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In Western society insomnia is rampant. Fatigue is the number one complaint that patients have when they visit their doctor. Some common sleep problems are –• Taking more than 30 minutes to get to sleep• ...Read moreWaking up frequently• Having trouble getting back to sleepA good nights sleep helps you feel more rested, energetic and focused. While a bad night sleep contributes ...Read more to feeling fatigued, irritable and unable to concentrate. Sufficient sleep is vital for physical and mental health. Studies show that sleep influences many aspects of well-being including • Blood sugar – Poor sleep quality negatively affects the body’s ability to process blood sugar. Adults who do not get quality sleep become less sensitive to insulin (the hormone that keeps levels of blood sugar balanced).• Immunity – When people are deprived of sleep over long periods, the body’s production of natural killer cells (a critical component of the immune system) becomes impaired thereby increasing the risk of illness and disease.• Heart Health – Sleep duration has an impact on heart health. Middle aged adults who get more than seven hours of sleep are more likely to have healthy, flexible arteries than those who don’t.• Memory and Learning – Studies indicate that sleep benefits memory, learning and cognitive performance.Much SleeIf you feel that you may be suffering from ME/CFS please read our advice under this section.There are some natural steps you can take to help overcome your insomnia. 5HTP induces and maintains sleep. This is best taken before bedtime with a light carbohydrate snack. 5HTP is on the pathway to a hormone called melatonin, which the body releases every night to help us to sleep. Asphalia is a supplement containing melatonin extracted from plants.People who are unable to sleep due to restless leg syndrome have found that magnesium may help with the problem. Magnesium can be taken internally or in spray form applied to the body. Valerian has been used for many years for sleep problems. The root of the plant contains volatile oils and a small number of alkaloids. Research indicates that certain compounds in valerian influence some of the same brain receptors as Valium. These receptors are called GABA receptors, which lead to relaxation and sleep. Hops have demonstrated a strong sedative effect on individuals with nervousness. Research has found that a combination of hops and valerian improved sleep after two weeks of treatment. Chamomile tea is a good option for people wanting a gentler approach. L-Theanine occurs naturally in green tea. It is a non-essential amino acid that supports relaxation and a positive mood. Studies have demonstrated that theanine supplementation enhances alpha brain wave activity thereby promoting relaxation. Additionally, theanine may have a part in the formation of GABA.
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