Insomnia has a negative impact on quality of life. People who cannot sleep well, or cannot stay asleep for long, suffer from fatigue that makes it harder on them to function during the day and to concentrate at work or school. Different scientific research from around the world showed that lack of sufficient sleep damages memory. There are three main common reasons for sleeping problems: Aging, Nutrition, and Stress. In most cases once the right cause is diagnosed the treatment can be very simple and effective.
Many people complain about sleep problems that come with aging; they can recall the time when they were young and had no problem falling asleep anywhere for as long as they wished to. The irony is that when people finally are retired and have time they cannot sleep. As we age our body produces less growth hormones, testosterone, and DHEA – which can cause insomnia. Insomnia is common among women in menopause, as their body reduces its hormonal function.
Exercise is a known contributor to growth hormones release. There are different tests to check hormonal levels. Consult with your healthcare provider to decide which test and treatment would be best for you.
The most well known cause for sleeping problems is caffeine. Caffeine is in coffee, chocolate, some soda drinks, and weight loss products; it is a natural stimulant that also promotes production of cortisol, the stress hormone in the body. It’s almost impossible to fall asleep with high levels of cortisol in the body. Limiting caffeine consumption to the early hours of the day might help prepare the body to sleep at night. Consuming sugar and alcohol before bedtime can also interfere with a good night sleep for some people. There are also some nutritional deficiencies that can cause insomnia, like deficiencies of Calcium and Magnesium, the B-vitamins, and vitamin D.
A simple blood test can easily track nutritional deficiencies. I highly recommend having a natural caregiver diagnose your blood test for an accurate reading. I was really impressed by Tru Health service.
Stress is not a good bed companion. Cortisol is naturally high in the morning, to help us get out of bed and function. Cortisol levels in the body should go down towards the night, so we can sleep. When we are stressed our sympathetic nervous system releases elevated levels of stress hormones such as Cortisol, adrenaline, and Norepinephrine, along with Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that responds to stress. This biological response was not intended to last all day long; long-lasting high levels of stress hormones and dopamine in the body are toxic and cause many ailments. People who are under continuous stress harm their immune system and get sicker more often than less stressed people. Unfortunately modern life became synonym with stress. Some people who suffer from insomnia also suffer from depression and headaches. Some of the remedies for insomnia treat these two ailments as well.
There are different ways to treat insomnia caused by stress: Therapy and meditation are great tools to learn how to cope with stress. There is also a wide range of supplements and herbs that you can choose from: Melatonin is the hormone that helps to regulate sleep. 5-HTP is known to ease insomnia, depression, and migraines. Vitamin B12 helps with fatigue, depression, and migraines. Herbs such as Valerian Root, Kava Kava, Passionflower, and Hops are good for insomnia and anxiety. Calcium and Magnesium. Magnesium is also good for muscle pain, high blood pressure, and even ADHD. Some people suffer from diarrhea when taking magnesium. During the day, after a sleepless night, Rhodiola helps with fatigue and mental performance. Herbs like Ashwagandha and Asian Ginger are believed to strengthen the immune system that gets weaker with lack of sleep. Lavender essential oil calms the mind and induces sleep. Remember, we are all different - what helps one person might not help the other. Sometimes it takes experimenting with different supplements until you find the right one for you.
Products I use and love
Healthy Origins' Vitamin D3 5,000IU - great price and very effective. 2,500IU might be enough for people with light skin color.
Nature's Sunshine's Herbal Sleep - I love the feeling it gives me as my body relaxes
Natrol's Melatonin Time Release 3mg - this is one of the most effective melatonin me.
GNC's Beauty Sleep - I love the heavy tired feeling it gives me before I fall asleep.
Natural Vitality's Calm - It has a citric taste that not many people like, but it is very effective.
Herban Wellness' Ashwaganda tincture - made by request. - This is a great winter companion if you have no desire to get sick.