The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that the block-buster sleeping pill Ambien (zolpidem) dose be lowered, especially for women, due to negative side-effects. The drug stays in women’s system much longer than in men’s. Too many car accidents the day after taking Ambien have lead to the government agency to halve the recommended dose for women, and re-consider the dose for men.
As women age, menopause tends to cause sleeping problems. Television advertisements for Ambien show a glowing butterfly alighting on the restless sleeper to bring blissful slumber and a bright-and-chipper morning. The reality is that this medication can have significant side-effects. Drivers are not always good at detecting their own state of alertness, and tend to over-estimate how wakeful and alert they are.
Meanwhile, natural alternatives to sleeping pills are within easy reach. Simply understanding the keys to a good night’s sleep, and honoring them, can assist in restoring normal sleep patterns. Additionally, we recommend a research-based supplement.
Menopause is a time when serious calcium deficiency symptoms can surface, such as leg cramps (a painful wake-up call!), night sweats, hot flashes, irritability and insomnia. Taking sufficient amounts of magnesium, vitamin D and calcium can ward off these sleep-stealing problems, and supplementation helps ensure proper dosage.
Did you know that agitated sleep with frequent awakenings is a symptom of magnesium deficiency? Eating a diet rich in magnesium has been associated with better sleep, according to a study at the Human Nutrition Research Center in ND.
Research has shown that avoiding the “swing shift,” going to bed at the same time every night, following a settling bed-time ritual, avoiding electronics before bed, getting sufficient exercise during the day, avoiding evening exercise, and using the bed only for sex and sleeping can help insomnia. Avoid drinking too much fluid before bed, to prevent night awakenings to use the restroom. Make the room completely dark with no nightlight, diodes, or lit clocks; use heavy shades. Turn off phones. Earplugs and night eye masks reduce stimulation.
At Natural Eye Care, we recommend Sleepblend for insomnia and sleeping trouble. Based on research into natural sleep remedies, this formula includes riboflavin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, a light dose of calcium, magnesium, passionflower extract, hops flower, valerian extract and melatonin.