Some people have difficulty getting to sleep, others, with insomnia wake up in the middle of the night
What causes it?
- Both can be the effect poor nutrition or too much stress and anxiety
- Eat seeds, nuts, root and green leafy vegetables, which are high in calcium and magnesium which have a tranquillising effect
- Avoid all stimulants, that’s no sugar, tea or coffee after 4pm
- Try not to eat late
- Tryptophan, a constituent of protein, has the strongest tranquillising effect and if taken in doses of 1,000–3,000mg is highly effective for insomnia. It takes about an hour to work and remains effective for up to four hours. While tryptophan is non-addictive and has no known side effects, don’t use it regularly – your aim should be to adjust your lifestyle so that no tranquillising agents are needed
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day – it helps reset your body clock
- Get regular exercise each day, preferably in the morning. Research indicates regular exercise improves restful sleep
- Get regular exposure to outdoor light, especially in the late afternoon
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom comfortable
- Keep the bedroom dark – this helps facilitate sleep
- Use a relaxation exercise just before going to sleep (muscle relaxation, imagery, massage, warm bath).
- Engage in stimulating activity just before bed, such as exercising, watching scary or exciting films
- Use alcohol to help you sleep.
- Go to bed too hungry or too full
- Take daytime naps
- Try to force sleep, this only makes your mind and body more alert. If you lie in bed awake for more than 20-30 minutes, get up, go to a different room and read, then return to bed when you feel sleepy. Do this as many times during the night as needed
- 2 x Multi-vitamin (should contain approx 100mg B6 & 10mg zinc
- 1 x Multi-mineral (should contain approx 600mg Calcium & 400mg magnesium)
- Vitamin C 1,000mg
- 2 × 5-HTP 100mg – only if absolutely necessary – and never with antidepressants
Shani Shaker BA (hons), dipION, mBANT, CNHC is a registered nutritional therapist with a focus on regenerative and functional nutrition, disordered eating, addiction and mental health. Based in London her services include one-to-one coaching, group classes and Skype sessions. Contact her at email@example.com
Disclaimer: The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Supplementation should only be temporary. If you’re eating a nutrient-rich diet, extra supplementation should only last for a month or two, just long enough to resolve the deficiency.