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3 roots of insomnia

It’s 2 am and the clock is ticking… VERY… Slowly.

Does this sound familiar?

You my dear are NOT alone. Insomnia is a [frustrating] reflection of a deep deficiency or in some cases a hormonal pattern that merely needs to be recalibrated. No more band aids, you deserve resolution especially since, we both know a night of good sleep beats the most expensive beauty treatments on the market. Oh and it’s free!

Having worked with hundreds of insomniacs, the only place to start is by dissecting the potential sources of the insomnia and then systematically working through each one until the zzzz’s return to their rightful owner.

So let’s do just that…




While it’s sounds almost too good to be true, the targeted repletion of deficient vitamins and minerals can actually be the “overnight fix” you’ve been longing for. The first place to start is by getting your vitamin D levels checked and correcting any deficiency in a targeted way. But don’t stop there! Vitamin C, vitamin B12 and magnesium also play critical roles in the architecture of sleep therapy. And here’s how:

  • Vitamin D: A number of studies have linked low vitamin D to poor sleep quality and have shown that reaching and maintaining a vitamin D level of 60 to 80 ng/mL can improve sleep.

  • Vitamin C: Research published in PLOS ONE found those with low vitamin C in their blood reported more trouble sleeping and were more likely to experience interrupted sleep. Foods high in vitamin C include bell peppers, citrus, strawberries, and broccoli. If opting for a supplement, I recommend liposomal vitamin C, since it has better absorption.

  • Vitamin B12: Low B12, which is extremely common in the general population but even more so among vegans and vegetarians, is known to cause neurological problems, including disturbed sleep. If following a vegan or vegetarian diet consider supplementing with B12 under practitioner supervision.

  • Magnesium: Magnesium not only promotes muscle relaxation, it also helps your body produce melatonin. By boosting GABA, a nervous system relaxant, it also eases tension associated with stress. Research shows time and time again that a magnesium deficiency is a trigger for insomnia. There are a few types of magnesium and my favorite for supporting sleep is magnesium threonate, malate or glycinate. 2-400 mg 2-3 times per day is sufficient in most cases. If you have kidney failure or slow heart rate, fall back on eating more magnesium-rich foods instead, such as green leafy veggies, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, spirulina and raw nuts.




Both estrogen and progesterone act directly on the sleep centers of the brain. They also influence the levels of important sleep neurotransmitters such as serotonin and GABA.

Progesterone in particular plays a critical role in sleep because it makes a metabolite called allopregnanolone (ALLO) which interacts with GABA receptors, and is very soothing. When progesterone is high [just after ovulation], women’s brains have more “sleep spindles” [brain waves that indicate the onset of deep sleep].

Conversely, when there is no progesterone [such as is the case when women are on hormonal birth control or are post-menopausal], women’s brains show fewer sleep spindles which equates to fewer restorative sleep cycles.




While there are certainly more root causes of insomnia, the 3rd most common source of insomnia is an abnormal cortisol pattern. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is [while often demonized] very critical to our energy and vibrance. However, when cortisol is secreted at the wrong time, [i.e at night] melatonin production is blunted which means you’ll be wide awake and infused with energy. Oftentimes women who are in this category are dragging all day making the evening energy surge that much more frustrating.

I can hear the audible sigh of relief you just experienced in reading that there is a method behind your madness. But it only gets better!


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