Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sleep Well Tonight

Having trouble sleeping?  

You are not alone.  Up to 74 percent of Americans do not get enough sleep.  Many of them could get a good night's sleep if they stopped doing the things that keep them awake—stopped stimulating their minds and bodies too much before trying to sleep.

There is a science to sleep.  We know what contributes to a good night's sleep and what will make it hard to fall asleep, or will wake you up in the early morning hours.  It is worth your time to learn a little about sleep.  Getting adequate rest makes a big difference in your day.

Everyone has lain in bed tossing and turning.  Some toss and turn every night with their mind racing through a thousand seemingly random thoughts.  Others fall asleep but find themselves wide awake in three or four hours and can’t get back to sleep.  If these are chronic they are considered insomnia.

There are simple changes in behavior that will fix the problem for most people.  If these don’t work there’s doctors who will help you get to sleep one way or another.

Tips for sleeping effectively:

  • Avoid sleeping pills whether prescription or over-the-counter.  These should only be used for unusual, short term, problems.  Long-term use of sleeping pills will actually cause sleep problems.
  • Avoid alcohol at night—it really doesn’t help.  It may produce unconsciousness but it doesn’t produce effective sleep.
  • Avoid coffee, tea or other stimulants in the evening.  Each person needs to learn how these affect them and take stimulants early enough in the day that their effect has waned by bedtime.
  • Avoid eating for five hours before lying down for the night.  This will give the digestive system time to work and a rumbling stomach won’t disturb the sleep.
  • Avoid drinking anything for two hours before lying down.  There’ll be less chance of having to urinate during the night.
  • Avoid TV or movies that increase adrenaline.  Violent or frightening movies will keep parts of the mind and body active for hours.
  • Get the children and pets quiet--hopefully sleeping!--two hours before the adults go to sleep.  Then the adults will have time to relax themselves.
  • Actively relax during the last two hours before bedtime.  The best method of relaxation will be different for each person.  It may be meditation, breathing, music, reading, massages with their partner, sex or funny movies.  Consider Yoga Nidra, a remarkable yoga technique that puts the mind’s attention on various parts of the body to reach profound relaxation.
  • Get regular exercise.  The body is designed to move.  You should be tired at the end of the day.  
  • The Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT) or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).  This is effective is dealing with thoughts and emotions that are disturbing your sleep.  
  • Listen to white noise or relaxation CDs.  Don't listen to voices or songs; sounds of water or a forest are more effective.  
  • Darkness helps the body sleep.  Get dark curtains.  Cover the lights on electronic gadgets.  If you get up in the middle of the night, use the smallest possible night-light to avoid stubbing your toes.  Don't turn on the main room lights.  If you do, your body will trigger hormones that say the night is over.  Use an eye mask if you can't darken the room.  
  • Get your body temperature right.  Some people are too cold and some too hot for real rest.  Maybe you need socks for your cold feet.  
  • Reading something spiritual can get your mind in the right place for sleep.  It should be relaxing and uplifting.  
  • Wake to music.  Alarm clocks can be jarring.  
  • Journaling can help people with too many thoughts.  Getting some of those thoughts down may help set them aside for eight hours.  
  • Go to bed fairly early and at the same time each night.  Pushing ourselves to finish a few more tasks before bed is likely to disrupt our sleep.  Your body is designed to rebuild overnight at certain times.  If you're still scrubbing the kitchen at midnight, your body won't rebuild as designed.  
  • Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs).  You might be surprised what is buzzing around your bedroom.  There are machines you can rent or buy to do this.  Keep electronics, including clocks as far away as possible from your sleeping location.  
  • A high-protein snack at dinner will generate a little melatonin and serotonin to make you sleep when you're ready to lie down.  
  • A little fruit (very little) in the late evening will also help you sleep.  
  • Talk to you doctor about your medications.  Many will disturb your sleep.  Ask for a medication change or help in timing the medication to maximize sleep.  
  • Lose weight.  
  • Avoid foods that you may be sensitive to.  Many people are sensitive to grains and dairy.  A little nasal congestion can be very disturbing.  
  • Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed.  
  • Only use your bed for sleeping.  Don't use your bedroom to organize your life or watch TV; that encourages your mind to go there when you need to be sleeping.  
  • Check with your doctor.  You may have a physical problem that is contributing to a disturbed sleep cycle.  Women who are perimenopausal may want to check with a physician to see if their hormones are preventing sleep.  

What if you still can’t fall asleep quickly

If all the good things above haven’t worked and all the bad things have been avoided, consider a low dose of melatonin (1 to 3 mg) before going to bed.  This is a chemical that the brain produces that induces sleep.  For some of us, a little extra melatonin does the trick.  A study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that melatonin helped people fall asleep by as much as 17 minutes faster.  The safety of long-term use of melatonin is unclear so it’s best to limit its use to a few weeks.

What if you fall asleep OK but don’t stay asleep?

  • If sleep lasts only a few hours and sleep doesn’t seem to happen after that, learn a meditation technique such as yoga nidra, breath-mindfulness, or muscle relaxation.  The benefit is that they can be done lying in bed with the lights off.
  • Mind your breath.  Simply focusing the mind on the feeling of the cool air entering the nostrils followed by the feeling of warmth as the air is breathed out can be very relaxing.
  • If muscle tension is present, learn to tense and release one area at a time, e.g.  tighten the right fist, then release, tighten the right forearm, then release.  Continue tightening and releasing each arm and leg, the upper and lower torso, the shoulders, the neck, the face.  Somewhere in that process you should find yourself asleep.
  • If sleep still doesn’t come then it’s best to get up and move around.  Do some gentle activity until you feel sleepy again.


All of us have trouble falling asleep occasionally but chronic loss of sleep can affect your health and happiness.  Avoiding the many things that create sleeplessness is usually sufficient for getting a good night’s sleep.  Adding meditation and other techniques can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.  For those who still have trouble professional help is available.  There are doctors in every city that specialize in sleep disorders.

Monday, January 30, 2012

High Fructose Corn Syrup

What drives me crazy is the TV commercial from the corn industry that says that corn sugar is the same as cane sugar--Sugar is Sugar!

Well, of course sugar is sugar. The point is that high fructose corn syrup isn't sugar--surprise!--it's high fructose corn syrup, which causes obesity and diabetes.

Avoid any product with high fructose corn syrup and you will be healthier.

Take a deep breath,

Dr. Ron

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Latest on H1N1

I've reported before that the H1N1 scare was overblown for the drug companies' benefit. I advised that only a very few people should be vaccinated because healthy people could expect milder symptoms than the normal flu.

Now it seems that the "scientists" who were making recommendations to WHO had connections to the drug companies.

The British Medical Journal reported:
"The investigation by the BMJ/The Bureau reveals a system struggling to manage the inherent conflict between the pharmaceutical industry, WHO, and the global public health system, which all draw on the same pool of scientific experts.
Our investigation has identified key scientists involved in WHO pandemic planning who had declarable interests, some of whom are, or have been, funded by pharmaceutical firms that stood to gain from the guidance they were drafting.
Yet these interests have never been publicly disclosed by WHO and, despite repeated requests from the BMJ/The Bureau, WHO has failed to provide any details about whether such conflicts were declared by the relevant experts and what, if anything, was done about them.
It is this lack of transparency over conflicts of interests—coupled with a documented changing of the definition of a pandemic and unanswered questions over the evidence base for therapeutic interventions—that has led to the emergence of these conspiracies."
 It's time for governments, and the WHO, to focus on what's best for the population rather than the medical establishment.

Take a deep breath,

Dr. Ron

Friday, May 28, 2010

GMO Foods May Make You Sterile

Well--not you specifically but quite possibly your grandchildren. The evidence is mounting around the world but you won't hear about it in the US--at least not from the government.

Russian Scientists found problems related to fertility, birth weight of offspring, and infant mortality among animals raised on GMO soy. for two years, one group of hamsters was fed a normal diet without any soy whatsoever, a second group was fed non-GMO soy, a third ate GM soy, and a fourth group ate an even higher amount of GM soy than the third.

Using the same genetically modified (GM) soy that is produced on over 90 percent of the soy acreage in the US, the hamsters and their offspring were fed their respective diets over a period of two years, during which time the researchers evaluated three generations of hamsters.

The second generation raised on GMO-soy had fewer pups and infant deaths were 5 times higher.

The third generation was sterile.

Other studies using rats had similar results except that the sterility occurred in the second generation rather than the third. In the rat study the testicles of the rats eating GMO-soy changed from pink to blue along with changes in the sperm themselves. There are also plenty of reports about pigs, cows and other livestock having reproductive problems when fed genetically modified feed.

You and your children are eating GMO foods now but you've only been eating it for 14 years--not even one generation. The effects of GMO soy will not appear until after 2016 and the sterility problem in your grandchildren would not be apparent until 2036.

The US government has conflicts of interest that prevent the science behind GMO crops from reaching your grocery store. Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto attorney is in charge of US food safety and Clarence Thomas, also a former Monsanto attorney, sits on the US Supreme Court.

Monsanto is behind GMO crops and Roundup, a prominent herbicide.

Your government will not protect you from harmful foods, it's up to you to educate yourself and end GMO-foods with your pocketbook.

Remember there are eight genetically modified food crops:
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils)
  • Canola (canola oil)
  • Sugar from sugar beets
  • Hawaiian papaya
  • Some varieties of zucchini
  • Crookneck squash
Avoid any GMO varieties of these foods and their derivatives. The easiest way to avoid ending up with GM foods in your shopping cart is to do some pre-planning using the free non-GMO shopping guide, available at

The Institute for Responsible Technology has also created a free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.

The shopping guide lists the various derivatives of each crop to be avoided, and even better, it lists hundreds of brand products in 22 food categories that are non-GMO, so if you’re still buying processed foods, at least you can easily select a brand that does not use genetically modified ingredients.

Getting into a shopping habit of continually avoiding GM food products will create pressure on the marketplace, without which there is little hope. So take this one step! Download the shopping guide, and make note of which brands to buy and which ones to avoid like the plague that they are.

You can find loads of additional information about GMOs on the site

Take a deep breath,

Dr. Ron

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

AminoSweet is Aspartame -- Avoid it!

There is currently a PR campaign to rebrand Aspartame as AminoSweet.  This is really good news; it shows that we are having an effect on the use of this dangerous chemical.

You may have heard that the methanol from aspartame is no more dangerous than the methanol from fruits.  This is a carefully crafted lie.  Here is a very detailed discussion of the question of methanol metabolism from fruits and aspartame.

If you'd like to read more about aspartame, here's my article on and a recent article by Dr. Mercola.

Please avoid aspartame as NutriSweet, AminoSweet, or any other name they come up with for this unhealthy chemical.

Take a deep breath,

Dr. Ron