Insomnia Medical Considerations
Relaxing Herbs: Valerian Root is an herb that is used extensively in Alternative Care Medicine to provide sedative and relaxation effects, as well as sleep promoting benefits for many patients. Passionflower, which is more widely used in Europe than America, may help combat Parkinson’s disease. (Reference: The Herbal Handbook, by David Hoffmann.) Many other herbalists also agree that Passionflower may help combat Parkinson’s disease. Passionflower contains two reportedly effective anti-Parkinson’s compounds, harmine and harmaline alkaloids. (Reference: The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke, Ph.D., 1997, p. 353.) Passionflower has anti-anxiety and sedative effects. Lemon Balm and Skullcap are traditional herbs for calming the nervous system.
A good night’s sleep allows Alpha Brains Waves to become active, which is important for quality rest. Alpha brain waves are most active during the phase of sleep known as “Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or more commonly referred to as “Deep Sleep.”
Kava Kava: Kava Kava (Piper Methysticum) is an herb that has been used in the Fiji Islands for many years. There it is cultivated in large quantities, and the islanders use it as a social beverage, much like how we would use either coffee or alcohol. The effects of Kava Kava are a relaxation of mental stress while at the same time an enhancement of mental capacities. Kava Kava also helps to relax striated muscles. Striated muscles are the muscles that can be voluntarily moved such as arm and leg muscles groups, or neck muscles. Kava Kava does NOT affect smooth muscle such as the heart muscle or diaphragm muscle used for breathing. It is proposed that the reason Kava Kava enhances mental capacities is because relaxation of stressful situations coupled with relaxation of tense or spastic muscles such as the neck muscles, allows more blood flow to the brain. Additionally, by putting some of the stressful affects aside, anyone can think clearer.
Magnesium: Magnesium is needed for: processing calcium in the body; relaxation of all muscles including the heart during its relaxation phase of the heart beat which helps protect against a spastic heart muscle and irregular heartbeat; eases Fibromyalgia symptoms; assists in lowering blood pressure by relaxing the muscle walls of arteries; and may reduce the severity of asthma attacks by allowing relaxation of chest wall muscles. Magnesium improves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and has shown to aid in reducing complications of diabetes. Magnesium is needed to counter the effects of stress and therefore extra magnesium is needed in times of stress. Magnesium is also needed in over 300 other biochemical and enzymatic pathways in the body.
B-Complex: B vitamins have long been known as the “Anti-Stress Vitamins.” B vitamins are essential in providing support against anxiety and depression. The more stress we have in our lives, the faster the B vitamins are used up. This is important to understand, as B vitamins are also critical in: energy production; maintaining healthy nerve function; liver detoxification processes; healthy skin and muscle tone; and are essential co-factors in hundreds of other chemical reactions with the body. Homocysteine levels, when elevated, can cause stroke, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Homocysteine levels are reduced by proper amounts of B6, B12 and Folic Acid. B vitamins are important in the functioning of the liver and in energy metabolism. They are necessary for the formation of the red blood cells, numerous hormones, and specific neurotransmitters. Adding a full B vitamin complex, and or adding all the B vitamins separately, is part of the standard protocol in EDTA IV Chelation therapy. If high amounts of stress are present in your life, it is essential to increase the amount of B vitamins in your diet. You will not be able to get enough B vitamins in your food to meet your body’s physiological needs, when modern day stresses are prevalent in your life.
Multi-Vitamins: High quality multi-vitamin / mineral formulas are needed to add the necessary “co-factors” needed for enzymatic pathways. Organic chemistry studies (a requirement for medical school students), demonstrates that all enzymatic, energy, and virtually all biological pathways in the human body, need many nutrients, or co-factors, to properly complete each pathway. Shortages of needed nutrients results in dysfunction of the organs for which those pathways could not be completed properly.
Insomnia is the difficulty of getting a good nights sleep. Difficulty sleeping is not only frustrating, but over time will adversely affect daily performance and well being.