Category Archives: Sleep

A Unique Approach to Women’s Health Optimization

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The most important thing to understand about women’s health is that each woman is unique. Optimizing women’s health involves a broader view of women as complex beings. The following 5 aspects of health are key in recognizing a holistic approach to women’s health. Energy As medical practitioners, fatigue is a primary concern for our patients. This symptom can be due to a wide variety of causes including lack of sleep, poor nutrition, hormone imbalances, infections, and/or stress. The treatment plan for tackling fatigue should involve a complex approach by treating the woman as a whole and looking into a range of potential causes. Immune Our immune system acts by warding off potential threats such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins that may be present in the environment we live in. More than finding ways to attack the “enemies”, a better long-term approach to boosting and supporting our immune systems from […]

6 Signs You Have a Weak Immune System and What You Can Do About It

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The immune system acts as the body’s primary line of defense against disease. As such, a decline in immune function often results in greater occurrence and increased severity of sickness. Unfortunately, many people overlook or do not recognize when their immune system is not working at its best leaving them more exposed to illness. Resolving this issue requires that people be familiar with the signs of a weakened immune system and implement effective ways of supporting its function.  What is the Immune System? The immune system is a collection of cells, tissues, and organs whose primary goal is keeping the body safe from antigens that cause disease. When working as intended the immune system identifies dangerous bacteria, viruses, and parasites then eliminates them through the release of antibodies. However, if the immune system is weak, it may not be able to respond appropriately thereby increasing the risk of contracting an […]

7 Ways You Can Improve Your Immune System

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Originally Posted April 2016Updated March 2020 Having a healthy immune system translates into better protection from disease and an overall sense of well-being. Our immune system requires ongoing maintenance to function properly. A weakened immune system can open the way to various illnesses and infections. It can contribute to poor sleep, depression, excessive muscle pain, slow-healing wounds, fitness limitations, and a general feeling of fatigue and lethargy. What can you do to actively support a healthy immune system? Read on for ways you can improve your immune system! 1. Keep a Healthy Diet Processed foods including refined grains, sugar, excessive alcohol and fast food will always determine a weak immune system, because they don’t provide the nutrients for health and cause a high level of toxicity and inflammation in the body. Keep it simple by choosing to cook from scratch, as much as possible, with high quality, whole ingredients like organic protein, fat and […]

Everything You Need to Know About Melatonin

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Of the body’s many hormones, melatonin is perhaps one of the most widely known. This is primarily due to its notoriety as a safe, effective, and natural sleep aid. However, in addition to supporting sleep, melatonin also has other qualities that encourage greater wellness. Read on to learn about the basics of melatonin, its role as a sleep regulator, and its many other health benefits. What is Melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland located near the center of the brain. This pinecone-shaped piece of the endocrine system is responsible for regulating our circadian rhythm or wake/sleep cycle. A great deal of the pineal gland’s influence on sleep is exerted through the release of melatonin. Depending on the amount of melatonin in our system, we feel more tired or alert. Increased melatonin encourages sleep while reduced values allows for wakefulness. Melatonin values are dictated in part by […]

How Poor Sleep Can Disrupt Your Hormones and What You Can Do About It

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Sleep is one of the body’s most important restorative and regulatory processes. As such, it should not come as a surprise that inadequate sleep and poor sleep quality can lead to major health issues. This is in part due to the fact that sleep has notable influence on the body’s ability to regulate and produce hormones. Below we will discuss the importance of sleep, how it relates to hormone activity, and ways to support both sleep quality and hormone function. The Important Role of Sleep Sleep is a key component of overall wellness. This is because sleep affects several important elements of health including, but not limited to, memory, weight, immunity, mood, cognitive ability, heart function, and physical ability. As such, a lack sleep or low-quality sleep can result in widespread dysfunction throughout the body. Sleep is able to affect such a large collection of functions because it has notable […]

Can Adrenal Dysfunction Cause Sleep Disorders?

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There are many potential causes for poor sleep. However, an increasingly common, but often overlooked source of sub-optimal sleep is adrenal fatigue. Understanding the importance of the adrenals, how adrenal issues impact sleep, and how to properly identify and treat adrenal malfunction may help you return to wellness by facilitating high quality sleep. What Are the Adrenals? The adrenals are small walnut-sized glands that are located just above the kidneys. They are responsible for the production of over 150 hormones, many of which have impressive influence over various bodily functions. Watch this video from Dr. Nancy Evans to learn even more about the adrenals. Some of the most well-known adrenal hormones include adrenaline, estrogen, and DHEA. These and other adrenal hormones have a huge impact on health factors such as energy level, mood, weight, blood pressure, immune activity, nutrient usage, hormone regulation, and more. Any sort of adrenal irregularity can […]

How Thyroid Dysfunction Can Cause Sleep Disorders

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The thyroid influences numerous bodily functions, many of which can affect sleep quality and duration. Unfortunately, thyroid disease and its effect on sleep is frequently overlooked. Understanding the role of the thyroid, its common forms of malfunction, and how they can impede sleep quality may help you resolve persistent sleep problems. What is the Thyroid? The thyroid is a small gland located in the neck. This powerful system is also responsible for regulating and influencing a wide range of essential bodily functions including metabolism, neurological function, immune activity, and others. The thyroid accomplishes this through the production of several hormones. Although there are many hormones produced by the thyroid, for the purposes of this discussion we will focus on just three: thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and reverse triiodothyronine (RT3). Each hormone is charged with specific tasks and must work together to maintain healthy bodily function. T4, also known as the […]

6 Health Benefits of Sleep

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Originally Posted March 2017Updated December 2019 The constant rush of modern society has caused people to start treating sleep like a resource rather than a necessity. Some feel that by trading in a couple hours of sleep they are better able to finish those last-minute projects, watch one more episode, or stay out late without any consequences. This is simply not true. Sleep is not only necessary for proper bodily function and health but it also offers several additional benefits. The following six areas benefit greatly from improved sleep. Knowing the positive impact of sleep on your wellness and overall ability may provide the motivation needed to make sleep a priority. Learn more about the importance of quality sleep here. 1) Better Cognitive Function To complete tasks and fulfill our daily responsibilities the mind must be able to understand information and respond appropriately. Even activities as simple as driving or […]

5 Foods that Promote a Good Night’s Sleep

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Originally Posted March 2017Updated December 2019 Quality sleep is important for your overall health and well-being – learn more about the importance of quality sleep here. Because of this, developing good sleep habits is vital. Many are aware of the usual sleep tips including, going to bed earlier, and creating a dark, comfortable sleep environment, but these aren’t the only ways to improve your sleep quality. How Your Diet Affects Your Sleep Diet plays an important role in sleep quality and can either hinder it or help it depending on what foods are consumed. Many know that eating heartburn-inducing foods and drinking caffeinated beverages before bed can lead to tossing and turning. Alternatively, regularly eating some or all five of the foods listed below can improve sleep duration and quality. Lean Proteins Protein is an important part of a balanced diet but it also helps get us to sleep. Foods […]

The Importance of Quality Sleep + 6 Tips on Getting Better Sleep

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Of the body’s many processes, sleep is among the most important. Without quality sleep, the body cannot maintain healthy bodily function. Unfortunately, many do not get the quality of sleep needed to sustain optimal wellness. To combat the growing issue of declining sleep quality, we must recognize the importance of sleep, identify what good quality sleep is, and incorporate sleep-supporting practices into our everyday lives. Why You Need Good Quality Sleep We need good quality sleep to maintain many elements of wellness. For example, research shows that quality sleep is a requisite for healthy memory, mood, weight regulation, cognitive function, and immune activity. Conversely, a lack of quality sleep has been found to encourage a decline in these and other bodily processes. The overall importance of sleep can be seen in its relation to the following bodily processes. Weight Regulation Reduced sleep quality is closely tied to weight gain. One study […]

How Fibromyalgia and CFS Make Getting Out of Bed Difficult (Dysania)

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Originally Posted July 2016Updated June 2019 Sleep abnormalities are one of the defining features of both chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM). One of these sleep-related issues is referred to as “morning fog” or a “sleep hangover.” This period of time in the morning can last for up to 1-2 hours after waking, during which individuals report experiencing fatigue, achiness, and mental fogginess. Many times, they are unable to get out of bed. The scientific term for these symptoms is dysania or clinomania which comes from the latin word “clin” meaning bed and “mania” meaning madness. In those with CFS or FM, it can occur in any stage of the illness. Dysania can be very discouraging, frustrating, and even guilt-producing since these patients often feel such a strong desire to stay in bed that they may do so even when it means foregoing responsibilities. While dysania may be experienced […]

How Sleep is Involved in Regulating Mood and Wellness

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Sleep plays an important role in the regulation of important bodily functions including mood regulation, energy level, and mental wellness. Because of this, those who do not get adequate rest are likely to suffer from mental dysfunction and mood disorders such as depression. However, by making quality sleep a priority, you may be able to combat depression, alleviate a variety of symptoms, and improve overall wellness. The Importance of Sleep Sleep is the body’s primary means of restoration. While we sleep, various activities occur in the brain and elsewhere that regenerate, reset, and rebalance many essential elements of health. Because of its powerful restorative effects, getting adequate sleep is a critical component of wellness. Sleep is composed of five distinct stages. The deepest stage of sleep known as REM (rapid eye movement), which supports improved learning, memory, and better mental and emotional health. REM sleep is acquired only through extended […]