Isoflavones reduce postmenopausal insomnia, hot flashes

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
In a past blog, Natural Medications (Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements) for Menopausal Symptoms, I discussed the data supporting a trial of isoflavones in women with menopausal symptoms. However, there was not a lot of data. Now, Medscape is reporting, "Isoflavones may reduce insomnia symptoms" in postmenopausal women, according to a small study in the journal Menopause. (more…)
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Less Than 25% of Valerian Herbal Sleep Supplements Pass Tests For Quality

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health
Long-time readers of this blog know of my admiration for ConsumerLab.com, a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of natural medications (herbs, vitamins and supplements). In fact, I use their findings almost daily in my practice to recommend natural medications to my patients. In its most recent evaluation of a natural medication, valerian, ConsumerLab found that MOST of the valerian herbal supplements tested contained less of the herb than expected and/or were contaminated with lead. Valerian is a popular herbal sleep aid used by approximately 6% of the U.S. population. Valerian accounted for $68 million in sales in the U.S. in 2009, up 10% from the prior year, according to Nutrition Business Journal. Among nine leading and best-selling products selected by ConsumerLab.com for review, only TWO passed testing.…
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Six doctor-recommended sleep aids

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
Tired of counting sheep? Consider one of these remedies for the possibility of getting a good night's sleep when you have occasional insomnia. These tips were posted on Health.com and are from RealSimple.com: 1) Aromatherapy Try it: When you're drowsy but slightly tense. How to use it: Massage a dab of aromatherapeutic balm or oil into the back of your neck and shoulders (and inhale deeply) before you hit the sack. Certain fragrances, including lavender and lemon balm, promote snooze-inducing relaxation, says Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., a sleep specialist at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, in Tucson. (Try Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Night Health Bedtime Balm, which contains lavender; $25, origins.com.) Good to know: You don't have to stick to traditional aromatherapeutic scents -- any fragrance that makes you…
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Tart Cherry Juice (Sour Cherry): What Are The Facts?

Men's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
Tart cherry juice is now becoming a popular drink for everything from heart disease, insomnia, and muscle pain to preventing cancer. It's in commercial products such as Cheribundi Tru Cherry Tart Cherry Juice, Nature Blessed Cherry Juice, and others. Tart cherry juice contains antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E, kaempferol, and quercetin. In addition, the juice has anti-inflammatory effects and might reduce markers of muscle damage after exercise. According to The Review of Natural Products by Facts and Comparisons (St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Co., 1999), "A preliminary study suggests that compounds found in the sour cherry may have anti-inflammatory effects that are ten times stronger than aspirin but without aspirin's side effects." Tart cherry juice is also a natural source of melatonin. Some people are using it to improve…
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Strategies for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Children's Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
Here's some excellent information on avoiding insomnia and getting a good night's sleep using common-sense sleep hygiene. It's from my friends at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. However, I find that many of my patients are not aware of some (or even most) of this information. So, here's to a good night's sleep for each of you. What Is Insomnia? Insomnia is a common complaint. Some symptoms of insomnia are difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and difficulty with early morning awakening. Sometimes insomnia only lasts for a short time and can be easily managed. Persistent insomnia is more troublesome and can affect work, school, social relationships, and health. Many conditions are associated with insomnia such as depression, anxiety, allergies, and pain. Much of the time insomnia is simply the…
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Tai chi helps older adults get good night’s sleep

Alternative Medicine, General Health, Health Headlines
Reuters Health is reporting a study in the journal Sleep that found that regular practice of tai chi, a Westernized version of the ancient Chinese martial art of tai chi, can help older people rest easier at night. Nearly two-thirds of people who learned the slow, gentle tai chi moves experienced significant improvements in sleep quality, compared to about one-third of those who participated in health education sessions that included information on how to get a better night's rest. My Take? (more…)
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Sleep a Necessity, Not a Luxury

Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Men's Health, Mental Health, Obesity, Parenting, Woman's Health
HealthDay News reports that as the pace of life gets faster and faster, and people try to cram more and more into every minute of the day. Before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1880, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. These days, Americans average 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours a night on weekends, according to the National Sleep Foundation. But lack of sleep affects a person in one of two ways. (more…)
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