Is This Why You Can't Sleep?
I’ve discussed the importance of adequate vitamin D levels before. You can read the full article here. To quickly recap, vitamin D insufficiency (levels less than 30 ng/ml) is incredibly common. One study found it affects 57% of Americans (1). Inadequate vitamin D is associated with osteoporosis, fractures, autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, thyroid issues and difficulty losing weight.
What I haven’t written about before is the connection between vitamin D and sleep! And as you know, I’m a huge advocate of sleep. Sleep disturbance and inadequate sleep is becoming increasingly common. One in six adults has a diagnosed sleep disorder and one in eight has trouble sleeping and reports using sleep aids (2). What if there was a simple solution that could address the root cause?
Yoga: How to Stay Fit, Healthy & Happy
We all have excuses for not incorporating movement into our lives. We don’t have time. We’re too tired. It’s inconvenient. We don’t like it. We’re not good at it. The excuses can be endless. But the fact is, exercise is essential for optimal health, and it's vital you find a way to make it happen.
During the summer months, I’m naturally more active outdoors, but I’ll admit, I’ve often found it hard to stick with my yoga practice which I need to keep me calm, focused and strong. During the summer, my husband and I travel a lot and have more plans and obligations making it harder to get to a studio for classes. But not this summer. I realized I needed to find a way to get yoga in anytime and anywhere.
Balance Your Stress Series: Herbs and Nutrients
The last few weeks I’ve written about the effects of stress on your wellbeing and stress management techniques. This week I wanted to talk about different herbs, nutrients and supplements that are effective in supporting the HPA axis and increasing stress tolerance. With that being said, I want to make it clear that you can’t simply solve stress with supplements. Although supplementation is a vital part of recovery, and can even help prevent HPA axis issues during times of high stress, only taking supplements is not the answer. By not doing any thing to decrease stress levels or implement better lifestyle habits, recovery will be incredibly difficult and take significantly more time.
Natural Supplements for HPA Axis Health:
Nicole McCarter is a naturopathic doctor located in Los Altos, CA which is conveniently located near Palo Alto and easily accessible from the Bay Area.
Holistic nutrition individualizes nutrition to your specific needs. Not everyone requires the same diet. Nicole uses food intolerance testing and looks for nutrient deficiencies to determine the right diet for you. She creates an individualized diet plan. She specializes in food allergies, elimination diets, cleanse and detox diets.
Stress Management Techniques
Last week, we discussed the body's stress response system and the impacts of long-term stress on the body. Now let's look at some stress management techniques. First of all, don’t stress about stress management! There are a ton of things you can do to actively start reducing your stress levels and the effects that stress has on your body. Some of these suggestions are lifestyle interventions and some are activities. You can start with one, and once that feels manageable add another. With stress management activities, the goal is to find something that is enjoyable and makes you feel at peace.
The Effects of Stress on Your Wellbeing
What habits form the foundation of health? Depending on who answers the question, the answer will vary. Most people at least will answer with nutrition and exercise, but these are really only part of the story.
It’s not uncommon for me to see a patient that eats a healthy nutrient-dense diet, exercises regularly and still feels terrible all the time. When they go to the doctor their physical and basic blood work are “normal". They come to me not sure what they are doing wrong - how can they get any more strict with their diet or work out any more than they do? As we get further into their history, I usually learn they work sixty plus hours a week, haven’t taken a vacation in 3 years, eat 50% of their meals at their desk, get an average of 6 hours of sleep per night, and don’t have any time for self care. So what’s going on here?