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Can’t Sleep? Your Circadian Rhythm May Be Out of Whack

What is the circadian rhythm?

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle, often called the sleep-wake cycle. Your internal body clock tells you when to sleep, rise and eat. Circadian rhythms are affected by cues in the environment like temperature and especially the natural blue light that comes from the sun. As light disappears, your internal clock signals your body to sleep. When the sun comes up, it signals your body to rise, eat and get moving.  We now know that when circadian rhythms are disrupted, it affects cardiovascular health, immunity, energy, memory, weight gain and mood.  

Modern lifestyle can mess up the sleep-wake cycle.

Many of us stay up late, watch TV into the night or sleep with our smartphones. Electronic devices emit large amounts of blue light – like sunlight – so your body’s getting a signal it’s time to wake up even though it’s nighttime. It’s not surprising then that the drastic changes in lifestyle and habits over the last 30 years have been linked to disturbances in the circadian rhythm.

Melatonin for sleep.

Melatonin is not a sedative but is produced naturally by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin levels rise during the night – typically around 9PM making you sleepy – and fall right before dawn. Taking melatonin supplements is thought to support and help regulate the body’s sleep wake cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, so you wake refreshed. Melatonin is also an antioxidant that may offer protection against free radical damage in the brain’s cells, which is related to memory and cognitive issues.

Other sleep supplements include: ginkgo biloba, valerian root, magnesium and L-theanine. Try only one of these at a time at the lowest dose, and always check with your health care professional before taking melatonin or other sleep-inducing supplements.

How to sleep better.

Make sure you practice good sleep hygiene by following these guidelines:

  • Reduce blue light exposure from electronics at night
  • Turn off the TV and bright lights two hours before bedtime
  • Make sure your bedroom is completely dark, quiet and cool
  • Spend more time outdoors during the day to increase bright light exposure
  • Engage in a relaxing activity before bedtime such as reading, meditating or taking a warm bath
  • Avoid caffeine after 3 PM
  • Exercise in the morning
  • Keep a consistent sleep and wake time
  • Reduce long daytime naps
  • Don’t eat late in the evening and reduce fluids 1-2 hours before bedtime
  • Use products containing relaxing essential oils like lavender

Getting in sync with your circadian rhythm and implementing a few of these guidelines will go a long way to helping you get a better night’s sleep.

Top 10 Best Natural Herbs for Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight and feel slim and trim, the only long-term strategy is to reduce calories and increase exercise. There are several herbs and natural supplements for natural weight loss that could be a nice addition to your efforts. Here are the top 10 best natural herbs for weight loss.


All About Hyaluronic Acid

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid, also known as glycosaminoglycan, is a clear, thick, sugar-based molecule your body naturally produces. It’s found in large amounts in your skin, joints and eyes.


The Latest Beauty Trends for Radiant Skin

Your skin is the largest organ in your body but, because it’s not a vital organ it is last to receive necessary nutrients and first to be deprived. Meaning.. your age, lifestyle and any bad habits you’ve picked up along the way show through your skin. Be sure to provide your skin with all the essentials it needs to keep you looking your best at any age. Here are the latest beauty trends, tips and ingredients to protect, repair, moisturize and firm!


Micronutrients vs. Macronutrients

What are Micronutrients?

Micronutrients include vitamins (water-soluble and fat-soluble) and minerals. As their name suggests, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in your body, but are eliminated via urine while fat soluble vitamins do not dissolve in water and are best absorbed when eaten along with a fat source like fish oil, leafy greens or certain seeds.


Simple Tips for Everyday Vision Problems

Of our five senses, vision is by far our most important. In fact, 83% of our perception is processed through our eyesight. May is Healthy Vision Month, the perfect time to learn how to protect your eyes. Here are a few everyday vision problems and simple tips to prevent them.


New Pill Relieves Joint Pain in 10 Days or Less

By Carl W. Elliott

Associated Healthy Insights Press

According to a new report, joint problems affect 46 million Americans adults – about 21 percent of the population. Joint problems are also the most common reason for disability. (1) By 2030, this rate is expected to double to 40 percent.


Six Top Tips to Beat Bloating

Pants feel tight? Belly look a little pudgy? At times we all suffer from abdominal bloating. Not only does it make us look and feel chubby, it can be downright uncomfortable when gas gets trapped. Here are a few tips on how you can beat the bloat and look and feel better. 


Top Tips to Help Manage Cholesterol, Naturally

If your cholesterol keeps inching up, it’s smart to work with your doctor to manage it, since high cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease. In most cases, cholesterol management involves boosting your HDL (good) levels and lowering your LDL (bad) levels. In addition to taking medication as prescribed, there are also natural ways you might want to consider.  The following tips can help.