What are the most common sleep disorder and insomnia causes? There are many. Among the younger generation, the most common are stress (could be both emotional and physical), alcohol overindulgence, and stimulant drugs and medicines. Alcohol is a depressant. Therefore, when we stop drinking after overindulgence, the reverse happens. The brain is over stimulated and cannot fall asleep. This effect may last up to 2 weeks. The use of stimulant drugs such as amphetamines, or even over then counter herbs like ephedra can also cause overstimulation of the brain, not allowing it to relax and fall asleep. So if you indulge in such substances and have sleep problems, stop taking them for better sleep. But perhaps the most common cause of insomnia is overindulgence in caffeine (both in regular coffee and energy drinks).
Among the elderly, the most common causes are the normal, decreased amount of sleep that occurs with age (although this normal response can be exaggerated, causing problems), as well as pain and chronic medical conditions. Emotional stress is also a common cause. Another common cause in all age groups is sleep apnea (i.e. improper breathing during sleep).
Proper sleep is paramount for good health. Insomnia (improper sleep) causes drowsiness, lack of concentration and irritability the next day. Over prolonged periods, it is also linked to cardiovascular diseases, obesity and psychological problems (mood swings etc.).
So what are the best natural supplements and treatments for the most common sleep disorder and insomnia causes?
Number one on the list is melatonin. This is a hormone in our brain that regulates sleep. Total darkness when we go to sleep stimulates its release. But this may not be enough. In this case supplementation helps.
Second is 5-HTP, this is a precursor to another sleep inducing substance in our brain called tryptophan (commonly found in turkey meat; that’s why it makes us sleepy).
The mineral magnesium is also very important. It relaxes the nerves and calms us down. Try a glass of natural calm before bed time.
With regards to herbs, the most famous ones are chamomile flower, hops, lavender, valerian and passion flower. You can find these herbs in many of the teas found at Vitarock under the sleep aid health benefits heading.
Finally, with regards to sleep apnea, there are two ways to go about this: weight loss and CPAP. The second option stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It’s a machine that takes over breathing for us when we are asleep in times when we are not breathing properly.
These are my tips for alleviation of sleep disorder and insomnia causes.
Dr. Karol M.D