Are You Getting Enough Quality Sleep?
One of the most overlooked aspects of good health is quality sleep. Great nutrition, exercise, chiropractic adjustments and other healthy lifestyle habits will not be maximized unless you are sleeping enough. The images below are from an excellent resource for healthy living, Paul Chek's How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy. The images have black lines which represent stress/activating hormones and white lines which represent the growth/repair hormones the body releases. The first image represents a natural wake/sleep cycle, tied to the earth's cycle of day/night; also known as our circadian rhythm. Our bodies are designed to wind down from sunset until about 10 PM, then sleep and physical repair begins.
The second image shows an all-too-common pattern for many people today. Physical, mental, and emotional stressors are elevated and this causes high stress hormone release throughout the day. The effect of high stress hormone release is DECREASED growth/repair hormones. While the body can bounce back from occasional, intermittent, circadian rhythm stresses, chronic stress leads to decreased immunity, illness, weight gain, fatigue, and many other health conditions. Notice the difference between going to bed at 10 PM vs. midnight in the amount of growth and repair that takes place in the two images.
Here are some tips to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
- Get to bed by 10:00-10:30 PM.
- Although it varies from person to person, aim for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Most people underestimate the amount of sleep that they need to be and feel their best... so experiment for a couple weeks with a commitment to more sleep and see what happens!
- A cool, pitch black environment is essential. Even a little light can suppress melatonin secretion.
- Our brain craves input, and a noiseless room with occasional random sounds can disrupt sleep. Try the constant "whrr" of a fan or the Sleep Machine app, which keeps a constant flow of ambient sound to dampen excitability.
- Get sunlight throughout the day if possible, this sets our clock for the day AND night; blue light spectrum from morning/high noon sunlight suppresses melatonin, and red light spectrum from the sunset has a boosting effect on melatonin.
- Create a ritual so your brain when it's time to wind down. Utilize consistent times, lower the lights, brew some non-caffeine herbal tea, etc.
- To maintain good posture, back or side sleeping is preferred. Use a pillow like the one shown to the right. This is a Pillo-Pedic brand can be purchased for $60 at either office location. The middle area acts as a valley for the skull while on the back and if you're a side sleeper, the lobes are tall enough to maintain level alignment of the neck and back.
Some further resources for to check out on this topic include: Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival by T.S Wiley & SLEEP - How To Maintain A Healthy Body Clock.
Grand Opening of New Flourish Massage & Bodywork in Cincinnati
Our friends at Flourish Massage & Bodywork are excited to announce the opening of their second location at Moksha Yoga in Columbia Tusculum, Cincinnati on March 1, 2013! Two new massage rooms, accompanied by a new low heat yoga room, will be great additions to a very welcoming, soothing and unique yoga studio. A Grand Opening event will be this Saturday March 2nd from 5:30pm -7:30pm with free chair massages! Call 513-240-3392 today to schedule your appointment or visit them online.
Flourish - Tip of the Month by Kristin Worley, LMT
Body Scrubs: Sugar vs. Sea Salt
Salt and sugar are both wonderful exfoliant and both are great for removing dead skin, leaving your complexion healthier and looking younger. It’s important to take care of our skin, the bodies’ first line of defense against the external environment. Sea salts can be very detoxifying for the body, yet they can leave sensitive skin a bit dehydrated. Sugar scrubs are helpful for hydrating the skin while they exfoliate and cleanse. Try them both and see which works best for you.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day - We'll Serve Tasty Green Smoothies Mon. March 18th
Come by the office for a free healthy green smoothie! You'll love the taste and perhaps begin to include these drinks in your routine. We'll have the Vita-Mix at full speed, mixing up a combo of:
Green Apple, Kiwi, Kale, Chard, Spinach, Carrot, Avocado, Coconut Milk, Ginger, Lemon and Water
This Superfood Smoothie is creamy and delicious.
Fever helps fight infection: "Fever is one of the good guys"
Do you always take Tylenol or Ibuprofen to reduce your fever or your child's fever? You may want to rethink that approach after checking out this great Myths vs. Truths about Fevers article from Dr. Schmitt at the Colorado Children's Hospital. A couple key points from the post:
- MYTH: All fevers are bad for children.
- FACT: Fevers turn on the body's immune system. Fevers are one of the body's protective mechanisms. Normal fevers between 100° and 104° F (37.8° - 40° C) are usually good for sick children and help the body fight infection.
- MYTH: Fevers cause brain damage or fevers above 104° F (40° C) are dangerous.
- FACT: Fevers with infections don't cause brain damage. Only body temperatures above 108° F (42° C) can cause brain damage. The body temperature climbs this high only with extreme environmental temperatures (for example, if a child is confined to a closed car in hot weather).
- MYTH: Without treatment, fevers will keep going higher.
- FACT: Wrong. Because the brain has a thermostat, fevers from infection usually top out at 103° or 104° F (39.5°- 40° C). They rarely go to 105° or 106° F (40.6° or 41.1° C). While the latter are "high" fevers, they are harmless ones.
I recommend supplementing the body with calcium lactate when fever is present. Part of the role of a fever is to mobilize calcium that is stored in the body to use for boosting immune function and white blood cell activity. Supplementing with bioavailable calcium helps the body achieve its goal.
Recipe of the Month: Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse
This pudding recipe is made in the food processor so there is no cooking required and you can whip this up in a matter of minutes. Avocado helps give this recipe its thick and creamy texture, but don’t worry if you’re not a fan of avocado. You can’t even taste it, but all of avocado's healthy traits are in the mousse!
2 ripe avocados
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
2-4 tablespoons coconut milk
1-4 tablespoons maple syrup or softened honey *optional to taste and may not be necessary if the banana is sweet enough
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon cacao nibs, for garnish
1. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados into a small food processor, or mash them by hand.
2. Add the cacao powder, coconut milk, ripe banana, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt, and process until creamy, whipped, and well blended. You may whisk the ingredients together as well, if necessary.
3. Serve in individual dishes or bowls. Garnish with cacao nibs, toasted hazelnuts, or coconut.