1. Melatonin can fight breast cancer

    Sleep hormone can battle breast cancer

    Forget Sleepless in Seattle. We're sleepless everywhere these days!

    Americans from coast to coast are falling short on essential shuteye -- and when people do sleep, it's at all the wrong times.

    The result? We're not just bleary-eyed in the morning.

    Millions of Americans are chronically cranky and eternally tired -- all day long!

    Ladies, if you're nodding (or nodding off!) as you read this... and if you KNOW you should be getting more sleep yourself... it's time to fix it.

    Set a bedtime like you had when you were a kid, and enforce it the way mom used to -- because new research shows how missing out on sleep can give breast tumors just what they need to not only form, but also grow, thrive, and KILL.

    The key to all this is melatonin, a.k.a. the "sleep hormone," because it's pumped out by the pineal gland at night, in part to help you sleep.

    Melatonin is also a powerful natural cancer-fighter, in some ways stronger (not to mention safer) than any big-money Big Pharma drug.

    In a series of lab experiments, researchers grew breast cancer cells... or at least, they TRIED to grow them, because when they added some melatonin to the mix, that growth slowed so much it practically stopped.

    Even when they threw in chemicals known to speed the growth of breast cancers, melatonin slowed the process down.

    This is a lab dish, not the real world.

    But we have plenty of other studies that show the link.

    For example, we know women who work at night -- especially nurses -- have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who sleep at night.

    In studies of women who already have the disease, higher natural levels of melatonin usually mean smaller tumors; and lower levels boost the odds of bigger, deadlier cancers.

    One remarkable study on mice even found that altering melatonin levels naturally by simply leaving lights on or turning them off caused breast tumors to either grow or slow.

    And when mice had higher levels of the hormone -- by being left in darkness for extended periods of time -- breast tumor growth slowed by as much as 70 percent.

    Obviously you're not a mouse.

    But you DO need to maintain proper melatonin levels, whether you have cancer or are just hoping to avoid it.

    Let me give you three tips on how to boost those levels at the right time.

    First, turn down the lights in the last couple of hours before bed. The brighter the lights, the more confused your brain gets.

    Second, avoid electronic devices, especially tablets and smartphones, as the light they give off is heavy in the blue wavelengths that confuse the brain into believing it's still daytime -- and that can delay melatonin production.

    And third, consider a melatonin supplement, especially if you've been having trouble sleeping.

  2. Lack of sleep can cause pain

    How sleep disorders set the stage for all-over pain

    There's pain, and then there's PAIN.

    The first is the pain you feel when you stub your toe, wake up with a headache or have to endure yet another grueling dinner with your in-laws.

    The second is the widespread all-over PAIN that starts from the inside and works its way out, leaving you feeling as if you've just been hit by a truck.

    If you've never suffered from that all-over PAIN yourself, count your blessings. And if you want to make sure you never find out what it feels like, be sure to get your beauty sleep -- because new research confirms that lack of sleep is the single biggest risk factor for widespread PAIN.

    Lack of sleep comes in many forms. In some cases, it's classic insomnia -- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. In others, it's the restless sleep marked by tossing, turning and waking up too often no matter how many hours you spend in bed.

    Some unlucky souls battle all of the above.

    The bad news is, these and other sleep disorders are among the most common health problems facing Americans today -- meaning there are going to be a lot more people in the coming years learning the difference between pain and PAIN.

    The good news? You don't have to be among them.

    Pass on sleep meds; they might help you fall asleep a little faster and keep you unconscious a little bit longer, but they don't provide the rest you need for rejuvenation -- and they come with big risks, up to and including death.

    I recommend a two-step approach to sleep problems instead.

    First, turn to the safe and natural supplements that can help you sleep tonight -- including the "sleep hormone" melatonin, GABA, theanine and Inositol as well as tried-and-true herbal remedies such as chamomile and passionflower.

    And second, work with a holistic doctor to find out what's keeping you awake. Sometimes, it's as simple as a lifestyle issue such as too much caffeine late in the day.

    In others, lack of sleep may be a warning sign of a nutritional or hormonal problem.

    A holistic doctor can run some tests and get to the bottom of it in a jiffy. Once you have it figured out, you'll be able to fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow.

    If you're in Southern California, I can help. Make an appointment to see me at my clinic outside San Diego.

    Not in the area? Not a problem -- I'm also available for telephone consultations. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule yours.

  3. How to sleep without sleep medications

    More Americans than ever are turning to sleeping pills -- but you don't need those dangerous drugs to get the sleep you need. You just need a new approach.
  4. Electronic devices disrupt sleep cycles

    The artificial LED light from electronic devices like iPads fool your body into thinking it's daytime disrupting melatonin production, leading to sleep issues, immunity problems, and reducing your protection against diseases like cancer.
  5. Sleep disorder boosts prostate risk

    Poor sleep habits increase the risk of prostate cancer, including potentially deadly advanced tumors.
  6. Working the night shift can increase breast cancer risk

    Working the night shift is already considered a "probable carcinogen," and now new research shows it can dramatically boost the odds of breast cancer.
  7. Dying to get some sleep

    Some people are lucky enough to fall asleep the moment their head hits the pillow. I've never been one of them, but I've never had to rely on sleep meds to get my rest, either, and that's a good thing: The latest warning finds that these drugs come with one whopper of a death risk.

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