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Health Risks from Poor Sleep

Are you experiencing fatigue, headaches, irritability, difficulty concentrating, poor work performance, and weak immunity due to sleep problems?

According to Dr. Mark Stengler, NMD, rarely a day goes by in his practice that one or more of his patients tell him they are having problems with sleep.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 33% to 50% of adults have symptoms of insomnia. That is a lot of people suffering from sleep issues!

Certainly, the stress from the pandemic has worsened sleep quality and duration for many Americans.

There are many different causes of insomnia.  Examples include psychiatric causes such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. Additional health issues include sleep disorders (e.g., apnea), hormonal imbalances, and believe it or not certain medications.

Medications Known to Cause Insomnia:

Heart and high blood pressure (procainamide, atenolol, metoprolol, clonidine)

Corticosteroids (prednisone)

Diuretics (chlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, hydrochlorothiazide)

Medications containing caffeine (headache meds)

Antihistamines (diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine)

 Antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine))

ADHD (dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, methylphenidate)

Risks with Chronic Insomnia

There are severe health risks associated with chronic insomnia that go beyond fatigue. For example, sleep disorders are a risk factor for dementia, Parkinson’s disease, depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and rapid aging.

During deep sleep there is growth hormone secretion by the pituitary gland in the brain. Growth hormone allows the body to repair and regenerate. This hormone is also essential for proper immune system restoration and function. We now know about the glymphatic system, which is a network of vessels system in our brain that eliminates waste products. The glymphatic system is activated when we enter deep sleep.

While it is best to address the underlying causes of insomnia with an integrative doctor, but I have found the following techniques and natural products work well for many people to re-establish the sleep cycle.

  • Do not watch television or look at computer monitors or phone screens for at least 2 hours before bedtime. The blue light from these devices tells the brain not to release the sleep hormone melatonin.
  • Take a walk each evening or exercise in the afternoon or evening. Studies show that exercise completed more than an hour before bedtime can improve sleep.
  • Do not listen to or read anything negative at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid eating large meals before bedtime.

Natural Solutions

Many different supplements can be used to help one sleep. I have had good results with Sleep Health.

It contains Melatonin, L-theanine, Lemon Balm, and Passionflower. Melatonin is the sleep hormone that induces sleep while the other components are calming to the brain.

Formulated by Dr. Mark Stengler NMD.

Known as America’s Natural Doctor to his patients, readers and audiences across North America, Mark Stengler is a licensed naturopathic medical doctor. His passion is to combine the best of conventional and natural medicine to achieve optimized health for his patients.  Dr. Stengler has personally formulated each of the Emerald Labs Additive-Free products according to the high standards of his health practice.   Read more about Dr. Stengler…


Publishing H. 2020. Medications that can affect sleep – Harvard Health. Harvard Health. [accessed 2020 Dec 28].

Insomnia: Causes, Risks & Treatments. 2020. Cleveland Clinic. [accessed 2020 Dec 28].

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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