Insomnia – are you tired of it? 


Apart from the obvious pun, insomnia is not just a frustrating experience, but it causes all kinds of other issues. 

Did you know that we do most of our healing processes in our sleep?  

There are a number of causes of insomnia, and a number of side effects, and a number of treatments. So, let’s get a good understanding and find out what we can do about it. 

There are five types of insomnia – which really only to relate to duration: 

  • Acute insomnia 
  • Chronic insomnia 
  • Onset insomnia 
  • Maintenance insomnia 
  • Behavioral insomnia of childhood 

From my perspective, that really doesn’t tell us a whole lot so let’s look at some of the obvious causes of insomnia which can include: 

  • Stress/anxiety – not allowing the mind to calm down 
  • Agitated depression  
  • Pain – hard to sleep when in pain 
  • Poor mattress/sleeping conditions – hard to sleep when you are uncomfortable 
  • Shift work is a huge contributor – it is better to stay on a night shift then regularly move from night to day to afternoon 
  • Room temperature – either too hot or too cold 
  • Nicotine 
  • Alcohol  
  • And of course, the simplest – get the cell phone (and any other EMF devices out of the bedroom!! 

But there are other issues as well… 

  • Nutrient deficiencies – the following minerals, vitamins and fats have all been associated with insomnia:
    • Minerals include: iron, calcium, and magnesium 
    • Vitamins include: A, B6, B12, C, D3, E and K  
    • You also need high quality fats in the diet 
  • Glutathione deficiency 
  • Heavy metal toxicities – heavy metal toxicities like mercury, copper and aluminum have been associated with insomnia 
  • Hyperthyroid 
  • Hyperadrenal  
  • Gut issues like: GERD and peptic disease, functional and inflammatory GI disorders; insufficient microbiota to turn tyrpophan into serotonin; immune imbalance, leaky gut syndrome, etc. 
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction – and the main cause of that is pharmaceutical drugs 
  • Liver issues like non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome or cirrhosis of the liver 
  • Pharmaceutical drugs including:
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (antidepressants such as Prozac® and Zoloft®) 
    • Dopamine agonists (includes some medications for Parkinson’s disease) 
    • Psychostimulants and amphetamines 
    • Anticonvulsants 
    • Cold medicines and decongestants 
    • Steroids 
    • Beta agonists 
    • Theophylline  
    • Medications to lower blood pressure (alpha agonists, beta blockers) 
    • Diuretics 
    • Appetite suppressants

In addition, lack of sleep has been known to cause a number of other issues. For instance:  

  • Depression  
  • Diabetes/obesity  
  • High blood pressure/heart disease 
  • Heart attacks  
  • Slowed reaction times – more accidents 
  • Stress/anxiety  
  • Strokes 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Weight gain 

So, with all these categories, causes, symptoms, side effects, there are obviously a number of different ways to treat insomnia. Let’s look at some generalities: 

  1. Obviously if you need a new bed; or to change the room temperature; sleep in away from the noise; etc then that is something you need to consider 
  2. Pharmaceutical drugs – usually get you to sleep but prevent you from going into deep sleep where your body does the healing processes; 
  3. But other pharmaceuticals may be causing the insomnia 
  4. Obviously if it is due to diet and deficiencies – clean up your diet and/or take some supplements 
  5. Your brain is about 70% fats – you need high quality fats in the diet and probably less carbs 
  6. If it is due to toxicity – start doing detox programs – remember to start with the gut before doing the rest of the body 
  7. If it is due to stress – then the adaptogenic herbs are a great help – to calm the adrenals and the central nervous system – see a good herbalist 
  8. Make sure your gut has good levels of:
    1. pre and probiotics – your food has the best eat wisely 
    2. Glutathione – has to be made inside the cell, too big to cross over 
    3. transfer molecules – most I have researched are crap – if you want a good one – email me at ho***@ch**************.ca 
  9. Only take pharmaceuticals if absolutely necessary – most issues can be resolved with diet and herbal tinctures. If your prescription hasn’t eliminated the problem and you are still taking them, consider seeing a real health doctor. Most prescriptions are designed to manage symptoms not eliminate the problem. 

So with a little understanding and some basic tools, hopefully you can eliminate your insomnia. 

Here’s to a good night’s sleep. 

Dr Holly