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Sweet dreams
Combat insomnia the natural way

By AMY SIEWERT

January 2013

Ringing in the New Year signals the end of the holidays, but often the lingering stress from the season-long frenzy leaves us with an unfortunate side effect — insomnia. And this "tired-wired" state is quickly becoming a problem in today’s fast-paced culture. "Insomnia has become an epidemic in our society mainly do to stress," says Dr. Kalpana "Rose" Kumar, founder and medical director of The Ommani Center in Pewaukee.

According to Kumar, we create a vicious cycle within ourselves by creating adrenal fatigue, which causes lack of sleep. In turn, that lack of sleep leads to adrenal fatigue. But training our minds can be one way to combat the problem through a technique called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a meditative practice that helps a person not get caught up in the cause of stress. "It helps us connect to a more grounded place inside ourselves," she says.

The technique is taught through a series of classes in which the student learns how to focus inward as his or her mind continues to chatter. "If you learn how to do it, you can apply it to so many aspects of your life," she says. "It’s incredibly helpful for insomnia, overeating, anxiety and depression — any kind of emotional struggles people have."

A hormone imbalance is also a common cause of insomnia for women, notes Kumar, who specializes in women’s health. She suggests women suffering from an imbalance should consult their physicians to regulate it.

The Ommani Center will be hosting a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction workshop Jan. 17. Visit www.ommanicenter.com for more information.

Braced for sleep

Since Oprah Winfrey chose Philip Stein watches as one of her favorite things, the company has become a leader in watches and other lifestyle products worldwide. One of its latest designs is the Sleep Bracelet, which contains a metal disk infused with a combination of natural frequencies that are believed to communicate with the frequencies in our body, allowing for a more restful sleep. The new Sleep Bracelet can be found at Lyle Husar Designs in Brookfield.

Improve Your Sleep Cycle

Dr. Kalpana Kumar, founder and medical director of The Ommani Center in Pewaukee, suggests incorporating the following tips into your daily routine to help overcome insomnia issues.

1. Watch Your Diet. A plant-based diet is more grounding and relaxing for our body which, in turn, will help you sleep better. Avoid eating a large meal at night that is high in fat and sugar.

2. Take Omega 3 Fish Oil. Consumed in doses of 2,000 milligrams a day, fish oil has a relaxing effect on the brain and can help normalize the brain patterns that otherwise may be irritable and hyperactive from lack of Omega 3 in your diet.

3. The sedating effects of lavender have proven helpful for people with insomnia. "We carry a lavender supplement that has been show in studies to equal the sleep efficiency of Ambien without the side effects."

4. Similar to a child falling asleep to a bedtime story, listening to a CD specifically designed to help you enter a relaxed state can help. Some CDs may include soothing sounds, while others include guided imagery meditation.


This story ran in the January 2013 issue of: