There is a non-Rx drug available that seems to be promising in the aiding of sleep, as well as being safe and not produced for capitalistic gain. It's called NYTEX, and it's actually very new. NYTEX relies heavily on a special formula of antioxidants, so in addition to helping you sleep soundly, it will be boosting your immune system as well. For more info about NYTEX, you can check out the News Target article on it here

Something to try, if you haven't already, is to get more sun. What happens is the melatonin in our bodies that tells us when it is time to sleep and when it isn't, relies on the sun to get an idea of when the right time is. When we go outside, the melatonin levels drop because our body tells it that its daylight out and that it's not time to sleep. This explains the problem with people who work a lot during the day inside – the melatonin levels rise up because the body isn't sure whether or not it is actually day or night. More sun exposure will help balance out your melatonin levels. But do keep in mind that sunlight through the windows isn't a great substitute since windows block out ultra violet light. Now sometimes this doesn't work because some people's bodies naturally don't produce the right amount of melatonin – so in this instance, a suppliment is needed to make this work. If you would like to know more about risks, side-effects, etc, before taking a melatonin suppliment, you can read all about it here. I am unsure about pricing in general, but at this store a bottle of melatonin sells for $49. Perhaps if you plug melatonin into Froogle, you will be able to find the lowest price?

Naturally of course you should stay away from stimulants like caffeine. But aside from taking it before bed, you should really try to avoid it all. When caffeine is taken to wake us up – or in general really – it throws off this natural cycle of ours and it can easily create a downward spiral that doesn't stop untill the caffeine is removed. What types of beverages do you usually drink?

Here's a snippit from News Target's Mike Adams:

MSG is something you have to look for on food labels because it's hidden in a lot of grocery store products. This is a highly toxic ingredient. It will not only cause sleep disorders, it will also tend to cause migraine headaches and can even lead to Alzheimer's disease. MSG does not belong in the human body. It can even interfere with normal appetite regulatory functions and make it almost impossible for people to lose weight, especially if they are currently obese. So MSG is one thing to avoid, and refined white sugars are another because of the way they overstress the pancreas and other organs involved in hormone regulation throughout the body.

So clearly avoid MSG and and refined sugar (although all-natural sugar is ok, and there are also natural sugar substitutes too).

Back on the subject of the imbalance of melatonin, one thing that can cause the imbalance is carbohydrate cravings from low serotonin levels in the brain (the happy stuff :P). To boost these levels, all you have to do is eat and drink the things that you're really not supposed to take in the first place: very refined carbs, soft drinks, caffeine, refined flour, and high-fructose corn syrup. People eat this stuff all the time and it boosts serotonin levels and as such drops melatonin and we can see an easy cycle appearing again. Isn't it great that the FDA tells us that this stuff is safe?

Here's another snippet from Mike Adam's article:

Of course there are herbs that can help you sleep. Those include chamomile, hops, or valerian root but these are really just herbs being used like drugs. It's no different from taking Valium, which is in fact a derivative of the valerian medicinal herb. If you're using drugs to get to sleep, then you have a serious problem. Drugs are not going to give you sound sleep. They are only a temporary mask for the root cause of the problem.

(Josh's note: I would not discourage safe medication in the begining, but to be dependent on any drug, herb, etc, for eternity is not right and that's not how the body is supposed to operate, nor should medicine operate like that.)

Here's one last article for you:

  • Stress and depression is the common cause of insomnia, except like pain, illness, orthopnea (inability to breathe on lying flat) and depression.
  • Environmental and lifestyle factors may also cause insomnia such as too much light or noise, an uncomfortable bed, drinking too much coffee or eating late, jet lag after a long flight, shift work or withdrawal symptoms (from anti-depressants).
  • 2. Try relaxation techniques; like psychological relaxation such as meditation, visualization, autogenic training and gentle exercises such as yoga can be tried to help decrease stress and thus decrease the build up of these stress hormones.
  • 3. Muscle relaxation; Physical exercise raises your core body temperature and increases your adrenaline levels.
  • Exercise should take place in the afternoon or early evening since hormone levels lowers after five or six hours, thus promoting a deep sleep.
  • Exercises right before you go to bed will prevent you from sleeping soundly.
  • Milk contains tryptophan, a substance that promotes sleep.
  • 5. The food we eat may also effect how well we sleep.
  • Protein-rich foods like milk, tuna, nuts, whole meal bread, dates and potatoes are rich in an amino acid tryptophan (chemical messenger in the body), which on reaching to the brain approximately an hour later it releases serotonin (hormone) that helps you relax.
  • 6. Large meals should be avoided at least four hours prior to going to bed and avoid caffeine and nicotine.
  • 7. Calcium, magnesium and zinc as well as vitamins B6, B3 and C supplements can help calm the nervous system and so help treat insomnia.
  • Try to imagine a favorite piece of music or plan a vacation.
  • Soft calming pastel colors are the best and there should not be a drastic difference in the patterns of your bedspread, curtains and carpets.
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