Health Tip #61

health-tip-61

Article to come…

Health Tip #22

health-tip-22

We Need Our Sleep

Sleep is not merely a waste of productive time.  Sleep is a necessary part of your overall health.  We need 8 hours of sleep each night for optimal health.  Lack of proper sleep can lead to a decline in mental and physical health including:  reduced cognitive function, memory loss, weight gain, obesity, depression, headaches, anxiety, accidents, diabetes, decreased immune function, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and lack of emotional control.  A lack of sleep also exacerbates chronic illnesses already present.

While we sleep, our body goes into a detox, repair and mental and immunological integration faze.  Without sleep we miss out on all of these processes.

Sleep For Better Brain Health

Sleep makes you smarter.  While we sleep, and as we dream, our brain sews together (integrates) the pieces of our experiences into memories, discovers the rules for our lives and fosters insight.  Studies have shown that students performed better on problem solving and memory and recall tests when given a chance to sleep on it.   Our brain strategizes and figures out answers to our problems and possible paths of action and the meaning of our lives while we sleep.  A lack of this process can lead to lack of mental health including depression.

Lights Out

In order to get good sleep we need complete darkness.  Light at night disrupts our anti-cancer, melatonin production.  It is for this reason that shift work is listed as a possible carcinogen.  Blue light emitted from fluorescent and LED lights are not healthy for us during the night.  Using blue-light blockers on technology, blue light blocker glasses and incandescent lights at night will help with this.

Stay In Sync With The Sun

Ideally to synchronize our biological clocks, we should be rising with the sun, being exposed to natural sunlight during the day and darkness at night.  Spending daylight hours outdoors will help with this, especially at high noon, so taking a walk on our lunch break is a great idea.  Not only that, but spending time outdoors in nature also helps with good quality sleep.

Winding Down

Shutting off all electronics and stopping work 1 or 2 hours before bed can help with a good nights sleep.  Doing activities that help you to relax and wind down will also help you sleep.  Have a hot bath, listen to relaxation recordings, read something uplifting or write in your gratitude journal and have a good nights sleep.

Health Tip #19

health-tip-19

A diet based on simple carbohydrates, sugars, processed carbs and processed grains can lead to health problems including metabolic syndrome, carbohydrate intolerance or insulin resistance and diabetes. Problematic processed carbohydrates include sugary foods, soda, processed grains, pasta, bread and cookies.  These carbohydrates that quickly break down into simple sugars in the digestive tract, feed pathogenic organisms in the gut that can lead to gut inflammation and a damaged gut wall.  This process can also lead to leptin resistance.  Leptin is our satiety hormone that tells us when we are full.  When this system is disrupted, it is difficult to for us to regulate our stores of body fat.

There are other carbohydrates that are a better choice.  Basing a diet on complex carbohydrates like those found in vegetables, combined with healthy fats helps to regulate our leptin levels.  Low-(processed)carbohydrate, healthy fat diets are healthier for our mitochondria as well.  Mitochondria are the energy producers of the cell.  Eating this way also helps to stabilize blood sugar, so we are not hungry or suffering from food cravings and we lose weight more easily.

Health Tip #11

health-tip-11

You know the KISS principle, Keep It Simple Sweetheart.  Life has become so fast paced and “noisy“.  Our foods have become noisy as well (caffeine, sugar and chemicals).  Noisy lives, noisy minds and noisy foods become too much for our bodies to handle effectively.

The best way to combat all of this noise is to keep it simple.   In terms of diet, this just means eating simple, old fashioned foods.  Humans around the world have thrived on a wide variety of diets.  How could humans all do well eating such divergent foods?  The answer is simplicity.  The foods that made the human race what it is today were simple, natural foods.  They were foods that were hunted and gathered.  They were foods grown and raised on small farms and eaten by the people who farmed them.  As the modern, industrialized Western food system and SAD diet (Standard north-American Diet) has spread across the globe, so have the diseases of the modern industrialized world, diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.  The more we can concentrate on simple, old-fashioned foods, the ones without a food label, the further ahead our health will be.