Saturday, May 08, 2021

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — Secrets to getting to sleep, staying asleep and waking refreshed

| March 31, 2021 1:00 AM

We all have memories of falling asleep as soon as our heads touch the pillow, sleeping like a rock, and then waking up completely refreshed and ready for the day. Unfortunately for some of us, those memories began and ended in childhood, or somewhere in our early adulthood! The good news is that we can once again attain deep and refreshing sleep. The bad news? The keys to a good night’s sleep can be surprisingly complex. Beyond some of the obvious sleep tips, here are some sleep secrets to start you off on your return journey to the Land of Nod:

1) Let go of the stress. When you are stressed, you produce an important “fight or flight” hormone called cortisol, that shuts down your sleep and circadian rhythm. Cortisol actually changes the electrical activity in areas of the brain that regulate our emotions, memory, and sleep — leading to decreased REM sleep, as well as mood swings and memory loss. So make the effort, and start with small steps: turn off the TV one to two hours before sleep, read a calming book, do some yoga, stretching or meditation — anything to give your body the cue that it’s time to relax.

2) Cut out or significantly reduce caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. These stimulants cause a surge in the “fight or flight” hormone mentioned above, and over time significantly weaken your adrenal glands. Especially daily consumption of stimulants lead to patterns of disturbed sleep — typically waking at 2 to 3 a.m. with or without the ability to fall back asleep. If not corrected, over time this pattern will inevitably take a downturn into a worse phase of chronic exhaustion.

3) Eat some protein or fat. Are you not particularly stressed, but still waking up routinely in the middle of the night? This is likely a blood sugar issue. If you are someone who typically gets “hangry,” or dizzy/lightheaded if you skip a meal, then this could be your problem. The simple solution is to eat some protein and/or fat thirty minutes before bed. Be careful not to eat carbohydrates or sugary snacks, as these will make your problem worse.

There are more potential causes of insomnia, which is a topic far too large for our purposes here. At Vital Health, we have developed a highly effective evaluation process, the Complete BioFunctional Analysis, that allows us to identify the underlying causes and develop a plan to resolve them. When you are able to identify the causative factor(s), you then have the power to find a solution.

Learn more by attending our upcoming webinar, "7 Secrets to Getting to Sleep, Staying Asleep and Waking Refreshed," 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 14. Register here: or visit our website at for more information about this and other upcoming health classes.

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Darcy Greenwald holds a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine, is a Licensed Acupuncturist, is certified in Western Herbalism and has extensive training in nutritional therapy. She has more than 20 years of experience in natural medicine. Darcy is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Darcy is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Visit our website at to learn more about Darcy, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Darcy can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.