Hi, I am Dr. Nicole Cain and I want to talk with you quickly about alternative solutions for insomnia. A lot of my patients come to me expressing that they were told that there really are only a couple of options for insomnia, and that would be CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy and medications. But there are so many other things that you can do and I want to spend just a couple minutes talking about my favorite solutions for insomnia. The first is to understand what might be happening with insomnia. One we see is that the neurotransmitter GABA can go down and that can make it harder to relax and we can feel more anxious and rushed and that can cause problems with sleeping. Another thing that we can see, is cortisol changes. Cortisol is the stress hormone released by your adrenal glands and during periods of high stress the cortisol levels in your body can go up. So when we’re addressing insomnia, we want to try to figure out how we can balance those neurotransmitters. And so ways to increase GABA, some of my favorite ways to do this is through the use of amino acids. My favorite combination, I call it “Dr. Cain’s Happy Sleepy Combo”, and that has inositol, I use about 12 grams, and I use theanine, and it depends on how you feel when you take theanine, some people do really well with 100 milligrams, and some people do great with 600, so you will have to play with the dose. I often recommend adding to that 1.5 milligrams of taurine and then adding about a gram of glycine. So we talked about inositol, theanine, taurine, and glycine, and those can all support increasing your GABA levels.
Another thing we want to try to do is to try to decrease cortisol levels at bedtime to reduce that stress hormone. My favorite way to do that is phosphatidylserine. I love Jarrow’s brand and it has a really nice absorbable 100-milligram capsule that you can take. You can mix all of these ingredients together and I call it the “Happy Sleepy Powder”. So put it in a little bit of water and take a swig and then when you’re going to bed, make sure you’re using great sleep hygiene. So that would be not using devices with blue light and it would be not doing work in bed and not doing anything else in bed that might keep you up and stimulated. We see that sleep hygiene is an important factor in making sure that you can get good sleep.
Another creed that I recommend too, is if you’ve been awake for about 20 minutes to actually get up out of bed and go and lay down somewhere else. If you lay down elsewhere and your mind is still busy, you can actually take another dose of your “Happy Sleepy Powder”. It’s very safe, there aren’t any side effects, other than making you feel more relaxed and sleepy and you won’t overdose at the doses that I gave you. So if you wake up in the middle of the night and your mind is racing, you can use the “Happy Sleepy Powder” to help relax you and calm you down.
A bonus recommendation is if you tolerate melatonin well, then adding that to your protocol. I love sublingual melatonin because it can kick in fairly quickly. I often recommend doing between 3 and 6 milligrams. Some people though have what’s called a paradoxical reaction to melatonin and so try a small dose first and see how you feel. Again, this has been Dr. Nicole Cain and we’ve been talking about solutions for insomnia. There are ways that you can feel like yourself again. This suggestion was just talking about natural alternatives to benzodiazepines, trazodone, and other medications, but it is not a substitution for seeing a doctor and getting to the root cause of why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling. Find a great naturopathic physician and get in today and start feeling like yourself again. To learn more go to www.drnicolecain.com Thanks for watching!