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Sleep Issues

Sleep accounts for one-quarter to one-third of the human lifespan and issues with sleep are a main concern for Point of Return clients, particularly while on Sleeping Pills, Benzodiazepines, Antidepressants and Painkillers. Natural sleep eludes too many and the thought of drifting into a peaceful, non-drugged sleep is what drives many to get off addictive medications.

Sleep was thought to be a passive, dormant part of our daily lives, but in the 1950s this understanding changed. Our brains are very active during sleep with neurotransmitter and chemical production. While we sleep a process called ‘brainwashing’ occurs to remove toxins such as heavy metals and herbicides, and flush the by-products of ‘exhaust’ from energy production by the mitochondria.

Natural sleep doesn’t just support physical health, but has a profound effect on our brain because it organizes and archives memories. It is also essential to the creative process. The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards claims the riff in “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” came to him in his sleep, while Dmitri Mendeleev, the 19th century chemist, said he literally dreamed the periodic table of elements.

During the night, we shift from the predominant NREM (non-rapid eye movement) dreamless sleep to short segments of REM (rapid eye movement) state where dreams occur. NREM and REM sleep cycles are necessary to have restorative effects. But benzodiazepines and sleep medications dramatically reduce the length of time we spend in the dream stage and instead keep us in a light dreamless sleep. Though REM sleep was previously believed to be the most important sleep phase for learning and memory, newer data suggests that non- REM sleep is more important for these tasks, as well as being the more restful and restorative phase of sleep.

Sleep Strategies

Dr. Bill Code, Point of Return’s medical advisor implements a combination of healthy sleep strategies and targeted Nutraceuticals to assist his patients with sleep patterns. His new book, Solving the Brain Puzzle offers many solutions and is available on our site.

Nutraceuticals:

SUPPORT - Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant and it promotes sleep. The brain is susceptible to oxidative stress and the thalamus and hypothalamus are particularly vulnerable. Low levels of Glutathione contribute to some of the functional effects of sleep deprivation. Glutathione is a sleep promoting substance but also is essential to remove toxins, protect fats from oxidizing and assisting in immune and brain function.

MOOD - Omega 3, particularly the DHA portion, may assist with sleep. DHA helps release melatonin, the sleep promoting hormone, but DHA has shown in a recent study from Oxford University to improve the onset and stabilization of sleep.

RELAX – Lowering excessive Cortisol is critical to a good night’s sleep. High Cortisol causes an interruption in Melatonin secretion. While Cortisol is necessary for all dynamic body processes, this stress hormone must be controlled to ensure healthy sleep patterns. Relax counters the negative physiological effects of stress.

SLEEP – Synthetic melatonin can interact with many medications and is often hundreds of times higher than what the body needs, therefore inducing more sleep issues. Montmorency Tart Cherry contains melatonin nearly identical to human blood and does not interact with medications. It’s a natural way to help replenish melatonin levels.

Sleep Strategies (from Dr. Code’s book, Solving the Brain Puzzle):

  • Limit electromagnetic smog to 100 units per day. Wi-Fi within the home emits 30,000 so turning off Wi-Fi at night gives the brain a rest. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted from Wi-Fi devices, smart phones and other devices irritate the brain and can damage the blood-brain barrier, thus interrupting sleep. Turn smart phones off at night and charge your phone outside the bedroom. Do not watch television in bed.
  • Eliminate processed foods since they are loaded in chemicals, colorings, flavorings - all are excitotoxins that overstimulate the nervous system and interfere with sleep.
  • Lighten the evening meal and leave several hours prior to bedtime.
  • Do not consume caffeine late in the day.
  • Leave alcohol out, it shortens deep sleep patterns.
  • Reading at night quiets the mind and induces sleep.
  • Balance fluid intake so you do not drink late in the day.
  • Exercise early since physical activity stimulates the stress hormone Cortisol which in turn lowers Melatonin secretion.
  • Sleep in a dark, cool room.
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