The most common kinds of sleep disorders are:
Insomnia — trouble falling asleep, staying asleep through the night, or waking up too early in the morning; episodes of insomnia may come and go or be long-lasting
Sleep apnea — breathing interruptions during sleep
Restless legs syndrome — a tingling or prickly sensation in the legs
Narcolepsy — daytime "sleep attacks"
Insomnia is trouble falling asleep, staying asleep through the night, or waking up too early in the morning. Episodes of insomnia may come and go or be long-lasting. The quality of your sleep is as important as how much sleep you get.
Sleep habits we learned as children may affect our sleep behaviors as adults.
Poor sleep or lifestyle habits that may cause insomnia or make it worse include:
Going to bed at different times each night
Poor sleeping environment, such as too much noise or light
Spending too much time in bed while awake
Working evenings or night shifts. Not getting enough exercise
Using the television, computer, or a mobile device in bed
The use of some medications and drugs may also affect sleep, including:
Alcohol or other drugs
Too much caffeine throughout the day or drinking caffeine late in the day
Getting used to certain types of sleep medicines
Some cold medicines and diet pills
Other over-the-counter or prescription medicines, herbs, or supplements
Physical, social, and mental health issues can affect sleep patterns, including:
Overactive thyroid gland.
Waking up at night to use the bathroom.
Feeling sad or depressed.(Often, insomnia is the symptom that causes people with depression to seek medical help.)
Physical pain or discomfort.
Stress and anxiety, whether it is short-term or long-term.
For some people, the stress caused by insomnia makes it even harder to fall asleep.
With age, sleep patterns tend to change. Many people find that aging causes them to have a harder time falling asleep, and that they wake up more often.
Up to an estimated 70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorders. Lack of sufficient sleep (insomnia) is associated to $100 billion dollars annually in societal costs and US$13 billion per annum in physician visits, prescriptions and procedures.
Clinical evidence shows insufficient sleep is associated with increased inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6, inflammatory immune response and increased cellular stress, and increased free-radical activity and damage (decreased antioxidant response).
The side effects of modern life (shift work, night-life, computers/tablets/tv) fatigue is becoming a national epidemic.
Overview of fatigue and insomnia:
Up to an estimated 70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorders
Lack of sufficient sleep (insomnia) is associated to $100 billion dollars annually in societal costs
US $13 billion per annum in physician visits, prescriptions and procedures
Patients with insomnia in particular have been found to be two and a half times more likely to report car crashes vs their well-rested counterparts
Drowsy driving is associated to 328,000 motor vehicle crashes annually, including 109,000 that result in injuries and 6,400 fatalities
One-third of soldiers get 5-hours or less of sleep per night resulting in:
Increased risk for musculoskeletal injuries
Greater susceptibility to illness
Development of anxiety, depression, and PTSD
The most common complaints or symptoms in people with insomnia are:
Trouble falling asleep on most nights
Feeling tired during the day or falling asleep during the day
Not feeling refreshed when you wake up
Waking up several times during sleep
People who have insomnia are sometimes consumed by the thought of getting enough sleep, but the more they try to sleep, the more frustrated and upset they get, and the harder sleep becomes. Lack of restful sleep can:
Make you tired and unfocused, so it is hard to do daily activities.
Put you at risk for auto accidents. If you are driving and feel sleepy, pull over and take a break.
Not getting 8 hours of sleep every night does not mean your health is at risk. Different people have different sleep needs. Some people do fine on 6 hours of sleep a night. Others only do well if they get 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night. Treatment often begins by reviewing any drugs or medical conditions that may be causing or worsen insomnia, such as:
Enlarged prostate gland, causing men to wake up at night
Pain or discomfort from arthritis or nerve disorders
You should also think about lifestyle and sleep habits that may affect your sleep. This is called sleep hygiene. Making some changes in your sleep habits may improve or solve your insomnia.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Like eating well and being physically active, getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your well-being. Here are tips to help you:
Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day—even on the weekends
Get ADJUSTED! But, it's true! In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly one-third of people who have undergone a chiropractic adjustment say they experience an immediate improvement in sleep.
Exercise is great but not too late in the day. Avoid exercising closer than 5 or 6 hours before bedtime.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine. The stimulating effects of caffeine in coffee, colas, teas, and chocolate can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully. Nicotine is also a stimulant.
Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. A “nightcap” might help you get to sleep, but alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the sedating effects have worn off.
Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A large meal can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids at night can cause you to awaken frequently to urinate.
Avoid salty food / snacks before bed. A new (2021) study in mice suggests that salty foods might directly affect sleep, rather than indirectly contribute to sleep problems by raising blood pressure. The findings, presented virtually at the Seventeenth International Conference on Endothelin, are from a study of how a high-salt diet affected physical activity as well as activity in a region of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which manages circadian rhythms, or the biological clock.
Healthy Diet May Improve Sleep Quality -A diet low in fiber and high in saturated fat and sugar is associated with lighter, less restorative sleep with more arousals, a 2016 study has found. "We found that sleep quality appears to be affected by what we eat, with fiber and saturated fat particularly important factors,” - Source: J Clin Sleep Med. 2016;12:19-24.
Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep, if possible. Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure, or asthma medications, as well as some over-the-counter and herbal remedies for coughs, colds, or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns.
Don’t take naps after 3 p.m. Naps can boost your brain power, but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. Also, keep naps to under an hour.
Relax before bed. Take time to unwind. A relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music, should be part of your bedtime ritual.
Take a hot bath before bed. The drop in body temperature after the bath may help you feel sleepy, and the bath can help relax you.
Have a good sleeping environment. Get rid of anything that might distract you from sleep, such as noises bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or a TV or computer in the bedroom. Also, keeping the temperature in your bedroom on the cool side can help you sleep better.
Reading from a Tablet Before Bed May Affect Sleep Quality - People who read from an iPad for 30 minutes before going to sleep felt less sleepy and had different electrical activity in the brain during sleep than those who read from a physical book. “Researchers found a delay of 30 minutes in the generation of the restorative slow waves during sleep in the iPad condition,” - Source: http://bit.ly/1nwuKIj Sleep Med 2016.
Have the right sunlight exposure. Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Try to get outside in natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day.
Don’t lie in bed awake. If you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than 20 minutes, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. The anxiety of not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.
Sometimes just having regular sleep habits can help.
Nutritional Support Considerations in Sleep Disorders / Insomnia
Liposomal Sleep — 2 droppers one hour before retiring.
Liposomal Sleep is a combination of Melatonin, GABA, NAC ,and B2 & B6. Many people have tried taking melatonin before for insomnia, and some have reported that it doesn't work. A significant factor in Melatonin’s working or not is the fact that stomach acid may break it down before the majority of Melatonin can be absorbed, so it never gets to the brain. Liposomal Sleep is a fat-soluble Melatonin, GABA, NAC, and B2 & B6, which provides the highest absorbability to the brain. Patients who have Insomnia can expect effects within 20-30 minutes.
- OR -
GoodNight — Take one or two capsules one hour before bedtime.
GoodNight is an herbal / nutrient formulation to promote restful sleep. A comprehensive blend of sleep supporting vitamins, herbs, and amino acids (Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal-5’-phosphate), L-Tryptophan, Lemon Balm Extract, L-Theanine, Hops Extract, Valerian Extract, and Melatonin), to help promote decreased sleep onset and healthy sleep quality.
Regarding Melatonin use in children:
"Melatonin supplements are a safe and effective way to address sleep problems in children”… "From our findings we believe that melatonin supplementation could be very helpful for the management of children with AD and sleep problems, especially those who have difficulty falling asleep," Dr. Chiang told Reuters Health." - JAMA Pediatr 2015.
One question that often comes up, is how long a trial of melatonin should last. "There is not a good study on this, but my expert opinion would be that for a child who has difficulty falling asleep, try it for a couple of weeks, and if it makes absolutely no difference, then it's probably time to talk to the pediatrician because that means there is probably something else going on,” - Dr. Shalini Paruthi, spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (a conservative, and very research-documented source): There is concern that melatonin supplementation has the potential to adversely affect children. "Young people up to the age of 20 years produce melatonin endogenously in high levels… melatonin levels are inversely related to gonadal development. Theoretically, exogenously administered melatonin might adversely affect gonadal development; use with caution.”
With that being said, there is beginning to be more information indicating that higher doses of melatonin are safe for both adults and children, especially if utilized for a short term.
Magtein® —1-3 capsules before bed.
According to a 2016 study published in Neuropharmacology (Qifeng Sun et al. Neuropharmacology, Sept. 2016, Vol. 108, 426-39, Regulation of structural and functional synapse density by L-threonate through modulation of intraneural magnesium concentration)... "increased brain magnesium levels have been shown to support restful sleep and balance mood. Other magnesium salts lacking L-threonate failed to have the same results."
Magtein® (magnesium L-threonate) is a unique, patented form of magnesium resulting from 10 years of research at MIT. It is the only form of magnesium shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, effectively increasing magnesium concentration in the brain.
Clinical applications of Magtein®:
Supports healthy synaptic density and function
Supports a healthy stress response, supports restful sleep, and a healthy mood
Supports cognitive health, focus, and attention
D3 5000 with K2 — 1 to 2 softgels daily with food. (higher dosing if documented by serum analysis
In recent years, low Vitamin D levels have been associated with sleep problems, day time sleepiness and S.A.D.D. (Seasonal Affective Depressive Disorder) / SAD (Seasonal affective disorder).
Vitamin D receptors have been found in the brain. Exact mechanism how vitamin D work’s in the brain has not been fully understood. These receptors are suggested to be linked to Vitamin D affects the regulation of neurochemicals called (monoamines), like Serotonin. As we know Serotonin is part of the sleep cycle. Antidepressants RX for and Insomnia. anxiety and depression work by increasing the amount monoamines. Insomnia and depression both can be a very gradual, that is why it is highly recommend to have routine lab work to monitor levels when chronic insomnia is presenting itself.
Increased levels of Vitamin D (seratonin agonist) and full spectrum light have been associated with improved mood and of value in S.A.D.D. (Seasonal Affective Depressive Disorder) / SAD (Seasonal affective disorder).
Research studies have documented an association between low serum levels of vitamin D and higher incidences of mood disorders: PMS, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), anxiety, non- specified mood disorder, and major depressive disorder.
In Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is a particular subtype of depression characterized by the onset or exacerbation of melancholia during winter months when bright light, sun exposure, and serum 25(OH)D levels are reduced, vitamin D was found superior to light therapy.
Increased levels of Vitamin D (seratonin agonist) and full spectrum light have been associated with improved mood.
If Stress is a contributing Factor, add:
Stress Essentials Calm — 2-3 capsules before bedtime.
Stress Essentials Calm has been formulated with L-Theanine (from Suntheanine®) and gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), two ingredients that act as natural anxiolytics by increasing levels of GABA in the brain. When GABA levels increase in the brain, excitability decreases and relaxation ensues. Research also suggests that GABA administration significantly increases alpha waves and decreases beta waves in the brain, thereby reducing anxiety and promoting healthy sleep.
If Menopausal Transition is a contributing factor, consider the addition of:
Profeminell Cream— Gently rub 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon on clean skin (e.g. wrists, neck, face, etc.) twice daily; use 21 days, stop for a week and repeat.
If Restless Leg Syndrome is a contributing factor, add:
Legs On Edge— 3 capsules one hour before bedtime.
Legs on Edge provides nutritional support for occasional leg symptoms such as restless legs, cramping, minor pain and discomfort while also supporting healthy sleeping patterns. This formula also supports the legs with occasional urges to move your legs when sitting or lying still for a long period of time, and/or the occasional creepy and itchy sensation.
Note: The single most consistent finding and the strongest environmental risk factor associated with RLS is iron insufficiency. Professor Nordlander first recognized the association between iron deficiency and RLS, and reported that treatment of the iron deficiency markedly improved, if not eliminated, the RLS symptoms. Despite this strong association between serum iron insufficiency and RLS, only about 15% of the RLS clinical population appears to have peripheral iron deficiency (serum ferritin < 50 mcg/l). To account for this, Professor Nordlander in proposing his “iron deficiency” hypothesis of RLS stated “It is possible…that there can exist an iron deficiency in the tissues, in spite of normal serum iron.”
In the end, eating right, exercising, getting adjusted, and maintaining stress levels will get you the best nights of sleep. Now, what are you waiting for? Time to make it a priority and take care of "YOU!"