How to Finally Get Some Rejuvenating Sleep!

Watch Arbor Health co-founders, Dr. Zendi Moldenhauer and Amber Ratcliffe discuss simple things you can do at home to get some quality sleep without medications.


If you are struggling to get quality sleep, request a free 20-minute consultation to see if Functional Medicine might be right for you.  A clinical coordinator will reach out to you to find a time to connect.

Why sleep is important & why you need to make it a priority

  • Rest restores your body and heals your brain – more than 700 genes are activated while you sleep
  • Your brain actually allows more lymph around it while you are sleeping to heal it

Circadian Rhythm - Cortisol - Melatonin

  • Cortisol and melatonin have an inverse relationship – cortisol should be high in morning and low at night
  • Rest restorative sleep window is 9am-9pm
  • Low progesterone makes them sleepless and irritable, stress steals progesterone

Good sleep actually starts first thing in the morning

  • Regular get up time
  • Have a ritual – make your bed, get dressed – leave your bedroom
  • Chronotherapy – get natural light
  • Exercise

During the day

  • Eat regularly to keep blood sugar stable, eat protein with a digestive enzyme to have the building blocks for serotonin and melatonin
  • Drink more water – half your body weight in ounces – so 150 lb person would drink 75 oz of water per day
  • Avoid caffeine – it blocks adenosine which tells you to go to sleep
  • Avoid alcohol – it makes you sleepy initially because it suppresses neurotransmitters but wears off and makes you wake up or have restless sleep

Keeping ANTS at bay – Automatic Negative Thoughts – Retraining your brain

  • Limit your media consumption
  • Mindset - Flip the paradigm technique (see notes from Reducing Anxiety Live Stream)
  • Use grounding techniques
  • Emotional processing
    • Journaling – get your feelings down on paper
    • Dealing with Nightmares – write them down with an alternate ending
  • Gratitude – journaling on what went right during the day and what you are thankful for sets the stage for a calm mind
  • Neurofeedback – retrains your brain and can help with anxiety and insomnia (and many more conditions)

Sleep hygiene

  • Setting up your bedroom
    • Cool room, warm bed
    • White noise or music – a small fan can work
    • Heavy covers
    • Pets – can be disruptive
    • Warm Epsom salt bath with lavender (magnesium soaks in through skin)
    • Warm your feet
  • Go to bed at a regular time
  • No screens for at least an hour before bed – use blue filter if you must
  • No gadgets in room
  • Don’t eat right before bed (if you struggle with waking in the middle of the night, eat a small protein snack before bed – no carbs)
  • EMF’s and sleep – check out documentary Resonance: Beings of Frequency
  • Sleep Apnea – get tested if you snore. It can cause a deficiency in iron and cause other serious health issues.
  • Sleep vacations – to the guest room
  • Ear plugs/face masks

Shutting off your mind so you can fall sleep (or get back to sleep)

  • Sleep stories (Calm or Headspace)
  • Reading – something boring or enjoyable/no news or topics that are intense
  • Breathing techniques and progressive muscle relaxation
  • Making up a story in your mind
  • Make your to do list on paper, or put thoughts down on paper if you can’t stop thinking
  • If you are struggling with a problem, write down a clear question for your mind to work on overnight


  • During the day – Adrenal support – L-Theanine, Daily Stress Support (Pure Encapsulations) or HPA Adapt (Integrative Therapeutics), Super Cortisol Support (NOW)
  • Magnesium Glycinate - 200-600 mg (Pure), Magnesium Threonate 144mg also called Neuromag (Life Extension)
  • L-Theanine 100-200mg (Vital Nutrients or Jarrow for Gummies)
  • B3 (Flush Free Niacin) 500mg
  • B6 50-100mg
  • Melatonin – short or long acting 1-3mg (max 5mg)
  • Herbs – skullcap, kava, valerian, hops, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm – Best Rest Formula (Pure)
  • Nutrients to lower cortisol - phosphatidyl serine
  • Amino acids – GABA, 5-HTP, Tryptophan
  • Essential oils (lavender) – Vibrant Blue Parasympathetic, Vibrant Blue Circadian Rhythm - we have these at Arbor Health
  • Tea – Holy Basil for Adrenal Support, Chamomile
  • Benadryl – If you suffer form allergies it can serve two purposes – clear you up and make you drowsy

We have these items at Arbor Health or you can find some of them in our online Fullscript dispensary


  • Prioritize sleep
  • Sleep is part of your daily cycle from start to finish
  • Manage stress and retrain your mind throughout the day
  • Have good sleep hygiene
  • Support your body with supplements, herbs and essential oils

If you are struggling to get quality sleep, request a free 20-minute consultation to see if Functional Medicine might be right for you.  A clinical coordinator will reach out to you to find a time to connect.


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