Sleep Problems

Updated: Sep 19

Lack of sleep & poor quality sleep can bring anyone to breaking point. Here, I will condense an entire seminar's worth of information into one page so you don't have to search the globe for answers! I guarantee you will lear something new you never heard of.

(All recommendations are educational & require personalized consults)


Information in this section is credited to

the brilliant sleep doctor, Dr. Stasha Gominak

(Vitamins B & D, and Their Effects on Sleep)

  • Vitamin D2 (D) is the key for good sleep, headaches, chronic disease & reproduction. levels must be between 60-80. Never lower than 40. Supplement course of 3 mo. minimum.

  • Note that too much D2 blocks the effects of D3. You can wake up with headaches. Some doctors prescribe a super high dose of 50,000 IU (usually for those with osteoporosis/osteopenia). This will make you sleep well for 1 week & not the rest of the month. Your brain needs vitamin D every day. It's not bad, but if you're trying to fix broken sleep, you have a different goal to accomplish. This applies to your bone health as well.

  • We also need B vitamins (B) for gut flora. B grows in the presence of D. Vitamin B comes not only from food, but from gut. Without proper microbiome, we get sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (which can cause & is caused by IBS).

  • It's not about adding bacteria to the stomach but about creating a good environment w/ D & B. Only take Bs for 3 mo.s to avoid double dosing- your supplementation + what has naturally grown back.

  • Many studies show that probiotics don't help. Bacteria are self-sustaining. If we needed probiotics, we would buy them for a month & be done with them. The environment (bioterrain) needs to be healthy. B5 is only made by a few bacterium in the intestines. Lactobacillus competes w/ us for the use of B5, so if you take a lot of lactobacillus, you will decrease your B5.

Probiotics & fecal transplants are not the idea.

  • All Bs come in an "8-pack" because they are all necessary cofactors of each other. If you take one, it helps the second grow. Take only the third kind, and you deplete the first and second because they will be used to make the third. Use all 8 Bs together regardless of which B you're deficient in. They are never used individually in the cells.

Question: Why does bodily repair only happen in sleep?

Answer: We are using our bodies during the day and breaking down body tissues (catabolism). At night, our bodies work hard to repair (anabolism). At night, our bodies allow the DNA in every cell to replicate, IN PART, just that cell. To further this process, we need sunlight. Problem: we no longer spend all our time in the sun.

  • Sun exposure levels aren't accurate. Those in cloudy Scotland, for example, evolved to have less melanin- red hair, pale skin to help intake more sun. Plus, all people create less D as we age. Supplementation levels need to be adjusted over time, seasons, & in regard to our biology.

  • Sunblock is protective and helps in REDUCING sun exposure, which at age 75 is helpful for preventing squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer). BUT kids can use both methods (sunlight and supplementation) for INCREASING D levels.

Question: Will I get cancer from a full day of sun exposure?

Answer: Vitamin D is made on skin, which has enzymes that make the active form of D. This D goes into skin cells that have been bombarded w/ radiation-damaged DNA & fixes it. D converts cancer into normal cells, so our skin protects us from cancer. We are bald animals, which is why we come in different colors. There are many mechanisms in our bodies that don't allow overexposure from the sun, thus it isn't our only source of vitamin D. Cancer risk doesn't reduce to zero. Scotts who move to Texas might eventually get cancer in their 70s because of mismatched exposure to skin type. Africans are more likely to get skin cancer in their 90s.

Question: Sun: When & How Much?

Answer: Skin should acclimate to the sun & not receive large doses right away. If we're inside all winter & then go out in the summer w/ a bikini for several hours, we are at high risk. The idea that D came from food came from a study done on rats. They are nocturnal, so they eat foods high in vitamin D2. Other mammals use D3 in the day, and not usually from food.

  • Kids should not have leg cramps, back aches, anxiety, autoimmune, or mood disorders. Kids won't say that they didn't sleep well. Their sleep quality is indicated by if you have to wake them up 3x or if they're groggy. They should be ready to go at sunrise.

  • Adults indicate their sleep quality & depth by how the whole body is doing overall. Do you feel awful emotionally or physically? In polysomnographs, sleep apnea is just a small picture of sleep quality.

Get your vitamin D & B checked at different times of the year

to indicate how much is needed!

  • There are 2 ways to test yourself.

1) Finger stick (blood on paper)

2) Order the test online. It is quite affordable. Go to the lab. Results in 3 days.

  • If you have sleep apnea that prevents deep sleep, vitamin's won't fix it. All sleep devices can be used, but a C-PAP machine is a bandaid. Moving the palate with a palate expander in childhood is pivotal.

[I (Basha) have learned that one cause of

obstructive, flabby tissue in the back of

the throat is insulin resistance, for which I

recommend the keto diet. This protects

nerves that impact muscle & tissue tightness.

See my Keto blog].

  • Vitamins are used in 50 cell types to make neurotransmitters (NT- brain hormones) for sleep. These NTs include cannabinoids to allow melatonin to excrete. Sleep pills help & mimic NTs. PROBLEM: We don't know which NT is imbalanced in each individual. Pills are helpful for a fixed period of time.

[It is my (Basha's) belief that sleeping pills don't drastically alter our sleep architecture, and any sleep we can get is helpful as long as we don't enter sleep TOO quickly. I am not opposed to sleep medicines if needed. I've discovered that in some instances, sleep issues may not be due to habits, nutrition, hormones, or our environment- not that these are easy to solve! Some people have what is called DYSAUTONOMIA (an umbrella term for nervous system dysregulation), which can create chronic, lasting sleep issues. However you can sleep, sleep! It is more important to avoid stimulants that keep us awake & make our brains crave sleep & delta brainwave while we're awake.]

  • The risks of sleep pills is apnea, for which a C-PAP machine & the Right pill can help. If sitting upright helps, you can do that.

  • Some people have trouble absorbing vitamin D. They might have the VDR (vitamin D receptor) gene mutation. No matter how much sun you get, your skin won't fully convert that into active hormonal vitamin D. Supplementation is usually necessary. Some can also have very negative reactions to D & B. It might take 6 months to get up to 10,000 IU. Sleep might still be at wrong times, but at lease one will wake up feeling great.

Question: What if 10,000 IU of D never makes my serum levels change?

Answer: It's not that you're not absorbing, it's that there must be 'achille's heels" all over your body that is using up the D. If you have a serious sleep or bone density issue, your vitamins will go towards that. Vitamin D can either rebuild or destroy your microbiome if you don't see it getting better. You might improveme in 1 week or take as long as 5 years. You might begin to notice a change starting after 2-6 months. Most people notice they fee better starting after 3 months. After 1 to 1.5 years, add back for just a few building blocks. Test D levels if you're not sleeping right. After this amount of time passes, a mildly affected person should be completely healed w/o the need for vitamins.

  • Nobody knows where D is stored. We can't test multiple body parts because we don't know what the individual optimal levels are. The idea that it's stored in the fat is way too simplistic. It is in multiple forms in the body.

  • Dosage depends on A) What one's body is like generally, B) How one's body responds.

  • Other factors for low D: One might have neurological diseases like MS or epilepsy, or have obesity from poor sleep. These people need more D. In obesity, the microbiome is ruined, and the body says, "we need to keep putting on fat." Vitamin D is very helpful here.

MTHFR Gene Mutation with B Deficiencies:

Question: Which (B) supplements to take for this methylation issue?

They can also have low D levels, & thus have open stomach sphincters, causing low stomach acid.

Answer: More expensive B supplements = more money wasted. Pay closer attention to dosage. Healthy bacteria are the source of methylated Bs.

  • Why are these mutations so common? They may have had a survival advantage in the past. They passed it down to their kids because they did better with it.

Monitor B5 levels carefully.

Everyone has a narrow band where our brain is happy in the dosing of B5.

You won't know it until you do it.

Question: Why do I need all the Bs?

Answer: Vitamin B is a unique vitamin with special absorptive mechanisms. If you're low in B12, such as those with MTHFR, you'll need to supplement daily. NOT THE SHOTS once a week or month. You would need a pill every day to replenish. The shots were covered by medicare for 1x monthly treatments, which made them popular. It makes no biological sense.

  • If someone supplements and tests high for B12, there's no need to worry. You will urinate out the excess. Nobody gets worse from excess B12. This isn't true for the other Bs. Eventually, your body will make all the repairs needed, & the multivitamin will give you problems. Meds are the TOOLS for the body to fix itself.


Information in this section is credited to

holistic sleep coach, Christine Hansen


(Steps to Take for Good Sleep)

  • If you're having trouble sleeping, take a break mid-day. Lay down & kick your feet up. Rest for 10 minutes. Let your mind wander & get it all out then so you can be calm & centered at night.

  • You can replace meditation w/ a 20 minute walk. Studies show that walking meetings are more productive.

  • Pre-adjust your sleep to prevent jet-lag. You can use the app 'Time Shifter.'

Many sleep patients have thyroid issues. Test that, as well as both sex hormones, cortisol levels & pattern, free cortisol, & metabolized cortisol.

[I (Basha) highly recommend the DUTCH Complete hormone panel.

This at-home test is one of the best I have ever encountered.

They are different because instead of going to the lab

and testing your cortisol, for example, 1x in that very moment

while you're there, you might not get an accurate picture

of your levels throughout the day. You're also not collecting

it in a jar- which only gives you a massive overall average,

the DUTCH Test tests you throughout the day at certain points

& utilizes the average of what has collected in your bladder

for the last couple hours only. There are much more frequent

& separate numbers that give you a completed graph of your

cortisol levels, & compares it to an optimal line graph. It also

tests for cortisol AND cortisone metabolites, so not only what

cortisol was left. It tells you precisely how much total your body

has made that day. It also tests neurotransmitters!

We can help you order it.]

  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Spikes can cause spikes in cortisol- the stress & alert hormone.

  • Pay attention to food sensitivities you might have, even if you eat healthy.

  • Remember that only 5% of people need less than 5 hours of sleep, & that's due to a genetic mutation. Get your sleep!


Information in this section is credited to

Dr. Aimie Apigian


(What is the Difference Between Stress & Trauma,

& Their Effects on Sleep in You & Your Children)

  • Trauma is physically stored in the body. This can make us restless. What do adopted kids with trauma need? (It is possible for any baby to accumulate trauma in vivo when the mother is under stress). They have a huge disruption in their attachment- bonding moment from being taken away from the warm environment that they have known.

Question: What is trauma?

Answer: Anything that overwhelmed the nervous system or body. There is a whole part of the nervous system that is just for trauma. Freeze response is a trauma response.

Question: What is stress?

Answer: Stress is Overwhelm. When it gets stored in the body, it turns to trauma. Fight or flight response is a stress response.

The difference depends on high or low energy.

High energy- Stress. You get energy to meet the demand of the stress.

Low energy- Trauma. You have enough energy just to get by. You might not even wan.

  • How to rewire your child: Love IS NOT enough. Love is what scared them because love is what hurt them; vulnerability. Our nervous system is what we have to share with our kids. Refer to the 'Strange Situation Study.' They found that attachment styles always transfer to our kids. Work on yourself, not what you do with your kids. Read your own nervous system & when you start entering stress, & how to pull yourself back to "Everything will be okay."

  • When you believe something but cant live your life like this, this is trauma in the BODY. The body wants to believe it, to be a felt experience. This can be from feeling alone or not secure. However, if you try to fix this, it would be counterproductive. Safety & survival overrides simply wanting to feel safe, thus it might not happen. You need to truly feel & believe you are safe. If you don't feel safe & at peace in your home, it doesn't matter how much you want to feel safe, if your body tells you you're not safe, your attempts will be futile. You would be forcing yourself to feel safe, & you would remember the trauma as a means of protecting yourself. The trick is to rewire the nervous system. Trauma therapies might be enough, but changes in our biology keep us stuck & don't let us rewire enough. Try somatic-based work. Work with the body & mind. Use the body to go into the mind to induce feelings of safety.

[At Basha Holistics, we offer Havening, a somatic-based

practice to retrain the body to relax & circumnavigate the

stressful messages of the mind].

  • Nobody can jump from trauma to no-trauma if they have sleep problems. Your nervous system would be stuck on survival mode. Something made Overwhelm turn to Trauma. If the body doesn't go back & heal, that's the biological component. You must change slowly or it will go back into Overwhelm.

  • Somatic experiencing work is a modality of trauma therapy. It involves movements to engage the felt experience of our body. (Trauma can be felt as heaviness in the heart, twitches, goosebumps)...

  • Children resolve their trauma best with their parents rather than their therapists. Ask your kid questions like, "How does this experience make your stomach feel? What if I put my hand or a pillow right here?" If someone doesn't know how they feel, this is trauma. The message is, 'Feeling isn't a safe thing to do.'



Information in this section is credited to Dr. Patrick Porter

(Train Your Brain To Sleep On Demand)

Some things to know:

Brainwaves & Correlated Brain States For Adults

(from least to most relaxed)

Beta---------Alert, conscious, stress

Alpha-------Calm, subconscious,

Theta-------Calmer, more subconscious, imaginative, creative

Delta--------Sleep, subconscious

  • You likely can't sleep because you are in Beta brain wave. This is the alert fight-or-flight mode.people aren't creative here. Habits & patterns reside here. We become slaves to our own minds. Some curious things to know...

Autism- Missing the relaxing Alpha brainwaves. We are usually in alpha when we are

verbal, doing hobbies, or are in love.

Most people- Missing the other relaxing brainwave Theta. This helps us get into deep sleep.

  • Each wave matches a different neurotransmitter, and they are all important. Sleep must be a slow unwinding process. The only way our brain detoxes via deep sleep. We open up the lymphatic system of the brain only in deep sleep.


Alpha-------Acetylcholine (feel good, love drug)

Theta-------GABAnoids (dreams)


  • Most people have some delta while awake. Their brain wants to go back to sleep because they use synthetic means to stay awake. As far as synthetic serotonin, if these wen on the market today, they wouldn't pass the placebo test. The brain also becomes dependent on them, which wouldn't be helping you.


How to test your brain health for sleep

-Test Heart Rate Variability (HRV) or vagal tone. Those with more varying HRV will have problems sleeping. Those who can get upset, then euphoric, then go back to normal

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