by Anita Sands Hernandez -- astrology @ earthlink.net
If you haven't gone through chronic insomnia you can NOT believe the horror of the thing. If you haven't tossed all night without a wink and faced this torture nightly, you don't know that it can bring kings to their knees.
If you haven't dragged yourself around blearily the day after, apologizing to all that you didn't sleep a wink, you can't imagine the grogginess and emotional suffering that goes with sleeplessness. Or the way people come to believe you're a nut or at very least, a secret cocaine addict. Or worse, they think that you're such a passionate female that with your single abstinant lifestyle, you simply cannot relax, ever. That you're obviously 'not getting any!' What an insult! Not gettin' any Z's is what I'm not gettin' fellah!
If you have this cannot punch-your-own-lights out condition, and the ancillary embarrassment, you GOTTA get power over things. Fatigue is the cause of creative block, vitaminosis, anxiety and chronic depression. Fatigue lowers immune system so that every disease in the book can walk right in. And it AGES one and leaves the door open for serious mental problems including schizophrenia, paranoia, all of which can be caused by a lack of sleep! Most of us just have poor FOCUS from those two three or four hour nights, but isn't that enough?
Follow these easy rules and you will find it's very easy to get insomnia out of the picture. There are two causes of insomnia: fast heart beat, (quit caffeine) & low blood sugar (quit refined carbs, (sugar alcohol, starches, baked goods after lunch hour.). Quitting those two will HEAL the pre-diabetic pancreas and dried up, shriveled adrenals that give you the vicious circle of thinking you need coffee all day when it is really messing with your ability to sleep, ergo causing the fatigue that makes you want the coffee or cokes.)
Many of my friends tell me they can drink coffee at bedtime and sleep perfectly well. I feel that at some point in one's hormonal life, the easy-sleep coffee user will have that coffee turn on him. When it does, that single, morning 'Cup of Java' gives a 24 hour inability to sleep especially if it's a high voltage African coffee. That can get you for two days of wakefulness.
Quitting coffee is a headache. Literally. If you plan to switch to decaf, take pain killers (buffered aspirin) every AM for the first few days while you half the daily dose. A full cup becomes a half, then the half becomes a quarter. As your bowels will tighten up with out that morning blast…… for that first week, take herbal laxatives every night (a spinach salad will do) and eat very lightly that week, no sticky white flour foods, less meat, lots of raw vegie juices or fruit taken between meals. This regimen will make it easy to quit caffeine. Although I am verging on blithe malarkey when I say that. Mark Twain knew about that kind of blithe malarky, I guess.
After you quit, Drink Colombian (most flavorful) De-Caf in the a.m., your daily dose ground fresh from whole beans in your blender, as it tastes the way coffee should. De-caf satisfies that habitual need to have that fragrant beverage with your two slices toasted Bible bread.
Or try Mate Tea from Argentina, a ‘soft’ caffeine, or try mildly caffeinated "Constant Comment" tea in the AM, superb with milk and honey. Or CHAI with a black tea bse.
Or Try Yogi Bhajan’s recipe for his famed YOGI TEA. (Mix cinnamon sticks, cloves, black pepper corms, raw, sliced ginger, crushed cardamon pods, all of it dumped into a few quarts of pure water, softly simmered 20 minutes, then add some dry, whole black tea leaves, milk, honey to taste and simmer another 5 min. You will not believe how fine this fabulous brew is! True, yogi tea has some caffeine but not a dealbreaker amount as the milk buffers it. You can drink it all day, drink a little in the afternoon and night, switch to NON caffeine teas or a thimbleful of de-caf coffee after dinner as even de-caf has enough jarring nerves in it for a true insomniac.
At bedtime, make a SERIOUS, holistic sleeping potion of all the herbs that knock people out and take them after you suck down (literally as you suck them for five minutes) a couple of melatonin pills, the sublingual kind. Or, if you want to experiment with sleep-producing foods, try a SLEEP SNACK! That would be a big, big slice of ordinary HEAD LETTUCE with dressing and a little turkey. Head lettuce, the crunchy, pale stuff, is loaded with an opium type nature chemical. Turkey has trytophane. Together, they'll knock you to dreamland.
NEPENTHE TEA - This is pure ‘soma’. (Soma was a mythological producer of dreams.) 2 cups of Britta water (I make my own. A DYNAMIC invention, the Brita pitcher)… brought ALMOST to a simmer, about 155 degrees, between a bath and a boil…. Turn off fire, throw in a fist of herbs, black cohosh, passionflower leaves, (available throughout Southern Calif in most gardens), catnip, hops, valerian, skullcap, vervain, bought from holistic herb supplier. And chamomile, from any super market. Any healthfood store has bottles of herbal Sleep mixtures but they’re more costly than buying herbs in bulk. Open capsules drop contents into the pot of ALMOST boiling water. And turn it off. You do not want a boil. A STEEP is what you're looking for. Squash a single, dried red poppy bolux if you want to dream in Chinese. (Get oriental poppy seed at flower stores, grow your own, save the dried boluxes. (What’s there after petals drop. LET IT MATURE.) You will see pagodas and emerald lyre birds in your dreams. But I notice a strong emotional depression, hitting the afternoon of the day after I use a poppy bolux in my nitetime tea. I pass that fact on for you to research personally.
HERB NOTE: FOR cheaper herbs, like hops, skullcap, valerian, try MAIL ORDER. All Healthfood Magazines in the stores have ads on back pages with bulk herb suppliers. Anyway, let the tea sit covered to STEEP for 5 minutes. Drink a cup while you watch tv or read. It will make the strong desire for sleep COME UPON YOU like a thick cloud, a stuporous cloud, a strong desire for the pillow. The other cup you leave by bed for any accidental wake ups. Slop some down, and back to sleep you go.
IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO QUIT TEA AND COFFEE, well, at least do not take it after lunch if more restful, deeper sleep is meaningful to you. What's in the bowel while you sleep keeps you awake. Morning coffee dissipates but afternoon coffee is still being absorbed by the bloodstream.
PHYSICAL HELP- Try Earplugs and an eye shade. Use bee's wax earplugs that when warmed by body, can be rolled, formed into something the exact shape as ear canal. Every pharmacy has them for sale. Keep them wrapped in tissue under your pillow by day. The plugs prevent house sounds, neighbors' dogs, trash trucks from jarring your brain awake. For the eyes, a soft cotton or silk scarf, folded into an on-the-bias blindfold works well. The shade prevents the morning light from waking you before you've had your full nine.
DUTCH HUSBAND METHOD- Have a long fat pillow sleeping at your left side, as you lie face down. (The Dutch Husband) and have a regular down pillow under your head. Sleep on your right side, somewhat face down ---but more like the right side down, left side leaning over the long or standard sized pillow, left knee on the long pillow, which is like a body beside you, as this posture will open the left nostril, necessary for relaxing. If you sleep on other side, you open right nostril and that exhilarates the body. (In Yoga right nostril breathing is used to ‘yang’ you up, make you dynamic. No good for sleeping! Prop body up with pillow. Deep nose breathe being 1-pointed on breath. Do mantra mentally, in time to heartbeat: om mani padme hum. You’ll be mindless fast, then the visions of dreaming take over. Do this to re-enter sleep every time you wake. A diehard insomniac may have to take a square of cheese to bed with him, in a piece of foil or plastic. Not napkin as cheese is sticky. Every time you wake, take a bite. Chew, swallow. Then, rinse your mouth with a glass of clean water by bedstand. FOR THOSE WAKE UP EARLY moments, breathe in and out through a curled tongue. That knocks you right out again
You’ll find that your body really feels best after 9 hours of sleep. This 8 hour rumor is Protestant Work Ethic. You’ll end up looking like a Grant Wood painting if you only sleep 8. When you get GOOD at this, you’re going to be catching those nine or tenners regularly! So don't make any morning appointments as they just beat you with a stick from dawn on.
OTHER SLEEP SUPPLEMENTS: Try the amino acid ornithine*, a single amino acid, isolated. Try Vitamin C, Calcium citrate, magnesium ascorbate, a little of that new buffered 81 Milligram REGIMEN aspirin by Bayer, if your stomach isn't sensitive to the acidity of it, and niacinamide if you have a good liver, have had no hepatitis. And lately, MELATONIN is everywhere. Take two small pills of sublingual melatonin about an hour before bedtime. They don’t kick in FAST. But they do deepen the slumber. THIS JUST IN: Go to http://www.Sunsource.com which offers Melatonex, and this stuff works better than the sublingual I used to take. One tablet taken and swallowed whole, gave me l0 hrs of restful sleep and no morning after grogginess. My pal the nature girl wrote:
Get some Black Cohosh herb. Gaia is the brand I chose - Whole Foods sells it for digestive health, pain management, and, restful sleep, gentle sedative, chronic anxiety, stressors, insomnia, and smoothing out non-restful sleep - it delivers long undisturbed, restful sleep and aids getting back into a normal sleeping schedule. Just don't use it with other sleep producers like ambien. Dangerous overkill.
THE HOT BATH IS REALLY COOL! New research shows that a naturally-occurring drop in body temperature late in the evening triggers sleepiness. In older people, particularly, this drop in body temperature might have become attenuated, so that the trigger is not activated. To activate the trigger, researchers recommend raising body temperature with a hot bath and then letting body temperature fall naturally afterwards. Try taking a hot soak before bedtime and then, put on your PJ's and robe and let your body cool off naturally. If this technique works for you, you will notice a difference the first night!
FOR THE BASIC NERVE CONDITION- Black cohosh, cayenne, misteletoe, lady’s slipper root, skullcap, hops, wood betony, ginger, St. Johnswort, ginger root, passionflower, white peony, Valerian, Yucca, taken 2 hrs before bedtime, either as tea or in capsules with a B-Complex capsule. Sub lingual melatonin taken an hour before bedtime. Standardized "Kava" herb extract in capsules is also effective. Kava reduces the adrenaline hormone that keeps you "hyper." There are many including the "Kava-30" capsules, Enzymatic Therapy brand. At http://www.enzy.com these people have a website. They also make the best B-12 on the market, the only real B-12 out there. To save some money, find whole kava powder in bulk via 'back of health magazine' small ad, for mail order. Dose: 1 or 1-1/2 teaspoons, shake in small bottle with water, then gulp it down. Buy 2 ounces at first, to see if you like the taste (not too bad), and if it does the job. Some powders are weaker than others—but kava capsules are standardized. And last, and finest, TOM's of MAINE makes a big bottle of Valerian Lemon balm syrup that will numb you into dream land. It has some poppies in it.
Your healthfood store has it, or write TOMS at http://www.tomsofmaine.com and order some!
GETTING MIND OFF THOUGHTS- If there is a habit of mental stress, do a silent mantra of any sort. Much more elevating than your auntie's phone number is "God and I are one." Oriental Sanskrit syllables. "Om Mane Padme Hum" from India. Slow the breath to three per minute. That in itself will knock you out. Deep, slow breathing.
GET OFF STIMMIES- If you aren’t sleeping you have to find the hidden stimulants in your diet. Chocolate has theobromine, so should only be eaten in first few hours of the day. One small Hershey bar at 4 pm will postpone your sleep hour and dark chocolate will absolutely make sleep impossible. SUGAR gets you up so only eat it early in day. Caffeine is found in many soda pops, and certainly in tea, is an alkaloid, (part of nature’s arsenal of poisons ) these cause kidney and adrenal fatigue, irreversible heart disease later requiring pacemakers; birth defects, kidney stones, hypertension, strokes, bladder cancer, higher cholesterol & triglyceride blood levels and for women, fibroid breast tumors. Caffeine accelerates hypoglycemia into diabetes, causes ulcers, loss of stomach acid, causing kidneys to fail, insomnia, nervous system damage, hardening of the arteries in the brain, low brain circulation and might be implicated in Alzheimer’s.
More than 4 cups of coffee daily boosts men’s heart disease rate 30%, women’s 60%. Coffee is somewhat diuretic, but any genuine oriental tea is worse. Those bathroom visits are causing excretion of the body’s minerals and vitamins which ages us prematurely. As your minerals are your calcium, magnesium, trace minerals and BONES your SKELETON is dissolving and departing through your BLADDER. When examining why you crave stimulants look to stressed out, fatigued ADRENALS. You're dragging your butt all day, so you're using Pepsi and Coke. And then you can't sleep.
To get your ADRENALS back to health. Quit sugar and caffeine. Use de-glycyrrhizined licorice, (avail at HFS, and NOT a candy like you think., but an herbal root) siberian ginseng (eleuthro); jamaican sarsaparilla, Prickley Ash bark, safflower flowers, dandelion root, horseradish, hawthorn, freeze-dried adrenals (except that MAD COW may still be in our animal population so organic sources are required. ) Lysine will have a healing effect on adrenals.
SAFE STIMULANTS- TO STIMULATE yourself during day so you are ambitious, dynamic and can do focused mental work, take ginko, KELP, (bladderwrack) gotukola, saw palmetto new brain products called 4-Thought, Brain Power or Perfect Energy or names similar to that. The Healthfood store is full of different formulas. TAKEN WITH BREAKFAST ONLY, they will jack you up all day, but still let you go to sleep at night, whereas coffee won’t always let you relax at night. Its effect is very lingering. Even though Herbs may get you MENTAL at night, and super stimulated, a 20 min hot bath, massage and few cups of your downer tea will knock you silly, let you sleep.
NOT QUITE MEDICAL HELP: Last, you can try UNISOM, ORIGINAL FORMULA, not GEL, the best of the over-the-counter sleeping pills. One at bedtime. Get tablets so you can break them in two.
STAY ASLEEP ONCE DOWN! Last secret to STAYING asleep, you people who wake after 4 hours: Keep a piece of cheese wrapped in saran wrap under the other pillow. (If there’s no one sleeping on it.) Every time you wake, take a bite, chew well, then rinse your mouth with the sleepytime tea mix, rinse several times, drink some more tea just to go down again. The high calcium of this snack is a knock-out pill.
Hypoglycemics sleep badly and never know that because you can’t FEEL low blood sugar as HUNGER it still can be a deal breaker as far as sleep goes. Sometimes you can just drink herbal downer tea and have the hunger pass, but not always. If someone would cook a steak near your bed, YOU’D smell it, HAVE ACID flow AND then you'd KNOW that you were hungry But if they don’t, you won’t know why you’re awake. It’s subliminal, low-threshold hunger which will give you insomnia. SO NIBBLE AT NITE! And don’t worry about the weight that a little nibble of pure protein puts on you. Worry about your LIFE going down the drain for a lack of sleep.
FINAL CAVEAT - All these methods combined, will help you sleep like a baby but once an insomnia sufferer has experienced the full horror of this malady, they will always be apprehensive at bedtime. Tension kicks in when they watch t.v. knowing that sleep is at hand. Try more engrossing novels to make you forget so your body relaxes. Also, the tiring of the eyes tells the brain, 'you are very sleepy.' Brain 'buys that'. This BEDTIME 'fear' effect lingers for years after a serious INSOMNIA crisis, even though the person mentally, rationally knows that now they're on top of it. The fear of sleeplessness returning will always be there but once you quit coffee, be more aware of the return of the desire to drink it. As Mark Twain said about tobacco, "it's easy to quit. I quit thousands of times!" Every time you break your stimulant - fast and indulge in JUST ONE cup of black brew, you will have one VERY high day, ONE POSTPONED BEDTIME, LESS SLEEP and the next day will be a LOW energy DAY and you'll want to sip your way free of that low. Know the terrain you encounter as an ex java junkie, expect caffeine to have a price, and seek energy through A RAW COMBO OF sweet FRUITS (pineapple my fave,) AND GREEN LEAVES --kale, spinach, chard, parsley blended into a smoothie and you'll be able to move through addiction and get free of the devil's bean.
*NOTE: L-ornithine HCL" is available at a "discount" price from Jo Mar -- 450 milligram Capsules - 335 count - $23.50.http://www.jomarlabs.com/prices.asp phone: 1-800- 538-4545 (northern California) Call them to have a printed price list sent.
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Our 'POSTER-BLOGGER' is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Researcher, Humorist, Ombudsman, Futurist and Astrologer. Catch up with her websites TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! FRUGAL LIFE STYLE TIPS, HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also ARTISANRY FOR EXPORT, EARN EUROS....* Anita is at email@example.com ). Get a 15$ natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic! No smarter, more accurate career reading out there!
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