Sunday, December 27, 2009

Magnesium Sleep

According to clinical nutritionists if you can’t sleep at night, have restless leg syndrome (RLS) or experiencing night terrors it might be due to a magnesium deficiency. A magnesium sleep deficiency causes people to wake up frequently during the night. Other health concerns due to a magnesium deficiency are; constipation, anxiety, irritability, pain, etc (see list below).

Researchers have found that magnesium takes part in the transmission of hormones (such as insulin, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, etc.), neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, catecholamines, serotonin, GABA, etc.), and minerals and mineral electrolytes.

This research concludes that magnesium controls cell membrane thus controlling the release of many hormones, nutrients and neurotransmitters. It is magnesium that manages the outcome of potassium and calcium in the body. A deficiency will only lead to calcium being deposited in soft tissues such as kidneys, arteries, joints, brain etc. and both potassium and calcium lost in urine.

Magnesium protects our cells from aluminum, mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium and nickel. Low levels of magnesium can contribute to a heavy metal deposition in the brain that may be responsible for Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's. This heavy metal toxicity may bring about learning disorders in children.

What Causes a Magnesium Deficiency?

Due to many years of replanting on farm lands, magnesium is constantly depleted in our soil. Fertilizers also contribute to this depletion by altering the way plants can absorb magnesium. We are drinking less tap water which is a common magnesium source, but even this natural water source has low supplies. When we boil, steam or broil food it removes the magnesium. High carb and fat foods increase our need for more magnesium as well as physical and emotional stress. Certain medications, aging and dieting also reduces our magnesium.

A magnesium deficiency may be severe enough to be diagnosed by a blood test, but many researchers feel that a testing the bones and intracellular levels tell the true results. A high magnesium, low aluminum diet has shown to help with sleep, fewer awakenings or uninterrupted sleep. Foods rich in magnesium are kelp, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses and brewer’s yeast. Magnesium supplements have also helped those with sleep problems.

If you decide to take a magnesium supplement make sure it is combined with calcium as they act together as a sedative. The ratio should be 2:1 meaning at least 600 mg of calcium and 250-300 mg of magnesium. This combination will aid muscle contractions, RLS and is effective for all-round relaxation.

If you have any other health problems, it is advisable to consult with your physician before considering a magnesium-calcium supplement, especially if you are experiencing any type of kidney condition as this could be harmful or even life threatening.

The following are additional health problems associated with a low deficiency of magnesium for sleep:

  • Alzheimer's
  • Angina
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Arrhythmia
  • Arthritis- Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Auto immune disorders- all types
  • Cavities
  • Cerebral Palsy- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Congestive Heart Disease
  • Constipation
  • Crooked teeth- narrow jaw- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
  • Depression
  • Diabetes- Type I and II
  • Eating disorders- Bulimia, Anorexia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gut disorders- including peptic ulcer, Crohn's disease, colitis, food allergy
  • Heart Disease- Arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol, high triglycerides
  • Heart Disease- in infants born to magnesium deficient mothers
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Impaired athletic performance
  • Infantile Seizure- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney Stones
  • Lou Gehrig's Disease
  • Migraines- including cluster type
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle weakness, fatigue
  • Myopia- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
  • Obesity- especially obesity associated with high carbohydrate diets
  • Osteoporosis- just adding magnesium reversed bone loss
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • PMS- including menstrual pain and irregularities
  • PPH- Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Raynaud's
  • SIDS- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Syndrome X- insulin resistance
  • Thyroid disorders- low, high and auto-immune; low magnesium reduces T4

As you can see magnesium sleep problems are just one of many health concerns with a deficiency of magnesium. Other conditions are also associated with magnesium deficiencies and further research is being conducted to confirm its relationship.
GLG America Logo

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Easy Sleep Mad Cow

Mad Cow or Prion Disease and Fatal Familial Insomnia

If you ever watched Boston Legal, Denny Crane played by actor William Shatner always blamed his “Mad Cow Disease” whenever he forgot something or blundered an important case. Mad Cow disease has similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s when people start out by having occasional lapses in memory. On the show Denny would do something out of the ordinary to keep people off track or unaware of his mild cognitive impairment. While this made the show entertaining, mad cow disease is no laughing matter. Luckily humans don’t get mad cow disease easily. Cows get mad cow disease by eating food that contained infectious parts of older dead cows. Cheap hamburger is made from old dairy cows comprised of thousands of body parts blown right off the bones of steers and cows. The older the cow the likelihood of mad cow or prion disease is more prevalent.

Prions are mysterious proteins that have an unknown function until they twist their shape and become a destructive force infecting other prions in their path. As these defective prions hit the brain they inflict devastation on their victim whether it be sheep, cows or people, they will literally lose their minds. Prions are connected to cannibalism, fatal familial insomnia and hamburgers.

The strange thing about prions to cause an infection you need to replicate and usually only proteins with nucleic acid can do that, but prions don’t. They have no nucleic acid or DNA. Scientist do not know what their primary function is and blocking prions doesn’t seem to affect the brain. All they do know is when one become infected it becomes a chain reaction and more likely death will result. How do prions get infected? If you ingest infected or malformed prions it will make healthy prions become infected, genetic mutation (bad DNA) as in fatal familial insomnia and randomly.

Infected prions will basically kill brain cells either all over or can pinpoint a particular area say the thalamus and over time will completely eliminate it. This process is slow and people don’t get sick or show any signs of mad cow until middle age. Fatal familial insomnia victims suffer from a stressful event before they show symptoms.

800,000 years ago in New Guinea the people practiced a ritual mortuary cannibalism which is the consumption of the dead as a way of honoring them to make themselves more powerful. They made the mistake of consuming people that were infected causing a prion plague and those that survived had it programmed into their genome. To this day some humans still have that program or signature in their genes. When mad cow came along it helped scientist understand the disease and limit the damage. Mad cow fortunately comes from a bovine prion protein and is different enough that it isn’t a very effective infector.

One way to deter mad cow disease is to test all the cows for mad cow, but as it stands the USDA doesn’t require testing as they try to protect foreign markets and prevent all beef producers from the expense. Of course the drug companies will benefit as they have two drugs that show results. The more we understand about prions and the failure of proteins to form properly will help people who have Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and Type II diabetes, let alone fatal familial insomnia.
GLG America Logo

Monday, December 14, 2009

How To Go Asleep

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine women suffer twice as likely from the sleep disorder insomnia than men. Insomnia can cause other health problems just like not eating a proper diet or lack of exercise. Many people take prescription sleeping pills such as Ambiem which is a popular sleep aid in the United States. Michael Jackson and Tiger Woods have taken this medication according to news reports. Before you decide to take a prescription sleep aid let’s consider some theories about how to go asleep.

Gregg D. Jacobs, MD., an insomnia specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Massachusetts and author of Say Goodnight to Insomnia, oversaw a sleep study and found that those who slept seven hours a night might live longer than those that slept eight hours or more. He feels that too much sleep can cause health problems such as obesity and diabetes. Also, sleeping twelve hours or more is a sign of someone suffering from depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. Women on average sleep only 6.5 hours and as a result are experiencing daytime restlessness, mood swings, easily distracted, memory loss due to sleep deprivation.

Now many people can live normally on less than the recommended hours of sleep. The University of Utah reported that genetics plays an important part and with women hormones, age, stress, diet and general health can also affect the amount of sleep you need. Married women seem to require less than single women, but newly married women get less. Stress with emotional issues such as a loss of a spouse or those new moms lose sleep.

When you lose sleep there is no way to recover even if you try to sleep in on weekends or holidays. If you suffer from insomnia and over sleep, it will feel like you have jet lag. This is due to the fact that you disrupted your natural sleep cycle. Just try to sleep the standard amount of hours a night and eventually you will feel normal again. Worrying about losing sleep will only add additional stress to your life and make your insomnia worse.

You might think that have a good stiff drink will help you to get to sleep. Alcohol will make you drowsy and help to get you to sleep, but you might have a harder time staying asleep. Those that suffer from sleep apnea will snore louder, so alcohol will only exacerbate the disorder. If you do decide to take Ambien or another sleeping pill and mix them with alcohol you will only intensify the affects of the drug. You may blackout, suffer from memory loss or experience erratic behavior, especially out of the ordinary sexual behavior such as being aggressive or trying something you would never do otherwise. Remember Ambien has been used as a date rape drug.

Also sleeping pills are addictive, particularly those that are known as non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. These types of sleeping aides should not be used longer than a month as people have become psychologically dependent on them. You should adhere to the prescribed dosage as well as read the warning label about the risks involved. Sometimes a few lifestyle changes are all that is needed to help with your insomnia than taking a risks with medications.

If you like to nap it is best to nap early in the afternoon and only for 45 minutes or less. A “power nap” can give you the energy you need and improve your memory to make it through the rest of the day. Naps that are longer than 45 minutes or after 4pm may affect your ability to fall asleep at your bedtime as you will stay up longer and get less than 7 hours of sleep. This can be a vicious cycle and definitely a bad sleeping habit that should never be a part of your nightly routine. If you require 7 hours of sleep at night that means you have to be asleep by 11:30pm to get up by 6:30. You need at least an hour before you retire to prepare your mind and body for sleep. Take a warm bath, have a cup of Sleepytime decaf tea, read a boring book, write in your sleep journal, get your comfy jammies on, brush your teeth. Your brain will associate going to sleep as you repeat your routine nightly. When you go to bed turn off the television, your computer and your video games as your bedroom should only be used for sleep and sex. It is harder for your mind to relax if it is thinking about the show or how to get to the next level on the New Super Mario Brothers. If you find you cannot sleep, get up for a bit before trying to fall asleep again. It is better to get up and move around than toss and turn. Maybe your room is too warm; keep the temperature at 65 degrees or less so you don’t over heat.

If you get up and find yourself hungry as this is a natural tendency to want to eat when we are tired. Remember that eating at this time of night not only adds calories, but what you eat can cause heart burn, acid reflux or indigestion, which will only wake you up during the night. If you must snack, snack on foods that can cause you to be drowsy. Foods rich with tryptophan such as eggs, nuts, seeds, cereal, turkey and milk will help you to fall asleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts to melatonin and serotonin which is produced in our body naturally and controls our sleep/wake cycle. Tryptophan as a supplement is not recommended, but melatonin is available at your local health food store or pharmacy.

I hope you find these tips on how to go asleep helpful. For those that feel their insomnia is causing health problems it is advisable to consult with a physician as she/he may recommend that you see a sleep specialist for further treatment.
GLG America Logo

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sleep Easy Use Magnesium for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS is a sleep disorder that is described by an overwhelming urge to move your legs when you are trying to rest, especially during sleep. RLS may be linked to genetics as it runs in families and affects roughly 10% of the American population. Recent studies show that people with RLS are deficient in magnesium.

The National Sleep Foundation states that six of ten Americans report having a sleep problems including sleep apnea which causes a person to stop breathing and snore, narcolepsy which triggers daytime restlessness, insomnia from hormonal activity and the use of medications, caffeine and alcohol.

People with restless leg syndrome experience sensations such as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling and achy from their thighs to their ankles, but mostly occur in the calves. To relieve these sensations, people have a strong urge to walk which causes them to have sleepless nights.

A study done by the Romanian Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry, conducting biochemical and neurological tests on 10 cases of restless leg syndrome suggest that RLS sufferers wake frequently, have decreased REM sleep and are magnesium deficient.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota reported that magnesium plays an important role in the body’s chemistry for sleep. Low magnesium in the blood could be why people have abnormal brain waves during sleep and that magnesium treatment improved not only their brain waves but also decreased the time it took them to fall asleep.

Using magnesium for sleep as a sleep aide depends on the dosage and formula used. Researchers found that calcium is needed to absorb the magnesium in the body so the formula should contain 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. One natural sleep aide supplement, Sleep Minerals II made by Nutrition Breakthroughs has reported good results in helping RLS sufferers. Sleep Minerals II contains the following ingredients; six types of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail all combined in a soft get with an oil base. The oils used to make the soft gel are evening primrose which also aides with mineral absorption, reduces calcium excretion, and increases bone density. Using the right kind of magnesium supplement might be the answer to restless leg syndrome relief to sleep easy.

The content provided in Sleep Easy use Magnesium for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.
GLG America Logo

Monday, November 23, 2009

How to Go to Sleep Easy

So many people complain about not getting enough sleep at night. More than 1/4th of all Americans can’t sleep due to stress over their finances according to the National Sleep Foundation. If you didn’t get your 40 winks last night, here are some tips and techniques, over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs and natural sleep supplements on how to go to sleep easy.

Tips and Techniques

First of all since we need to turn off the stress factor, we must prepare our body and our mind when it is time to retire. Having a routine will allow our body to become tired at the same time each night so we can wake without an alarm, alert and ready for the day. Not only do we need to go to bed at the same time we need to get ready for bed at the same time…start your nightly routine at least an hour before you actually go to bed. Have a cup of decaf Sleepy Time tea, take a warm bath, read a book, brush your teeth with PearlyDreams toothpaste and/or get in comfortable nonrestrictive pajamas.

Don’t exercise as it will cause your heart rate to increase and your body will over heat. If you do exercise, allow at least 3-4 hours before you retire. Avoid alcohol as it doesn’t provide the quality of sleep you need. Refrain from drinking too many liquids especially caffeinated beverages, as they will either keep you awake or wake you up during the night with the urge to go to the bathroom. No large meals or spicy food as this might cause indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux. Stop watching TV, using your computer or playing video games as they will most likely make you stay up too late or keep your mind racing….how am I going to beat the monster in Super Mario?

Your bedroom is a haven for sleep and intimate relations only. Make sure it’s dark enough for you to produce melatonin. Melatonin is produced in the body naturally and controls our wake/sleep cycles. If you don’t have enough melatonin it can cause insomnia. You can purchase melatonin at your pharmacy or local health food store. If you are travelling and can’t control the light in your room an eye mask may be beneficial. Also if external noises are keeping you awake consider purchasing a white noise machine, sleep music or ear plugs. A fan will work just as well to drown out noise.

If you like to nap, limit your nap time to just 20 minutes, because if you sleep too long you will have a harder time falling asleep when you should.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Sleep Aides

Nytol or Sominex contain antihistamine an ingredient usually for allergies. These OTCs also contain an active ingredient, diphenhydramine which is known to make you drowsy. The FDA has approved these mediations to be used for sleep aides. Even though they are not addictive and don’t require a doctor’s prescription, they do have side effects such as; dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention and blurred vision. It is not recommended to drive or operate heavy machinery. Men with large prostates should avoid them, because the drugs may inhibit their ability to urinate. Serious drug interactions – such as severe headaches and dangerous blood pressure spikes – can occur with certain MAO inhibitor antidepressants: isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate). Lastly, don’t combine with other sedatives (narcotic pain medication, older antihistamine and muscle relaxants) with alcohol.

Unisom or Doxylamine is another anti-allergy medication. It’s sold over-the-counter as a sleep aid Unisom, but it's also in other cold/allergy products, including Nyquil. Side effects include; dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention and blurred vision. Again, men with enlarged prostates should avoid it.

Prescription Sleep Aides

Ambien CR is a very popular drug which helps you to fall asleep fast (5-30 minutes) and also helps you to stay asleep.

Ambien is addictive try not to take it nightly or use it just for long airplane rides. Don’t take it with alcohol it will only enhance the side effects and slow your heart rate down. NEVER crush or chew as it is a time release medication and taking the entire dose could be lethal. Some bizarre side effects have been reported with Ambien. Hundreds of people claim to experience hallucinations and amnesia. Some people make phone calls, drive cars, others binge on food and one woman even painted her front door – all while sleeping!

Such problems appear to be more common in elderly people. The manufacturer denies Ambien is to blame, but the medication literature contains warnings.

Sonata is another popular prescription drug in the same class as Ambien. It will help you to fall asleep fast, but you may still experience waking during the night. Sonata works within 15-30 minutes, but will not be as effective if you eat a large or high fat dinner. Do to some bizarre behaviors associated with Sonata, it is not recommended for those that have a history of mental illness, depression or have suicidal thoughts. This medication is habit forming.

Restoril and Xanax are older drugs also called benzodiazepines or benzos. Other drugs in this class are Valium and Ativan. Benzos are known to help you snooze (30-60 minutes) but you may skip your deep sleep cycle, so it doesn’t provide you with the sleep you deserve. Benzos are addictive and they may leave you with a “fuzzy head” feeling in the morning that might last until noon (depending when you get up).

Rozerem affects your sleep/wake cycle as it mimics melatonin. Rozerem a prescription is stronger than the supplemental melatonin thus causes us to fall asleep faster (5-30 minutes) and stay asleep. Rozerem is not addictive but shouldn’t be used if you have severe liver damage, a history of alcoholism or take Luvox (a popular medication for obsessive compulsive disorder).

Rozerem also may decrease testosterone levels and increase prolactin levels.

Natural Supplemental Sleep Aides

Melatonin will put us to sleep, but also wakes us up when it is morning, therefore helps those that wake up during the night. I recommend synthetic melatonin supplements, because natural types are extracted from the brains of cows, raising concern for mad cow disease. Most U.S. manufacturers sell synthetic versions. Another reason to take melatonin are for those with multiple sclerosis and breast cancer as further studies suggest that this hormone will balance the immune system. Not recommended for anyone suffering from depression.

Valerian is one nasty smelling and tasting herb, but it helps you to fall asleep faster, stay asleep, reduces nightmares, curbs anxiety, helps those suffering from insomnia and is not addictive. Valerian is best taken in capsule form instead of a tincture or tea due to the taste. Valerian has been used to ease withdrawal symptoms from other drugs. Do not use valerian in connection with benzo drugs as both act on the same brain cells and could enhance the sedative effects.

NutraMist Sleep Now an oral OTC spray delivers an herbal blend into your bloodstream and will help you to fall asleep within 15 – 30 minutes. Its ingredients are melatonin, valerian root, chamomile and green tea extract, among other herbs.

Passionflower Extract reduces restlessness and is known for its tranquilizing properties. Aides in easing abdominal cramps (menstruation cramps) and anxiety, it is also linked to improvements in nerve pain, asthma, diarrhea and epilepsy. One study points to some anti-cancer benefits as well. As with other supplemental sleep aides do not drive, combine with alcohol, mix with other sleep medications and don’t take more than the recommended dosage.

Gaba is a hormone available in an OTC supplement and sold in health food stores. Gaba will slow down bodily functions and help those with sleep disorders, anxiety or with chronic pain.

Other Sleep Aide Alternatives

  • Yoga or meditation
  • Subliminal message tapes or CDs
  • Self Hypnotic CDs
  • Massages
  • Acupuncture
  • Teas such as Decaf Sleepy Time Tea

With any sleep aid medication or alternative method, please consult with your physician before trying them. Not getting the required hours of sleep at night might cause you to have other health issues. Your physician may recommend that you see a sleep specialist for further treatment. The content provided in How to go to Sleep Easy is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
GLG America Logo

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Can't Sleep

My sister Rose suffers from insomnia and can’t sleep. She has tried many sleep remedies such as counting sheep, reading, warm milk, sleep music, self-hypnosis tapes and even over-the-counter sleep medication, but to no avail she lies in bed tossing and turning as her husband is snoring logs. She’ll call me late at night crying “I can’t sleep and I don’t know what to do.”

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that is caused by a number of reasons; stress, pain and/or illness and can show up at any age. You learn your sleep habits when you are young and these habits might have to be changed in order for you to overcome your insomnia. If a lack of sleep is causing you to have additional health problems, it is best to seek counseling from a reputable sleep specialist. You may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder that is the source of your insomnia. Testing for sleep apnea is done at a sleep clinic where they monitor your sleeping habits over night. Here are a few alternative natural approaches to overcome insomnia.

The recommend 15 minutes of sunlight is not only a good way to soak up some Vitamin D, but it also can restore your body’s natural sleep cycle also known as the circadian rhythm.

Avoid naps, if possible. If you must nap, take a power nap of only 15-20 minutes. This should refresh you enough to get through the rest of the day and still allow you to sleep easy at night.

My sister loves a heavy blanket it makes her feel like she is in a cocoon, just like how a baby is swaddled when sleeping. This is probably an old sleeping habit, but if you like a heavy blanket make sure you don’t let your body over heat. If you over heat during the night, this will only wake you up. It is advisable to keep the temperature in your room cool, 65 degrees for adults and 70 degrees or less for children. Menopausal women that have night sweats especially need a cooler room with no constrictive clothing and fewer blankets.

Your bedroom should be a place where you sleep and have intimate relations only. Watching television, playing video games, eating, using your computer or talking on the phone are activities that should be done when you are in a wakeful mode. To prepare yourself to fall asleep you should do things that will relax you like read a boring book, write in your journal or listen to soft music, this will get your mind off of your to-do-list or wondering how you’re going to kill the bad guy in the video game.

If your parents were smart they would of established a night time routine for you when you were an infant. Adults need a bedtime routine too. If you need 7-8 hours of sleep and have to get up at 7am to get ready for work you should be asleep at 11:00pm. You need to make time or at least an hour to prepare for sleep; take a warm bath, read, snack, have a cup of Decaf Sleepytime tea, etc. Don’t exercise right before bedtime this will only increase your heart rate and cause your body to over heat. If you exercise after work try to do it 3 hours prior to your bedtime.

Do you suffer from acid reflux during the night? Caffeinated beverage and spicy foods can cause indigestion and heartburn. If you want a snack prior to going to bed eat foods that are high in carbohydrates or foods rich with Tryptophan. Tryptophan is a biochemical that causes drowsiness. Tryptophan is in turkey, eggs, nuts, beans, cereal and milk. Hence the old wives tale drinking warm milk to fall asleep. Caffeinated beverages, cigarettes and even vitamins and herbal supplements are stimulants. If you take supplements before retiring read the labels, all stimulants should be taken 2-3 hours before bedtime. Also liquids should be cut back at least 2 hours before bed to stop or at least limit the number of times you might have to get up during the night to go to the bathroom.

Sleep music and self-hypnotic tapes work for some people, but if they don’t work for you like my sister, try listening to ‘white noise’. White noise is a type of noise that is produced by combining sounds of all different frequencies together. If you took all of the imaginable tones that a human can hear and combined them together, you would have white noise. White noise is good to drown out other noises, such as Rose’s husbands snoring. You can buy white noise on a tape or CD, but a fan is also a good alternative.

Your room should also be as dark as possible to avoid stimulating your circadian cycle. Melatonin is secreted from your pineal gland when day turns to night, thus controlling your sleep cycle. Light prevents melatonin from producing; therefore you will have a hard time falling asleep. As we age our body produces less melatonin, so you might need a melatonin supplement. As with any supplement, contact your doctor before taking it due to an interaction with other drugs or medical problems. If the doctor has prescribed you with sleep medication, remember that you run the risk of becoming addicted. Some sleep and pain medication can cause a sleep problem, because they make you too weak to breathe properly; therefore you will wake up during the night.
The above are suggestions to help you find a natural way to fall asleep without taking over-the-counter sleep medications or prescription drugs that have side effects and additive properties. If you feel your insomnia needs special attention because you are having additional medical problems, please contact your doctor as he may recommend a specialist. As I mentioned above you may need to have a sleep study done at a sleep clinic where they will evaluate your sleeping habits to determine if you have sleep apnea. The results may indicate that you need a CPAP machine to control your sleep apnea. Sleep apnea means you stop breathing during the night due to an obstruction in your airway. A CPAP machine will push air into your airway with enough pressure to overcome the obstruction. Snoring may also be a sign of sleep apnea. Snoring may be the reason Rose can’t sleep. I know ‘I cant sleep’ with a snorer. May be Rose should get her husband to a sleep clinic????

In any case, ask your sleep partner for his opinion about your sleep habits. Try the suggestions above and keep a sleep journal. In the sleep journal keep track of the sleep remedies and how they did or did not help you get to sleep. Once you have tried all the possibilities, you will be better informed about your insomnia and the information will be beneficial for your doctor.

The content in I Can't Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
GLG America Logo

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 Welcomes You with Sleep Remedies

I am Kat and I want to welcome you to A Sleep Easy…we know at A Sleep Easy you may not be getting enough sleep at night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that an adult, 18 years and older, should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep at night. While on the average, a person only gets six hours and 40 minutes. Why? Mostly a lack of sleep is due to working schedules and stress in your normal everyday lives. Before you dash off to your local drug store and buy an over-the-counter medication, try a natural sleep remedy instead. Many over-the-counter medications have side effects and the possible risk of becoming addictive. Natural sleeping remedies help you relax, fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.

Magnesium and calcium when taken together act as added sleeping remedy, plus magnesium helps with heart problems that might rise when taking calcium alone. Wild lettuce, a herbal remedy for sleep, calms your nerves and reduces stress along with soothing joint or muscle pain and relieving headaches. Hops, an ingredient in beer, has been used for centuries as a home sleep remedy for those that suffer with insomnia.

Spritz lavender on your pillow or buy a lavender-filled pillow as a homeopathic sleep remedy. Melatonin a supplement that is produced naturally in your pineal gland controls your sleep cycle. Yoga stretches or meditation prior to bedtime will relax you and get you in the mood to sleep. Remember not to over exert yourself as too much exercise will increase your heart rate and cause you to become over heated. This in turn will affect your ability to relax. Concentrate on your breathing which will lower your heart rate instead.

L-theanine an amino acid that is in green tea will improve your REM cycles during sleep causing you to sleep deeper during the night. If you are worried that drinking prior to bedtime will make you wake up during the night to go to the bathroom, try the supplement Suntheanine which is pure L-theanine.

Valerian a common sleep aide supplement which improves your deep sleep helps you fall asleep faster and generally enhances the overall quality of your sleep. Valerian has valium like properties without the prescriptions addictive risks.

Chamomile a herbal sleep remedy that has been used for anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Chamomile is taken in a tea or as a tincture depending on where the herb was grown. Kava Kava relieves stress and anxiety, but be careful there have been reports of liver failure due to liver toxicity associated with Kava Kava use.

Tryptophan is a precursor in the synthesis of serotonin in the brain. That means it's a biochemical substance that is necessary for the formation of the more stable serotonin. Serotonin plays a role in sleep induction. Tryptophan is in milk and warm milk helps people feel drowsy. It is best when taken naturally through food than a natural supplement. Some people that took the supplement developed a disease known as scleroderma. Scleroderma causes skin tightening, pain in the joints and muscles and overall weakness. These people also developed depression and learning difficulties. Some deaths were associated with the result of taking Tryptophan. You can easily include Tryptophan in your diet by eating turkey, cheese, nuts, beans, eggs, milk or by eating foods rich in carbohydrates.

5-HTP is a by-product of the amino acid tryptophan. It is used to increase serotonin in the body. 5-HTP is also the precursor of melatonin, which regulates sleep cycles. 5-HTP eases symptoms of depression, anxiety and used as a sleep disorder remedy by many doctors. A few studies have reported that 5-HTP is also useful in controlling pain and one’s appetite. An added bonus.

Catnip might invigorate your cat, but with people it calms them and works as a sedative similar to the supplement valerian. Although catnip isn’t as strong as valerian when combined with other sleeping remedies it’s an added sleep aid enhancement. Passionflower extract also acts as a sedative and is used for insomnia and tummy aches.

Like any sleep aide product, sleep disorder remedies can have side effects and risks. Natural sleep remedies do not require FDA approval as do over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs. It is wise to contact your physician before taking any natural sleep aide supplements. There may be an interaction with other medications, not advisable if you are pregnant or nursing and you need to know the appropriate dosage. Getting more or less of the supplement could be dangerous, especially when treating children or the elderly with a natural remedy for sleep.

If you have any questions, please email me at Please leave a comment if you know of any other sleep remedies. Thanks, I am the Kat’s Pajamas wishing all a good night’s sleep. The content provided in A Sleep Easy Welcomes You with Sleep Remedies is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
GLG America Logo