What’s Stopping You From Sleeping?
Insomnia is a common issue that arises for a variety of reasons. The best way to achieve a good nightʼs sleep is to match impaired sleep patterns with the most appropriate treatment.
Light sleepers have difficulty because every little noise or movement causes them to stir. This may be due to low levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and melatonin. In addition to sleep disturbance, there may also be anxiety, depression, or chronic pain.
Melatonin can be helpful in this type of insomnia. To mimic natural release take a small dose of melatonin (1-3mg) at the same time every evening (ie. 1 hour before bed) and sleep in complete darkness.
Restless sleepers struggle to get comfortable and tend to feel wound up and unable to relax. Muscle tension, restless legs, and jaw clenching may also occur.
This may be associated with low levels of GABA, a brain chemical that promotes calming and relaxation. Doses of GABA range between 100-500mg and can be combined with melatonin. Take a dose at suppertime to promote relaxation and again at bedtime to help with sleep.
Night owls tends to get an evening “second wind”. Perhaps they can get to sleep but after a couple hours (bing!) they are wide awake again.
This may be due to elevated cortisol. Cortisol gives us energy and alertness throughout the day. When cortisol is high at night it impairs our ability to fall or stay asleep. High cortisol levels are commonly found in chronically stressed individuals.
Phosphatidylserine is a nutrient that helps lower cortisol levels. It can be taken an hour before bed, at bedtime, and with waking during the night.
Your naturopathic doctor can help identify the pattern and underlying causes of your sleep disturbance and determine the most appropriate treatment. Book an appointment with Dr. Mazurin and put an end to your sleepless nights.