annual challenge
The News Journal
What we choose to eat on a regular basis has an impact on our energy level, our weight, our immune system and our risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Each March and throughout the year, the Academy of Nutrition and ...
National Nutrition Month Celebrates Healthy Eating, Active LivingWCTV
NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH: Dietician encourages healthy livingMorganton News Herald
March is National Nutrition MonthThe Fort Stockton Pioneer
Grist -Newbritainherald
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The eight most important things to look for on nutrition labels
The State
_Serving size: This tells you what amount of the food or drink the nutritional information is based on. Some nutrition panels will also tell you how many servings are in the package or container. Look carefully at the serving size. There may be 2, 3 ...

and more »


MLive.com

Atherton schools administrators share nutritional advice at national event
MLive.com
BURTON, MI -- Two Atherton schools administrators recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to give input on how to improve school nutrition. Bethany Taylor, food service director for Atherton School District, and Susanne Carpenter, principal of Atherton ...



Snack your way to a smaller waistline with Extend Nutrition's new “Snack-2 ...
STLtoday.com
Extend Nutrition, a leading nutritional snack company with the only snacks shown to reduce the amount of calories consumed at the next meal by an average of 21%[i] introduces their new “Snack-2-Health Kit.” There are no lifestyle changes needed and no ...

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Military Times

New site gives MRE nutrition facts
Military Times
What about the nutrition value of an entire Pork Sausage Patty, Maple, meal? This information is readily available on the packaging of combat rations. But a new online database lets troops get that information before they get into the field. The Combat ...



Managing diabetes through nutrition and exercise
myfox8.com
The team of registered dieticians and diabetes educators at the Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center is dedicated to educating diabetic patients throughout the community how to manage their disease through proper diet and exercise.

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