Trouble falling asleep? Or waking up during the night?
Sleep is vital to good health. Sleep problems or disturbances significantly contribute to major health issues or obstruct the healing progress. Consistent, recuperative sleep is an essential aspect of a good health regimen. When we sleep, we heal. Therefore, it is important to find and treat the root cause of insomnia or other sleep issues.
What happens when we do not sleep?
Although there is not much scientific evidence on what exactly happens when we sleep, much research exists on sleep deprivation. All of us are familiar wiht the after-effects of just one night without sleep:grogginess, grumpiness, irritability, forgetfulness, lack of tolerance, impaired concentration and shortened attention span. With continued lack of sleep, the part of the brain that controls language, memory, and a sense of time is severely affected. In fact, 17 hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05% (two glasses of wine). In other words lack of sleep has a serious affect on our brain's ablility to function. Sleep deprivation severely affects our cogitive function, our emotional and physical health, and surely our spiritual well-being.
Sleep hygiene to implement effective sleep habits
- Implementing better daytime habits
- Creating a healthy sleeping environment, your "sleep sanctuary"
- Creating and sticking to bedtime rituals
- If you are not asleep in 20 minutes
- If you wake up during the night
Common Causes and Conditions that Contribute to Insomnia
- Cortisol Issues
- Significance of melatonin
- Neurotransmitter Issues
- Hormone Imbalance (estrogen dominance, excessive thyroid, poor adrenal function)
- Sleep Apnea
- Allergies and Food and Environmental Sensitivities
- Electro smog and geopathic stress
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Psycho- Emotional Issues
Neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA and endorphins can affect the way we think, feel and function. Many psychological problems like depression, anxiety, insomnia and ADHD are linked to imbalances in neurotransmitters. Drug therapies are often used to mimic these natural neurotransmitters, and while this may be the therapy of choice for some patients, at NIHA we offer diagnostic testing to measure some of these neurotransmitters, their precursors (usually amino acids) and their breakdown metabolites (indicates turnover rates) to determine the ideal, natural neurotransmitter balancing therapy. This testing is called functional medicine.