Cortisol, Running, and Weight Loss

Did you know that long distance running increases cortisol levels?  You’ve heard of cortisol, the stress related hormone that causes your body to hang onto unwanted fat pounds, right?  And you know that those pounds usually hang out in the worst of places-your stomach area.  How frightening, but there is a way that you can curtail the effects of cortisol.

Continue reading “Cortisol, Running, and Weight Loss” »

How to Sleep Better

Yesterday, I posted about the main reasons that many people have sleep problems:  chronic stress and the resulting vitamin deficiencies. Apparently, you’re not alone in your sleep problems-here is a great tweet from yesterday:

“When I can’t sleep, nothing is better than some chamomile tea with a teaspoon of honey and a lemon wedge and one or two lumps of Rohypnol.”  @BarrettChase

My thoughts exactly, Chase.  Let’s get into some more healthy approaches to sleeping well.

Here is an excellent post by Charles Poliquin on the best ways to get a good night’s sleep.  Before I leave you to Charles, I’d like to offer the following not so generic sleep tips: Continue reading “How to Sleep Better” »

Your Sleep Problem and How to Fix It

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep?  Or worse yet, you wake up in the middle of the night and just lay there for hours?  I remember having this problem after my daughter was born.  Though I was terribly exhausted and desperate for sleep, I would lay there for hours unable to fall asleep!

I wish that I had known then what I know now, which is the fact that most sleep problems are rooted in Vitamin B deficit.  Not all, but most.  The hormones that help you fall and stay asleep are synthesized using the Vitamin B family-so if you’re running low or worse yet, suffering from a severe Vitamin B deficit, you’re going to be the night owl at home.  Vitamin B 12 deficits can cause sleep problems because this vitamin plays an important role in converting serotonin to melatonin.  Low B12=low serotonin=low melatonin=really poopy mood and little sleep.

But wait, this gets better.  Sleep is when we actually manufacture serotonin.  So if you’re not sleeping, you aren’t replenishing and restoring your serotonin levels, which means that you’re not going to sleep again tonight.  You’ll probably have problems with your  mood, too, since serotonin is the “feeling safe and happy” neurotransmitter.  You see how this turns into a really nasty cycle, right?  Low Vitamin Bs beget poor sleep, poor sleep leads to low serotonin, low serotonin leads to shrinks, and shrinks lead to meds that can worsen your sleep problem (though I realize that meds can help sometimes, too.)  The point is this:  sleep is crucial to good good and sleep maintenance!!

Continue reading “Your Sleep Problem and How to Fix It” »