How to Sleep Better

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep?  Or worse yet, you wake up in the middle of the night and just lay there for hours?  Maybe you wake up early in the morning and can’t fall back to sleep (if so, cut out alcohol before bed time).  Here are some simple ways that you can change your behaviors and add some nutrients to improve your sleep.

Chronic stress can create nutritional deficits, which can cause and perpetuate sleep problems.  For example, Vitamin B12 deficits are associated with problems falling and staying asleep because this vitamin plays an important role in converting serotonin to melatonin.  

One of the main reasons we tend to run low on Vitamin B12 is chronic stress, which causes us to burn through our stress related neurotransmitters more quickly than usual.  This is one of the many reasons chronic stress can cause significant changes within the brain. Vitamin B12 is crucial ingredient involved in manufacturing neurotransmitters, so naturally, we run low on this vitamin (and others) when we go into overdrive.

Here is how to fix this problem:  chronic stress management and nutritional supplementation.  They key to chronic stress management lies in your perspective of the stressor and how you choose to cope with it. The first step is changing your perspective of the stressor, which sounds easier than it is.  Changing your thoughts about the stressor is the key to feeling better, and that’s beyond the scope of this post-here is an excellent technique for chronic stress management. The second part to this is changing the way you respond to stress.  Some of the less healthy ways many people choose to cope with stressors are alcohol or drug abuse, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, tobacco use, etc.  Some better ways would be exercise, relaxation techniques, traveling, socializing, anything that you find fun, etc..

Here are some key supplements you can use to support better sleep.  Remember to consult with your physician regarding any of these supplements, too.  Even though most supplements are “natural,” they can be contraindicated for you due to a health condition or medication you may be taking.  Remember, anything that can help you can also hurt you.

  • melatonin (10-20 mg before bed)
  • Multivitamin (preferably manufactured under pharmaceutical GMPs)
  • Additional Vitamin B family supplement
  • 5HTP-Take 200 mg around 4PM and another 200 mg before bed.  5HTP is particularly good for women who experience irritability, sleep problems, and mild depression.  Don’t take this if you are taking an SSRI.
  • Consider Valerian Root or California Poppy before bedtime.  Both act as a mild sedative.

That’s all for today, folks.  I hope you catch some real zzzs tonight and have a very, very productive week.  Ciao for now!