Basic First Steps

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician or other qualified healthcare professional.


  • Follow a Mediterranean- or Paleo-type diet with adequate protein and good fat to stabilize blood sugar.
  • Reduce or remove refined sugar and starches.
  • Avoid added sugar in food and beverages.
  • Eat a SMALL amount of carbohydrate near bedtime – carbohydrate increases the amount of tryptophan available to the brain for melatonin production.


  • Reduce or eliminate sources of caffeine.
  • Avoid consuming caffeinated food or drinks in the late afternoon or evening.

Nutrients to supplement daily

  • Vitamin D – promotes melatonin production, decreases inflammation
  • Magnesium – calming effect, decreases cortisol, increases melatonin
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – promotes serotonin production, anti-inflammatory
  • Melatonin – regulates circadian rhythm, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant protection

Further steps

  • Sleep in total darkness or wear a sleep mask. Melatonin production in the brain is inhibited by light
  • Promote night-time temperature drop to help trigger sleep:
  • Keep the bedroom cool
  • Take a hot or cold shower

Get natural light during the day – promotes daytime cortisol production to reinforce the circadian rhythms involved with sleep.

Avoid artificial light in the evening – blue light decreases melatonin production.

Additional nutrients to consider supplementing

  • GABA – promotes relaxation, decreases core body temperature
  • Niacin or niacinamide – supports tryptophan maintenance and conversion to melatonin. Niacinamide has a calming effect by activating benzodiazepine receptors
  • Tryptophan or 5-HTP – precursor molecules for melatonin production (avoid with SSRI or MAOI medications)
  • L-theanine – calming effects on the brain
  • Taurine – decreases cortisol levels, increases GABA production

If you are taking medications

  • Ask your doctor if they may be inducing your insomnia symptoms, and what can be done about it.
  • Research any associated nutrient depletions and consider supplementing those nutrients.
  • Do not discontinue taking medications without consulting with your doctor.