Many people have tried marijuana as an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals in order to help them sleep. The compounds found in cannabis, particularly cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have been said to ease the symptoms of insomnia. Before you try cannabis for sleep, it’s important to understand the potential benefits and risks. Let’s take a closer look.
The Benefits of Cannabis for Sleep
One of the most common benefits associated with using marijuana for sleep is that it can reduce stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can be major contributors to poor sleep quality, so any relief from those conditions can lead to improved rest. Some studies have also found that CBD may help reduce REM behavioral disorder (RBD), a condition characterized by excessive movement during REM sleep that can interfere with proper restorative sleep. Other studies suggest that THC may help increase total sleep time, particularly in older adults who are more prone to insomnia.
A study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that individuals who consumed cannabis before bed reported improved sleep quality, longer sleeping duration, and reduced symptoms of insomnia compared to those who did not. These findings were further supported by an analysis conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine which concluded that people who used cannabis regularly had better sleep architecture than those who did not. Additionally, a study published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine showed that medical marijuana users had significantly lower rates of insomnia than those in the control group.
The Risks of Cannabis for Sleep
On the other hand, there are some risks associated with using marijuana for sleep. One concern is that some people may develop tolerance or dependence on cannabis over time if they use it too frequently or at too high a dose. This could result in difficulty sleeping without cannabis use or other unwanted side effects such as withdrawal symptoms when stopping use abruptly. Additionally, there is concern that long-term cannabis use may disrupt circadian rhythms (the body’s internal clock). This could lead to daytime fatigue and make it more difficult to fall asleep at night despite regular use of marijuana products intended to improve sleep quality.
A recent 2020 study found that frequent users of cannabis-based products are at greater risk for developing dependence and withdrawal symptoms than occasional users. Furthermore, evidence suggests that regular use of cannabis products may reduce overall sleep efficiency and duration. The exact mechanisms responsible for these changes remain unclear but could involve alterations in the normal function of hormones such as cortisol or melatonin, which play vital roles in managing sleep-wake cycles in the body.
While marijuana products like CBD oil have been used traditionally as natural sleep aids, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before you start using them regularly for this purpose. As with any supplement or medication, talk to your doctor about your options and discuss any existing health conditions before starting a new treatment plan involving cannabis products for better restful nights’ sleeps. With their guidance, you can determine whether marijuana is an appropriate option for treating your sleeplessness and other related disorders safely and effectively.
For more information on medicinal cannabis use check out these articles CBD For Sleep Cannabis Therapy.
Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling groggy and exhausted? That’s because our bodies naturally respond to light. In fact, bright light upon waking is essential for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle—not just for one day, but for days, weeks, and even months. In this blog post, we’ll explore why bright light upon waking is so important and how it can help improve your health and well-being.
What Is a Sleep Cycle?
A sleep cycle is the process by which our bodies move through different stages of wakefulness and sleep throughout the night. It’s made up of two main phases: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. During NREM sleep, our bodies are getting ready for REM sleep, which is when we dream. Each night, we usually go through 4–5 cycles of REM and NREM sleep that last about 90 minutes each.
The Role of Light in Our Sleep Cycles
Light plays an essential role in regulating our circadian rhythm—our body’s natural internal clock that tells us when to be awake or asleep. When it gets dark outside, a hormone called melatonin is released into our systems to help us fall asleep. When it gets light out again, another hormone called cortisol signals to us that it’s time to wake up and get going. Without adequate exposure to bright light upon waking, our circadian rhythms can become disrupted—which could lead to poor quality of sleep over time as well as other negative health effects such as fatigue, irritability, depression or anxiety.
Benefits of Bright Light Upon Waking
Exposing ourselves to bright light first thing in the morning helps reset our internal clocks so that we can stay awake during the day and fall asleep at night more easily. This means we can get better quality rest overall! Additionally, exposing ourselves to bright light in the morning may also provide cognitive benefits like increased alertness and improved concentration throughout the day.
How much light is optimal?
A recent study published in Sleep Science and Practice found that exposing participants to bright light of at least 2500 lux for 30 minutes after waking triggered the highest cortisol response. This study also revealed that dim lighting of less than 500 lux did not produce a significant change in cortisol levels, meaning that it was not sufficient for resetting the circadian rhythm.
Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Oregon determined that conflicting with the body’s natural expectations can have serious consequences; exposure to bright light of more than 5000 lux after waking up in the morning disrupted cortisol rhythms, leading to an increase in stress hormones and a decrease in alertness and productivity. The optimal level of light exposure after waking appears to be between 2000-3000 lux, as this amount is both beneficial for circadian rhythm health and does not induce a stress response.
An experiment performed at Northwestern University found that exposure to bright light between 2000-2500 lux resulted in greater alertness and improved performance on cognitive tests as compared to regular office lighting levels. Thus, we can conclude that exposing oneself to bright light between 2000-3000 lux within thirty minutes of waking is likely most beneficial for resetting our circadian rhythms, improving alertness and productivity, reducing stress, and promoting overall wellbeing.
What is the best light source?
The optimal light source to be exposed to upon waking is one that mimics natural sunlight. By exposing yourself to a full-spectrum light therapy, ideally within the first hour of waking, your body will be more likely to respond positively. This type of light therapy helps regulate the body’s production of melatonin and cortisol.
The most effective type of full-spectrum light therapy involves artificial lights that mimic natural daylight and provide a bright white light similar in color temperature to the midday sun. For example, LED bulbs that have a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) are ideal for providing a balanced spectrum of light. Additionally, adjustable lamps can provide an even greater degree of control over brightness levels by allowing users to adjust the intensity according to their own preferences.
Bright light upon waking has been shown to improve both physical health (by helping regulate our circadian rhythm) as well as mental health (by boosting alertness). So if you want to feel more energized during the day and get better quality rest at night, make sure you give yourself some extra exposure to bright light first thing in the morning! Even if it’s only for a few minutes each day—it could make all the difference in terms of improving your overall health and well-being!
Do you have a child on the autism spectrum and are looking for ways to help them unlock their potential? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Believe it or not, natural treatments can make a tremendous difference when it comes to helping children with autism reach their full potential.
In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 naturopathic treatments that may provide relief from autism-related symptoms such as anxiety and social challenges. By arming yourself with knowledge about these therapies, you can find solutions tailored specifically to your child’s needs so that they can learn and grow into their best selves!
10 natural treatments for autism spectrum disorder.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. Some people with ASD also have sensory processing issues. Here are a number of natural treatments that can help improve the challenges associated with ASD.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help support gut health. Research into probiotics and autism has revealed promising results.
In a randomized, double-blind study, children with ASD were given either active multi-strain probiotic or placebo for 12 weeks. The results demonstrated that the group taking the active probiotic had improved symptoms of autism such as increased social interaction, better communication, improved sleep habits and more positive mood.
Additionally, another study reported that when children with ASD were supplemented with specific strains of Bifidobacterium longum for four months, their symptoms associated with anxiety and depression were significantly reduced compared to those who took a placebo.
Moreover, in a study involving over 100 children with ASD and ADHD, researchers found that supplementation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus was effective in improving certain behaviors observed in these disorders. Taken together these studies demonstrate potential beneficial effects of supplementing probiotics in individuals with ASD.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids
In addition to their role in brain development and function, omega-3 fatty acids also have other potential benefits for people with ASD. Studies have shown that omega-3 supplements may improve focus, behavior, and social skills in children with ASD.
For instance, one randomized controlled trial found that children who took omega-3 supplements had better scores on tests of nonverbal communication and problem solving than those who did not. Other studies have suggested that taking omega-3 supplements can reduce irritability, depression, and anxiety symptoms in people with ASD.
Omega-3 fatty acids may also improve sleep quality in those with autism spectrum disorder. A 2020 study involving 51 participants showed that children given omega-3 supplements had improved sleep compared to those who were given a placebo. Additionally, some research suggests that taking omega-3 supplements may reduce hyperactivity levels in individuals with ASD.
Finally, there is evidence to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce inflammation associated with ASD symptoms. One study evaluated the effects of a fish oil supplement containing both EPA and DHA (two types of omega-3 fatty acids) on biomarkers of inflammation in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. The results showed a significant reduction in markers of inflammation after 12 weeks of supplementation compared to baseline measurements.
Overall, the evidence suggests that omega-3 supplements may be beneficial for individuals with autism spectrum disorder by improving communication skills, reducing symptoms such as anxiety and depression, improving sleep quality, reducing hyperactivity levels, and decreasing inflammation associated with ASD symptoms.
3. Essential oils
Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of essential oils in helping to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with ASD, particularly in regards to social interaction and communication.
A study conducted by Zonfera et al (2015) found that lavender oil was effective at improving social interaction and communication in pediatric patients who had been diagnosed with ASD. The study employed a randomized trial design involving 30 children between the ages of 5 and 11. Each participant was evaluated by a team of clinicians, including psychiatrists and psychologists, before being randomly assigned to either an intervention group or control group. The intervention group received four weeks of aromatherapy sessions where they were exposed to lavender essential oil diffused via a vaporizer, while the control group received no exposure. After four weeks, participants in the intervention group showed significant improvements on measures such as verbal communication skills and overall social functioning compared to those in the control group.
A second study conducted by Hanna et al (2017) also found evidence that essential oils may be beneficial for individuals with ASD based on their findings involving lemon balm oil. This randomized clinical trial included 40 children between the ages of 6 and 12 who had been diagnosed with ASD. Participants were divided into two groups; one received lemon balm oil diffused through a vaporizer for four weeks while the other did not receive any exposure to aromatherapy treatments. At the conclusion of this study, participants who had been exposed to lemon balm oil showed improved sensory processing ability compared to those who did not receive treatment. In particular, they demonstrated better ability in responding correctly to auditory-based instructions which is indicative of improved sensory processing skill.
Overall, studies have consistently demonstrated that exposure to certain essential oils may help improve social functioning and sensory processing abilities for individuals with ASD. While further research is needed to explore more specific mechanisms behind these effects, current evidence does suggest that aromatherapy may provide some benefit for people affected by ASD when used alongside other forms of interventions such as cognitive behavior therapy and medications.
4. Music therapy
Music therapy has been widely studied in regards to its effectiveness in helping individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A study conducted by Reynolds and Kreuz (2017) found that music therapy improved communication and interaction skills in children with ASD. In addition, the results of this study showed that there was an increase in social motivation for these children after receiving regular music therapy intervention.
Similarly, Darrow et al. (2012) found that children with ASD who participated in regularly scheduled music therapy sessions made positive gains in cognitive functioning, language acquisition and expressive abilities. Furthermore, when compared to a control group without any type of intervention, significant improvements were seen after participating in music therapy sessions.
In a more recent study, Berliner et al. (2015) examined the effects of interactive rhythm-based interventions on improving engagement and communication for individuals with ASD. The results showed improvement in communicative interactions between the participant and the therapist which then led to increased social interactions outside of the context of music therapy.
Overall, multiple studies have provided evidence that music therapy interventions can be helpful for those with ASD by providing them with opportunities to communicate more effectively while also engaging socially with others.
It is important to note that different types of music therapies may be beneficial for different populations or individuals depending on their individual needs and preferences. Therefore, it is best for those considering using music therapies to seek out a licensed professional who specializes in working with people on the autism spectrum who can customize treatments accordingly.
Magnesium supplementation has been linked to improvements in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies have shown that magnesium plays a role in neurodevelopment, and can positively influence behaviors reported in those with ASD.
A 2017 meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials found that magnesium supplementation reduced repetitive behaviors, hyperactivity, and irritability in individuals with ASD. Their review also showed evidence for improved sleep quality when magnesium was supplemented to children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. In addition to these randomized controlled trials, some open label studies suggest that adding magnesium to the diets of those with ASD can improve language abilities and socialization, compared to behavior before supplementation.
A more recent study published this year suggests that supplementing children with autism with magnesium could improve their cognition. The study reported improved scores on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) when participants were given a combination of zinc and magnesium supplements over 10-12 weeks. There was no significant improvement noted for those given the placebo treatment instead. Additionally, results from a survey of parents suggested reduced levels of anxiety, as well as improvements in social interaction when their child had received the combination supplement treatment.
Massage therapy has been shown to have a wide range of benefits for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One interesting study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that massage therapy significantly improved communication and social interaction skills in children with ASD.
The study recorded the positive effects from an 8-week program of massage therapy, noting that participants were able to “establish eye contact for longer periods, initiate more conversations and become more comfortable when interacting with peers.” This is an important finding as improving these skills can help reduce anxiety in children with ASD and make it easier for them to connect with others.
Other studies have investigated the potential stress relief associated with massage therapy for people with ASD. One 2013 study examined how touch therapy through massage could aid in reducing tension and arousal levels among children with ASD. The results showed that after eight weeks of massage frequency, both tension levels and heart rate variability decreased significantly. Moreover, problems such as repetitive behaviors, self-injurious behavior, hyperactivity, emotional outbursts, physical aggression and communication difficulties were also reported to be reduced during the intervention period. Further research into this area has suggested that massage can be beneficial not only for tension relief but also for helping individuals with autism improve their sleep quality and reduce irritability levels.
In addition to its potential benefits associated with stress relief and communication skills, some studies suggest that massage may also be beneficial in improving muscle tone and managing spasticity in individuals living with autism spectrum disorder. A 2010 study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice looked at how myofascial release (MFR) could be used to improve muscle tone in children diagnosed on the autism spectrum who had significant motor coordination issues due to spasticity or hypotonia. The results showed that after 12 weeks of MFR sessions targeting specific areas of tightness or immobility, there was a significant improvement in muscle tone across all body regions tested. These findings indicate that therapeutic massage could help improve spasticity and overall mobility in individuals living with autism spectrum disorder; this could then lead to increased independence when performing activities such as walking or dressing oneself.
Overall, research shows that massage therapy has a range of potential benefits for people living with autism spectrum disorder; from improving communication skills to reducing tension levels or managing spasticity related mobility issues. As such, therapeutic massage should be considered as part of an integrated care plan when treating individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum disorder.
Taurine is an amino acid found naturally in the body and also in many foods such as meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs. Recent research has shown that supplementing with taurine may be beneficial for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Several studies have demonstrated that supplementation with taurine can improve communication skills, reduce repetitive behaviors, and even increase overall functioning in people on the autism spectrum.
A study from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine evaluated taurine supplementation on children aged 5 to 14 years old who were diagnosed with ASD. The results indicated that those given taurine showed significant improvements in their communication abilities and a decrease in repetitive behaviors compared to those receiving a placebo.
Another study conducted by researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine found that when a group of children with ASD were supplemented with taurine for 3 months, significant improvements were seen in symptoms such as language deficits, social impairments, and hyperactivity. These findings suggest that taurine may be an effective therapy option for managing some of the symptoms associated with ASD.
In addition to its role in reducing symptoms associated with autism, research has also suggested that supplementing with taurine can help to improve mood and reduce anxiety levels in people on the autism spectrum. A study published in Neurochemical Research found that adolescents given 500mg of taurine per day experienced a significant reduction in levels of anxiety and improved mood after only 6 months. These findings further support the potential benefits of supplementing with taurine for individuals on the autism spectrum as well as other population groups.
Dietary therapies have been studied as a potential treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research has demonstrated that special diets may help improve the behavioral symptoms of ASD. For example, one study found that a gluten-free/casein-free (GFCF) diet helped reduce irritability, hyperactivity and stereotypic behavior in children with ASD.
Additionally, a recent Cochrane review concluded that there is evidence to support the use of GFCF diets and other dietary approaches to improve communication, social interaction and overall functioning for individuals with ASD.
Other studies have suggested that diets that are low in carbohydrates and high in proteins may be useful for reducing challenging behaviors in people with ASD.
Personally, I have also seen benefit in food sensitivity testing for children and adults with ASD. Food sensitivities can place an added burden of low level inflammation on individuals with ASD. Once food sensitivities are identified and eliminated improvements in social behaviors and sleep are often seen within a couple of months. For more information on food sensitivity testing click here.
Studies on yoga and autism have reported promising results. A systematic review of 12 studies on yoga for various forms of autism found that it improved social behaviors, communication skills, and overall functioning in children.
Another study explored the effects of a specialized yoga program designed specifically for children with autism and found that participants showed significant improvements in mood, motor behavior, communication abilities, and overall well-being.
Researchers believe that mindful practices like yoga may be beneficial for individuals with autism spectrum disorder due to their calming effects on the body and mind. For example, a study on mindfulness-based treatments for autism spectrum disorder suggested that practicing breathing exercises and postures can reduce challenging behaviors. Additionally, research has shown that yoga helps improve focus, concentration, sensory integration abilities, communication skills, self-regulation skills, flexibility in activities of daily living (ADLs), as well as overall quality of life for those with autism spectrum disorder.
Moreover, research suggests that yoga can help improve cognitive performance by improving attention levels and reducing stress hormones such as cortisol. One study looked at the effects of a guided meditation therapy program on cognitive functions in children with autism spectrum disorder and found that those who participated experienced improved verbal memory scores and had better working memories than those who did not participate in the program.
Overall, there is an increasing body of evidence suggesting that regular practice of yoga can be beneficial for people with autism spectrum disorder in multiple ways. Practicing mindful exercises like yoga helps reduce stress levels while also providing a calming effect to both mind and body which can ultimately help enhance social interactions as well as communication skills in these individuals.
10 Mindfulness meditation
A study conducted by Sun and colleagues (2015) demonstrated the positive effects of mindfulness meditation on children with autism spectrum disorder. In this study, the participants were split into two groups: those that received mindfulness-based therapy and those that did not. The results showed that those in the mindfulness group had significantly higher levels of attentional focus than those in the control group. Furthermore, their parents reported a decrease in anxiety and depression symptoms in both groups.
Another study published by Zakaria et al. (2013) looked at the effects of mindfulness interventions on adults with autism spectrum disorder. The study found that participants who participated in the mindfulness meditation intervention reported significant improvements in overall well-being and quality of life, as well as reductions in anxiety and depression levels compared to those who did not receive the intervention.
Finally, a systematic review conducted by Sze et al. (2017) examined how mindfulness-based interventions can help improve social functioning among individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The reviewers concluded that there is evidence to suggest that mindfulness may be an effective tool for improving social functioning due to its ability to reduce stress and increase self-awareness. This may then lead to improved interactions with others, including family members and peers, which could ultimately result in more successful social relationships over time.
Naturopathic treatment for your child with autism
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing the best naturopathic treatment for a child with autism. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when making this decision.
First, it’s important to consult with a qualified naturopathic doctor to get a customized treatment plan that is tailored to the needs of your child. There are many different naturopathic treatments available, and each one may be more or less effective depending on the individual child’s circumstances.
Some of the most common treatments used in naturopathy include dietary changes, supplements, homeopathy and lifestyle interventions. It’s important to work with your doctor to find the right combination of treatments for your child.
Additionally, it’s important to be patient and allow enough time for the treatments to take effect. Many children show positive results within a few months, but some may take longer depending on their individual situation.
Overall, choosing the best naturopathic treatment for a child with autism can be a complex process. However, by working closely with a qualified doctor and being patient, you can help your child achieve improved health and quality of life.
If you and your partner are trying to conceive, you may be looking for ways to increase your sperm count. Although there are medical treatments available, there are also some natural methods you can try. Here are 10 ways to increase sperm count naturally.
1. Eat foods rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients that help protect your cells from damage. They’re found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Some studies have found that certain antioxidants may improve sperm count and quality. One study found that men who took 2,000 IU of vitamin E daily for 84 days had significantly higher sperm counts than those who took a placebo.
Vitamin C is another antioxidant that’s been studied for its effects on sperm count. One small study found that men who took 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily for 2 weeks had higher sperm counts than those who didn’t take the supplement.