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During my medical residency I spent many hours "moonlighting" in the Emergency Department.  Some shifts were over 48 hours long.  Even when I was not on call, my sleep patterns were still erratic.  Almost without fail, I would awaken about every 2 hours – I never felt rested.  As my practice in preventive and anti-aging medicine took off, I stopped the night calls, but the insomnia ensued for years.  Only the use of Ambien, Restoril, or Trazadone helped me sleep but I would always feel groggy the next day.  Even worse, the effects of the medicine would rapidly fade leaving me with less and less sleep. When I would go off the prescription medicine I would have a few completely sleepless nights only to revert back into the pattern of sleep/wake every 2 hours.  I would change drugs and the same thing would happen all over again. 

The worst realization was that my specialty is anti-aging medicine and  I'm using drugs that do not address the underlying problem - lack of deep rest - which is actually one of the roots of rapid aging.  Immediately I began researching this enigma.  (Everything I have ever developed was first and foremost for my own use - then for patients)   First, I exhausted all the basic recommendations for improved sleep such as a cold dark room, no TV in the bedroom, no late night drinking of fluids, low alcohol use, no late daily physical exercise in the gym, etc.  On a virtual scavenger hunt into loads of neuro-biochemical research, I found the answers.  I tweaked and re-tweaked until I came up with a formula that worked.  The first night I took it I slept a deep natural sleep with no morning hangover!  What a difference! I had more mental clarity, energy, and zest.

Next, I started with my patients who had depression and/or anxiety/panic attacks and those who simply could not sleep without prescription meds, I tested their neurotransmitters and finally began to make some progress.  Many of my patients are actors and need to have their full range of emotions at will to fulfill the obligations of their role and many were not able to access those emotions while taking these prescription meds.  Ask any professional actor that has been or is on a prescription anti-depressant and they will tell you exactly what I am talking about… What I noticed again and again was an imbalance in neurotransmitter activity which was attributing to poor sleep.  By working with the underlying neurotransmitter imbalances they gradually stopped taking the prescription sleep meds.  (See the FAQs section for more on how to wean off sleep drugs and anti-depressants with Nightkap.)   Patients would comment "Whatever it is that you have me taking is great because I have noticed that I don’t need my Ambien or Lunesta anymore." They too had more mental clarity, physical energy and all around zest for living!  A few people have admitted that they do not enjoy smoking anymore and quit. There seems to be a link between serotonin levels and taking a puff… but I digress.

Elderly patients would tell me that a small piece of dark chocolate at bedtime helped them sleep better.  So, I dug into the effects of chocolate and the breakdown of its essential nutrients.  Pure 100% cocoa increases blood supply to the brain and is an excellent antioxidant nutrient.  Bingo!  

So,at evening's end, for me it is NightKap…

Dr. Rutledge



These statements have not been approved by the FDA.

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