The recent snow has been nice and the mountains finally have a nice base to ski on. Last March was extremely dry and warm which was great for golfing but bad for our snow pack and water supply. Hopefully, this March will be more like we are used to with a big snow or two to keep things interesting.
With March’s wet snows come more injured backs and shoulders. I have recommended the ergonomically designed bent shovels for years to help take the strain off your body when shoveling snow. It’s also a good idea to take some extra minerals on those shoveling or skiing days. That will make you less susceptible to muscle spasms and pain. Pinches of sea salt washed down with some water a few times during your ski day will also help to keep you hydrated. If you do hurt yourself, don’t wait days or weeks hoping that “maybe it will go away.” The sooner you get in and get adjusted, the sooner you will feel better.
Now that we have had 2 months of winter and some cloudy weather lately, you might be feeling a bit tired or depressed. Seasonal Affected Disorder is from a lack of sunlight passing through the eyes and stimulating our pineal and pituitary glands to make hormones like serotonin and melatonin. Fortunately, the days are getting longer so it is getting easier to get some sunlight every day. If you constantly wear contacts or sunglasses outside you may not be getting any sun through your eyes. I recommend an hour a day outside with no contacts, glasses or sunglasses. If you are driving your car and surrounded by glass, leave your sunglasses on because it won’t help. Taking Pineal Concentrate can also help if you just can’t find the time to get outside.
For many people who have trouble sleeping, they turn to Melatonin as a natural sleep aid. It will work for awhile but eventually it stops. Melatonin is a hormone and when you put a hormone in the body from the outside, in any form, the gland that makes that hormone will stop making it. If you put in excessive amounts of a hormone into the body, the hormone receptors will become less sensitive and so they don’t respond to even large amounts of the added hormone. This is a really bad “natural” solution to a sleep problem. All the excess melatonin ingested into the body also acts to suppress the production of serotonin so it can make you more depressed as well as tired. I only recommend melatonin for long flights and getting your body on a new time zone (like Europe or Asia) and only for a few days at the most.
It is better to try and find the real cause of the insomnia than to try and drug it away with medications or hormones. Adrenal weakness, blood sugar imbalances, parasites, infections, mineral deficiencies, hot flashes, night sweats, unhandled stress or worries, etc., are just some of the causes for not being able to sleep through the night. There are usually drug-free solutions to these problems that we can work on to help you sleep. It’s hard to get healthy when you are lacking a good night’s sleep! Be sure to move everything electrical 3-6 feet away from your head in your bed. The darker and cooler the room is, the better you will sleep. If you can’t shut your mind off to go to sleep at night, write down everything you are thinking or worrying about to get it out of your head and on paper or computer. This way it will be there for you in the morning to pick up your worrying where you left off the night before. If you wake up in the middle of the night, it could be from a drop in blood sugar. Try eating protein and fat free snacks before bed and skip the ice cream or cereal.
If you do wake up with your mind racing and feel wide awake, write down the things you are thinking about to be handled in the morning and eat some food to allow your body to relax and sleep. When our blood sugar drops in the middle of the night, the brain starts screaming for more blood sugar. It stimulates the adrenals to produce adrenaline and cortisol to help manufacture sugar and get it in the blood to the brain. That selfish organ doesn’t care how nicely you were dreaming or how badly you need a full night’s sleep! It wants its blood sugar and it will wake up your whole body to get it. A chronic lack of exercise can also make it harder to sleep so don’t skip your workouts! If you are having sleep problems, come in and let’s get to the cause of the problem.
I will be out of the office early on March 28th and gone the 29th for a quick trip to Charlotte, NC. My college roommate lives there and we are going to play some golf on GREEN grass and in warm weather (a nice switch from winter golf in Colorado)! Many of you will be heading out for Spring Break vacations so don’t forget to take 1-2 GI Synergy packs a day to stay well on your trip. Also, with spring comes our yearly patch of parasites in our tap water so be sure to use a filter that is more than a pitcher filter for your drinking water.
And for those of you with a taste for green beer, corn beef and cabbage:
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!