Tried Everything? Here are Powerful techniques to help you sleep
1. Meditate! – Yes, once again, one of the most powerful techniques for sleep. Develop a regular practice even if you think you can’t. even when I can only sleep for a few hours because of work, I will meditate before and after bed. This is because it projects me into a deeper sleep, speeding up the REM process. It also relaxes me from the day. Learn how to meditate by clicking here for my guided meditations.
2. Diffuse lavender or Relaxation blend essent ial oil – this has been shown to cause relaxation. It is the reason you feel relaxed when you enter a spa that is diffusing it. I recommend only therapeutic grade E.O's from one company. You can apply the lavender on the back of your neck, also on the bottoms of the feet and diffuse it as well as a relaxation blend (link can be emailed). You can also put these in a foot bath for relaxation. (Other oils for sleep - Vetiver, and Roman Chamomile.)
You can get a diffuser and Therapeutic grade Edible Ess ential Oils by emailing me, since the company has requested that I do not mention their name in my blogs due to FDA regulations. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for links.
3. “4-7-8” breathing technique - Developed by wellness practitioner, Dr. Andrew Weil, this is easily done by breathing in through your nose for four seconds, holding it for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. It slows down your heart rate and it also releases chemicals in our brains that soothe you.
When we’re stressed, our endocrine system releases adrenaline through our adrenal glands. This elevates your heart rate and can make you feel jittery and unwell. Often times, your breathing also becomes rapid and shallow. By using this breathing method, you counteract the natural effects of adrenaline and your body is forced to slow down your heart rate.
4. “Pink noise” - Sound stimulation has been shown to be effective for prolonging deep sleep. Published in the journal Neuron,9 the study found that playing “pink noise” sounds that were synchronized to the subject’s brain waves when approaching deep sleep allowed them to remain in deep sleep longer than when the sound was not played. The participants were also shown 120 pairs of words before going to bed and tested the following morning to see how many they could remember. After sound stimulation, their memory retention improved by nearly 60 percent, recalling an average of 22 sets of words compared to 13 when the sound was not played. The key, according to the authors, is that the frequency of the sound was synched to the subject’s brain waves. This produced an increase in the size of the brain waves during deep sleep, and these slower brain waves are associated with information processing and memory formation. You can find special “pink noise” apps to play in your bedroom, or you can simply turn on a fan to get this benefit.
5. Body Temperature Change - A hot shower or bath 90 to 120 minutes before bed will raise your body’s core temperature relaxing your body and the temperature drop upon getting out will signal your body that it’s time to go to sleep.
6. Emotional Freedom technique (EMF) for Sleep:
7. The Best Technique for Sleep that I know of is to Synchronize Your Circadian Rhythm using Light. That is explained in my blog here.
- This technique, however, takes a few weeks to coordinate your circadian rhythm and in the meantime, the techniques and herbs mentioned in this blog can be helpful.
8. Shut off wireless routers and remove metal alloy from your body.
- Gold, silver earrings, nose rings, belly button rings and others can act as an antenna increasing the electromagnetic frequencies in your body disrupting your circadian rhythm and energy body. People who have tried this after many other things that did not work notice a big difference. IF you have to have something in the piercing use bamboo or glass. Shut off all wireless products and get them out of your room as well.
- Top Herbs for Sleep:
The two best herbs I have found for sleep are Valerian and Gaba
- Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – (Click picture for link) Great for a racing, worried mind. Try taking 2-4 capsules about an hour or so before bed. This will last you about four hours. If you wake in the night, you can take another 2-4 capsules. Valerian is a good sedative, but you won’t have any of the groggy side effects of a regular sedative. A note on valerian: your body can get used to this herb, so after three weeks, switch to one of the other recommended herbs for a couple of weeks and go back to valerian after that. (I would avoid the tincture on this due to the foul smell)
GABA inhibits or slows down nerve impulses, and supplementation has been found to increase calming alpha-wave patterns during challenging mental tasks. Naturally sourced GABA has been shown to promote relaxation and reduce the time to fall asleep as well as increase the time spent in deep sleep. Click here for a natural liposomal supplement I like (Use coupon code "BILL5" for a 5% discount)
Others have also had success with these below:
- California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica): (click picture for link) This is a great herb for insomnia due to restlessness and anxiety (and it’s safe and gentle enough for children). This herb not only helps you to fall asleep, it improves the quality of your sleep as well. You can couple this with valerian if you find you need a stronger sedative. A tincture is the most powerful way to take this herb (any herb, really). Try 30-40 drops twice daily (the second dose close to bedtime).
- Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) – (click photo for link) Passionflower is wonderful for those who tend to wake frequently throughout the night. This, too, is safe for children and those with compromised health. It can be taken in large doses (I usually keep taking it until I feel calm and tired) and for long periods of time. Try 30-60 drops of the tincture before bed. If you find that’s not enough, you can take that dose up to 4 times a day.
- Kava kava (Piper methysticum) - Kava is the national drink of Fiji and is popular throughout the South Seas. It imparts a calm feeling, relaxes the body, and sometimes enhances communication and dreaming. This sedative herb is often used for sleeplessness and fatigue. - Dose: Tincture 3-4 droppers ful 2-3 x daily or with Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily
Collagen ( - Although not an herb, collagen peptides can be helpful for sleep as well as providing protein you need to relieve pain in joints, swelling and create a youthful appearance. (see my full blog on collagen here:
Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an annual plant used as a spice added to some meals and as a component for the production of some medicines. It has a strong scent and sweet and acrid flavor. Dill has also favorable effects on our sleep. 50 grams of dill seeds are boiled in half a liter of red wine for 15 minutes at low heat. (most or all of the alcohol is burned off). The mixture is left to stay for 1 hour, after that it is filtered to remove the dill. It is good to drink 2 tablespoons before going to bed.
Important Conditions for healing benefits of Deep Sleeping:
- Always sleep in total darkness - Even the tiniest light from a nightlight, DVD player or electronic device, alarm clock, or cell phone can disrupt your sleep. This happens because your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin happen based on darkness and is changed by any light source. When your eye sees light your production of sleep hormones is stopped, shutting off your internal clock. Therefore it is important to sleep in complete darkness and do as best you can to keep your eyes closed if you wake up to go to the bathroom. Install a low-wattage yellow, orange, or red light bulb if you need a source of light for navigation at night. Light in these bandwidths does not shut down melatonin production in the way that white and blue bandwidth light does. Salt lamps are handy for this purpose. You can also download a free application called F.lux that automatically dims your monitor or screens I recommend blackout curtains, as well as keeping something over your eyes. If some of these blackout methods are not an option for you, consider getting an eye mask for sleeping. Keeping all the light out can even decrease your chance of getting cancer.
- Moderate Room temperature. Studies have shown the ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 68 degrees F. Any cooler or warmer could easily lead to restless sleep. Around 4 hours after you fall asleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest temperature and a cooler environment is believed to be more conducive to sleep mimicking this temperature.
- Don’t keep electronic devices near your bed. The electromagnetic frequencies in alarm clocks, televisions, phones, e-readers etc. have been shown to disrupt sleep patterns and the pineal gland along with the production of melatonin and serotonin. Also consider cutting down your use of electronics for a few hours before bed. Using any electronic devices one hour before bed has been shown to throw off your circadian rhythm.
- Also check for EMF fields around your bed – these can disrupt your pineal gland. See my video on that here. – You can get an EMF detector here:
- Always keep a sleep schedule. We all have experience having trouble sleeping when we try a different time. It’s true that your body gets into a routine of sleep and wake times. This also includes keeping the schedule on weekends.
- Follow circadian rhythms – Ayurveda teaches that the earth’s rhythm changes from 10pm to 6am. This is the ideal time to sleep. You may have even noticed that you feel tired around 10 pm and if you make it past this time you suddenly have a new burst of energy. The reason for this is your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) actually "drives" the rhythms of biological activity at the cellular level. If you are feeling tired or experience frequent headaches, even after 7+ hours of sleep a night but you are going to bed after midnight, changing your cycle to get to bed by 10:30 will be a game changer for you.
- Relaxation techniques This may include getting a massage from your partner, taking a hot bath, reading a book – if that is actually relaxing for you, if not it could cause blood flow to your head having the opposite effect.
- Avoid drinking too much before bed – this will avoid you needing to get up a lot to go to the bathroom. And try to go to the bathroom before bed.
- Avoid stimulants such as coffee, sugar, grains. These can raise your blood sugar and also when your sugar drops too low you may wake up unable to sleep.
- No TV – this disrupts the pineal gland but also stimulates you unnecessarily and sends blood flow to the brain.
- Keep your pets out of your bed and out of your bedroom. If they wake you by scratching the door or barking, put them in a cage for the night until they get used to that. See below how even one hour of sleep can disrupt your health.
- Avoid a loud stressful alarm to wake you up. Even the subconscious anticipation of this can be stressful, but a terrible way to start the day.
- Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep. Look into alternative methods for healing the illness you are taking the drug to begin with.
- Avoid caffeine. At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption, keeping you from falling asleep at night. If you do drink coffee, don’t do it after 3 pm. Be aware of medications contain caffeine such as diet pills. An eight-ounce cup of coffee has about 300 mg of caffeine. Caffeine has a half-life of about six hours, meaning coffee at 3 p.m., leaves 150 (mg) of caffeine in your blood at 9 p.m. (six hours later) well into the psychogenic repair cycle of immune function (circadian rhythm), you'll have 75 mg of caffeine stimulating your adrenal glands to produce cortisol.
- Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short-lived since it is a stimulant as well as a depressant, and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.
- Exercise regularly - 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don't exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.
- Lose excess weight. Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can seriously impair your sleep.
- Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurized dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, and other problems.
- Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician? Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.
- If you are menopausal or premenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician. The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed.
- Eliminate fluoride to produce melatonin - Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), found in non-stick cookware, also falls into this dangerous category, as does fluoride, which is added to the majority of public water supplies in the United States. Research showed that animals treated with fluoride had lower levels of circulating melatonin.
- Make sure you get BRIGHT sun exposure regularly. Your pineal gland produces melatonin roughly in approximation to the contrast of bright sun exposure in the day and complete darkness at night. If you are in darkness all day long, it can't appreciate the difference and will not optimize your melatonin production.
- Naps - If you are going to nap, the ideal time is midday for about 20 minutes. This is only if your body is asking for it, as opposed to using coffee or other stimulants to avoid it.
What Happens When You’re Sleep Deprived?
Sleep deprivation is detrimental to many aspects of health. To name a few:
- Same negative effect on your immune system as physical stress or illness
- Increases the risk of inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases
- Weight gain
- Contribute to premature aging and depression
Even Losing Just One Hour of Sleep Causes Negative Health Issues
This powerful antioxidant and cancer fighter is produced when we sleep. Our body produces less when sleep is disrupted. Tips to promote the production of Melatonin:
- Be sure you get BRIGHT sun exposure regularly.
- Avoid watching TV or using your computer in the evening,
- See more tips in my full blog on your pineal gland here.
B-12 is important for those who don’t sleep well because it’s a cofactor in producing melatonin and if you are low in this then it will cause issues there. This is also a way to increase your energy during the day. Don’t take this at night, the idea is to get it during the day. Typically those deficient in B-12 are vegans/vegetarians, those with anxiety or depression, heavy drinkers, smokers, antibiotic users, antacid users, heavy coffee drinkers, and pregnant and breastfeeding women. (click photo for link)
Certain Foods are Known to Help Promote (and Disturb) Sleep
- Foods that help promote sleep:
- Warm Chamomile tea, as well as the herbs, mentioned below can be helpful since it is known for its calming properties.
- Cherries are a natural source of the “sleep hormone” melatonin, and drinking tart cherry juice has been found to be beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality.2
- Almonds and spinach are rich in magnesium, which is known for promoting sleep and relaxing muscles.
- Foods such as grapes, cucumber, and lettuce.
- Magnesium oil
- Foods that interfere with sleep when eaten before bedtime:
- Avoid Caffeine
- Avoid Spicy and salty foods are linked with more time spent awake during the night and taking longer to fall asleep.
- In general, you want to avoid snacks, particularly grains and sugars, since they will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.
- Avoid alcohol or other stimulants.
- Meat and any other acid forming foods unless you are a protein metabolic type. In this case chicken, fish, and healthy fats could help you sleep. This is one to experiment with.
Problems with Carbs before bed
Many times people, especially vegetarians eating carbs (even healthy carbs such as leafy greens) an hour or so before going to bed will have difficulty sleeping. Try eating fats and proteins before bed if you can’t sleep, and you may notice a difference. Animal fats (pasture raised and organic preferred), olive oil and other healthy oils, avocado, and nuts.
Golden Milk is helpful for some people:
Cup of warm coconut milk, one teaspoon of nutmeg, turmeric, and honey. If you don’t have coconut milk you can use organic milk. Heat the milk.
Importance of when you eat:
Emerging research also suggests that the timing of your meals is important as well. For instance eating very late at night when you'd normally be sleeping, may throw off your body's internal clock and in addition, lead to weight gain. It is suggested in Ayurveda to eat a larger lunch and a light dinner around 6pm making that your final meal before a 10-10:30 bedtime.
Difficulty sleeping often means an overgrowth of fungus and Bacteria
An overgrowth of parasites or bacteria including Candida can cause stress hormones to activate late at night so if you are having trouble sleeping a parasite test and cleanse is recommended. I would recommend doing the Candida diet and getting an essential oil kit called “the cleanse and restore” kit. You can get that here:
- click “shop” in the top menu bar
- scroll down to click on kits and collections
- click enrollment kits
- get the cleanse and restore kit.
This is also good for people who can’t lose weight as it will also help to eliminate petrochemicals like BPA that create a web that keep the fat together in your body and eliminating them will help to eliminate these toxins but also help you drop weight you’ve been holding for a long time.
Cleanse and restore kit
1. Zendocrine – For cleansing the liver and endocrine system – 10 days
2. GX Assist – has Oregano, Melaleuca, lemongrass oils and more - 10 days
3. DDR prime – Cellular detox with specific oils
- The kit also comes with probiotics and vitamins to support the cleanse as well as lemon oil to flush it all out of the system.
- I also suggest doing a Fat cell Detox, with a blend from the same company called Slim and sassy. This will detox fat cells and petrochemicals.
- If you purchase a kit you receive free classes and a free phone consult with Bill on how to use it and other issues essential oils may help with.
Wake up at 3AM every night?
Are you waking up at certain times every night? - See what that means based on the Chinese body clock here
Why Sleeping Pills Are Not the Answer!
The natural sleep aids described above will work with your body’s natural circadian rhythm to help you get truly restful sleep. This is not the case with prescription sleeping pills, which may actually put your life in danger. A startling study in 2012 revealed that people who take sleeping pills are not only at higher risk for certain cancers (35 percent higher), but they are also nearly four times as likely to die as people who don't take them. The list of health risks from sleeping pills is growing all the time, including the following:
• Higher risk of death, including from accidents
• Increased risk of cancer
• Increased insulin resistance, food cravings, weight gain, and diabetes
• Complete amnesia, even from events that occurred during the day
• Depression, confusion, disorientation, and hallucinations
Research involving data from more than 10,500 people who received drugs for poor sleep (including benzodiazepines) also showed that "as predicted, patients prescribed any hypnotic had substantially elevated hazards of dying compared to those prescribed no hypnotics," and the association held true even when patients with poor health were taken into account – and even if the patients took fewer than 18 pills in a year.13 In The Dark Side of Sleeping Pills, an E-book by one of the study's researchers, Daniel Kripke, MD, it's explained:
"We have now published a new study of over 10,000 patients who took sleeping pills and over 20,000 matched patients who did not take sleeping pills. The patients who took sleeping pills died 4.6 times as often during follow-ups averaging 2.5 years. Patients who took higher doses (averaging over 132 pills per year) died 5.3 times as often. Even those patients who took fewer than 18 pills per year had very significantly elevated mortality, 3.6 times that of patients who took no hypnotics.
It seems quite likely that the sleeping pills were causing early death for many of the patients. In addition, those who averaged over 132 sleeping pills per year were 35% more likely to develop a new cancer…
Theoretically, there could be confounding factors or biases in the selection of patients which caused these deaths without involving sleeping pills. We can only say that we found almost no evidence of such biases… If sleeping pills cause even a small portion of the excess deaths and cancers associated with their use, they are too dangerous to use."Instead of using pills try the herbs to help you sleep mentioned above
In this Video, the Chinese organ clock is explained. If you are waking up at a certain time every night this could help to explain why.
By utilizing the information presented on this site, you agree to and understand that author, Bill Farr is not a doctor or any other type of certified health care professional, and his opinion is not a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your doctor or your other health care providers concerning your symptoms and medical requirements before following any of the remedies or other suggestions he offers. His opinion is based on his own research and is to be used for educational purposes only. Bill Farr’s wellness plans and advice are meant to be used in conjunction with standard allopathic or osteopathic medical treatment and care.