- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How To Sleep Deeply All Night Without Drugs or Chemicals
Lack of sleep can be a huge problem in overall health. Health problems such as mood swings, fatigue and weight gain are associated with poor quality sleep. When we are sleeping the body goes into repair and recharge mode. Growth hormones are released, our immune systems shift into high gear and our batteries are recharged. Some people have difficulties falling asleep while others have problems staying asleep.
The main cause of insomnia is caused by an overstimulated brain. It is important to avoid foods in the evening that stimulate the brain such as energy drinks, coffee and soft drinks. But what we consume isn’t the only cause of overstimulation. Stress and a hurry up attitude has a way of setting off stimulatory’ neurotransmitters in our brains that stimulate us.
The problem is that people stimulate their brains right before they go to bed by watching adrenal pumping television or dvd's, answering emails, searching the internet etc. These individuals deal with their insomnia by taking drugs that lead to dependancy and other serious side effects.
When we look back at history we see that peoples lives were much different. There wasn't the need for sleep aids like there is today. People worked in the day and the evening was a time to unwind. This is an essential step before going to bed. It causes inhibitory neurotransmitters to be released in the brain that prepare the body for sleep.
The brain has two types of neurotransmitters(stimulatory and inhibitory) which have been directly associated with insomnia, depression, anxiety, PMS, cravings, and weight loss. Drug companies know this and make billions of dollars selling sleeping pills, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, weight-loss drugs, and other medications that manipulate these brain chemicals.
In order for you to get a good night sleep, your body must be able to manufacture enough inhibitory neurotransmitters to counteract the stimulatory neurotransmitters. Therefore you should plan to spend the last hour and a half of your evening doing activities that allow you to unwind and relax, like reading a book listening to music, stretching exercise and deep breathing.
Do you find it easy to get to sleep but a few hours later you wake up and stay awake? This could be a blood sugar problem caused by a poor diet. Or it may be associated with stress or adrenal fatigue, which would explain easily falling asleep at bedtime. In this case, the adrenals are unable to keep the blood sugar levels stable through the night so the body gives an emergency shot of adrenaline which wakes you up.
Natural remedies effective in nourishing the adrenal glands include vitamin C, vitamin B, zinc, and herbs such as rhodiola, ashwagandha, cordyceps, and ginseng. Supplement with magnesium, glycine, GABA, 5-HTP, L-theanine, and glutamine to increase inhibitory neurotransmitters which in turn allow us to fall asleep.
The reason that these nutritional supplements are so much better than drugs is because they cause the body to produce more inhibitory neurotransmitters. Drugs, on the other hand only manipulate how your body uses what little you are producing. Teas such as chamomile and valerian root are great for calming and relaxing the body at the end of the day.
If adrenal fatigue is the cause of your insomnia you will need to adjust your diet. Eat balanced meals that include protein and healthy fats to keep your blood sugar stable for hours. A piece of fresh fruit can keep the blood sugar stable through the night. Make sure you stay away from anything with refined sugar in it. Insomnia can greatly effect one's quality of life. Making the necessary changes to restore a good night sleep will take some effort but the reward of renewed health make it worth the effort.