I’ve seen the brain scans of sleep-deprived patients, so I know what harm it does to the brain.
A lack of sleep is associated with:
- Lack of focus
- Inability to concentrate
- Bad moods
- Increased hunger
- Increased cravings
Even worse, having chronic insomnia triples your risk of death from all causes.
If you have a hard time going to sleep or staying asleep, don’t automatically reach for the prescription sleeping pills. There are many natural ways to improve sleep.
Avoid anything that might interfere with sleep: I first encourage my patients to eliminate things like caffeine, alcohol, or reading Stephen King before bedtime.
Hypnosis: As a medical student, I saw someone get hypnotized, and I found the process so fascinating that I took a whole month’s training on it. As an intern at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a military hospital with 1,200 beds, I worked with a lot of patients who were having trouble sleeping and wanted sleeping pills. It is easy to understand how people might have a tough time getting a decent night’s sleep in such a huge, noisy hospital.
On the nights I was on call, I would ask the patients if I could try hypnotizing them rather than give sleeping pill. Almost everybody said yes, and it worked. I prescribed considerably fewer sleeping pills than my colleagues.
Natural supplements: Scientific research shows that melatonin, GABA, valerian, and magnesium may help promote sleep.”