The patient: “Sidney” is a world-renowned lecturer and professor, and an expert in shamanism, the paranormal, and psychic phenomena. He is a tireless man in his late 80’s who I have been honored to know for the past few decades.
Why he came to see me: I have provided Sidney, from time to time, complementary care for prostatitis, hearing loss and desire for cognitive enhancement. He recently contacted me about waking at 3:30 AM nightly. The melatonin and valerian formula he had been using for occasional insomnia was “not working to keep him asleep.” I was humbled to be asked by someone who I regard as a mentor for guidance and solace.
How I evaluated him: Since Sidney is rarely on the East Coast, let alone Connecticut, most of our interactions have been at a distance (although I do try to attend and participate in events where he presents). He revealed to me in our conversation that his laptop computer, which he has become extremely reliant upon for his scheduling and writing projects, had recently been hacked and was being “worked on” by trusted IT folks. Immediately afterward, he found himself waking consistently at 3:30 AM feeling troubled and confused.
He confessed that he attributed the episodes to the distress that the hacking caused. Although he had some occasional difficulty falling asleep, he had never suffered this kind of middle-of-the-night disturbance and anxiety. He contacted me after two days of interrupted sleep and shared that the IT people said it might “take some time” to solve his computer problem.
How we addressed his problem: I explained how one’s “stress hormone,” cortisol, is at its lowest point in circulation around 3 AM and how deep stress can challenge the body to make more to buoy blood sugar while conversely trying to lower cortisol for sound sleep. This process can set off the “fight or flight” response that signals wakefulness and anxiety.
I prescribed a vitamin-and-mineral blood sugar support combination literally called “Blood Sugar Support” and a botanical formula that contained plants used for deep sleep and shamanic visions. This complex formula is composed of calming, sleep-inducing and hypnotic botanicals. Some are readily available, others are prescriptive and only dispensed through physicians. Hallucinogenic botanicals properly prescribed by a naturopathic physician are not illicit and have many beneficial applications. So I felt very justified leveraging Sidney’s inner guide and layering in some of these powerful botanical “allies.”
The patient’s progress: Sidney immediately felt the benefit of sleeping through the night and was guided by his dreams as to how to better deal with his feelings of being threatened by the invasion of his personal space and remain comfortable with his aging process, feelings that were part of the angst that emerged during his mid-morning events. Having had some similar interactions with shamans in my background and coming up on my 70th birthday, this event was and is profoundly impactful for me—I’m a guru to the guru, you might say!