Two hundred years ago the average American slept 10 hours. Today it is 5 hours, about 30% below the healthy ideal. Lifestyle may be the culprit behind our nation’s insomnia.
THE 24-HOUR SOCIETY by Martin C. Moore-Ede provides overwhelming evidence that inadequate sleep is one of the leading health hazards. Poor or inadequate sleep is associated with heart attacks, fibromyalgia, fatigue, automobile and truck accidents, poor performance, diabetes, depression, and a weakened immune system. We have known for decades that workers who work swing shifts have the worst health; night shift next worse; evening shift next. Those who work a ”normal” workday of roughly 8 AM to 5 PM are healthier than all other shift workers. Basically, you cannot afford the luxury of compromising sleep.
Meanwhile, the PharmacoMafia offers a wide variety of even more unhealthy alternatives, often sought by the public and pushed by cooperating physicians. The worst of these are benzodiazepine drugs, which may provide sleep but deprive you of quality stage 4 sleep AND lead to depression. Antidepressant drugs are also often prescribed as adjuncts for inducing sleep. None of these provides stage 4 sleep, the most critical requirement.
For short-term use, Ambien is the best of the drugs for assisting sleep but it is at best habituating and is not suitable for long-term use. It does not cure insomnia.
So, what are the safe answers for adequate sleep and insomnia relief?
- First and foremost, a healthy lifestyle. Go to bed by 10 PM and no later than 11 PM. Plan to awaken at 6 or 7 AM. Plan on 8 full hours and schedule it!
- Exercise adequately and finish all physical exercise by 6 PM. For most individuals, early morning exercise is best and provides more energy throughout the day.
- Eat a healthy diet. Read my blog post “Nutrition for Healthy Weight.”
- NO CAFFEINE after 3 PM.
- No nicotine, period
- Take a hot soak or sauna 3 hours before planned bedtime.
- Finish your evening meal 4 hours before planned bedtime.
- No alcohol within 3 hours of planned bedtime.
- Place a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow.
- If you go to bed and cannot fall asleep, get up and exercise until you are exhausted, then return to bed. Of course, you have to be physically fit to do this!
- Try adding 15 to 45 mg of lithium orotate an hour before bedtime.
- Next in line, take 3000 mg of taurine before bed.
- Use the Shealy RelaxMate II as you go to bed, set for one hour.
- If that does not work, take 2 grams of Tryptophan at bedtime.
- Next, try 3 to 15 mg of melatonin at bedtime. Larger dosages may leave a hangover.
- If all above has failed, get and use Liss Cranial Electrical Stimulator, Shealy Series, one hour in the morning, best completed by 9 AM.
- Practice Autogenic Training every day, and as you fall asleep.
- Do the 90 DAYS TO STRESS-FREE LIVING program by me.
- Avoid TV, especially the ”evening news.”
- If you are healthy and have no liver problems, take kava kava 500 mg at bedtime, for not more than a week.
Remember, you need and deserve adequate sleep!
Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. He recommends autogenic focus (the basis of the Biogenics System) as part of your overall commitment to self-health. Register to download your FREE autogenic focus MP3 now.