Having been recently diagnosed with cataracts, I naturally have some questions. The diagnosis wasn’t a complete surprise. I am “of the age”. Plus I smoked for decades.
**If you smoke, this is another reason to stop asap**
In this article:
What are cataracts? What causes them? How to know if you have them. What you can do about it. What makes them worse. What to do as prevention. ———————–
What are cataracts? According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a cataract is when your eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy. Proteins in your lens break down and cause things to look blurry, hazy or less colorful. In other words, cataractsare the clouding of the lens of your eye, which is normally clear.
What causes cataracts? Most cataracts develop when aging or injury changes the tissue that makes up the eye’s lens. Proteins and fibers in the lens begin to break down, causing vision to become hazy or cloudy. Other factors can increase your risk of cataracts, such as genetics, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
How do you know if you have them? An eye doctor can give you a diagnosis. Regular eye exams are recommended, especially when you reach the age of 60. In most cases, that’s when cataracts start developing. However, changes in the lenses of your eyes can start to affect you in your 40s. Reading glasses anyone?
What can you do about them? At first, stronger lighting and eye glasses can help. If impaired vision begins interfering with your usual activities, you may need cataract surgery. Likewise, your eye doctor may recommend it. In the U.S., the average age for cataract surgery is 73.
What makes them worse? Dehydration, alcohol, smoking, and obesity speed up the development of cataracts. Uncontrolled blood sugar or high blood pressure are also contributing factors.
Get regular eye exams. They are helpful in early detection. Quit smoking. Manage other health problems. Choose a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit and veggies. Wear sunglasses Reduce alcohol use.
Now we know what cataracts are, what causes them, how to know if you have them. We also know what you can do if you have them, what causes them to get worse, and some preventative practices.
Hopefully, this answers some of your questions, just as it did for me.
Do you know someone with cataracts? Share this post with them. Sharing is caring.
Do you suspect you have cataracts? Tell us in the comments so we know we aren’t alone. ————————————————————————————————-
Bridges help us cross difficult terrain, sometimes being the only way to get from here to there.
Are there memorable bridges in your life?
Speaking of bridges and crossings, and getting from here to there, I want to introduce you to a new endeavor I recently started. I am creating adult coloring books, journals, and to-do list notebooks. They are available on Amazon.
This new endeavor feels like crossing a bridge because it is a new avenue, a new path, a new road. Having a bridge connecting my wellness journey, my entrepreneurial journey, and my dream of creating a line of blank books is priceless.
What bridge have you built or crossed that changed your life? (Small changes count too.)
You filled your diffuser with beautiful oils, you rolled calming nourishing pure-fume on your neck, wrists, anywhere, everywhere.
You fluffed your beautiful sheets and pillows. You have the most delicious book ever written beside your bed.
Your bedroom is cool, it smells inviting and relaxing, the lighting is soft .It’s ready for you to leave your troubles at the door and snuggle into sleepy time.
Feeling clean, cool, relaxed, you climb into bed, the beautiful soft sheets and soft fluffy pillows are waiting for you. You settle in for a few minutes with your favorite author, and feel your tension and busyness of the day melt away.
When you are ready, you turn off your side table lamp and the room goes to a luscious welcoming darkness. The bed is the most comfortable bed ever, your body is clean and fresh, the room is cool and dark.
You snuggle down into the covers, close your eyes, take a few deep breathes, and off you go into a deep restful rejuvenating sleep.
Your lips form a slight smile as you drift off into that deep nourishing sleep.
The morning sun peeks through your curtains, the birds are singing their morning songs, your eyes open and you realize that you are ready, eager to begin your day.
Your body, your mind are ready. Your body, your mind have had a nice long chunk of time to collect, sort, and store the nourishing nuggets from yesterday.
You are ready to glide through today with joy, grace, and ease.
Because you just slept like a baby.
To learn more about how to sleep like a baby night after night, read this post.
This article includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Sleep is important for healthy metabolism, a healthy immune system, and healthy organ function, just to name a few things. During restful sleep, your body heals and your brain gets a necessary reboot. Just like your electronics need a reboot, so does your brain.
Up to 90 percent of adults report mental stress and anxiety as the number one reason that they can’t shut their brains off at night in order to easily fall asleep.
According to Dr. Ashley Anderson, there are some lifestyle changes that can help improve the quality of your sleep.
1. Own your morning. Get up early or at least on time. Give yourself time to organize your thoughts, and your day. There are anti-anxiety practices that you can do to start your day on the right foot. Things like deep breathing, meditation, journaling, or spiritual reading can help you begin the day in a calm, stress free mood. Unlike getting up at the last possible minute and rushing to get to work on time.
2. Create space within your day to de-stress. Take a break. Stroll outside. Listen to a short guided meditation. Relax in the sun for a few minutes. Take time to relieve some stress during the day to keep it from piling up at bedtime.
3. Create a good night time routine, especially in the last hour before bed. As parents, we know the importance of a good bed time routine for our kiddos. We need one too! Things like a warm bath, relaxing with a good book, dim the lights, low impact stretching, massage, journaling, etc., set you up for a good night’s sleep. Your brain will get in line with the program and pretty soon, you won’t have any trouble falling asleep.
There are some tools you can use to help you fall asleep easily. Namely essential oils. Cedarwood, Frankincense, Vetiver, Petitgrain, sleep blends, and more.
I work with doTERRA Essential Oils. Lavender, Roman Chamomile, and Vetiver are my go-to oils. doTERRA has curated a sleep wellness program which includes bath salts, some body butter infused with their sleep blend, a gratitude journal, a spritzer/sprayer for the bed linens, and more.
I have been using this program for two months and my sleep has improved noticeably. My energy is more consistent, my memory is better, focusing is easier, my food choices are better. The best thing is my good mood. I wake up looking forward to my day.
With my established bedtime routine, my brain is recognizing the signals and I’m ready for lights out quickly and fall into a deep restful sleep easily. This is after years of not getting enough sleep. The difference is stark.
Getting a good night sleep consistently is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your loved ones, your life.
To learn more about how to #SleepLikeABaby night after night, read this post.
Did you know getting a good night’s sleep is key to living a wellness lifestyle?
Not just one night but night after night after night, having a good sleep routine is vital to living healthy.
I often think of it like rebooting our computers. You know how over time without a reboot or defrag your computer will begin to respond slower and slower until eventually it doesn’t even want to start up?
It’s the same way with humans. During healthy sleep, our brains and bodies get a reboot.
Good sleep can boost your immune system. It helps prevent weight gain. Good sleep can strengthen your heart, increase productivity, and improve your memory. That’s just the beginning.
A good night’s sleep has good affects on every system in your body.
It’s THAT important.
So, are you ready to invest in yourself and getting a good night’s sleep?
Visit this link to explore doTERRA’s Sleep Wellness Program.
I am over halfway into the first kit and both my partner and I are sleeping better. Even he has noticed a difference and he’s only sleeping in the room with the diffuser going. Plus sleeping next to me after I slather on sleep enhancing oils, lol. He calls me his built in diffuser.
The oils you get in your kits are safe, natural, potent, and very effective. There are no negative side effects. You can operate heavy equipment and drive while under the influence of these oils.
doTERRA was founded because of the desire to supply the purest, most potent oils for our health and wellness.
This article includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Can we talk about your sleep? Is it good or could you use some help?
Lack of good sleep can affect our health in many ways. Maybe you have experienced some of these at one time or another.
*difficulty maintaining weight or losing excess *negative emotional responses (anger, fear, etc.) *lack of motivation
Lack of good sleep has a negative impact on nearly all of your body’s organs and systems.
Just as poor quality sleep has negative effects, getting good sleep has positive effects.
A good night’s sleep can
*boost your immune system *prevent weight gain *strengthen your heart *increase productivity *improve your memory
Are you ready to learn what you can do to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis?
CIRCADIAN RHYTHM and MELATONIN
These are two natural systems in your body. You have to get them working smoothly and keep them working smoothly to enjoy restful, rejuvenating sleep. As part of Earth, we operate on her systems. When we are out of sync, we don’t sleep well.
First off, circadian rhythms. They are a lot like day/night, darkness/light, sleep/wake.
They are a natural process that regulates our sleep/wake cycle. It repeats roughly every 24 hours.
These natural rhythms are behavioral changes. We go from awake and alert to slowing down and sleeping. This change or rhythm isn’t instant. It needs a period to adjust. The triggers – or signals – match the sun cycle. The sun comes up, and we are triggered to wake up which begins to stop our melatonin production (I will get to melatonin production in a minute). The sun goes down, and we are triggered, through our retinas, to wind down and fall asleep. Our melatonin production begins and continues until the sunlight starts again in the morning.
Secondly, circadian rhythm is a behavior while melatonin is a chemical.
Melatonin is known as the hormone of darkness. That’s because it is made in the dark. Literally. When the sun goes down and night falls, our pineal gland begins making melatonin. As we wind down, our melatonin production winds up, allowing our bodies the time it needs to rejuvenate. It’s nature. It’s a cycle. It’s necessary for good living.
Melatonin is a beautiful chemical. It boosts our immune system. It is an antioxidant. It regulates our metabolism, improves our memory, can ease hot flashes, as well as halts cancer cells. Melatonin isn’t just for sleep. But sleep is for melatonin!
It is vital to good health to do all we can to pacify our circadian rhythms and bring on healthy melatonin production.
Good night, sleep tight
Create a good bedtime routine to set yourself up for a good night’s sleep.
Remember when your kids were little (or when you were little) and they had a bedtime routine? Maybe they got a bath and/or you read them a story. They were on a sleep schedule. You know it was right for them. The same goes for you! You need a schedule and a good routine. One that helps you relax and eases you into a deep rejuvenating sleep.
Here’s a list of habits to cultivate to ensure you are getting the quality of sleep everyone needs:
Your bedroom is for sleep and sex only. Make it comfortable and relaxing with good bedding. Make it dark. Perhaps you need blackout curtains. Quiet. Comfy temperature. Pleasant aromas and ambiance.
Get a good sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. Budget time for sleep. Put it in the calendar if necessary. Be careful with naps. You won’t need one soon! Change your sleep schedule gradually.
Get a good bedtime routine. Wind down for 30 minutes. (quiet time, reading, journaling, low impact stretching, relaxation exercises.) Dim the light in the evening. Wear blue light blocking glasses after the sun goes down when using electronic devices or watching tv. Disconnect from your devices one hour before bed.
Pro-sleep activities to do during the day. Get sunlight – either directly or at least open your curtains. Find time to move/exercise. Avoid caffeine after noon. Don’t eat too late – preferably at least 2 hours before bed.
I’m going to reiterate these things because they are THAT important. This is where the magic happens.
Make sure your bedroom is comfy and pleasant. With good bedding. And dark. Do. Not. Sleep. With. The. TV. On. Use blackout curtains if your neighbor’s lights are too bright. No electronics in your bedroom! It must be quiet. (Maybe you need earplugs or a white noise machine.) Turn off the TV!!! (Yes, I said it again.) Your bedroom also needs to be a comfortable temperature – approximately 65F or 18.3C. Use pleasant aromas, namely essential oils.
Get on a schedule. Remember your circadian rhythm is there to help you. It is a gift from nature. It’s there. You cannot escape it. You may as well get in sync. So, go to bed on time. Get up on time. Try not to nap. (You won’t need it soon, I promise.) If necessary, budget time for sleep. Put it in your calendar. It’s not time to figure out tomorrow’s challenges or today’s troubles. If you need to adjust your sleep schedule, do it gradually.
Create a good bedtime routine. Dim the lights in the evening. Disconnect from electronices one hour before bed. Use blue light blockers after sundown. Don’t eat less than 2 hours before bed. Take 30 minutes wind down time. Read a book, journal, do low impact stretching, get or give a massage, have sex, take a warm bath. Fill and turn on your diffuser. Annoint yourself with essential oils for sleep, grounding, or anti-anxiety.
Things to do in the day to sleep better at night. Move your body/exercise. Avoid caffeine after noon. Get sunlight, either directly or by opening your curtains. Dont eat within 2 hours of bedtime.
By cultivating these habits, you are setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep, night after night. It takes time to establish these routines. But soon your brain will be trained and you will fall asleep with ease and stay asleep.
It takes practice. You are retraining your brain and your body. One night of good practices won’t do it. Give yourself the time and patience to reset your inner rhythm and strengthen your melatonin production.
You can do this. You will be amazed how much better your feel.
Essential oils for sleep.
Essential oils are for far more than something that smells nice. The use of plant essences – their oils – have been used medicinally for centuries, long before our modern medical industry came to be.
Hippocrates, “the Father of Medicine”, used plants for healing. Greek doctors became master herbalists. They believed nature was a great healer. Many of the ancient Greek natural remedies are similar to our home remedies today.
The use of essential oils isn’t new. It is a return to ancient ways with a modern delivery. They are usually steam distilled or in the case of citrus oils, cold-pressed. Then they are bottled in dark glass to preserve the oils and shipped to our doors.
This is where doTERRA has stepped in. Their philosophy is potency and purity are the most important aspects of essential oils’ efficacy. doTERRA’s oils are the most tested in the world. To solidify your knowledge, understanding, and trust, see the “Source to You” videos.
Now that I’ve introduced you to essential oils, let me tell you about some that are excellent sleep aids. We have some flowers, a couple of trees, a root, and a blend specially crafted for sleep.
The flowers are Lavender, Magnolia, and Roman Chamomile. The trees are Cedarwood and Petitgrain. The root is Vetiver. doTERRA’s restful blend is Serenity.
Lavender and Roman Chamomile have a reputation for inducing sleep. Magnolia has the same constituent, linalool. Linalool has powerful soothing and relaxing benefits to our emotions and our skin. (Oils are multi-taskers.)
Cedarwood oil is distilled from the needles, leaves, bark, and berries – not the pollen so many of us are allergic to. Petitgrain is distilled from the leaves and twigs of the wild orange tree.
Vetiver is a grass. The oil is distilled from the roots. It’s compounds and constituents provide calming and grounding effects.
An oil blend curated specifically for sleep is doTERRA’s Serenity blend. It’s perfect for de-stressing and unwinding. It melts away tight emotions helping you feel calm and relaxed.
I would like to venture off for a moment and tell you about my experience with sleep.
I became a “two sleep” person. I could only sleep for about five hours at night and was caught in a vicious cycle of not getting enough sleep at night and then needing a nap during the day resulting in not getting good sleep at night and needing a nap the next day. It was a vicious cycle indeed.
I learned that exercise is crucial for me. The need to physically expel excess energy became vital. The second thing I figured out was eating – my diet – what I was asking of my digestive system. Bottom line, I wasn’t giving my digestive system the break it needed to rest and repair. It wasn’t the only system not getting the rejuvenating rest it needed.
I have figured out my energy/stress level. I had realized that I needed to stop eating late at night.
I still needed some help though. That’s where the oils came in.
As a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, I am passionate about these oils. I am dedicated to them. I trust them. I believe in their power.
I am sleeping regularly. I am amazed at the changes I feel. My memory is better. Brain fog and forgetfulness are receding. My energy level is high. I am motivated to keep my healthy habits. I make better food choices. I am amazed.
I want this for you too.
Back to the tools. Tools are vital. Can you imagine eating without utensils? Can you imagine styling your hair without a dryer, curler, or even a hairbrush? Tools make life doable.
Essential oils are a supremely effective tool to help ease tension and stress and allow you to gently fall into the restful rejuvenating sleep that your mind, body, and spirit need to function at your optimal level.
WHAT IF I STILL CAN’T SLEEP?
Been there. Done that. I hear you. I feel you. It takes practice. It takes getting into a routine.
I am willing to bet that your sleep issues have been with you for a while. They aren’t going away instantly.
You need to create a bedtime routine and stick with it over time. Your brain has to be trained and that takes time. Be patient with yourself. You will turn this around. You will be sleeping like a baby regularly! A deep restful rejuvenating sleep, regularly.
IF you are still having trouble falling asleep, here are some tips:
Use relaxation techniques. Breathing exercises are my #1 choice. I use the 4-7-8 method. Breathe in for the count of four. HOld for the count of seven. Release for the count of eight. Repeat four times. Count at the speed that’s comfortable for you. Over time your counting will become slower as your lungs get used to mindful breaths.
Another relaxation technique is to visualize yourself in a peaceful serene setting.
You can also relax individual body parts. Start with your toes and work your way up. Or start with your neck and work your way down.
Other techniques could be meditation, massage, yoga, tai chi, or sound therapy.
Try different ones or research more relaxation techniques. Remember – you are worth it. You deserve deep restful sleep. It’s worth developing a practice that works for you.
The second helpful tip – is don’t stew in bed. If you need to get up to turn down the lights, just do it. If you forget something, get up and take care of it. If you need to check on the kids or the pets, just do it. Don’t stew!
Keeping a sleep diary could be helpful too. I remember that time I ate a bowl of chili too close to bedtime. Talk about trouble falling asleep! I still remember it, so no need to write that one down. However, keeping a diary can help shed light on recurring disruptions and help you resolve them. A sleep diary can also shed light on what works well.
Helpful tip #4 – Give your new habits time to take effect. It takes time to train your brain. Be patient. Be persistent. You got this, friend.
HAVE TROUBLE STAYING ASLEEP?
Set the thermostat to low to mid-60s. Use soothing background music to block out unwanted noise. Get blackout curtains. Remember, our pineal gland makes melatonin in the dark.
Getting Adequate Sleep Is Vital For Good Health!
Congratulations on doing what it takes for you to have regular, deep, restful, and rejuvenating sleep!
It takes time, patience, and practice to make lifestyle changes. Make a commitment, a promise, a pledge to create your best bedtime routine and practices to align with your circadian rhythm and boost your melatonin production.
Life works in rhythms. You can and you will find your groove and sleep easily and well, regularly.
Spring is time for new beginnings and awakenings. The flowers and trees are budding. We just took some of our houseplants outside for the warm half of the year.
Our bodies are ready to liven up after the rest and digest period of winter. Movement and cleansing are good areas to explore this season.
I have been drawn to cilantro recently. Chopping it up along with spinach and cabbage for a salad is amazingly refreshing and energizing. Cilantro is good for detoxing too. Perhaps that’s why it has come to me with such strong feelings this season. Give it a try. Or add some other light and leafy green if cilantro doesn’t float your boat. You can add it to sandwiches or salad. Use it as a garnish or make your own version of pico de gallo or a relish. Yum Yum!!
It’s your choice!
Along the thought line of “you get to choose”, how about choosing to NOT accept that guilt trip? Do you ever feel those? Either from inside your own head or from another person? You get to choose. Thank the guilt trip for reminding you to be mindful and let it go on it’s way. Don’t hang on to it. Seriously, guilt will find a home somewhere. You don’t have to hang on to it.
Life gets to be your choice. Live it as you like.
If you could make a change in your life, what would it be?
Natural – existing in or caused by nature, not made or caused by mankind
I preach and teach a lot about healing and natural wellness. So I looked up the definition. It makes perfect sense. Right? Existing in or cause by nature, not mankind.
Take a lemon tree for example.
Imagine taking a lemon tree to Mars vs taking vitamins, minerals, and supplements found in lemons.
The tree, with proper conditions like air, water, and light, will perpetually make more lemons. These lemons will have seeds to make more lemon trees, to make more lemons, to make more trees, to make more lemons, as far into the future as the imagination can see.
If you simply took the vitamins and minerals to Mars, they don’t replicate like a natural living tree. Pills don’t make more pills. They are made by mankind. They are not natural. You would quickly run out.
The difference is obvious.
Since we are of nature, perpetually replicating, doesn’t it make sense that our bodies would respond better to other things “of nature”?
Hence my constant teaching and preaching about choosing natural options first. Real sunshine vs vitamin D supplements. Water vs soda. Fruits and vegetables vs boxed and processed food. Restful sleep vs chemically induced sleep.
We are soooooo lucky to live on this planet. It has the perfect conditions for our species to thrive.
May you have great health and wellness, the natural way.
Since this is a reader supported blog, this article includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
First of all, my sincere apologies for the terrible pictures. I was taking them because it was a good way for Charlie to see what was bothering him on his back. Don’t you just love the new capabilities we have with our phones?
Anyway. Here’s the rest of the story……
This spot had been growing fairly slowly on Charlie’s back for a little while. It was beginning to bother him though. Hitting the chair when he leaned back. And starting to itch.
I took this picture because he wanted to see what it was.
And it not only looks terrible, it didn’t look like anything normal. Neither of us are medical professionals, nor do we specialize in beautiful skin. But this spot was a bit alarming.
Since we are both passionate about aging gracefully, naturally, and in a healthy way, we are into essential oils and natural remedies. So we took that route.
We started trying iodine. It didn’t seem to be making much of a difference so we switched to essential oils.
Lo and behold, we found a perfect formula.
Frankincense and Myrrh diluted with fractionated coconut oil. We applied it once a day. Once!! And that’s when we remembered to.
An incredible 15 days later. 15!! The spot was gone.
We chose Frankincense and Myrrh because they are both very good healers. Frankie heals everything. Let me put that a different way – Frankie helps your body heal itself. Myrrh is like liquid skin. It’s amazing!
The two together are magic. They healed the skin under that spot and it must have fallen off at some point.
No prescriptions drugs. No doctor visits. No cutting or any procedures. We simply put the Frankie/Myrrh/FCO combo on there daily (or at least as often as we could remember. Pretty much daily though.)
It has been about six weeks since the ugly skin thing disappeared. So far, it hasn’t reappeared here nor there, nor anywhere. It’s like magic. Nature works like that, you know?