By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
Read also "Better Night's Sleep: Tips"
Herbal Sleep formula may be helpful here. Take 3-6 capsules about one hour before bedtime to help you relax.
If you have a lot of muscle tension, add 1 -2 capsules of Kava Kava.
Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland to induce sleep, can be helpful for resetting your biological clock when crossing time zones due to travel or when situations have disrupted your normal sleep pattern.
If sleep problems are accompanied by depression and carbohydrate cravings, you may be low in serotonin.
Seratonin is the building block for melatonin in the brain.
5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin and helps increase serotonin levels in the brain. Try taking 5-HTP Power about one hour before bedtime. Since the pineal gland converts serotonin to melatonin when dark, simply darkening the room helps improve the sleep patterns. Light pollution (excess light at night) is a common cause of sleep disturbances.
Watching TV or playing on the computer (in your bedroom) doesn't help relax and get to sleep because you are staring at a source of light, which inhibits melatonin production. Try reading with a reading lamp or listening to music in a darkened room instead.
If you have trouble staying asleep or have disturbed sleep with restless dreams, this can be a sign of adrenal fatigue or blood sugar problems. Nervous Fatigue Formula or Adrenal Support can help.
If you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, wide awake and unable to go back to sleep, then your adrenals are kicking in gear with a shot of adrenaline to boost a very low blood sugar at night. Get off of refined sugar and simple carbohydrates and try eating a snack containing some fat and protein about one hour before bedtime. Good choices would be a few spoonfuls of organic cottage cheese or nut butter, nuts or a spoonful of coconut Oil.
If you're a coffee and/or sugar addict, then it's time to start breaking these addictions. Replace coffee with Chicori or other natural beverages and replace sugar with complex carbohydrates such as whole grains. Xylitol is a natural alternative to refined sugar that can also help reduce sugar cravings and balance blood sugar levels.
Hormonal imbalances may be a culprit in disturbed sleep patterns in women. Consider getting a saliva hormone test to determine your hormonal balance (or go to this page for help)
If you have a difficult time getting to sleep, then wake up groggy in the morning, you have a toxic liver. Liver formulas like Liver Balance can be helpful in this case.
Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
Herbs: Blue Vervain, Catnip, Chamomile, Eleuthero, Hops, Kava Kava, Lobelia, Passion Flower, St. John's Wort and Valerian Root
Nutritional Supplements: Nutri-Calm and Vitamin B-Complex
Nutrients: Calcium and Magnesium
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