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Functional Nutrition for Insomnia - Kate's Story

Functional Nutrition for Insomnia

Video Transcript:

Hi, and welcome back.

I'm Ashley Oswald, Dietitian and Founder of Oswald Digestive Clinic.

And I'm so excited to be with one of my awesome nutrition interns Kate, wherein, who's going to share her story of how she used functional nutrition to help get rid of some sleep issues that she was having really severe sleep issues, actually.

So I'm so excited for her to share her story in hopes that it will some of you. And I just want to start by doing a shout-out. I mean, Kate's been working for our clinic interning with our clinic for almost a year. Now it's been nine months and she has just been fantastic.

If you saw the insomnia topic we have up, she helped to create the outline and content for this. She's created a lot of really wonderful handouts, on whether you should be taking probiotics with antibiotics on

And you'll see that one come through in the upcoming weeks or maybe a couple of months and I think that's everything I want to say.

So thank you so much, Kate, for all you've done within our clinic. And I'm excited for you to share your story here.

So do you want to kind of just dive right in?


Yeah, of course. I love working for Ashley. It's so much fun. All the projects she has me help out with. And I'm very happy to help out with this, especially because I suffered from horrible insomnia for the first few months of this school and I really want to help and share my story if anybody else, other students, other people, my age or any age are suffering from the same thing because I could not figure out what the problem was.

And Ashley helped me to figure out the problem and I haven't suffered from insomnia since.


It's amazing! And it wasn't anything earth-shattering either. Right? Kate, to the point Kate's like, I see Kate as kind of you're part analytical, but you're really good at understanding the big picture too. And so, with your analytical nature, I'm so excited for you to share that.

youCause I think even you are kind of skeptical and you're like, there's no way this could have been what worked, but nothing else. Had changed for you.


Right? Yeah. It was such a simple fix. I couldn't believe that was the case, but yeah. There's no other explanation.


Yeah. So, why don't you going to start by telling us what your life was like and how it was impacting your life?


Right. So yeah, the first month of school kind of, I guess last month, this summer I started noticing it. I started not feeling tired at night at all. I would go to bed and my body would feel tired. I would feel like it was time to go to bed, but my brain would just be wide awake, running a million miles a minute.

I don't know. I just couldn't stop thinking. It was weird. I would just like to play songs in my head over and over again. It was just boom, boom, boom. I don't know what it just felt like I had drank a big cup of coffee or something, and so, and so I started. Trying to practice better, like getting ready for bed habits.

I would try not to go on my phone. I would only drink coffee in the morning. I would do everything I can, I would stay active during the day with different things to try to make me more sleepy at night and nothing worked. And this was a. Beginning of my first semester of this year. And then compared to other semesters, it was pretty lax.

I didn't have a super busy schedule. I wasn't anxious over homework. I had an easier workload, definitely in comparison to other semesters. And I just had, there were no big changes in my life. There was nothing really crazy that was happening. There was no reason why I would be really anxious that night.

So I don't think it was anxiety induced at all. It was. It just felt like there was a connection that wasn't there in my head where I just would not get sleepy. And so some nights I would get a couple of hours of sleep, maybe like two or three really chalky I'd wake up, go back to sleep, wake up, and then some nights I just would not sleep for one single hour.

I would just lay in bed wide awake. and I just could not get tired, it was the weirdest thing and it was just such a weird feeling in my brain where I just wasn't tired. And so I'd not sleep for a full night, same deal the next night, not sleep for a full night and after like two or three days, I'd think, okay, I have to sleep.

It's been like three days of not sleeping. Like I must. like, you would think I would have liked the best sleep after that, but no, it was just either over and over really choppy or no sleep at all. And that lasted quite a while. And so obviously I really struggled in school at that point because I'd wake up and have to get to class the next morning, and there's nothing I could do about it.

And so that definitely took a toll on my stress. And you would think I. after weeks or a couple days of that I would just get someone really good sleep in there to make up for that. And I never did. It was quite a while before I really got one nice solid sleep after all that was happening.


it is so wild and I, if anybody has missed sleep for like one night, I mean, I'm sure our parents have had nights like that. They probably understand how hard it is to get through the next day. And I can't even imagine going days like that, especially during school and you were you working as well? And of course, you're working a bit.


but yeah, the school was just the biggest, the hardest thing. And then I would try to nap after class during the day, but I couldn't even nap during the day. It was weird. Still had that wide-awake feeling in my brain.


Yeah. And have you ever, or had you ever had that experience before in your life?


No, it was totally new to me. And of course, I've had restless nights and nights. I couldn't sleep when I can think of a valid reason for having that like some big event or nervous being nervous about something or anxious for a test or something, but that was the first time I'd ever experienced that with no reason I could think of as to why I just can't.


Yeah. And so why don't we kind of dive in then and talk about what it was that actually finally helped you and how you kind of went about introducing it? I know there is a time that you had stopped doing it too. And what you noticed and then what you noticed when you restarted it.


Yeah. So, I came to Ashley for help because obviously, I was struggling to help her out with projects.

And she, so before I came to Ashley, I actually went to the doctor and got blood tests done because they wanted to know if I had a thyroid problem or if there was a bigger problem going on and all my blood tests came back normal, totally normal. So that was even more frustrating almost cuz there was no reason why I shouldn't be sleeping.

And so. I couldn't get a long-term fix from the doctor I was prescribed a sleeping medication to help me short-term for times when I had like a big exam the next day or something where I really needed to get good sleeping, but of course, a powerful sleeping medication is not a long term fix.

And that's something that I want, wanted to avoid as much as I could. So I came to Ashley for help for more of a long-term fix, obviously something that would be sustainable that I Actually, implement into my routine that would fix this problem for good. And so what Ashley did was ask me what medications I was taking and see if seeing, or tried to see if there was a reason in terms of nutrients.

If I was deficient in some nutrient where I might. To be having this problem. And so what we found out is with birth control, I'm taking one of the most common nutrients to be deficient in magnesium. And so I was like, yes, just, I wanna try anything at this point. I cannot sleep. I will try anything.

And so, well, what we did, I ordered magnesium through Ashley's nutrient dispensary, and I started taking that and. At the same time as I started taking that, I had a big exam that I was studying for like tirelessly studying for. And so I took magnesium the night after that exam. So I was exhausted in the first place, but I had been exhausted the whole previous month.

And so what, and so I took the magnesium and that those next two nights after taking it for the first time, I had slept better than I had ever slept in so long. And it was the best thing ever. And I was like, okay, there's no way that this vitamin, but like helped me just all of a sudden sleep again.

But there was really no other explanation. I mean, yeah. I was tired from studying for an exam for so long. That didn't do it in the past, you know? And so then I continued to take magnesium as Ashley directed. And since then I haven't had that same feeling in my brain since I've been able to sleep. And even if it's, and if I do have like a rough choppy sleep, then I have an explanation for it.

If I'm nervous or anxious or something, but that same kind of weird disconnect I had felt in my brain during that time, I haven't felt that.


That's amazing. And I think I love that you added that you went to the doctor and got some workup done, cause that's what we encourage our clients to do too.

It's really important to rule out anything really major. And then we can kind of dive into some of these other components. And I also made sure to ask Kate about her medical history to make sure that the recommendations were gonna be appropriate as well. We know nutrition has to be personalized, and I'm glad that we were able to piece it together pretty easily and just know with magnesium.

But it's estimated that 70% of people have a magnesium deficiency. So I just knew Kate, like being in school, working, and stressed probably throughout her adult life had decreased some of her magnesium stores as well. And that compounded with the birth control just made total sense and a magnesium supplement is.

It's really relatively safe. So like you said, Kate, like you're willing to try anything. And this was something that was so safe to just give it a go and then add to it, there are different forms of magnesium. So the one I recommended for Kate is magnesium glycinate, which is a better-absorbed form.

There's in the stores like Target and Walmart there's magnesium, CI tray, and magnesium oxide are the most common because they're just cheaper but the reality is they're not as well absorbed, and if somebody's having new stools or diarrhea and Kate wasn't, but if somebody is, and they're trying to use that magnesium.

To help with sleep. It could actually make their gut worse and then not be as absorbed. And they might think it's just not working too. So I'm glad that Kate was able to get set up through, the dispensary, with professional quality magnesium.


Yeah, it was so easy. And like I said, I couldn't believe that it was such a simple fix, but, yeah, since then I've been taking magnesium regularly.

For, I guess a few weeks ago, I'd had such success with it. I haven't hadn't had some insomnia, so I kind of weaned off of it started. I don't know if, I guess I just suppose I forgot a bit about the transition from back home from my college house with the given circumstance. I left it at my campus house for a while and then so I wasn't taking it as regularly and then.

Surely enough, I started not sleeping the best again. And so, I went back to get it and I started taking it again and amped it up a little bit. And once again, the problem was gone. And so, yeah, I, I really am confident that that was the cause. And I'm so, so thankful that I found that and that actually helped me out with this because it was really debilitating as a student not being able to sleep.


It still gives me goosebumps. I'm so happy that it worked so well for you.


Oh, I'm so thankful. Yeah.


is there anything else that you can think of that we haven't touched on that we should include?


Nothing that I can really think of, I guess just, yeah, just emphasizing the importance of functional nutrition and the fact that I went to the doctor and they're like, there's no reason why you should be having this.

So we're just gonna give you this really powerful sleep medication that you should really not take too often. like, okay, well, that's not a really great help. And so I almost ended up going to a sleep psychologist because we could not figure out the problem. And so once again, yeah, I'm so thankful that we found such an amazing fix, totally safe.

And I just hope that other people might see this and. Go to functional nutrition for an answer. You just can't get all the help that you need from doctors. Sometimes it's such a good point.


It's the point of making sure to get connected with the right provider, for what, for what you're going through.

Like our medical system is so wonderful for acute issues. Like if you get in a car accident, no other place I'd wanna go, like, do not come to me if you got in a car accident but for some of these chronic issues, like, as you said, K it functional nutrition. That's why our whole clinic is built upon this because it's just so impactful.

And the outcomes that we get to see are really, really encouraging and exciting. and so thanks so much, Kate, for sharing your story. I'm gonna link the insomnia video that Kate helped me to write up the script for and that we filmed probably a few months ago now. So she went through and there were at least, I think, six to eight different nutrients you talked about and their importance.

Sleep. And we even joked about how beer can be helpless because of hops. certainly, alcohol can affect the quality of sleep, but the hops can so that you might find some interesting pieces in that video and subscribe again, the bell for future videos. And then thanks again, Kate, and I hope everybody has a wonderful day.


Thank you, Ashley.

Can Probiotics Help During Antibiotics?

Hi again, it's Ashley here.

I just want to take the time now to share with you this handout that Kate made it is fantastic. Lots of great information. So I just want to walk you through this. Can probiotics help during antibiotics? So let's start with this part that says: Antibiotics: What do they do?

  • Antibiotic use has a negative effect on the health of our gut microbiome. Short-term symptoms are diarrhea and nausea, but there are long-term symptoms as well.

  • Although antibiotics get rid of the bad bacteria that cause an infection. They also get rid of our beneficial bacteria.

  • When bacteria are removed from your system, new space opens up for antibiotic-resistant types to grow and dominate.

Now, this is interesting. Most people don't know this, that

  • A simple week-long antibiotic treatment can create a microbiome disturbance that lasts at least two years.

Can you believe it?

  • So we recommend that you talk to your doctor about whether it may be safe to wait on antibiotic treatment, given your condition to avoid the long-term side effects.

Certainly not making any medication recommendations here, always check with your doctor, but it's definitely worth asking the question considering that microbiome disturbance. So certainly sometimes we cannot avoid antibiotics.

Is there anything we can do to combat their negative effects? Yes.

Research has shown that probiotics may assist in normalizing the unbalanced caused by antibiotics. Incorporating probiotic foods, and an interior eating plan during treatment has been shown to relieve symptoms of diarrhea and nausea.

So probiotics, what are they?

  • Probiotics are known as good or beneficial bacteria that provide a health benefit to you when taken insufficient amounts.

  • Studies show that probiotics may assist in normalizing the unbalanced caused by antibiotics by reintroducing some good bacteria into your gut. Probiotics are used to reduce the occurrence of diarrhea and nausea during antibiotic treatment.

So that's really notable. It's helping to get rid of and decrease the risk of you getting diarrhea, and nausea when you're on antibiotics, who wouldn't want that, right?

  • Probiotic bacteria can be found in foods that have been fermented with vegetables being some of the best choices.

So like a fermented vegetable, like real fermented pickles. Buie's pickles are my favorite.

  • Fermented probiotic foods are easy to incorporate into your diet about one tablespoon per meal is a sufficient amount and they're available in most grocery stores now.

Incorporate fermented foods into your eating plan

  • So now, Kate has a really great chart showing how to incorporate fermented foods into your eating plan. You can pair kimchi with a chicken and brown rice bowl.

  • You can add a spoonful of pickled red onion on top of your favorite salad.

  • You can try a low-sugar kombucha beverage. There are lots of flavors and if you're doing the pickled red onion, just make sure it's like real fermented and not sometimes just pickled doesn't mean really ferment.

  • Age cheeses. You can snack on age cheddar or gouda cheese with whole-grain crackers.

If you tolerate wheat. And just note that not all cheeses are a source of probiotics, so you can check the label to see if it says live active cultures.

  • Sauerkraut is a really popular one, such as a spoonful of sauerkraut to hummus or a veggie sandwich

  • Tempeh you can use as a meat replacement in your next stir fry

Of note with Tempeh is that its fermented Soy. And if you heat it too high in that stir fry, you're going to kill most of the probiotics. So just be aware of that.

  • You can use some miso paste mix in a small spoonful miso paste to your cup of soup

  • Starting with some yogurt, fruit, and a granola bowl. Just watch out for the added sugars in the yogurt. And look on the label to make sure it says live active cultures.

Probiotic supplements might help individuals with digestive issues and this should really be individualized based upon what is going on with a particular individual as far as what probiotic supplement might be helpful for him or her or them.

Easy Probiotic Recipe

Easy probiotic recipe of fermented carrots with Dill, it tastes like pickles actually because of the dill with the carrots. And it's again, quick and easy.

And then Kate also added some pictures of different fermented foods so you kind of have an idea of what to look for at this store. So here's that Tempeh, a lot of people don't know what I'm talking about when I say that that's kind of what it looks like.

Kombucha, of course, most people know kombucha's going to be one of the higher sugar fermented foods. So if you're sensitive to sugars or just trying to be careful if you're doing kombucha just, you only have to do a few sips to get trillions of bacteria, otherwise, choose something like fermented beets.

And with that again, just make sure it's truly fermented yogurt. Just make sure to check the label that it's truly fermented same with the sauerkrauts.

And then here's what that miso paste looks like.

So I hope this is helpful for you and hope you had some great takeaways, I hope you all have a wonderful day and we will talk again very soon.

All right. Bye bye.

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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

Functional Nutrition for Insomnia, insomnia personal story, functional nutrition, easy probiotic recipe

Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH

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