Two Easy Remedies for Insomnia Sufferers
95% of Americans suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives.
Yes, that is not a typo; 95%! In dealing with quite a few patients that suffer from this predicament; there is a few commonalities that I have found with these folks. First, it tends to be more prominent in people that are in high stress work environments that work on a very strict scheduling system. An example of this would be a real estate developer, builder, contractor, or large business owner. These people have to always be one step ahead of the next, lining things up, and making sure every thing happens in a timely and sequential fashion. Making sure the concrete gets poured, while then making sure the dry waller comes in, while then lining up the painter, all in an effort to meet a deadline; all of these things lead to a wound up state, and make it nearly impossible to turn the switch off, and initiate sleep. Before you immediately jump to a potent medication like Lunesta, Ambien, Xanex, or others that have powerful side effects; try something a little less involved, first. If the idea of these medications has you at angst all together, then these might give you some noticeable changes in your ability to get quality sleep naturally:
- Eat Foods High in Tryptophan for Dinner – If you think about it, when do you commonly get the most sleepy during the day, and the best time of the year for cat naps, and other tiger snoozes. Two times of the year come to mind for me; Christmas, and Thanksgiving. It’s not because our families, and the holidays wearing us out; it’s because of the foods we eat during that time of year. They are all high in an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan, in the body, is converted into serotonin, which then is converted into melatonin. Foods high in tryptophan include: nuts, seeds, tofu, cheese, red meat, chicken, ham, turkey, fish, oats, beans, lentils, and eggs. Whip up some dishes for dinner that include some of these food groups, and see if you’re not falling asleep on the couch for a change!
- St. John’s Wort Cocktail – St. John’s Wort has been used by Chinese Herbal Medicine Doctors for years to help treat sleep disorders, as well as depression. St. John’s Wort contains a key element called hypercine, which has been shown in studies to prevent the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. By increasing the levels of serotonin, the thought is that it makes it more readily available to be converted into melatonin, which we know has a dramatic effect on the bodies ability to initiate deep sleep. It can be taken in capsule form; however, the preferred method of delivery to the body is through the gut via a tea blend. Below is the way I have found beneficial:
-2 teaspoons of dried Saint John’s Wort (herb top/flowers)
-8 ounces of freshly boiled water
-honey or lemon to taste (optional)
Directions: Place the herb in a mug and cover with boiling water. Steep for 5-10 minutes, strain, and drink once daily (30-45 minutes before bed.)
If you have given these a try, and even tried multiple other things including the previously mentioned medications; then the problem could be arising from your brainstem. One of the brainstem’s main functions is to regulate our sleep-wake cycle, and circadian rhythm. If the top two bones in the neck have misaligned, and are causing the brainstem to malfunction, it is possible this is why none of these things you have tried up to this point have worked for you. If you are an insomniac, and have found yourself “trying everything”, and to no avail; give us a call, or set up a 15-minute consultation by going to drgrantdennis.com; and if we find you are a candidate, the only thing you will be asking is “why have I never heard of this before?”
Yours in health,
Dr. Grant, drgrantdennis.com, 501-420-2815