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Med-Free Sleep Tips

From eNewsletter 5/19/2021

DID YOU KNOW that adhering to a healthy lifestyle may offset the heightened risk of lethal prostate cancer in men with adverse genetic risk factors? In men at the highest risk of dying from prostate cancer, having the highest healthy lifestyle scores cut the risk of fatal disease in half, according to findings presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021. Researchers classified the men using a validated lifestyle score, in which one point was given for each of the following: not currently smoking or having quit 10 or more years ago, ideal body mass index, high vigorous physical activity, high intake of tomatoes and fatty fish, and low intake of processed food.

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MED-FREE SLEEP TIPS

Steve and Bonnie: It seems that physicians are wising up to the fact that treating sleep conditions such as chronic insomnia with medication should not be the first line therapy. According to research presented at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting 2021, long-term use of sleep medication can create a vicious cycle, along with deleterious side effects. Moreover, without other lifestyle behavior modifications, the medication will not be effective. Pharmacotherapy should only be used only when all other measures have failed.

While the information below is geared mainly towards chronic insomnia, it is a good place to start for anyone having sleep issues. Chronic insomnia is diagnosed after having sleep issues most nights for at least 3 months.

Restricted Sleep

What is the latest time you can wake up to make it to school, work, etc. If that time is 6 AM, the goal is to move bedtime back to 10-11 pm. If, however, you are unable to sleep until 12:30 AM, move bedtime there. Though not ideal, it's better to get into bed when ready for sleep. From there, try to move bedtime back 15 minutes each week as you train yourself to fall asleep earlier. Working on this with a sleep specialist is ideal.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT wonderful first-line therapy to treat chronic insomnia and sleep issues. This can be done online through a program such as Sleepio or in-person with a knowledgable professional for 4-8 sessions.

Non-Pharmacological Options

The study researcher suggests that if you have to go to a medication, try something non-pharmacological first, such as melatonin. Here are our recommendation for non-pharmacological sleep aids that do not require a prescription and differ depending upon the type of sleep issue. However, we suggest working with a licensed health professional with knowledge of proper dosing and knowing patient food intolerances.

  • Sleep maintenance and onset concerns - magnesium glycinate and/or melatonin, ashwaganda

  • Light or restless sleep - magnesium glycinate and/or valerian root

  • Sleeplessness with stress or mood concerns - magnesium glycinate and/or phosphatidylserine, 5-HTP

  • Sleeplessness with an active mind - magnesium glycinate and/or L-theanine

  • Major sleeplessness because of stress - magnesium glycinate and/or GABA, CBD oil.


EYE HEALTH UPDATE

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