At any moment, at least 60 million people in America deal with difficulty sleeping and don't realize it may be causing their fatigue, their anxiety, their depression, or even their physical pain. Insomnia has been shown to cause greater risk of strokes, heart disease, and a whole host of other health issues. But thankfully, there are some solutions. So whether you or someone you love struggles to fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up feeling rested—this article is for you.
6 Common Contributors To A Poor Night’s Sleep
A busy mind. There are many ways to clear and calm a busy mind. An overactive mind might be due to a deficiency in calming vitamins or minerals, an organ system imbalance, or even old traumas, hurts, or beliefs popping up. The goal should be to find the appropriate therapies to fit the causes. Why not see a practitioner familiar with multiple disciplines?
Snoring. This cause of insomnia is often overlooked. Most of us are familiar with sleep apnea—the person who stops breathing at night. But actually, whenever a person snores they are not sleeping deeply and snoring can come and go. We want to find out why there is swelling, congestion, or phlegm in the throat—causing the snoring—and then reduce it.
Physical pain or discomfort. Again, we need to go Sherlock Holmes and find how to reduce the discomfort whether it’s a more appropriate bed or pillow or getting appropriate treatment for the pain. This might include evaluation by a physical therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist.
Hormonal heat. This happens when the body heats up at night and wakes the person up. Obviously, this can be caused by menopause, but stress and anxiety can also cause a body’s hormonal heat to increase. This can happen in men, women, and even kids. Treating heat in menopausal women can at times be quite challenging as stress levels change and vary which may also change the type of treatment needed.
Outside influences. If your environment at home is not conducive for sleeping, we have a problem. Pets, kids, a snoring spouse, or a room that’s too hot, too cold, too windy, too noisy, or too bright can all be factors. We suggest you seek out a practitioner who has time to discuss those factors with you. A physical therapist or health coach can be a good choice.
Low energy. “Whaaat?” This is probably the most surprising cause of insomnia that we run into. Believe it or not, a person must have enough energy to be able to sleep. That may sound counterintuitive, but we’ve found that if a person’s metabolism is too low, sleep can be problematic. Having hypo or low-thyroid energy is common and does not always show up on lab tests. Also, it’s tough to get into an appropriate sleep rhythm if your energy isn't getting high enough during the day. We also must consider adrenal and liver energy as well. For example, if the liver system is low in energy or imbalanced you may have trouble calming down your mind before bed and/or you may wake up between 1:00-3:00AM, which is never fun.
So, how well a person sleeps depends on many factors. The more disciplines we can use to evaluate this, the better the outcome can be and the better a person will be able to understand how to best help their body.