Sleep Support Protocol
By Mira Dessy
Regular sleeplessness, the failure to get an entire night's sleep on a regular basis, being unable to fall asleep, or unable to get back to sleep are all considered to be insomnia. Insomnia can be caused by a wide variety of reasons including lifestyle, dietary influences, stress, anxiety, or other illnesses. After as little as two to three days sleep deprivation can lead to reduced mental and emotional processing. Continued sleep issues can potentially lead to significant health issues. Regular and consistent sleep is a key component to an overall plan for health and wellness. The following strategies can be implemented to try to support healthy sleep patterns.
1. no caffeine 8 hours before bedtime
2. try to go to bed at the same time each night
3. if sleep is fragmented avoid alcohol
4. no computer 1 hour before bed
5. try using a white noise machine or guided meditation CD
6. remove electronics from the bedroom
7. sleep in a dark room, the darker the better
8. use an eye mask if needed to further darken the space
Often when there is a lot of stress the use of a detox bath can be very calming. This bath may be used up to 2 times per week. Caution: do not use this bath if you are pregnant, nursing, have high blood pressure, or other health conditions which may be severely impacted by immersion in a hot bath.
1 C. epsom salts
1 C. baking soda
5-7 drops essential oils: lavender, grapefruit, ylang ylang, or vanilla
dissolve in a hot tub
soak for 20 minutes immediately before bed
Sleep inducing foods:
bananas, brown rice, grapefruit, plums, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, oats
A snack with calcium and magnesium may be helpful as these are relaxing nutrients:
• 1 ounce of cheese and a handful of almonds or
• 2 tablespoons of almond butter on a couple of crackers with a glass of milk or
• ¼ cup of raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and ½ cup of plain yogurt (add fresh fruit if desired)
Herbal teas known to have calming properties:
chamomile, valerian, linden, and lemon balm
To make herbal teas from bulk herbs use 1 teaspoon per cup of hot water and steep 5 minutes.
Chamomile is not recommended if there is an allergy to ragweed.
Lemon balm is not recommended if there are any thyroid issues.
Inositol (powder) – part of the B vitamin family - ¼ teaspoon mixed with water at bedtime, if needed increase to ½ teaspoon
Mira Dessy is a Certified Nutrition Educator and a professional member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, the American Holistic Health Association and the Weston A. Price Foundation. She lives and works in The Woodlands, TX and can be found online at http://www.grainsandmore.com