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Ask HER: Cures for Insomnia, Shopping Addiction Treatment & Leading Cause of Death in Women

Ask HER: Cures for Insomnia, Shopping Addiction Treatment & Leading Cause of Death in Women
It's YOUR time on HER Radio. Be a part of the show... send your comments and ask your questions by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . It's time to Ask HER. Today, on HER Radio you wanted to know:

How can I cure insomnia?

Insomnia is a disorder where you have a difficult time falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Insomnia can cause your energy level and health to spiral out of control.

Fortunately, there are some treatment options available if you've been suffering from a lack of sleep. First, you may want to consider changing your lifestyle habits. For example, before going to bed, try some relaxation exercises like deep breathing and muscle relaxation.

There are some medications that can help with your insomnia, including Lunesta, Ambien, and Ativan.

What's the best way to stop a shopping addiction?

"Shop 'til you drop" is an expression commonly used in good fun. However, some people actually struggle with a shopping addiction. Also known as omniomania, shopping addiction has some of the same characteristics as a substance addiction.

If you think you might have an addiction with shopping, you may want to consider reaching out and speaking to a professional about it.

What is the leading cause of death for women today?

The number one cause of death for women today is cardiovascular disease and stroke.

If you have a personal health question you want answered, Pam and Michelle encourage you to send them in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

RadioMD Presents: HER Radio | Original Air Date: May 28, 2015
Hosts: Pam Peeke, MD & Michelle King Robson

It's your time on HER Radio. Be a part of the show. Make your comments, ask your questions by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 877-711-5211. Time to ask HER.

DR. PAM: Alright. This is Dr. Pam Peeke. Michelle's off today. Welcome to Ask HER. It's your time on HER Radio. You've been asking us questions, we've been picking the ones we think you might want to hear some answers to and they're good ones today.

Let's start out with insomnia. “How can I cure insomnia?” I don't know about the word cure but I think we can learn to manage it. I bet a lot of you don't know how serious this is, this issue of sleep deprivation. No matter what its cause, insomnia is the most common sleep complaint among Americans. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 30% to 40% of adults say they have occasional insomnia and 10% to 15% of Americans say they have trouble sleeping all the time. Not just here and there, but all the time. That can't be right. Oh, no and when it strikes, gosh. You know, a lot of people go running immediately to grab something from their doctor or from the pharmacy to try to take care of it but oh, gosh, how do you do this? Well, there are a lot of natural ways to help yourself through this. Number one, let me just tell you right off the bat honey, it's stress. Stress is the one that's really going to nail it big time. How do you go to bed at nighttime, especially as a woman, when you've got a mental Cuisinart chopping on high in your brain all night? It's impossible to fall asleep if the stress hormone is too high. Listen up. Did you hear me? That means anything you can do to de-stress, to calm down, to allow your stress hormone which is called cortisol to fall below a specific threshold in your body, that's what you need to be doing. So, what can you do? Well, first of all turn off the TV and, for that matter, all the other appliances, ahem, in your bed. That means all the screens--all of that excess light is keeping you up at nighttime. Plus, what are you watching on TV? You know, Criminal Minds before you go to bed? Oh, great. So now, you're not going to be calm at all. You're all razzed up. You don't want to do that. Instead, you want to just exercise early, get that physical activity in sometime during the day because, believe it or not, it's got a residual effect. It'll actually help you with your sleep. So, whether you did your workout first thing in the morning or sometime during the day but, you know, it's a little difficult to do it right before you go to sleep at nighttime. For most people, it tends to rev them up too much and it's difficult. Doesn't mean it's for everybody. I mean, some people it does work for. The mass majority of people can't do that so try to exercise sometime during the day because it really, really, really will help. Researchers found that women who exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes each morning, seven days a week, have less trouble sleeping than women who exercise less or later in the day. So, it’s interesting. Morning exercise seems to affect body rhythms that affect sleep quality so please get up, assume the vertical and move and try to keep all of your slumber surroundings tranquil. You know, wear your little jammies in bed, be comfortable in your birthday suit if that's what works but it's got to work for you. Alright? Don't let your bedroom get too hot or too cold because sleep is going to be disrupted when that happens. Make your room dark, dark, dark, dark. It's very important and turn off all those screens and lights in there. A good mattress. You spend a third of your life on your bed, so come on. Invest in a decent mattress. It gives you good support, too, and pillows that support your neck and your head and filter any unwanted sounds. If you have to use a white noise machine, all of this stuff really works. I'm telling you. Just saying and how about warm milk? You can put a tasty spin on your grandmother’s natural insomnia remedy by sipping a little warm milk before you go to bed. Almond milk is great. I use that all the time. It's an excellent source of calcium which also makes more melatonin which helps you fall asleep. A little domino affect there that works on your behalf. Sleepy time snacks? So, the best sleep inducing foods include a culmination of protein and carbohydrates and, you know, a very simple thing. A little tablespoon of peanut butter on half a banana, we're out cold. How about a whole wheat cracker with a little bit of cheese? That works, too. So, you know, again if you're having trouble and maybe you're even hungry that's a great way to go. Magnesium plays a key role in your sleep. Please make sure to get enough of it from green leafy vegetables, wheat-germ, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Oh boy magnesium is very, very important. Lavender oil. I use this all the time. It's very calming and can help encourage sleep in some people with insomnia. Valerian root is a great tea that you can use and you can buy it just about anywhere. So there you have it, A to Z on insomnia. So, catch up on your z's will you for crying out loud. Now, let's go to this issue, somebody out there in Her Radioland said, “What is the best way to stop a shopping addiction?” Well, this isn't funny for a lot of people. This is like a real thing, this shop-a-holic-ism and that means people who are constantly spending over budget. They're compulsively buying. They're buying when they don't need anything. It's a chronic problem, it's a continuous problem and shopaholics, just like addicts in general, will hide their purchases because they don't want their significant others, other people, to know what they've just done and they also have secret credit card accounts. They can really rack up a huge amount of money in debt. There's a vicious cycle that goes on. They'll take their purchases back because they feel guilty. That guilt triggers another shopping spree. So, you're on to a vicious cycle. It impairs relationships. It's not uncommon to see a lot of impairments in relationships whether it's friendships or your partner in life from your excessive spending and shopping because there's so much deception and debt and emotional and physically charged arguments and hurt that goes on and guess what? There are clear consequences. It's called debt and this can also sometimes lead to lots of problems with your mood. So, shopping or spending money is a result of what? Well, sometimes you feel angry depressed, anxious or lonely and you shop. Having arguments with others about one's shopping habits sends you into a spiral. You just go on out there and do it again and these are behaviors that signal a serious problem. When you feel lost without credit cards, good grief, buying items on credit rather than cash. Describing a rush, a feeling of euphoria. Wow. What's that about? So, you need help and there's plenty of help out there. You need to be able to seek support. There are great resources out there to be able to help you with this, too. Spenders anonymous, debtors anonymous. Online support is everywhere for this but come clean and there are simple things you can do like getting rid of your credit cards, avoiding clearance aisles and shopping with other people or putting real constraints on that by getting the appropriate people to help you with that. That's so terribly important. So, take it seriously. It could also lead to hoarding which is another big time problem associated with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Our last question is, “What is the leading cause of death for women today?” Ta-da. Here it comes. It's not cancer ladies. For all women, it's heart disease then cancer, stroke and guess what? If you are out there and you're thinking you don't get diabetes. Well, guess what? Diabetes is number seven for all women out there and this is followed by other issues that have to do with your lungs, dementia and other heart issues. So, please remember take it to heart. It’s heart disease. We've been talking insomnia and we've been talking about shopping addiction and what's the leading cause of death for women today.

Thanks for your questions on ask her for HER Radio. I'm Dr. Pam Peeke with Michelle King Robson. Continue to listen to HER Radio, it's the best. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and stay well.