What’s Happening in Health
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It's autumn — time to get serious about staying well.  Try the following Amazing-Solutions to common health problems.  They'll help you look and feel your absolute best, naturally!
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This month’s articles:
The Search for Sleep
How do you get a perfect night’s rest? New research findings may surprise you… Read more
Apple A-Peel
Don’t cut away the skin. That’s exactly where the health benefits are… Read more
Nature's Own Anti-Aging Cream
Forget expensive moisturizers. All-natural Vitamin A and C creams can be just as effective… Read more
Ginger Relieves Nausea of Chemotherapy
Studies suggest this ancient herbal remedy can reduce the misery up to 40%... Read more
You Gotta Love Cranberries
It’s not a myth—they really do lower your risk of recurrent urinary tract infections… Read more
Reconsider Aspirin for Stroke Prevention
Experts find that low-dose aspirin may be good for some people.  But not all... Read more
Try this month's cheese spread recipe.

Healthy Sleep — Think Quality, Not Quantity
Nearly one in four of us reports trouble sleeping. New research suggests that part of the problem comes from misconceptions about what makes for healthy zzz’s. For starters, it turns out we don’t all need 8 hours of nightly shut-eye. It’s how well we sleep that matters, not how long. So forget old assumptions and consider these emerging facts…
Sleep deprivation can kill you. Studies out of both Columbia and Harvard find that your risk of developing many life-threatening diseases (like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and depression) increases if you regularly sleep less than 6 hours a night.
But too much sleep is just as bad. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have found that all the health risks we associate with sleep deprivation are equally associated with overly long sleep, which means anything over 8 hours. So 8.5 hours may be as risky as only 5.
Unhealthy sleep also correlates to overweight. Habitual sleep deprivation, as well as chronic long sleeping, boost your risk for weight gain because they cause hormone imbalance. Unhealthy sleep habits lower your level of leptin (which gives you a “full” feeling) and increases ghrelin (which promotes appetite).  In other words, you’re compelled to eat more.
Short naps are good; long naps are bad. A study out of NASA finds that a
20-40 minute nap in the early afternoon significantly improves alertness (100%) and performance (34%). The boost is most intense right after you wake up, but it also extends general alertness up to a few hours at the end of the day. Don’t nap longer than 40minutes, though, or you’ll disrupt your nightly sleep.
Take melatonin to promote sleep and overall health. Harvard Medical School experts find that in low doses, a high-quality melatonin supplement can aid in the quest for sleep. What’s more, it’s believed to protect against cancer cell growth.
■ Bottom Line: Studies have found that the people who live longest typically sleep between 6.5 and 7.5 hours a night.

Fight Back, Insomniacs!
Try cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a technique dating back to the 1950s.  It's the newest rage — with solid science to back it up.

  1. Start with however many hours sleep you typically get at night. No matter how few that may be, don’t allow yourself any more than that.
  2. Set a rigid wake-up time and obey it even on weekends & holidays.
  3. Now do the math. If you choose 7:00 a.m. as your wake-up time, and your nightly sleep allotment is 4 hours, then no matter how tired you feel, you must stay awake until 3:00 a.m.
  4. You should fall asleep within 15 minutes of going to bed.  If you don’t, get up and stay awake until you feel sleepy. Then return to bed, and if sleep doesn’t follow within 15 minutes, get up and repeat the process.    
  5. Go to bed only for sleep or sex.
  6. Allow yourself no naps—not even short ones!
Once you start to sleep well for your allotted hours, you can add 15-30 minutes a night for the following week. Each week repeat this process until you routinely fall asleep quickly, stay asleep and feel well-rested throughout your day.  Remember: don’t exceed 8 hours of sleep per night.  For more tips, check out one woman’s success story at www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/sleep/great-nights-sleep.


Apple A-Peel ...
A Cornell University study suggests that apple skin may be responsible for the fruit’s legendary health benefits. Researchers identified more than a dozen flavonoids (called tripenoids) in apples and, in laboratory experiments, tested their effect on human cancer cells. Most showed strong activity against breast, colon and liver cancer cells. So bite like Adam did—right into the peel.  Amazing-Health Tip: Always wash fruit well. Dangerous pesticides may have been sprayed on it, even if it’s marked “organic.”


Natural Anti-Aging Creams . . .
If you want to look great but avoid all the typical suggestions—laser surgery, microdermabrasion, cryosurgery and chemical peels—consider using vitamin A (as retinol) cream. It’s proved to be the most effective natural therapy for lines & wrinkles (and age spots, too). In unrelated research, a 12-week clinical trial found that a 10% concentration of vitamin C cream also reduced wrinkles and improved skin tone.  Amazing-Health Tip: Many facial creams contain ascorbyl palmitate, a derivative of vitamin C. But it’s not likely to be effective at the low concentrations typically found in these products.


Ginger Relieves Nausea from Chemotherapy . . .
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have shown that 1,000-1,500 mg of ground ginger a day (equivalent to a half-teaspoon) can reduce nausea from chemotherapy up to 40%, when taken along with standard anti-nausea medications. It’s important to divide the ginger into several doses each day, because too much at once can worsen stomach and intestinal upset.  Amazing-Health Tip: Ginger should not taken by anyone on a blood-thinning medication because it increases the drug's efficacy and ups the risk of dangerous bleeding.


You Gotta Love Cranberries . . .
The well-respected Cochrane Collaboration finds that 8-oz of 100% cranberry juice can reduce your chances of developing urinary tract infection. Best of all, the regimen proved most helpful to those who need it most: women with a history of recurrent UTIs (three or more a year). Among this group, cranberry consumption cut the annual rate of new infections by 30%. Amazing-Health Tip: Each 8-oz “dose” contains 140 calories—about 50% more than orange juice. So easy does it.


Reconsider Aspirin to Prevent Stroke . . .
The Women’s Health Study tested low dose aspirin, taken daily, in healthy women 45 and older. Among those 45-65, the aspirin lowered risk for the most common forms of stroke but actually increased the chances for a less prevalent hemorrhagic stroke. For women 65 and older, the benefits of aspirin were considerably higher: 34% fewer heart attacks and 30% fewer strokes. So discuss the issue with your doctor. If you’re under 65, the risks may outweigh the benefits. If you’re 65+ (or have a family history of cardiovascular disease) daily aspirin therapy may be adviseable.   Amazing-Health Tip: Talk to your doctor about 81-mg baby aspirin. Many experts say that’s enough to provide protection and easier on your stomach.



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