FALLBROOK – Millions of people around the world battle insomnia, including many Fallbrook area residents. Sleeplessness may be a byproduct of different conditions, and treatment may depend on the underlying cause of the insomnia. Many people find using all-natural supplement therapy can be enough to ward off sleeplessness.
Insomnia is more prevalent among elderly individuals and women. Elderly people are more likely than younger ones to have medical conditions that may cause pain at night or to take medication that can interfere with a good night’s rest.
Some research suggests that men lose about 80 percent of their deep sleep between the ages of 16 and 50. For women, hormonal events often trigger sleeplessness. These can include menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Individuals who are over the age of 50 may be more prone to anxiety, grief and depression which can cause sleeplessness.
Although there are many different prescription and over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms of sleeplessness, some people prefer to not take these medications due to the risk of dependency or the side effects associated with them.
Those looking for a more natural approach can use the following vitamins and minerals in conjunction with good sleep hygiene.
• Calcium and magnesium combination: Calcium and magnesium have been shown to relax the central nervous system, helping the body drift into sleep It is important to note that a balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium helps calcium work properly. It is recommended to take 500 mg of calcium and 250 mg of magnesium once per day, later in the evening.
• Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin required for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Those who are deficient in B6 find the peripheral nerves, skin, mucous membranes and the central nervous system can be affected. Taking 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily can help in the production of serotonin and promote sleep.
• Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B5 combination: Taking B12, especially when supplemented with Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), can be a successful sleeplessness remedy. Vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common and is a factor for many patients who suffer from insomnia, especially seniors. Vitamin B5 may also relieve stress.
• Melatonin: Although melatonin is the go-to supplement for sleeplessness because of its direct relationship with sleep onset and circadian rhythm in the body, some research indicates that melatonin supplementation may only be effective for those who are deficient in this hormone.
Sleeplessness is something that can cause anything from mere annoyance to a long-term health problem. Older adults, who are more prone to insomnia, can consider a number of natural remedies to help get a better night’s rest. Prior to taking any vitamins or supplements, one should consult with their physician for the safe dosage amount.