What is Circadian Rhythm and How Does it Impact Our Health?

I’ve mentioned in several of my blogs about the importance of maintaining a good circadian rhythm for optimal sleep and wakefulness. In this blog, I’ll describe how this master clock in our body influences our daily pattern and its importance in keeping this internal rhythm balanced and healthy.

Your circadian rhythm is your 24-hour cycle that is part of your body’s internal clock that carries out essential functions and processes. It is controlled by your hypothalamus and translates signals from the environment to your body. Your rhythm is influenced by external factors like light and your body can regulate temperature and metabolism to keep you alert or help you fall asleep.

Your sleep-wake cycle is part of your circadian rhythm and during the day, light exposure sends signals to your brain to be awake, alert and active. When your brain detects darkness at night, it stimulates the production of melatonin which is a hormone that promotes deep sleep. And it is this alignm...

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How your snoring affects your well-being – “Healthy Attitude” podcast review

Bedtime may be the favorite time of the day for thousands of people, but it does not always represent rest time for everyone. Has the snoring of your relative or partner ever kept you awake at night? Yes, it has happened to all of us. But we must be aware of a reality: in addition to causing annoying noises, snoring can be an indicator that our companions are suffering from more than just a stuffy nose.Dr. Ana Carolina Bassol, a graduate of Mexico's National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, knows about this firsthand. The pulmonologist works at the Galenia Hospital in Cancun, in the south of her country, and has treated dozens of cases of sleep apnea, a condition related to snoring.This sleep disorder, known in the medical community for being underdiagnosed by professionals and neglected by patients, affects a significant number of Latin Americans in the 21st century. According to this study (in Spanish), 20% of middle-aged adults have at least mild sleep apnea and 80% of cases remai...

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Kicking off the New Year With Intent – Sleep

We spend a third of our life in bed (or should aim to). Sleep affects everything from energy and mood to chronic conditions like heart disease and Alzheimer’s. It has an impact on our metabolism, immunity and physical performance. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 35% of adults don’t get the recommended dose of at least seven hours of sleep. And we live in an espresso-buzzed, screen-fixated, shut-eye deprived world where it’s considered a badge of honor to function on less sleep. Did you know that in a meta-analyses of almost 13,000 studies conducted on sleep, subjects who had sleep disturbances had a higher risk of dementia?

The National Sleep Foundation released the key indicators of good sleep and they include:

Sleeping at least 85% of the time when in bedFalling asleep in 30 minutes or lessWaking up no more than once per nightGoing back to sleep within 20 minutes of waking up at night

If you are like most adults and struggle to meet...

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Top 10 Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety

In this blog, I’d like to discuss the use of essential oils for managing stress, anxiety and mood. Aromatherapy stimulates the receptors in the nose and sends messages to our nervous system which impacts the body’s energy systems. This fragrant modality has been used for centuries to maintain and improve well-being.

Here’s my list of recommendations.

1. Chamomile Chamomile has a wonderful scent and is used widely in oil and tea form for general relaxation. This study showed the effectiveness of chamomile for treating generalized anxiety disorders (chronic anxiety and neurosis).

Here’s one that’s blended with jojoba and ready to use out of the bottle:

2. FennelThis delicious anise spice is more commonly known for its digestive properties but this study highlighted the use of fennel in reducing depression and anxiety in post-menopausal women.

Here’s one to try:

3. FrankincenseFrankincense oil is extracted from the resin of the Boswellia tree and it means ‘quality ince...

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Hacking Your Heart & Preventing Diabetes – Dr. Rocky Patel Podcast Review

I’ve always been a fan of Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Podcasts – he is probably the most famous biohacker that’s out there. On one of his earlier podcasts, his guest was Dr. Rocky Patel, a family physician who focuses on prevention and early detection and treatment of diabetes and heart attacks. He practices what he preaches and lost over 85 pounds following the program that he now advocates for his patients. Here are some of the highlights from the show:

Current food recommendations are not based on science but on US policy – we’ve been vilifying saturated fats but science shows that saturated fats and cholesterol are not the culprits.Eating quality fats and saturated meat is actually good for you and will raise HDL cholesterol and make the brain work better.  There are now prescription drugs based on medium chain triglycerides (MCT) oils.Dr. Patel follows a Paleo-type diet with the right amount of quality protein and good fats to maintain his health and weight.Diabetes is a disea...

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Dr. Daniel Amen Podcast Review: Memory Rescue – How to Stop Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Dr. Daniel Amen is one of the leading authorities on brain health – he is a physician, founder of Amen Clinics and BrainMD, a double board-certified psychiatrist and nine-time New York Times bestselling author.  I found this podcast easy to listen to with great tips from his Memory Rescue book (published in 2018) on how to take control of your brain. Here are the key highlights: Alzheimer’s disease is expected to quadruple in the next 35 years. What most people don’t realize is that this disease starts decades before symptoms appear. Based on imaging studies, a 59-year-old woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s most likely had negative changes to her brain in her twenties. There is also no known cure on the horizon and it is estimated that 50% of people 85 or older will be diagnosed with it.  This may be a cause for people not wanting longevity in their life!   Depression has increased by 400% since 1987 and it now affects 50 million Americans. It is also a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s....

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Tackling Coronavirus: How I Boost My Immune System

With Coronavirus dominating the headlines and being classified as a global pandemic, people are looking for natural ways to boost immunity and/or lessen the severity of cold and flu-like symptoms. My philosophy has always been prevention so here are some of the things I do to keep my immunity level functioning at its peak.Sleep – This is a simple solution but not easy to achieve for many including myself. I have trouble staying asleep so some of the things I do to try and get as many hours of sleep include:No drinking liquids after 7:30pm (to minimize middle of the night restroom visits)Turning off all electronics and wi-fi (or put on airplane mode to listen to an Audible book)Putting blue-light protectors on my iPad (I use my iPad at night to wind down)Taking melatonin and GABA supplement (when I need it)Shutting down all work-related emails/chats after 8pmImmune booster supplements – I’ve been taking 3-4 grams of vitamin C (buffered or liposomal), lysine powder (good anti-viral), bet...

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More Natural Ways to Boost Your Defense Against COVID-19

As a follow-up to my previous blog on boosting immunity, I’ve put together summaries of some recent articles on COVID-19 and managing our health during this crisis.  Five powerful supplements for immunity This article highlights that the best line of defense against a viral infection is to boost immunity – in addition to a high nutrient diet, adding these five supplements to your regimen can provide us the boost we are all seeking.  These supplements and associated evidence are as follows: Vitamin C B VitaminsVitamin DZincElderberry https://www.womansworld.com/posts/health/supplements-for-immunity Lack of sleep leaves us vulnerable to infection Although there are no studies on the effects of sleep on COVID-19 yet, researchers in 2015 found that volunteers deliberately infected with the common cold were four times more likely to develop cold symptoms if they slept less than six hours than those who slept for a minimum of seven hours. It is during sleep that our immune system produces an...

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Webinar: Boosting Immunity During the Coronavirus Pandemic

With Coronavirus dominating the headlines and impacting our lives in ways we’ve not imagined, more people than ever are now looking for natural ways to boost immunity and manage their health and well-being through the pandemic. This webinar will highlight strategies on staying healthy and mentally sound during this difficult time. These health tips, backed by clinical evidence, will include key areas such as sleep, stress reduction, diet, exercise, and nutritional supplementation. The presenter is NCHICA member Helen Pak-Harvey, PhD, Founder of Wholistics.Health. https://youtu.be/qTU_94csN8I...

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Is CBD All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, has grown in popularity over the past few years. But what really is CBD, is it actually beneficial for you, and is it marijuana? While, yes, CBD is a component of marijuana, it can be derived from either the hemp plant or the marijuana plant1. Also, unlike marijuana, CBD by itself will not give you a “high” or any feeling of intoxication1.

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