With new clients, there are two high-impact symptoms that I prioritize and address rapidly and aggressively: constipation and insomnia (or poor-quality sleep). To become wildly satisfied clients, they need to see major results – and fast. Helping your clients to get quick relief increases their confidence in you as a practitioner and also their faith in their own ability to feel better and be truly well.
I have written before about various causes of insomnia and how they can be supported quickly and effectively. This week’s video focuses in particular on those client who lie down to sleep but find their mind racing with worries, responsibilities, fears, and their ever-present “To Do” list.
Biochemically, there are two key processes which our clients must master each night in order to sleep well:
Of course, we’re all going to help our clients to reduce stress by understanding and prioritizing their primary foods. But it takes time to build rapport and trust. As a first priority, make sure your client has good “sleep hygiene”. When we expose our brains at night to full-spectrum light – which mimics daylight – the pineal gland secretes less melatonin which can delay or prevent sleep. This includes TV and computer screens. Individuals with chronically elevated stress, who have recently endured great trauma/crisis, or who suffer from inflammatory disorders may also have inappropriately high levels of cortisol at night. When we expose our brains to highly stimulatory activity such as video games, unsettling email, stressful discussions, or alarming/violent television, we promote more secretion of the stimulatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Encourage your clients to choose only dim-light, relaxing activities in the evening, especially the full 1-2 hours prior to bedtime e.g. warm bath, calming music, meditation, gratitude journaling, light and fun reading. Most people have no idea how much they might be impairing their sleep by doing email or searching the web for a couple of hours leading right up to bedtime. These simple things matter! Here is a patient/client handout about Sleep Hygiene that you can use in your own practice.
As bedtime nears, the brain should naturally make a smooth transition from predominantly glutamate to predominantly GABA, the most prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. This transition can be impaired and/or delayed in our clients who are chronically stressed, have genetic impairment in the ability to balance neurotransmitters, and/or have neural toxicity e.g. mercury. We can gently boost this transition and thus calm the brains of clients wide awake with “racing minds” by supporting them with two key amino acids about 6o minutes prior to bedtime (both together, on an empty stomach):
There are some combination formulas such as Metagenics Trancor which combine these amino acids in a single formula.
So many of our clients are desperate for sleep. And unfortunately end up turning to highly-addictive sleep medications which can present major drug withdrawal challenges down the road. Give them a reliable alternative. Help them to address the true root cause of their challenges. And watch how quickly they become wildly satisfied with your support!