Having trouble falling asleep? Let’s address 5 possible causes of Insomnia.
5 Reasons You Have Trouble Falling Asleep
1). Is your bedroom cold and quiet? Pet-free? Is your partner snoring or tossing in bed? I use a noise machine for the small noises that disturb me. Or wear Hear-O’s ear plugs. The bedroom should be cold. If your bed and bedding have nylon/synthetic fibers, change your bedding to natural fibers and put cotton, wool or sheepskin between you and the mattress. Natural fibers make us hot and block the electrical flow that moves on our skin.
2). Are your Cortisol or Adrenaline elevated from physical or emotional activity? The evening is for quiet time, stories and games, simple tasks and non-threatening conversations. If we feel threatened, our Adrenaline and Sympathetic Nervous System are aroused and keep us awake to be watchful. It’s an evolutionary response to predators. Evening exercise can set this off too.
3). Are you managing the lighting in your home? Why are Blue Blockers so popular and important?
Humans evolved to wake up when daylight (blue) appears, and to sleep when daylight disappears (dark). We release Melatonin only in response to darkness. Our homes are filled with artificial light, most of it in the blue spectrum (not just computers are blue light).
Blue light suppresses the release of our “sleepy” hormone Melatonin which helps shut down Cortisol and Adrenaline.
My home is dim at night, with only 2 or 3 low wattage bulbs (warm light, not cool). After dinner I put on Blue Blocker glasses to wear until I am in my fully darkened bedroom. There is no light of any kind in the bedroom. If I get up at night I slip on the Blue Blockers so my eyes do not perceive artificial blue light in the house or through windows.
I am NOT talking about clear “blue blocker glasses” for daytime use to block computer rays. It’s the dark orange or amber brown glasses that literally block the color blue. Prices range from $9 to $99. I wouldn’t be without mine and they come in fit-over styles too if you wear glasses. Read more about Blue Blockers, Cortisol and Melatonin here.
4). Have you had Chocolate or other Caffeine in the last three, four or five hours? Caffeine is a stimulant.
5). Got a busy Mind? Putting away your mental to-do list is a skill to practice. I turn off my mind after dinnertime. I don’t do bills, phone calls or discussions. I don’t work. I will instead do something crafty or simple household chores. I like puzzles too – picture puzzles, coloring and Suduko/Kakuro. The point? Turn my mind off and focus only on the present simple task.
I don’t watch much TV. If I do, it’s a quieter, nicer show with no conflict or busy camera work to stimulate my brain. Any music I play is quiet and comfortable.
Supplements to Help Fall Asleep
Here are several tried and true supplements for Insomnia in my Online Store. Experiment to see what combo works best for you.
1). Pharma-GABA. This is our #1 for sleep. No question. Chew 1 or 2 before bed to soothe brain and body with the neurotransmitter GABA. Many people think they need SSRI’s or Melatonin when they really need Serotonin’s partner GABA. Pharma GABA is usually taken at night. Passion Flower is taken day and/or night.
2). Passion Flower Extract The number one product in my Clinic, useful for day or night, adult or youth, depending on the number of drops and the timing. This one comes in a Glycerite base with no alcohol – easy to take a squirt or two and no water needed. It’s safe and works well for those needing a little relaxation before bed. Or when waking in the night. Or both. Daytime too to manage stress… It comes as an Alcohol Extract as well if you don’t like the Glycerin.
3). I don’t generally suggest Melatonin (I prefer darkness) but one product does have it – Systemic Formulas DREM. It combines Melatonin with aminos and herbs for GABA and Melatonin support. NOTE: If you are taking SSRI’s such as Paxil or Prozac, Melatonin is NOT recommended. They are both Serotonin products.
4). Systemic Formulas N3 – Relaxa. I’ve taken this off and on for decades. Take it in the daytime to calm down and for pain, or at night to calm body and mind or help with pain that keeps you awake. Try even 1/2 a capsule when you just need a little soothing, day or middle of the night. Or take 2 or 3.
5). The right kind of Magnesium. Many Magnesiums cause bowel distress as they are not absorbable. You aren’t really getting much Magnesium out of them, just a crampy bowel. Magnesium Bisglycinate is different! It’s chelated with Glycine, a beneficial amino acid that helps sleep (amongst its many functions). Take this Buffered Magnesium day or night. Try it in the evening or at bedtime to see if this Magnesium helps you fall asleep.