Insomnia/Poor Sleep Quality
Insomnia is classified as the inability to sleep when sleep should normally occur. Generally humans require 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal health and well being.
There are various forms of insomnia. The most common typically include:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking too early in the morning
- Waking frequently throughout the night
Insomnia may stem from a disruption of the body's circadian rhythm, an internal clock that dictates timing of hormone production, sleep, body temperature and other functions. While occasional poor quality or insufficient sleep is typically unavoidable for most adults, prolonged insomnia can have a number of health consequences including increasing one's risk of auto accidents, depression, substance abuse and overall poor quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Not feeling refreshed after sleep
- Inability to sleep despite feeling tired
- Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and impaired ability to perform normal tasks
- Anxiety as bedtime approaches
- Substance abuse
- Disruption of circadian rhythm
- Hormonal changes
- Advanced Age
- Medical conditions including GERD, fibromyalgia, chronic pain (see PEMF therapy as possible treatment), heart disease, arthritis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sleep apnea can all effect quality of sleep
- Regular exercise (preferably in am to help promote normal circadian rhythm)
- Avoiding caffeine (especially after noon) and nicotine
- Regular exposure to morning and afternoon sunlight (stimulates melatonin production to help resent circadian rhythm)
- Maintain consistent sleeping and waking time
- Establish bedroom as place to sleep and use it for this purpose only (remove computers, televisions and gaming systems)
- Exercise at least 4 days per week, preferably in the morning but no later than an hour before bedtime
- Establish a healthy nighttime routine that includes winding down at least one hour prior to bedtime. In this time, dim household lights, turn off electronics and practice relaxation-promoting activities (take a warm bath, read under dim light, pray, meditate, journal)
- Avoid excessive fluids 3 hours before bedtime
- Avoid heavy meals 2-3 hours before bedtime (this will also greatly promote quality of sleep)
- Avoid naps, especially in the later hours of the day
- Avoid television, computer and other screens 2 hours before bedtime or wear blue light blocking glasses. We love this brand!
- Switch nighttime lighting in the home to halogen or incandescent bulbs rather than LEDs to further reduce blue light exposure after 5pm. More info on this can be found on the website Sleep.ORG
- Make sure the bedroom is completely dark by removing all sources of natural and artificial light
- Set bedtime/nighttime temperature to 63-68 degrees
- PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency) therapy
Supplements to address adrenal function can promote resetting of circadian rhythm. See section on Adrenal Fatigue for more on this.
Benesom: Formulated to promote restful and relaxed state. Relieves occasional sleeplessness by modulating metabolism of melatonin and promoting relaxation.
- Take 2-4 tablets one hour before bedtime
Tran-Q: Classic herbal stress management formula designed to promote relaxation.
- Take 1 tablet 3 times daily
MetaRelax: Magnesium powder blend designed to support restful sleep, positive mood and enhanced relaxation.
- Mix 1 sachet in 8 oz water and consume 1 hour before bedtime
Selestro: Menopausal symptom relief decreases symptoms such as hot flashes, occasional sleeplessness, and mood swings associated with menopause
- Take 1 tablet one to two times daily
Best Rest: Supports the onset of quality sleep
- Take 1-2 capsules 30-60 minutes before bedtime
Melatonin (liquid): Promotes natural sleep cycle
- Take 1/2 to 1 dropper within 1 hour of bedtime