~ Food Has Power ~
We've had a long sleep history here. Although, not nearly so severe after ds weaned at age two. Mostly, his issues stem from the mercury load he got from me in utero and during nursing, and the resulting gut imbalances.
I'd look at thyroid issues first and saliva testing. Adrenal supplements can have a very significant hormonal imbalancing effect. There are nutritional ways to address the issues, imo. And whole foods are much safer than individual supplements which suppress the symptoms, not address the underlying cause.
I made ds a weighted blanket because he needed heavy pressure touch to ground him. They are easy to make. They are available online also: http://www.weightedblanket.net/
Here are instructions: http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=732684&hi...
The weighted blanket improved everyone's sleep!
Zinc and magnesium are HUGE for sleep. See this diagram, "Pathways to Happiness and Sleep" (Serotonin and Melatonin)
Zinc foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=115
Magnesium foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=75
Magnesium is difficult to get enough from food, except for Nettles infusion and bone broth have significant amounts. We supplement Magnesium Citrate with Natural Calm. Magnesium citrate is is more bio-available. Epsom salt baths are wonderful for calming and relaxing too.
I assume you all avoid wheat/gluten and dairy? What about HFCS, GMO-corn and GMO-soy? They are very difficult to avoid as they are ubiquitous. But, wow! What a difference.
Food folate is huge. Folate is in greens, beans, legumes and liver.
Vit C is another natural detoxifier. Vit C and magnesium can stand in for many nutrient deficiencies. Both are important to hundreds and hundreds of biological processes. Here is my "MTHFR Manifesto" about how the nutrients work in combination: http://heal-thyself.ning.com/notes/A_MTHFR_Manifesto_by_the_Probiot...
Getting sunlight to the brain through the eyes first thing in the morning helps to set the biological clock. I'll look toward the morning light, first thing and it helps me to wind down at night. the recommendation is no electronic light sources the hour or two before bed. We do not abide by that. But, we do turn down the lights around 10pm and have a bedtime routine.
The Epsom salt baths are important for the sulfate which helps several detoxification issues also.
Omega 3 fatty acids, and decreasing the huge exposures to Omega 6 fatty acids has really helped here. We use fermented CLO. Nordic Naturals peach flavored CLO is easier for many to tolerate, though. Limiting canola and corn oils are helpful for decreasing Omega 6. We use coconut oil and butter for cooking instead. Rarely using organic sunflower oil and organic safflower oil for high heat. Olive oil, only raw.
B12 is in animal products and is created in the gut with adequate microbials. Fermented veggies are amazing for helping to rebalance gut microbials. Only need a forkful to get huge benefits! Bubbies sauerkraut and dill pickles are easy sources. Making homemade isn't complicated either.
Selenium is really important and often lacking in our diets. One Brazil nut is plenty of selenium for an adult, per day. So, maybe mixing one in a smoothie every now and again will provide this. Selenium helps thyroid and binds heavy metals.
Have you had lead or mercury levels tested, by chance? There is a hair test and ALCAT for food intolerances. They can be inaccurately evaluated. So, we haven't had them done.
Protein is huge for methylation which is related to sleep tolerance, ime. Salicylates are another consideration. Let me know if you need more info about the Feingold Diet.
I'd start water kefir straight-away. Bottled probiotics are basically a waste of money as most they don't survive transportation and shelf life and stomach acid to recolonize the gut. Money down the toilet, imo. Water kefir is as easy as making lemonade and just as cheap.
For general detoxification support, I'd start bone broth, asap. The phosphorus, calcium and glutathione are huge for gut health.
We have used Melatonin on occasion when we have something significant going on the next day and need a full night sleep. The key with Melatonin, which is a hormone, is that less is more. There is a liquid dosing bottle available on Vitacost. We use just DROPS out of the bottle, NOT MG. Additionally, there is an herbal tincture called Deep Sleep. It is well known herbs for relaxation and sleep. Again, the liquid supplement allows very tiny, incremental dosing.
The issue with Melatonin is that it wears off after about 4-5 hours. And if there is a light sleep cycle, the lack of natural Melatonin doesn't allow one to resume sleep. This is especially common as the body develops a tolerance for increasing amounts of supplemented Melatonin. Thus it is necessary to take breaks from the supplementation. By using the liquid dropper, instead of the tablets, minuscule amounts can be given so as not to disturb the body's natural Melatonin production.
Both the Melatonin and the Deep Sleep have cumulative effects with repeated dosing. So, to get more effectiveness, it is necessary to use them for several days in a row.
Another key is a totally pitch black room. We have shades on the windows to prevent that morning light from awakening early. And no night lights or alarm clock lights, etc. in the room. Additionally, many people are just night owls and/or require less sleep. We did find that our son has grown more when he sleeps more. (We grow in our sleep.) Classical homeopathy has helped our sleep tremendously and we wake ready to bounce into our day with a smile on (generally).
An N.D. is schooled in many subjects. A Classical Homeopathist specializes in homeopathy. I would address chronic health issues with the consultation of a Classical Homeopath, personally.
The Bach flower essence White Chestnut or "Rescue Sleep" both are helpful for sleep.
Hope that helps!
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Pat Robinson, Wellness Educator
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