Sleep soundly and wake rested and energized for the day. Learn how with the latest discoveries in sleep support on the NorthStar blog on sleep.

  1. Insomnia: Is it Old Age? Or a Side Effect of Medication

     What Causes InsomniaInsomnia: Is It Old Age? Or A Side Effect of Medication?

    All your life, you’ve slept like a baby. 7, 8, maybe even 9 hours a night!

    But recently, have you found yourself awake later than you want to be, unable to drift off?

    Or are you awake earlier than before, with no hope of getting back to sleep?

    So, what causes insomnia? And how do you know if it’s just getting older, or something else?

    Insomnia is when you aren’t – when you can’t – get enough sleep. For some people, that may be anything less than 8 hours.  For other people, they may be fine as long as they get 5. But the key is whatever amount of sleep you’re getting, it’s not enough.

    If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:

    • Daytime fatigue
    • Irritability, depression, or anxiety
    • Poor concentration
    • Headaches
    • Or if you’re still tired when you wake up

    You could be dealing with insomnia. And maybe it’s just getting older, but maybe not, because some causes of insomnia could surprise you…

    Common Medications Make Insomnia a Common Problem

    The older you get, the more likely it is your doctor wants to prescribe medications for this condition, or that symptom. But while those medications may be helping that specific condition, they very well could be the cause of your insomnia, too.

    ACE Inhibitors – A medication for heart and cardiovascular conditions, ACE inhibitors can assist the effects of insomnia 2 ways. First, they often cause patients to cough uncontrollably, around the clock. This deep cough is difficult to sleep through. Second, they can cause potassium build-up in your muscles, which leads to muscle cramps and pain – also, very difficult to sleep through.

    Alpha and Beta Blockers – both are prescribed for various cardiovascular conditions, but cause insomnia differently. Alpha blockers can interfere with your REM cycle, the duration of deep sleep where you dream, and can also increase daytime tiredness. Beta blockers may interrupt your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you get to sleep and stay asleep.

    Angiotensin II-receptor blockers (ARBs) – are most often prescribed for people who can’t take ACE inhibitors. But like ACE inhibitors, can cause potassium build-up, creating the same muscle cramps and pain.

    Cholinesterase inhibitors – commonly prescribed for dementia patients to help with memory loss and personality changes, one of the main side effects of sleep disturbance. Along with causing insomnia, , these can also cause changes in heart rhythm, intestinal issues, and muscle spasms which make it hard to sleep.

    Corticosteroids – are used as anti-inflammatories for arthritis, gout, and allergic reactions. But they also trigger your adrenal glands, flooding your system with adrenaline, and putting you into a fight-or-flight response. That level of stress not only causes insomnia, but it can put you at risk for adrenal fatigue, as well.

    Glucosamine and Chondroitin – perhaps the most unexpected entries on this list, glucosamine and chondroitin may do wonders for your joints – but may also be causing insomnia. While no one is quite sure why they keep people up at night, more than one study has found insomnia to be a side effect of taking them.

    Non-sedating Antihistamines – also known as “second generation antihistamines” the new antihistamines don’t cause drowsiness the same way the original ones did. Unfortunately, they sometimes go too far in the opposite direction, and cause insomnia instead.

    Statins – one of the most common family of drugs to help lower cholesterol, statins can also cause muscle pain that is sometimes debilitating – which can be impossible to sleep through.

    Simple Steps to Simply Sleep

    Now that you know what medications could be causing insomnia, what should you do if you’re on any of them?

    First, talk to you doctor. Many of these medications have alternatives that may not cause insomnia =, or disrupt your sleep patterns at all.

    Second, try Sleep Dissolves. Using 3 active ingredients and a proprietary flora blend, Sleep Dissolves works naturally and safely so you can ease into a full night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to take on your day. No harsh chemicals that leave you feeling groggy and out of it the next day. Just all-natural, restful sleep.

    We’ve backed Sleep Dissolves with our Gold Standard Guarantee, so you can try it risk free. If you don’t drift off to sleep and stay asleep, all night – if you don’t wake rested and refreshed, with no grogginess left over – if you aren’t 100% satisfied, then simply return your entire order and we’ll refund your purchase price.

    And if you order today, you can take an extra 15% off every bottle. Just enter promo code W653R4ZA at check out, and we’ll take 15% off, automatically.

    When you’ve been up all night, what causes insomnia doesn’t feel nearly as important as what fixes it. So talk to your doctor about the potential side effects of any new medication – and try Sleep Dissolves. So you can get return to getting back to sleep. Order today!
    *Discount applies to first order or first ADS shipment only. Cannot be combined with any other discounts.

  2. What is Beauty Sleep? How to Look Beautiful Overnight

    Beauty SleepFor years, you've heard the old idiom about getting beauty sleep. But is that really true?

    Or is it just an old wives’ tale that sleep helps keep you beautiful?

    Well, in this post, I’m going to share great news with you. Not only are you going to discover exactly what beauty sleep is, but you’ll see how it really is one of the best beauty tips out there.

    If you want to quickly test this out and see for yourself, try this…

    Next time you've gotten a really good night’s sleep, study yourself in the mirror. Eyes are bright. Skin is luminous. Maybe even those small wrinkles you've been noticing aren't so obvious.

    Then compare that the next time you haven’t slept so well. Bet you’ll see the difference immediately…because beauty sleep isn't just a myth.

    And keep reading to get the full scoop on beauty sleep and why you should be focusing on this one easy secret every night.

    What’s Going On While You’re Asleep that’s SO Important?

    The reason sleep is so important to beauty is quite simple – while you’re asleep, your whole body, including your skin, gets a chance to repair itself.

    It’s during this time that the hydration levels in your body rebalance after a long day. Skin gets a chance to moisturize and hydrate while, at the same time, water you don’t need get processed out. Without this opportunity to balance your hydration levels, your skin get puffy, splotchy, and dry. And dry skin makes wrinkles even more noticeable.

    When you drift off into what’s known as “deep sleep” your growth hormone levels increase. These hormones go to work, repairing damaged cells in your skin. If you don’t drop into deep sleep, or don’t stay there long enough, the repair never gets a chance to happen. No cell repair means you end up looking older and, well, tired.

    Plus, lack of sleep causes your body’s collagen and hyaluronic acid to break down, and stop working. That same collagen and hyaluronic acid that helps give you a youthful glow. Not to mention that not getting enough sleep makes you stressed, and stress actually tires out your skin making you look older faster.

    Which is why it’s so important to get the proper amount of sleep every night. More on that in just a minute…

    How to Prepare Yourself for Truly Restful Beauty Sleep

    Incorporating these simple tips into your nightly routine will help get you the beauty sleep you need to wake rested – and looking younger than ever.

    Start by making your bedroom peaceful. Let the space encourage sleep, with cool colors, comfortable sheets, cozy blankets, and as few electronics as you can manage. The bedroom is for rest, not staying plugged in.

    This next tip might be my personal favorite for getting better beauty sleep…

    Use clean, high-quality sheets. Higher thread count sheets are easier on your skin, and help you feel more comfortable in bed. Not only will that help you drift to sleep faster, but the higher thread count pillow cases won’t harm your complexion like other, lower-quality sheets might.

    Next, try sleeping on your back if possible. Sleeping on your side or your stomach can cause the wrinkles and indentations from your pillow to end up embedded in your skin. So staying on your back will keep your skin looking from developing unnecessary wrinkles or creases.

    And finally, keep a nightly routine. As often as you can, go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Your body will become more efficient on a set schedule. In short, your brain will know it’s time to go to bed by the steps you take during your routine. So by the time your head hits the pillow, you will naturally be prepared to get deep and restful beauty sleep.

    Glowing, Natural Beauty in Just 5 Minutes a Night

    Yes, this really is the easiest beauty regimen you’ll ever find.

    And your pre-sleep routine is probably the most important piece.

    Along with the tips listed above, try these as well.

    Be sure to wash your face well, removing all makeup, and residue left over from the day. Then moisturize well, remembering to pay close attention to your eyes and lips. Since your skin will be hydrating while you sleep, help it along with a good night cream.

    And, when that’s done and you’re ready for bed, be sure to try Lumivella, our anti-aging beauty supplement specifically designed to help you get gorgeous while you sleep.

    The correlation between sleep and beauty is so important that we developed a beauty supplement that not only improves your complexion – easing fine lines and wrinkles – but also helps you get better sleep.

    Which is why we included lactium in the Lumivella formula. Lactium has been clinically shown to reduce the stress that keeps you awake at night, so you can drift off into peaceful slumber – and the other ingredients can get to work.

    Ingredients that help your body’s detoxification process, removing the impurities that age you from the inside out.

    And that give you antioxidant support, to fight back the hands of time. And even promote collagen, to help give you soft, supple skin. All while you sleep.

    It takes less than 5 minutes to work this natural beauty sleep secret into your nighttime routine. You can even do it while washing your face, pulling back your sheets, or reading before bed.

    We believe so strongly that Lumivella is the beauty secret you've been looking for that we've backed it by our Gold Standard Guarantee. If you don’t sleep better, get more rest, and then see the results in your mirror, simply return your order. We’ll refund every penny of your purchase price.

    And if you order today, we’ll take an extra 15% off every bottle. Enter promo code W650R3ZC at check out, and we’ll take 15% off – automatically.

    To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your beauty sleep – and truly restoring your natural beauty every night – try Lumivella today.

    *Discount applies to first order or first ADS shipment only. Cannot be combined with any other discounts.

  3. Risky new sleeping pill puts us all in danger

    Here we go again.

    The FDA has approved yet another sleep drug. And this one could turn out to be the worst of the whole rotten lot.

    Ironically, the FDA rejected the very same drug last year because it had “concerns over patient safety.” Fast forward to a year later and, apparently, those concerns about Suvorexant (Belsomra) have somehow been magically lifted. Continue reading

  4. Does Lumivella Really Work? How You Can Be Absolutely Sure…

    You know that the signs of aging can come from more than just the passage of time – to start, sun exposure, pollutants, stress, even lack of sleep can all damage and age your skin. And you've heard that Lumivella addresses those other roots of premature aging, but you want to know: does Lumivella really work? Can Lumivella really help…

    • Does Lumivella Work – Sleep & BeautyNeutralize free radicals that age your skin long before its time
    • Smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and fade away unsightly age spots
    • Restore a luminous glow by flushing away age-accelerating toxins
    • Ease tension and stress in your life, naturally and safely
    • Promote deep, sound, beauty-renewing sleep each and every night
    • Maintain skin moisture and softness naturally at any age?

    Our answer? Absolutely. Because the specially designed Lumivella formula has  ingredients that have been researched and specially formulated to help make you look and feel younger. Here’s how – Continue reading

  5. Chronic stress is a memory killer

    Trouble remembering where you parked the car? Forgetting appointments or blanking on people’s names?

    Don’t panic, chances are it isn't early Alzheimer’s. And no, you don’t have a brain tumor.

    The truth is, you’re probably just experiencing a little bit of chronic stress. And the cure for those brain burps is as simple as it gets: relax! Continue reading

  6. Anti-aging supplements - 6 nutrients that promote healthy skin

    Posted by: on

    Lumivella promotes healthy skinYou’re diligent about taking care of your skin – you stay out of the sun, use the right lotions, you even try to get enough sleep and avoid stress. And yet you still feel like your skin could use an extra boost and anti-aging supplements just might do the trick. Continue reading

  7. Shocking sleeping pill side effects force changes

    In case you’re keeping score, the FDA has been caught asleep at the wheel yet again. After ten years of being on the market, they’ve finally admitted that for more than 11 hours after taking Lunesta, the sleeping pill's side effects may severely impair a user’s memory, coordination and ability to perform everyday tasks. You know… tasks like driving a two-ton car down the same highway your child’s school bus takes.
  8. Lack of sleep could raise your stroke risk 54%

    I’ve told you before how dangerous a lack of sleep could be to your health. Now a new study out of Taiwan really drives that point home with a bang. Researchers found that sleeplessness, or insomnia, may boost your risk of stoke by a staggering 54 percent. The four-year-long study compared the health records of more than 21,000 people who suffer with insomnia to 64,000 who don’t have the condition. When the researchers crunched the numbers, and adjusted for other factors, they say there was a clear link between lack of sleep and stroke. And the worse your sleeping problem is the higher your stroke risk is.

    From diabetes to brain damage.. lack of sleep raises your risks

    As I’ve explained before, insomnia can raise your risk for a number of health problems including high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and even brain damage. It now looks like we need to add stroke to that list. Perhaps must shocking of all is that younger insomniacs, people between the ages of 18 to 34, were eight times more likely to suffer a stroke when compared to their snoozing peers. Proving that no matter your age, you need to start taking sleep—or lack of it—seriously. But, whatever you do, don’t fall for Big Pharma’s dangerous sleep drugs. To find out why sleeping pills aren’t the answer to lack of sleep, as well as read up on some natural shut-eye tricks, click here.
  9. Lumivella Customer Reviews: Does it work? That’s a big YES!

    Lumivella supplement customer reviews Wait until you hear these Lumivella customer reviews from women who have fallen in love with Lumivella, the cutting-edge formula that taps into the very latest discoveries in beauty science. You can literally see their satisfaction on their faces. They look younger than they did only a few weeks ago…their skin looks healthier…they have a youthful glow about them. They’ve got Lumivella luminescence and it shines out of them. So no, you don’t really need to hear from these women – but you’ll want to, because you should know about all the ways they love Lumivella.

    Lumivella Customer Reviews: Overall Impact

    Obviously, the most important goal of a beauty product is that it works, and it works completely. Not just around your eyes, or on fine lines, but over your whole face and on every aspect of aging. According to Priscilla Tyler, that’s exactly what Lumivella does…

    “I’m 63, soon to be 64. People have been complimenting me on how young I look. One person even made the statement that I seem to be getting and looking younger… how about that?”

    And Mary Whiting certainly agrees with her…

    I bought Lumivella because I trust your descriptions and claims. I've used several of your other products and they do everything you promise. Lumivella is totally different from other products I’ve tried. Instead of putting it on my face, I swallow two capsules and there is a subtle glow to my face that I didn't have before. Lumivella makes me feel great—like I have a secret that's helping me to feel radiant. It works! I plan to buy it to use before "big" events like parties, talks (I'm an author and psych researcher), etc. Thanks for being so reliable in your claims!”

    Some of us, though, while we want to improve our overall complexion, we also have trouble spots. Can Lumivella offer targeted results? Absolutely! Just as Suzanne C. from Easley, South Carolina…

    “I tried Lumivella to see if it could eliminate the dark circles beneath my eyes. And it works better than anything I’ve ever tried… including topical creams! Since using Lumivella, I’ve noticed that I’ve been sleeping better, and don’t feel as tired in the morning.”

    Lumivella Customer Reviews: Fast Results

    While we are willing to wait for something that really works, we don’t want to age even more waiting for our anti-aging products to kick in. Something that works quickly would be ideal, wouldn’t it? That’s Lumivella, too! Skeptical? Belinda Young, of Hamilton, Ohio was too…

    “I tried Lumivella because it made more sense that something internal would work better than creams and lotions. There is NO comparison to other products I’ve tried...I just reordered. I haven’t had any Lumivella for a couple months and I can tell a difference in my sleep and skin for sure after just ONE month on the product. Lumivella actually does what it says it does, which is a BIG surprise for me.”

    Sandra Gourd had a similar experience, getting visible results in less than a month…

    “I did receive one compliment since using my first bottle of Lumivella. A friend told me I look younger than before...I had not seen her in just over three weeks. I am truly excited and have ordered the 3-bottle supply with Auto-Delivery Service.”

    People will be asking, “What’s Your Secret?”

    We hope you’re not shy, though, because once you start using Lumivella, people will ask you for your secret, just like they ask Elaine S., of Glen Falls…

    “I have been taking the Lumivella and really enjoy the results. I really like it and have passed on the name when my friends have noticed my nice skin. They ask me ‘What have you been using?’”

    Because friends and colleagues will think you’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth. At least that’s what Debbie Spindler’s friends think…

    “I love Lumivella! I attend an annual meeting and every year since using Lumivella I receive so many compliments. It really is a pleasure when someone asks me why I don’t age. It is also a pleasure to sleep peacefully each night.”

    And you don’t have to hide behind layers of makeup to look younger, or for Lumivella’s results to be apparent. Laurie Delcamp, of Virginia Beach, can attest to that…

    I don’t wear very much make up and have been getting a lot of compliments and questions on what I have been doing to have my skin look so good. And I feel really good. The best thing is I am mentally more upbeat.”

    Lumivella Beauty: More Than Skin Deep

    Lotions and creams are fine, but they only deal with the surface of your skin, or with some of the causes of aging. Lumivella combats every factor that contributes to aging, including both the internal and external effects of stress on the complexion. Your days of only being able to deal with surface aging are over with Lumivella. And your days of having old, gray, or just tired looking skin are in your past, as you can see from these incredible Lumivella customer reviews. These women – and so many others – are putting a new face forward, thanks to Lumivella. You can too, just like Denise Ibanez of Houston…

    “I started to look old, no matter what I used for my skin. I am at the age of 50+ when signs of aging are going to show. I tried Lumivella to see if it would make my skin look more youthful. Lumivella does something that creams don't do—it just simply makes me look youthful. I feel a little more confident about my appearance. I do believe that it makes my hair more manageable. I received so many compliments about my hair. When I don't use Lumivella, it doesn't have that shine or bounce. My lips also look a bit youthful as well. Like a little lift at the end. My make-up looks great when I use Lumivella. I see the difference.  I will keep using it. I am sold on it.”

    Try Lumivella for yourself. Your friends will be asking what’s changed – and you’ll be as eager to tell them as hundreds of other satisfied users. And you’re always completely covered by our “They notice or you don’t pay” guarantee --  you can return your purchase at any time for a full refund, less shipping, if you are not 100% thrilled with what you see and feel. And when you try Lumivella today, you can take 25% off your first order. Don’t wait any longer to unlock your body's hidden potential to keep you looking young and beautiful.Use promo code W650Q4ZL to save 25% when you try Lumivella today. Click here to save 25% when you purchase Lumivella now.

    *Discount applies to first order or first ADS shipment only. Cannot be combined with any other discounts.

  10. Insomnia can be bad for your heart health

    If you have insomnia, nobody needs to tell you that it takes a toll on your day-to-day life. But do you know about the more serious consequences of insomnia? It can have a major effect on your health. In fact, a brand new study found that men and women who can't fall asleep in their own bed face a much higher risk of winding up in a hospital bed! For this study, researchers analyzed data for more than 50,000 Norwegian adults who filled out a national survey about their sleep habits. The researchers followed these adults over 11 years. During this time, 2,368 men and women suffered heart attacks. After analyzing the data... The researchers found that insomniacs ran a 45 percent greater heart attack risk than men and women who didn't have problems falling asleep. Plus, the men and women who fell asleep fine, but had trouble staying asleep through the night, showed a 30 percent increased heart attack risk. According to Edward Fisher, professor of cardiovascular medicine at NYU says, "animals with disrupted circadian rhythms develop metabolic changes." When these problems occur in humans, it might increase heart disease risk as well. So, if you run into a bout of insomnia, take measures to correct the problem. Skip the Ambien and try a steaming hot shower with the lights turned down low. That's my go-to insomnia cure.
  11. Benefits of green tea extract: Boost your mental focus in 16 weeks

    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) sounds pretty harmless. But it‘s not. It means you have memory or language problems beyond those attributed to normal aging. Your friends and family may notice your lapses in memory. But it doesn‘t interfere with your day-to-day life. However, most experts agree that having MCI raises your risk of developing Alzheimer‘s disease. Currently, there is no mainstream treatment for mild cognitive impairment. But you know I‘m not a mainstream guy. A new study found that men and women with mild cognitive impairment significantly improved their "mental focus" without taking a single drug. For the study, Korean scientists recruited 90 men and women with mild cognitive impairment. They divided the volunteers into two groups. One group received a placebo and the other group received 1,680 mg of green tea extract with L- theanine. (According to NutraIngredients USA, L-theanine "is an amino acid found in tea leaves thought to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve the quality of sleep.") The volunteers followed this regimen for 16 weeks. Then, they took a battery of tests. The green tea group showed "significant" improvement in memory and recall. Plus, 24 volunteers took EEG scans of their brains. Again, the green tea drinkers showed improvements in specific areas of the brain associated with mental alertness. (I‘d also throw some ginkgo biloba and phosphatidylserine in there, but that‘s another story.) Bottom line? Even if you don‘t have mild cognitive impairment, you may benefit from taking a green tea/L-theanine extract. Plus, you may want to look back at my Guide to Good Health from last year. I talked about one antioxidant proven to slash your Alzheimer‘s risk by a whopping 54 percent.
  12. Skip the sedative hypnotic drugs and get a safer night sleep

    A recent study found that men and women who take sedatives to sleep may increase their mortality risk by more than a third. Now, I know that lack of sleep is a huge problem, especially if you‘re under a lot of stress. But if you take a drug like Ambien to catch some z‘s, you could be heading for disaster. The good news is, there are plenty of safe and natural sleep aids that won‘t send you to an early grave. More about those in a moment. But first, let me explain...

    Why sedatives are so bad

    According to some research, 20 percent of adults use some type of sleep aid each night. You may take an OTC drug like Tylenol PM to help get you through a rough couple of nights. These drugs contain antihistamines plus pain relievers. These drugs are tough on the liver and your digestive system, but they‘re not nearly in the same league as a prescription drug like Ambien. Ambien belongs to a class of drugs called sedative hypnotics. And there are two distinct types of sedative hypnotics. The first type of sedatives -- called benzodiazepines -- hit the market in the 1950s. Xanax and Ativan are the most well-known. Side effects range from daytime sleepiness to urinary incontinence to respiratory problems. But the biggest drawback for these heavy-duty drugs is the tendency to become dependent on them. Plus, these drugs stay in your system longer than a newer class of hypnotics called non-benzodiazepines. And that‘s why the more recent drugs like Ambien have been such blockbusters. They‘re perceived as safer and less addicting. But according to the new study, they‘re just as dangerous...if not more so because you think you‘re safe taking them for a longer period.

    Sedative drug use may increase mortality risk by 36 percent

    For this study, scientists analyzed data for 14,000 people. They found that men and women who took a sedative hypnotic drug had a 36 percent greater risk of dying. And those at greatest risk were men and women over age 55. In addition, men and women with pre-existing health conditions -- such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, or respiratory disease -- also ran a greater risk of dying after taking a sedative. According to the published report, there are a number of reasons why this happens... First off, both types of sedative hypnotic drugs impair your ability to stay alert. They also affect your coordination. This -- they authors wrote -- contributes to an increase in falls and car accidents. Secondly, we know that these drugs can also trigger or aggravate breathing disorders. So imagine what taking a sedative will do to someone who‘s already got sleep apnea or asthma...or someone who smokes! It‘s a recipe for disaster. Lastly, these drugs may cause depression...or make existing depression worse. They can also play games with your central nervous system. As a result, feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin can be disturbed. Therefore, I‘m guessing that some of the premature deaths in the study may have occurred due to suicide. So if sedative drugs aren‘t the answer to your sleep problems...what is?

    Safely and naturally improving your sleep

    You already know to keep your room a cool, dark, TV-free zone. And exercising before bed will just rev you up. Plus, here are few other tips that should help you get back to a healthy sleep pattern... 1. Get off all stimulants. Yup, even in the morning. Coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate are the obvious culprits. But you should also avoid taking ginseng, B12, or milk thistle before bed too. You‘ll also want to avoid eating bacon, cheese, chocolate, ham, potatoes, sugar, sausage, spinach, or tomatoes close to bedtime. These foods contain tyramine, which increases the release of norepinephrine, a brain stimulant. Most processed foods also contain tyramine. 2. Try upping your daily magnesium. Go for 500 mg capsules at bedtime. If you also suffer from mild anxiety, this amount of magnesium may also lessen your symptoms. 3. If you‘re under the age of 40, try using l-tryptophan. It‘s an essential amino acid found in turkey, chicken, tuna, whole grain crackers, eggs, bananas, figs and dates. So, if you must eat before bed, these are all safe choices. But of course, to get enough l-tryptophan from food, you‘d have too eat a lot of it— nothing like a whole turkey before bed, right? So supplementing is ideal. L- tryptophan will help gently induce sleep. Plus, unlike many drugs, it won‘t cause morning-after fogginess. That said, unfortunately, if you suffer from lactose intolerance, you may have trouble absorbing l-tryptophan. So if that‘s the case, stick to the other options. 4. I‘ve also seen excellent results using melatonin supplements. Just beware, melatonin is a hormone. So I don‘t recommend taking it if you‘re younger than 40. But as we get older, our melatonin production slows down so there‘s less of a chance of you getting "too much" by taking it as a supplement. Go for the smallest dose to start: 1.5 mg at bedtime for ages 40 to 50 or 3 mg for people over the age of 50. With higher dosages, you might wake up drowsy. If that‘s the case, you know you‘ve taken too much. 5. After a certain age, many of us wake up every night to visit the bathroom. If you want to get ahead of the curve and support healthy bladder function now, there‘s a plant extract call three-leaf caper that just might help. Used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, three-leaf caper strengthens and tones the bladder wall so it can empty more fully. You‘ll find three-leaf caper, along with several other herbs that support bladder function, in a NorthStar Nutritional product called UroLogic. To learn more about three-leaf caper and UroLogic, read this: For men interested in a product that supports bladder as well as prostate function, consider ProSense by NorthStar Nutritionals: It‘s a safe, natural, and effective way to address both bladder and prostate health. Just remember, when you sleep it‘s your body‘s time to refresh and reboot. It‘s vital for your overall health. So if you‘re not getting enough restful z‘s, give one of these natural sleep aids a try.
  13. You are supposed to go to sleep, not on a drive

    Last month, a man from a small town near Boise, Idaho hit a number of mailboxes and ran into several parked cars before getting pulled over. The local policemen took the man to the hospital because he appeared to be intoxicated. Turns out, the man wasn't drunk, though he had no memory of the previous five hours. Believe it or not, the man was "sleep driving." He had taken an Ambien earlier in the evening and could not remember anything from his wild ride. I wasn't surprised to learn about this man's story. Ambien may cause all kinds of crazy side effects. In fact, on the Ambien website, it warns users that: "Sleepwalking, and eating or driving while not fully awake, with memory loss for the event, as well as abnormal behaviors such as being more outgoing or aggressive than normal, confusion, agitation, and hallucinations may occur." Thankfully, no one was hurt in Boise, Idaho. But nevertheless, the very real risk of "sleep driving" is enough to place Ambien in "you've-got-to-be-nuts-to-take-it" category. Sleep: No joking matter All jokes aside, I know why the Boise man took the Ambien in the first place. He wasn't nuts. He just needed to get some sleep. And that's understandable. Getting a good night's sleep ranks as high as proper nutrition and regular exercise in determining your overall health. But according to Harvard scientists, most of us don't get enough. In fact, 75 percent of men and women experience sleep problems at least a couple of times a week. You may go to bed tired, but your mind just won't shut off. You end up tossing and turning, trying not to look at the clock. Or maybe you fall asleep just fine; it's staying asleep that's the problem. Plus -- insomnia can be worse at certain times in your life. Times of stress obviously can disturb your sleep. In addition, women going through menopause often experience bouts of insomnia. Unfortunately, long-term sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your overall health. Scientists now know that sleep is critical to keeping your memory sharp, your weight down, your immune system charged, your mood up, and heart pumping strong. The good news is, there's plenty you can do to improve the quality of your sleep without resorting to a drug like Ambien, or even something milder like Tylenol PM. Safely and naturally improving your sleep You know to avoid caffeine (even in the morning), napping during the day, and TV-watching in the bedroom. You know not to exercise before bed. And you know drinking alcohol before hitting the sheets often makes things worse. So what else can you do to improve the quality of your sleep without resorting to drugs? Here are a few suggestions: 1. First off, you may try upping your daily magnesium. Go for 500 mg capsules at bedtime. If you also suffer from mild anxiety, this amount of magnesium may also lessen your symptoms. 2. If you're under the age of 40, you should also try using l-tryptophan. It's an essential amino acid (meaning your body doesn't produce it, so you must get it from your food). You'll find l-tryptophan in foods like turkey, chicken, milk and eggs. But you'd have to eat something like 15 servings of turkey to get as much of this beneficial amino acid as you'd get in one supplement. L-tryptophan supplements were favored for years among naturopaths to treat sleep disorders as well as hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsive syndromes, depression, migraines, and even the tremors of Parksinson's disease. Then in March of 1990, the FDA banned l-tryptophan from sale in the U.S. after linking a single bad batch of the supplement to a rare blood disorder that caused 37 deaths. Why didn't the FDA just recall the bad batch, like it has done for plenty of contaminated drugs over the years? I have my hunches. In fact, just four days after the FDA ban of l-tryptophan, Newsweek ran an article praising the development of a new wonder drug called Prozac. Coincidence? I think not! Here's why… You see, your body converts l-tryptophan into serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter in the body responsible for regulating your sleep as well as your mood. On the other hand, drugs like Prozac (as well as Paxil and Zoloft) only enhance the performance of the serotonin already present in your bloodstream. They don't help you to produce more serotonin, like l-tryptophan can. Thankfully, the ban on l-tryptophan has been fully lifted. Now, you and I can once again use it as a natural sedative (at bedtime only). It works gently in the body to induce sleep and won't cause morning-after fogginess. Unfortunately, if you suffer from lactose intolerance, you may have more difficulty absorbing l-tryptophan. 3. I've also seen excellent results using melatonin supplements. But melatonin is a hormone, so I don't recommend taking it if you're younger than 40. But as we get older, our melatonin production slows down so there's less of a chance of you getting "too much" by taking it as a supplement. Go for the smallest dose to start: 1.5 mg at bedtime for ages 40 to 50 or 3 mg for people over the age of 50. With higher dosages, you might wake up drowsy. If that's the case, you know you've taken too much. 4. After a certain age, many of us wake up every night to visit the bathroom. If a full bladder is what's causing your nighttime wakefulness, there's a plant extract call three-leaf caper (crateva nurvala) that just might help. Used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, three-leaf caper helps to strengthen and tone the bladder wall so it can fully empty. You'll find three-leaf caper, along with several other herbs that support bladder function, in a NorthStar Nutritional product called UroLogic. To learn more about three-leaf caper and UroLogic, read this: For men interested in a product that supports bladder as well as prostate function, consider ProSense by NorthStar Nutritionals: It's a safe, natural, and effective way to address both bla dder and prostate health. 5. Lastly, is it possible that you're just a "light sleeper"? Do you get woken up by sounds in your environment and then have trouble getting back to sleep? If so, you may try putting a "white noise" machine in your room. The machine's gentle swooshing sound will drown out any noises that might wake you through the night. A good one runs about $50. Just remember, sleep is your body's time to refresh and reboot. It's vital for your overall health. So if you're not getting at least 8 hours of restful z's each night, go ahead and give one of these natural sleep aids a try.

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