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Insomnia

Insomnia and Sleep Issues

Sleep issues affect a very large percentage of the population.  While some sleep problems may be minor and intermittent, others can be a chronic, night after night occurrence that may ultimately lead to serious health concerns, and prompting the individual to seek medical attention which often comes in the form of a prescription sleep medication.  Many of these sleep medications can become habit forming and are often associated with dangerous side effects. In addition, they do not address the underlying cause of sleep disturbances which is usually a lack of or an imbalance in the body’s natural sleep hormones and neurotransmitters.  

Most individuals with persistent sleep disturbances can be critically low in the key hormones and brain neurotransmitters that regulate sleep which are known as Melatonin, GABA and Serotonin.  The brain neurotransmitter Dopamine also plays a role in sleep in that when depleted it can drag down Serotonin levels. Other issues such as high stress can elevate other anti-sleep hormones like cortisol and adrenalin that may cause frequent waking throughout the night.  These hormones must be brought into proper balance to obtain proper sleep.  People that have used prescription sleep medications for many months are often severely depleted in the normal sleep hormones and as a result become addicted to their use. Just as in drug & alcohol abuse, the body stops producing the normal hormones and becomes dependent on the drug.  To break this cycle, we must re-train the brain by eliminating the medications and restoring the normal balance of melatonin, serotonin and GABA.   

Four Main Categories of Hormone Related Sleep Disorders

  1. Can’t Fall Asleep:  These people either do not feel sleepy, are to restless, have high anxiety, can’t shut their minds down or hear continual mind chatter.  This is most often a Melatonin-GABA issue.  Inadequate melatonin levels will not allow the individual to feel tired or sleepy and low levels of the brain neurotransmitter GABA will not allow the brain to relax even when they do feel sleepy.  Severe cases will also have low levels of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin.
  2. Can’t Stay Asleep:  They fall asleep but wake up 2 hours later and this pattern continues throughout the night.  This is often the result of significant Serotonin deficiency, excess cortisol production from stress and or Adrenal gland exhaustion or fatigue.  In addition to raising Serotonin levels they usually also need to be given additional supplements to help reduce the excess cortisol and adrenal hormones to stay sleeping.  Correcting serotonin and dopamine levels will solve both their sleep and adrenal issues over time.
  3. Can Only Sleep 4-5 Hours Per Night:  These people are usually night owls that go to bed at midnight and wake up at 4 or 5am.  They sleep continuously but can’t go back to sleep once they wake up.  Many of these people can function very well although wish they could sleep more.  This is usually a melatonin-GABA issue and may eventually lead to dopamine-serotonin deficiency and adrenal burn out if not corrected.  
  4. Restless Legs Syndrome:  These people can usually fall asleep although are awakened by frequent leg twitching or cramping.  This is very often the result of a magnesium, GABA and iron deficiency.   

Many people will have a combination of two or even all four of these disorders.  There are obviously other sleep issues such as apnea and chronic pain that may also need to be considered.  

Start Solving your Sleep Problems

Always start with a dark and quiet room.  Block the shades as much as possible to prevent outside lighting from entering.  Even the low lighting on clocks and TV’s can interfere with melatonin production and should be covered.  Pets should also be kept out of the bed.  Do not expect miracles on the first night, it usually takes two-three days to see results as it can take a little time to restore the hormones.

Turn off iPads, iPhones, computers, and nightlights and anything else that could   light the up the room.

You could exercise vigorously, but that has to be done earlier in the day. If done before going to bed it may actually increase hormones that may interfere with sleep. Make sure that your exercise program is at least 4 to 6 hours prior to going to bed. In addition, make sure you eat nothing with in four hours prior to going to bed as well. A stomach that has to work to digest food will keep you wide awake.

Be aware that certain medications will also interfere with the sleep wake cycle. Chronic use of sleep drugs such as the benzodiazepines, and beta blockers can significantly impair a good night sleep. Courses that help you to stress reduce, and meditation courses can be very helpful in returning normal sleep architecture.

The sleep wake cycle is a combination of two hormones that work in tandem with each other. Melatonin at bedtime is released the latest between the hours of 12 and 1 A.M. the latest and in the morning the release of S-Adenosyl Methionine. Both are required in adequate doses to be able to create an appropriate night’s sleep. You can naturally aid the production of both of these hormones by in the morning getting up and making sure that between the hours of 7 AM and 9 AM that you get a good amount of sunshine directly in your face and eyes. In the evening set it as your goal to get to bed before midnight in a very dark but comfortable environment. It is okay to listen to some music for a short period of time that is soothing and of course, for your enjoyment to help you get a good night sleep. Natural products specifically that contain the Neuro inhibitory transmitter GABA, are perfect along with melatonin. Most people are magnesium deficient as well, and taking magnesium prior to bed can also help tremendously in relaxing muscles and therefore also working synergistically with the other things discussed above. Women in particular in their 30s begin to have a break off of the hormone progesterone. This hormone is also responsible for the breakdown into GABA. This is why often during the premenopausal period. Women complain of sleep disturbances.

 

To help resolve Sleep issues naturally, a combination of products are available through Master Holistic Formulations; (MHFHEALTH.COM). More specific information on each of these products including their indications and warnings can be found on the website by clicking on each product. Please seek the advice of a health care professional before using any of these products.    

  1. MHF Melatonin: Our melatonin product contains 3mg of diisolvavble pharmecuetical grade melatonin.  Melatonin plays a major role in the sleep cycle and is often found to be defcient in people with chronic insomnia.   
  2. GABA Sleep:  Our original sleep formula; Provides GABA, Melatonin and magnesium to help reduce difficulty in falling asleep due to racing thoughts, anxiety issues, “a wired up feeling” or just a restless mind.  It contains a combination of all natural ingredients, is non-addictive and is safe to take with most medications. It is a fantastic natural alternative to prescription sleep medications containing drugs that often leave you feeling groggy upon waking. GABA Sleep contains; GABA, Melatonin, Magnesium Carbonate, Inositol, Passion Flower and Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  3. Gaba Sleep Advanced Formula:  Our latest and most popular sleep formula is an improved version of GABA sleep.  It contains phenibut instead of GABA.  Phenibut is an amino acid that acts as a central nervous system depressant and is a derivative of the naturally occurring inhibitory brain neuro-transmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The addition of a phenyl ring in phenibut allows it to cross the blood–brain barrier more effectively than GABA making it a better nutritional supplement for his purpose. It is generally accepted that phenibut has anxiolytic effects in both animal models and in humans and has been safely used for many years to treat a wide range of ailments including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and insomnia.  This formula is very effective at reducing mind racing and nighttime anxiety and is a fantastic natural alternative to prescription sleep medications containing drugs that often leave you feeling groggy upon waking. Gaba Sleep Advanced Formula contains; Phenibut, Melatonin, Magnesium Carbonate, Inositol, Passion Flower and Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  4. Neuro-Level: Aids in the production of serotonin which is often depleted in individuals with chronic insomnia.  This product has proven effective at reducing night sweats. It Contains a combination L-Tyrosine, 5 HTP, L-Methionine & N-Acetyl Cysteine along with co factors of Vitamin C, B6, calcium, selenium, and folate that has been clinically proven to elevate brain neurotransmitter levels of serotonin in chronically depleted individuals.  Serotonin is the brain neurotransmitter that regulates restful regeneration, sleep, appetite, positive mood, and melatonin production. The presence of adequate serotonin levels in the brain is associated with a balanced emotional state. 
  5. Phosphatidylserine:  Helps control cortisol levels often associated with frequent night time waking.  This product contains Phosphatidylserine: 200 mg in a gel cap for better absorption.
  6. Formula 303: A time tested combination of Natural Ingredients that works fast for Natural Relief of Muscle Spasm, Tension, and Stress.  This formula contains valerian root, passion flower magnesium and has been shown to be effective in reducing nighttime restless legs and racing thoughts  

Insomnia Categories

Mild: Having minor trouble with only falling asleep: Melatonin or GABA Sleep (Original Formula)                                                                                                                         

Moderate: Having more moderate trouble falling asleep and waking frequently: Gaba Sleep Advanced Formula & Formula 303 

Severe: Having significant trouble falling asleep, frequent waking and restless legs: Gaba Sleep Advanced Formula, Formula 303 and Phosphatidyl Serine.