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Sweet Dreams

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Herbs,Supplements at 8:00 am | By: Jeremy Michael, Contributing Author

We have all been there. Lying in bed at 12:00am on a Wednesday night staring at the ceiling trying to count sheep but still unable to fall into a deep slumber. Approximately one third of adults endure some difficulty either falling asleep, staying asleep or both.  Even as many as 95% of Americans have reported an episode of insomnia at some point in their lives. Sleep disorders not only impair quality of life but have also been linked to a variety of other diseases including: hypertension, depression, anxiety, decreased reaction times, obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. However, there are some dietary and supplemental changes you can add into your daily lives to help you sleep better.

There are simple changes you can make in your diet to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.  Avoiding coffee and other caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon or evening can help you feel less jittery closer to bedtime. Even though it’s considered a depressant, alcohol can also be detrimental to your sleep habits. It might seem that drinking alcohol helps you to fall asleep at night; it can lead to a lighter sleep and more sleep disruptions later in the night. Other dietary changes to consider include avoiding overeating and large meals before bedtime, staying away from spicy foods, and avoiding nicotine. Changes in diet aren’t the only way to lower your sleep disruptions though. There are also some supplements you can consider adding to your daily routine.

L-Tryptophan , the precursor to serotonin, plays an important role in sleep function.  Serotonin is a chemical found naturally in the body that promotes relaxation.  A number of studies have found that taking 1-2g of L-Tryptophan before bedtime can improve insomnia.  Valeriana officinalis, or more commonly known as valerian root, has mainly been used to treat insomnia. This herb contains two substances that contain a sedative like effect. Research has also shown that valerian improves overall sleep quality, shortens the time it takes to fall asleep, and also decreases the number of perceived awakenings during sleep.  This herb although safe, should not be taken if you’re already taking a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressants.  Other supplements that have been shown to be effective for the treatment of insomnia include: vitamin B12, magnesium, and melatonin. Don’t let sleepless nights stand in your way; shop Lucky Vitamin for all your natural sleep aids.

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