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Newsletter, January 2011

Dear Éiriú Eolas family,

The New Year found our team reading and researching the issue of sleep. Since we try to be informed with the lasted research on everything that has to do with our physical, emotional and mental well-being, it was only natural that the benefits of proper sleep will become our interest as well. After trying out some of the suggestions from T.S. Wiley’s book, Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival, and experiencing the benefits for ourselves, we decided to extend this recommendation to all of you.

Remember Shakespeare’s words from Macbeth?

“Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

All very true. Sleep is our personal caregiver, balm and nourisher. Have we been sleeping properly enough however to reap all the benefits sleeping can offer us? According to Wiley, we haven’t. Since the widespread use of electricity some 70 years ago, our sleep has suffered and so has our health. It was about that time that obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer started taking lives at a rate never before seen. Why? Because we lost connection with the rhythms of nature, sending thus false messages throughout our system. We forgot HOW to and WHEN to sleep.

When our natural body rhythms get out of whack, so do our hormones, and this wreaks havoc on our bodies. Long days and short nights tell our bodies three things: eat carbs (to hibernate for the winter), have sex (so our babies will be born in spring), and run (summer is the time of hunting and predators, activating our stress response). When this happens all year-round, we suffer the consequences: obesity, hyperinsulism, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer. The list goes on. All from getting too little sleep!

Here is a 10-minute video to get an idea of what we are talking about:

http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=0C3EAD2326B55EFA7A2D503499190B5B

From the above link:

Here are a few ideas to help improve your sleep cycle if required:

  • Sun up – get up
  • Sun down – sleep. During the winter months dim your lights two hours before bed.
  • Avoid bright lights including TV & Computers 30 min’s before bedtime
  • Ensure your bedroom is completely dark, no light from anywhere, including your clock!
  • Be at least 3 feet away from any electrical appliances
  • Avoid caffeine after 2pm (1/2 life of 6 hours)
  • Avoid alcohol (Cortisol release, which is a stress hormone)
  • Avoid eating high GI foods like carbohydrates before sleeping
  • Performing deep breathing exercises to facilitate relaxation
  • Reserving your bed for sleeping, rather than using it as an alternative site for working, watching T.V, or studying
  • Turn your router system off at night (EMF)
  • Leave your window partially open at night. People typically sleep best when there is fresh air in the room and it’s about 60-65 degrees.
  • Spending 15 to 30 minutes winding down by making excellent natural music selections. Keep the volume low enough that it’s not disruptive.
  • Meditate, read or journal 30 min’s before your bedtime.
  • Shower or bathe in un-chlorinated water before bed. Do not use mass-market, non-organic commercial scents, oils or hygiene products on your body at night. Most of these products are loaded with toxins that elevate stress hormones.

We hope you enjoy the two sleep-related articles that we chose out for you, and understand more about your hormones and the importance of having your circadian rhythm in sync.

Keep on breathing, and may you have many restful sleeps to come!

The Éiriú Eolas Team

Featured Teacher: Henry See, Fort St. John, Canada


Having explored many different breathing and meditation techniques over the years, Henry See was not prepared for the gentle power of Éiriú Eolas. Other techniques had left him feeling grounded, but nothing came close to producing the emotional release and detoxification he experienced right from the start of his daily EE practice. He knew it was something he wished to share with others.

“It is such a remarkable programme, so gentle yet powerful, and it is so easy to integrate into a busy life. When I was raising a family, I found it difficult to do regularly the zen meditation I was practising at the time. It is hard to find a half an hour morning and night to sit on your mat with young kids. But with Éiriú Eolas,it can be broken up into shorter periods during the day, and the pipe breathing is available whenever you need it, whenever you feel those stress chemicals shooting into your gut.”

He is also impressed with the scientific grounding of the techniques provided for the students. “The work that is being done by the research team at EE is remarkable. It is reassuring for the students to know that there is a clear scientific basis to the programme. The forum is a valuable resource as well.”

The health benefits are also impressive.

“Other types of meditation left me feeling energetic after going to weekend retreats, but that energy got lost quickly when I returned to daily life. With EE, that energy is always there. But energy with a sore, achey body isn’t much help. With the changes to my diet recommended by the EE programme, I have completely eliminated all the aches and pains associated with ‘growing old’. If I can help just one otherperson achieve those benefits, it is worth it.”

Henry has been teaching EE for almost a year in the northern British Columbia community of Fort St. John where he runs a bookstore. “There is an active music community up here in FSJ. I used to have all sorts of blocks about getting up and performing. I noticed that with the EE, I have more confidence. I can get up and perform just for the sheer pleasure of it without being hounded by that negative voice in my head telling me that I am an idiot and am makinga fool of myself”, he says laughing.

Henry’s classes are every Monday evening at 7:00 pm at Sacred Space, 10607 101st Ave in Fort St. John. You can reach him at (250) 787-9433 or at henry@eiriu-eolas.org.

Source Link

Good old Melatonin- Making news again

News have been released that “according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), exposure to electrical light between dusk and bedtime strongly suppresses melatonin levels and may impact physiologic processes regulated by melatonin signaling, such as sleepiness, thermo regulation, blood pressure and glucose homeostasis.”

In my book Lights Out, I have pointed out that melatonin and progesterone are both master-switch hormonal controllers. If either one is out of sync, it reads to nature as “pushing a red button.” Any light at night changes natural rhythms.

As time goes on, we increase the amount of responsibilities and tasks that we take on, and as a result we sleep less and less. “In 1910 the average adult was still sleeping nine to ten hours a night. Now the average adult is lucky to get a full seven hours a night. You can’t make melatonin in the daytime or with the lights on. We need to understand that “going to sleep with the sunset means a whole-body melatonin bath.” When we sleep short nights that mimic summer mean: Reduced melatonin secretion which means reduces white cell immune function; A sever reduction in the most potent antioxidant that you have-melatonin.”

In the study, recently reported researchers evaluated 116 healthy volunteers aged 18-30 years who were exposed to room light or dim light in the eight hours preceding bedtime for five consecutive days. An intravenous catheter was inserted into the forearms of study participants for continuous collection of blood plasma every 30-60 minutes for melatonin measurements. Results showed exposure to room light before bedtime shortened melatonin duration by about 90 minutes when compared to dim light exposure. Furthermore, exposure to room light during the usual hours of sleep suppressed melatonin by greater than 50 percent.

In Light’s Out I point to studies in 1993 and 1994 that reported that human volunteers at the NIH were monitored for hormonal release and brain activity by Dr. Thomas Wehr. The volunteers slept eight hours (a short night) and Fourteen hours (a long night.) The results included, “Longer periods of melatonin secretion upped white cell macrophage and lymphocyte production. The second most obvious difference hormonally between short and long nights was the amount and length of prolactin secretion. This change in melatonin and prolactin secretion reflected the long night’s fragmented sleep pattern.

“Given that chronic light suppression of melatonin has been hypothesized to increase relative risk for some types of cancer and that melatonin receptor genes have been linked to type II diabetes, our findings could have important health implications for shift workers who are exposed to indoor light at night over the course of many years,” said Joshua Gooley, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. and lead author of the study.

Seventy million Americans admit they are tired. In Lights Out, I proved that the major killers correlated with obesity- heart disease, diabetes and cancer- are caused by short nights, by working ridiculously long hours, by literally burning the candle at both ends, and by the electricity that gives us the ability to do it.” “Working late in bright lights after dark, or watching David Letterman or checking late-night E-mail , for even just half an hour, all register as the long days of summer to your inner environmental controls. The amount of sleep you get signals to your body the mode that it is in.” Winter signifies famine to your internal controls. Famine on the horizon signifies instinctive carbohydrate craving to store fat for hibernation and scarcity.” If you sleep at night for the number of hours it would normally be dark outside, you will only crave sugar in the summer, when the hours of light are long. It is the perennial adaptation or the chronic, constant intent to hibernate, that causes overconsumption of carbohydrates and obesity and its attendant high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inevitable heart failure. In Sex, Lies and Menopause, I point out that “The artificial triggers of man-made light and food not only fool your insulin, cortisol, and melatonin system-which wreaks havoc with your sleep cycle and make you jumpy and crave sugar- they affect your sex hormones too. Without estrogen, women can’t sleep. Estrogen grows life, and progesterone refines and stabilizes it. Our lifestyle of living in an endless summer will have to change before we can hope to solve the many ailments that come from sleep deprivation, with prescription drugs. The only person to benefit from sleeping is you.

News have been released that “according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), exposure to electrical light between dusk and bedtime strongly suppresses melatonin levels and may impact physiologic processes regulated by melatonin signaling, such as sleepiness, thermo regulation, blood pressure and glucose homeostasis.”

In my book Lights Out, I have pointed out that melatonin and progesterone are both master-switch hormonal controllers. If either one is out of sync, it reads to nature as “pushing a red button.” Any light at night changes natural rhythms.

As time goes on, we increase the amount of responsibilities and tasks that we take on, and as a result we sleep less and less. “In 1910 the average adult was still sleeping nine to ten hours a night. Now the average adult is lucky to get a full seven hours a night. You can’t make melatonin in the daytime or with the lights on. We need to understand that “going to sleep with the sunset means a whole-body melatonin bath.” When we sleep short nights that mimic summer mean: Reduced melatonin secretion which means reduces white cell immune function; A sever reduction in the most potent antioxidant that you have-melatonin.”

In the study, recently reported researchers evaluated 116 healthy volunteers aged 18-30 years who were exposed to room light or dim light in the eight hours preceding bedtime for five consecutive days. An intravenous catheter was inserted into the forearms of study participants for continuous collection of blood plasma every 30-60 minutes for melatonin measurements. Results showed exposure to room light before bedtime shortened melatonin duration by about 90 minutes when compared to dim light exposure. Furthermore, exposure to room light during the usual hours of sleep suppressed melatonin by greater than 50 percent.

In Light’s Out I point to studies in 1993 and 1994 that reported that human volunteers at the NIH were monitored for hormonal release and brain activity by Dr. Thomas Wehr. The volunteers slept eight hours (a short night) and Fourteen hours (a long night.) The results included, “Longer periods of melatonin secretion upped white cell macrophage and lymphocyte production. The second most obvious difference hormonally between short and long nights was the amount and length of prolactin secretion. This change in melatonin and prolactin secretion reflected the long night’s fragmented sleep pattern.

“Given that chronic light suppression of melatonin has been hypothesized to increase relative risk for some types of cancer and that melatonin receptor genes have been linked to type II diabetes, our findings could have important health implications for shift workers who are exposed to indoor light at night over the course of many years,” said Joshua Gooley, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. and lead author of the study.

Seventy million Americans admit they are tired. In Lights Out, I proved that the major killers correlated with obesity- heart disease, diabetes and cancer- are caused by short nights, by working ridiculously long hours, by literally burning the candle at both ends, and by the electricity that gives us the ability to do it.” “Working late in bright lights after dark, or watching David Letterman or checking late-night E-mail , for even just half an hour, all register as the long days of summer to your inner environmental controls. The amount of sleep you get signals to your body the mode that it is in.” Winter signifies famine to your internal controls. Famine on the horizon signifies instinctive carbohydrate craving to store fat for hibernation and scarcity.” If you sleep at night for the number of hours it would normally be dark outside, you will only crave sugar in the summer, when the hours of light are long. It is the perennial adaptation or the chronic, constant intent to hibernate, that causes overconsumption of carbohydrates and obesity and its attendant high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inevitable heart failure. In Sex, Lies and Menopause, I point out that “The artificial triggers of man-made light and food not only fool your insulin, cortisol, and melatonin system-which wreaks havoc with your sleep cycle and make you jumpy and crave sugar- they affect your sex hormones too. Without estrogen, women can’t sleep. Estrogen grows life, and progesterone refines and stabilizes it. Our lifestyle of living in an endless summer will have to change before we can hope to solve the many ailments that come from sleep deprivation, with prescription drugs. The only person to benefit from sleeping is you.

Source Link

Evening light exposure dangerous to health: new study

According to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), exposure to electrical light between dusk and bedtime strongly suppresses melatonin levels and may impact physiologic processes regulated by melatonin signaling, such as sleepiness, thermoregulation, blood pressure and glucose homeostasis.

Melatonin is a hormone produced at night by the pineal gland in the brain. In addition to its role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, melatonin has been shown to lower blood pressure and body temperature and has also been explored as a treatment option for insomnia, hypertension and cancer. In modern society, people are routinely exposed to electrical lighting during evening hours to partake in work, recreational and social activities. This study sought to understand whether exposure to room light in the late evening may inhibit melatonin production.

“On a daily basis, millions of people choose to keep the lights on prior to bedtime and during the usual hours of sleep,” said Joshua Gooley, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. and lead author of the study. “Our study shows that this exposure to indoor light has a strong suppressive effect on the hormone melatonin. This could, in turn, have effects on sleep quality and the body’s ability to regulate body temperature, blood pressure and glucose levels.”

In this study, researchers evaluated 116 healthy volunteers aged 18-30 years who were exposed to room light or dim light in the eight hours preceding bedtime for five consecutive days. An intravenous catheter was inserted into the forearms of study participants for continuous collection of blood plasma every 30-60 minutes for melatonin measurements. Results showed exposure to room light before bedtime shortened melatonin duration by about 90 minutes when compared to dim light exposure. Furthermore, exposure to room light during the usual hours of sleep suppressed melatonin by greater than 50 percent.

“Given that chronic light suppression of melatonin has been hypothesized to increase relative risk for some types of cancer and that melatonin receptor genes have been linked to type 2 diabetes, our findings could have important health implications for shift workers who are exposed to indoor light at night over the course of many years,” said Gooley. “Further research is still needed to both substantiate melatonin suppression as a significant risk factor for breast cancer and determine the mechanisms by which melatonin regulates glucose metabolism.”

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