Dr. Tara Skye Goldin's Newsletter, The Better Sleep Issue Natural Medicine that Gets Results!
July 2009


People often ask me how I chose this profession. I thought I'd take a moment here to elucidate this as I am quite passionate about homeopathic and naturopathic medicine. I always was curious about people, their motivations, how their minds worked, why one person's reaction to a situation was different from another's. And I was always fascinated by nature, its cycles and rhythms as well as its beauty. I went on to study biology and chemistry in college because I found it mesmerizing, yet it seemed the career arc for a research biologist or chemist seemed to focus on smaller and smaller minutia ( all important in the big scheme of things, though not my talent) and I was more of an integrator,and a detective...

While finally settling on naturopathic medicine as my career path I became fascinated with homeopathy, which also integrated the mind/body connection as well as incorporated knowledge of the body as well as psychology , chemistry and botany. I have also always been interested in nutrition and biochemistry which dovetails right in to this profession.

I am grateful to be of service to my patients and my community as I feel that it is what I was born to do, my dharma so to speak. I am also grateful to my patients for being my real teachers over the almost 20 years that I have been actively working in this profession. Enjoy summer!

Please note that the office will be closed from August 1- 9th. I will be back in the office August 10th. Please place all orders from my office prior to July 28th. The on-call naturopath will be available to assist you with any urgent naturopathic concerns. That doctor's number will be available by calling the main number for my office (303) 443-2206. Phone service is sketchy where I will be but I will attempt to check my messages every 3 days.

in this issue
Balancing yourself to better sleep! Eat Your Way to Better Sleep L-Theanine: How a Unique Anxiety Reducer and Mood Enhancer Increases Alpha Waves and Alertness Melatonin and 5-HTP for Sleep Disorders Kale Recipes - Kale Smoothie!

Eat Your Way to Better Sleep

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that are located above the kidneys. Cortisol helps regulate many body functions including activation of thyroid hormone, bone resorption, muscle strength, energy production, resistance to infection and cancer, resistance to auto-immune diseases, and intensity of allergic reactions. Cortisol is a strong determinant in how rejuvenating sleep will be. From The Doctor's Corner

L-Theanine: How a Unique Anxiety Reducer and Mood Enhancer Increases Alpha Waves and Alertness

The calming effect of green tea may seem contradictory to the stimulatory property of tea's caffeine content but it can be explained by the action of L-theanine. This amino acid actually acts antagonistically against the stimulatory effects of caffeine on the nervous system. (1) Research on human volunteers has demonstrated that L-theanine creates a sense of relaxation in approximately 30-40 minutes after ingestion via at least two different mechanisms. First, this amino acid directly stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation. Second, L- theanine is involved in the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA influences the levels of two other neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, producing the key relaxation effect. (2) by Carolyn Perrini

Melatonin and 5-HTP for Sleep Disorders

Melatonin has been called the body's own natural sleeping pill. It plays a key role in the sleep cycle by helping you fall asleep. Low melatonin levels can cause sleep-onset insomnia. From Holistic Online

Kale Recipes - Kale Smoothie!

When a good friend of mine told me that he was putting kale in a smoothie my first reaction was... YECHHHHH! However when another friend gave me a taste of theirs I was sold. If your bananas are ripe enough and you first remove the stem, you don't taste the grassy flavor and you know that you are packing your smoothie full of great Vitamins A, K, B and C that also help to nourish and build the blood as well as improving digestion by adding fiber.

My favorite smoothie recipe ( I drink this almost every morning!): 1 ripe banana , 1-2 cups almond milk, 1 cup organic berries or 1 frozen acai smoothie pack, 1 heaping Tbs of organic hemp protein powder and 2 medium or 1 large kale leaves ( minus stems). Blend and drink and enjoy. Can add more or less almond milk to desired thickness or thinness. Yummy! Here are some more! From Cooking Resources

Balancing yourself to better sleep!

Sleep disorders run rampant in our society. Also they become more commonplace in women as they hit perimenopause due to various hormonal influences. While the stress/cortisol imbalance accounts for what I believe is the majority of the sleeplessness we as a society experience, here are some helpful tips if getting a good solid 7-9 hours of deep sleep is elusive.

Getting proper sleep is extremely important to ones health as lack of sleep exacerbates psychiatric imbalances (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, mood disorders), depresses the immune system and increases the risk of mistakes and accidents while driving. Overall, lack of sleep impairs performance much in the same way that having a few alcoholic drinks impairs cognitive and motor performance. Of course sometimes poor sleep cannot be avoided as when caring for a newborn , but then the mothers who are breastfeeding get the added protection of oxytocin which helps offset the lack of sleep one gets when caring for a baby.

1. Manage your stress. If life is throwing a lot of challenges your way be sure to find healthy ways to destress. Yoga, meditation, exercise, massage therapy are often helpful tools to keep your neurotransmitters firing optimally. Which brings me to ...

2. GABA , gamma amino butyric acid is a neurotransmitter that is naturally secreted by the brain. GABA has a sedating effect on the body and is available in supplement form. This can be taken at bedtime but be sure to check with your practitioner for proper dosages.

3. Warm milk and turkey contain the amino acid tryptophan which increases seratonin production. Seratonin is a mood elevator as well as a relaxer. Unfortunately tryptophan is no longer available in the United States as a supplement but its precursor 5-HTP is widely available.

4. Avoid reading the news or watching TV or movies before bed. This can also stimulate the brain in ways that are not conducive to sleep.

5. Perimenopausal women who are experiencing sleep difficulty should also look at their relative estrogen/progesterone balance. Women with too much relative estrogen and not enough relative progesterone often experience sleep problems especially premenstrually. Natural progesterones are more effective and have less side effects so consider a visit to your health practitioner if warranted.

6. Try and keep your bedroom exclusively for sleeping and sex. Reading, TV watching, working, computing in the bedroom can make it difficult to feel like you are retreating when you do everything else in that room as well. Also an uncluttered soothing atmosphere can also improve sleep.

7. A healthy diet lower in carbs and higher in proteins may also help to balance blood sugar and neurotransmitters as well as a lifestyle that includes regular exercise is also conducive to better sleep.

8. If you must work the night shift, please keep it to a minimum and try to find a better job as the nighttime is the time of the liver which aids in cellular repair and detoxification. Patients of mine who work the night shift almost always find that their health worsens even if they get their sleep during the day.

9. Sleep well my friends. Nighty -night!!!!

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