The Insider's Guide to Holistic Health

Posts tagged ‘Insomnia’

Underlying Causes of Sleep Loss

Let’s look at 3 patterns of sleep loss: those who can’t fall asleep, those who can’t stay asleep, and “sleep neurotransmitters.

Perhaps one of the most meaningful things we can do for our clients is be the “detective” and find the underlying causes for poor sleep. We start by asking our clients how many hours they are sleeping each night; inquire about the quality of sleep and how they feel when they wake up.

Many people don’t get enough sleep. Some do it by choice, others have real problems sleeping. Sleep is the major metabolic equalizer. It is where the body restores and repairs. Poor sleep, limited repair. Limited repair translates into increased aging. If a person is not sleeping, they are headed to a state of chronic inflammation.

For people who have trouble sleeping, let’s look at 3 major patterns of sleep loss: those who can’t fall asleep, those who can’t stay asleep, and the basic neurotransmitters associated with sleeplessness. What’s interesting about each of these patterns is that each of them is directly or indirectly influenced by insulin and cortisol. This makes it imperative to address these issues with diet regardless of whatever our choice of supportive nutrients may be.

See the link for sample diets that are part of the Control-IT weight loss program. One of the major goals of the Control-IT weight loss program is the normalization of both insulin and cortisol. As a result, almost everyone who goes on the program to lose weight eventually finds themselves sleeping better. Click the link for more info on Control-It.

Let’s look at the first pattern of sleep loss, those who can’t fall asleep. As a rule of thumb, when someone has difficulty falling asleep they have hyper-cortical function. Some of the other symptoms of cortisol excess are depression, bone loss, fatigue, weight gain in the waist, loss of muscle mass and thinning skin.

There are a number of botanical agents that work well to reduce cortisol. We like the product by Biotics Research Corporation that was developed by Dr. Gary Lasneski over 15 years ago called ADHS, short for Adrenal Hyper Secretor. The combination of adaptogenic herbs, supportive low dose vitamins, and trace minerals necessary to feed the adrenal glands consistently shows reductions in both hyper-cortical symptoms and lab numbers. Clinicians dose it at 2 – 4 tablets morning and noon. The line of distinction between cortisol dominance and functional hypoglycemia is very thin.

Often supporting blood sugar will augment therapy. This leads to the next pattern, those who can fall asleep but can’t stay asleep. Their blood sugar gets so low that their adrenals give a little shot of glucocorticoids to maintain blood sugar levels and that little bit is all they need to wake up. These are the people who wake up in the middle of the night, they start thinking of all the things that they have to do during the day and whomp, that’s it, their up!

So if we can maintain healthy blood sugar, we wouldn’t need the adrenals to provide that extra boost. Again a Control-IT type protein diet with a good source of healthy oils and products to support functional hypoglycemia would be the solution for this condition of insomnia. We use Bio-Glycozyme at 3, three times a day. Give the last dose before bed with a little protein or good source of EFAs. Biomega 3 Liquid is a good choice. For a consistent functional glycemic formula, try Bio-Glycozyme. You will be glad you did.

The third pattern refers to neurotransmitter imbalances. The dance of the hormones and neurotransmitters is so elegant and so interconnected. If the excitatory neurotransmitters don’t have adequate inhibitory factors, sleep or relaxation is difficult. Serotonin is one of the main inhibitory NT. The use of 5-HTP with the cofactors necessary to make serotonin is a great base. Neuro-5-HTP by Biotics uses 50 mg of 5-HTP, the cofactors P-5-P, b3, and 50 mg of the inhibitory amino acid L- Theanine. Use 2, three times a day between meals.

Regardless of the cause of insomnia, sometimes we have to break the sleepless cycle. The past experience of not sleeping and the fear of another sleepless night is almost enough emotional stimulation to increase the very hormones and neurotransmitters that will cause insomnia. That’s when we use De-Stress. De-stress is a milk peptide derivative called a decapetide and has been shown by the University of Nancy in France to have anti-anxiety properties. In a 15 day trial, a number of physical parameters were measured, pre- and post-stress, and they all improved compared to controls. In the milk peptide group, cortisol tended to normalize, and heart rate, blood pressure, and ACTH levels all appeared to return to homeostasis faster after being stressed in the group who took the active component in De-Stress.

Also see the case studies and video we have a provided using the nutrients mentioned. These will give you further insights in restoring healthy sleep.

The more we learn about sleep the more we realize it’s not an option. For those of you that aren’t sleeping properly, you are missing out on the regenerative and anti-aging effects of sleep. Now you know there are solutions.

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cchs@shaw.ca

Elusive Sleep

Wish you could sleep like a cat?

There’s no such thing as sleep ….  only wakefullness!

The brain does not sleep, but operates in states.  They’re called beta, alpha, theta and delta.  The alert stage is beta, the most restfull is delta.  Here is where we experience the REM state.  (Rapid Eye Movement).  This is the assimlation and healing time for our bodies.

The two hemispheres of your brain (left and right) end in tails which extend down into the neck.  This area is known as the brain stem.  It is in here that we find 5 personal computers for controlling heat, thirst and appetite, wakefullness, libido and muscles.

Regarding sleep or really wakefullness, the brain needs to rest or slow down.  To accomplish this the wake centre or computer needs proper positioning.  Looking at the neck from the side view you will see a curve.  This curve acts as shock absorber for the head.   It is 1/6 of a circle or a 60 degree arc.  This arc must be maintained for 14 ½ minutes before ‘sleep’ in order to set the curve and keep the computers in place.

DIRECTIONS:      fold a bath towel in half lengthwise, bring the long sides towards the centre, but leave a one inch space. Now, roll it up into a tight cylinder and secure with rubber bands.  Place this under your neck as you lie on your back for the 14 ½ minutes.  At the end of this time your neck’s soft tissues will mold into shape and the wake centre will be relaxed.  Remove the towel and now:

The eyes are the first area supplied by the brain, they too need positioning.  During those 14 ½ minutes force your closed eyes to look way up to the top of your head.  Do your best to hold this position, believe me, it is a challenge.  This will also rest the brain, settle all the stressful thoughts and prepare the brain to go into the deeper states.  Simple and effective.

Ah,  sweet sleep, well actually sweet rest!

You may also be interested in: The Underlying Causes of Sleep Loss

Check out  www.bioappscanada.com  for our our sleep strips (edible film).

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