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How noisy is your bedroom?

Sound is an important factor in creating an ideal sleep environment.

How to control noise levels:

  • Consider music: nature and ocean sounds can help with relaxation and sleep.
  • Try a relaxation CD.
  • Consider white noise machines. Some companies specialize in “sound conditioners” that drown out noise.
  • Earplugs, earphones, pillow speakers, and TV timer (for both light and noise).
  • Check your alarm clock: If you and your partner wake at different times, consider a vibrating alarm clock that fits in your pillowcase so it doesn’t disturb your partner.
  • If you have a TV in your room, do you or your partner sleep with it on? How loud is it? Consider removing TV from the bedroom.

Source: Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health by Michael Breus, 2006, p. 96-97

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Goldenseal

Properties: Antacid, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, digestive aid, stimulant.

Target Ailments: Canker sores, contact dermatitis, diarrhea, eczema, food poisoning.

Available forms: Capsule, dry herb, liquid extract, tea, tincture.

Possible side effects: In high doses, goldenseal can cause diarrhea and nausea and can irritate the skin, mouth and throat.

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Do With Less

“According to a poll by the American Psychological Association, 4 of the top 10 stressors we experience are related to money- how we get it and how we spend it. Given that, doesn’t it make sense that if we want less and are content with less- smaller houses, fewer gadgets, and simpler forms of transportation- our stress levels will go down? Maybe that applies to our career choices as well. Do you really want to work yourself to death to be the person in charge of the world? Or will just being in charge of a small portion of it make you happy and let you sleep? A recent poll of almost 2,000 Americans reveals that 22 percent declined a promotion or refused to seek one because they thought the job would be too stressful.” (p.69)

Source: Sleep to be Sexy, Smart, and Slim by Ellen Michaud and Julie Bain (2008)

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Mastering Sleep

  • Get regular exercise. Studies show that non-exercisers have higher rates of insomnia than exercisers. Non-exercisers have cured insomnia through taking up a regular exercise program.
  • Getting half an hour minimum of sunlight a day will help you sleep.
  • Do several minutes of light stretching before going to bed.
  • A twenty-minute walk after dinner followed by a hot bath or shower before bed is an excellent relaxation method.
  • If there is light or noise coming into your bedroom, you may want to try an eye pillow and earmuffs.
  • Poor functioning or unhealthy habits in other areas – a bad diet, insufficient exercise, poor hydration and oxygenation, overwork, and more -can cause or contribute to insomnia.

Grauds, C. & Childers, D. 2005. The Energy Prescription. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books. (p.191-192)

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Prevention of Food-Borne Illnesses

  • Wrap foods well in plastic wrap or in airtight containers.
  • Keep cold foods cold by using a cooler, ice, and ice packs.
  • Put meats on the bottom of the cooler to prevent drips onto other foods.
  • Take two coolers, one for perishable foods and one for beverages.
  • Pack coolers until full…they will stay colder.
  • Keep cooler out of the sunlight.
  • Bring disposable hand wipes or waterless hand-cleaning gel to clean hands before and after cooking.

Source: Guide to Better Digestion, 2003, by Leslie Bonci

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Pets: Energy & Emotion

“The most important thing to understand about energy is that it’s a language of emotion. Of course, you never have to tell an animal that you’re sad, or tired, or excited, or relaxed, because that animal already knows exactly how you are feeling. Think back on some beautiful stories you’ve read in publications like Reader’s Digest and People magazine -stories of pets who have comforted, even saved, their sick, depressed, or grieving owners. These stories often include comments like it was almost as if he knew what his owner was going through. These animals do know exactly what their owners are feeling. A French study concluded that dogs may actually also use their sense of smell to help distinguish between human emotional states. Dogs can sense even the most subtle changes in the energy and emotions of the humans around them.” (p. 66-67)

Millan, C. 7 Pelter, M. 2006. Cesar’s Way. New York, N.Y.: Harmony Books.

 

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Quick Tips to a Healthier Back

Following any period of prolonged inactivity, begin a program of regular low-impact exercises. Speed walking, swimming, or stationary bike riding 30 minutes a day can increase muscle strength and flexibility. Yoga can also help stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture. Ask your physician or orthopedist for a list of low-impact exercises appropriate for your age and designed to strengthen lower back and abdominal muscles.


  • Always stretch before exercise or other strenuous physical activity.
  • Don’t slouch when standing or sitting. When standing, keep your weight balanced on your feet. Your back supports weight most easily when curvature is reduced.
  • At home or work, make sure your work surface is at a comfortable height for you.
  • Sit in a chair with good lumbar support and proper position and height for the task. Keep your shoulders back. Switch sitting positions often and periodically walk around the office or gently stretch muscles to relieve tension. A pillow or rolled-up towel placed behind the small of your back can provide some lumbar support. If you must sit for a long period of time, rest your feet on a low stool or a stack of books.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on your side to reduce any curve in your spine. Always sleep on a firm surface.
  • Ask for help when transferring an ill or injured family member from a reclining to a sitting position or when moving the patient from a chair to a bed.
  • Don’t try to lift objects too heavy for you. Lift with your knees, pull in your stomach muscles, and keep your head down and in line with your straight back. Keep the object close to your body. Do not twist when lifting.
  • Maintain proper nutrition and diet to reduce and prevent excessive weight, especially weight around the waistline that taxes lower back muscles. A diet with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D helps to promote new bone growth.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine and causes the spinal discs to degenerate.
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