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  • Writer's pictureAnna Rathbun, NC

7 Solutions for Insomnia

Do you have trouble sleeping? Your exact pattern of insomnia can help to find the cause and solution for a good night’s sleep.

Are you energized in the evening, after being tired all day? This pattern points toward excess cortisol in the evening. A common adrenal fatigue symptom is to be tired in the morning, then get a surge of energy in the evening, when it's time for bed. Adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola and eleuthero can help to calm the nervous system and let you sleep.

Did you have coffee, tea or chocolate too late in the day? Or does your brain just feel like you had too much caffeine in the day? A homeopathic remedy, Coffea Cruda 30C is helpful in this situation. It simply reminds the caffeine receptors to calm down and process through caffeine symptoms.

Do you feel tired and relaxed at night, but sleep won't come? When this happens, something is interrupting the sleep process. The first approach is to take Melatonin - usually 3 mg is enough. Excess melatonin can cause strange dreams and most supplements have more than necessary. If melatonin isn’t the answer, it may be histamine intolerance. Histamine is made in the body to help wake you up and deal with allergies. Histamine also occurs in fermented and aged foods like wine, kombucha, sauerkraut, parmesan, salami and vinegar. You can avoid histamine foods and we can work on your own body's reaction to histamine using vitamin B12, vitamin C and quercetin.

Do your legs keep moving and twitching, keeping you awake at night? If this is bad enough, you may be diagnosed with restless leg syndrome. RLS is often helped with a high dose of magnesium, iron and a good methylated B Vitamin. Iron should only be taken after a blood test to evaluate all iron markers because too much iron can be toxic.

Do you fall asleep then wake in the middle of the night - And does drinking 1/3 cup of juice get you back to sleep? When you get low blood sugar in the middle of the night, the adrenals are alerted. The adrenals send a message to the liver to release glycogen into the bloodstream. This is a normal, healthy process that happens to everyone. However, if your adrenals are stressed, they can release too much adrenaline which wakes you up. Drinking 1/3 cup of juice adds blood sugar so the adrenals shut off, not needing to trigger more glycogen and you fall back asleep. The long term solution is to address adrenal fatigue with food, supplements and lifestyle therapies so the adrenals don't overreact and you can sleep through the night.

Do you fall asleep then wake up at 1, 2, 3 am and juice doesn't help? This pattern has to do with liver, gallbladder and bowel detox. As you are sleeping the body goes through a normal healthy detox of the whole system, preparing for a healthy bowel movement in the morning. When you regularly wake up at the same time - it's often because the cleansing process has hit a snag and can't work through the detox of that area. We can think of waking at 2 am to be liver time, 3 am is gallbladder time and 4 am is colon time. Which part of the detox process needs support in your body?

First, make sure bowels are moving daily without straining and things aren’t too loose. Read more about normalizing bowels. Second, get the liver and gallbladder moving well with choline, milk thistle, artichoke, turmeric, NAC or my lemon liver drink. For some people these steps help right away and for others, opening up the liver and gallbladder requires additional testing to understand and support detox blockages.

Do you wake up every 3 hours then fall back asleep? Do you sleep 9 hours, but still feel fatigued during the day? This can be caused by sleep apnea. After 3 hours of sleep, the body goes into a deep sleep that relaxes muscles in the throat, which can cut off the airway and wake you up. You may wake enough to be conscious then fall right back to sleep for another 3 hours. You may not even know that you're waking up, it just feels like you haven't slept! A medical doctor can provide a full sleep study and a machine to help you breathe at night. I've found a homeopathic remedy called snore-stop to be helpful. The same throat tissues cause snoring and sleep apnea, so a bit of energy medicine reminding those tissues to tighten up sometimes helps.

Lifestyle Sleep Support - While I love food and supplements, I'm always looking for health tricks that we don't have to consume. 3 simple Hops flowers left inside a pillowcase can calm the nervous system enough to make a difference. I've seen it work and it's lovely. Sleep hygiene refers to lifestyle factors that simply allow your own sleep hormones to work effectively and includes turning off electronics, reading something not stimulating and stretching to relax in the evening.

Holistic Nutrition works to find and correct the root cause of health issues. Yes, a sleeping pill may work and it's better than not sleeping, but with personalized support we can work to figure out the root cause of insomnia and help the rest of your body to be healthier as well. Click here to schedule a time to talk about sleep.


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