Help I can’t sleep! #WellbeingWednesday

Sleepless woman

Insomnia and trouble sleeping are a huge issue for many people.  Many of my patients report having trouble sleeping. A good night sleep is fundamental to your health. We know that many hormones are replenished throughout the night and this is vital to good health.

Cortisol is your stress hormone and is produced by the adrenal glands.  Cortisol is produced during times of stress both physically and emotionally. If you are producing too much cortisol this can impact your sleep. Many women who are menopausal produce excess cortisol causing irregular sleep patterns.  Other causes of insomnia may include excess caffeine intake, thyroid imbalances, anxiety, blood sugar abnormalities or decreased melatonin levels (to name a few). It is important to work with your Naturopathic Doctor to get to the root cause of why you are not sleeping.


My number one tip is a simple one, sleep in a pitch black room. This will encourage your body to naturally produce melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for sleep-wake cycles. Even a small amount of light has been proven to decrease melatonin production. I suggest black-out curtains or a sleep mask.

Another tip is to try herbal tea. Many people use chamomile tea. At my clinic we compound a sleep-time tea that contains herbs like catnip and lavender. Many people have only tried catnip for animals however in a tea it can really help you sleep!  With the right blend of herb tea can be a wonderful treatment.

Another wonderful herb is California Poppy.  This herb has sedating properties  without feeling “hung-over” in the morning.  It is important not to combine this herb with anything else that could have a sedating effect and it is not a herb that I use for children. Your Naturopathic Doctor can help you determine how much to take and if this herb is right for you.

I also suggest trying a protein shake an hour before bed. This is a simple way to balance your blood sugar levels. We use a shake right before bed so that your digestive tract is not working overtime to break down foods throughout the night.

For many people Bach Flower Remedies work very well. At my clinic we make custom remedies for each person however you can also try Rescue Remedy. A few drops can be taken before bed. I always suggest incorporating meditations to help end the day.

Written by: Dr.Holly Fennell, Naturopathic Doctor


Facebook: Holly Fennell ND

Twitter: @hfennell,

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