Sleep is the product of a healthy brain state. That doesn't mean that if you sleep well that all is OK with your brain. It does mean that the principle areas of the brain involved with sleep are working within healthy limits though.
And what if you aren't sleeping well? What if you can't fall asleep or what if you can't stay asleep?
You can always drop by your local MD or DO and get some hypnotics that are sometimes sold as sleep pills. It is helpful to understand that pharmaceuticals cannot help reproduce the brain states that we know as sleep. They can put you into an altered state of consciousness so you don't know you aren't sleeping. That is why people can do crazy things when they take those drugs and are supposedly sleeping.
A couple of physiological states tend to contribute to the sleep issues more than others. The first has to do with excess glutamate production in the brain. Glutamate is an exceptionally potent excitatory neurotransmitter. If your glutamate is bumping up into that high range, you are awake no matter what time of day or night it is. And by awake, I mean your brain is racing from one thought to the next.
Glutamate is converted by an enzyme called GAD into GABA. GABA is a powerful inhibitory neurotransmitter. If you are having trouble converting glutamate into GABA you can experience that as insomnia.
Different amino acids and herbal combinations can help your brain keep your GABA/glutamate balance at a healthy level. For the past 10 years or so we have seen excellent results with BetterGenix BetterPhen, NeuroScience: Travacor and NeuroScience: Serene. These expertly crafted products help stabilize serotonin and also help modulate glutamate.
A quick word about melatonin. Melatonin is one of the triggers for sleep. Serotonin is converted to melatonin. Some find that just taking melatonin is helpful. This is a small percentage of cases and they are probably just lacking one small component for their good sleep. Usually it isn't that easy. If melatonin does work, it probably won't work week after week, year after year. It is important to be more specific in addressing the brain's needs.
Another important factor in sleep is tightly regulated blood sugar. The brain burns sugar for energy and if the levels fall, the body will do whatever it takes to try to increase the supply. If you are falling asleep and your blood sugar drops, the body can activate adrenal hormones such as cortisol and/or adrenalin. The purpose of the adrenalin is to pull sugar stores from the liver. This works great for getting that blood sugar up but now you also have adrenalin in your brain and you are really awake.
Several companies make excellent products designed to help regulate your blood sugar levels. Some classics are BetterGenix AdrenalGenix, Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager and Integrative Therapeutics Phosphatidylserine. AdrenalGenix is a one of our best sellers because of the way it supports normal adrenal function and blood sugar regulation.
We like to emphasize the benefit of testing. To help determine the root of the sleep problem we would start with a basic blood profile. With this information we can better target your specific needs. We can order these tests for you if you are in Nevada or California. You will pay our price plus a small service fee. Blood work runs between $100 and $250 depending on what we are looking for.
We can also run antibody tests to help us see where your body might be self destructing and what can be done to restore your health. We use Cyrex Labs for that.
Some other supplements we rely on for a good night's sleep are: