News Forums Nutrition Ask Nutritionist natural sleep aid

13 replies, 5 voices Last updated by Anonymous 7 years, 5 months ago
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  • #10740

    Anonymous
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    Seeing as how a good night’s sleep is critical in losing weight, I am wondering if using an over the counter natural sleep aid like melatonin would occasionally be beneficial. I have suffered from insomnia for many years and find that in addition to being tired the next day, I tend to eat later because I am up and restless.

    #10835

    Jessica Romeo
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    Robyn,

    Yes you are correct sleeping is going to help you significantly in your efforts to lose weight. However before resorting to melatonin, I think we could dig a little deeper. First, how is your caffeine intake? Are you sensitive to caffeine? Are you consuming caffeine in the later hours of the day etc. Secondly how long have you been on plan? If you are relatively new to cutting out the sugar, the process of getting everything, cravings included out of your system can make sleep challenging initially. However you will find that as time goes on, the clean eating plan with little sugar will actually make it easier for you to start sleeping more soundly, and getting into the deeper sleep cycles that will help you repair and keep your hormones in balance throughout the day. Last are you exercising? If so how often and what type of exercise? Too little, or too much exercise is sure to also make it difficult to fall asleep. So lets look at those things first and if this isn’t helpful looking into a sleep aid or visiting your Doctor will likely be a good option.

    Happy New Year!
    Jess

    #10865

    Anonymous
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    Jess-
    I do not ingest caffeine at all. I have been regularly exercising for 30 minutes 5 times a week for about a year (elliptical) and it is usually first thing in the morning but no later than 11 am. I am new to the plan – have only been on the drops for 3 days though I have been eating phase one foods since I signed up a week ago. I’m not sure how long the sugar cravings will last but I bet that has a lot to do with it. And maybe why insomnia has plagued me for so long? I will give the plan a chance to work and hopefully will be pleasantly surprised that this is one aspect of my health that will be improved that I hadn’t considered before.
    Cheers!
    Robyn

    #11157

    Jessica Romeo
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    Robyn,

    So I was wondering if you have seen any improvements over the past week with your insomnia? I hope that it is getting better and you are finding yourself not craving the foods that you used to?

    Let me know of any updates!

    Jessica

    #11172

    Anonymous
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    Jessica- I’m still struggling with sleeplessness. I think my cravings are pretty much under control and I am having good success with pounds lost. I mentioned in another forum post that my emotions are all haywire now. I know the plan is working for me but I wonder if it’s taking me a longer time to get my hormones back to the right balance. Another member on FaceBook said it took her a month. Still plugging away and hope for some improvement on the emotion and sleep issues.

    #11219

    Jessica Romeo
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    Robyn,

    Yes it could take a little longer, each person responds a little differently to a huge diet overhaul such as this. Just remember it took years to get to this point and it is unlikely to change rapidly, so keep being patient. I am sure the sleep is also causing the emotions to be a little out of whack as well. One supplement that I have used and was recommended to me by my Dr. is liquid magnesium. I take 1 tsp about 1 hour before I plan to go to bed and it does help me sort of wind down and relax to fall asleep better. I think it might be better to try this before melatonin drops. I would ask your Dr. prior to taking it just to be sure especially if you take any other medications.

    Let me know if you have found any relief from your restlessness.

    -Jessica

    #11269

    Anonymous
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    Thanks Jess. I will check with my doctor about the magnesium. I was told by my chiropractor that it also has laxative properties so I kind of shied away from it. I am two days away from two weeks on the plan so I need to be patient while my body adapts. I am grateful that I am not struggling with cravings but it is frustrating to be plagued with these other symptoms. Headaches are creeping in too. I wonder if all these symptoms are directly tied into detoxifying. Sure appreciate your insight. Thanks again!

    #11287

    Jessica Romeo
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    Yes it does have a laxative effect, so keep that in mind and definitely ask your Dr. about it before taking it.

    Headaches are a common symptom of detoxing of course if they get too intense I would look into that further, don’t ignore them if they continue. Sometimes it can be from dropping your calories too low. Try adding in an additional 100-200 calories of a normal meal (mostly protein) and see if that alleviates your headaches.

    How is your sleeping going? is it getting better?

    I hope you have experienced some positive things from switching your eating up and detoxing?

    Have a wonderful Friday and keep me updated!

    -Jess

    #11312

    Sarah Vail
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    So, is there a problem with taking melatonin? I’ve been taking it regularly for months. I sleep great, but your response makes me wonder…

    #11632

    Jessica Romeo
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    Nothing severe that I know of, however I know that it was intended for a short-term solution. I am not sure there is a ton of research yet on the long-term effects. I guess overall I would just hope that after changing, diet and lifestyle most people are able to fall into a natural sleep rhythm and no longer need to continue Melatonin. I am not a sleep expert by any means, I just don’t like taking supplements long term. However I do think that lack of sleep long term is potentially far more harmful than Melatonin. I would address it with your Dr. though if you are concerned.

    Here is an article on the Mayo Clinic site regarding Melatonin:

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/melatonin-side-effects/faq-20057874

    #12023

    Todd Smith
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    I’ve used Melatonin in the past and I don’t like the way it affects me the morning after.

    Robyn, have you tried quiet time before bed? meditation, breathing exercises, reading, all good things to quiet our minds and focus on the task at hand, deep sleep

    #12046

    Anonymous
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    Todd- I have suffered with insomnia for most of my adult life. Before I tried the melatonin I did give the quiet time a valiant effort. All that you mentioned plus self hypnosis, playing white noise so that outside sounds didn’t wake me – you name it. My doctor put me on ambien and man that was a HUGE mistake – the side effects were terrible. When the dr wanted to try something else, I declined because of the bad experience and also fear of dependency. Then I went off the plan for about 10 days (when I went out of state for a funeral) and I am having to go through detoxing again but I have high hopes that my sleep will improve once my body acclimates to the healthy eating again. I love to use the quiet meditation time to wind down at night even if it doesn’t aid in my sleep. Appreciate your insight!

    #12079

    Sandy A.
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    Hi Robyn. Something that comes to mind for me is menopause and/or hormone imbalance. My arch enemy! It maybe yours too? I take the melatonin daily and it helps. I’ve done every thing under the sun to try to help myself with bad sleep patterns, unruly weight gain, no energy, foggy head and the list goes on 🙁 And not a lot has ever worked. They tell my thyroid is fine, which I know it’s not, but they act like thyroid meds are illegal drugs and they don’t want to give them out??! It’s all a bit ridiculous to me but I’ve finally just given up 🙁 I am on the diet but having large amounts of difficulty, imagine that??!! All of that to say, maybe it’s legitimate hormone imbalance of some sort? Or menopause if you are of that age??

    #12180

    Anonymous
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    Sandy-I did wonder if the menopause/hormone imbalance could be the culprit but my doctor checked my levels at my last physical (4 months ago) and said all levels were normal. I am almost 52. It is frustrating to keep searching for an answer and still struggle when none is forthcoming. I will keep plugging away!

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