How to defeat Insomnia in 12 Practical Steps

How to defeat Insomnia in 12 Practical Steps

Sleep is vital medicine for mind, body, and soul—more potent and important than anything you can get in an Rx vial. The fatigue that results from sleep deprivation can directly impair cognitive function, cause car crashes and contribute to chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, and cancer. Lack of sleep also triggers stress, which can fan the flames of chronic inflammation in the body—a major contributing factor to accelerated aging. Quite simply, sleep is the most powerful anti-inflammatory medicine available to us. When I treat patients for sleep disturbances, I look at all potential causes, which may be psychological, emotional, or metabolic in nature. Most insomnia cases can be traced back to disrupted melatonin-serotonin production and release. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland during the day and released when it starts to get dark, preparing the brain and body for sleep. Melatonin is a direct byproduct of serotonin, which is produced at night. With sleeplessness, the body doesn’t produce enough serotonin, and a vicious cycle is set. If you struggle with insomnia, try these 12 practical steps toward cultivating and protecting your most precious health ally: sleep. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. Go to bed early—by 10 pm. The body releases most of its melatonin between 10 pm to 2 am. Before bed, have quiet time. Enjoy some time to yourself or with your partner or family. Turn off the phone: nothing bad will happen if you don’t take calls at night. Remove computers, telephones, and TV from your bedroom. These devices contribute to electromagnetic pollution and distract you from sleeping....