Tag Archives: Insomnia

Could Unemployment Increase Stroke Risk?

In unstable financial times, losing a job can be a very stressful time in one’s life.  Anxiety and depression could develop as a result of such a big life event. In turn, a person’s health may start to worsen after losing a job if they do not have effective measures in place to help manage their stress.  Emotional eating, loss of sleep, and engaging in unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking may develop as a result of stress. In fact, a study from Japan has recently found that those who are unemployed have a greater risk of stroke than those who are employed.

unemployment, health, stroke, heart disease

Unemployment and Stroke Risk Study

A recent study of about 42,000 men found that those men who were unemployed had a 60-percent higher risk of stroke than those who were steadily employed. In addition, those unemployed men who suffered a stroke were about 120-percent more likely to die from it than those employed men who had a stroke. For women, those who were unemployed had a 50-percent greater chance of having a stroke. Of those women who had a stroke, those who were unemployed had a 150-percent greater chance of death.

It is suggested that these alarming rates of stroke and stroke-related death in the unemployed may be due to unhealthy habits such as drinking, smoking, being inactive, and having a poor diet.  In addition, it is suggested that even once re-employed, individuals may feel afraid that they will lose their job again, and therefore may be afraid to take leave when they are sick.  In turn, this could affect their long-term physical health.

Although this study is based on the Japanese culture, it may not be completely applicable to Americans, so further studies must be done. However, studies like the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System reported by the Centers for Disease Control suggest risk of depression is significantly increased for those Americans out of work.

How Can I Lower My Risk For Stroke?

Staying heart healthy involves a holisitic approach of eating balanced meals, staying active, and managing stress. Follow the tips below to help you keep your heart healthy for many years to come.

  • Consume minimally processed foods.  There are many foods that have to go through some processing to create such as yogurt or cottage cheese.  However, these types of products are only minimally processed. When trying to eat heart healthy, just be sure to limit highly processed foods such as neon-colored salty snacks, canned foods, pre-packaged meals, and deli meats like hot dogs or luncheon meat.  Just keep in mind that if it is an unnatural color, or has a confusing list of ingredients, then it is likely to be a highly processed product.
  • Consume plenty of fiber-rich foods. Fruits, veggies, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats, as well as nuts and seeds are all great natural sources of fiber.  Fiber is important for helping stabilize blood glucose levels, slow down digestion to help with absorption of nutrients from foods, and to bulk stool to help with elimination of wastes from the body. Furthermore, fiber is also great for helping you to stay more satisfied after meals, so it can help with weight management.
  • Stay active.  Staying active each day for at least 30 minutes can be a great way to blow off some steam and keep your heart healthy.  This doesn’t mean you have to go to boot camp classes or run a marathon. Simple moderate activity such as walking, riding a bike, or swimming can help keep your heart  healthy.  Exercise not only works to strengthen your heart, but can also act as an outlet for stress.
  • Get plenty of sleep. When you are feeling stressed, it can be hard to sleep. However, lack of sleep can actually make you more prone to anxiety and depression. This is because your body uses sleeping time to regulate hormones, fluids, and blood glucose levels in the body.  If you have trouble sleeping, try natural essential oils such as lavender or frankincense to help relax your mind. Other sleeping aids may include:
    • Relaxation breathing
    • Listening to relaxing music
    • Eliminating screen time before bed
    • Avoiding fluid consumption 2 hours before bed to avoid interrupted sleep
    • Supplements like Somnova from Vitasciences.

Somnova includes natural ingredients like melatonin and magnesium that work together to help produce restful sleep. Melatonin is also natural, so it is unlikely to have any interactions with other medicines you may be taking. However, be sure to check with your medical provider before starting any supplement regimen.

  • Develop healthy stress management techniques.  Find 15 minutes a day to engage in an activity that you enjoy. Reading a book,  taking a relaxing bath, or going to an acupuncturist or massage therapist, are some ways to relax. Also, visiting a counselor may help you better deal with stress and anxiety. Consistent self-care is essential to overall health and well-being. You can also try supplements like TheraCALM from Vitasciences to help with stress relief and restful sleep.

Visit Vitasciences for all of your supplement needs to help enhance your healthy lifestyle. Also, be sure to visit the National Stroke Association for more information on stroke facts, prevention, and research.

written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

Sources:

American Heart Association (August 2015) “The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp#.WPUehMuQx9A

Centers for Disease Control (March 19, 2015). “Unemployment and Depression Among Emerging Adults in 12 States, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2010” https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2015/14_0451.htm

Medline Plus (2017 April 13). “Another Downside to Unemployment: Stroke Risk?” https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_164623.html

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia: Can’t sleep? Often, sleeplessness stems from low vitamin B12 levels. Though nearly everyone experiences occasional trouble with falling asleep, chronic insomnia can be part of a range of symptoms attributed to dangerously low vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Are you spending your nights tossing and turning, unable to get a restful night sleep? Acute insomnia has a short duration, while chronic insomnia will last longer – anywhere from days to months.

If you suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency and insomnia—and a surprising number of people these days do—then taking extra vitamin B12 may promote good restful sleep at night, and it will also boost your energy during the day, increase your ability to focus, and promote digestive, cardiac, and immune health as well.

Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

Please note: Insomnia can result from an underlying medical disorder, in addition to vitamin B12 deficiency. Consult your doctor if you suffer from chronic insomnia.

Here are some ways that vitamin B12 and insomnia are related.

The vitamin B12-melatonin connection

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in production of melatonin, the body’s “sleep hormone” which helps you fall asleep at night and get deep rest until morning. Melatonin is one of your best defenses against insomnia, but you need healthy amounts of vitamin B12 as well.

Melatonin in the blood rises sharply at sundown, making you feel sleepy, and will usually remain elevated for approximately 12 hours – essentially throughout the night – before the onset of sunrise.

As we get older, and vitamin B12 levels begin to plummet, it becomes more difficult to enjoy a good night’s sleep, due to a reciprocal decrease in melatonin. For that reason many senior citizens struggle with both vitamin B12 deficiency and insomnia.

Doctors have recently observed that a large percentage of Americans over age 60 suffer from a severe vitamin B12 deficiency.  Without vitamin B12, your body cannot produce sufficient melatonin, which is needed to help one sleep.

Many people who suffer from insomnia take melatonin pills to help them get to sleep. However, boosting the body’s ability to produce it by increasing vitamin B12 is a more naturally efficient option.

What is vitamin B12 good for?

Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is one of the B complex vitamins. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Vitamin B-12 is instrumental for maintaining healthy nerve cells, synthesizing DNA and RNA, and regulating blood cells.  A vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause fatigue, irritability, digestive issues, and shortness of breath.

The elderly, vegetarians, and vegans tend to have a higher risk of developing a Vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 for insomnia

If insomnia is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, then it’s important to supplement with extra vitamin B12 immediately; untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve cell deterioration and increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Ask your doctor for a vitamin B12 deficiency blood screening while discussing insomnia, and begin supplementation right away.

Take vitamin B12 with folic acid

Taking folic acid (vitamin B9) along with vitamin B12 is also helpful for insomnia, as vitamin B12 assists folate in building red blood cells and absorption of iron, both key components for good sleep health.

For some people, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is yet another cause of insomnia. Research has shown that RLS is related to a folic acid deficiency, and that taking more B vitamins can reduce RLS, helping to provide a full night of sleep, even in people with severe insomnia. It is thus recommended to take vitamin B12 along with vitamin B9 for maximum absorption.

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Your turn!

What do you do to prevent insomnia? Do you also struggle with vitamin B12 deficiency? Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Natural Herbs, so you can Relax

Supplements such as 5-HTP, GABA, and green tea extract are safe, natural herbs that can help you relax, sleep better at night and lift your mood. Scientific research supports the use of supplements for anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.

natural herbs, relax, stress

Sleep better and fight stress with these natural herbs.

Natural herbs for better relaxation

For centuries, people have used natural herbs to promote good health. In recent years, we have developed the ability to analyze herbs our ancestors used for relaxation, energy, and mood. Through scientific testing, we can objectively identify the therapeutic properties of such healthy supplements.

Natural Herbs…Relax!

Supplements such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), theanine, tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) are reported to promote relaxation…based on cellular and animal studies as well as human clinical trials the literature supports a role for these preparations as useful alternatives in the management of the stress and anxiety of everyday life.

-Benjamin S. Weeks, Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(11): RA256-262

Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

GABA is an amino acid produced in the brain which helps to regulate cognitive and neurological functioning. It’s has a naturally calming effect on the nerves. Supplements with GABA are excellent for reducing tension, promoting restful sleep, and elevating the mood.

L-theanine- Camellia Sinensis Extract

L-theanine is a green tea leaf extract that is used for its multiple health benefits. Tea has rich sources of flavonoid antioxidants, as well as the amino acid, L-theanine. Placebo studies found it effective for enhancing mental focus, promoting relaxation and reducing depression, without any negative side effects.

5-HTP mood enhancer- Griffonia Simplicifolia extract

5- HTP (5-hydroxy-l-tryptophan) is helpful for mood and sleep difficulties. Through serotonin regulation, this beneficial ingredient reduces stress and lifts the mood. Decreased serotonin causes lasting depression, while increased serotonin helps to balance the mood. Griffonia Simplicifolia, a tropical shrubbery, contains rich amounts of 5-HTP. Use daily to maintain healthy levels of the serotonin neurotransmitter in the brain. Effective for depression, nervousness, and sleep problems.

Getting the most out of natural treatments

Many forms of natural herbs and vitamins are available for good health, including some that are taken orally in pill form or liquid, as well as in a spray. For maximum absorption, doctors recommend using a vitamin-enriched lotion. Science proves that nutrients enter the body most efficiently when applied directly to the skin.

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TheraCALM  stress relief cream helps you sleep better and control stress levels. Buy it here for $19.95

 

Sources:

Formulations of dietary supplements and herbal extracts for relaxation and anxiolytic action: Relarian

Anxiolytic-like effect of Griffonia simplicifolia Baill. seed extract in rats.

L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state.

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Worth It- Melatonin Cream for Sleep

Not getting enough rest at night? Scientific studies support using melatonin cream for sleep. The hormone melatonin supports a healthy sleep cycle, helping you get more restful rejuvenating REM cycles. If you wake up often in the middle of the night or have trouble settling into your bedtime routine, then you may just need a soothing melatonin night cream.

Vita Sciences blog- vitamin B12 deficiency, migraine

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For skin renewal, revitalization and allover health and wellbeing, read more about the therapeutic qualities of topical melatonin.

Sleep isn’t a luxury!

In order to function well, your body needs plenty of quality restorative sleep at night. This is true for your emotional and physical health, as well as for your complexion. Wrinkles, bags under the eyes, deep lines, sagging skin- these are all signs of premature aging that happen when you don’t get enough deep sleep.

As you get older, it becomes harder to get the same quality of rejuvenating sleep as you did when you were younger. Studies have even shown that not getting enough sleep can lead to type 2 diabetes, obesity, anxiety, memory loss, and autoimmune disorders.

Symptoms of insomnia:

  • Morning fatigue, drowsiness
  • Brain fog
  • Disorientation
  • Memory problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Frequent illness
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Facial lines
  • Grey, haggard skin
  • Sagging skin pouches
  • Under-eye bags and shadows

The sleep hormone

Melatonin is nature’s alarm clock. Scientists have found that the hormone melatonin is crucial for healthy refreshing sleep, as it promotes a normal sleep/wake cycle. Your brain begins secreting melatonin as the sun sets, increasing production during nighttime, and then slowly decreasing melatonin levels as the morning draws near.

Unfortunately, as you age, your body slows down melatonin production. Plummeting levels of melatonin make it harder for you to get to sleep and stay asleep the entire night.  That’s why it’s important to supplement with extra melatonin as you get older. Often, signs of aging such as constant tiredness, haggard skin tone, dryness and wrinkles are just symptoms of sleep debt.

Melatonin cream for sleep

Topical melatonin cream may be one of the greatest, most efficient anti-aging supplements available; therapeutic moisturizers, vitamins and oils team up with powerful sleep-inducing melatonin to help you attain maximum mind and body rejuvenation while sleeping.

  • Melatonin cream assists your skin’s nightly repair cycle.
  • Melatonin helps people who have trouble getting to sleep quickly and sleeping the entire night.
  • You can rub melatonin directly into your skin, the largest organ of your body.
  • Incorporating massage lotion into your bedtime routine is an excellent way to promote relaxation.
  • Establishing a nighttime ritual is beneficial for good sleep hygiene.

 

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