Insomnia, in its strictest sense, means spontaneously awakening (usually around 2 or 3 AM) and finding it difficult to return to sleep again. This form of sleeplessness is a symptom of hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. In a 24-hour cycle one’s blood sugar tends to be lowest at this time of night. The brain becomes disturbed by lack of its fuel (glucose) and awakens its owner. Snacking on sweets or consuming alcohol just before bedtime aggravates this problem by exaggerating, in susceptible people, the natural rise and fall of blood sugar levels. Eating a high protein food before bedtime is often all that is needed to correct insomnia. Protein foods stay in the digestive tract for a long time and release their glucose content into the bloodstream very slowly, thus helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Herbal aids (e.g., St. John’s wort, valerian, hops, chamomile, passion flower) can be taken either 15 minutes before bedtime and/or when one wakes up in the middle of the night, depending on the sleeping pattern to be corrected. A busy mind disrupts sleep patterns, so it is also helps to take a homeopathic calming agent during the day, to quiet both mind and body.
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