Dr. Carolyn Chambers Clark, Award-Winning Author and Wellness Nurse Practitioner

Sleep and Sleeping Pills

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Sleeping well is one of the most important things you can do to be well.

During sleep, your body repairs and rests itself. If you're not sleeping well, your immune system doesn't work well, your brain doesn't work as well as it could, and you probably aren't as alert as you should be, setting you up for accidents and mistakes. If you sleep poorly, you're also apt to crave more junk foods.

Why would you crave more junk foods just because you don't sleep? The answer is lack of sleep amplifies the part of your brain  responsible for cravings and suppresses the rational-decisionmaking part.

Despite these dangers, millions of people still take sleeping pills.


If you have taken or are taking or are considering taking a sleeping pill, here's some new research to astound you!

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control, a federal agency, reports that taking sleeping pills like Ambien and Luminista and others of this kind are linked with:

  • a 35% higher risk for cancers,
  • being 4 times more likely to die earlier,
  • diabetes,
  • depression,
  • obesity,
  • amnesia,
  • sleepwalking,
  • sleepingdriving,
  • sleep texting and writing embarrasing things on other social media and not having any memory of doing so
  • sleep sex,
  • heart disease,
  • food cravings,
  • hallucinations,
  • confusion
  • sleepeating of bizarre combinations such as buttered cigarettes, salt sandwiches or raw bacon with no recollection the next day
  • impaired functioning the next day

A big problem with sleeping pills besides the dangerous things mentioned above is that

Sleeping pills only increase your sleeping time by eleven minutes! Is it worth it to face some or all of the above devastating symptoms for an additional 11 minutes?

But that's not all sleeping pills can do to you. Consider the effects these pills can have on you if you stop taking them...


The rebound effect is the withdrawal symptoms (yes, as if you're addicted to them) you'll experience that can be worse than your initial insomnia.

For all these reasons, it's only prudent to use safer ways of helping yourself to sleep. Find them below

 Remember, you should be getting no fewer than six hours a night and no more than nine.


* Avoid drinking or eating stimulants  (coffee, tea, chocolate) and anesthetics (any alcoholic beverage) as they both interfere with restful and refurbishing sleep.

*Avoid spicy and fatty foods.

*Avoid sugar; you'll go to sleep and then wake up in a few hours, craving more.

*Try a B-complex capsule or a calcium capsule with warm milk to help you relax.

*If you're worrying, place a cool wash cloth on your forehead to constrict blood vessels of the head.

*Get out of your head by focusing on deep breathing or holding your thumb or one or one or all of your fingers one at a time with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th finger of the other hand or focusing on relaxing your feet and then your legs and then working your way up your body until you're completely relaxed.

*Get enough vitamin D. It can help you to sleep. The best source for this vitamin is the sun. Expose your face and arms to 15 (fair skin) to 45 (dark skin) minutes at least three times a week. In order of the most vitamin D provided, the best food sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil (1-2 tablespoons/day), herring, fresh water salmon, and sardines.  

*At bedtime, cover windows so no light come in. close bedroom door, avoid using night lights and switch to low blue light bulbs that don't suppress your normal production of melatonin that aids in sleep.

*Keep bedroom temperature below 70 degrees; it's very difficult to have a peaceful sleep when overly warm.

*Avoid using electric or electronic alarm clocks and leaving your computer, cell phone, and iPod on. They emit a light that affects sleep. You can buy a gaus meter online to check the "hot" spots for EMFs in your bedroom that may be keeping you awake.

*Walk barefoot on the beach or ground. This facilitates the transfer of electrons from the ground to your body that decreases pain and inflammation and promotes sound sleep.

*Exercise at least 30 minutes/day, but not within 30 minutes of sleep.

*Use affirmations and acupuncture points to deal with the emotional aspects of not sleeping.

Here's a brief summary of how to do this.

*First, remove glasses and watches that can interfere with the process. Try these steps while looking into your eyes in a mirror in the morning, whenever you go to the bathroom, and when preparing for bed.
Tap the following points with the fingers of both hands, each time saying aloud, "Even though I'm having difficulty sleeping, I love and accept myself":

*the top of your head

*above the eyebrows

*beside the eyes

*under the eyes

*under the nose

*on the chin

*on the collarbones

*under the arm pits

*on the wrists

This affirmation and EFT process can be used for many other situations you wish to resolve from infections to heart conditions to cancer. In any situation, be sure to continue the tapping and affirmations, changing the problem you're facing, but keeping the loving and accepting yourself until the problem resolves. You can combine it with prayer if you like.



CDC Data Briefs. Number 127. August, 2013.

Prescription Access.org,

Harvard Women's Health Watch, June 20, 2013.

Surprises in view of insomnia and sleeping pills. Sleep, August 1, 2013.


Think positive and you'll be positive!

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