Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
POSSIBLE KEY CAUSES OF SLEEP PROBLEMS
• Low Serotonin, Melatonin & GABA
• Insufficient exposure to Light during the day
• Lack of Exercise
• Nutritional deficiencies (B12 & other B Vitamins, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin D)
• Emotional Stress, Anxiety, Depression
• Stimulants (Caffeine, etc.)
• Hormonal imbalance (low Oestrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone)
• Sleeping environment (Noise, Light)
• Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has shown for the first time that sleep loss can lead to irreversible brain damage!
SHORT RECOVERY PLAN
In case of sleep problems and insomnia what usually works best is the combination of energetic daily exercise, exposure to sunlight (if possible) or strong light imitating sunlight, high daily doses of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Omega 3, Chlorella, Methylcobalamin (B12), Magnesium (before bed), 5-HTP Tryptophan, L-Taurine, B-complex, and Vitamin D3, L-theanine, Valerian root, Tulsi (Holy Basil), Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Hops. I have recommended it to many people and it effectively increased their serotonin, dopamine and melatonin levels, detoxified their bodies, improved brain function, calmed down their nervous system and improved quality of sleep.
– Exercise vigorously every day outside (only in the morning and afternoon) exposing your body to the sunlight.
– Every day have some complex carbohydrates (fresh and dried fruits, bananas, whole grains, etc.)
– Avoid meat products, cheese, all fermented foods, stimulants (including green tea, chocolate, cocoa, cola drinks, alcohol, energy drinks, mate teas, etc.), hot spices, sugar, white flour products, refined grains, vinegar, chili, pizza, spicy foods, dairy, wheat, refined salt (use see salt instead).
– Eat often: raw vegetables, fresh cold pressed vegetable juices, barley, banana, tomatoes, brown rice, oats, cooked soya beans and Tofu, (avoid processed soya products and soy meat substitutes), ground sesame seeds, beans including especially black-eyed peas, black walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
– Expose your body to the bright sunlight in the daytime.
– Sleep in complete darkness.
– Learn to control stress.
– Daily prayer (meditation) resulting in inward peace.
– Spiritual literature. The best in my opinion is the Gospel of John from the Bible, and books by Ellen G White: Ministry of Healing and Desire of Ages (all available online free of charge in written and audio format).
– Try to reduce exposure to noise while travelling by aeroplane.
SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBAL REMEDIES
– One study showed that 600 mg of Lemon balm improved mood and significantly increased self-ratings of calmness. A study found that a combination of valerian and lemon balm was able to treat sleeping disorders in children. About 81% of them experienced improvement of their symptoms after taking the study preparation.
– 5-HTP (Tryptophan): 100mg before bedtime. Medical research indicates that taking tryptophan before bedtime can help trigger sleepiness and delay wake times. Specialists believe tryptophan brings on sleep by boosting levels of serotonin, a body chemical that promotes relaxation. However, consumers should take this supplement with caution as it may adversely interact with certain antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and others.
– Magnesium threonate or citrate as it is high in elemental magnesium: 200 mg daily; or citrate 200 mg 60 minutes before breakfast on an empty stomach and 200mg 1-3 hours before bed.
– Zinc: 30 – 50 mg daily always after breakfast.
– B complex (100mg) – once a day with breakfast only.
– Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – 100mg with breakfast (in addition to the one included in B complex).
– Folic acid – 400mcg with breakfast.
– Vitamin D daily from sunlight (between 10 am and 2 pm for 15-30 minutes), or D3 supplements – 10,000 IU a day with breakfast (must be taken with magnesium as vitamin D3 leads to magnesium deficiency). Some men start taking 5000 IU Vitamin D3 every morning because they suspect they had low testosterone levels (low Vitamin D levels lead to low testosterone levels). What they didn’t realize was that taking a Vitamin D3 supplements in the morning also helped them get better sleep at night.
– Vitamin B3 (niacin) – not more than 500mg daily with breakfast only.
– Vitamin B12 (sublingual methylcobalamin, not cyanocobalamin) – 1000mcg under the tongue only after breakfast. I remember a certain lady who was complaining about her sleeping problems she had been experiencing for a long time. I suggested her to take magnesium, 5HTP and good quality multivitamin-mineral formula containing high strength B vitamins, zinc, etc. However, since she looked like she was in her 60s, and knowing that after 50 we start having problems with absorbing B12 from the food I encouraged her to take also B12 in the form of sublingual Methylcobalamin. As a result, she could sleep normally again! But she told me that she decided to check which supplement was most effective in her case and told me that only whenever she stopped taking sublingual Methylcobalamin she was not able to sleep again. It means that in her case it was mainly B12 deficiency that was responsible for her insomnia. It is, therefore, to make sure you have proper levels of this vitamin especially when you are over 50, or on vegan/vegetarian diet. Read an excellent article on B12 >
– Calcium citrate powder (avoid calcium carbonate) – 400mg with breakfast.
– Inositol – 100mg daily (in B complex).
– A good quality multivitamin-mineral formula, high in B-complex vitamins, and containing also zinc: 1-2 tablets after breakfast. Please do not buy cheap formulas as their potency is very low and they contain an only a short list of inorganic ingredients. Take no more than 1 or 2 tablets, preferably with meals. If your diet is very healthy and you stay away from refined foods, sugar and stimulants then take only 1 after breakfast.
– Chlorella tablets (500mg) – 5-7 tablets 30 minutes before breakfast starting with 3 tablets and increasing by 1 every weak until 7 tablets.
– 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed (lean seed) and 2 tablespoons of soaked for 30 minutes in water, juice or plant-based milk chia seeds with breakfast.
– Valerian root: 300 – 600 mg 30 – 120 minutes before bed for a week or so. For another week drink Three Tulsi tea (Pukka) or Lemon balm tea, and after 7 days come back to Valerian.
– Apply a cold compress on your forehead for about 30 minutes before trying to fall asleep. A cold shower right before you go to bed will help slightly lower your body temperature. Our bodies have natural heat cycles that peak during the day and dip at night. This allows us to alternate between restfulness and sleep, which would also explain why it’s easier to fall asleep when the temperature in the room is nice and cool.
– Make sure your blood sugar level is normal. In case it is low treat hypoglycaemia according to the information included.
– If above-mentioned principles and remedies fail to solve the problem try GARLIC & LEMON SIBERIAN MIXTURE FOR INSOMNIA >. If even this one won’t work try Hallelujah Diet for at least 3 months.
– Mix equal amounts of the following POWDERS: L-taurine, GABA, L-arginine (enables GABA to pass the blood-brain barrier but l-arginine not recommended for some people before bed as it may impose a stimulating effect), 5-HTP (Tryptophan) (melatonin precursor) and half the amount of L-theanine. Take 1 teaspoon (4-6 grams) 2-3 times daily with meals.
– How and Why to Use L-Arginine for Insomnia > The animal study in 2002 found that by giving rats both GABA and L-Arginine, the amount of GABA in the brain increased by four times more than just GABA alone. The researchers suggested that the L-Arginine increases nitric oxide levels in the brain. And that makes the barrier more open to GABA (>).
– GABA, Sleep And Anxiety: Can GABA Supplements Help? >
– Phenibut (>) is an interesting supplement made by modifying GABA with a phenyl group (beta-phenyl-GABA). It seems to be very effective in treating insomnia and inducing relaxing effect but should be used according to strictly regulated dosage principle as otherwise it can be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms. In the US it’s classified as a supplement while in UK it doesn’t seem to be available anymore as a supplement due to the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act, although it is not clear, because on the same basis also stimulants such as caffeine or alcohol should be prohibited (>). The explanation is probably found in the fact that Phenibut seems to be more effective, and wisely used, produces much less side effects than antidepressant and antianxiety drugs.
DETAILED RECOVERY PLAN
The most common causes of sleeping problems include emotional stress, bad diet leading to nutritional deficiencies, stimulants (drugs, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine), a sedentary lifestyle, low levels of melatonin and serotonin, or stress associated with continuous noise. Apart from that, insomnia may be a consequence of underlying medical problems such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder, excessive worrying specifically focused on not being able to sleep, musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal and urinary problems, neurological problems, respiratory problems, shift work sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnoea, immunological problems, cancer, medication, imbalance of sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone).
Also, the following medications may cause insomnia: Bronchodilators, Anti-Parkinson drugs, Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celebrax, Zebata, Provachol. Norvasc, Caffeine, Excessive alcohol use, tobacco, caffeine, amphetamines, thyroid hormones, certain weight loss drugs, Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), nasal decongestants, diuretics – due to the night urination, some high-potency vitamins (vitamin C, etc.) especially after 6 pm.
People with trouble sleeping should have their hormone levels tested.
It has also been discovered that women are about 30 percent more likely to be insomniacs than men and the prevalence of problems with sleep increases as people age.
Insomnia can be and should be treated without drugs. Although initially sleeping pills often help to reduce the symptoms of insomnia but ultimately they tend to exacerbate the problem by stimulating the body to produce adrenaline. The sudden presence of adrenaline in the bloodstream wakes up the poor sleeper. The nervous feelings of adrenaline sometimes translate into a nightmare. In addition, although sleeping pills may help you to fall asleep they also lead to a lack of the most important REM sleep which will make you feel generally worse. Some of the sleeping peels may be highly addictive and may even cause the very symptoms that are meant to treat. When you have been taking sleeping pills of any kind to withdraw from these under the supervision of your doctor by gradually reducing the dosage.
GARLIC AND LEMON SIBERIAN MIXTURE FOR INSOMNIA
I was given this recipe from my Polish colleague who spent some time in Siberia. She said that it is a very effective remedy against insomnia and other sleeping problems. Apart from that, it also lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, regulates blood sugar levels and blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and kills bacteria, viruses, fungi, candida, or cancer cells. She said that as a result of using this remedy insomnia or other sleeping problems are usually gone in approximately 10 -12 days. Well, in case other natural methods fail I suggest you should try it and let me know whether she was right.
In order to make this mixture, you need two ingredients: fresh juice from 24 lemons and 400 grams of squeezed fresh raw garlic. Place both ingredients in a glass jar and mix them together. Cover the opening of the jar with a clean cloth and live it in a dark cool place for 14 days until the content ferments. After two weeks strain the fermented mixture pouring the liquid into smaller glass jars. Close them with lids and keep the jars in the fridge. Always shake before use and for insomnia take one teaspoon with a half glass of warm water about one hour before going to sleep. You should start experiencing a positive result after 10-12 days. After one month of using the mixture take a 7 days break and after that you can start using it again. After using it for 3 months you will need a whole month break. In this way, it shouldn’t lose its effectiveness.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is often one of the key causes of insomnia. Recently certain middle-aged Indian lady visited our shop and asked me how to treat her sleeping problems and chronic fatigue. I recommended her sublingual Methylcobalamin (Solgar), B complex, Magnesium, herbs and some lifestyle changes. After 2 months she came back to buy Methylcobalamin again and told me she sleeps well now but whenever she stops taking methylcobalamin she can’t sleep again even if she takes B complex and all other remedies!
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is reported to help insomniacs who have problems falling asleep. The research indicated that as a result of taking B12 supplementation total length of sleep decreases while restorativeness of sleep increases. It is also important to know that many people who are B12 deficient never get into a deep sleep, although they may have enough of shallow, non-restorative sleep.
Methylcobalamin B12 performs an important role in the synthesis of melatonin. It seems that methylcobalamin can even regulate the release of melatonin. Due to this, people use supplemental methylcobalamin to improve their quality of sleep.
But although deficiency of B12 can cause difficulties with falling asleep and therefore supplementation helps to cope with it yet the same B12 can also cause some problems with sleeping as it increases alertness and energy. For this reason, take B12 only in the morning and try to not overdose it. Also, any B vitamin, Chlorella, Ginseng, Acetyl L-carnitine, Fumarate or DHEA and many other energy boosting supplements and herbs should be taken only in the morning as they all are known to increase energy and mental alertness.
Ashwagandha reduces anxiety, depression & sleep problems; Promotes a feeling of calmness and relaxation by enhancing GABA signalling and serotonin levels in the brain. Ashwagandha’s Latin name “somnifera” can be translated as “sleep-inducing”.
The anti-anxiety effect of Ashwagandha may be also due to the ability of Withanolides to mimic the activity of the calming neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which reduces overactivity in neurons, acting as a nerve tonic and helping relax, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and promote good sleep. (>)
In the 12-week 2009 study, a standard multi-vitamin and 300 milligrams of Ashwagandha twice daily decreased anxiety levels by 55 percent without side effects or adverse reaction. Significant improvements in vitality, energy levels and overall quality of life were also noticed (>).
In a 2000 experimental study involving rats, Ashwagandha proved to have antidepressant properties. It was concluded that it can be used as a mood stabilizer in clinical conditions of depression (>).
In a study involving 64 people suffering from chronic stress found that supplementing Ashwagandha for two months decreased stress by 44% and significantly improved mood.
According to a 60-day trial stressed adults who took 600mg of Ashwagandha extract every day reported a 79% reduction in severe depression (>).
COLD COMPRESS ON FOREHEAD
Placing a cold compress on your forehead for about 30 minutes before going to sleep can be very effective in fighting insomnia. In a study presented at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s SLEEP 2011 conference, researchers fit insomniacs with caps that use circulating water to cool the prefrontal cortex. The cap helped the insomniacs fall asleep about as fast—and stayed asleep about as long—as adults without insomnia. In adults with normal sleeping patterns, the metabolism of the prefrontal cortex decreases as they fall asleep. In insomniacs, however, it increases—corresponding with the incessant worrying or brain chatter that many insomniacs report experiencing. Using the cap to perform a cooling process on the brain called cerebral hypothermia, the researchers were able to reduce the brain’s activity and lull the subject to sleep. The cooling cap, which had a 75 percent success rate, may soon offer patients a safe, comfortable, nonpharmaceutical way to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Participants reported that wearing the cap was a “soothing, massage-like experience”. “Imagine your grandmother putting a cold washcloth on your forehead.” Scientists hope that the cap may also prove useful to patients with anxiety and mood disorders, which also involve the prefrontal cortex. Maybe this is why most people like to turn the pillow over and lay on the cool side.
In order to fight insomnia make sure that every day you take 5-7 500mg tablets of chlorella 30 minutes before breakfast, at least 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed (lean seed) and 2 tablespoons of soaked for 30 minutes in water, juice or plant-based milk chia seeds with your breakfast. All three are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are very helpful in treating depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Make sure you include chlorella because ALA type of omega-3 from flax and chia is not always effectively converted into EPA and DHA omega-3 found in fish oil due to the fact that half of us do not have a special enzyme which is required for the conversion. Chlorella, however, does not need conversion as it is high in the same EPA and DHA omega-3 found in fish but unlike fish, it is free from toxins such as mercury, lead, dioxin, etc.
Apart from that, chlorella, chia and flax seeds are high in amino acid tryptophan required in our body to make serotonin and melatonin, which are most important to prevent and treat insomnia. Please note that ground flaxseed is a better choice than flaxseed oil because although oil it is higher in omega-3 yet it does not have tryptophan. Grind (in a coffee grinder or a blender) only a small amount of flax seeds at a time and keep it in a closed jar in a fridge to prevent oxidation.
MELATONIN & SEROTONIN
The major cause of insomnia is the failure of the body to produce sufficient amounts of the neurotransmitter melatonin. This chemical induces us to sleep in conditions of total darkness. Thus an appropriate darkroom is one necessary condition. The bedroom should never be used for reading or watching television. When you happen to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, try to do so in the dark. Don’t switch on the light as this will switch off melatonin production. Melatonin production also decreases with age.
In order to get rid of sleeping problems, you need especially melatonin and also serotonin. Melatonin, a hormone made in the pineal gland, is highly correlated with the body’s sleep-wake cycle. In humans, elevated melatonin levels coincide with the body’s normal time for sleeping. Low melatonin levels have been linked to insomnia. Melatonin is produced from serotonin – our feel-good hormone – which in turn is derived from tryptophan – an amino acid found in food. Thus biochemical pathway is Tryptophan —> Serotonin —> Melatonin.
However, keep in mind that melatonin is not always an effective solution for those with severe chronic insomnia as there are many different causes of the problem and melatonin deficiency is not always one of them.
Melatonin supplements (made in the lab or from cow urine) does not give the same results as the body’s own melatonin. Although melatonin supplements initially may improve sleep quality yet as a sleep inducer it has been disappointing. Some studies even discovered that synthetic melatonin can even trigger many side effects including dizziness or headaches. In addition, taking melatonin pills may cause your body to stop producing it on its own hormone. So it is much better to provide your body with everything it needs to make melatonin (B vitamins, tryptophan, zinc, magnesium, increase serotonin, etc.) and consume foods that may contain some natural melatonin or boost body’s melatonin. According to researchers most effective were pineapples and bananas. Other fruits help as well but they are not as efficient as pineapples and bananas.
Also, natural melatonin found in red tart Montmorency cherries (Prunus cerasus) proved the ability to increase the quality of sleep and efficiency. Drinking tart cherry juice for one week increased melatonin, increased night sleep by over 30 minutes, shortened the time of falling to sleep and increased sleep efficiency.
Other foods that naturally increase melatonin levels include oats, sweet corn, unrefined rice, ginger, tomatoes, and mangosteen.
You will gain the best results if you exercise vigorously every day (only in the morning and afternoon, not in the evening) as it is one of the best ways to stimulate serotonin and melatonin production. Make your exercise vigorous enough to make you sweat a little. Previous studies have shown that non-aerobic stretching and concentration exercises alone such as yoga were much less effective in fighting with insomnia than vigorous aerobic exercise. Apart from that, participants of those studies usually did not report improved sleep until they had been exercising regularly for some time.
In addition, increase your melatonin by exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and make sure you sleep in absolute complete darkness at night. Even the tiniest bit of light from your clock radio in the room can disrupt your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin.
Consume food’s which are high in amino acid tryptophan out of which melatonin and serotonin are produced. That is the best way to treat insomnia! In order to produce serotonin from tryptophan, you also need plenty of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Folic acid, Magnesium and vitamin D (from sunlight or supplements), Zinc, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B12, and Calcium. These are essential coenzymes necessary in the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin. Without them, your body cannot produce serotonin! And if it is unable to manufacture serotonin, it cannot make melatonin too. Apart from that, also melatonin production is directly dependent on vitamin B6 and magnesium but be careful and test how your body reacts to B6 as in some people it may cause insomnia.
In order to have enough melatonin, you will also need to provide your body with complex carbohydrates (fresh and dried fruits, bananas, whole grains, etc.) as a healthy and sustainable source of biological energy called ATP which is necessary to energise the biochemical conversion of tryptophan into serotonin. On the other hand, regular consumption of refined foods (products high in refined sugar, refined grains, white flour products, etc.) which contain quick energy deprives our body of the source of sustainable energy thus leading to serotonin and melatonin deficiency and eventually causing insomnia. This also explains why hypoglycemia (low sugar level caused by regular consumption of sugary and refined foods) is one of the most common causes of insomnia. In addition, complex carbohydrates (especially dried fruits and bananas) help tryptophan to get into the brain before other amino acids pass the blood-brain barrier thus improving serotonin and melatonin production.
What has worked for some people, almost always, was taking a combination of different precursors of melatonin and nutrients necessary for the production of the hormone. Using melatonin supplements has sometimes given negative results including nightmares, but taking the combination of L-tryptophan (or 5HTP) together with magnesium threonate or citrate, vitamin B3 (niacinamide, niacin), folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin), calcium citrate, vitamin D3, and zinc has produced excellent results by stimulating pineal gland to make melatonin on its own.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in cellular communication and regulation of circadian rhythms. Magnesium supplementation combined with melatonin and zinc has been shown to improve sleep. Another trial found that magnesium supplementation helped relieve insomnia related to restless legs. A form of magnesium known as magnesium threonate may be beneficial for sleep since it has been shown to penetrate the blood-brain barrier more efficiently than other forms of magnesium.
Researchers found that women with the highest levels of zinc in their bodies slept for longer periods of time than women with the lowest levels. Among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, zinc (in combination with magnesium and omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids) helped relieve problems falling asleep.
Also, SAM-e (S-Adenosylmethionine) is now a very well recognized antidepressant nutritional supplement. However, it can help produce serotonin only if we have sufficient amounts of tryptophan, vitamin B6 and magnesium. The same applies to St John’s wort failure to induce relaxation if the real cause of insomnia is a tryptophan deficiency or B6 deficiency.
The body can produce its own SAM-e but it can do it in the presence of vitamin B12 and Folic Acid, plus a molecule of biological energy (ATP) the end product of glucose metabolism (from complex carbohydrates), and without that energy, the body cannot manufacture the neurotransmitters necessary in sleep.
It is said that many biochemical reactions need vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), but this vitamin, which is obtained from food, needs to be converted to a biologically active form (pyridoxine-5-phosphate or P5P) before it can be used in biochemical reactions. The enzyme converting vitamin B6 to P5P is via a zinc-dependent enzyme (pyridoxine kinase). Thus when the body is deficient in zinc it cannot utilize vitamin B6. Therefore, zinc deficiency may also cause depression and insomnia. And again it has to be emphasised that all these chemical reactions are dependent on sufficient amounts of biological energy (ATP) (preferably from complex carbohydrates). Thus people with hypoglycemia – which may be seen as a disease of energy production – are not likely to have sufficient ATP or SAM-e to carry out the necessary biochemical reactions to produce serotonin and melatonin.
Another very important factor which may help to get rid of insomnia is Methylcobalamin which is the body’s active form of vitamin B12. Methylcobalamin has been shown to help some people suffering from what is referred to as sleep-wake disorder. This disorder is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, restless nights, and frequent night-time awakenings. It is very common in shift workers and the elderly. In people with sleep-wake disorders, taking methylcobalamin (3 mg daily) has often led to improved sleep quality, increased day time alertness and concentration, and improved mood. Much of the benefit appears to be a result of methylcobalamin influencing melatonin secretion. Low levels of melatonin in the elderly may be a result of low vitamin B12 status – one of the most common nutrient deficiencies, especially in the elderly.
I have found having people take 3 mg total of B12 Methylcobalamin the first thing upon arising is very important in helping people with a history of insomnia.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is converted in the brain to serotonin – an important initiator of sleep. 5-HTP has also been reported, in numerous double-blind clinical studies, to decrease the time required to get to sleep and to decrease the number of awakenings. The sedative effects of 5-HTP can be enhanced by taking it near bedtime with a carbohydrate source such as fruit. The recommended dosage of 5HTP is 50 to 100 mg.
According to Dr Neil Nedley, the following foods are naturally rich in melatonin: barley, banana, tomatoes, brown rice, and oats. And also foods which are high in tryptophan needed for the production of melatonin are very important: Cooked soya beans and Tofu (soya cheese) are the best sources. The next best source is ground sesame seeds as it has the best ratio between tryptophan and other amino acids with which tryptophan has to compete. Also all beans including especially black-eyed cowpeas, as well as nuts and seeds such as especially black walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds are good sources of tryptophan.
Vitamin B6 is also needed to make tryptophan from serotonin. Vitamin B6 is found in lima beans lentils, English walnuts, bananas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, artichokes, and bell pepper.
Low protein diet, typical of hypoglycemics, causes a tryptophan deficiency. Without sufficient tryptophan, we cannot produce serotonin. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin – natural sleeping agent – in the presence of vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). Thus a B6 deficiency can cause us to have sleepless nights.
Niacin (B3) is needed for the synthesis of serotonin a neurotransmitter that induces sleep and helps prevents you from waking. Apart from that, vitamin B3 deficiency can cause insomnia, mood swings, bedwetting in children, crying spells, anxiety, depression and affect the eye-sight. Tryptophan is also the forerunner of vitamin B3 (niacin), which is so vital that the body considers its production to be more important than that of serotonin. If the body has a deficiency of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), all the available tryptophan in the body may be used up in the conversion of tryptophan into niacin, leaving little for conversion to serotonin and melatonin. When there is a niacin deficiency tryptophan is converted to vitamin B3 at the ratio of 60 to 1, which may create a tryptophan deficiency despite adequate amounts in food! The supplement of niacin (not more than 500mg a day) alone has miraculously cured depression and insomnia in some people. In order to have a more restful sleep make sure your diet is high in tryptophan, raw vegetables, vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins, especially vitamin B6. In addition, you can take the above-mentioned vitamins and tryptophan in the form of supplements and a table-spoon of glycerine a day. Taking vitamin B3 may liberate the available tryptophan in the body for the production of serotonin.
Calcium is also needed for melatonin production. Please use only organic calcium found in unrefined plant foods such as green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, etc. or organic calcium supplements such as calcium citrate but avoid inorganic calcium in the form of calcium carbonate supplements, hard water or eggshell as they lead to arteriosclerosis, kidney stones or osteoarthritis.
Avoid overeating as generally lower food intake helps maintain melatonin production.
Factors that reduce melatonin levels include stress, caffeine (including coffee, black tea, green tea, chocolate, cola drinks, mate and yerba mate teas, etc.), alcohol, or tobacco.
Phenibut (>) is an extremally interesting supplement made by modifying GABA with a phenyl group (beta-phenyl-GABA). It seems to be very effective in treating insomnia and inducing relaxing effect but should be used according to strictly regulated dosage principle as otherwise it can be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms. In the US it’s classified as a supplement while in UK it doesn’t seem to be available anymore as a supplement due to the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act, although it is not clear, because on the same basis also stimulants such as caffeine or alcohol should be prohibited (>). The explanation is probably found in the fact that Phenibut seems to be more effective, and wisely used, produces much less side effects than antidepressant and antianxiety drugs.
“Phenibut is a recreational nootropic and not something you can take every day. So if you were hoping that you can take Phenibut and never have to worry about insomnia again you are mistaken. Instead, it’s best to take Phenibut no more than twice per week and only once per week once you are starting out. But while I mention that Phenibut can be used for sleep, I wouldn’t recommend you use it strictly for that purpose. The reasons being it takes 5-7 hours for it to get into full effect, and it’s not something you can take every day. The best practice is to take Phenibut on a day when you are dog tired and don’t really need to get up in the morning. If you had a long work week and you just want to crash and get as much sleep as you can so you can have a full weekend of relaxation, take Phenibut on Friday as soon as you get off work. Make sure to take 2 gram dosage (or 1 gram if you are a beginner), because there is really no need to break up the dosage if you not planning on staying awake. Once you do hit the pillow, you are out and might get an entire 12-14 hours of sleep! This happened to me a couple of times, and I’m kind of glad that did. You see, we often don’t realize how tired we really are and how deep of a sleep debt we are in. If you are taking Phenibut to temporarily cure insomnia (which it can), don’t be surprised if you also end up paying off your sleep debt too (which you will). Phenibut is just a tool and is not something that you should solely rely on. Can it help you fall asleep on the occasional day you use it? Absolutely. Can you take it every day and cure insomnia permanently? No! So for the insomniac that needs help on those other five days, take into recommendations recommendations included here”. (source >)
Avoid foods are high in amino acid tyramine which increases the release of norepinephrine, a brain stimulant. Here there are foods high in tyramine that can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep:
Generally, the more meat contained in the diet the more the Pituitary-Thyroid-Adrenal axis will be stimulated. Salami, bacon, sausages, and smoked and preserved meats contain high levels of the amino acid tyramine, which triggers the brain to release norepinephrine, a brain stimulant that makes us feel alert and wired.
Any food that’s fermented or aged is likely to be high in tyramine.
Cheese is also high in tyramine, which is a breakdown product of the amino acid tyrosine.
Avoid caffeine. At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (for example, diet pills).
Also, avoid chocolate and cocoa, even the little chocolate chunks in chocolate chip ice cream could prevent you from good night sleep. Apart from tyramine and caffeine chocolate also contains tyrosine, the stimulating culprit in cheese and meat.
Red Bull and other energy drinks are high in caffeine as well as the amino acid taurine, which boosts alertness and adrenaline. Recent studies have shown that even if you drink energy drinks early in the day, the combined high dosage of taurine and caffeine can make it hard to sleep or to sleep well, later on.
If you feel tired or sleepy in the morning take 5-7 tablets (500mg) of chlorella which boosts energy more effectively than stimulants and does it without harmful side effects.
Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short-lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing. Wine, beer, and any alcohol that’s fermented are high in the stimulant tyramine as well. A drink or two may make you feel more relaxed after dinner, but it comes back to haunt you — literally — a few hours later, by preventing you from achieving deep sleep. A central nervous system depressant, alcohol disrupts sleep patterns. So you sleep more deeply for the first few hours of the night, but after that, your sleep is lighter and more fragmented, with frequent waking. Also, alcohol’s a diuretic, so it both dehydrates you and makes you have to pee. Hence the dry mouth, headache, and frequent bathroom trips you might have noticed after a night’s indulgence. Because alcohol is a muscle relaxant, it relaxes the muscles of the throat, so if you snore or have sleep apnea, these will become much worse after drinking.
Tomato sauce, chilli, pizza, and spicy foods. Digestive disturbances are a common source of sleep problems, but many people fail to make the connection. Acidic and spicy foods can cause reflux, heartburn, and other symptoms that interrupt sleep. What most people don’t realize, though, is that you don’t have to actually experience heartburn symptoms to have your sleep disturbed. The simple act of lying down after eating acidic food is enough, and you may not realize your stomach’s working overtime as you fall into a sleep that’s lighter and more fitful than usual.
Lose weight if you need to because being overweight increases the risk of sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea may awaken often and find it very hard to get a good night’s sleep.
Avoid foods that you may be sensitive to especially dairy and wheat products (gluten), as they may have an effect on sleep, such as causing apnea, excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset or gas.
Have your adrenals checked. If you can’t sleep it may be caused by adrenal stress. Stress can produce stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol that can interfere with the synthesis of serotonin. When we are dealing with chronic insomnia it is more likely that these stress hormones are produced internally due to a metabolic disorder.
Investigators monitored the sleep of 11 patients with insomnia and 13 people without sleep disturbances (the “control” group). Blood was collected every 30 minutes for 24 hours, and levels of stress hormones – adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol were monitored. Average levels of both hormones were significantly higher in the insomniacs than in the control group. They found that the insomniacs with the highest degree of sleep disturbance secreted the highest amount of cortisol, particularly in the evening and night-time hours,” This means that insomniacs are experiencing hormonal changes in their bodies, which prevents them from sleeping.
An effective cardiovascular aerobic exercise program where one is raising their heart rate to 75% of their maximum for 45 minutes five times a week, to be an effective solution to many of the adrenal stresses that contribute to insomnia.
If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked as the hormonal changes at this time may cause problems if not properly addressed.
You should go to bed, and wake up, at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This helps your body get into sleep mode and makes it easier to get up in the morning.
Do not use your bedroom as an office.
If possible try to reduce stress associated with continuous noise at work. With chronic insomnia, lasting for months or even years, it might be the key cause of the sleeping disorder.
Make sure you are well hydrated all the time. During the day you should drink 3 times 2-3 glasses of water but don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. Go to the bathroom right before bed.
Magnesium helps relieve tiredness and improve sleep quality. It is found in green vegetables, avocado, bananas, seeds, and nuts.
Complex carbohydrates and a high-fibre diet help maintain steadier glucose levels, important to avoid blood glucose levels dropping too much during the night. If it does our brain gets the message that it is time to eat.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes every day can help you fall asleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or you will find that you can’t sleep. The brain compensates for physical activity by shortening the lighter stages of sleep and prolonging deep sleep. You sleep much more soundly and deeply after exercising.
Make your evening meal the smallest of the day.
In the evening, avoid foods that trigger the secretion of brain-stimulating hormones. The most common are ham, bacon, sausage, cheese, chocolate, and wine.
A warm bath decreases the time taken to fall asleep and prolongs the duration of deep sleep. Do not have this bath within one hour of bedtime as it raises body temperature and you may find you can’t sleep until your temperature drops somewhat.
Listen to calming music before bedtime.
Stay away from anxiety-provoking activities or thoughts near bedtime.
No watching TV. You may find your brain is stimulated to the point you can’t sleep.
Do breathing or muscle-relaxing exercises.
Have your room cool, ideally 16-18 degrees C (60-65 F)
Don’t count sheep, counting is stimulating.
Avoid bedtime snacks. Grains and sugars especially raise blood sugar and inhibit sleep.
If your bedroom is especially cold, wear socks to bed. Your feet have the poorest circulation and if they feel cold you may find you can’t sleep until you are warm again.
Read something relaxing. Stimulating material may keep you awake.
Avoid loud alarm clocks as this is a stressful way to wake up.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin. Stay away from electrical devices especially electric blankets.
Keep a notepad by your bed so if you think of something that you really want to remember the next day you can jot it down rather than lying awake thinking about it and hoping you will remember. Some people use a small voice recorder if it won’t disturb anyone else.
If you can’t sleep after 30 minutes, get up and do something relaxing.
If you have bad dreams or nightmares think of something else to distract the mind.
Avoid taking vitamin supplements (especially vitamin C and B6) and natural energy boosters such as chlorella, ginseng, rooibos, etc. after six pm as they may contribute to sleeping problems.
Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD. Read something spiritual or uplifting. This may help you relax. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect.
Avoid gluten and foods you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, and other problems.
Have your thyroid and adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician. Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.
If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, use natural remedies to regulate the hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed.
Valerian root: 300 – 600 mg, 30 – 120 minutes before bed. Valerian root interacts with the GABA system in the brain, thus helping reduce brain activity and allowing users to fall asleep more easily. Valerian also improves the quality of sleep by increasing the percentage of time spent in slow-wave sleep which is considered the most refreshing sleep. 600 mg of valerian during 6 weeks of treatment showed comparable efficacy to 10 mg of oxazepam. Valerian reported none of the mood-altering or negative cognitive effects demonstrated by diazepam. The typical dose of valerian is about 300 to 600 mg, 30 to 120 minutes before going to bed. It may take up to two weeks of daily usage for the full sedative effect of valerian to manifest.
Several double-blind clinical studies have substantiated valerian’s ability to improve sleep quality and relieve insomnia. In fact, it has shown effectiveness equal to benzodiazepines. The advantage of valerian is that it does not cause daytime sleepiness, diminished concentration or impairment of physical performance. The dosage for the standardized valerian extract is 250-500 mg 45 minutes before bedtime starting with a lower dose such as 100mg.
Valerian would work better as a tincture, tea, or standardised capsules or tablets but not as a dry root powder. It may also lose its effectiveness when used for a long time. For this reason, every time you use valerian for a month take a week break and start again for another month. Also, keep in mind that in some people (small percentage) valerian would not provide sedative effects.
Valerian also improves the quality of sleep in women with menopause who are experiencing insomnia. Findings from this study add support to the reported effectiveness of valerian in the clinical management of insomnia.
One study showed that 600 mg of lemon balm improved mood and significantly increased self-ratings of calmness. A study found that a combination of valerian and lemon balm was able to treat sleeping disorders in children. About 81% of them experienced an improvement in their symptoms after taking the study preparation.
Studies have found that lavender oil improves sleep quality and reduces feelings of drowsiness after awakening.
Rhodiola is a known adaptogen—a plant-based compound that improves resistance to stress. It increases longevity and a healthy life span. It favourably modulates the stress response, restores vital organ function, and boost immunity. It also combats ageing cognitive function, minimizing depression, and anxiety. Rhodiola enhances muscle performance, increases endurance, prevents muscle damage, and improves blood circulation. A Chinese study in 2009 revealed protective effects of Rhodiola on stress-induced cortisol levels in otherwise healthy individuals. Subjects who received Rhodiola experienced no change in their cortisol levels, while levels rose sharply among placebo recipients when both groups were exposed to chronic stress in the form of endurance exercise. Rhodiola also increased the efficiency with which subjects used oxygen, potentially reducing additional stress from oxygen radicals. Advanced laboratory studies have now demonstrated that Rhodiola achieves its cortisol-lowering, stress-fighting effects through directly interacting with the brain-adrenal gland system to reduce cortisol production while enhancing stress-resistance proteins resulting in enhanced mental and physical performance and even longevity. Multiple studies have demonstrated the complete lack of side effects from Rhodiola supplementation.
Using CHLORELLA and implementing a detoxification program you can help your body naturally remove the unwanted and harmful heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides. And lessening your toxic burden has been shown to improve many common health ailments, from lack of energy and insomnia to sluggish digestion, lack of immune response and mental fatigue. Chlorella is also alkaline and it will help in restoring the body’s natural pH balance. It is also very important as insomnia can be a sign of being too acidic. Avoid strongly acidic foods: meat, fish, eggs, hard cheese, dairy products, drugs, soft drinks, white bread, alcohol, caffeinated drinks such as coffee, sugar, sweeteners, table salt. Consume more alkaline products such as fresh vegetables and fruits.
Also, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is involved in ridding the body of toxins. Hence any drug-taking or the presence of toxins will use up all our vitamin B6 so that we have none left to convert tryptophan into serotonin. Thus detoxification of the body with chlorella and unrefined plant diet (high in raw vegetables) would help to recover from insomnia.
FIBRE & SLEEP
Researchers from the Columbia University’s medical centre discovered that a low-fibre diet and consumption of refined foods (white flour products, white rice, etc.), products high in sugar and saturated fat can prevent us from having a good night’s sleep. They suggest that as a result of being on a refind and low-fibre diet we may wake up still tired because our sleep can’t be restorative. The same study also discovered that even one single day of eating too little fibre and too much-saturated fat can disturb the night’s sleep. On the other hand, being on a healthy unrefined plant-based (high in fibre) diet also helps to fall asleep faster. According to the results of the study participants on the high-fibre diet fell asleep within 17 minutes, whereas those eating refined and high-fat diet fell asleep in 29 minutes.
“I have been sleeping fine lately until I started a multivitamin, mainly B vitamins. I have been taking them for one week and have not slept for two days and still don’t really feel tired. I have been reading research that suggests taking vitamin B6 has been linked with chronic insomnia in some people.”
“Sometimes taking vitamins after 6 pm, may interfere with sleeping. We are all different biochemically. You have to experiment with yourself what is best for you to take. Sometimes it may help to take GLYCERINE.”
“I have to take my B Vitamins with breakfast or lunch. Any later in the day, and it disrupts sleep.”
“I always pray and the next thing I know, the alarm is going off. It’s like talking to a friend, letting Him know about your day, your worries, etc. I never even finish my prayers most of the time, but like the Bible says, He knows what we need even before we ask.”
“I listen to audiobooks. They take my mind off whatever is bothering me by giving me something else to focus on. I have tried to sleep without them and simply can’t do so anymore!”
“If you have hypoglycemia (like I do), low sugars at bedtime can cause insomnia. Low sugar during the night can cause restlessness and frequent waking. Low sugars overnight can cause you to wake feeling very tired, a little nauseous, and with a headache.”
“I think I’m credible for giving advice on improving sleep….. I saw a shrink for 12 months just so I could master going to sleep! I was doing everything wrong! Now I sleep every night at least 7 hours during the week and 9 hours on the weekends. Below is a list of things I had to stop doing just so I could finally start sleeping. It took several years to stop all of these rituals/habits:
Avoid taking naps in the afternoon.
Avoid taking Sudafed for sinuses before bedtime because it makes you drowsy and actually raises all your vitals so you can’t sleep.
Don’t play computer/video games
Don’t talk on the phone too long at bedtime
Avoid working out too much late in the evening before going to bed.
Avoid eating too late before bedtime and eating too many carbs before bedtime.”
“I have hypoglycemia along with a slew of other ailments, but I am having good luck correcting my blood sugar doing a few things. First, I eat a mostly raw vegan diet (I still cook rice beans, potatoes, etc), eating at least 50-75 percent of my food as raw organic veggies depending on what I want to eat. I also try to run 3-5 miles every day or sometimes ever other, I feel as though that helps tremendously as well. Adding some good quality chlorella and spirulina might help you as well along with Zeolite powder and maybe even a practice called sun gazing, which is basically planting your feet beneath the dirt and watching the sunrise or sunset. Doing Andreas Moritz Liver Flush and kidney cleanse will help you very much as well. Aside from that, stop watching TV (that only feeds you negative emotions, lies, nonsense, and didn’t exist up until 60 years ago really. And, it wastes time you could be spending healing, picking up a new hobby, going for a walk, reading a book, etc.). Second, remove ALL processed food from your diet (this alone might help just as much as liver flushing and the things I mentioned earlier). The toxic spew of chemicals, disease, negative emotions that exist in all processed foods (chips, candy bars, baked goods, and fast food) is unimaginable until you educate yourself. Third, spend more time outside and meditating, spend more time getting out into nature, where we belong. Walk around the earth barefoot, sun gaze, meditate more.”
“Having my adrenals tested and taking a supplement called Phosphatidyliserine to flush the cortisol my adrenals were producing due to years of excessive stress. I always exercise daily, only in the morning. No caffeine. Protein DOES NOT work for me, my body needs to use a lot of energy to digest it and acts as a stimulant. A small light snack of carbohydrates (grains) before bed puts me into a nice slumber. Find out what foods agitate you. Things you want to cut out are acidic foods (sugar, caffeine, vinegar etc.).”
“I’ll share a regimen that has helped me relieve anxiety before bed:
At evening snack: 100-200mg of Phosphatidyliserine, 50-100mg of 5HTP, 10-20mg of Vitamin B-6.
20 minutes Before Going to Bed: 3 Capsules of Magnesium-L-Threonate, 1-2 grams of Inositol Powder, 500-1000mg of Taurine.”
“In winter 2008-2009 I finally made the connection with vitamin D deficiency after reading an article! Just a few weeks after I started 2000 IU D3 per day I started sleeping SO much better. This past winter was my healthiest ever. No sleep medications needed, only sunshine vitamin!”
“One of the things I learned from another poster on the site on how to avoid sleep apnea and snoring was exercising lip muscles for a few minutes per day because that is necessary to have strength in your lips to keep your mouth at night. I tried it and it worked like a charm. Just a few minutes before bed and my lips and mouth stay closed and no more snoring and I sleep better. Loved the suggestion.”
“MAGNESIUM is all you need! 250-500 mg. of elemental magnesium works to relax you. It does NOT make you sleepy or drowsy, but only ENABLES you to sleep. I go to sleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillow, get up 5 or 6 times to use the restroom, (diabetes) and always go immediately back to sleep!”
“Please be careful of WHEN you take your vitamin D. I’m not sure if there are any studies on this, but some friends and I have noticed that taking Vitamin D3 before bed keeps you awake at night. We now all take it in the morning.”
“My lack of sleep was caused by Celiac. It was Celiac, not the sleep problem that caused my other health issues. Vitamin A (help absorb oxygen into my lungs like a sponge), Zinc and bioidentical hormones (help thyroid medicine get into cells), removing heavy metals, Celiac diet (no dairy/ gluten/ sugar/ starch/ soy/ MSG/ NutraSweet), thyroid medicine the right dose and more, got me to sleep after 20 years of no sleep caused by my Celiac. My lack of sleep was caused by low oxygen in my brain cells. Gluten had destroyed my intestines so they didn’t absorb nutrients to build my cells and have them work right to burn oxygen. Depression/ anxiety/ MS/ no sleep/ obsessing/ panic attacks were due to low oxygen in my brain due to Celiac and heavy metals that I built up due to my liver not cleaning them out. I finally can sleep again…a miracle!”
“Swimming is one of the best exercises around but should be restricted to swimming in natural waterways, with the ocean salt water being the ideal. Swimming in chlorinated pools may be highly counterproductive.”
“I am menopausal at 53 yrs old. After years of trying to figure out how to sleep without waking up several times, I found 1000 mg of L-Tryptophan works. It’s a bit pricey and I found that all the brands I have tried all work. I have also tried the 5htp since I was told it would be more effective than L-Tryptophan. In my case, it was the opposite that held true. We all are so different, it’s really trial and error trying to find something that works.”
“Transdermal magnesium is an excellent idea, along with a normal magnesium supplement in capsules. 5-HTP actually is a derivative of l-tryptophan; but while the l-tryptophan can enhance the body’s ability to sleep, 5-HTP is well known to raise the cortisol level in the body, exactly the opposite of what we want to have happened at bedtime.” (Please note that that statement is not always true as there are people who can say something exactly opposite since in their case 5HTP worked better than L-tryptophan).
“After trying all things natural and pharma, I’ve found the following combo provides lovely, perfect sleep. Magnesium and L-Glutamine.”
“GABA is probably my favourite supplement for falling asleep. “GABA is a natural tranquillizer, with minimum side effects. It is better to take GABA at night, in an empty stomach.”
“I am interested in supplementing with Magnesium oil, that stuff raises quickly intracellular magnesium and DHEA!!! Some people say it helps a lot with sleep.”
“For most of my life, I’ve had insomnia–trouble falling asleep and also middle-of-the-night wake-ups with my heart racing, in a panic state, starving as if I haven’t eaten in 3 days. This is a typical hypoglycemic insomnia. I’ve been taking holy basil, ashwagandha to lower my cortisol throughout the day to lower my cortisol production in general, and drinking a protein shake an hour and a half before bed to help counteract night-time hypoglycemia. BTW – my thyroid levels are normal. I take 800mcgs of GTF chromium per day but stop taking it at 2 pm, so it won’t cause insomnia.”
“Insomnia and sleep problems are due to adrenals, thyroid mainly, sometimes you need methylation (and this is a huge topic on its own) but even they can be related with vitamin D or progesterone deficiency. I tested deficient in glutathione, GABA and melatonin. They work like a charm for sleep-onset insomnia.”
TESTIMONIES FROM THE FOLLOWERS OF THE HALLELUJAH DIET
Candy S.: “When I returned home from the Women’s Retreat at Hallelujah Acres, I began exercising. I started that Sunday with 2 minutes of healthy bounce rebounding. Today I worked out for 40 minutes and only quit because I had to get ready for work! I am so excited! It used to be when the feeling to exercise came upon me, I would lay down and wait for the feeling to pass. I have now completed nearly 4 weeks on the food part of the Hallelujah Diet and have more energy than I ever did before. This go-around on the program also seems to have eliminated my insomnia. I used to stay up till 1 A.M., wake up at 2:30, go back to sleep at 3, wake up at 4:30, go back to sleep at 5 and sleep until 7. I was always tired, felt truly sleep-deprived. Now I fall asleep at 10:30 P.M. and sleep till 6:30 A.M. What’s interesting to me is that I now have ongoing energy until I lay my head on my pillow! Awesome!”
Beth L.: “When I started on The Hallelujah Diet 18 months ago, I was on nine medications for various ailments. I am now off six of them and have been able to drastically reduce the other three. Two of those three I remained on were due to my inability to sleep. I have suffered from severe insomnia for over 20 years. Last night, for the first time in over 15 years and without any medication, I slept through the night. God bless Rev. Malkmus for getting the word out about The Hallelujah Diet.”
Brenda M.: “I had been unable to sleep for the past four years without a sleep aid. I had tried everything both natural and pharmaceutical. I had to sleep and sadly, only the prescription drugs worked. Anyone who can’t sleep knows the trap this becomes when only drugs allow you to sleep. Well recently, I decided to try upping the recommended servings of BarleyMax of two to three servings a day to six and eight servings a day and the “side effect” was that I could sleep and without needing any drugs. I am so glad to be able to stop the pharmaceuticals. Whatever it was that I was missing and that kept me from sleeping, BarleyMax gave me. What an unexpected and glorious surprise. Thank you Rev. Malkmus for sharing your story and leading this wonderful Hallelujah Acres Ministry. I am ever grateful.”
Angela and Jay T.: “God has been so good to us! It is so exciting to see folks that have been dealing with physical ailments, for sometimes long periods of time, make the simple lifestyle changes back to eating the way God originally designed and experiencing a degree of health they thought could never be possible for them! One of our greatest experiences has been the remarkable healing our own family has received since adopting the Hallelujah Diet. Jay has completely recovered from lifelong allergies to almost everything under the sun, plus dermatitis, chronic insomnia, he had experienced for 20 years, and he has lost 20 pounds. Angela has recovered from Osteoporosis, hormone imbalances, sinus infections, a cyst on her pancreas is gone, Celiac Disease and infertility.”
Waking up after a couple of hours of sleep is the most common complaint among hypoglycemics. When the brain is threatened with energy starvation (low blood sugar level) it will send a hormonal message to the adrenal glands to pour adrenaline into the system. Adrenaline is a hormone that converts glycogen – strings of glucose molecules stored in the body – back into glucose, so as to feed the brain again. But abnormal adrenaline secretion during the night can also cause insomnia and nightmares.
An unrefined plant diet (free from sugar, white flour products, and all refined foods) which slowly helps to treat hypoglycemia is the main remedy against insomnia. Indeed this is the first step in the treatment of insomnia. The hypoglycemic diet includes high plant protein foods, the avoidance of sugar, coffee, sugary drinks, white rice, white bread and cakes, plus high potency B-complex vitamins and Vitamin C, chromium, and zinc. If insomnia is caused by type I hypoglycemia (relative hypoglycemia when the blood sugar level suddenly drops) the best remedy is the taking of one tablespoon of glycerine mixed in fruit juice or water with a dash of lemon juice. Glycerine is not recognized by the pancreas as a sugar, so does not stimulate the over-production of insulin and consequently adrenaline. Many people can obtain a peaceful night with glycerine.
High sugar consumption is the key cause of hypoglycemia (blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL) which is another serious problem that greatly contributes to obesity and may trigger many unpleasant and sometimes dangerous symptoms. According to some specialists, hypoglycaemia is a rampant problem which leads to obesity because people with low blood sugar levels have a tendency to overeat.
High refined sugar intake and white flour products consumption often stimulates the pancreas to flood the body with insulin which leads to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level), and since glucose (blood sugar) is brain’s primary energy source its insufficient levels may trigger symptoms of fatigue, inability to concentrate, depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, anxiety, panic attacks, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, hot flashes, craving for sweets, chocolate or caffeine. The brain requires a constant adequate level of blood sugar to function properly. It is more dependent on blood sugar, or glucose than any other organ. Low glucose levels resulting from the severe dip after a high sugar intake tax the brain and cause the symptoms that plague sugar addicts.
When you eat too much sugar the level of glucose in your blood rise to abnormal heights. In an effort to return things to normal, your pancreas produces insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar levels. If you don’t regularly eat too much sugar – your pancreas can easily handle isolated overdoses of sugar. But if you consume foods high in sugar on a regular basis then every time your sugar level gets high your pancreas overreacts, flooding your body with insulin causing now the blood sugar level to be way too low. In response, because there is not enough sugar in the blood, the adrenal glands release anti-stress hormones that in turn release the sugar stored in the liver for emergencies. As a result, everything gets worn out – the pancreas, the adrenal glands, the liver and the brain. And your symptoms are fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, palpitations, headaches, butterflies in the stomach, and so on. Apart from that, hypoglycemia, causes the brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can trigger similar symptoms.
In order to recover from hypoglycemia and its symptoms, it is necessary to avoid all the products which contain refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates (including white flour products, refined pasta, white rice, etc.) and also all stimulants (caffeine, tea, chocolate, alcohol, etc.). Since scientific research proved that caffeine interferes with glucose metabolism you need to stay away from caffeine products to prevent low o blood sugar levels. If you still need a sweetener try to use more natural ones such as date sugar, blackstrap molasses, raw honey, or sometimes small doses of Xylitol and Stevia. Do not use any artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, because they make recovery from hypoglycemia much more difficult and are a major health hazard.
Apart from these dietary changes patience is required as positive results are sometimes seen only after long periods of time. All refined carbohydrates must be replaced with foods high in fibre (whole grains, raw vegetables and fruits, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes) as fibre in these foods causes sugar to be released in intestines slowly without stimulating the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin to lower blood sugar. Another very important cure in case of hypoglycemia is the regular exercise which is also very effective in regulating blood glucose levels.
The most important supplements to treat hypoglycaemia are chromium (100 mcg three times a day before meals) and high doses of vitamin C (10 grams or 10,000 milligrams per day). Vitamin C is the primary support for the adrenal gland and chromium is a trace mineral which prevents hypoglycemia by helping the body to use insulin properly, control blood sugar, and reduce sweet cravings. Chromium is also needed in the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which also prevents hypoglycemia. Good natural sources of chromium include wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, and broccoli, but in diabetes and hypoglycemia supplements in the form of chromium picolinate are necessary. Since also magnesium helps to maintain the blood sugar level try to include more magnesium-rich food in the diet such as green leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains and pulses. Good quality magnesium supplements such as magnesium citrate should be included too.
The following herbal remedies are very helpful in treating hypoglycemia: Pau d’Arco, nettle leaf powder, nettle tea, Starflower oil, Evening Primrose oil, Flaxseed oil (omega 3) are very helpful in normalising sugar in the blood. Liquorice Root is often regarded as the most beneficial herb for hypoglycemia, especially in children. It helps to balance blood sugar and reduce the craving for sweets. The standard recommendation is two capsules of the regular liquorice root (or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the liquid extract) two to three times a day with meals. Another supplement that helps is Spirulina which supplies amino acids (the building blocks of protein) which can stimulate the liver to produce more glucagon which is used by the brain when glucose in the blood is too low.
If the major cause of insomnia is the hypoglycemic syndrome, then this can easily be tested by a special medical Glucose Tolerance Test for Hypoglycemia (GTTH). Hypoglycemia or a suspected nutritional abnormality can also be tested by a paper-and-pencil test called the NBI.
REFERENCES & SOURCES
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Johns NP, Johns J, Porasuphatana S, Plaimee P, Sae-Teaw M. Dietary intake of melatonin from tropical fruit altered urinary excretion of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin in healthy volunteers. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Jan 30;61(4):913-9.
Realnatural News. Research Confirms Tart Cherries Help Sleep Quality and Duration. http://www.realnatural.org/research-confirms-tart-cherries-help-sleep-quality/
Adams C. NATURAL SLEEP SOLUTIONS FOR INSOMNIA: The Science of Sleep, Dreaming, and Nature’s Sleep Remedies. Logical Books, 2011.
Howatson G, Bell PG, Tallent J, Middleton B, McHugh MP, Ellis J. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Dec;51(8):909-16.
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