Ditch deadly sleep aids for natural sweet dreams
Everyone knows a bad night’s sleep can ruin your day. But did you know that regularly spending the night tossing and turning can kill you? That goopy green liquid and prescriptions that promise restful nights will only make matters worse. Fortunately, you can get better rest naturally by making a simple change.
Researchers have shown over and over that sleeping too little can cause all kinds of health problems. Some are irritating: trouble concentrating or weakened immunity, for example. Others are deadly: an increased risk of cancer, stroke and cardiovascular death.
Despite the warnings, medical experts estimate that as many as 70 million Americans are walking around sleep deprived. In fact, only about a third of Americans are getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of rest each night. And many of those folks aren’t actually getting quality sleep—they rely on prescription sleeping pills and over-the-counter remedies that undo many of the benefits of natural sleep.
Those medications may knock you out for the night—but we use them at our peril. Both prescription and over the counter sleep aids have been shown to cause hangover-like symptoms, changes in mood and dangerous sleep walking.
And just like lack of sleep, medication-induced sleep can have even scarier consequences.
“Taking a sleeping pill every night is associated with the same ballpark mortality as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day,” said Dr. Daniel Kripke, of the Scripps Clinic Viterbi Family Sleep Center, in La Jolla, Calif.
That’s right, Kripke and a team of experts recently found that popular sleeping pills increase the risk of a wide range of cancers, heart problems—and death. They deduced that people 18 to 55 who used sleeping pills to fall asleep even just 18 times a year were nearly 4 times more likely to die than those who took none.
The better sleep secret
Luckily, new research has revealed an easy way to get a better night’s rest that also reduces your risk of cancer and heart problems…
The secret is increasing your daily fiber intake.
A study just published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine concludes that increasing the amount of fiber in your daily diet will not only help you fall asleep faster, but also makes it easier to achieve deep, slow wave sleep that’s vital to good health.
In addition, the researchers discovered that the sleep benefits of increased fiber were compounded when study participants also reduced the amount of sugar and saturated fat they ate. So replacing just a few fatty foods and sugary snacks with quality fiber-rich fruits and vegetables is an easy and effective way to improve your sleep quality, not to mention your overall health.
But you have to stick with it…
“It was most surprising that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters,” researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center, noted.
If you find it hard to keep your fiber intake high, a nutritional supplement can help.
For the best results, look for one that is labeled for daily digestive or colon support that contains these ingredients:
- Psyllium Husks—a fiber rich plant matter that produces bulk in the intestines
- Oat Bran Powder—another fiber powerhouse packed with antioxidants
- Flax Seed Powder—made from a nutrition packed seed proven to reduce inflammation
- Gluccomannan Powder—extracted from the root of the Asian konjac plant, this source of soluble fiber is known to regulate blood sugar and promote healthy cholesterol levels