As the chill of winter melts away, many people prepare for the fresh start of spring by cleaning their home, ridding it of months’ (or years’) worth of clutter and waste. But how many of us have considered spring cleaning our sleep habits as well? After all, spring is a time of renewal, and there’s no better way to feel refreshed and renewed than by getting a good night’s rest.
Where to start? Luckily, there are many ways to tidy up your sleep habits. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help to regulate your body’s clock, which means you’ll fall asleep more easily and stay asleep for the night. It’s also important to put away your phone, laptop and any other screens at least one hour before bed, as that bright light can also throw off your body’s internal clock, making it more difficult to fall (and stay) asleep.
For many people, even those with good sleep habits, the ability to relax and unwind at bedtime can be an ongoing challenge. That’s where a safe, fast-acting supplement can help. Try Sisu Sweet Dreams to promote mental relaxation, calm your overactive mind and reduce anxiety. Sweet Dreams is formulated with sleep-promoting L-theanine, a natural amino acid shown to help balance brain neurotransmitter function and stimulate the alpha brainwaves present when we are in a relaxed, yet focused, state. The result is a calm and peaceful frame of mind that’s ideal for getting a good night’s sleep.
Sweet Dreams contains other natural ingredients, such as lemon balm and chamomile to promote calm, and lavender to reduce insomnia. You’ll be glad to know it starts working quickly and lasts for hours. Plus, it’s safe: the formula enhances the quality of sleep without causing drowsiness or sedation, and it’s not habit-forming.
This spring, clean up your sleep habits and enjoy blissful slumber with Sisu Sweet Dreams. For more information on how you can bring back restful nights for body and mind, go to sisu.com.
Embracing Change – A Natural Approach to Menopause Support
On the inside
By the time you hit your mid-40’s (and possibly sooner), you’ll be in perimenopause—a time marked by a decline in circulating levels of estrogen and progesterone. Within the next few years, the production of these hormones and, correspondingly, your menstrual cycle, will cease. To best manage the multitude of physical, mental, and emotional changes often accompanying “the change”, it’s important to first understand what’s happening in your body during this important time.
What are estrogen and progesterone? Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone, produced in the ovaries, and in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands, breasts and fat cells. Among its many effects are stimulating the growth of the ovaries and the follicles within them, as well as triggering the deposition of fat in regions including the breasts and hips. Estrogen also helps stave off osteoporosis by maintaining bone density, and aids in cardiovascular health through a reduction in “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It is one of the most important hormones for women, along with progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone produced mostly by the ovaries following ovulation, and to a lesser extent, by the adrenal glands. One of its most important roles is to balance the effects of estrogen. When estrogen and progesterone levels fall out of balance (either through excess estrogen production or a progesterone deficiency), it is termed “estrogen dominance”, and is associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
On the outside
During perimenopause, progesterone levels steadily decline while estrogen levels begin to fluctuate. This unpredictable fluctuation in estrogen is one of the hallmark changes of perimenopause. These hormonal changes can lead to a laundry list of issues, including: insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression and mood swings, hot flashes, irregular, heavy or skipped periods, lower sex drive, vaginal dryness/discomfort during sex, and decreased memory or concentration. It’s also important to note that managing the effects of menopause isn’t just about boosting estrogen levels; it’s about maintaining an appropriate balance between estrogen and progesterone. To help mitigate the many symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, women should adopt a healthy lifestyle, avoiding tobacco smoke, limiting alcohol consumption, and striving to maintain a healthy body weight, in addition to the following:
1. Manage (and minimize) stress levels. Chronic stress in the form of sleep deprivation, dehydration, caloric restriction, or other emotional, physical, mental, or nutritional stressors, triggers the release of stress hormones which, combined with the peri/menopausal fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone, could literally turn you into one hot mess!
2. Consider supplementation. Although some individuals require prescription medications or other interventions, many women find safe, long-lasting relief from the use of evidence-based, natural support. Look for products containing: EstroG-100®, a proprietary herbal blend clinically proven to support healthy hormonal balance without the body weight changes or other side effects common to many prescription drugs; black cohosh, an herb commonly used to treat hot flashes, sleep disturbances, moodiness, vaginal dryness and excessive sweating; and sage, a plant extract shown to help regulate hormone levels and address hot flashes, night sweats and memory troubles.
3. Maintain proper nutrition. Consume a balanced diet of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains and brown rice) and healthy fats; manage blood sugar; don’t skip meals; stay hydrated; and eat natural, whole foods as much as possible.
Written in collaboration with Dr. Angèle Besner, Naturopathic Doctor at Evoke Integrative Medicine, Vancouver. Nicole Porter is a Wellness Educator who creates customized wellness programs and seminars for individuals and businesses.
This information is for educational purposes and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified medical practitioner. Consult your licensed healthcare practitioner before making changes to diet, lifestyle, medications or supplements. Inside Out is a trademark of Porter Wellness Group Inc.