Insomnia often accompanies chronic infections and biotoxin illness. Often, you may be tired all day, but unable to sleep at night. So, what can you do?
You must develop healthy sleep habits! Good sleep hygiene is just as important as personal hygiene. And both must be performed daily.
A regular sleep schedule is the first step. Try to go to bed and get out of bed at the same time every day even if you do not feel like it.
Many patients with Lyme disease need to take naps. However, it is best to minimize napping too much. A short power nap can revitalize you, but a lengthy nap will interfere with your nocturnal sleep.
Avoid caffeine especially in the evening since it stimulates the nervous system and keeps you awake. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, and some medicines.
Nicotine is also a stimulant which should be avoid for quality sleep and for optimal health.
Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but it may wake you up later and it will interfere with sleep quality.
Heavy meals and high carbohydrate foods should be avoided late at night. A light balanced snack is preferred instead of an empty stomach.
Some people find that high tryptophan foods, such as organic milk and turkey, help with sleep. The tryptophan is converted to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) which is then changed to serotonin. Serotonin promotes sleep.
A comfortable sleeping environment is essential for insomnia help. For example, your bedroom should be cool and adequately vented. Bedding and pillows should be comfortable. Sometimes a weighted blanket is helpful.
Also, block out as much light and noise as possible. Darkness activates your pineal gland to release melatonin which induces and maintains sleep.
A warm bath raises body temperature and then the fall in body temperature afterward causes sleepiness. A warm bath with Epsom slats is not only relaxing, but is also detoxifying.
Avoid television and computer work right before bedtime. The bright light from the screen inhibits the release of melatonin from the pineal gland causing you to awaken more fully.
Do not sleep near cell phones and other electronic devices. Similarly, make sure that your bed is not located near the electrical box for your home. The electromagnetic radiation can interfere with sleep.
Often, beds with metal springs and metal frames and metal headboards create random chaotic magnetic fields which harm the body. Sleep can be improved by eliminating all metal in and around the bed with a natural and organic mattress on a wood frame. Often, natural latex (as opposed to synthetic latex - there is a difference!) is used in these healthy mattresses. An additional benefit is the low to no off-gassing of dangerous and toxic chemicals, such as formaldehyde and flame-retardants.
And speaking about off-gassing, it is wise to remove synthetic materials from your sleep haven. These items include non-organic sheets and comforters, plastic furniture, particle board furniture, plastic plants, etc. Instead, use organic bed linens and wood furniture.
If you do wake up in the middle of the night, keep the light off or at least very dim. Read for a little while out of bed. Get a light snack if necessary. Do not watch television or do computer work, and do not do any housework or exercise. Return to bed when you are drowsy again.
When you awaken in the morning, turn on a bright light or look at daylight. Light suppresses the release of melatonin from the pineal gland and re-establishes your circadian rhythm.
Dr. Richey can help you with supplements for healthy sleep, and your primary care physician can help you with sleep medications, if needed.Sweet dreams!