How to Reverse the Brain Changes Caused By Chronic Stress

What causes you stress?  Your health? Bills? Work? Family?  Chronic stress puts serious wear and tear on our bodies over time, but did you know that chronic stress can change your brain?  Thanks to research in this area, we’re learning more and more about the ways in which this happens.  The good news is this:  we can reverse all of these negative brain changes with exercise.

Below are a list of conclusions drawn from research on this topic.  In bold italics, I have added the counterpart conclusion from research on exercise and the brain.  Just a few more reasons to exercise this morning. Continue reading “How to Reverse the Brain Changes Caused By Chronic Stress” »

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” »