Lifestyle and good nutrition can improve your sleep*

Brain Support
CLICK for more interiews on Brain Support
Dr. Erin Stokes

In this interview Dr. Erin Stokes discusses the importance of sleep. Most of us know that lack of sleep has profound effects on how we feel and how we perform. When sleep deficits become chronic then we can experience many different complications. Dr. Stokes explains what happens to the body and mind when sleep is short and/or poor quality.

Dr. Stokes explains many of the factors that could be involved. It is critical that one explore the possible contributing factors. The first thing to consider is whether you have a medical concern including side effects from medication. If this is the case then you need to work with your health care professional as you explore your options. Even if you have a medical condition it is very possible that lifestyle and nutritional support would be beneficial.

Sleep Disruptors

There are a lot of factors that can disrupt sleep. Learn to identify which factors may be important in your case.

  • Age – People often have more trouble sleeping well as they age.
  • Stress – Stress, worry and anxiety can easily disrupt sleep. Dealing with these causes is of primary importance.
  • Caffeine – Caffeine consumption is a common cause of poor sleep. Nicotine and alcohol can also be sleep disruptors.
  • Lack of a regular bedtime and routine – Go to bed at a time that allows 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
  • Excessive stimulation from electronic devices – No TV and leave your cell phone in another room.
  • Some prescription drugs and OTC medications – Make sure to explore this possibility with your doctor.
  • Light – Too much light and/or the wrong type of light influences our internal clock.
  • Jet Lag and Shift Work – These can disrupt our internal clock.
  • Pain and Other Medical Conditions – Pain, depression, GERD, restless legs are all possible contributors. Work with your doctor to address any medical conditions, but do consider the benefits of other lifestyle factors.
  • Sleep Environment – This can include light, sound, temperature, bedding and electronics.

Nutritional Sleep Support

Dr. Stokes discusses the nutrients and herbs that are helpful to support healthy, restful sleep. Perhaps the most well-known nutrient to support sleep is melatonin.*

“Melatonin’s main job in the body is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles. Darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin, which signals the body to prepare for sleep. Light decreases melatonin production and signals the body to prepare for being awake. Some people who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin. It is thought that adding melatonin from supplements might help them sleep.” Source: WebMD

MegaFood Herbal Sleep Support

Promotes restful and restorative sleep

There are numerous herbs that have been used to support sleep. Combinations of specific herb are often used together to achieve a synergistic effect. MegaFood Herbal Sleep is an alternative to melatonin that is formulated by Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., to provide a sense of relaxation and restorative sleep.* Valerian and hops are used to promote restful sleep in those with occasional sleeplessness, while calming Passion Flower and Sensoril® ashwagandha help to release tension.* Together, these herbs support optimal sleep when you need it most.

Dr. Erin Stokes

Dr. Erin Stokes is a Naturopathic Doctor and the Medical Director at FoodState/MegaFood. Erin received her Naturopathic Doctor degree from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, in 2001. She combines her experience as a Naturopathic Doctor with an extensive background in the natural products industry. Erin’s personal mission is to empower people with the inspiration and tools to change their lives. Dr. Stokes practices naturopathic medicine in Boulder, CO.

CLICK HERE for all interviews with Dr. Erin Stokes


Fresh from Farm to TabletExcerpt from

“We are a vitamin and supplement company working toward a world where everyone is truly nourished.

Together with our trusted farm partners, we are a force for good. From creating premium products with radical transparency, to committing to organic and regenerative agriculture, we are nourishing our world from the roots by filling nutritional gaps and revolutionizing a broken farming system.

We harness a unique process built from a strong history—crafting our supplements with real food plus added nutrients because we believe our bodies recognize real food.

And as a B Corporation, we’re also cultivating a community of transparent suppliers, working to enable a thriving workforce, and supporting businesses, communities, and programs that share these same goals and values. All for a healthier, more sustainable and more resilient future.”

CLICK HERE for all MegaFood sponsored interviews.


Exploring the Science

These are the results returned by Google Scholar in my recent search. This is an excellent resource for exploring the amount of science that exists. Use it whenever you want to see if something has been well-studied. Here are the search terms I used and the results.

  • Sleep (all time) = 3,650,000 results
  • Sleep (since 2019) = 44,200 results
  • Sleep (since 2019) + melatonin = 9,390 results
  • Sleep (since 2019) + passion flower = 4,270 results
  • Sleep (since 2019) + hops = 2710 results
  • Sleep (since 2019) + valerian = 680 results
  • Sleep (since 2019) + ashwagandha = 241 results

This is a significant amount of scientific inquiry. The body of scientific research provides a strong foundation for confidence. The more you know the better choices you will make. Better choices lead to better outcomes.


345 – Omega Fats and the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

In this interview Sara Pluta will discuss the importance of the “good” fats for the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This shouldn’t be a surprise since we now understand a great deal more about the critical importance that fats play in human health. There is a synergy between nutrients that benefit health. Our goals should include being well nourished with a wide variety of foods and nutrients.

Emerald Health Bioceuticals is bringing focus to the fact that there are many ways to nourish the ECS. While the popular emphasis is on CBD and hemp extracts, Sara explains the role that other nutrients play in supporting the ECS. In this interview we are focusing mostly on the importance of beneficial fats for the ECS.

Go to This Podcast   →

344 – Nutritional Support for the Keto Diet

In this interview Dr. Audrey Ross discusses the Keto diet. The Keto diet is very popular and many people are losing weight. It is similar to the Atkins diet and both are considered low-carbohydrate diets. When carbohydrates arerestricted from the diet then so are the macro and micro nutrients that are supplied by those foods.

There are some significant nutritional challenges for those following the Keto Diet. A strict Keto Diet is not recommended as a long term strategy because of potential negative health consequences. Of course every long term dietary model should have better health as one of the main goals. So in order to lose weight and maintain a good nutritional balance while on Keto requires that we identify the nutritional challenges. Dr. Ross does that for us in this interview.

Go to This Podcast   →

343 – Can Chronic Diseases Be Reversed? Symposium

Retinal health is Dr. Kaushal’s area of expertise and in our interview he explains why nutrients are so important in managing retinal health. Dr. Kaushal has an MD and PhD and has four clinics in Florida called Comprehensive Retina Consultants. So Dr. Kaushal is firmly rooted in the science and the research and also deals with patients in the real world. One of the interesting segments of his interview is him describing how he came to understand the importance of nutrition is health and healing. It has now become his mission to share his knowledge and expertise with his patients and beyond.

Go to This Podcast   →

342 – Leptin Sensitivity May Be the Key to Healthy Weight and Energy

In this interview with Kat James, we will discuss the role of the hormone Leptin in maintaining a healthy weight, metabolism and energy. What Kat has learned through her own experience is now being confirmed by the latest science. We will discuss her journey with eating disorders and the challenge of finding her solution.

When she did discover the secret the truth about fats, it came at a time when everyone was phobic about and avoiding fats in the diet. We now know how wrong that thinking is. But at the time that Kat was discovering that fats are our friends, everyone considered her thinking wrong and even dangerous. Kat is a pioneer in the understanding of the role that the hormone Leptin plays in human health. She has transformed her life and now spends her time and energy teaching others.

Go to This Podcast   →

341 – Nutrition for Supporting Immune Function

In this interview Neil E. Levin discusses the foundations of healthy immunity. He describes some of the ways the immune system functions. We often portray the immune system simplistically as being one thing. The reality is the immune system is incredibly complex and sophisticated. It is the sublime interaction of many factors that creates healthy immunity.

Go to This Podcast   →

340 – CBD for gut health and intestinal balance – Part 2

In this interview Miles Sarill discusses the latest science regarding CBD and gut health. It should come as no surprise that CBD can exert an influence throughout the body. Wherever there are CBD receptors, we should expect to see effect and influence.

We are coming to appreciate the profound influence of the gut microbiome to health throughout the body. We have discussed this many times over the years.

Miles guides us through a discussion of the interconnectedness of the various aspects of human gut health as it pertains to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and CBD. There is a powerful synergy that exists and Miles articulates that synergy.

Go to This Podcast   →

339 – Propolis Has Powerful Benefits for Immune Health

In this interview Mark Kaylor discusses the science of brown propolis. If propolis is new to you, then this will be an excellent introduction to the topic. If you are familiar with propolis you will learn something new. Many people don’t realize that there are a least three types of propolis and each is designated by a color. Brown propolis is the most common, followed by green propolis and then red propolis. In this series with Mark we will discuss each of these types in depth as we go forward.

Go to This Podcast   →

338 – It’s Not the “Bad Food” that Kills Us

It has long been a common held belief that eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) contributes to much disability and death. The consumption of sugar, salt, trans fats, red meat and processed meat have all been implicated in health challenges. Most of us have assumed that these foods are not healthy. The shocker is that these foods are at the bottom of the list of classes of foods that do us in. With the exception of sodium consumption, which is the number 1 factor, the other “bad” foods contribute far less to death and disability that we previously assumed.

Go to This Podcast   →

337 – Agaricus Blazei Mushroom for Powerful Immune Support

If there is one common thread regarding nutritional mushrooms, it is that mushroom provide powerful immune system support. It seems that most mushrooms share this characteristic. We have discussed many of these mushrooms in previous interviews.
There are thousands of studies on the benefits of mushrooms. These different mushrooms are the results of significant scientific inquiry. This fact alone tells us a great deal. The most important takeaway is that there is exciting benefit in these mushrooms to justify hundreds or thousands of studies. This gives us more confidence.

Go to This Podcast   →