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Sleep, Anxiety, Depression, ADD/ADHD


Sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle but is unfortunately often overlooked. It is surprising how much better one can feel with restorative sleep.

Sleep is a vital part of one’s routine and aids many different processes. Those who suffer from sleep deprivation can experience irritability, cognitive impairment and an impaired immune system. Your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.

If you are experiencing poor sleep or do not feel well rested in the morning, there are several possibilities our doctors may explore with you. To begin with, our physicians will listen to your history to determine a possible explanation for your symptoms. Several questions you may be asked include the following:

  • How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
  • Do you have issues falling asleep, staying asleep or both?
  • How many times do you awaken during the night?
  • Do you suffer from any night terrors?
  • Do you snore?
  • Do you fall asleep while driving?

In addition to answering these questions, our physicians will discuss sleep hygiene with you to ensure that you are optimizing your body’s natural sleep process.

After the initial interview and the discussion of sleep hygiene, our physicians may want to screen you for additional conditions with a sleep study. Some conditions your physician may want to rule out include sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome.

In addition to sleep disorders, there are several other causes for poor sleep, including (but not limited to) adrenal fatigue, thyroid dysfunction and depression. Blood work and saliva testing can help elucidate a reason.

While sleep medications were popularly prescribed in the past, research over the last decade has shown an increased risk of falls with certain prescription sleep aids. Several natural remedies, including melatonin and sleepy-time tea (usually containing chamomile) have been shown to help with sleep, without causing any serious side effects. If a cortisol imbalance is the cause of poor sleep, adaptogens such as Ashwagandha can help regulate cortisol and restore a sense of wellness.

At The Center For Natural And Integrative Health, we caution you that these healthy sleep tips are not a substitute for seeing a healthcare professional. If you are experiencing chronic or persistent insomnia, you should see your doctor.  Recent studies have revealed some startling facts:

  1. People today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago.
  2. More than half the population of the United States of America loses sleep due to stress and/or anxiety. It is estimated that more than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
  3. 40% to 60% of the people over age sixty report insomnia.
  4. Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia as men. 90% of the people who suffer from depression also experience insomnia.
  5. According to Consumer Reports magazine, “almost 60 percent of subscribers we surveyed about their sleep habits, said they had trouble falling or staying asleep, or woke up still feeling tired, at least three times a week.”
  6. They also stated, “It’s not surprising that the top reason cited for inadequate sleep among working respondents was job-related stress. And unemployed respondents were even more likely to have sleep problems than those with jobs (69 percent and 59 percent, respectively).”

Secrets For Getting Good Sleep

Below we have listed a few of our favorite sleep seeking strategies. The ones we listed are easier said than done.

  1. Stick To A Schedule:Experts report that a regular time to go to bed, and a regular time to wake up are essential to setting and being in sync with the natural rhythm of your body.

“If you keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, you will feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times.”

  1. Your After Dinner Nap:Many people want to climb on the couch and dose after dinner, which results in insomnia when bedtime arrives. If you’re getting sleepy after your evening meal, we suggest you do something lightly active that you enjoy. You could use this time to enjoy an active hobby, accomplish some light housework, play a lively board game, or simply chat with a friend by telephone.
  2. Your Work Out Routine:The Mayo clinic warns that heavy exercise within five hours before bedtime can be a problem for some sleepers. So, you need to learn how your system reacts. They advise you to “take notes on how well you sleep after working out at different times. This can help you determine the time of day that’s best for your workout and the least disruptive to your sleep.”
  3. Your Light By Day and By Night:We know that “melatonin production is controlled by light exposure. Your brain should secrete more melatonin in the evening, when it’s dark, to make you sleepy, and less during the day when it’s light and you want to stay awake and alert.” Therefore, so many self-help books advise you to avoid your television, your tablet and your computer screen before you retire. Electronic screen light is the wrong kind of stimulus for sleep. Instead of television, you can read a book by soft light or a reader-style tablet that is not backlit. Likewise, during the day time, when your purpose is to produce less melatonin, you should try to be outside in daylight a little while, and your work environment should be full of light.
  4. Best sleep is achieved in a dark, cool environment.
  5. Take note of your caffeine intake. Some individuals are especially sensitive to caffeine, and even an afternoon beverage may be the source of poor sleep.

Call us today to schedule an appointment and get the help you need!

Anxiety and Depression

  • Do you feel depressed, hopeless, disconnected, and disengaged from your life?
  • Do you see your relationships breaking down because you are mentally and emotionally absent or numb?
  • Do you forget to meet friends or go to appointments, and then can’t figure out how in the world you forgot?
  • Do you fear losing your job because you’re tired, unfocused, and inattentive, and your memory is failing, so you can’t properly perform your tasks at work?

This epidemic includes conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis, attention deficit disorder (ADD), autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as more subtle symptoms like mood swings, sleep problems, poor concentration, and brain fog.

Consider this …

One in ten Americans today uses antidepressants, while more than eight million children are taking stimulants like Ritalin.


Our functional approach is that you can’t treat mental illness effectively by using ONLY drugs or psychotherapy. You need to treat the body, because the body and brain are one interconnected system.  What you do to your body, you do to your brain. Treat your body and you treat your brain.


  1. Optimize nutrition.
  2. Balance your hormones.
  3. Cool off inflammation.
  4. Fix your digestion.
  5. Enhance detoxification.
  6. Boost energy metabolism.
  7. Calm your mind.

Our functional approach is that you can’t treat mental illness effectively by using ONLY drugs or psychotherapy. You need to treat the body, because the body and brain are one interconnected system.  What you do to your body, you do to your brain. Treat your body and you treat your brain.




Rather than put a label on a child or adult based on symptoms or conditions, as a Functional Medicine Practice, we focus on what triggers ADHD. Most children have multiple triggers including genetics, environment, food intolerances, toxicity, and a poor diet.

While medication and behavior modification certainly help, diet also plays a role and can exacerbate symptoms. From that perspective, these five dietary strategies can benefit nearly every child with ADHD.

  1. Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods and nutrients. Chronic inflammation underlies ADHD, and the typical American diet is highly inflammatory. Medications can have severe side effects and intolerances. Omega-3 fatty acids can benefit children with ADHD. That’s because drugs used to treat ADHD can stimulate the brain’s dopamine receptors. So can omega-3 fatty acids: In therapeutic doses, these fatty acids can increase dopamine production and receptors. Most children don’t regularly eat wild-caught fish, so we recommend other anti-inflammatory foods like walnuts as well as a professional-grade fish oil.
  2. Try an elimination diet. Gluten, dairy, and other potential food sensitivities can put your immune system in overdrive, increase inflammation, and create problems like intestinal permeability (or leaky gut). Studies show an elimination diet can benefit ADHD.  Eliminating these problem foods can do wonders for children with ADHD. They feel better, become more focused, and perform better in school.
  3. Focus on whole, nutrient-rich foods. Researchers find sugar – particularly the simple sugars in processed foods – can increase a child’s risk for ADHD. One study correlated higher sugar intake with a higher level of hyperactivity and ADHD-like attention deficiencies. Other research shows artificial colors and preservatives can become driving factors in ADHD. While it might feel like a challenge, moving children with ADHD into a whole, unprocessed foods diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and high-quality animal foods can create dramatic improvements in behavior and focus.
  4. Optimize nutrient intake. Many children with ADHD are deficient in crucial vitamins and minerals. Studies find significantly low levels of vitamin D in children with ADHD. Likewise, a systematic review found magnesium could help treat ADHD.  A good multivitamin-mineral (and sometimes extra vitamin D and magnesium) can restore nutrient status.
  5. Mind your gut. Researchers continue to learn about the gut-brain connection. Studies show diet influences gut microbiota, which plays a key role in disorders like ADHD. Probiotics, prebiotics, and other fiber-rich options feed good gut flora and crowd out the bad. Studies show probiotics can be effective among ADHD treatments. Focus on gut-healing foods including fermented choices like sauerkraut and fiber-rich options like nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Our integrative functional approach looks at the whole person. We correct deficiencies and balance neurotransmitters with amino acids. Our goal is to make life at school and at home easier for everyone, but also to show that ADHD is not a bad thing. Children with ADHD are often remarkably smart and creative. With the correct treatment, they will become future leaders, creators, artists, and scientists.