Sleep Yourself to Optimum Health, a Better Body and Mind

We all think we can push ourselves and deprive ourselves from getting sleep in order to get more done, but the truth is that the biological consequences of losing sleep are simply not worth it. Many vital processes happen during sleep and we must make getting daily restorative sleep part of our lifestyle. This simple lifestyle hack can change the quality of our physique, relationships, performance and health. During sleep, is when we get enhanced physically, emotionally and mentally.

Sleep provides an opportunity for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself. When animals are deprived entirely of sleep, they lose all immune function and die in just a matter of weeks. Many of the major restorative functions in the body like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release occur mostly, or in some cases only, during sleep.

Sleep Impacts Body Shape More Than Diet and Exercise

Consider that sleep impacts our physique and body shape more so than diet and exercise combined. Hard to believe right? Here’s how that works. During sleep the body secretes most of our human growth hormone (HGH) and HGH helps to maintain lean body mass (muscle). Muscle is our bodies’ fat burning machinery.

In contrast, sleep deprivation increases cortisol which allows cortisol levels to become unbalanced. Cortisol has the unique ability to break down lean body tissue and turn it into glucose (fuel for the body). Glucose turns on insulin, which essentially will store this glucose as fat if there is no expenditure of this extra fuel.

During sleep we produce the sleep hormone melatonin and melatonin increases brown adipose tissue (good fat). Brown adipose tissue behaves more like muscle than fat, as it also burns white adipose tissue (the fat we don’t want) the same as muscle does.

Research shows that just one night of sleep deprivation reduces the body’s leptin levels. Leptin is the body’s satiety hormone that helps to regulate the body’s normal hunger-satiety cycle. In addition one night of sleep deprivation increases the hunger hormone, grehlin. Let’s not think we can stick to a healthy eating regime if we’re swimming upstream by depriving ourselves of sleep. Willpower is seldom stronger than the basic biological functions of the body.

Sleep Detoxes The Brain

The brain detoxifies while we sleep. Like the body has the lymphatic system for cell waste management, the brain has the glymphatic system, which is 10x more effective while we’re sleeping. When we sleep, our bodies focus on detoxifying our brains, it actually shrinks our brain cells by 60% to create more room for detoxification. This explains why not sleeping often feels like walking around drunk, because the brain didn’t get a chance to detoxify the previous night.  New research links memory loss and Alzheimer’s to an inability of the brain to detoxify itself.

We Secrete The Most Powerful Anti-Cancer Hormone When We Sleep

The World Health Organization has labeled night shift work as a class 2 carcinogen, because night shift work disrupts the production of melatonin which is possibly the most potent anti-cancer hormone the body makes.

What does melatonin do?

  1. Melatonin maintains the body’s sleep cycles through our circadian rhythm (24 hour internal clock).
  2. It’s a powerful antioxidant acting as a free radical scavenger and has the ability to control pro-inflammatory molecules by:
    1. Enhancing the activities of a variety of antioxidative enzymes.
    2. Stimulating the synthesis of another important intracellular antioxidant, glutathione.
    3. Reducing oxidative stress by effectively reducing electron leakage from the mitochondria electron transport chain.
    4. Having synergistic interactions with other antioxidants.
    5. It’s ability to generate byproducts when it scavenges free radicals and related reactants, that are also free radical scavengers thereby greatly exaggerating the antioxidant potential of melatonin.
  3. Strengthens the immune system, because of its antioxidant capabilities, and effect on the GI tract. Melatonin is secreted along with another hormone called prolactin. Together these hormones produce an immune reaction in the gut that targets viruses, pathogenic bacteria and man-made toxins to restore a healthy flora balance. Melatonin also promotes T-cell and Natural Killer cell production; two important cells of our immune system.
  4. Melatonin helps control the timing and release of female reproductive hormones. It helps determine when a woman starts to menstruate, the frequency and duration of menstrual cycles, and when a woman stops menstruating (menopause).
  5. In cancer therapy, melatonin counteracts chemotherapy toxicity, by acting as an anti-oxidant agent, and promotes apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells, thus enhancing the toxicity of chemotherapy.

The secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland progressively declines by age. Strong reductions of circulating melatonin are also observed in numerous disorders and diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, various other neurological conditions, pain, cardiovascular diseases, cases of cancer, endocrine and metabolic disorders, in particular diabetes type 2.

It is commonly understood that melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain, however, new research shows that we have up to 400x more melatonin in our guts and that bacteria in the gut are communicating with the cells that produce sleep related hormones. A healthy microbiome is essential for so many bodily functions including good sleep and adequate melatonin production which as you have seen is imperative for immune function and getting rid of free radicals.

Getting Restorative Sleep Keeps Us Focused on the Positive Side of Life

Not getting enough sleep, promotes emotional instability. Brain imaging scans show increased activity in the amygdala of sleep deprived subjects and decreased activity in the prefrontal and insular cortex. The amygdala is the primitive, survival part of the brain that only cares about the survival of self. While the prefrontal and insular cortex is responsible for decision making, distinguishing between right and wrong and social control. This effect was demonstrated in a study by exposing people to stimuli (images) and measuring their responses. Sleep deprived subjects were 60% more reactive to negative stimuli. Furthermore, it was much harder to bring the sleep deprived subjects brains back to a normal (not so negative) state. When we don’t get enough sleep, we’ll overreact and pay more attention to the negative than when we’re well rested. When we’re sleep deprived we show up in life and come into situations as not the best version of ourselves. This clearly shows how sleep impacts our relationships, mood and outlook in life.

We Excrete Many Important Hormones When We Sleep

Sleep plays a major role in neuroendocrine function. Neuroendocrine cells release hormones that act like neurotransmitters that regulate specific body functions like metabolism, growth and reproduction.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is mostly released during sleep and stimulates the growth of bone and tissue.

Luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, both involved in reproduction are released during sleep. The sleep-dependent release of luteinizing hormone initiates puberty.

Melatonin, we already mentioned, coupled with a healthy microbiome is absolutely vital for immune function and cancer protection.

Studies show that sleep restriction affects glucose metabolism by causing metabolic and endocrine alterations, including decreased glucose tolerance, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased evening concentrations of cortisol, increased levels of ghrelin, decreased levels of leptin and increased hunger and appetite.

Our Brains Are Powered By Sleep

Sleep research has come a long way in the last decade with advanced brain imaging technology that’s become available to sleep researchers. If we want a fast learning, clear thinking, good concentrating and calm brain, we’ve got to get good quality sleep as our brains are powered by sleep more than anything else. It’s during sleep that our bodies take all the information that we were exposed to and assimilated during the day and converts this data to our short term memory, specifically during REM sleep. Long term memories are formed by moving information stored in the short term memory the previous day to the long term memory and myelination happens mostly during sleep as well where the fat or insulation is laid down on the neuropathways which integrates all these new experiences in the brain. This is known as the brain plasticity theory where changes in the structure and organization of the brain takes place while we sleep. This theory is demonstrated in the effect that sleep and sleep deprivation have on people’s ability to learn and perform a variety of tasks. Sleep helps us master various skills, as our brains review and consolidate all the streams of information gathered while awake.

Sleep Refuels the Brain

One of the reasons we feel refreshed and alert when we wake up is that while we’re awake, neurons in the brain produce adenosine, a by-product of the cells’ activities. The build-up of adenosine in the brain is thought to be one factor that leads to our perception of being tired. Caffeine has the ability to block the actions of adenosine in the brain for a short period, which explains why caffeine helps to keep us alert. Researchers think that this build-up of adenosine during wakefulness may promote the drive to sleep. As long as we’re awake, adenosine accumulates and remains high. During sleep, the body has a chance to clear adenosine from the system, and, as a result, we feel more alert when we wake.

As we can see making quality, restorative sleep essential to our daily lifestyle can change our relationships, health and bodies in profound ways. If you’re sleep deprived or have difficulty sleeping, we encourage you to get help today.

If you have Insomnia, you can read about the condition and treatment in the Insomnia section. And this article provides tips for getting a good nights sleep.

TIP: Remove Troublesome Light Spectrum from Your Devices

Harvard researchers have found that our devices and computers diminish our sleep quality by suppressing melatonin production at night. Melatonin production is stimulated by night fall when light diminishes. The most troublesome light spectrum that come from our devices is the blue light spectrum. It suppresses melatonin twice as much as green light and disrupt circadian timing twice as much. Red light is the least impactful on the circadian rhythms and this corresponds with our evolutionary track of fires at night that are mostly red, orange and yellow light spectrums.

Desktop or Laptop

F.Lux is software that automatically pulls the most troublesome spectrum of light from your computer monitor or laptop screen when it gets dark, based on its settings. Once you’ve set it, it will automatically do it’s thing in the background and you can forget about it. – Just Get Flux – F.Lux software to make your life better.

Ios IPhone or IPad

If you have the latest IOS software for your iphone/ipad, Apple has a new tool called night shift. You can find this setting on the toolbar when you swipe up, where you find the flashlight and calculator. Activate nightshift and it will automatically pull the most troublesome spectrum of light from your phone at night.

Want Change In 2016? Discover The Key To A New You

The Constant Flow of Change

Life is constant change. When we live in the present we experience this constant change as a pleasant sensation like floating gently down the river. Everything around us is a fresh discovery with acceptance of change. We feel like a child who has a sense of wonder. We experience life without fear. But then, slowly as we become adults, we learn how to live in the mind and the illusion of the past and the future. We hold on to the past and we try to control the future. The future cannot be controlled because it does not exist. It exists in our mind, but there is no physical reality to it and we can only control the present. The present has a physical form: we hear the birds or the sound of traffic and we can change our focus or move away from that experience. When we want to control that which cannot be controlled, anxiety sets in. We must learn and accept that it is impossible to control the future and stop wanting to control it. When we stop wanting to control the future the anxiety falls away on its own and we live peacefully in a stream of constant change.

When we resist change, we swim against the current and the stream becomes more powerful and dangerous.


The Crisis of Change

When we hold on to habits that do not serve us anymore a conflict arises in us. We find ourselves in situations where we do not want to be. Embodying behaviors empty of meaning, we get confused, the battle within us takes a lot of energy and we find ourselves tired, sometimes not wanting to get out of bed because we don’t want to face a life that does not make sense. Depression sets in. We experience fear of the future and the unknown. We are stripped of our power and strength. We are in crisis, we need a change, but we waited so long that all we can see, live and experience is the crisis; we cannot see clearly anymore, we are drowning and we scream for help. Hopefully someone hears us. We will need a safe and nurturing environment to restore trust in life.

Small Changes to Avoid Crisis

The lesson to learn from the crisis is to stay aware and be honest with ourselves.

We cannot continue to take care of everybody except ourselves. We have to stop pushing ourselves in a direction that we don’t believe in. We have to stop reaching for a substance to relieve our anxiety. Seeking pleasure does not work anymore. This pill does not help to get out of bed; this job does not serve my purpose. How long will I take abuse from this man or woman? How long will I accept feeling numb? Old habits, including the painful ones, are old friends and we hold on to them because they are familiar. Fear of the future and the unknown can only be conquered by acceptance of the present and loving the adventure of life.


Make a Change Now

Another year is around the corner and full of potential. 2016 is an empty space and time like a blank canvas daunting our creativity. A painting to be created, a new story to be invented, a positive intention for a bright future, a wish for peace within, a whisper in the silent universe.

Our Programs Include Lifestyle Changes, Detoxification, Raw Foods, Gerson Therapy, Fasting, Rejuvenation, Transformation

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Create Your Own Miracle

Eight simple steps

Want to create your own miracle? Want to attract only good things into your life?

To help get you started on the path of creating your own miracle, here are 8 simple steps…

Be very clear

You need to be very clear about the miracle you desire – about the good you want in your world. As you clearly visualize or imagine your miracle, focus only on the end result of what you want, not the means by which it comes about. Let the “how” be up to the Infinite Intelligence that’s working for you in response to your thinking.

Expect the best

We tend to attract that which we love, fear, or steadily expect. So expect the best, even when negative circumstances appear — in fact, especially when they appear. When we expect less than what we want, we get less than what we want. Remind yourself that you do deserve the good you desire. You deserve it by the right of your very existence. Consciously and consistently expect that everything is working to your greatest and highest good.

Let go of fear

Fear is faith in something negative. Be watchful about your thinking. Your thoughts magnetically attract others like themselves. When you think negatively, your mind will go on a stream-of-consciousness journey into all sorts of related realms of negativity until you consciously stop yourself. All of this will block your miracle. Of course, you can’t eliminate every single negative thought for the rest of your life. But all you need is 51% faith and your life will begin to turn in the right direction. When you realize this truth, you will begin to feel empowered, and your faith will become more and more self-generating.

Open your mind to all possibilities

When we open to a greater flow of Universal Power and Intelligence in our world, we also need to let go of the way we want it. Although miracles always unfold in a very natural manner, they often come through unexpectedchannels. Whenever we hold tight, mentally or physically, to having things unfold “our way,” we run the risk of delaying our good, diminishing it or even blocking it all together. “What” is up to you. “How” is up to Spirit.

See yourself as you want to be

If you desire health, you need to see yourself healthy and filled with energy and enthusiasm for life. If you desire abundance, you need to see yourself enjoying an abundant lifestyle. And so forth. This does not mean living in a state of denial. On the contrary, you are clear about the facts of your present situation and handle what needs to be handled. But while you are doing all of this, your thinking about where you are headed is focused on what you want, not on what you don’t want or where you are today.

Keep the power

Don’t talk about it. Keep your miracle secret. To share it prematurely is to dissipate some of the Power of your idea. Further, a negative or envious person will contribute a certain amount of negative energy, either spoken or unspoken, around your idea. The integrity of the relationship between you and Spirit with respect to the unfoldment of your miracle must not be violated. Wait until it is absolutely necessary to share your idea in order for it to continue unfolding. Even then, share as little as possible with as few people as possible.

Do what needs to be done by you

Through the Law of Attraction, many good things move into our lives,apparently unbidden. But almost always, there are things that you need to do and choices you need to make. When you are very clear about what it is you want or need, your mind becomes calm and focused. This, in turn, provides a clear channel for the guidance and direction you need in making your choices and decisions about what to do–whether it’s choosing the right doctor or taking the right job.

Pray. Pray often. Prayer works

Prayer is effective whether we’re praying for ourselves, praying for others, or being prayed for by others. You don’t have to be religious for your prayers to be effective. A few suggestions:

  • Pray at a time and in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Allow yourself to feel empathy, love, and compassion for yourself or for whomever you are praying.
  • Pray with a complete expectation that your prayer is being answered and that the desired result is right now in the process of manifestation.
  • After you pray, “let go and let Good.” At that point, your job in the creative process is complete. Your continuing work is to guard your thinking. Creatively praying several times a day is a major key to success in obtaining your desires.

from the blog Eight steps to bringing wonderful experiences into your life

by M. C. Rann and E. R. Arrott

The Vital Stroke. Aging and Vitality

I was savoring some well-deserved pupus on the ocean front lanai of the Royal Kona hotel this Saturday afternoon after the 18 miles Liliuokali race, watching the ocean and waiting for the first iron kane canoes to appear on the horizon. I could not believe my eyes but the water sprinkled with dots, two or three well ahead of some other much smaller dots. It was too early, I thought, to be our paddlers. Just about an hour and a ½ had elapsed from their departure time! But sure enough I was them! I continued staring in the direction of Kealakekua and now I could see clearly the 2 back dots taking the form of canoes. I wished I had binoculars to see the details of what was happening with the 2 first canoes. Short of having binoculars, I decided to get the most out of the experience on the level that I could. It became a great revelation. I received a clear message of energy and vitality. As the canoes were getting closer I could see the men paddling fast and hard as if they were paddling for a short distance race and they already had about 15 miles in their arms. They were giving all they had in their heart in the form of power, for the sake of racing. I was moved to tears.

This experience was so strong that I wanted to share it with our makule paddlers. I took a walk to the Kamehameha hotel to the outdoor award site, curious to observe the winners of the race and eager to share my experience with my team. I told the story to one of our paddlers. I told her how impressed I was with the speed and wholeness of the paddling team and she commented “ Yes but they are young”

This comment made me think: Is vitality the attribute of youth only and does it get lost inevitably with aging or can it be retained?

YES vitality can be cultivated!

Here are the ways that you can support a vital body:

Nutrition, exercise and positive thinking

Exercise, we got it, we all love it. Exercise is what is bonding us. Paddling! But this is only one part of the package. You also got to eat live foods

Live foods are as important as exercise to maintain the life force. We restore the damages done to our bodies with food and water. Food is more than what it taste like. Food is needed to repair properly the daily damage from time. Our body will use whatever we give it to do the job. Our body and brain is programed to eat food from the earth, whole foods not processed foods. The more live food the body/brain receives the better the repair job and the more lively and awaken we will feel.

Please make an effort to eliminate toxic foods from your life: processed food, dead food and non-food substances.

The next fundamental factor is how you think. You must think positively. If you think that aging is an illness that cannot be avoided, the corners of your lips are going to go down. I once had a patient who was exercising her upper lip muscles and I inquired: what was she doing? She explained that as we aged the corners of our mouth tend to look down and she strengthening the upper muscle of her lips to have a youthful smile and look. Certainly she was concerned about her appearance but the sagging upper lips is also a reflection of how we feel inside and making a conscious effort to fight gravity helps to uplift our feelings.

Gravity may create damage on many body parts. While the vital energy is the strongest at birth it does not take much effort to maintain it earlier in life. However, while growing old, it takes individual awareness and effort to maintain this vitality as long as possible. Cosmetic surgery will not do it. It may lure the other but not yourself. It takes effort and all effort is rewarding. Conserving vitality is an important component of happiness.

Please think positive. There is no limit to the power and creativity of the human mind. We can all have a vital stroke regardless of our age! This is not a matter of technique, it is a matter of believing that we have enthusiasm, passion and strength and our stroke will have the vitality of a 20 year old.

The source of a vital stroke is a vital mind and a vital body grown with real food, exercise and positive thinking .

by Maya Nicole Baylac N.D.