As we discussed in our last blog about sleep deprivation, several studies have shown that regularly sleeping 5 hours or less at night increased mortality risk from all causes by about 15%. A better night’s sleep is key to staying healthy.
Follow these tips to get a better night’s sleep.
- No, nada, zip glowing screens in the bedroom. No TV, cell phones, tablets, computers. You may enjoy using those devices in bed, but is it really worth having a lousy night of sleep?
- Keep your room cool and dark
- No alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime. After a few hours of drinking alcohol, it paradoxically acts as a stimulant. Increasing the number of awakening and decreasing the quality of sleep at night.
- Insomnitol by Designs for Health – 2 capsules 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. The combination of natural products, amino acids, neurotransmitters, along with melatonin. In my opinion, gives patients the best chance at a better night’s sleep. Let’s talk about these ingredients a little more in depth:
- PharmaGABA – GABA is a neurotransmitter that inhibits brain excitation which causes irritability, restlessness, and sleeplessness. GABA promotes relaxation and enhances sleep, while low levels of GABA may have an adverse impact on sleep.
- L-theanine – an amino acid that alters levels of various neurotransmitters and produces a calming effect. Studies have shown that people who take L-theanine experience less anxiety and stress. 
- Melatonin – a hormone produced naturally in response to changes in light exposure. Taking a melatonin supplement helps maintain a healthy wake/sleep cycles because as we age our natural melatonin production decreases. Melatonin has been shown to be particularly effective for the elderly, people who work at night, and people who travel across time zones. 
- 5-HTP – an amino acid that plays an important role in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is associated with a feeling of well-being. Studies have shown serotonin promotes deeper sleep, and, while taking serotonin orally is not an option (it doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier), 5-HTP is effective orally and will increase the synthesis of serotonin.
- Activated Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) – increases the production of GABA (which is good…see above) and helps move along the conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin (also good….see above).
What to Expect
Most of my patients see results within a day or two. I tell my patients after they get at least a couple of weeks of good, long, restful sleep, they can go down to 1 capsule at bedtime. Remember, if sleep disturbances are caused by elevated cortisol (from stress/anxiety) or dietary inflammation this may not be the product for you. Upcoming blogs are going to tackle that topic, so keep a look out. If you can’t wait, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can discuss ways to help you get a better nights sleep. Until next time….. Dr. Kent
Watch our review of some sleep aids.
 Journal of Physiological Anthropology An official journal of the Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology (JSPA)201231:28
 Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Oct;111:128-35. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2013.09.004. Epub 2013 Sep 16.