Menu Close


Natural Solutions To Improve Mood

Whether it is called irritability, negativity, moodiness, depression or some other adjective some positive natural solutions are recommended in this article.

Of extreme importance in avoiding “irritability”, mood disorders, fatigue and “brain fog” is getting a good night sleep. This means both falling asleep easily and staying asleep, with dream recall, for about eight hours (give-or-take depending on age). As the late Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, director of the Brain-Bio center inNew Jersey, explained, when one sleeps deeply in an alpha state of relaxation, they should dream. When we wake up we should recall that we have dreamt, not necessarily the content, but that we had dreams. As I will mention later, nutrition plays a vital role in deep sleep, and Dr. Pfeiffer correlated a deficiency in B vitamins with lack of dream recall.

Since around 60 million Americans reportedly suffer from chronic sleep disorder, with about 15% having chronic insomnia, some solutions must be presented. Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, waking up too early and poor quality sleep (not feeling rested).

For some people exercising, such as a half-hour walk, prior to sleep time may have a positive effect on falling asleep. Several herbs such as chamomile, passiflora and valerian taken as a tea or capsule have calming effects and help sleep patterns. Neuro-transmitters or brain chemicals such as gabba slow down over-active brain activity which often doesn’t let one fall asleep. 5HTP and tryptophan increase serotonin secretions which aid in obtaining a satisfying restful sleep. Melatonin is a hormone produced by a gland in our brain and acts as a circadian rhythm and sleep-anticipating signal. Melatonin production declines with age and the prevalence of sleep disorders such as insomnia increases. Publishes studies show that plasma melatonin levels were significantly decreased in patients with primary insomnia compared to control groups. Many studies have shown the efficacy of melatonin for every aspect of sleep disorder; also finding that this hormone significantly heightened freshness on awakening, improved mood and improved daytime functioning.

For women particularly, a progesterone hormone deficiency, or a decreased progesterone-to-estrogen ratio, can result in mood disorders and irritability. Especially in those women who suffer from PMS (premenstrual syndrome) double-blind, placebo controlled trials showed the efficacy of progesterone in alleviating PMS and it’s symptoms of irritability, mood swings and insomnia.

Of course stress and anxiety, with its associated outcome of adrenal exhaustion is a great contributor to sleep disorder. The adrenal gland sits on top of the kidneys and amongst other roles secrete cortisol, a stress hormone. If high cortisol levels are indicated, supplementing with products such as Cortisol Control can support adrenal gland health. With safe and very effective herbs such as ashwaganda(fromIndia) and magnolia and Phellodendron the stress response is modulated. These herbs are mood-stabilizers and exhibit anti-anxiety and anti-depression activity.

Other approaches to stress reduction include moderate exercise on a consistent basis, yoga and/or stretching, listening to healing relaxing music, laughing and otherwise enjoying life, and receiving body work. I mean massage, chiropractic treatments, heat compresses and so on. On a spiritual level practicing simple faith and prayer and having a “gam-zu-letova” positive attitude are essential to well being and well-sleeping.

So to banish insomnia, irritability and to improve mood we must take a several pronged approach. In my holistic medical practice this is what I do for my patients. Thorough comprehensive testing and history taking I can determine what the individual needs of the patient are and can offer both hands on treatment as well as nutritional aid.