How do we approach Insomnia at East Valley Naturopathic Doctors? The answer depends on knowing the totality of all symptoms and their relation to one another. For example if someone has depression and sleep problems, an antidepressant protocol may be appropriately combined with sleep support. If someone has sleep apnea, than a CPAP or customized mouth piece can improve breathing during sleep. In general, our approach is to recommend alternative or natural therapies including Progressive Muscular Relaxation, Guided Imagery, and specific amino acids(proteins) that raise or improve the activity of neurotransmitter levels in the brain directly affecting sleep. The advantage of this approach includes being more effective over the long term to improve sleep quality, when compared to medication, and without abuse potential or side effects. Recent studies are showing increased risk of cancer associated with the use of sleep medications. One theory suggests that sleep medication, although allowing patients to fall asleep and stay asleep, may not induce deeper states of sleep which allow a patient to recover from the stress of the previous day. Lack of deep sleep leads to disease and emotional imbalance. One of the more exciting and recent studies on lifestyle and sleep includes a recent study done comparing exercise timing and effects on sleep. What these researchers found was that patients who exercise in the morning improve REM sleep 75% compared to those who exercise in the afternoon or evening. Our experience also at our Mesa clinic is that when patients detoxify or participate in a candida diet and cleanse, sleep improves. So we take a whole body approach to sleep including in our protocols diet changes, detox programs, candida cleansing, amino acid therapy, relaxation therapies, and exercise. This combination of therapies helps more than 95% of our patients with sleep concerns within just a few days to a couple of weeks. Sleep feels great and helps us manage our lives better and natural medicine provides easy and effective solutions without extravagant expense or long term drug dependence.