Natural Remedies for Sleep – Invite Health Podcast, Episode 104
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
Who wants to walk around sleepy? It feels terrible! If you’re among the nearly half of all Americans who have trouble with sleep, you may be interested in how to help without the use of drugs. After all, hypnotic drugs used for sleep rank right below narcotic pain relievers for the number of Americans who experience a life threatening overdose not to mention that many of these drugs are chemically addictive. Let’s discuss natural alternatives to sleeping pills that really work, are safe, and are not habit forming.
There are a things that can impede a healthy sleep routine. This includes:
- Exercising too late in the evening
- Drinking coffee or caffeine too late
- Blue Light
This hormone tells your body when to sleep and wake. A review of human clinical trials by researchers at MIT shows that Melatonin reduces sleep latency, improves the quality of sleep and increases the duration of sleep. So Melatonin helps you by speeding up how quickly you fall asleep, how deeply you sleep and for how long you sleep. Melatonin is also beneficial for the immune system of aging adults. It also adjusts your nighttime body temperature and blood pressure, both of which are supposed to decrease at night. Try taking 1-3 milligrams 30 minutes before bed.
Hemp AKA CBD
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound in the hemp plant. It affects CB1 receptor sites in your brain that help calm you down and in time improves your quality of sleep. Research indicates using from 25mg to 175mg of Hemp/CBD a day. Take it with a snack before bedtime. It is a good mix with Melatonin; the Hemp is relaxing and is a stress buster while the Melatonin directly sets you up for sleep.
5-HTP is short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, which comes from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant. In the daytime, 5-HTP is converted into serotonin. Serotonin is known as the happiness molecule. 5-HTP can raise serotonin and this makes you feel good, feel happy, and feel free of the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Serotonin also makes you feel full when eating making 5-HTP useful for weight loss; when dieting you feel more satisfied with the amount of food you have eaten. At night, 5-HTP takes an extra step and is converted into Melatonin. The beauty of this is you will create the amount of Melatonin that suits your needs more accurately. I recommend starting low, 50mg of 5-HTP about 30 minutes before bedtime and work your way up to 100mg or 200mg depending on your needs. It gets into your brain much more efficiently if you take it with food.
Tart Cherry Juice
Research on the Montmorency tart cherry shows that consuming it twice a day improves sleep in adults with insomnia; they may actually sleep an additional hour and a half within just two weeks. Tart cherry is also good for your circulation, for your blood pressure, and to improve your level of performance during exercise according to Texas A&M Researchers.
Theanine is an amino acid from the tea plant (green, oolong, and black tea). Unlike most other amino acids it does not create protein. Instead, taking Theanine in the daytime improves concentration, improves focus and attention, and supports creativity. Taking L-Theanine in the daytime is akin to a moment of Zen meditation because it is the perfect solution for stress. It is thought that the reason a cup of green tea improves the ability to meditate for long periods in Buddhist monks is due to the Theanine content. Take 100mg one to three times a day for these indications. For sleep you need more; 200mg to 300mg of L-Theanine before bedtime for people who have trouble going to sleep.
My personal problem is a bit different; I fall asleep quickly but sometimes I wake up at around 3 in the morning and my mind starts to race, at that point I take 200mg to 300mg of L-Theanine and very quickly fall back to sleep and wake up easily with no residual sleepiness whenever I need to
This perennial plant has been used as a sleep aid for hundreds of years. It works very well if you take a sufficient amount. It works so well and was so popular before the advent of prescription sleeping pills that the name Valium was coined to let people know the drug worked like Valerian. Studies indicate that valerian helps you get more sound sleep. Because it raises the level of GABA, the brains most important neuro-inhibitory neurotransmitter, it also boosts relaxation. Take 300-600 milligrams up to 2 hours before bed. Or brew 2-3 grams of the dried root in a cup of water; the issue with the tea is that Valerian has a very pungent odor. I find this herb works very well when blended with California Poppy.
California poppy, the state flower of California, has been used in traditional medicine as a sedative for centuries. Scientists have found that it helps raise the levels of GABA, the relaxation-boosting neurotransmitter in the brain. Naturopathic Doctors use California Poppy to improve sleep in patients with nerve pain because it is also good for neuropathy.
It’s a type of climbing vine with the most complex-beautiful flower I have ever seen growing in some ones garden; my stepsons tiny San Francisco garden. Native Americans have used passionflower for its calming properties for centuries. In a study published in the journal Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics passion flower worked as well as the prescription drug oxazepam for reducing the symptoms of anxiety but is safe to use. Oxazepam is similar to the drug Valium. Using passion flower reduced anxiety in patients if used before surgery or before having a tooth extracted. The ingredients in passion flower slow down the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the brain and stimulate GABA (neuroinhibitory) production to reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety.
The mineral magnesium performs hundreds of duties in the human body. The pancreas uses it to control blood sugar levels. The kidneys use it to convert the stored form of Vitamin D into it’s active form. The body uses it to control and supply energy as Magnesium-ATP. It is needed for normalizing blood pressure, holds our bones together, and it is essential for normal heart function. The brain uses magnesium to release melatonin so there you have it. Low levels of this mineral may make it harder for you to fall or stay asleep. Studies show that magnesium supplements improve slumber in older people and also in adults with restless legs syndrome; it is a natural muscle relaxer. Most Americans, 70% or more, do not get enough Magnesium from their diet.
Try sniffing this purple flower before your bedtime; use the essential oil on cloth and put it inside your pillow. Its scent slows your heart rate a bit and lowers your blood pressure and skin temperature which are supposed to occur at night. This can set the stage for slumber. A study found that people who snoozed in a lavender-infused room had more restful, deep sleep than those who didn’t. Want to try it? Run an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom, or add a few drops to your pillowcase.
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