Insomnia

http://www.icant-sleep.com/images/insomnia_cartoon1.jpg

Most adults have experienced insomnia or sleeplessness at one time or another in their lives. An estimated 30%-50% of the general population are affected by insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia.

Insomnia is a symptom, not a stand-alone diagnosis or a disease. By definition, insomnia is “difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both” or the perception of poor quality sleep.

Possible causes to investigate:

 ·      Stress

o   Anxiety, depression

·      Adrenal Fatigue

o   Dominant sympathetic overdrive

·      Blood sugar dys-regulation

·      Liver issues

o   Either physical or emotional

o   Hormonal

·      Nutritional deficiencies

·      Caffeine intake

o   A 1995 study showed that poor sleepers do not clear caffeine from their systems as rapidly as normal sleepers. Even one cup of coffee at breakfast only was enough to keep them awake at night. A two week trial of no caffeine may be beneficial.

·      Alcohol intake in the evening

o   Raises blood sugar and then around 12-3 am – blood sugar crashes waking you up

·      Thyroid disorders

·      Food Allergies

Treatment:

1.     Get a baseline blood work, CBC, Chemistry screen, Thyroid panel, vitamin D, Cortisol

a.     Have a ND review from a functional perspective

2.     Eat regularly

a.     Eat within 1 hour of the same time each day

b.     Eat a protein Snack before bed

3.     Rule out food allergies

a.     Blood test

b.     OR Elimination diet protocol

4.     Exercise

a.     Aerobic and anaerobic (yoga)

5.     Abstain from caffeine x 2 weeks

6.     Abstain from alcohol x 2 weeks

7.     Herbs to help in the meantime:

a.     Kava Steamers:  Heat milk, almond milk or hazelnut milk on stove, 1 cup.  Add 3 dropperfuls of Kava tincture along with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla.  Drink 30  minutes – 1 hour before bed.

b.     Hops tincture:  take 1 tsp at bedtime

c.      StressFree Herbal Tonic – available at The Herb Shoppe.

        1 dropperful 3 times per day

        www.theherbshoppe.net


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