Migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, fibormyalgia, obesity and even ADHD can all be traced back to depleted serotonin levels – and the effects on your body can be as damaging as they are diverse. When most people think of serotonin deficiency, the first thing they usually think about is depression. If that someone is you, you’d be right. But there’s a lot more to this neurotransmitter than meets the eye – a lot more. (more…)
Research has shown that several supplements can help you get to sleep easier and stay asleep longer. Before taking any supplements, be sure and check with your doctor, especially if you are taking any prescription or over‐the‐counter medications.
Recent research has uncovered an incredible breakthrough that can help restore a normal sleep cycle. It turns out that nutrients found in cow’s milk called bioactive peptides (which are chains of amino acids) exert a sedative effect on the brain and induce sustained sleep patterns. These bioactive milk peptides have been shown to act on the brain’s GABA‐A (gamma amino butyric acid) receptors, the same mechanism of action that makes the class of sedatives known as benzodiazepines (i.e., alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan)) so effective. The advantage of milk peptides, of course, is that they induce relaxation and sleep without the side effects associated with long‐term benzodiazepine use.
In fact, published studies have shown these bioactive milk peptides effectively combat the stress response, blunt elevations of cortisol, promote sustained restful sleep patterns, support daytime cognition, and relieve anxiety. They are used widely in Europe under the trade name Lactium®; typical doses are 75‐150 mg about 30‐60 minutes before bedtime. We recommend a product called Benesom that combines this bioactive milk peptide along with melatonin and passionflower extract to promote a restful, relaxed state and relieve occasional sleeplessness; take 1‐3 tablets 30 minutes before bedtime.
Melatonin supplementation has been shown to help assist in obtaining a restorative night’s sleep while also helping to promote a healthy weight.
Hops, passion flower, skullcap, lemon balm and valerian root, taken in capsule or extract form, are all good for helping to overcome sleeplessness. It is best not to rely on one herb on a regular basis, but to rotate among several. Take these herbs before bedtime.
Catnip and chamomile have mild sedative properties. These herbs are safe even for children if taken in tea form. For adults, drinking chamomile teas several times throughout the day helps to calm and tone the nervous system, promoting restful sleep.
Taking a B complex with breakfast and lunch can help your body make and use the neurotransmitters that it needs to help you sleep at night. This is especially helpful for those that call fall asleep, but wake up with the inability to fall back asleep again.
Amino acids – if you suffer from insomnia, you may have a neurotransmitter imbalance that is preventing you from achieving good quality sleep. Consider speaking with a specialist to get started on amino acid therapy as soon as possible.
You read that right – probiotics may help reduce stress, which can help you sleep better. “Impossible!” you say. “Absurd.” “Hooey.” – All common reactions, but hear me out on this and we may be able to change your mind (and improve your sleep!).
Almost everyone struggles with getting a good night’s sleep at some time during their life, usually due to some kind of acute stress. However, for some people, getting good quality sleep is an issue almost every night; for those that experience this (or those that live with them) this is a very hard way to live.
Anxiety and insomnia affect millions of people every day. Not surprisingly, stress is one of the main culprits responsible for our worry and lack of sleep. While we can’t control all the stressors in our lives, one of the keys to managing anxiety and insomnia is controlling and/or minimizing the impact that stress has on us. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is through deep breathing.
Everybody knows that taking a deep breath, or letting out a sigh of relief reduces tension in our bodies and helps us to feel more relaxed. The trick to effective stress management is to breathe deeply as often as possible throughout the day to maximize this stress reduction benefit.
Here’s a great way to get started… Read more
You know the scenario: it’s 2:30 AM and you’ve either just woken up or haven’t even fallen asleep yet. Your body is exhausted, but your mind keeps cycling on something that causes your insides to vibrate with a kind of anxiety that won’t allow you the rest you so desperately want. You look at the clock only to realize what you thought was an hour has only been 10 minutes and you realize that it’s going to be another long and sleepless night.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, about 30% of adults in the United States have symptoms of insomnia – that’s over 73 million people! While there are many common causes of insomnia, stress is one of the most prevalent. While this may seem obvious, what is really important is how you can reduce the impact that stress has on you so you get a good night’s sleep. Read more…