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Why Am I Waking Up at 3am?

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Whenever I write about sleep, I hear from a chorus of people who struggle to sleep through the night. Anecdotally, it seems a far more common complaint than difficulty falling asleep in the first place. These complaints are one of three types: People who have trouble falling asleep People who sleep fitfully, waking multiple times throughout the night Those who reliably wake once, around the same time most nights Understandably, this is a hugely vexing problem. Poor quality sleep is a serious health concern. Not to mention, sleeping badly feels simply awful. When the alarm goes off after a night of tossing and turning, the next day is sure to be a slog. String several days like that together, and it’s hard to function at all. I’m going to go out on a limb, though, and assert that waking up in the middle of the night isn’t always the problem we make it out to be. For some people, nighttime wakings are actually something to embrace. As always, context is everything. Instantly download your Guide to Gut Health What Causes You to Wake Up In the Middle of the Night? One of the most frustrating things about nighttime waking is that there are so many possible causes. Sometimes the solution is as simple as practicing good sleep hygiene. Other times, medical help is in order. Still other times, the solution is something different entirely. Transitioning to Lighter Sleep Stages Sleep isn’t a uniform state of unconsciousness you slip into when it becomes dark and, theoretically, ride until morning. It’s a dynamic process that goes in waves—or more precisely, cycles—throughout the night. There are four (or five, depending on how you slice it) stages of sleep: Stage 1: light sleep, occurs right after falling asleep Stage 2: deeper sleep Slow-wave sleep (SWS): deepest sleep, a.k.a. Stage 3 and Stage 4 sleep REM: lighter sleep where our more interesting dreams occur (although we can also dream in non-REM phases) A single sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes, during which you move from light sleep, through stage 2, into deep SWS, and back up to REM. Then down you go again, then back up, ideally at least four of five times per night. Your sleep is also roughly broken into two phases over the course of a whole night. In the first half, you spend relatively more time in SWS. The second half is characterized by a higher proportion of REM sleep. What does this have to do with nighttime waking? One possible explanation is that as you transition into lighter sleep — either within a single sleep cycle, or as you move from the first to the second phase—aches, pains, and small annoyances are more likely to wake you up. These can include medical issues like chronic pain, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or GERD. Soreness from the day’s hard workout, noise or light from your environment, hunger, thirst, or being too hot or cold might rouse you from your slumber. If … Continue reading “Why Am I Waking Up at 3am?”

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Farmed Salmon Contaminated With Toxic Flame Retardants

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This article was previously published July 25, 2018, and has been updated with new information.

Fish are an important part of the ecosystem and the human diet. Unfortunately, overfishing has depleted many fish stocks, and the proposed solution — f…

Race Is On for an Omicron Jab

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At this stage in the game, it’s apparent that the COVID jab no longer works. Many health officials and world leaders are even openly acknowledging that the COVID shots cannot end the pandemic and that we must learn to live with the virus.

A major d…

BMJ Demands Immediate Vaccine Data

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While other Big Pharma manufacturers have developed and released a COVID-19 genetic therapy injection, only shots from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been approved in the U.S.1

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) editor Peter Doshi, an…

All About the Liver, and How to Support Your Favorite Detoxification Organ

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The liver is incredible. Most people think of it as a filter, but filters are physical barriers that accumulate junk and have to be cleaned. The liver isn’t a filter. It’s a chemical processing plant. Rather than sit there, passively receiving, filtering out, and storing undesirable compounds, the liver encounters toxic chemicals and attempts to metabolize them into less-toxic metabolites that we can handle. It oxidizes the toxins, preparing them for further modification It converts the toxins to a less-toxic, water-soluble version that’s easier to excrete It excretes the toxins through feces or urine Bam. It’s an elegant process, provided everything is working well back there. And it’s not the only process it controls. The liver is the primary site of cholesterol synthesis and disposal. It creates cholesterol as needed and converts excess into bile salts for removal via the bile duct. The liver also plays a huge role in the burning of fat for energy, the storage of vitamin A, the metabolism of hormones, and the regulation of blood sugar. If you enjoy burning ketones, you can thank the liver because that’s where they’re produced. The liver supports full-body health, in other words. If it isn’t working correctly, nothing is. Everything starts to fall apart. How do we support the liver? It’s not one thing we do. It’s many things. It’s nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle, sleep — everything. It’s also the things we don’t do. The stakes are high, you see. Whenever there’s a grand overarching orchestrator regulating dozens of different processes in the body, you must protect it from multiple angles. A lot can go wrong. Or right, depending on how you look at it. Since the liver is “hidden away” and you can’t really “feel” it, you may not give it too much thought. When you’re overweight, you know it. When your fitness is suffering, you consciously experience it. When your liver is overburdened or suffering, you don’t necessarily know it. That’s where doing the right things for the sake of doing them comes in handy. So, what should you do to maintain pristine liver health? Stay on track no matter where you are. Instantly download your Primal and Keto Guide to Eating Out 11 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Liver Liver health depends on steps you take toward a healthy lifestyle, and equally as important, the things you refrain from doing. Here are some things you can to to contribute to lifelong liver health: Reduce linoleic acid intake Reduce refined carb intake Reduce alcohol intake Stop overeating, and lose weight Practice time-restricted eating Eat fatty fish and get omega-3s Eat egg yolks and other choline sources Take NAC Take whey protein Regularly deplete your liver glycogen Get good, regular sleep Reduce Linoleic Acid Intake When a patient can’t eat, they get something called parenteral nutrition — a direct infusion of nutrients into the gut. The classic parenteral nutrition consists of an emulsion of olive oil and soybean oil. It’s very rich in linoleic acid and typically leads … Continue reading “All About the Liver, and How to Support Your Favorite Detoxification Organ”

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Peppermint Oil: A Potent Oil With the Power of Menthol

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This article was previously published January 10, 2019, and has been updated with new information.

History shows a wide range of uses for peppermint essential oil, which has been used as far back in time as ancient Rome and Egypt.1 Various culture…

Dr. Meryl Nass Under Attack for “Spreading Misinformation”

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This story is about a hero doctor and a human being of great courage and integrity, Dr. Meryl Nass — who is an internist in Maine with proven expertise in hard-to-treat chronic illnesses as well as bioterrorism and epidemics.

I recently had the pri…

The Truth Is Coming Out About COVID Deaths

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Early on in the COVID pandemic, people suspected that the deaths attributed to the infection were exaggerated. There was plenty of evidence for this. For starters, hospitals were instructed and incentivized to mark any patient who had a positive COVID …

What DNA Methylation Testing Can Tell You About Your Health

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Ryan Smith is the founder of TruDiagnostic, a commercial testing system that tests your biological age, as opposed to your chronological age. It’s can be a profoundly useful tool, because you need an objective barometer to tell you whether or not the t…

The Complete Guide to Fasting: Interview With Dr. Jason Fung

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This article was previously published December 30, 2018, and has been updated with new information.

Fasting is one of the oldest dietary interventions in the world, and modern science confirms it can have a profoundly beneficial influence on your he…

London Fog Drink – Earl Grey Tea Latte Recipe

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Next time you want to sip on something warm and comforting, try a London Fog Latte. I’ve been hooked ever since a friend encouraged me to order one at a local coffee shop. As soon as I took my first sip, I was determined to figure out how to make them myself. A London Fog Latte is now my go-to drink whenever I need a hug in a mug. Start-to-finish, it takes about as long as brewing a cup of coffee, and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand right now. What Is In a London Fog Latte? In its most basic form, a London Fog Latte is Earl Grey tea flavored with vanilla and lavender, topped with frothy milk, and softly sweetened. Recipes vary, but the predominant ingredients in a London Fog Latte include: Earl Grey tea (black tea flavored with bergamot) Vanilla Lavender (optional) Steamed and frothed milk Sweetener How to Make a London Fog Drink at Home Makes: 2 tea lattes Time in the kitchen: 5 minutes Ingredients 12 oz. hot water 2 Earl Grey tea bags 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract A few drops of liquid monk fruit sweetener or stevia, to taste 6-8 oz. milk of choice (I used a full-fat almond milk) 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional) Pinch of fresh lavender buds (optional) Directions Grab two mugs and place one tea bag in each. Top with hot water and allow to steep for three to five minutes – longer for a stronger tea, shorter for a weaker tea. For a more floral drink, you can throw a pinch of lavender into the water while the tea is steeping. While the tea steeps, warm your milk in a saucepan. Add the vanilla extract. To froth your milk, you can use an immersion blender, froth wand, or a french press. To froth using a french press, pour warmed milk into the french press. Aggressively agitate the milk by moving the plunger halfway up the french press and then back down about 10 times or so. You will see the milk expand as it becomes foamy. Remove the tea bags and strain out any lavender buds if you used them. If you are using collagen peptides and sweetener, mix them in now. Pour your frothed milk on top. Just add a fluffy blanket of foam, plus an optional sprinkle of lavender buds if you’re feeling fancy. Enjoy! How to Customize Your London Fog Latte Make it decaf: A typical London Fog Latte contains caffeine. Earl Grey tea has a moderate amount of caffeine, around 30 to 60 mg per cup depending on how you brew it. For comparison, an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains around 100 mg. If decaf is more your speed, look for decaffeinated Earl Grey tea bags. Make it dairy-free: London Fog Lattes are equally delicious whether you use full-fat milk or cream, nut milk, coconut milk, or other dairy-free options. Keep it keto-friendly by using monk fruit or stevia, or opt for honey or … Continue reading “London Fog Drink – Earl Grey Tea Latte Recipe”

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Rhonda Patrick on Vitamin C

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This article was previously published June 6, 2020, and has been updated with new information.

Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin found in abundance in fruits and vegetables, is an essential nutrient that humans must get from their diet or supplemen…

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