The term insomnia refers to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or to problems waking up earlier than planned. An episode of insomnia that lasts only one or two nights is often to stress or excitement. But often insomnia can become a chronic disorder that persists for months or even years, especially when the root cause is tensiondue , anxiety, or depression. Some 20% to 40% of all adults report sleeping problems, but the rate rises sharply among older people. About 80% of those over age 60 experience fragmented sleep and often wake up repeatedly during the night.
- More than 100 studies have proven this herb to be an effective sleep aid. For best results it should be rotated with other sedating herbs such as chamomile, melissa (also known as lemon balm), and kava.
- MELATONIN, a synthetic form of the sleep hormone our bodies produce naturally, is an alternative to valerian, especially when chronic pain is the root of insomnia.
- GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter that blocks stress-related nerve impulses to the brain. Rotate with Melatonin or Valerian.
- CALCIUM AND MAGNESIUM deficiencies may create sleeping difficulties in some cases; taking supplements to enhance the levels of these minerals may be beneficial. Magnesium is especially effective when taken with 5-HTP.
- JOHN’S WORT can help if you believe there’s a component of depression to your insomnia. Many studies have shown St. John’s wort to be as effective as prescription antidepressants. This herb may take a full month before reaching its full effect.
- 5-HTP (a form of the amino acid tryptophan) raises levels of the sleep-producing chemical serotonin. Rotate with Melatonin or Valerian.