Tag Archives: prod-520913

  • How to Catch More Zzzzs

    Everyone’s got advice on how to fall asleep quicker. But what if you’ve tried the warm milk, the boring book and the comfy mattress? When sleep problems are keeping you from waking up fresh faced, take comfort in sleep solutions from Pharmaca. Here are a few common sleep problems, addressed by Kate Brainard, ND.

    I fall asleep fine, but wake up at 2am sharp. Is there a supplement to help me stay asleep all night?

    My first recommendation would be to take melatonin before bed-it’s a natural sleep hormone that we make in our bodies, so supplementing what we do make can help us stay asleep longer. You can take it either in its individual form like in Source Naturals Melatonin, which is timed-release to keep it working throughout the night, or in combination with other herbal formulas. One product I like is Pharmaca Sleep, which includes 3 mg of melatonin and a blend of relaxing and calming herbs. One thing with melatonin, if you take too much, it can be hard to snap out of it the next day. Start with a lower dose and work your way up.

    For a completely herbal approach, I would try Deep Sleep by Herbs, Etc. It’s a blend of California poppy, valerian, passionflower, chamomile, lemon balm, oat seed and orange peel, all of which promote restful sleep. But you do have to take it for a few days before you’ll see the right effects.

    Sometimes my mind just won’t stop racing. What can I take to calm my thoughts so I can fall asleep more quickly?

    Skullcap is a great herb for calming ruminating thoughts. Herb Pharm and Gaia Herbs both offer Skullcap Extract, but you can find blends that include skullcap and other stress-reducing herbs that can be really beneficial.

    GABA is another supplement commonly used for people who can’t get their brain to slow down. It’s a neurotransmitter inhibitor—it slows down the synapses that keep firing, usually because you have too much stress. Again, GABA can be taken on its own or in combination, like in the formula NightRest by Source Naturals that includes GABA, melatonin, skullcap and other relaxing herbs.

    I seem to sleep fine most of the night, but I usually wake up around 4 or 5am and just lay there until I have to get up. Anything I can take to fall back asleep for just a little while without causing a “sleep hangover”?

    My suggestions would be more gentle, I would never recommend melatonin at this time. Instead, I like Calms Forte Sleep Aid, a non-drowsy homeopathic remedy that’s also non-habit forming, which is important to a lot of people. It has a blend of different homeopathics, ingredients that you’ll see in a lot of sleep remedies. For example, passionflower helps with restlessness from exhaustion, and oat seed is good for stress and nervousness.

    Another good one is Bach’s Rescue Sleep. You can just spritz a few sprays in your mouth and it should be enough to get you back to sleep for just a little while.

  • Hit the Hay

    For many people, getting to sleep or even getting back to sleep can be a struggle. We spoke with pharmacist Anne Friar and Ayurvedic practitioner Sunny Rose at Pharmaca in Albuquerque to find out about the range of solutions available to help the sleepless get more rest. From time-tested herbal formulas to doctor-recommended prescriptions, Pharmaca can help you conquer short-term sleeplessness and chronic insomnia.

    Sunny: Insomnia is often a result of stress, worry and having too much on the mind. I like to start by recommending remedies that gently relax the nerves-ones that don’t interact or have side effects. Bach’s Rescue Sleep is great because people can use it if they wake up in the middle of the night and it won’t make them drowsy the next day. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go to herbal combinations like Deep Sleep from Herbs, Etc. with things like valerian, lemon balm, poppy and passionflower.

    Anne: Ambien or its generic versions and Trazodone are the two prescriptions we see most often for insomnia. For people who are prescribed Ambien, I tell them not to take more than the recommended dose and to avoid drinking alcohol. It’s a pretty quickly metabolized drug, so it’s best to have 6-8 hours of sleep time to avoid the “hangover” the next morning. Ambien is really only recommended for occasional sleeplessness, a few times a week, but a lot of people start taking it every night. Because it can be mildly addictive, we can advise on alternative options so people don’t become reliant.

    Sunny: I try to recommend melatonin in moderation because people can become habituated to it and need increasing amounts. In certain cases, I suggest Natural Health International’s Herbatonin, because it is a low-dose, plant-based melatonin that is safer for the long term. I also like Pharmaca brand Sleep Formula, which combines an herbal blend with melatonin-perfect for taking during an especially stressful period or for jet lag.

    I see more people with insomnia than almost anything else. Being an Ayurvedic practitioner, I also encourage people to try restorative yoga and good breathing practices. In my opinion these are some of the most important things you can do.

    Speak with one of Pharmaca’s pharmacists or licensed practitioners for advice and information that suits your specific needs. And enjoy getting your zzzs.

2 Item(s)