Narcolepsy Specialist Cartersville GA
Internal Medicine Associates
Countdown to a Good Night's Sleep
By Herbert Ross, DC, with Keri Brenner, LAc
We spend up to a third of our lives asleep. Although some hard-driving people may view sleep as an inconvenience that curtails productivity and leisure activities, slumber is certainly no waste of time. In fact, sleep may play a more crucial role than diet or exercise in fostering optimal health.
A natural restorative, sleep offers an antidote to the damage done to our bodies during the day. It allows the body to replenish its immune system, eliminate free radicals, and ward off heart disease and mood imbalances. When sleep is disrupted—whether by lifestyle factors, insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, jet lag, sleepwalking, night terrors, hormonal imbalance, or some other disorder—emotional and physiological health suffers.
But you don’t have to accept sleep deprivation and the ills that accompany it. Nor must you resort to pharmaceutical sleeping aids, which generally bring on their own set of disabling symptoms. Before you take a tranquilizer, which will invariably mask your symptoms, consider trying these seven natural remedies—they can gently and effectively help you snooze your way back to health.
1. Improve your diet
What you eat definitely influences the quality of your sleep. Fortunately, you have a great deal of control over these factors even though it can sometimes be hard to exercise. Here are the golden rules for a sleep-conducive diet:
• Avoid alcohol consumption or curtail it markedly.
• Avoid caffeine in all forms.
• Identify and eliminate allergenic foods. Common culprits include wheat, eggs, and chocolate, as well as milk and corn.
• Eat to boost levels of tryptophan, a building block for melatonin. To do that, eat an evening or bedtime snack consisting primarily of carbohydrates, but with a small amount of a food rich in tryptophan like turkey, chicken, eggs, dairy products, nuts and seeds, soy products, oatmeal, or bananas.
• Eat more raw vegetables and salad greens.
• Eat whole grains and high-fiber foods, and avoid sugary or processed simple carbohydrates. Whole grains contain many B vitamins, which act as natural sedatives for calming irritability and tension that may hinder deep sleep.
• Eat more protein during the day in the form of moderate amounts of lean meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, brown rice, beans, and avocados. Protein is digested more slowly and doesn’t cause an insulin spike, which may interfere with sleep.
• Eat a wide variety of foods to ensure that you are getting sufficient nutrition.
• Be aware of the fat content of foods. Incorporate healthy fats such as olive oil and flaxseed oil, which contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
• Take 1 gram of niacinamide (vitamin B3) at bedtime. This is useful for those who fall sleep easily but awaken and cannot get back to sleep.
• Take 500 mg of chlorella or other algae products at bedtime, as a source of tryptophan.
2. Detoxify your body
Increasingly, researchers have identified toxicity ...
Author: Herbert Ross, DC, with Keri Brenner, LAc
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