There is nothing better than having a satisfyingly busy day and laying down to allow your body to reset and sleep. However, for many of us, sleep proves elusive. In fact, according to Sleep Education, up to 35% of Americans experience symptoms of insomnia. Further, a startling 20% of Americans have insomnia for less than 3 months and 10% have a chronic insomnia disorder with three more more episodes each week for more than 3 months.
Generally, there are two classifications of insomnia–those who have trouble getting to sleep and those who have trouble staying asleep. Yes, some experience both aspects, making nights anything but restful.
Why does sleep matter?
Sleep is vital. Period. A person can really only function without sleep for less than 2 weeks. And yes, you can die from sleep deprivation, though it is rare. Our bodies are designed to sleep. During sleep, our bodies go through maintenance cycles. In fact, different organs “clean” themselves at specific times. For example, the liver’s time is roughly from 1 am to 3 am while the heart is from 11 am to 1 pm. These cycles are millennia old rhythms we have evolved to have and depend on. Our bodies and minds must stop thinking so the brain can do the work it needs to. A lack of sleep is like when your coworker takes time off leaving the tasks to you and the rest of your colleagues. Once in a while, it isn’t a big deal, but often enough, it takes a huge toll on everyone.
Sleep deprivation can be linked to many auto accidents, work incidents, and even huge disasters like Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and Three Mile Island! When you chronically do not or are unable to get enough sleep, you put yourself and others at risk.
Common Symptoms of Insomnia
- Chronic fatigue
- Inability to concentrate
- Increased errors/accidents
- Daytime sleepiness
- Changes in mood
- Changes in behavior
- Cognitive impairments
- Failing memory
- Weak immune system
- Increased appetite
- Weight changes (or inability to lose/gain)
- Lack of motivation
- Leafy Greens (especially Kale)
- Reishi Mushrooms
- 2+ tbsp Healthy Fats daily (organic butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etc)
- AVOIDS: baking powder, citrus, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, canned food and drinks, corn, dairy, food additives, MSG, junk foods, processed foods, soy, canola oil, trans fats, tap water, wheat, sugar substitutes, tobacco
- Vitamin D (Get outside in the sun! See our Summer 2018 newsletter for more.)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B Complex
- Meridian Tracing
- Chakra Work
- Whole Body Tuning
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Chiropractic Care
- Energy Work
- Light Healing Touch
- Magnets & Polarity Therapy
- Color Therapy
- Emotional Release
- Meditation and Visualization
- In our Western society, sleep is no longer ritualized. We expect to lay down and immediately fall asleep. This doesn’t work for most people. Develop a bedtime ritual of relaxation and preparation for sleep for at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Suggested activities include: reading, listening to music, taking a hot bath, preparing the room for sleep, meditating or practicing the law of attraction, and having a warm cup of tea (like chamomile, cat nip, or passionflower.)
- Lifestyle additions: Epsom salt or magnesium flake foot/hand soaks, develop a good exercise program that is not done too closely to sleep, turn off your wifi at night, discontinue use of all electronic devices at least 1 hour before bed, and have the room completely dark (or as close to it as possible) for sleeping.
- Essential oils: Basil, Chamomile, Cypress, Lavender, Ylang Ylang
- Cell salts: Ferr Phos, Kali Phos, and Mag Phos all taken in weekly or monthly rotations
You can get back to sleeping soundly and easily through the entire night. There is help. Your naturopath can help to truly tailor a program based on your individual needs and nutritional deficiencies.
Please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment if you need further assistance.
Also, let me know if you have any requests for natural suggestions for other conditions!
Note: Everything here is for information only. This is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. Seek a qualified medical professional.