What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a condition where an individual can have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep. 30-40% of Americans have sleep issues each year. When sleep disorders last longer than one month, they are classified as a chronic sleep disorder. Scientists do not know why we sleep, but the lack of sleep can affect our mood, our physical wellness, and our overall happiness. REM sleep is the time when we tend to dream, and we should have several episodes of REM sleep each night. Failure to reach REM sleep will have a negative effect on regenerative hormones that are produced while we sleep.
The Natural Sleep Hormone – Melatonin
Melatonin is secreted at night when darkness is approaching and it causes us to become sleepy and lowers our body temperature. Many prescription medications can block the production of Melatonin. You can ask our pharmacists if the medications you are taking may be depleting Melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep.
There are also lifestyle changes one can enact to improve the quality of sleep. If you have sleep issues, you should first examine the amount of caffeine you are consuming, especially at night. Alcohol will cause poor sleep, especially if taken in excess. To stimulate the production of Melatonin in the evening you should turn your lights down. Staring at computer screens, video games, or television just before bedtime can make Melatonin production difficult. Exercise can improve the quality of sleep, and eating meals too close to bedtime can adversely affect sleep.
Many individuals turn to prescription medications to try to address sleep disorders. However, these medications can become problematic as they can adversely affect the normal sleep cycle, especially the REM sleep cycle. We recommend starting with a quality sleep supplement to help restore the natural sleep rhythm. Magnesium is a mineral that acts as a calmative and helps our muscles relax, helping us to fall asleep more easily. Combinations of sleep-inducing ingredients such as magnesium, Melatonin, Valerian root, passionflower, and L-Theanine can induce a natural sleep onset. L-Theanine is a unique amino acid that acts as a calmative for us when taken during the day, but can help to improve sleep when taken at bedtime. L-Theanine is especially useful for those individuals who only sleep 4-5 hours a night.
If you have sleep problems, we invite you to ask our pharmacists for safe and effective recommendations to help you restore your natural sleep cycle.