Barbara Roberts, Homeopath

Sleep part 3

Supplements for Insomnia

Today is our third day looking at insomnia and I want to talk about supplements you can use. This is not a comprehensive list, there are many available that I have not listed and many supplement brands have their own formulas.

Magnesium – This is probably the most common one. New Zealand soil is deficient in Magnesium, and the amount we get from food may be inadequate unless you are eating vast quantities of chocolate or Brazil nuts. Magnesium is an important cofactor for hundreds of metabolic reactions in the body, and can make a big difference for sleep. Look for Magnesium in a glycinate, L-threonate, amino acid chelate or citrate form.

Valerian – a sedative herb it can be very effective for sleep in both homeopathic form (as discussed yesterday) and a herbal supplement. It is used for help with going to sleep as well as staying asleep. You can get this as a single supplement or in combination with herbs for calming anxiety like hops, skullcap and passionflower.

5-HTP – this is more often used for mood care but also can help with sleep. It is a precursor to serotonin and often makes you drowsy. Do not take if you are on antidepressants or other medicines that effect serotonin levels.

Melatonin – in New Zealand this is a prescription only medicine (except when sold by a Pharmacist for up to 13 weeks for primary insomnia in someone 55 years or older). You can however get supplements with tart cherry which contain a form of melatonin. Melatonin is our hormone of darkness and helps switch over to sleep. It can be degraded by LCD screens and some medications. It may be useful in a course to reset the brain production of melatonin. When you take Melatonin you need to make sure the room is dark, and if using a controlled release form take it with food and avoid alcohol.

Flower essences- Rescue Remedy have a sleep blend, First Light also have a sleep blend and there are probably other flower essence blends for sleep available too. These help some people, but personally I find a personalised flower remedy blend more effective than these as you can use essences that suit you and your situation.

Sleep Drops – this is a Homeobotanical blend which some people find very effective. I can also make up a personalised Homeobotanical remedy for you and your situation.

If you are taking medication please check with your Pharmacist before adding any supplements.

If you would like help and support with your insomnia, addressing lifestyle, homeopathy and supplements message me for a consultation so we can get to the root cause. Depending on the nature of your situation it may take several consultations to address.

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