Sleep peacefully without drugs

Right now, 25 percent of all Americans are regularly taking sleeping pills, with $18 million being spent on prescription drugs and an additional over $600 million spent on over-the-counter pills. Not only do these figures emphasize the seriousness of the insomnia problem but how drug-oriented our society has become.

Is it that millions care so little about their health or is it that they are too lazy to become informed about how insomnia can be reversed and how insidious the detrimental effects of these drugs really are?

What’s bizarre is that the over-the-counter sleep aids have been studied and have been found to be no more effective than placebos.

All these drugs, be it Sominex, Nytol, Sleep-Eze, Compoz, Nite Rest, Sure Sleep, etc. contain the same inactive ingredients. And worse than this multimillion dollar scam, is the fact that while these alleged “sleep aids” do no real good, they certainly will do harm.

Years and years ago there was a recall of sleep aids that contained an antihistamine called methapyrilene. Why? Because it was found to be carcinogenic. So, what did the pimps do? They switched to a similar antihistamine, pyrilmine, to fill the gap, even before a carcinogen study had been completed. Fortunately, it was not found to be carcinogenic. But, there was never a problem with Big Pharma using people as guinea pigs until that research was completed.

What’s equally bad is that sleep studies have found that many non-prescription and almost all prescription meds drastically alter sleeping cycles by suppressing REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. This is also true for any barbiturates and benzodiazepines, which are the major sleep medication ingredients.

So, to understand why the suppression of the REM sleep is harmful, you have to understand the normal sleeping cycle.

In the early pre-sleep stage, the body temperature falls and the alpha rhythm brain waves are prominent. Stage 1 of sleep is usually accompanied by muscle spasms, followed by a slowing of the pulse and muscle relaxation. Stage 2 comes after about 5 to 10 minutes, where the brain waves become larger and the eyes roll side to side. After another 20 minutes Stage 3 is entered, where brain waves now become slow and fairly large. Muscles are relaxed and breathing is slow and even. Then Stage 4, or delta sleep, sets in and lasts about 20 minutes or so. After this time the sleeper enters the lighter REM sleep with rapid eye movements. At this point the heartbeat is irregular and the brain waves are similar to the waking state. Of the time in REM sleep, 80 percent or more is spent dreaming. REM sleep lasts 10 minutes or more and then the sleeper goes to Stage 2, than Stage 3, and finally to delta in a cycle lasting about 90 minutes. Delta sleep lasts longer in the early part of the night, with more REM sleep taking place toward morning.

This order of sleep cycles seems to be essential for health. Those deprived of REM and delta become irritable, depressed, aggressive, angry, restless and/or apathetic. When the person re-enters REM, more time is spent there, apparently making up for the lost cycles. If the REM sleep has been suppressed by sleeping pills, health begins to suffer. Once the pills are stopped, more light, restless, unpleasant sleep with plenty of nightmares.

So, this REM withdrawal sleep, which is a built-in result of taking meds to “aid” sleep, will disturb sleep and convince the uninformed “insomniac” that he/she still needs meds and starts the vicious cycle all over again.

To treat insomnia, the true cause must be recognized, addressed, and removed.

Usually, causes are easy to identify – excess caffeine; muscular tension due to emotional or mental stress and over stimulation; excess salt in the diet; overeating before going to bed; B complex vitamin deficiency, which leads to stress and comes about by the over-consumption of refined carbohydrates, which require B complex components found in the fiber and germ coating of complex carbohydrates (whole grains). The refined carbs are stripped of the B complex components.

With stress comes depletion of B complex, among other vitamins, as the body’s glandular system, particularly the adrenal glands, become over-stimulated. Calcium deficiency due to poor absorption is also a common factor in insomnia. So, taking a calcium supplement at bedtime will frequently reverse a sleep disorder.

Also, any food allergy can cause poor sleeping and insomnia as well as foods causing allergic reactions are known to increase the heart rate, among other actions, causing or aggravating a sleeping problem. Food additives, colorings, preservatives and pesticides (hello GMOs) can cause a similar allergic response. Then, of course, heavy metal poisoning is a well-documented cause of nervousness, mental confusion, irritability, emotional disturbances, and sleep issues. The organic sulfur crystals can remove all these.

Since nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands and causes the excess secretion of adrenalin, it would be really beneficial to stop smoking. The adrenalin secretion leads to an increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure causing hyperactivity at the neuromuscular level resulting in the opposite effect desired for a good night’s sleep.

Having a “night-cap” before going to bed may not always be successful or beneficial as well because many people respond to alcohol as a stimulant, which reduces the REM cycle.

We all have internal clocks or rhythms. If we live out of phase with those internal rhythms, our health will suffer. We con ourselves into believing we are “day or “night” people and think we perform better at those times we have led ourselves into believing. We even force our bodies to perform even in the middle of our biological sleep time. Yes, we can adjust our inner clocks as the need arises, but this usually takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. People who work on rotating shifts constantly put their biological rhythms into utter chaos. Look at pilots and flight attendants that have the weirdest schedules ever. Stress, fatigue, and insomnia are normal results of that lifestyle.

How do we fix this? It’s important to realize that not everyone has the same sleeping requirements. Some people get by with 4 to 6 hours of sleep, with a nap during the day, while others require 7 to 9 hours of sleep. The real criteria is the person’s general health and energy level.

If a person complains he/she can’t get to sleep until 1 or 2 in the morning, but feels normal, it is not insomnia but rather a bio-rhythmic misunderstanding. The worst thing a person can do is to lie in bed freaking out about not being able to fall asleep. Just be active until your body tells you it’s time to sleep.

Then, our daily tensions and stress are major obstacles to falling asleep. Usually, insomniacs spend most of their time complaining to others about their problem. Instead of doing this, spend time finding out how to reverse the problem.

Like every other health problem, become aware of the cause and seek to address that rather than just trying to “fix” the symptom. Usually, an improper attitude toward life and a lack of knowledge and awareness of ourselves are the causes of the problem.

When I used to engage very actively in martial arts, I would feel exhausted. Then I learned a couple of techniques that revitalized me. One was to lie down as comfortably as possible in a bed, floor or mat and relax as much as I could with my eyes closed. I would then take three or four slow deep breaths in with slow exhalations to calm my system down. I would try to get my mind away from my tiredness or what I was feeling and simply concentrate on relaxing. I would then, starting at my face and neck, contract into a horrible grimace or tightness and hold that for about 3 to 5 seconds, then let go and relax my face and neck. I would then do that with my upper arms and chest, followed by my lower arms and hands, then my abdomen, my butt, thighs, lower legs and feet and then end it by contracting my whole body all at once and relaxing it. I would do this two to three times. When finished I would end with three or four slow breaths again.

Basically, this allows you tune into your body by re-educating it to understand what the state of contraction and relaxation is all about. And especially for a person that has not developed the subtle awareness of the relaxing effects of muscular tension or is unable to release tension by a mental command.

The second technique was the “draining” exercise. It is a bit more advanced but it works wonderfully. Again, lie down as comfortably as possible and take three or four deep, breaths and keep you eyes closed. Then envision that there is a hole in the bottom of each foot. In your mind see the tension in your feet draining out through the hole. Then go upward to the lower legs, thighs, butt, abdomen, hands and lower arms, chest, upper arms, shoulders and back, neck, face and head. Should you feel tension coming back, ignore it and finish the drain completely. Then, if need be, do it again.

If you do this on a daily basis for 15 to 30 minutes, in a very short period of time you will notice a steady flow of powerful currents passing through your body at the end of each session. You will also learn and recognize that your physical tensions amassed throughout the day are easily alleviated. This exercise is also an excellent preliminary step before meditation. In meditation you will come more and more in contact with the center of yourself, revealing many things about why physical, mental, and emotional tension exists within you.

So, wake up. A good night’s sleep is right around the corner.

Aloha!

Sources:
www.healthline.com
www.telegraph.co.uk
www.scmp.com
www.livescience.com

Hesh Goldstein
When I was a kid, if I were told that I’d be writing a book about diet and nutrition when I was older, let alone having been doing a health related radio show for over 36 years, I would’ve thought that whoever told me that was out of their mind. Living in Newark, New Jersey, my parents and I consumed anything and everything that had a face or a mother except for dead, rotting, pig bodies, although we did eat bacon (as if all the other decomposing flesh bodies were somehow miraculously clean). Going through high school and college it was no different. In fact, my dietary change did not come until I was in my 30’s.

Just to put things in perspective, after I graduated from Weequahic High School and before going to Seton Hall University, I had a part-time job working for a butcher. I was the delivery guy and occasionally had to go to the slaughterhouse to pick up products for the store. Needless to say, I had no consciousness nor awareness, as change never came then despite the horrors I witnessed on an almost daily basis.

After graduating with a degree in accounting from Seton Hall, I eventually got married and moved to a town called Livingston. Livingston was basically a yuppie community where everyone was judged by the neighborhood they lived in and their income. To say it was a “plastic” community would be an understatement.

Livingston and the shallowness finally got to me. I told my wife I was fed up and wanted to move. She made it clear she had to be near her friends and New York City. I finally got my act together and split for Colorado.

I was living with a lady in Aspen at the end of 1974, when one day she said, ” let’s become vegetarians”. I have no idea what possessed me to say it, but I said, “okay”! At that point I went to the freezer and took out about $100 worth of frozen, dead body parts and gave them to a welfare mother who lived behind us. Well, everything was great for about a week or so, and then the chick split with another guy.

So here I was, a vegetarian for a couple weeks, not really knowing what to do, how to cook, or basically how to prepare anything. For about a month, I was getting by on carrot sticks, celery sticks, and yogurt. Fortunately, when I went vegan in 1990, it was a simple and natural progression. Anyway, as I walked around Aspen town, I noticed a little vegetarian restaurant called, “The Little Kitchen”.

Let me back up just a little bit. It was April of 1975, the snow was melting and the runoff of Ajax Mountain filled the streets full of knee-deep mud. Now, Aspen was great to ski in, but was a bummer to walk in when the snow was melting.

I was ready to call it quits and I needed a warmer place. I’ll elaborate on that in a minute.

But right now, back to “The Little Kitchen”. Knowing that I was going to leave Aspen and basically a new vegetarian, I needed help. So, I cruised into the restaurant and told them my plight and asked them if they would teach me how to cook. I told them in return I would wash dishes and empty their trash. They then asked me what I did for a living and I told them I was an accountant.

The owner said to me, “Let’s make a deal. You do our tax return and we’ll feed you as well”. So for the next couple of weeks I was doing their tax return, washing their dishes, emptying the trash, and learning as much as I could.

But, like I said, the mud was getting to me. So I picked up a travel book written by a guy named Foder. The name of the book was, “Hawaii”. Looking through the book I noticed that in Lahaina, on Maui, there was a little vegetarian restaurant called,” Mr. Natural’s”. I decided right then and there that I would go to Lahaina and work at “Mr. Natural’s.” To make a long story short, that’s exactly what happened.

So, I’m working at “Mr. Natural’s” and learning everything I can about my new dietary lifestyle – it was great. Every afternoon we would close for lunch at about 1 PM and go to the Sheraton Hotel in Ka’anapali and play volleyball, while somebody stayed behind to prepare dinner.

Since I was the new guy, and didn’t really know how to cook, I never thought that I would be asked to stay behind to cook dinner. Well, one afternoon, that’s exactly what happened; it was my turn. That posed a problem for me because I was at the point where I finally knew how to boil water.

I was desperate, clueless and basically up the creek without a paddle. Fortunately, there was a friend of mine sitting in the gazebo at the restaurant and I asked him if he knew how to cook. He said the only thing he knew how to cook was enchiladas. He said that his enchiladas were bean-less and dairy-less. I told him that I had no idea what an enchilada was or what he was talking about, but I needed him to show me because it was my turn to do the evening meal.

Well, the guys came back from playing volleyball and I’m asked what was for dinner. I told them enchiladas; the owner wasn’t thrilled. I told him that mine were bean-less and dairy-less. When he tried the enchilada he said it was incredible. Being the humble guy that I was, I smiled and said, “You expected anything less”? It apparently was so good that it was the only item on the menu that we served twice a week. In fact, after about a week, we were selling five dozen every night we had them on the menu and people would walk around Lahaina broadcasting, ‘enchilada’s at “Natural’s” tonight’. I never had to cook anything else.

A year later the restaurant closed, and somehow I gravitated to a little health food store in Wailuku. I never told anyone I was an accountant and basically relegated myself to being the truck driver. The guys who were running the health food store had friends in similar businesses and farms on many of the islands. I told them that if they could organize and form one company they could probably lock in the State. That’s when they found out I was an accountant and “Down to Earth” was born. “Down to Earth” became the largest natural food store chain in the islands, and I was their Chief Financial Officer and co-manager of their biggest store for 13 years.

In 1981, I started to do a weekly radio show to try and expose people to a vegetarian diet and get them away from killing innocent creatures. I still do that show today. I pay for my own airtime and have no sponsors to not compromise my honesty. One bit of a hassle was the fact that I was forced to get a Masters Degree in Nutrition to shut up all the MD’s that would call in asking for my credentials.

My doing this radio show enabled me, through endless research, to see the corruption that existed within the big food industries, the big pharmaceutical companies, the biotech industries and the government agencies. This information, unconscionable as it is, enabled me to realize how broken our health system is. This will be covered more in depth in the Introduction and throughout the book and when you finish the book you will see this clearly and it will hopefully inspire you to make changes.

I left Down to Earth in 1989, got nationally certified as a sports injury massage therapist and started traveling the world with a bunch of guys that were making a martial arts movie. After doing that for about four years I finally made it back to Honolulu and got a job as a massage therapist at the Honolulu Club, one of Hawaii’s premier fitness clubs. It was there I met the love of my life who I have been with since 1998. She made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. She said,” If you want to be with me you’ve got to stop working on naked women”. So, I went back into accounting and was the Chief Financial Officer of a large construction company for many years.

Going back to my Newark days when I was an infant, I had no idea what a “chicken” or “egg” or “fish” or “pig” or “cow” was. My dietary blueprint was thrust upon me by my parents as theirs was thrust upon them by their parents. It was by the grace of God that I was able to put things in their proper perspective and improve my health and elevate my consciousness.

The road that I started walking down in 1975 has finally led me to the point of writing my book, “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”. Hopefully, the information contained herein will be enlightening, motivating, and inspiring to encourage you to make different choices. Doing what we do out of conditioning is not always the best course to follow. I am hoping that by the grace of the many friends and personalities I have encountered along my path, you will have a better perspective of what road is the best road for you to travel on, not only for your health but your consciousness as well.

Last but not least: after being vaccinated as a kid I developed asthma, which plagued me all of my life. In 2007 I got exposed to the organic sulfur crystals, which got rid of my asthma in 3 days and has not come back in over 10 years. That, being the tip of the iceberg, has helped people reverse stage 4 cancers, autism, joint pain, blood pressure problems, migraine headaches, erectile dysfunction, gingivitis, and more. Also, because of the detoxification effects by the release of oxygen that permeates and heals all the cells in the body, it removes parasites, radiation, fluoride, free radicals, and all the other crap that is thrust upon us in the environment by Big Business.

For more, please view www.healthtalkhawaii.com and www.asanediet.com.

Namaste!

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