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Insomnia & Sleep Problems Specialist

Preventive Medical Center of Marin

Integrative Family Medicine located in San Rafael, CA

Good sleep is essential to our health. Insomnia affects millions of Americans and clearly interferes with quality of life. People have trouble either falling asleep or staying asleep. Waking up at 3-4am and tossing and turning until dawn is becoming more common. Fatigue and insomnia often go hand in hand, and many people experience both. This is often associated with the use of stimulants like caffeine and sugar to get energy going in the morning and then sedatives such as alcohol and marijuana, both CBD and THC (the active ingredients), and over the counter and prescription sleeping aids to relax and get rest at the end of the day. Dr. Haas sees many patients with these issues and with what he calls The Stimulation-Sedation Syndrome. He shares this understanding and his treatment regimen on his website, and his online course called Regain Your Natural Energy. Furthermore, Dr. Elson has a video presentation called Healing Sleep on his YouTube channel.

Insomnia & Sleep Problems Q & A

What causes poor sleep?

Many factors contribute to whether we sleep well or not. Most babies and children sleep quite well, so we can learn a lot about rest and sleep from our youth. When we as adults don’t sleep well, it’s often lifestyle factors such as stress and substances that alter our ability to sleep.

Some of the issues that affect our sleep include:

• Too much caffeine and sugar

• Eating foods to which we are allergic or reactive

• Alcohol, which can help with sleep onset, but then disrupts deeper sleep

• Stress and worrying about our job, relationships or finances

• Body inflammation and pain issues

• Digestive upset and overeating at night

• Overexposure to electromagnetic forces like wifi, computers and phones

How can you improve your sleep?

This starts with “Sleep Hygiene” (good sleep habits).

Some important sleep habits include:

• Using your bedroom and bed primarily for rest and sleep

• Lessening your electromagnetic vibrations in your bedroom, like TV, radios, and computers

• Avoiding excess eating at night or too much alcohol or caffeine through the day

• Less worry and avoid dealing with tense situations at night.

• Making a list for tomorrow’s to do’s so you aren’t thinking about them at bedtime.

How can Dr. Haas and PMCM help me with sleep?

It always helps to identify the underlying cause, so looking at a review of your sleep hygiene is often a useful starting point. See Sleep review in Dr. Haas’ 5 Keys to Staying Healthy on his website: (link)

Useful therapies for better sleep include:

• Better Sleep Hygiene and Habits

• Eat light at night and minimize alcohol, caffeine and sugar later in the day

• Learn relaxation and meditation techniques for sleep

• Natural therapies include melatonin and serotonin enhancers like L-tryptophan and 5-HTP

• Herbal Remedies may include valerian root, linden flowers, catnip and hops

• Medications can be used to help regulate sleep and ideally these are used only occasionally or to help reset the sleep rhythm