The weather this year has been warm, but it finally feels like summer. Unfortunately, the occasional heat wave and generally warmer temps mean less sleep.

After pouring through research, there’s a strong correlation between an increase in temperature and sleepless nights, and it’s worse for those who are older (who are more susceptible to heat) and those without air conditioning. While body temperature is an obvious factor in sleep, this study focuses on data showing that outside temperature has a widespread effect on people’s sleep.

And lost sleep isn’t something to brush off. There’s lots of correlations between not enough (or poor) sleep and adverse health effects like heart troubles, weakened immune system, mental clarity, and weight. A new study has even teased out a probable causation for some of that: lack of sleep causes the brain to eat up some connections. Over the long term this may be the reason lack of sleep is associated with health problems like dementia.

What can you do? Keep cool on hot summer nights. It might require rearranging where you sleep, or using a cooling unit (some cities are even catching on to the importance of cool air when people sleep, and subsidizing electricity during summer).

And make sure other factors that contribute to poor sleep are kept in check, like too many lights (including blinking LEDs) in the bedroom, eating and exercising habits, and other physical comforts.

Sleep is important. If you need extra sleep support, start with something natural, like our Sleep Support Pack. It combines Nite MGR which has sleep supporting herbs for a natural night’s rest full of real sleep, and Cal Mag Complete which compliments the sleep supporting herbs by replenishing the minerals needed and used by the body each night.

Does the weather impact your sleep? Leave a comment and let us know:

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Dog Flu in the US

May 31, 2017

Florida has an outbreak of highly contagious dog flu. If you have dogs (or cats!) then take a few preventative measures for them against dog flu.

Dogs have no resistance to the flu, and a cough or sneeze can spread it up to 20 feet, leading to a quick outbreak via dog parks, kennels, and dog grooming salons. Cats who come into contact are also susceptible.

If you’re dog or cat starts showing symptoms of sneezing, coughing, runny nose, fatigue (a change in energy level and enthusiasm) or fever, call your vet. While most can get through it with just a little extra TLC, it can develop into pneumonia if left unchecked.

Unfortunately, some pets won’t show any symptoms at all (or only an unalarming occasional sneeze or cough), but almost every dog that comes into contact with it will catch dog flu. Since flu is a virus, antibiotics won’t help and just like with humans rest and care are the best bet.

To help keep your pets safe, stay tuned in to what’s happening locally. Right now an outbreak is being reported in Florida, but with summer travel it’s not unlikely it will show up elsewhere. Try and keep pets away from large gathering areas (pets who catch flu should be quarantined, but there are always those are undiagnosed).

Just like with humans, pets can benefit from immune supporting colloidal silver. They only need a few drops in their water bowls. If you have outdoor pets, it’s a good precaution anyway.

The good news is that this is a different strain than humans get. It’s thought to have spread from birds in Asia (where bird flu is more common) to dogs who had contact with them. While it’s possible that this strain of dog flu can mingle with other flu strains (like the more virulent strains of bird flu) and pick up the genes necessary to become transmissible to humans, it’s unlikely in the pet scenario (more so with wild animals).

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There’s no such thing as a perfect diet. While there are lots of regional meal plans and ones from different times in history that are pretty good, the best diet pulls together all the best parts (a nice benefit of modern living). Taking a daily multivitamin is one way to make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, as well as all the nutrients we know to be the best.

Unfortunately, it’s not reality for most people to cram a bunch of superfoods into their diet everyday alongside all the other food groups! And while there’s a lot more variety available regardless of season or region, there’s also a downside to modernity: we’ve overfarmed so the food we eat isn’t as nutrient rich as it once was (and even in rich soils, it varies significantly by region so at different times of the year the nutrient profile of what’s available skews one way or another. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on nutritional problems: there’s organic vs. regular, the fact that apples typically get stored a year before hitting shelves, and more.

In addition to that, we all have off days. We get busy and miss a meal, cheat with treats, or get out of balance from regular life events.

A daily multivitamin fills the gaps, providing a safety net so that each and every day you get all the basics plus additional support. It shouldn’t replace a healthy diet, but it’s a great way to take the pressure out of eating healthy. When you get all the nutrients you need, you feel better. It’s indirect mood support, health support, sleep support and more.

Just be sure to choose a high-quality multivitamin. Independent research routinely finds that big brands and stuff sold in grocery stores are full of low-quality ingredients (when they aren’t just filler). High-quality daily multivitamins like Vita One have no filler, a variety of fresh nutrients, and are bioavailable (which translates to easy to digest, absorb, and use).

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“Stop taking antibiotics for colds”, experts plea. About 30% of antibiotic prescriptions in the US are unnecessary and unhelpful. Antibiotics kill bacteria, but many common diseases are caused by viruses… and treated with antibiotics anyway.

At least antibiotics are supposed to kill bacteria. The more antibiotics are used the more bacteria are able to develop resistance to them, and some of the new strains have the genetic key to quickly spread resistance to other bacteria. Antibiotics are fine to use judiciously, but taking them when you don’t need them or not finishing off a prescription (stopping when you feel better, not when you’ve taken the full antibiotic load) contributes to the growth of antibiotic resistant superbugs.

Already, thousands are dieing globally from superbugs. Hospitals and retirement homes are key locations where superbugs are developing because patients/residents are often given antibiotics preventatively. If the trends continue, those numbers are expected to rise. The real problems begin when common surgeries we take for granted (from simple appendectomies to c-sections) become life-threatening from the risk of untreatable infection, nevermind their own inherent risks!

It’s not just a global problem, it’s impacting the people taking too many antibiotics right now. First, it’s not curing their illness. Second, it’s killing the good bacteria in their stomach. And last but not least, it’s causing them to become carriers of superbugs. That means the next time their immune system is weak, or they need surgery (your skin is a repository of bacteria, hopefully good bacteria, but superbugs can accumulate) the risk of a superbug infection is high.

What can you do? Don’t ask for antibiotics. Common viral illnesses like colds, flu, bronchitis, and sinus infections won’t be improved by taking an antibiotic (besides the placebo effect). Traditional advice is still true: treat a viral illness with rest, fluids, and time. You can also support your immune system with colloidal silver.

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As the US warms up, regions who could harbor the Zika carrying mosquito Aedes aegypti are getting ready for the possibility of Zika.

While headlines are no longer flooded with the words “Zika outbreak”, that’s mostly because Zika is related to viruses that grant immunity, meaning you only get them once. So while people native to regions that had outbreaks last year have made it through, travelers haven’t. In fact, travelers are at the biggest risk, and the most likely source or any future US outbreak.

Analyzing data from last year, Zika was in the US long before it was detected. There were between 4 and 40 introductions starting as early as March, before Zika was finally detected in July. This year, at risk regions have generated plans to help with early detection and campaigns to raise awareness about Zika.

If you’re traveling, pretty much all of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America have Zika circulating, with some zones being worse than others. Remember, locals who went through an outbreak will have developed immunity, so don’t base decisions off current outbreak headlines.

For those with weakened immune systems (especially pregnant women, who are at a high risk of transferring Zika to their baby who could then develop severe complications including microcephaly), Florida and Hawaii should also be considered risky destinations as they have the perfect conditions or Aedes aegypti. And while mosquitoes are the primary source of Zika transmission, men can also transmit it as an STI. Because of the body parts infected (like testicles) Zika might remain for life even after the infection subsides.

What should travelers watch out for? Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have lived alongside humans for a long time, and have evolved to live inside the home (especially in bedrooms). They’re also very sturdy; they only need a very small amount of water to reproduce and can survive a ride in a suitcase back home. Many who get Zika show no symptoms, some only show mild symptoms like rashes, fever, and red eyes.

If you have a strong immune system, Zika isn’t a huge deal. Those who need to worry are the those with weakened immune systems, in particular the very young, pregnant (or planning it), and the very old. In high risk areas like New York, public service announcements will be targeting pregnant women and couples planning children with similar information about traveling to Zika infected regions.

Those who are low-risk and still planning to travel can get some extra immune support to take
with them from colloidal silver. Pack it with you and keep the daily support with you while you’re out.

What do you think about Zika? Leave us a comment:

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