Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D. is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock writes The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter and has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D.

Get the Sleep You Need

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 09:05 AM

By Russell Blaylock, M.D.

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The lack of sleep can sharply influence your quality of life as well as raise your risk of everything from automobile accidents to obesity and heart attacks.

The problem with sleep-inducing drugs is that they rarely produce restful sleep, and they often plague users with a number of complications and side effects, including next-day drowsiness, sleepwalking, and confusion.


Below are steps you can take to increase the likelihood that you will enjoy a good night's sleep without the use of drugs. (For additional information, read my report "Good Sleep: Stop Insomnia, Reduce Stress, Boost Your Total Health"):
 
• Always try to go to bed at least by midnight.  Staying up late resets the biological clock and can disrupt sleep patterns.

• Keep the room slightly cool.  Benjamin Franklin suggested a cool pillow to induce sleep.

• Make sure the room is dark.  Avoid nightlights, brightly lit phone dials and clocks.

• Try playing soothing music on a low volume at bedtime.

• Avoid reading or watching television at least one hour before bedtime.  Allow yourself time to wind down.

• Some people will become hypoglycemic during the night, and this will wake them up.  Avoid sugar and sweet foods in the evening. Try eating a piece of turkey by itself (no bread) before bedtime. Turkey is high in L-tryptophan, an amino acid that the brain uses to generate the sleep neurotransmitter serotonin.

• Avoid caffeine, smoking and all foods containing excitotoxins.

• Avoid sleeping late and naps during the day.

• Exercise earlier in the day.  Exercise lowers inflammatory cytokines. Exercising late in the day revs up the metabolism and this can keep you awake. Do not exercise after 7:00 PM.

• Before retiring for the night, take the following:

­ 1) One gram of buffered vitamin C (magnesium or calcium ascorbate). This helps induce sleep.
­ 2) Magnesium citrate (120 mg.) at bedtime. It is a natural relaxant and calmative.
­ 3) Melatonin. Start at 1 mg. 30 minutes before bedtime. Increase as necessary. It will induce dreaming.

Other natural sleep aids:

• Calming teas.  Chamomile, valerian root, passionflower and catnip all calm and sooth the nerves.

• Flavonoids. Many flavonoids are anxiolytic, meaning they calm anxiety. The most useful are hesperidin and quercetin. Take 250 to 500 mg. of hesperidin and 250 mg. of quercetin one hour before bedtime. They also reduce inflammation.

• Omega-3s. Take your fish oils one hour before bedtime. (One teaspoon to one tablespoon.) The omega-3 fatty acids suppress the cytokines that disturb sleep. For more information on how omega-3 oils boost your health, read my report "Omega 3: Nature’s Miracle Panacea."
  
For more of Dr. Blaylock's weekly tips, go here to view the archive.

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Russell Blaylock, M.D., is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. Dr. Blaylock writes The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter.
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