Did you know that sleep deprivation causes damage to cells in lung٫ liver and small intestine?
Aside from all these, tossing and turning in your bed is never fun. I know this because I have been there personally. It wasn’t fun getting through the next day feeling exhausted.
A lot of my patients suffer from sleep issues too. Although many of these patients do not show up for a visit because of their sleep issues originally, it is surprising to see the prevalence of sleep issues when asked directly about it.
Our bodies work as a holistic entirety. Issues with sleep are serious and affect other organs as well. Results of a new study suggest that sleep deprivation causes damage to body cells in lung٫ liver and small intestine. Sleep issues are risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer (1). Sleeping pills help but come with a lot of side effects. There are various supplements that, when given at a correct dosage, can help you with your sleep.
Few common causes of insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep) include:
- Hormonal imbalances such as cortisol, progesterone (female hormone), thyroid hormones or melatonin levels the hormone responsible for helping you fall asleep)
- Anxiety and depression
- Side effects of medication such as antidepressants
Suggestions for sleep issues:
- Please avoid alcohol, as it can initially sedating, but it will lighten and fragment sleep as the night goes on.
- Avoid bedtime snacks that are high in sugar or simple carbohydrates as they can have a rapid, short-term spike in blood sugar levels. These include things such as baked goods, bread, cereals, muffins, cookies.
- Try to avoid eating for at least two hours before sleep. If you do need to eat, try taking high-fibre snacks like a few almonds or protein-rich foods (as tryptophan in protein is converted to serotonin and melatonin). (Melatonin is the hormone responsible for helping you fall asleep).
- Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, cola, chocolate after 11 A.M!
- Electromagnetic fields in your bedroom disrupt the pineal gland and production of melatonin and serotonin. Digital alarm clocks and other electrical devices emit electromagnetic fields. If you use them, leave them three feet away. Instead of a digital alarm, you can use a sunrise alarm, an alarm clock with natural light build in that simulates a sunrise.
- If you don’t fall asleep within half an hour, get up and do something relaxing, such as reading until you feel the urge to sleep again.
- Worry, anxiety, and depression or unresolved anger are often contributing factors to insomnia. Schedule worry time during the day. Writing down your thoughts or feelings during these times to break the cycle.
- Go to bed and rise at the same time, even on weekends and holidays to reset your biological clock
- Exercise daily to help with relaxation but avoid any strenuous exercise in the evening.
- Don’t let yourself be afraid of insomnia. You can still function the next day, even if you had only a couple of hours of sleep. The more you accept the nights you can’t fall asleep, the more it will go away.
Your sleep affects how much you can enjoy and achieve in life. We can work closely to determine the root cause of your insomnia, identify any triggers that may be contributing to your insomnia, and treat underlying physical causes.
To identify specific naturopathic treatments that can support you in addressing your sleep problems please call (416) 684-55-14 or click here.