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Solving 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.

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 will 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 simple 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. After treating hundreds of patients with insomnia and other hormone related sleep disturbances I have become adept at naturally solving their sleep issues. Solving it quickly, without the use of medications, is crucial for the health and wellbeing of the individual. The completely natural system I use is over 90% effective and can conquer even the most difficult and chronic cases often in just a matter of days.

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.

To help resolve sleep issues naturally, I use a combination of 5 products 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.

To help resolve Sleep issues naturally, I use a combination of 5 products 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.

1. GABA Sleep

Provides GABA and Melatonin to help reduce difficulty 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 completely 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)

2. Neuro-Level

Aids in the production of serotonin. 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.

3. Sublingual Melatonin 3mg

When additional melatonin production is required

4. 303 from Dee Cee Labs

Provides a calming and muscle relaxing effect with a combination of Valerian Root, Passion Flower and Magnesium.

5. Phosphatidylserine

Helps control cortisol levels often associated with frequent night time waking.

For people who can’t fall asleep as in category one; I start with GABA Sleep. For mild cases, take two 30-45 min before bed, best taken earlier (usually around 9-9:30) to initiate melatonin production. For more moderate cases, take 2 one hour before bed and 2 more 30 min before bed. Severe cases will usually also require 6 to 8 of the Neuro-Level (3-4 capsules 2 x day). If they are taking sleep meds, have them start reducing the dose on the second night by half and continue to diminish over the next few days. Additional sublingual melatonin can be used if needed although only short term.

For people who can’t stay asleep as in category 2; If they have no issues falling asleep, I recommend 1-2 GABA Sleep 30 min before bed and 200mg of Phosphatidylserine just before bed. They can also take 1-2 additional GABA Sleep as soon as they wake up provided it is before 4:00am. If they can’t easily fall asleep I add an additional 3mg of sublingual melatonin (short term). For very difficult cases we supply the Neuro-Level, 3-4 capsules 2 x per day (mid afternoon and early evening).

For people who can only sleep 4-5 hours per night; if they stay up late and wake up early, I give them the GABA Sleep as above, earlier rather than later. They will need to be encouraged to go to bed earlier and this takes time. The first thing we see is that they sleep in later. More difficult cases will require the Neuro-Level and possibly, adrenal supplements.

For Restless Legs Syndrome, I use formula 303 (2-3 tablets) and Magnesium Citrate (400-600mg) 30 minutes before bed. I also often add the GABA Sleep, especially if they have trouble falling asleep, and sometimes the Neuro-Level although most don’t need it unless they are detoxing from drug and alcohol abuse or trying to come off sleep or SSRI meds.

A word about Melatonin; large doses (in excess of 9mg) can have a negative effect on anti-depressant meds. I always give these people a Neuro-Level type formula and of course try and encourage cutting back on their meds once they start feeling better. Melatonin is a fantastic anti-oxidant for the brain and can be used regularly in smaller doses (less than 2mg). I always advise the patients to start reducing the higher doses of melatonin after 30 days of good sleep which is usually easily accomplished.

Sleep Formula Summary

GABA Sleep: 2 at 9-9:30, and if needed, 2 more at 9:30-10:00.
Sublingual Melatonin: 3mg dissolved under the tongue at 9:30-10:00
Neuro-Level: To restore serotonin, 4 capsules twice per day.
Magnesium Citrate; 400-600mg before bed; good support for all sleep issues.
Phosphatidylserine: 200 mg before bed for people waking frequently.
For RLS; Formula 303, Magnesium and possibly Iron.

More About GABA Sleep

GABA Sleep is a proven, very effective natural sleep aid for anyone having difficulty 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 completely non addictive and is safe to take with most medications. It is a fantastic natural alternative for prescription sleep medications containing drugs that often leave you feeling groggy upon waking. *

Formulation: GABA Sleep is formulated with the following; GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid): A naturally occurring amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter and has a calming effect on the brain, which helps to reduce anxiety, regulate sleep cycles and regulate body temperature. Melatonin: A natural hormone that regulates sleep/wake cycles of our natural biorhythm, supporting normal immune function, and protecting cells from free radical damage. Melatonin is considered the most important physiological antioxidant in the brain making it essential for anyone recovering from drug/alcohol abuse. Magnesium: Plays an essential role in a wide range of cellular reactions that include muscle function/relaxation, sleep/energy cycles, and regulating normal heart function and blood pressure. Inositol: Found in all tissues, with the highest concentrations in the brain and heart. It contributes to proper muscular and nerve function which is important for normal sleep patterns. Passion Flower: Like GABA, this herbal product has a calming effect on the brain making it perfect for sleep problems, generalized anxiety conditions, and relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal. Thiamine: Thiamine (Vitamin B-1) is an essential coenzyme in energy production that helps regulate the sleep cycle and is also required for proper nerve impulse transmission.*

Indications: GABA Sleep may be a useful dietary supplement for individuals wishing to nutritionally support melatonin and GABA production for a more restful night's sleep.*

Ingredients

Each tablet contains;
Melatonin 1.75mg
Magnesium Carbonate 20mg
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) 10mg
Proprietary Blend; 495mg
GABA, Passion Flower, Inositol

Suggested Use: Adults take one to two capsules 30-45 minutes before bed or as directed by health care provider. Bottle size: 120 capsules

Warning: Not to be taken by individuals under the age of 18 without strict adult supervision. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking any prescription medication (especially hormone replacement therapy), or have an autoimmune or depressive disorder consult a physician before using this product. Long-term use of melatonin has not been studied. Use of this product could cause hypothermia. Do not use before or while operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References

Alvarez B, Dahlitz M, Vignau J, Parkes JD: The delayed sleep phase syndrome: Clinical and investigative findings in 14 patients. J Neurosurg Psychiatry 1992;55:665-670. Armstrong SM, Redman JR: Melatonin: A chronobiotic with anti-aging properties? Med Hypotheses
1991;34:300-309.
Beck-Friis J, Kjellman BF, Aperia B et al: Serum melatonin in relation to clinical variables in patients with major depressive disorder and ahypothesis of a low melatonin syndrome. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1985;71:319-330.
Benjamin J, Levine J, Fux M, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of inositol treatment for panic disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 1995;152:1084–1086.
Fux M, Levine J, Aviv A, et al. Inositol treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 1996;153:1219–1221.
Gelber D, Levine J, Belmaker RH effect of inositol on bulimia Plantey F. GHB and GABA. Am J Psychiatry. 1977 Sep;134(9):1045-6