Habitual sleeplessness repeated night after night. Insomnia can take the form of being unable to fall asleep when you first go to bed or waking during the night and being unable to go back to sleep. An estimated 15-17% of the population suffers from insomnia at any given time. Insomnia can result from a wide variety of causes including hypoglycemia, muscle aches, indigestion, breathing problems, physical pain, anxiety, stress, grief, depression, caffeine, drug use, appetite suppressants, beta-blockers (medication used for high blood pressure and heart ailments), the anti-seizure medication Phenytoin (Dilantin), and thyroid hormone replacement drugs. A sedentary can be a major contributor to sleep disorders.
- A lack of calcium and magnesium can cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep. Calcium has a calming effect, and magnesium is needed to balance with calcium and relax the muscles. In addition, B vitamins have an anti-stress and relaxing effect on the body. We suggest a high quality whole food supplement, like VITAFORCE™ that is complete and made from whole foods.
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and “live” (just squeezed) juices (carrot and dark leafy greens are a rich source of calcium and magnesium).
- Exercise regularly in the late afternoon or the early evening, but not right before bedtime. Take a hot bath (not a shower) an hour or two before bedtime.
- Try running a fan or playing a radio softly in the bedroom.
- Helpful herbs are California Poppy, Kava Kava, Passionflower, Skullcap, and Valerian Root are all helpful to overcome insomnia.
Things to Avoid:
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, fried and fatty foods, including all animal foods. Especially avoid bacon, cheese, chocolate, eggplant, ham, potatoes, sauerkraut, sugar, sausage, spinach, tomatoes and wine close to bedtime. These foods contain tyramine, which increases the release of norepinephrine (a brain stimulant).
- Do not take a nap during the day.
- James F. Balch, M.D, Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C, “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” (1997)