Every month I answer your questions on the topic of the month. October 2018 was Stress and Sleep.
Thank you to everyone who sent in questions. I hope these answers are helpful.
Q: I suffer from anxiety/panic attacks and slight depression. Any info on how to combat this will be appreciated. Andrew
1: Research has indicated that inflammation affects that brain in ways that are connected with symptoms of depression such as Anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure. What supplements do you recommend to reduce inflammation?
2: Anhedonia has been linked to a lack of dopamine. What is the best supplement that you recommend (including daily dosage) to raise dopamine levels?
A: The amino acid tyrosine is the direct precursor for dopamine. Also, the adaptogenic herbs such as Reishi, Siberian, American and Korean ginseng all help. That’s why they are all in my Awake Food Formula. Take 2 before breakfast. You can take 4 (eg 2 more before lunch, but not in the evening) for a couple of weeks, then reduce to 2 a day. I’d start here since dopamine depletion is most associated with Anhedonia.
Q: As someone who had a stress meltdown nervous breakdown due to work pressures and behaviours 8 years ago I ended up with a long term mental health problem as well as a chronic sleep problem.
I followed advice tried to up my minerals and vitamins thinking I must have been deficient in something to be able to break to that degree. I have tried 5 htp but ended up with bad dreams and no improved sleep. I tried melatonin off internet because my GP won’t prescribe until I’m 55. I got scared as off internet even though I did believe it helped.
I found out in 2015 my vitamin D was 7 and took prescribed medication and it was up to 49.5 a year later. Earlier this year I saw Phillip day at a seminar and bought his high dose and I went up to 104 in 3 weeks. I don’t get much sun I don’t go abroad anymore.
I take Brazil nuts for selenium and cherry active for melatonin daily but I still often can’t sleep at all or only get a couple hours s night and then I end up taking prescribed sleeping pills about once a week just to sleep so I can manage at work.
I am female now 52 so got added problem of menopause.
My stress levels are low but I just don’t cope with pressure anymore as my stretch zone has reduced and I get stressed in a bad way over stuff I would have ignored before. Apart from sleeping pills I take no other medication because I refuse to take antipsychotics and I don’t need antidepressants. What else can I do as top 10 essential daily things or something? Debra
A: Have you tried CBD oil? One pipette full an hour before bedtime. Also, do try listening to Silence of Peace CD as you go to sleep. Heart Math techniques would also be very helpful for you to retrain yourself when you go into stress. Details, and exercises are all in the Stress Cure. Supplement wise I recommend you take 2 x Awake Food formula before breakfast for a month. Another option, although only available in the US, is DHEA 25mg for a month. If you wish to buy the Inner Balance ‘Lightning’ device use this promo code for 15% off CONNECT18.
Q: Hi ,actually my sleep is not very good , and my life style and worries about our future without security for old age ,health matters to is another matter which is make me more worried and unhappy,Iam suffering from fibromyalgia and taking blood pressure tablet,is challenging with pain and sleep and heart palpitations and so on ,of course my menopause doesn’t helps,also my family not very understanding of my feeling and pain every day I must carry with mind and body,never sleep deeply ,thank you if u hell me. Mrs Fathi
A: Which books have you read? The two that would be most helpful for you is The Stress Cure and Ten Secrets of healthy Ageing.
Q: Thanks for this opportunity to ask you why i could be sleeping poorly since i got to Menopause. Could it be a hormonal issue or stress related? I only sleep well when im really tired, though ive noted i have too much on my mind lately. I have read some of your books on healthy ageing secrets and i must say they really keep me informed. Nancy
A: Low levels of progesterone in the menopause often induce adrenalin overload. The book that would be most helpful for you would be The Stress Cure. Also, take 2 x Chill Food an hour before bed and do try listening to the CD Silence of Peace as you go to sleep.
Q: I get to sleep easily but have to get up during the night about 3 or 4 times to urinate. I am 78 and have had bladder infections in the past. Since being a member of the 100% club I have been clear of infections, thank goodness. My present regime means that I sleep for about 2 hours at a time, and manage 7-8 hours sleep a night. Unfortunately my little dog, also ageing, has to go out in the garden, so this means another occasion when I have to get out of bed and in addition, downstairs, open the back door and wait for the dog to come back.
Any ideas how I can improve on this sleep pattern. Or are the short stretches of sleep not doing me harm? Maureen
A: Short stretches of sleep are not so bad as long as you get back to sleep easily. What can really help there is playing Silence of peace CD quietly in the background when you wake up in the night. 7 hours sleep at your age is enough.
Q: I have trouble falling asleep and wake easily, so feel tired alot. How can I fall asleep faster and wake refreshed. Kate
A: Read my report A Good Night's Sleep. There’s lots in this that can help you. Also take 2 x Chill Food an hour before bed. Listen to the CD Silence of peace as you go to sleep and if you wake up in the night.
Q: I am 59 years old and have difficulty in having a decent sleep ,the most sleep I get is about 1:45 minutes and then I am wide awake at short intervals ?? I always rise at 4:00 wrt work I am type two Diabetic ,but my blood sugar is controlled ,I have an under active thyroid ,which I am on meds for that , a bit overweigh at 73kg. Charmaine
A: Have you read my report on sleep at https://www.patrickholford.com/advice/the-complete-guide-to-a-good-night-s-sleep. There’s lots in this that can help you. Are you stressed? If so, read The Stress Cure. It could be your blood sugar level is dipping in the night, and that causes a release of adrenalin and then you wake up. If so, have a low GL dinner (see The Low GL Cookbook) containing beans or lentils can help with this. Also do try listening to Silence of peace vas you go to sleep and if you wake up. This CD is available online.
Q: Whenever I am stressed or feel low as soon as I get home I eat large quantities of junk food usually crisps and chocolate. I have tried chromium supplements for 6 months and it hasn't made a difference. I eat healthily at lunch and breakfast. Have you any suggestions for how I can break this habit? Lauren
A: Firstly, do have a late afternoon Low GL snack, as given in my book The Low Diet Cookbook. Plan your low GL dinner and have it together with 1 tspn of Carboslow, in a large glass of water just before you eat. You need to reframe a strategy for dealing with moments of stress and feeling low. Exactly how to do this is explained in the exercises in Chapter 13 – Uncovering Your Stress Triggers. Your door of compensation is either gluttony or toximania, possibly both.
Q: For the past 20 or so years I have been struggling seriously with sleep and sleep deprivation. It seriously affected my work and I found it couldn't hold one job for that long not to mention my health suffered terribly. I developed IBS, h.pylori and I was put on antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors and and lots of antidepressants. .this just made my situation even worse. .enough is enough! Am doing everything I possibly can to get back to some sort of normality. I have started taking magnesium citrate for my bowels and glycinate for sleep and pukka sleep herbal tea. The problem is I don't get that deep restorative sleep my body is craving and am wired and tired the whole day. The brain fog is too much!
For the past 20 or so years I have been struggling seriously with sleep and sleep deprivation. It seriously affected my work and I found it couldn't hold one job for that long not to mention my health suffered terribly. I developed IBS, h.pylori and I was put on antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors and and lots of antidepressants. .this just made my situation even worse. .enough is enough! Am doing everything I possibly can to get back to some sort of normality. I have started taking magnesium citrate for my bowels and glycinate for sleep and pukka sleep herbal tea. The problem is I don't get that deep restorative sleep my body is craving and am wired and tired the whole day. The brain fog is too much! I have tried 5htp before but didn't work for me. I need to move on but sleep is a big issue for me. Am figuring out or has been for the last 20 years what the issue is. Adrenals? I have even tried melatonin but no success. That is my story. Any help or suggestions is highly appreciated . Am a male of 44 years of age who is eager to get his health back. So I can lead a normal life or move from this survival mode everyday. Jay
A: Have you tried CBD oil? One pipette full an hour before bedtime. Also, do try listening to Silence of Peace CD as you go to sleep. Also, play this if you wake up. Another option is Janakanda’s Yoga Nidra CD. Heart Math techniques would also be very helpful for you to retrain yourself when you go into stress. Details, and exercises are all in the Stress Cure. Supplement wise I recommend you take 2 x Awake Food formula before breakfast for a month and 2 x Chill Food, an hour before bed for a month, to help reset your brain’s neurotransmitter balance.you wish to buy the Inner Balance ‘Lightning’ device use this promo code for 15% off CONNECT18.
Q: I suffer from insomnia, often only getting about 2-3 hours’ sleep at night. This has been going on for years and years. I can fall asleep, but then wake up and battle to fall asleep again. In good patterns/cycles, I get 6-7 hours’ sleep. I have my last mug of coffee at 6h30, and usually take magnesium and Flordis ReDormin [containing Valeriana officinalis root & Humulus lupulus fruit] before going to bed. I once tried Zopimed [for about 3 months on & off], but as soon as I stopped taking it, the pattern returned. Before and since then, I have never taken chemically manufactured drugs for insomnia. I eat healthily [Mediterranean diet mostly], though cannot afford organic, and take Vit B, Omega 3, Lipoic acid and Turmeric supplements. I exercise every day [walking dogs in the mountains or riding my horse on the beach] after work. I get up at 5h15 and try to switch my light off by 22h00/22h30. I am 61 years old and have a sedentary job. I think it is stress that keeps me awake – worries and internal brain “chatter” that churns and overwhelms. I think I need something that can calm or dull the brain/mind activity and prevent the thoughts from escalating into anxious wakefulness. Any words of advice or help ? Phillipa
A: Have you tried CBD oil? One pipette full an hour before bedtime. Also, do try listening to Silence of Peace CD as you go to sleep. Also, play this if you wake up. Another option is Janakanda’s Yoga Nidra CD. Heart Math techniques would also be very helpful for you to retrain yourself when you go into stress. Details, and exercises are all in my book the Stress Cure, which has many exercises for you to do to reframe stress triggers.
Q: I’m nearly 53 and since my last period 2 weeks ago I’ve been waking up overheated and sweating. I kick the blankets off and go back to sleep wake up cold put the blankets back over me and the cycle continues all night. I’m exhausted! And it’s starting to affect my mental health and concentration during the day. I’m healthy, am a vegan, try to keep a low GL diet ( though I’m craving sugar more over the last few weeks) please is there anything I can do to stop these nights of disturbed sleep ? Please say yes! Danielle
A: Sounds like you’re getting hot flushes as your body adjusts. This will not go on forever. Try supplementing 2 x Female Balance in the morning and 2 x Chill Food an hour before bed. Ypou might want to read my book Balance Your Hormones, which talks about different approaches that work for hot flushes. Also, try listening to the CD Silence of peace as you go to sleep and if you wake up.
Q: Hello Patrick....further to your newsletter request for sleep/stress related questions, here’s mine please: I’m forever hopeful of finding a natural solution for my husband....he’s 56, has his own (stressful) business operating in the uk, Middle East (where we’re based) and Hong Kong / China, and frequently flies between those regions, averaging a flight a week across the year! He sleeps appalling and frequently wakes feeling so frustrated and angry that he simply exacerbates that situation, not returning to sleep for sometimes hours....he’s tried CBT and to some extent it worked but not fully. He can’t recall the last time he slept well for one night....he’s always exhausted....but carries on. Generally, he’s fit and healthy though...we eat a healthy diet, he’s pescatarian and exercises regularly. If you have a natural solution he can try, I know he’d be a willing client! Thank you (as a long term user of Forever Living products...I’ve heard you speak at several of our events....he’s tried many options already...) Julie
A: For anyone struck in a stress cycle I recommend, for one month, taking 21 x Awake Food in the morning, before breakfast and 2 x Chill Food an hour before sleep, for a month. Also, have him try listening to Silence of Peace CD as you go to sleep. Heart Math techniques would also be very helpful for him to retrain when he goes into stress. All the exercises, and much more, are in my book The Stress Cure, which I think would be most helpful.. If you wish to buy the Inner Balance ‘Lightning’ device for the HeartMath practice use this promo code for 15% off CONNECT18. I’m sure he’s tried 6mg of melatonin before bed, especially helpful if messed up by time zones.
Q: Dear Patrick What should I take for the extreme torments of Sjogrens disease ...itchy eyes were etc. Betty
A: First, read my report https://www.patrickholford.com/advice/auto-immune-disease. Get your homocysteine level checked and, if high, take Connect at the right daily dose. Take Yorktest’s FoodScan (IgG food intolerances) and avoid trigger foods. Take up to 6 x Allex when you're reacting – 2 or 3 a day otherwise..