Dr. Leia on Insomnia Causes, Zoloft, & Menopause – Tests You Should
Have and Info on Natural Sleep Aids
Question for Dr. Leia: I am working to get my diet back online, taking green supplements,
and good vitamins.
I have been having a hard time sleeping. What are insomnia causes besides that of menopause?
I am in my 50’s and definitely menopausal.
My doctor asked me if I wanted a Zoloft insomnia prescription for sleeplessness,
but I declined. Can you offer me some help? I have heard folic acid, and other supplements can help. Thanks Trixie.
Dr. Leia’s Answer: Dear Trixie, it’s wonderful that you are taking care of yourself and are interested in keeping
yourself healthy naturally.
Insomnia is a symptom, and symptoms tell us that there is another deeper cause which needs to be addressed. Zoloft,
which is a chemical anti-depressant, is more of a bandaid for patching up problems such as depression, anxiety,
lack of motivation, insomnia, and general emotional stress and strain. If, indeed, you have severe symptoms such
as just I mentioned, then it is sometimes necessary to take an anti-depressant for a short period of time if you
are unable to cope with your daily life situations. However, if you find that you are still able to carry on with
your day-to-day life, but want to optimize your energy and to feel the best that you can feel, then you may want
to dig a little deeper into the causes for your insomnia.
You mentioned that you are going through menopause, a period of time in which a woman’s body goes through hormonal
changes and wide fluctuations and/or decreases in estrogen and progesterone, along with symptoms such as hot flashes,
night sweats, insomnia, irritability, depression, mood changes, just to mention a few symptoms. Menopause with
night sweats can be one cause for insomnia, as can worry, situational stress, and other emotional upsets.
Fluctuations in blood sugar levels, low blood sugar or glucose levels, eating heavy meals late at night, diets with
irregular eating habits during the day, eating foods which promote higher energy levels later in the day or at
night, and indigestion can all contribute to sleeplessness and insomnia. Diet and dieting, stress, and menopause
can also lead to adrenal hormone imbalance, with diurnal fluctuations in the normal cortisol levels, which in turn,
can lead to insomnia. Your naturopathic doctor can test your cortisol levels using a simple non-invasive testing
method using saliva.
This test is called an Adrenal Stress Index test and consists of collecting saliva in small
tubes four times during one day, then sending the samples into a laboratory which will measure the cortisol levels,
plot a graph of the results, measure the DHEA levels, and determine the level of stress response which you might
be under. Saliva has been shown to be the most accurate method of measuring these parameters, and the test is simple
to collect and is non-invasive, and an important test to consider.
If this test shows abnormalities in the cortisol
or DHEA levels, then your doctor will prescribe the correct supplements and doses individualized for you to correct
this problem. Please note that it is not recommended that you self prescribe hormones such as estrogen, progesterone,
cortisol, or DHEA without being tested for these substances and without your doctor’s care and recommendations.
There are many natural methods which help insomnia, including making time for rest and relaxation, getting out into
nature for nature walks, listening to the ocean waves, meditation and relaxation tapes, soothing music, stress
management, a regular exercise program, and natural relaxant herbs and supplements.
Calcium and magnesium and mineral
supplements in a balanced dose, especially when taken at bedtime can help to relax the body and the muscles physicially.
Taking stimulant herbs and vitamins such as caffeinated teas and drinks, coffee, vitamin E and C, B vitamins and
stress vitamins, which may also include vitamin B12 and folic acid are best taken in the morning or early part
of the day, rather than late at night. Soothing relaxing teas, such as lemon balm, spearmint, peppermint, and chamomile
are wonderful to take in the evening or before bedtime and promote deeper sleep and relaxation.
Making sure that
your bedroom is dark, without any night lights or outdoor lights streaming through the windows will help to promote
deeper more relaxing levels of sleep, and help insomnia by increasing the production of your body’s own melatonin.
If you work irregular shifts in the evenings, or at night, or when travelling to different time zones, then you
may need to take a product called melatonin, which will help some people to sleep better. However, I do not recommend
that you take this product every night, so as to not become dependant upon it. It is best to try all of the other
methods before relying upon melatonin. Good luck with managing your insomnia and digging deeper into the cause
rather than just palliating it.
Learn About Natural Sleep Formulas
Learn about Native Remedies – Natural Sleep Aids.
Vaxa’s Natural Sleep Formula
Nite-Rest formulated by Vaxa’s provides nutritional support to help you get a good nights sleep by supporting your
natural sleep pattern to allow the enhancement and preservation of your dream stages
When taking normally prescribed “Sleeping Pills” or other conventional sleep medication they have been
proven to effect the dream cycles, making then shorter and less restful. Vaxa’s Nite-Rest also has no side effects,
like next day drowsiness or headache that are common with over-the-counter
More information on this can be found in our free online health magazine.