Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Helping you to sleep and awaken rested.

Deficiencies in certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes may disrupt sleep – here is a list of things you can try:

Sleep inducing foods:

Tryptophan (L-tryptophan)

Tryptophan is an amino acid that plays a key role in the repair of protein tissues and in creating new protein. In the brain, tryptophan is converted into serotonin, a natural sleep-inducing chemical. It also enhances the brain's ability to produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates your body's natural inner clock.

L-tryptophan is found in foods such as milk and turkey. It is a key amino acid for sleeping problems.


Most Important

Calcium: 1,000 - 2,000 mg daily, in divided doses, after meals and at bedtime.

Magnesium: 500 mg - 1,000 mg daily.

Vitamin B complex: 100 mg


Niacin: 100 mg at bedtime

Extra pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 50 mg daily.

Melatonin: Start with 1.5 mg daily, 2 hours or less before bedtime. If this is not effective, gradually increase the dosage until an effective level is reached (up to 5 mg daily).

or (preferred) 5-HTP 100-300 mg 30-45 minutes before bedtime.

Inositol - 100 mg daily, at bedtime.

For more serious insomnia problems or sleep “hangover”:

5-HTP (not sure if you can get this in Norway or England)

5- HTP provides the quickest, most effective, and most consistent overall results in treating insomnia. it is an effective alternative for dealing with sleep problems in a safe and natural way compared to sleep medicines. 5-HTP improves the quality of sleep. More importantly, clinical studies show that 5- HTP is also useful in the treatment of sleep disorders other than insomnia.

5-HTP increases REM sleep significantly (typically by about 25 percent) while simultaneously increasing deep sleep stages 3 and 4 without increasing total sleep time. 5- HTP accomplishes this by shortening the amount of time you spend in sleep stages 1 and 2, which in certain ways are the least important stages of the cycle. The higher the dose, the more time spent in REM.

By shifting the balance of the sleep cycle, 5-HTP makes sleep more restful and rejuvenating. Instead of waking feeling tired, worn out, and "hungover," people taking 5- HTP feel vibrant, well rested, and ready to take on the challenges of the day. When we sleep more deeply and dream more efficiently, we wake in the morning with our physical and psychological batteries fully charged.

The impact of 5-HTP on sleep stages is dose-related; taking higher doses produces a somewhat greater impact. In most cases, the lower dosage is adequate. Higher doses may lead to a greater number of disturbing dreams and nightmares due to abnormally prolonged REM sleep. It can also lead to mild nausea.

Recommended Dosage: Take 100 to 300 mg, thirty to forty-five minutes before retiring. Start with the lower dose for at least three days, then consider increasing the dose if results are not what you expected.

My notes:

B6: A tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast is an excellent Source of vitamin B6 and probably better than pills.

Magnesium, in doses of approximately 250 milligrams, can help induce sleep. Magnesium deficiency is responsible for nervousness that prevents sleep. Magnesium-rich foods include kelp, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, and brewer's yeast.

Calcium, especially when contained in food, has a sedative effect on the body. A calcium deficiency in the body causes restlessness and wakefulness. For adults, doses of approximately 600 milligrams of liquid calcium have been shown to have a relaxing effect.

Calcium and magnesium: The lack of calcium and magnesium can cause leg cramps during the night. Do you ever get that? Calcium and magnesium produce calming effects on the brain. They are essential for normal sleep. Calcium and magnesium taken 45 minutes before bedtime have a tranquilizing effect. They say we should use a 2:1 ratio, such as 500 mg of calcium and 250 mg of magnesium in tablets.

1 comment:

  1. Can I be a bore and add some non-suppliment ideas? Good.

    Turn the house lights down after 8pm, preferable use candle light.
    Don't use the computer or TV after 9pm (oops!)
    Both of these practices allow the nervous system to slow down in preparation for sleep.

    Keeping the nervous system active with TV, computer, sugar foods such as juice, soft-drinks or alcohol will delay the natural sleep cycle. Also candles are nice especially if you are entertaining ;)

    When Thomas Edison developed the first practical lightbulb in 1879, (he didn't invent it - just refined it) , the sleep cycles of the world were changed, (some might say ruined) for good. Before 1879 the only option for staying awake after sun-down was candle-light and fire-place, fire-torches and moonlight. So it stands to reason that people used to go to bed earlier before 1879. After the lightbulb become common place, that was changed and people started to stay up later and later, but our bodies still have biorhythms that want us to sleep much earlier than we normally do. Which reminds me it's 12:12am and time for my bed. Night night!