Forum — From the August 2013 issue

Herbal Remedies

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As a holistic nutritionist, I often work with people who have trouble sleeping. Some wake throughout the night; others jolt up at two a.m. and are unable to return to sleep; others can’t fall asleep. These are people in decent shape, who exercise and eat healthful diets.

They’ve tried top-down solutions: eye masks and earplugs, herbs like hops and valerian, the “sleepy” amino acids GABA and tryptophan, and tablets of melatonin, the sleep hormone. I try to help clients resolve the underlying causes of sleeplessness. Which remedy works best depends on the individual, because the causes of insomnia vary, and different constitutions respond differently to different supplements.

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is a certified holistic nutritionist based in Brooklyn and the author of Twenty Grand and Other Tales of Love and Money (Harper Perennial).

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