Are you frustrated with wanting to get some sleep but JUST CAN’T? I work with many clients who have problems either falling asleep or staying asleep through the night. There are many reasons for this- caffeine in the diet, stress causing that mind racing or the imbalances that occur in the menopausal years to name a few. As always, as a naturopathic doctor I want to look at the underlying cause of why are you not able to sleep soundly through the night.
Stress is a causal factor for insomnia- keeping many people up- that “monkey mind” I like to call it- mind racing thinking about all the things that need or didn’t get done. I work with clients to calm those thoughts down through meditation, teaching breathing techniques and general lifestyle management to manage stress. Through careful discussion with clients I am able to discern if stress is causing their body to be in a state of hyperstimulation due to the stress glands, or more commonly known as adrenal glands, to be overstimulated. This overstimulation keeps active amounts of cortisol in the bloodstream which in turn keeps us stimulated at night and not able to sleep. I will then work with various herbs or nutritional products to help calm those adrenal glands down and hence sleep is restored.
Menopausal years are another common cause for insomnia that I see a lot in my practice. Many women experience hotflashes that wake them through the night from the variation of hormonal imbalances. Naturopathic medicine excels at addressing these hormonal imbalances through the support of adrenal and/or thyroid glands and the use of various nutritional and herbal remedies that can help balance these hormones. As women, our bodies are made to go into menopause, sometimes the body just needs a little support to balance out hormones.
Blood sugar balance is another key component of insomnia that I feel is often missed. Many people wake through the night due to blood sugar levels dropping. I often work with clients on balancing blood sugar with diet to help with insomnia. The trick is starting your day off with a balanced breakfast that consists of enough protein and not too many carbohydrates. Then it is monitoring diet to stay suit as the day progresses, ending the day with a small protein snack before bed. We are what we eat- if our diet is balanced this pays off with extra energy through the day and a sound night sleep to cap things off!
Naturopathic medicine excels at finding long-term natural sleep solutions that address the underlying cause! The above are just a few of the reasons why you may not able to catch those zzzz’s. I strive to help you find your bottom-line solution to a natural balanced sleep!
To read more on Insomnia- check-out Dr. Bunzenmeyer’s interview in Chatelaine Magazine May 2012.