- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Insomnia and Restlessness: I Need to Sleep!
Restful sleep is vital for health!
There are several reasons one might not obtain deep sleep or enough restful sleep, on a consistent basis. Stress, excessive fatigue, pain, worry, disease, noise, are some. Bright light, either artificial or from sunshine also may be a problem. But in nearly every case of ongoing insufficient deep sleep, there may be a nutritional or mineral factor - deficiency - of vital enzymes, natural chemical factors that might be corrected to bring satisfying results.
If you cannot sleep at night...how do you?
Yes, valerian herb is greatly helpful for sound sleep/relaxation. So are hops and passionflower, which can be helpful also, and are sometimes found in combination preparations with valerian. Aminobutyric acid, commonly called Gaba, is helpful for relaxation and extending sleep, particularly in combination with some of these other enzyme or herbal products.
Another needed item is melatonin, which is naturally produced by our body at night, and sometimes a 3 mg. pill in the evening is very helpful for inducing a natural sleep cycle. It needs to be noted that for long term insomnia or in acute stress situations, that minerals are needed more than normally, particularly magnesium and calcium. The addition of these two important ones can make a particular difference in relaxation of our muscular tenseness and some way helps us to fall asleep more quickly. Since most of us on a typical nutrient deficient American diet are somewhat lacking in mineral intake, it might be quickly helpful to start the minerals and add in the melatonin too. Try it a few days, and add in the valerian if needed also.
There are many natural sleep aids, both herbal and homeopathic, and these may be useful without causing addiction. The magnesium mineral is known to be one of the most commonly deficient minerals in the American diet and population. It is 'antagonistic' with calcium via cellular absorption and nearly all mineral supplements contain far too much calcium in proportion to the contained magnesium. Some physicians believe the magnesium levels should equal the amount of calcium, but nearly every common supplement available will have twice as much calcium as compared to magnesium.
Both these minerals are better absorbed when taken with an acid food/juice and quite probably when taken at separate times,i.e. take magnesium in the morning and calcium in the evening. That way the body can better assimilate all it needs.
If one begins this mineral supplementation and sees no effect at all, it is possible that the body has too many sulfites, a natural and necessary ingredient for cellular activity. If sulfites are excessive, the body does not utilize the magnesium efficiently. This would not be known without laboratory blood tests performed on the mineral status. There is an inexpensive urine test for sulfites available and you might obtain information on this at www.starrwalker.com. Some persons have a higher genetic propensity to produce sulfites, and others may have an excessive level due to dietery intake.
So, if you just can't get to sleep and sleep soundly, one of the reasons may be this situation. When you are tired, really tired, too tired, and still can't obtain restful sleep, this area might be a good one to explore. You need those z z z z z zs!
Arizona sunset. Beautiful relaxation!
Theanine is also helpful.
An old-fashioned remedy of a warm milk toddy at bedtime contained tryptophan which helps produce relaxation of mind and muscle and assist deep sleep. The modern day controversy of tryptophan causing significant illness was traced back to one manufacturer's contamination problem - not the tryptophan itself.
Green tea especially, contains a helpful amount of theanine, which is now available in capsule and liquid form. It assists the body/mind to relax and produce healthful sleep. L-theanine has become a popular sleep aid in recent years because it is so helpful, without causing side effects.
There is also available a transdermal cream with gaba and theanine that does the same thing. I have personally used both of these in addition to the above suggestions and it does definitely allow me to sleep more soundly when I use the cream. I apply it just before bedtime. You may need to try several of these tips at different times and see what works best to relax you for healthful sleep.
Remember, you must find what fits your body, and that may take some trials of relaxation combined with mineral, herbal, homeopathics to find what works best for you! Don't give up your search, for we were meant to s l e e p w e l l .