5 Solutions for Sleep that Worked for Me!

Many years ago when we had a toddler and an infant in our home, I remember thinking “sleep is a precious commodity”! Although we no longer have children at home, I still believe that sleep is precious, and I have worked diligently to identify natural solutions that work for me even in the most sleep-challenging situations.


First, I want to share a disclaimer that while these solutions are natural and generally safe and have worked for me, before trying any solution that requires you to ingest a substance, please consult your healthcare professional.  You can read about these solutions or watch the 8-minute video below, or both, whatever works for you.  The solutions are: (1) exposure to morning sunlight, (2) apigenin and magnesium threonate  supplements, (3) “red” blue light blocking glasses, (4) low dose melatonin, and (5) CBN supplement.


My Personal Experience with 5 Solutions for Better Sleep


  1. Morning sun or light exposure

According to Andrew Huberman from Stanford University, exposure to sunlight is key to stopping the production of melatonin and turning on serotonin.  You only need about 10 minutes of exposure to sunlight on a sunny day and 20 to 30 minutes on cloudy days. On days when you just cannot be in the sun, while not as effective, you can benefit from using a lightbox in the morning.  I prop my lightbox up on my treadmill and look indirectly into the light.  You can find more information about exposure to light at the Huberman Podcast.

  1. Apigenin and Magnesium Threonate

Apigenin is a flavonoid found in high amounts in chamomile that acts directly on GABA receptors and the central nervous system.  Magnesium is a mineral that has a relaxing and reparative effect on the nervous system. Apigenin and Magnesium threonate can be taken together or you can try each separately to see the impact.  For me, magnesium threonate definitely has a calming effect on my nervous system to the point where I can actually feel my heart rate decrease after taking it.  When I add apigenin, my sleep quality is better than without it.  You can also find out more about these two supplements at the Huberman Podcast.

  1. Red” blue light blocking glasses

You likely know that it is always wise to avoid exposure to blue light 2 to 3 hours prior to sleep.  Blue light excites the nervous system.  We can turn on or download blue light blocking apps for our phones and desktops. When I wear red-colored blue light blocking glasses in the 2 to 3 hours before sleep, in addition to the blue light blocking apps, my eyes are more relaxed and I am able to fall asleep easier.  There’s also something about looking at the world through rose-colored glasses that makes me smile and uplifts my mood!

  1. Low Dose Melatonin

Melatonin is a powerful and important hormone that the brain produces in response to darkness.  As a result, it is important to exercise caution if you decide to take a melatonin supplement.  I have found that 3 to 5mg of melatonin, which is a relatively small dose, can make me groggy the following day. I have recently found a very low dose melatonin in liquid form where I can control the exact amount of melatonin I take, which is usually ½ mg to 1 mg per night.  For me, melatonin is very effective in inducing sleep and keeping me asleep for 4 to 5 hours.  The other steps I take, such as morning sunlight, blue light blocking glasses, and supplements help stretch my sleep to 7 to 9 hours a night.

  1. CBN

CBN is a cannabinoid that is formed as THC breaks down.  It can be as much as 25% as effective, in terms of psychoactive properties, as THC.  I have been taking a relatively low dose (15mg) of CBN and have not experienced any psychoactive qualities.  CBN seems to be important in extending my sleep past the 4 to 5 hours I get with low dose melatonin.

Set an intention

I set an intention, such as “May I fall asleep quickly and may I sleep peacefully” whenever I am engaging in a sleep enhancing practice or taking a sleep supplement. It creates an energetic shift in my mind and body that sends the message, “this is where waking time ends and sleep time begins”.  Try one or more of these practices or supplements and see what works for you!

The Self-Care Solutions newsletter allows you to personalize your approach to health and wellbeing.  It offers you choices.  Safe choices.  Evidence-based choices. The articles allow you to try on different options and see what works for you. Think of each as an invitation. While not a substitute for care by your medical team, we’re here to support you in your quest for wellbeing!

Interested in Hero’s Journey Coaching?  Contact me at ruthannrusso@gmail.com or visit https://ruthannrusso.com/be-coached/

Reference links

LED Light Box

Low dose melatonin

Red Blue Light Blocking Glasses


Apegenin and Magnesium Threonate


Dr. Ruthann Russo

I love assisting people on their hero’s journey towards self-transformation. A passion which is born comes partly from personal experience – I view my own life as a series of self-transformations. I have 20+ years of education, training and experience, including being the CEO and founder of two health technology start-ups and global wellness consultant to Fortune 100 corporations.

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