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January 2012 | Newsletter archives

New Year’s Resolutions Lead to Year-Long Revolutions

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Unfortunately, many of them don’t last. In fact, recent studies show that between 85 and 95 percent of Resolutions fail before January is over. There are a myriad of reasons why, but typically, it has to do with biting off too much to chew. Should you throw up your hands in despair?  No. Just set yourself up for success.

I look at medicine from a very broad perspective, and using my studies of ancient cultures coupled with my knowledge and research of western medicine, I have created some easy-to-live-by philosophies that can put you on the road to better health, and better energy.

Energy is the key to almost everything when it comes to good health and to feeling good in general. If you’re tired and fatigued from the moment you get up in the morning, you’re living a low-energy life. If you spend all day just waiting to go back to bed, and then once you get there, have trouble sleeping, you’re living a bad-energy life. There is such a thing as bad energy. It can come from artificial sweeteners that can actually cause an inflammatory gut reaction slowing down your metabolism and thus your energy-making capabilities. It can also come from alcohol. There is sugar in all alcohol, but alcohol is actually a depressant. Again, bad energy.

For good ways to keep your energy level, here are some quick tips:

• Sleep in complete darkness. Studies have actually shown that even a light from the monitor of your computer can cause adverse sleep reactions. Without a good night’s sleep, you’re doomed. It’s not only the length of time you sleep, it’s actually the quality. No lights!

• Make sure your brain understands that bed=sleep. I even advocate having sex in another part of the house if at all possible. No TV, no computer, not even books, and definitely no work in bed!

• Start your day with milk, unless you’re lactose intolerant. Milk, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt are all great ways to kick start your morning. Milk is rich in protein and establishes your insulin-glucose ratio in such a way that you won’t crash early.

Some don’ts:

• Don’t keep a treadmill in the bedroom. Hard work should never, ever be associated with sleep!

• Don’t exercise before bed. You may think you’re doing a good thing because exercise is a good thing, but it can influence hormones that influence REM patterns in your brain. You could sleep for 10 hours and wake up exhausted since too many excitatory neurotransmitters aren’t allowing the sleep stages to be complete.

• It’s easier than you might think to keep energy levels up. Start paying attention now, and turn a new year’s resolution for better health into a year-long revolution. Let’s start today!