In this issue:
I recently read that the greatest gift you can give anyone is to receive what he or she has to offer. Thinking about it I really like the idea and perhaps its true?
SLEEP DISORDERS and INSOMNIA
One major thing you may hear about when people are stressed is that their adrenals are "shot" well this may be the case, but more accurately what has happened is that a thing we call the HPA axis is out of kilter(not a medical term:)
HPA stands for hypopthalmic - pituitary - and adrenal function (the HPA axis) and it has become abundantly clear that an excellent night’s sleep is very much the result of a balanced HPA axis. If you suffer from a cortisol imbalance, you will not only have energy disturbances, you will have sleep disturbances!
Do you have an issue with sleep? Then please read keep reading.
I will try to keep the language simple, so if you are able to slowly go through this article I am sure it will make a lot of sense. Many of you have experienced and continue to experience benefits from my work with products formulated by Dr Wilson, the "Adrenal" guy. I personally have gained a great deal of understanding about stress, insomnia and energy by learning from Dr Wilson’s work and of particular interest is the relationship between sleep and cortisol. The following is adapted from an article by Dr Wilson.
Stress and adrenal function affect sleep, particularly the circadian pattern of cortisol secretion by the adrenal glands. Circulating cortisol normally rises and falls throughout the 24 hour daily cycle, and is typically highest at around 8 AM and lowest between midnight and 4 AM. Both high and low nighttime cortisol levels can interrupt sound sleep. Stress normally causes a surge in adrenal hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that increase alertness, making it more difficult to relax into sound sleep - especially when they remain high or rise and fall irregularly through the night. Frequent or constant stress can chronically elevate these hormone levels, resulting in a hypervigilant state incompatible with restful sleep.
If this is the reason for poor sleep, anything that reduces stress and enhances the ability to handle stress may improve sleep. This can include relaxation, breathing and/or meditation techniques, certain yoga postures, healthy lifestyle changes, and stress-relieving life alterations. Refraining from vigorous exercise in the evening and taking time to consciously relax before going to bed may calm the adrenals and help lower cortisol and adrenaline levels.
When the adrenals fatigue, adrenal hormone levels may become low, leading to another possible source of nighttime sleep disruption – low blood sugar. Cortisol plays an important role in maintaining blood sugar (glucose) levels around the clock. Although blood glucose is normally low by the early morning hours, during adrenal fatigue cortisol levels may not stay sufficient to adequately sustain blood glucose. Low glucose signals an internal alarm (glucose is the main fuel for all cells, including brain cells) that disrupts sleep so the person can wake up and refuel.
This is where it gets a bit techo, but carry on - Low nighttime blood glucose can also result from inadequate glycogen reserves in the liver. Cortisol causes these reserves to be broken down into glucose that is then made available to the cells. When low cortisol and low glycogen reserves coincide, blood glucose will most likely drop, disrupting sleep. Waking between 1 AM and 3 AM may indicate low blood sugar resulting from inadequate glycogen reserves in the liver, low adrenal function and cortisol, or both. This is often the culprit when panic or anxiety attacks, nightmares, or fitful, restless sleep occur between 1:00 and 4:00 AM.
If low blood sugar is disrupting sound sleep, supporting healthy adrenal function and dealing with the adrenal fatigue may contribute long term to sound sleep. Also having a healthy snack before bed can help fortify the body’s nighttime energy reserves. The snack should be one or two bites of food that contains protein, unrefined carbohydrate, and high quality fat, such as half a slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter or a slice of cheese on a whole grain cracker. Eating or drinking sugary, refined foods will only aggravate the problem. Sometimes exercising before bed can help, since exercise tends to raise cortisol levels.
Insomnia or lack of sleep can be a significant body burden that, in itself, can contribute to adrenal fatigue. Every time the wake/sleep cycle is altered, it takes several days to weeks for the body and cortisol levels to adjust. In fact, sleep ranks with diet and regular exercise as an essential component of a healthy life. People on alternating shifts with less than three weeks between shift changes are continually hammering their adrenal glands and may become very susceptible to adrenal fatigue.
Chronic lack of sleep is now regarded as a health hazard and has been associated with several possible health consequences. These include lowered immunity with increased susceptibility to infections, impaired glucose tolerance, low morning cortisol levels, and increased carbohydrate cravings. Lack of sleep can also elevate circulating estrogen levels, upset hormonal balance, and slow healing and prolong the recovery period. These are in addition to the decreased alertness and concentration that most people experience when missing an inordinate amount of sleep.
The consensus from research and clinical observation is that it is necessary to sleep an average of eight hours per day. Some people need even more in the beginning phases of recovery from adrenal fatigue.
A saliva cortisol test done at night and compared with daytime levels and with the test standards for those times will help determine if either high or low cortisol may be interfering with sound sleep. If cortisol is a likely culprit, cortisol levels will be significantly higher or lower than normal for those times.
The cortisol testing can be organised for less than $200 and can certainly be an important indicator of where things are for an individual who may be struggling with adrenal related issues.
There is a massive selection of supplements available in the market place that may be helpful for dealing with insomnia. Some of my favourites are:
If you are considering getting one or two friends over for a cuppa then you may want to check this one out to get tips on brushing up on some important skills
Products Highlights from www.maximumwellbeing.com
While not strictly a "Product Highlight" I want to bring to your attention the fact that the team at Miessence have a great offer running at present - actually, it has just been extended so you have until the end of December to take advantage of an excellent deal. Here's how it works.
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You will enjoy a 20% discount off your first order and this is a $50 reduction from the standard Miessence Lifestyle Member purchase requirement of $150.
Lifestyle Members will continue to receive a 20% discount on all future orders as long as they place a minimum of one order for any amount every 12 months. So wherever you are on the planet, go for it!
Its even better for us Kiwis too, because the product will be shipped direct from fresh supplies in the Gold Coast and is "for personal use" you won't even pay GST! WOW, save the 15% GST and get a 20% discount!
So how good is that! And its so Easy!
Here is the site again www.thebecks.miessence.com
Qualifying Order Discount You Pay (est.) Shipping
$100 (£65) 20% $80 (£55) $9.95 (£6.50)
Best Deal! $125 (£85) or more 20% $100 (£65) $4.95 (£3.50)
The Lifestyle Member promotion ends 31st December 2011, AEST.
So discounted certified organic products for you, friends and family FOR EVER, what a deal. Christmas gifts anyone?
Struggling with a gift for someone special?
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Health snippets(International News)RICE BRAN OIL - is it really the "Healthy One"?(excerpts taken from Organic NZ)
In recent times we have seen the advertising of a supposed healthy fat in the form of Rice Bran oil.
More of you have asked the question, "is it healthy?"
Sorry to burst your bubble, but this "new' oil is generally highly refined and cannot really be considered safe and healthy for your heart!
It seems this "new" oil is sourced from what was until recently a waste product from the refining of brown rice. In the past the bran and germ would be either discarded or used in animal feed.
The claims that it is light, versatile, has a high smoke point and a relatively balanced profile of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are correct, but what this doesn't reveal is the process to get an oil with a high smoke point can only be attained by highly processing the product. The processing may include chemical solvent extraction, high temperatures, bleaching, deodorisation and winterisation(this is when the higher melting parts like waxes and triglycerides are removed), all of which leave a completely denatured product that won't go off quickly, and in my view if something doesn't go off I for one don't want to eat it. I am sure you have all heard of the Big Mac that has been in a display in a health store for years and has hardly deteriorated, the same applies with rice bran oil! If it won't rot/breakdown then how will your digestive system deal with it?
As per the clever marketing guys and girls, you will see terms like "extra cold filtered" or "cold processed" being used, the consumer is going to think this is the same as "extra virgin cold pressed" that we might see on an olive oil bottle but it is simply clever wording used to fool the client into thinking it is healthy.
The refining that results in a high smoke point also has another problem and that is the simple fact that harmful oxygenated aldehydes are formed, a process that begins at temperatures as low as 66o C, rice bran oil is processed at over 238oC!
So in my view, stick to "real" oil and leave the highly refined stuff on the shelves of the supermarket. A high smoke point and some antioxidants in rice bran oil doesn't offer any benefits if it is poisoning you with chemical residues and cannot be processed by your digestion at the end of the day. Obviously the choice is yours but I hope this makes it easier to make an informed decision.
Tips for a tune up concerning Triglycerides.
Triglycerides are a scientific term for fatty deposits stored in your body. Your body transforms the carbohydrates you eat into glucose to be used for energy by your cells. Once the cells have what they need, the excess glucose is sent back to your liver and converted to glycogen. Glycogen can then be stored in your muscles. Once you've reached your capacity of glycogen, excess glycogen is sent back to your liver again, where it becomes triglycerides, which are stored as fat. Your body has endless storage space for this fat, as we all know. Some of these triglycerides are not stored as fat, but remain in your blood stream, which is where the problem lies. Excess levels of triglycerides thicken your blood, making it sludgy, which increases the possibility of clotting and blockage, which could eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Smarter use of antibiotics demanded
Tighter controls on the use of antimicrobials - such as antibiotics - are needed to fight growing bacteria resistance, says a resolution adopted by the European Parliament last week. Virtually untreatable superbugs claim the lives of around 25,000 people in the EU each year, a figure that MEPs fear could grow. The Parliament’s resolution makes non-binding recommendations for the EU and Member States.
The EU already bans the use of antibiotics to boost animal growth, but it should also phase out their preemptive use..........
Read more here
DEAL of the MONTH:
This month until Christmas you will be able to order anything from the ENTIRE Premier Research range with at least a 10% discount.
Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and wishing you a Prosperous 2012!!
Yours in good health,
Gary Beck, Naturopath,