Insomnia A Holistic Approach
Insomnia and other sleep related issues are epidemic in this country. Whether you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or simply dont feel well-rested when you awaken in the morning, sleep problems can have a profound effect on your health and well-being. In fact, chronically insufficient or poor quality sleep has been shown to promote clinical depression, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and numerous other degenerative conditions.
The reason sleep is so essential to good health is because our bodies do the majority of their recovery and regeneration while we sleep. Long-term studies have shown that people who get consistently good sleep live longer and are less likely to develop these degenerative diseases.
There are several possible causes for sleep problems, including hormone and blood sugar imbalances, allergies, acid reflux, sleep apnea, stress, and several other underlying factors. Likewise, there are several different natural alternatives to the plethora of over-the-counter and prescription sleep medications that often provide only short-term benefits and a variety of unpleasant side effects, such as prolonged drowsiness, dizziness, diarrhea, memory problems, and chemical addiction.
There are some effective natural solutions that you might try. If you are currently taking prescription medications, check with your physician before trying any of the supplements recommended here. These recommendations are listed in order of most to least likely to be effective for the majority of people. If the first one doesnt work, go to the next, and so on.
1. Exercise – get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity to help balance hormone and blood sugar levels.
2. Sunlight – get 20-30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure daily or use a full spectrum lamp/sun lamp to stimulate the production of hormones that promote restful sleep.
3. Sleep in total darkness – again, promotes sleep-inducing hormone.
4. Establish a consistent and early bedtime (before 11 00pm) to help reset your biological clock.
5. Keep temperature in the bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F.
6. Avoid caffeine after 3 00 p.m.
7. Avoid high-glycemic snacks near bedtimethese can promote a blood sugar crash, which can wake you in the middle of the night.
8. Identify any food allergies (especially wheat and milk) and avoid these foods.
9. If acid reflux exists, take Esophaguard (orange peel extract) for 10 days at a time.
10. L-Tryptophan (500-1,000mg) – this amino acid is a precursor to
serotonin/melatonintake near bedtime.
11. 5-HTP (50-100mg) – this nutrient is what L-Tryptophan converts into, and should be taken only if L-tryptophan doesnt work.
12. Phosphorylated Serine (1,000mg) – this nutrient helps to dampen cortisol levels, which can spike at night during periods of prolonged stress.
13. GABA (100-300mg) – this nutrient is helpful for addressing cases of acute stress or anxiety.
14. Melatonin (1-3mg) – this hormonal supplement is the last resort, but it is effective.
15. Identify and confront sources of stress, such as unresolved emotional issuesconsult with a qualified health professional.