Time To Go To Sleep: The Solutions
So you think you know the possible reasons for counting sheep every night? Now here are some solutions... So in the previous installment, I went over the likely factors that contribute to insomnia. Now let’s examine some options as solutions...
So let’s begin with the adrenal glands and stress. First of all there are two parts to this, the physiological aspects and then the mental/emotional aspects. It’s one thing to take an herb to lower levels of norepinephrine naturally, it’s another to find a way to calm the mind before sleep.
So the first thing is to make sure that you have a sleep ritual which means nothing too exciting within two hours of bed. Sex doesn’t fall into that category... well, I mean it’s exciting, but it also produces a post-orgasmic cascade of chemicals that will make even the most testosterone-filled guy turn over and pass right out. So sex is one solution! What I do mean is no exercise, no late-night jogs, and especially nothing that raises anxiety, such as doing your bills, watching a scary movie or cleaning the house. It also means to lower lighting. As I mentioned in my previous article, the pineal gland which begins the sleep cycle is light-stimulated. So by lowering the lights, you will automatically increase the release of melatonin. It may also mean doing things that are truly relaxing, like soft music, meditation, breathing exercises or slow dancing in the dark with your sweetie (which then might lead to previously mentioned sex option).
Now there are two sets of natural herbal options that are available for sleep. One acts to quiet the mind, sedate the body, relax the muscles. So if you get a lot of twitching, restless leg syndrome, tossing and turning, then these might be the right thing for you. These would include Magnesium, Valerian, Skullcap, California Poppy, or Standard Process Orchex for men or Min Tran for women .... rather like a dart gun for a lion really.
The second option is more about biochemical balance. So Chaste Tree for women can actually increase melatonin release when taken in the evening, Ribonucleic Acid can really normalize pineal gland function and B vitamins can really be at the core of anxiety, phobias, hypersensitivity and not remembering your dreams. Gingko Biloba is great for sleep apnea and night-time vertigo, Ashwaganda can reduce corticol levels (taken only at breakfast), and Eleuthero is perfect for restoring sleep and offsetting exhaustion.
Next, is to address any liver issues. There are a number of great liver herbs that can help to get your liver back on track. My favorites are Schisandra which is particularly good if stress and adrenal fatigue are also an issue, Rosemary, Milk Thistle, Globe Artichoke, Dandelion and Peppermint (great if acid reflux is an issue). Standard Process makes a couple of wonderful formulas that can keep histamine levels down and keep blood flowing through the liver so that allergies are ancient history: Antronex and Allerplex.
I already mentioned in the previous installment about some Feng Shui options, as well as supporting thyroid insufficiency with a bit of night-time iodine. And dont’ forget about keeping your glucose balanced with inositol before bed and a before bed snack.
Now if you have already been taking pharmaceuticals for sleep, you can add in these options and then gradually diminish your pharmaceutical and see how it goes. Never stop your pharmaceutical cold-turkey as your body cycle is rather dependent on it. Also, if you are going to try an herb, be sure it won’t interact negatively with your pharmaceutical.
Whatever you try, be sure to stick with it for two weeks before deciding if it’s the right thing or not. And be sure to try all the energetic solutions first before moving on to herbs, vitamins, food or pharmaceuticals. Hopefully with these suggestions, you’ll wake up rested and refreshed!