Thursday, February 11, 2010


Over the last year or so, I’ve experienced increasing difficulties sleeping. I’ve discovered that insomnia is not an uncommon disorder. Reiter and Robinson reported in 1995 that one-fifth of American adults and one half of American seniors experience difficulty falling or staying asleep. A study done in 2002 by the National Sleep Foundation reveals that as many as 47 million Americans do not regularly get the optimal 7-8 hours sleep a night.

One hundred years ago, people scheduled their days based upon the hours of daylight. Nine and a half hours sleep a night was the norm. Sleep is an important time of restoration and reproduction for cells. This vital reparative and manufacturing work is shut down and toxins accumulate in the brain of those who are sleep-deprived, leading to acceleration of brain aging. Insomnia not only causes fatigue and confusion, but various biochemical changes also occur which can damage cells in the brain’s memory center. Additionally, disease-fighting cells of the immune system are weakened, increasing vulnerability to infections.

If you typically cannot fall asleep within 15-30 minutes,
wake up frequently during the night,
or don’t feel refreshed upon waking,
you may be experiencing chronic insomnia.

Insomnia is recognized as a disease produced by a wide variety of

Medical problems – arthritis, pain, thyroid, liver and neurological disorders
Stimulants – caffeine, smoking, alcohol and medication
Emotions – anxiety, stress and depression
Lighting in sleep area – Even light from a clock can decrease the production of Melatonin, a natural hormone in the brain which regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Lack of sunlight – Exposure to sunlight throughout the day produces chemicals necessary for melatonin production at night.
Nutritional deficiency
Aging – Melatonin production declines with age
Menopause – Decreased estrogen production effects sleep.


Diet - quinoa, spirulina, and soy products promote melatonin production
Magnesium - reduces pain and fatigue and promotes sleep
B complex - Magnesium cannot be utilized without B6.
C - aids production of anti-stress hormones
D - promotes sleep
GABA (natural hormone) - induces relaxation, analgesic and sleep
Lecithin - healthy brain function
American Ginseng - provides many of the same benefits as estrogen replacement therapy
Melatonin - 3-9 milligrams an hour before bedtime. Recent studies show that some people may require 1 mg. or less.
Herbs - St John’s Wort, Chamomile, Skullcap, Lemon Balm, Hops, Valerian root, Kava kava and Passion Flower lower anxiety and/or produce sleep.
Essential Oils - Lavender or Roman Chamomile in bath/on pillow before bed.
Exercise - 20-30 minutes at least 5-6 hours before bedtime
Relaxation - prayer, deep breathing and message
Sleep hygiene: consistent bed and wake time, darkness, cool temperature, comfortable bed and quiet.
Sunlight – 20-45 minutes per day

Naps – especially after 3 pm.
Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine (refrain for at least two hours before bed) and medications containing caffeine/stimulants
“Trying” to sleep – get out of bed after 15 minutes. Do something relaxing until drowsy.
Eating, working, reading or TV in bed
Heavy Meals/Fluids before bed.

Bedtime Tea

Valerian 30%
Linden 20%
Kava kava 20%
Chamomile 20%
Catnip 10%

Blend loose herbs and store out of direct sunlight in cool place. Add 1 tsp to 1 cup nearly boiling water, cover, steep for 20 minutes and strain.

Supplements - Now Foods at
Herbs & oils –

May peaceful sleep close your eyes and awaken you, refreshed in body and soul, ready to serve God.


The author of this article does not endorse everything represented on/in suggested links, books, etc. Each of us is accountable to God to weigh everything according to His Word.

All content of this article is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. The author sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. The information herein is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is best left to the Creator of the universe. In all health-related situations, “qualified healthcare professionals” should always be consulted. The author deems THE GREAT PHYSICIAN to be most qualified. The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material.

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