Insomnia is defined as a medical condition involving difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep through the night.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of American adults fail to get at least seven hours of sleep on a regular basis, which is associated with an increased risk of chronic ill health and mental distress. As noted by Dr. Wayne Giles, director of CDC’s Division of Population Health.
Another really crucial lifestyle aspect that can have a profound impact on your ability to sleep is sunlight and artificial light exposure during the day and night. Getting appropriate light exposure at the appropriate time of day — which I’ll discuss further below — is perhaps one of the most important factors that need to be addressed if you’re having trouble sleeping.
Valerian Root — Nature’s Valium
Frequently referred to as “nature’s Valium,” valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) has a sedative effect and has been used in traditional medicine to promote relaxation and sleep for at least 2,000 years. Some of the sedating compounds in valerian root include:
• Valerenic acid. As noted by Authority Nutrition,4 stress can lower your levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which in turn has been linked to anxiety and impaired, poor quality sleep.
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