Diet is another incredibly important piece of the insomniac’s puzzle. Avoid eating very sugary foods close to bedtime; refined white sugar is the worst offender, as it has effects similar to cocaine. Raw honey can benefit healthy sleep by reducing levels of orexin, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of wakefulness & arousal. In fact, narcolepsy, is caused by destruction of brain cells responsible for producing orexin. Consuming foods rich in L-tryptophan can greatly assist in getting restful sleep, as well as reducing depression. Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin and occurs naturally in:
– Raw milk
– Pumpkin seeds
Proper levels of vitamin B6 allow for adequate conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Eating carbohydrate-rich foods alongside things off the list above will allow for increased conversion rates, as the insulin spike causes aromatic and branched chain amino acids to clear from the bloodstream (absorbed mostly by muscles). Many people resort to synthetic L-tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). I would advise against this plan of action. After heavily abusing MDMA several years ago, I became very interested in this particular topic. I came to find out that there is a substance that exists all throughout the bloodstream called L-aromatic amino acid decarboxylase that is responsible for all types of conversions. These include:
L-dopa > Dopamine
5-HTP > Serotonin
L-histidine > Histamine
Tyrosine > Tyramine
Tryptophan > Tryptamine
Since this enzyme is so ubiquitous, conversion of orally administered 5-HTP will convert into serotonin all throughout the body. The result is serotonin floating around where it shouldn’t be, possibly contributing to neurotoxicity. As complex as the human organism is, isn’t it a bit crass to think one can cure problems by popping a pill of some powder synthesized in some far off laboratory? We need nutrient dense food and natural medicine like Pürblack, lest we lose all hope!
Take note that women are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men; let us then take a moment to discuss Vitex [Vitex agnus-castus], also known as Chasteberry or Monk’s Pepper. Vitex can be incredibly useful for insomnia related to premenstrual syndrome or menopause. In a healthy woman’s menstrual cycle, estrogen levels are higher before ovulation, and progesterone levels are higher afterward. Any glitches in this process can be the source of the entire range of effects associated with PMS & menopause. Vitex eludes concrete understanding but is thought to work via dopaminergic pathways; this ultimately affects prolactin levels. The effect in women often manifests as lowered estrogen and elevated progesterone. Ultimately, it energetically brings the endocrine system into balance. It is not fast acting like Pürblack and must be taken for several weeks to see results. This botanical also has great use in the realm of women recovering from birth control induced hormonal imbalances. When taken during the initial trimester of pregnancy, vitex purportedly helps to prevent miscarriage. Postpartum, for the optimized production of breastmilk.
The final topic we will cover is the implication of recreational drug use in disrupted sleep. Caffeine consumption is ubiquitous and nearly impossible to avoid entirely. Is is best not to consume coffee, tea, or any other caffeinated products after 12-2pm. The average half-life of caffeine is 9 hours, meaning that half of the caffeine from that cup of coffee you had at 3pm is still active in your bloodstream at 12am. Cacao is another culprit for insomnia, due to the stimulating alkaloid theobromine. Theobromine is a metabolite of caffeine and has an even longer half-life. It has about 2x the potency and a vasodilator & bronchodilator, but 1/4th the potency as a CNS stimulant. A good strategy is taking Pürblack with your stimulant of choice, so as to reduce the amount needed by 50-75%. It will enhance the desirable effects, and vastly reduce side effects. Nicotine is another powerful stimulant, responsible for many peoples’ sleep issues. One should avoid smoking for several hours before bed, or ideally altogether. Taking Pürblack can be a powerful assistant in batting any crippling addiction, they don’t call shilajit the Destroyer of Weakness for no reason! Cannabis and alcohol both assist the user in reaching a relaxed state that makes falling asleep easier, but both substances reduce the quality of sleep. Try a healthy alternative like kava with Pürblack, which enhances the quality of sleep through several modalities.