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Are you getting a good night's sleep?

Oct 17, 2012

Are you getting a good nights sleep?

According to recent poles 40 million Americans may have chronic insomnia, with problems related to falling asleep and staying asleep or waking up to early in the mornings.  In fact, more than 100 million Americans do not get a full 7 – 8 hours sleep every night.  Last year over 26 million prescriptions were written to help Americans sleep.  Prescription drugs can have side effects, in most cases the dosages need to be upped to get a full night sleep the longer one is on them and most people become addicted to prescription sleep aids making it so they cant stop taking the them unless they don’t want to sleep for a few days.  There may be an answer to America’s sleeping problem at your local health food store.

If you are having trouble sleeping, there are a few steps you can take to help your body naturally get to sleep.  First try to get to bed at the same time every night your body runs on an internal clock and if you don’t get to sleep every night at the same time you can through that clock out of whack so a regular bedtime routine is good practice even if you aren’t tired try to lay down maybe read a book or listen to some relaxing music.  Lifestyle choices will affect your sleep as well such as smoking, illicit drug use and pharmaceuticals, alcohol and caffeine; try to limit your intake of such things for better sleep.  Next in line is nutrition, a combination of herbs and vitamins can help naturally relax the body and mind to help one get better sleep all night long.  Green tea is an herb that is loaded with the amino acid l-Theanine, studies have shown l-Theanine to can help calm the brain, given today’s high passé lifestyles most of us are still thinking about work or what needs to go on your grocery list while laying in bed, l-Theanine helps calm your thoughts for a better nights sleep.

Other beneficial vitamins and herbs are as follows:

* 5-HTP: helps promote healthy sleep, a precursor to serotonin vital for mood regulation and sleep.

* Ashwagandha: an Adaptogenic herb, helps combat stress, calming herb.

* B Complex: good to combat stress, helps maintain a healthy nervous system function.

* Calcium: helps relax muscles.

* Chamomile:  anti-anxiety herb, good for ADD, insomnia and stress.

* Catnip: a calming herb, used to help you sleep with out affecting you the next day.

* Hops: primarily used for treatment of anxiety and insomnia for thousands of years.

* Lemon Balm: Primarily used for ADD, insomnia, stress, and Irritable bowel syndrome.

* Magnesium: helps relax muscles and is a good brain relaxing mineral.

* Skullcap: used in the past primarily as a calmative and a digestive aid, and is known for its calming effects.

* Valerian: is a tranquilizer and calming herb useful for disorders such as restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, hysteria, and headaches.

The above listed herbs can be found in combination by several manufacturers such as Source naturals and Planetary Formulas to name two.  Herbal supplements can create a natural relaxing and stress relieving environment for the body before bedtime.

Finally, there is melatonin which is a hormone naturally produced by the body.  Melatonin is secreted from the pineal gland and is only released in darkness during sleep in healthy people.  Unfortunately melatonin declines as we age and supplementation might be needed to help bring back normal sleep at night.

The statements in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease please consult your health care physician before discontinuing medication or introducing herbs into your diet if you are currently on medication for sleep,  herbs tend to enhance the effects of medications and side effects from those medication may increase.

This article is brought to you by your friends at Nest Bedding in the Berkeley Albany San Francisco Bay area, specializing in organic, natural and non-toxic mattresses and bedding.