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  1. Hi all,
    I have no trouble falling asleep at night but often wake at the slitest noise. I can hear things in my room, in my son’s room down tue corridor and outside. It is like I am on high alert all the time. I pracrice yoga regularly and meditate. I also suffer from seasonal depression and during tye cold winter months, sometimes I struggle to get 4 hours sleep each night
    Again, I have no trouble falling asleep (early or late) but I never feel well rested in the morning.

  2. I am just learning about flouride and the pineal gland where melatonin is produced. By the age of 17 the pineal gland is calicified by a majority of the population and polluted by flouride. Using iodine to remove the flouride may increase the production of melatonin seratonin and DMT.

  3. In May, 2013, The Center for Disease Control defined sleep deprivation as a major public health problem.
    My sleep deprivation comes from getting really excited about creative work, enjoying those late hours of follow through and writing, partly stimulated by your amazing contributions, Ruth. Help!

  4. I would be interested in the relationship between dreaming and flushing.

  5. I’m confused by the article summary stating that “..brain cells shrank by 60%” (evidently during sleep). The wording seems ambiguous, but possibly the insomniac brain cells became toxically swollen with accumulated glymph & thus the smaller size from sleep is a Good Thing? Thanks for any clarification, hopefully from someone who read the research paper in it’s entirety.

  6. After reading and turning the lights off, I begin to make a list in my mind of what I feel grateful about during the previous day, and am usually asleep before I get to the third thought.

  7. All these ideas remind me of the time I was speaking with a psychiatrist who said he slept very well. He then ran through some of the tactics he used and teas that he drank. After finishing, he paused briefly and then added ..”and also sleeping pills”.

  8. For Mary, Ireland: program yourself that each hour counts for two.

  9. Tips: go to bed in time, preferably way before midnight. Let the day pass in your mind, forgiving yourself for caused stress, and listen to a reprogramming tape of 30-60 min., either recorded by yourself, or from somebody else. The subconscious will install the message, so make sure it is a supporting one. For me this works fenomenal.

  10. Gentle yoga, especially forward bends, breathing into the belly, using the practice of self hypnosis, and/or listening to a guided full body relaxation are all excellent ways to get a restful sleep. It is also helpful to simply think of and visualize as much as possible something pleasant before falling asleep. Perhaps recalling a recent vacation, or thinking of someone you love whom you have a good relationship with. If that does not help, have a session with a certified consulting hypnotist.
    Good luck and good night,

    • First I would like to say congratulations for all you do , I am from Queens oangirlly and currently live in Syracuse nY if people were in touch wih thier community and cared things would be better, Syracuse no better you live here why do you throw trash everywhere etc. I would like also to say Hello to my friend Tanya Rodriguez from years gone by Hello. Please excuse my grip session I served this country for 9 years and nothing chaned still treated like second rate well I got to start my day Have a great day all

  11. Nothing can either keep me awake or awaken me at night like unresolved conflicts. I find the best way to handle this is to place this inner conflict on a scale of one to ten and decide if I can postpone
    dealing with it. Most often, I can delay trying to resolve it so I can relax and go to sleep. Very seldom do I try to solve the problem right away.
    Other times, I drink a cup of milk or camomile tea or even ginger tea to help me calm down and relax sufficiently to sleep. I agree sleep is medicine and without sufficient amounts we will get sick.

  12. Count backwards from 100.
    Eat some protein before bed. Cut out sugar and booze, esp at the end of the day.
    Passionflower, scullcap, california poppy, relaxing sleep tonic tinctures from Herb Pharm.
    Dark bedroom.
    in bed by 10pm (Ayurvedic reccommdation)
    Don’t work on the computer before or watch violent TV programs
    Melatonin works for some, but since it is a hormone, should only be used occasionally

  13. I appreciate the many helpful suggestions that readers have offered in this space such as Exercise during the day, create a good sleep hygiene routine such as non-caffeinated tea, warm milk, lights out, darkened room, use of melatonin.
    Other ideas: avoid alcohol in excess, avoid vigorous exercise, any food intake in the last two hours before bedtime. Include gentle stretching before bed, learn about and incorporate simple mindfulness meditation techniques. I also listen to Steven Gurgevich, PhD’s CD’s. A 2-disc set, “Deep Sleep with Medical Hypnosis” is good, and he has others. Body Scan CD’s are helpful. Affirmations are also helpful, such as Belleruth Naperstek’s offerings. Search your local library system for CD’s along these lines. You can upload them into your system such as iTunes for free.
    Learn about mindfulness meditation and self hypnosis, I imagine Rick Hansen’s presentation tomorrow will include it. Try to develop positive thought circuitry in your brain via these processes. An empowered self that circumvents the “negativity bias of the brain” as described by Rick Hansen and others is so important in creating the inner peace so essential to restful sleep.
    Take care to use critical thinking. Not all medications are toxic evil agents. For example, chronic pain sufferers are helped immensely by medications that break the pain response circuitry in the brain. Don’t reject medical solutions out of hand. Combining non-medical approaches with recommended medications is not a bad decision.
    Finally I would respond to Dave Carrick, of the UK, who offers remarks, below. He takes a political swipe at Margaret Thatcher, and celebrates that she died as an Alzheimer’s Disease sufferer. He misuses the the concept of Karma in his horrid justification. Mr. Carrick, it is not helpful to try to drag your politics into a discussion about sleep research. It may be fashionable in many circles to bash conservatives, but I find that when this occurs the participants have often chosen to remain uninformed. You can disagree without being disagreeable, but to do so you must first take the view of the other side. Considering other points of view without rancor can lead to peace of mind and peaceful sleep, too! Rick Hansen and others describe the “reptilian brain” as the oldest part of the brain in an evolutionary sense. Allowing this part of the brain to dominate our thoughts and behaviors leads to harshness, negativity, and unthoughtful behaviors and reactions. This is the opposite of good sleep hygiene, which should be practiced 24 hours a day. Mr. Carrick, perhaps you’d benefit from learning about how to think and express yourself with equanimity. It would make you a more useful practitioner of hypnotherapy. The negativity and harshness that emanate from you likely spills over into your practice and therefore your clients might well be short changed in being treated by you. In plain words: Lighten Up!

  14. Drink a strong cup of chamomile tea – loose tea – freshest you can find – not in the bag – brew about
    1 T. covered for about 7 minutes, drink and eat the flower residue you will find in the cup.. Then sweet dreams quickly.

  15. Have any supplements or drugs been shown to enhance the process of the glymphatic system flushing waste products from the brain? Or have any been show to have the opposite effect? What about other lifestyle factors, such as exercise?

  16. Thanks for this interesting information. I recently have become interested in melatonin, initially as an aid to sleep, but have found out how many more functions it plays in our overall health. The information indicates that it is an excellent antioxidant, provides cardiovascular and heart protection, has anticarcinogenic properties , protects against diabetic complications, delays Alzheimer’s (the Beta Amyloid flushing may be part of that), combats obesity, and helps prevent osteoporosis. Of course,
    some of these items overlay; for example obesity is a major cause of diabetes which is highly related to development of both Alzheimer’s and cancers. Much of this was found in a Sept. 2012 publication of Life Extension.

    • Melatonin worked wonderfully for me! However, when my mother was diagnosed with melanoma, her oncologist told her and all of her children not to take it anymore as it could ‘feed’ the melanoma. I regrettably stopped. Our father was able to continue using it, as he was not related biologically to our mother. Good luck!

      • Dawn, as one who had a melanoma many years ago, but recently discovered the enhanced sleep effects of melatonin, I was concerned to investigate further. This article from seems to state the opposite to the advice given your mother. Melatonin might actually be beneficial to protect against cancers, including melanoma. There does seem to be some concern around eye cancer, however. You might want to check this out

  17. It is right, sleep is something that many times we can underestimate; my personal experience was that the stress effect is possibe to overcoming it by following the three ‘8’ rule from Maria Cano, the activist person who lived by the years 30’s of last century in Colombia. She use to say that you must have divided your dayly time in three: 8 hours for working, 8 hours for sleeping and 8 hours for the other things. I followed that rule when I suffered a supposlly Menier syndrome, but I realized that by that time I was sleeping only 4-5 hours a day. Changing to sleep 8 hours helped me a lot maneging that dissorder.
    The best way to me in order to sleep well is to take advantage of the 8 hours working, and do some physical excercise during the day: walking but a speed no so fast but neither so slow. Well balanced and properly eating can also help to have a good sleep, since when you eat fruits at night your digestion process is well done, without interfering with the other processes of your organism.

  18. Many times when I get into bed early in an effort to get “a good nights sleep”, my body says, “what are you kidding me? It’s way to early for this!” Then of course, just to make matters worse when I am just about to fall asleep someone calls… that’s it… My body is then more awake then it was when I first tried to fall asleep. To try and calm my body and mind down the most effective thing I have found is visualization. I visualize my muscles literally melting, one at a time… I pay attention to my breath as I breath slowly… when thoughts come into my mind I simply see them and watch then disappear… I also use oils on the bottom of my feet and on my pillow – peace and calming and lavendar… if that doesn’t work read a boring book.

  19. I make sure my bedroom is completely dark. I even cover the light on the clock.
    Light depletes the natural melatonin in the body.

  20. the group of healers I work with and I have been working with crystals, copper tools, and orgonite. we are having incredible results with our clients and in our own lives. We work on a premise that its a frequency issue. Many things are now in our world that disturbs our frequency and is the basis for many health issues-physical and mental. Your work is very exciting.

  21. At age 34, I began having epileptic seizures. The experience cracked my entire world, as I stumbled around desperately looking for some medical help that went beyond taking toxic pharmaceuticals all my life. My poor sleep cycles were clearly interwoven into my illness. However, it wasn’t clear if seizures were causing poor sleep or poor sleep causing seizures. Doctors were of no help solving the problem, those I talked to literally claimed the problems weren’t related. The insanity of the situation fed my growing state of insanity. When I took my healing into my own hands and made a organized effort to improve my sleep by simply following my circadian rhythms, turning off lights at night, drinking a cup of chammomile tea before bed, and meditating regularly, my sleep improved greatly. As my sleep improved, I had fewer and fewer seizures. After doing my own study of sleep and seizures, I began to believe and still do, that my body/mind confuses seizures and sleep, waking me up in the night because it reads certain stages of slow wave sleep as a seizure it wants to avoid. I spent the last several years writing my true story about living with chronic illness in the United States. It’s called SEIZED and can be found on Sleep played an large role in that story.

    • That’s the best answer by far! Thanks for coiittburnng.

    • Hi Chantal, I am reading a book on this and it is aminazg how this does work for you, just need a lot of practice. Love your product and your philosopy and you are great as well. Take care.. Leanne Buchanan

  22. I do Dr. David Berceli’s tension and trauma release exercises (TRE ) daily.

  23. What a great post, Ruth! And, I completely agree! My beautiful mother has Alzheimer’s. When my father passed away suddenly at 45, my mother began an irregular sleeping pattern that continued for the next 30 years…she awoke every hour or so, wandered around the house, drifted off again…. I believe strongly that this contributed greatly to her current condition. Beyond that, I KNOW I am smarter, happier, and nicer when I get lots of sleep. Period.
    I am signed up for the webinar series – and will be tuned in tomorrow to learn from Rick Hanson!
    Thank you!

  24. I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep.
    Many of these responses are very interesting and doable!. I am going to try some of the meditation techniques and also try to find out what is “qikong” as suggested by Paola. Will also look into “Sophrology”.
    Thanks to all for the information,

  25. Before getting ready for bed I do a session of the 1st set of Shi-bah-fah. These are 18 gentle stretching exercises done with a concentration on inhaling and exhaling, thus relaxing the muscles, joints, and mind. The peacefulness that results always sends me off to sleep right away.

    • Can you direct us to information on Shi-ba-fa?

  26. As a chronic pain sufferer, I know how important sleep is to me. Having completed a pain rehabilitation program, the two most important things that were reinforced were gentle yoga/stretching and good sleep (my personal regimeine is more holistic and includes clean eating and environment that is as non-toxic as possible). The really good news about sleep is that most people respond to a sleep hygiene program that is lifestyle oriented, not medication-centered, but it takes some effort. Don’t look at back-lit screens an hour or two before bed. Determine your no caffeine zone. Dim the lights in the evening. Remove electronics (as a temptation) from the bedroom. I go further and do a nasal cleansing and breathing exercises before bed, and listen to a guided meditation. From a yogic perspective I try to make lifestyle decisions to decrease toxins and increase prana (energy). It likes like my brain was telling me that from the get-go.

  27. In many homes, bad indoor air quality is coupled with sleeping areas where electrical exposure from live electrical wiring in ceilings, walls and floors, televisions, sound systems, computers and cell phones is thousands of times stronger than the body’s own electrical system. One of the effects of long-term exposure to these high level electric fields can be impairment of the body’s ability to communicate within itself, which impacts health and…the body’s ability to relax and sleep. I suggest taking a good look at your bedroom to assess what elements may be contributing to your sleeping problems and then eliminate them. You’ll be creating a clean slate to start building an environment that supports your health. Ruth Gardner-Loew – Healthy Interiors Consultant

  28. I like melatonin and my herbal blend of Valerian Root, Hops, Passion Flower and Lemon Balm by Natures Bounty. I believe that herbs give me a more natural healing rest without the drug “hangover” and binaural beats help too.

  29. Some months ago I was very stressed out and used to wake up several times in the middle of the night without being able to get back to sleep. Needless to say, during the day I was exhausted, irritable and very discouraged: performing the smallest action seemed just too difficult for me. I did a short qikong session one day (nothing complicated, I found a free video on the web and just tried it for no longer than ten minutes) and that same night I was bewildered at the fantastic quality of my sleep: not only did I sleep uninterruptedly, but When I woke up I was refreshed and regenerated the way I had not been for a very long time. And the effect went on from then on. I’ definitely suggest anybody with sleeping problems to give qikong a try: it’s easy, pleasurable, inexpensive and just anybody can do it.

  30. Holosync, a meditation program. My husband and I have used this meditation/brain wave entrainment for 4 years.
    We sleep well, and have not been sick with a cold, flu or anything else since we started using this program. We take no medication, our blood pressure, etc. is perfect.
    We do this before going to bed at night, and sleep well.
    I recommend the program to anyone, its amazing.
    Holosync, at

  31. I will put good thoughts in my brain like “I AM Divine Love, for the last thing I think about is what my brain focuses on! Thanks Wendy

  32. Thank you Ruth,
    I am 65 yrs old and a regular walker, I am in practice of this since 1971, if any occasion I miss this activity I feel a sort of restlessness and disturbance in my sleep cycle.This I have experienced this pn several occasions.

  33. When I had trouble sleeping, I followed the instructions of my Ayurvedic Practioner. Later, I added my own twist.
    Getting in to my bed at a regular hour no matter what a half an hour Before I went to sleep, having a cup of chamomile tea (honey and cinnamon to taste) or a cup of warm milk with nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, and honey in hand with a book. I read and drank my tea or milk for that half hour, and then it was lights out – No Matter What. It took a while to get used to, but it worked. Now, I normally just have chamomile tea straight,lie down, turn out the lights and do a Body Scan, and a short meditation. A good mattress is important as well.
    There have been periods when perhaps something is going on in my life that make it harder for me to sleep – during those times I think it is even more important to go back to a routine that let’s my body know that it is time for sleep with the conscious knowledge that this is my time for rest and self care, when my body and mind have nothing to do but heal and regenerate.

  34. No matter what I need as much sleep as I get,in order to function normal.

  35. Makes sense. Margaret Thatcher famously only slept 4 hours a night so she could do as much damage as possible to our country, but she got dementure later. Karma is at work even if there’s now a scientific explanation for it.

  36. I am lucky if I get five hours sleep at night. I would love to get eight hours but unlucky for years. Any tips to help me.

    • Download a guided meditation/relaxation on your MP player or smartphone, you probably can buy them on CD’s also… and listen to it when you in the bed and ready to fall asleep. Follow the instruction you here among relaxing peaceful music. Andrew Johnson guided meditations are very nice. Also try to breath very deeply for a couple of minutes, focusing on your breath: air goes in air goes out, try to not think about anything else at that moment.

    • I am 79.5 yrs & have no trouble sleeping, a common issue with my age group. I am very active in my work & have a full & what I call an altruistic lifestyle – surrounded by those younger than me in my work. So important! I make sure to have low lighting, no raucous, stimulating tv or phone conversations at least an hour before bed. Usually no liquids after 7 pm. I do not read in bed. My mattress and bed linens are clean, comforting & welcoming. I have a routine of preparing for sleep by mentally winding down from my day. Brushing my teeth, cleansing & creaming my face, by body begins to know it’s almost sleep time. I put my little dog in her separate bed (she prefers that) and get into my bed with a feeling of release, relax & gratitude. It’s then about 10 pm. It helps that I live in a very quiet neighborhood. I awaken naturally at dawn, grateful for another good night’s sleep & honored to receive the gift of another day. I always look up & say, “ok, surprise me :)” Best thoughts to you Mary, Bonnie B.

  37. Incidentally, to assist in finding the article, it’s downloadable from Cornell U as a PDF, first author is Lulu Xie.

  38. After years of chronic insomnia Sophrology finally reminded my brain how to sleep. Sophrology has been used as a alternative to pills in Europe for many years and is now being taught in English at The Sophrology Academy in Kent. It is a powerful mix of eastern wisdom and western relaxation techniques including mindful meditation, visualisation, breathing exercises, positive focus and gentle movements. This makes it very accessible to everyone and once learned the techniques can be used in everyday life very effectively to relieve stress, anxiety and depression as well as improving sleep patterns and general wellbeing.

  39. We have a dog that is in Training to become a diabetic alert dog and being outside taking walks makes a huge difference. But I am very grateful to read about how important sleep is, because I easily think 5 hours are enough. And so does my husband – until now. Thank you!

  40. It’s a great discovery, that our brains want to do maintenance while we sleep, that we benefit from this process enormously, but what happens when your brain won’t let you sleep? I’m lucky if I get 4-5 hrs per night despite my healthy lifestyle and great sleep hygiene. I have been waking up between 1 – 3 a.m. for years. Sometimes I get back to sleep around 5 a.m but mostly I do not.

    • You might be interested in this article from Spirituality and Health magazine. It may simply be interesting or it may provide you with a new insight into your sleep pattern — a new way to look at things.

    • There is a book that use to help me a lot, and if it is possible to get it for you I’m sure it will do it; the title is ‘Minding the Body, Mending the Mind’, and its author is Dra. Joan Borysenko. It is a quite old book (first printing in 1987) but it trys to show you the relation mind/body which most of the times is unkown for most of us.