Get Serious About Sleep

Good sleep is one of the most vital elements of good health—but for many of us, it can also be hard to find. Here, customers and Pharmaca staff tell us about their favorite sleep products, and Dr. Suen Sohn, former naturopathic doctor at our Oakland store, tells us about why these things work.

“I take my magnesium/calcium/vitamin D supplement just before bedtime to help relax me and my muscles.”
-Kim, customer, West Seattle Pharmaca

“Magnesium can work as a muscle relaxer,” says Dr. Sohn. “So if tension is contributing to sleep problems, it can help people wind down and soothe any muscle aches.”

L-Theanine is my favorite. There is no hangover, and I don’t feel that it ‘knocks me out.’ It is a more gentle choice for me.”
-Kristin, customer, North Boulder Pharmaca

“L-theanine is an amino acid derivative of green tea,” says Dr. Sohn. While it won’t put you to sleep, it can lessen any anxiety and “racing thoughts” that you have around bedtime.

Kava really helps my body calm down after a long day running around.”
-Sindy, Team Member, Pharmaca Home Office

“Kava definitely has a bodily effect, as well as a mental effect, in producing calm,” says Dr. Sohn. “It makes some people feel drowsy, but it can also just help you relax.” She cautions that there are some liver toxicity issues with kava, however, so make sure you speak with a practitioner before taking it.

“I like the Serious Relaxer by WishGarden Herbs. It’s relaxing for the muscles, and especially good when I overdo it with exercise. I need it to get my body to relax.”
-Whitney, Team Member, North Boulder Pharmaca

This herbal formula combines a number of useful elements, such as Valerian root, European Betony leaf, Passionflower vine, Scullcap leaf and Ginger Root.

“For most people, the valerian will have a drowsy effect,” says Dr. Sohn. “Passionflower is often used in anxiety formulas and can be very relaxing. And ginger is a good circulatory enhancer. It can also be warming, which is good for tight muscles.”

Depending on what keeps you up at night, Pharmaca practitioners can help you find the right path to better sleep. Dr. Sohn, for example, often recommends Sleepy Nights by WishGarden Herbs, or Natural Factors’ Tranquil Sleep, a blend of L-Theanine, Melatonin and 5-HTP. Come in to Pharmaca today to find your perfect sleep formula.

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