Tag Archives: prod-468867

  • Simple Steps to a Less Stressful Holiday

    Beautiful woman doing meditation.Don’t let your holiday to-do list take away from the joys of the season! Integrate a few simple practices into your day to ensure you stress less, stay healthy and feel rested.

    Take a few moments for yourself. Whether it’s a luxurious bath or just a quick nap, boost your relaxation quotient by setting a serene mood for a mini getaway. Light up a candle from Tru Melange that’s been infused with essential oils—especially calming oils like lavender, sandalwood and ylang ylang. Adding a few drops of the same essential oils to a diffuser can be even more powerful. We’re loving SpaRoom’s new Aroma Harmony diffuser, which also plays music via Bluetooth and displays different colored lights. Set it next to the bathtub for an instant spa!

    Don’t forget to exercise. A consistent exercise program helps the body improve its response to stress, and releases calming, mood-boosting hormones. Whether it’s a full yoga class or just a 15-minute walk, regular activity is vital to our physical and emotional health.

    Take comfort in soothing herbs. For extra-stressful times, support your system with WishGarden’s Deep Stress, a blend of calming herbs such as ginseng, skullcap and nettle leaf. Take it preventively throughout a stressful period, or just whenever you need relief from in-the-moment stress.

    Watch your diet. Eating lots of fruits and veggies—and restricting caffeine, alcohol and refined carbs—can go a long way toward nourishing the adrenal glands and supporting your body’s stress response, says Kate Brainard, ND. More specifically, she recommends increasing potassium, reducing sodium and adding in plenty of fruits, leafy green vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.

    Get adequate sleep. Sleeping well is vital to equipping your body to handle the stresses of the day. Unfortunately, stress is just the thing that can keep us up at night! That’s where herbs and other nutrients like melatonin, 5-HTP and L-theanine come in, since they can help calm the mind. In addition, herbs such as passionflower and valerian are soothing and relaxing to the nervous system. Kate recommends Natural Factors’ Tranquil Sleep (a blend of melatonin, 5-HTP and L-theanine), Deep Sleep by Herbs, Etc., or Bach’s Rescue Sleep.

    Ask a practitioner for customized advice for easing seasonal stress.

  • How to Catch More Zzzzs

    Everyone’s got advice on how to fall asleep quicker. But what if you’ve tried the warm milk, the boring book and the comfy mattress? When sleep problems are keeping you from waking up fresh faced, take comfort in sleep solutions from Pharmaca. Here are a few common sleep problems, addressed by Kate Brainard, ND.

    I fall asleep fine, but wake up at 2am sharp. Is there a supplement to help me stay asleep all night?

    My first recommendation would be to take melatonin before bed-it’s a natural sleep hormone that we make in our bodies, so supplementing what we do make can help us stay asleep longer. You can take it either in its individual form like in Source Naturals Melatonin, which is timed-release to keep it working throughout the night, or in combination with other herbal formulas. One product I like is Pharmaca Sleep, which includes 3 mg of melatonin and a blend of relaxing and calming herbs. One thing with melatonin, if you take too much, it can be hard to snap out of it the next day. Start with a lower dose and work your way up.

    For a completely herbal approach, I would try Deep Sleep by Herbs, Etc. It’s a blend of California poppy, valerian, passionflower, chamomile, lemon balm, oat seed and orange peel, all of which promote restful sleep. But you do have to take it for a few days before you’ll see the right effects.

    Sometimes my mind just won’t stop racing. What can I take to calm my thoughts so I can fall asleep more quickly?

    Skullcap is a great herb for calming ruminating thoughts. Herb Pharm and Gaia Herbs both offer Skullcap Extract, but you can find blends that include skullcap and other stress-reducing herbs that can be really beneficial.

    GABA is another supplement commonly used for people who can’t get their brain to slow down. It’s a neurotransmitter inhibitor—it slows down the synapses that keep firing, usually because you have too much stress. Again, GABA can be taken on its own or in combination, like in the formula NightRest by Source Naturals that includes GABA, melatonin, skullcap and other relaxing herbs.

    I seem to sleep fine most of the night, but I usually wake up around 4 or 5am and just lay there until I have to get up. Anything I can take to fall back asleep for just a little while without causing a “sleep hangover”?

    My suggestions would be more gentle, I would never recommend melatonin at this time. Instead, I like Calms Forte Sleep Aid, a non-drowsy homeopathic remedy that’s also non-habit forming, which is important to a lot of people. It has a blend of different homeopathics, ingredients that you’ll see in a lot of sleep remedies. For example, passionflower helps with restlessness from exhaustion, and oat seed is good for stress and nervousness.

    Another good one is Bach’s Rescue Sleep. You can just spritz a few sprays in your mouth and it should be enough to get you back to sleep for just a little while.

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