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
- 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
- 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
- Cold medicines and decongestants
- Beta agonists
- Medications to lower blood pressure (alpha agonists, beta blockers)
- Appetite suppressants
In addition, lack of sleep has been known to cause a number of other issues. For instance:
- High blood pressure/heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Slowed reaction times – more accidents
- 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:
- 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
- Pharmaceutical drugs – usually get you to sleep but prevent you from going into deep sleep where your body does the healing processes;
- But other pharmaceuticals may be causing the insomnia
- Obviously if it is due to diet and deficiencies – clean up your diet and/or take some supplements
- Your brain is about 70% fats – you need high quality fats in the diet and probably less carbs
- If it is due to toxicity – start doing detox programs – remember to start with the gut before doing the rest of the body
- 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
- Make sure your gut has good levels of:
- pre and probiotics – your food has the best eat wisely
- Glutathione – has to be made inside the cell, too big to cross over
- transfer molecules – most I have researched are crap – if you want a good one – email me at ho***@ch**************.ca
- 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.