Having Trouble Sleeping?
Tossing and turning when you should be resting is no fun. Good sleep is essential for good health. Not getting adequate sleep can lead to health problems, exacerbate existing issues. Insomnia can even lead to weight gain.
I’m eager to share the remedies that work for me 99% of the time. When you have trouble sleeping and you find something that works, you want to shout it out loud. 😊
If you have chronic insomnia or sleep deprivation, please seek out appropriate medical attention.
In our family we’re strong advocates of prevention, so we always start with natural remedies whenever possible. If that doesn’t work we seek out our naturopathic doctors. Since most illness is attributable to diet, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle, it just makes sense to start there for our medicine.
We’ll get into more specific reasons and remedies for sleep challenges in another article, or you can visit this article from some quick tips. However, for the topic in this article we’re just addressing what to do if you find yourself unable to sleep, for whatever reason, (barring a serious health issue of course, in which case you seek appropriate medical attention).
There are two remedies I use alternatively, and sometimes both together.
To use medication and remedies rather than to address and try to fix the causes generally leads to more problems down the road. Ultimately, we need to eliminate the causes of sleeplessness rather than rely on supplementation.
If a baby is crying because her diaper is wet, to offer her a bottle might placate her for a time, but it doesn’t take care of the original problem. Rather, it will only make it worse. 😉
Same thing with the “cries” from our body. If you are consistently not sleeping well, it’s should be your first priority to reverse that by eliminating things that disturb sleep, such as stimulants, technology and lights in your room, etc., and adding things that will help, such as relaxing reading, soothing music, yoga and meditation.
However, for the occasional sleeplessness, here’s what works for me 99% of the time.
My favorites remedies for sleep
My first go-to remedy is a melatonin based spray applied under the tongue.
Melatonin is a sleep hormone secreted by the pineal gland in response to dark. In supplements, it is derived from animal and plant sources. When ours isn’t working well, melatonin supplements can really help.
I use these two melatonin sprays:
In my experience both of these work equally well and are priced about the same. However, the Isagenix is the better value for double the size, and half the serving size (3 sprays vs. Mercola’s 6).
The Isagenix brand also has a milder taste and requires three spray pumps per serving as compared to Mercola’s recommended six, making the Mercola version several times more expensive, however three spray pumps usually work for me with either one of these.
I don’t know the exact milligram per serving in the Isagenix blend, (Mercola’s is 1.5mg), however they both work equally for me, so perhaps it’s close to the same.
The next best remedy that almost always works is less expensive than either of those, and if one hasn’t yet done the trick, both together will have me out like a light and sound asleep in short order.
This home remedy won’t work if you’re lactose intolerant, so if that’s you, there’s a final recommendation below this next section.
For more information on sleep and Mercola, you can find that here. 1)http://products.mercola.com/melatonin-sleep-spray/
My Second Favorite Sleep Remedy: Warm Milk with Honey and Nutmeg
All three of these: warm milk, honey and nutmeg, each have sleep inducing qualities. So when you take the three together in a pleasing hot bedtime toddy, chances are you’ll sleep like a baby.
Milk contains L-tryptophan which is an essential amino acid occurring naturally in some animal and plant foods, such as milk, known to aid in relaxation and stress relief. In the body the l-tryptophan converts to 5-HTP (5-hyrdoxytryptophan), and then to serotonin one of the relaxing, feel-good hormones, which is converted to melatonin in the pineal gland in response to darkness. Some say that warm milk does not actually induce sleepiness, other than psychologically, because it needs a carbohydrate to conduct the amino acid through the brain-blood barrier. However that’s where the honey comes in.
Honey provides the carbohydrates needed to stimulate the release of insulin which provides safe passage of l-tryptophan to the brain, which contributes to the release of l-tryptophan and subsequently melatonin release when taken at night.
Another benefit of honey for sleep is by taking a teaspoon or two before bed, it will replenish your liver glycogen levels which relaxes the load on the liver and subsequently the brain, so you’ll be supporting a healthy metabolism as your liver has the fuel it needs to work on breaking down the toxins that are ultimately stored in fat cells.
A sprinkle of Nutmeg, has a calming soothing effect, but just a sprinkle, because quantities greater than 1/4 teaspoon per serving can cause problems.
For these and a few more remedies, we enjoyed this site: EverydayRoots.com
Lactose Intolerant? Try These
Try a strong dose of chamomile, mint or Sleepy Time tea. When I say “strong dose”, what I mean is, steep the teabag in only about a quarter cup of water. Let it steep 10 minutes, then down it all. By adding less water it’s less likely to cause a late night trudges to the bathroom from consuming too much liquid at bedtime, and yet you’re ingesting the full serving of soothing herb.
For more information on causes and prevention of sleep trouble, we enjoyed this thorough article at Mercola.com.
For a very interesting article on the stages of sleep, what happens in each, and which are most important to your health and wellbeing, you will enjoy this article on DailyGood.org, featuring Matt Walker, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory.
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