Natural Ways to Address Insomnia - Part I
Dr. David A. Jernigan
This is the first in a two-part series on natural ways to address sleep problems.
To get to sleep more easily, you must create the most ideal sleeping experience for yourself. Take the time and effort to make your bedroom as aesthetically pleasing as you can afford. Clutter and chaos is not conducive to rest and sleep. If you have the money, invest in a completely organic, nontoxic mattress. At the very least, buy yourself an organic, non-toxic mattress topper. Buy the best organic pillows and organic cotton sheets you can afford.
Never use any scented laundry soaps or scented fabric softeners. These scents can kill...literally! Use fragrance-free everything in your room. Diffuse essential oils instead of poisonous scented air "fresheners" and plug-ins! Place broad-leaf plants in your bedroom to add negative-ions into the air. Broad-leaf plants can also clean the air of your room, as well as shift the energy of the room. Just get advice from your local garden center as to how to keep it watered to prevent mold in the soil.
Put a Grounding Mat on your mattress to enable your body to continually discharge any accumulated static electricity and other environmental frequencies that may be bombarding your body from the wiring and electronics of your house, wi-fi, and computers. Turn off your wi-fi and computers all the way. Don't leave them on "sleep" mode.
Resist the temptation to lie or recline on the bed to read, rest, or watch television. As it is said, the bed is for sleeping and dying. Psychologically you want your brain and body to only think of the bed as the place to sleep.
We need to start winding down our day soon after 8 p.m. This means turning off the news, getting off the internet, letting go of the challenges of the day, telling all of your friends and family to not text, call, or email after 9 p.m. or so. If they do, don't answer it unless you can remain calm and it is something that won't cause stress. Set good boundaries with your friends and family. If you have children, establish a "quiet time" for reading or just settling down before bedtime. Night time is not your time to worry and try to resolve all the problems of the day.
Take 1000 mg of L-Tryptophan just before dinner. This will start the process of resetting the satiety center of the brain. about an hour before bedtime, drink about three ounces of fruit juice, or eat the equivalent of a 1/4 of an apple about 5 minutes before taking 1000-2000 mg of L-Tryptophan. The fruit sugar will cause a small release of insulin. Insulin is needed to grab on to the Tryptophan, which then rushes it up to the satiety center of the brain. L-Tryptophan is the "enough" amino acid. It enables your brain to feel like you have done enough, eaten enough, and said enough, so that you can let the challenges of the day go.
Use a dry skin brush all over your body, stroking towards the heart to stimulate the lymphatic system and knock the dead skin off of your skin. This will also bring the blood to the surface so that the bath you are about to take works better. Take an Epsom Salt and Hydrogen Peroxide bath and soak for 20 minutes. Do this about 30 minutes to an hour before going to bed. Drink a large mug of Sleepy Time tea from Traditional Medicinals Inc. Once you finish your bath and are dried off, apply Solum Aesculus oil, from Uriel Pharmacy, on your legs, feet, arms and hands. Solum Aesculus oil helps restore the warmth organization of your body and puts a protective barrier around your body to shield it from environmental and weather-related sensitivies that might be keeping you awake.
Take 50 mg of vitamin B-6, (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate) not the cheaper forms, such as Pyridoxal-hydrochloride. Take this amount for a week, then increase by 50 mg until you reach a maximum of 100 mg a day in divided doses throughout the day. If you start getting tingling in your extremities you are taking too much. It is not harmful if you just back down on your dosage again.
Just before closing your eyes to go to sleep take 3-6 mg of Melatonin. Once you take the Melatonin do not look at any light source. If you have trouble darkening your room completely, it may be necessary to use a sleep mask and even possibly wrap your head in a dark scarf that will cover the head and forehead, since the pineal gland can sense even the smallest amount of light and negate the melatonin from your body and from the supplement. It may help to diffuse an essential oil, such as Peace and Calming blend by Young Living Oils.
A half hour before bed, drink an 8 ounce glass of water with a 1/2 tsp of Alkalime powder, by Young Living Essential Oil company, or just use 1/2 tsp of Baking Soda (Not Baking Powder). This will alkalize the brain and can often prevent nightmares and exhausting busy dreams, not to mention help to keep you from having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
The following are tools and techniques to help get your brainwaves in sync with sleep and keep you asleep until morning. Combining all of the tips in this series will go a long way to not only getting to sleep, but also having restful sleep.
If you have speakers that you can put on either side of your bed, place them so that they both face your pillow. Good quality external computer speakers work well for this purpose, although any good speakers will work. If you don't have speakers, then you can use the best quality headphones, or in a pinch you can use Earbuds.
Download into your ipod, or mp3 player the CD's called Deep Relaxation and Super Sleep from HemiSync company. You can make a playlist that can have just a couple of songs. Use the HemiSync Deep Relaxation CD when you lay down to sleep.
Adjust the volume to your comfort level. It does not need to be loud. Then have the very next CD be the HemiSync Super Sleep. The Deep Relaxation has verbal guidance that instructs how to relax your body and mind. Most people fall asleep by the end of this CD, however if you don't fall asleep, just continue relaxing, keep your mind quiet, and let the next CD which is the Super Sleep CD do its work. You can let the Super Sleep play all night if you like. Set your alarm on your player to awaken you with the HemiSync CD called Morning Exercise. Upon awakening to this CD just lay there and let your body and mind wake up to the entire CD.
Make sure your room is as dark as possible. If you have any light getting in around your curtains or blinds you need to mask it somehow. Use a natural fiber sleep mask, if it is impossible to have a completely dark room. A good option to promote sleep is the Nikken Magnetic Sleep Mask. Turn the dimmer of your alarm clock to its lowest setting. If it does not have a dimmer then wrap it in a black pair of hose to dim the light. Turn off any night lights.
It can help to calm the neurons of the brain by placing a 1/2" x 4" x 6" ceramic magnet under your pillow with the negative polarity facing the head. Never use the positive polarity of the magnet facing your head as this will over-stimulate the brain and promote hyper-acidity. (Available by calling our clinic at 316-686-5900)
If you awaken in the night to go to the bathroom, stay as "asleep" as possible and only open your eyes just enough to not run into anything. Keep your mind completely quiet. Be sure not to look at any light while going to and from the bathroom. Go right back to bed without checking the time.
May you find a peaceful night's sleep tonight and every night!
This article is for educational purposes. Always consult your healthcare professional regarding any protocol. Due to the complexity of the human condition there remains the possibility of symptoms getting worse. Again, discuss this protocol with your health care professional before beginning, and stop or get support if your condition worsens. This protocol is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or mitigate any disease or illness, and has not been evaluated by the FDA.