Insomnia Causes

November 19, 2010

The purpose of this article is to begin to address insomnia causes and insomnia remedies. Many causative factors contribute to insomnia symptoms. Adults are not the only ones plagued with chronic insomnia. Insomnia in children does exist! Certain medical conditions such as:

  • chronic fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • low blood sugar
  • adrenal fatigue
  • eczema
  • lyme disease
  • environmental sensitivities
  • allergies
  • leaky gut
  • acid reflux
  • irritable bowel
  • Chron’s disease
  • celiac sprue
  • candidiasis
  • asthma
  • chronic infections
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • ADD
  • ADHD

Directly aggravate and contribute to the development of chronic insomnia, insomnia symptoms and sleep disorders.

What is Insomnia?

For general purposes of discussion here, insomnia is having trouble:

  • falling asleep
  • staying asleep
  • getting deep sleep
  • having disturbed sleep

We have all experienced all of the above at some point in our life. However, when our sleep is continually impacted such that we are unable to return to a restful and rejuvenating sleep we need to look into insomnia causes, those factors that affect our sleep so that we can eliminate them and allow our body to go back into balance.  Relying upon prescription or over the counter medications for temporary insomnia cures may be necessary but dependency on medications to control symptoms cures nothing. Knowledge and understand leads us to answers and hope for an insomnia cure.

What Factors Contribute to Insomnia?

Our sleep cycle is a complex interaction between our

  • hormone function
  • blood sugar
  • immune system function
  • digestive function
  • brain chemistry
  • metabolism
  • mineral balance
  • emotional biochemistry
  • our body’s perception of stress
  • our diet
  • our nervous system’s balance

All these factors work like sections of a symphony coordinating their functions so that our body can function in unison and harmony and enter the cycle of sleep every day!

The following factors will be grouped into eight key topics that can impact our ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and have a restful and rejuvenating sleep:

  • high toxic load
  • inefficient detoxification pathways
  • mineral imbalances
  • low blood sugar versus high blood sugar
  • high cortisol
  • low thyroid hormones
  • low melatonin, shift work
  • imbalances in estrogen, progesterone (menopause insomnia)
  • imbalanced brain chemistry
  • immune inflammation
  • chronic infection
  • leaky gut
  • chronic pain
  • your diet
  • stress
  • biochemistry of emotions
  • structural (vertebral subluxations, cranial drainage, obesity, sleep apnea)

TOPIC ONE: Our Toxic Load Impacts Sleep

Part A

The Role of Our Liver

Our liver performs approximately 40,000 metabolic processes in the body. It’s a very busy organ! In Chinese Medicine, after over 10,000 years of observing the body’s rhythm and cycles, a biorhythm for each organ was observed to have a peak capacity at specific times of the day. What is remarkable about this observation is that if an organ is stressed or diseased, symptoms are more likely to occur at those peak hours associated with the corresponding peak organ time.

In the case of the liver, the peak time is from 1a.m. to 3 a.m.. Insomnia symptoms such as tossing and turning, waking and being unable fall asleep, having a very restless sleep during these hours, is highly suggestive that the body is struggling with detoxification. Additional symptoms associated with liver stress that accompany these insomnia symptoms during the day include:

  • frequent sighing
  • red face or eyes
  • discomfort over the right rib cage
  • feelings of anger
  • frustration
  • irritability
  • having a short fuse
  • feeling aggressive

As you can see, our liver is most active while we sleep and challenges to our ability to detoxify can profoundly affect our sleep. Future articles will go into greater depth about the mechanism of detoxification and will discuss these core  factors that determine our ability and efficiency to detoxify:

  • The degree of toxic load and the type of toxic accumulation (heavy metal, bacterial, fungal, mycotoxins, hormonal, chemical, pesticide, petrochemical, metabolic waste, undigested food metabolites)
  • Immune interference with detoxification pathways of the liver  coupled with genetic SNPs inhibiting pathway efficiency.
  • 3    Insufficient mineral catalysts to fuel detoxification pathways by the liver.

Simply taking an herb such as milk thistle will not magically detoxify you. Inflammation can inhibit the biochemical pathways that allow toxins to be broken down and bound by the liver. A high acid promoting diet, high in carbohydrates, sugars and sodas will deplete the body of alkaline minerals and trace elements that are essential to fuel the liver’s detoxification pathway.

In addition, having an elevated copper to zinc ratio based on serum lab findings can cause insomnia. Copper/zinc ratios should be 1:1. It is a simple matter to include the items in your standard blood work. Balancing one’s mineral chemistry towards a focus of improving one’s ability to detoxify, deal with chronic low grade infection (which throws off mineral stores) and excreting specific types of toxins requires the trained assistance of a health practitioner knowledgeable in the advanced laboratory tests available to analyze one’s biochemistry from blood, urine and toxic excretions. If your attempts to do a general detoxification of the body leave you depleted or make you feel sick, then consider that you may be missing key mineral catalysts, have an immune interference in a metabolic detoxification pathway or are unable to bind those specific toxins to eliminate them. Reasons for this vary with individuals and your health care specialist will be able to assist you further.

A good guideline before attempting any type of detoxification is to establish your baseline mineral stores with appropriate lab tests. Know the degree your immune system is interfering with detoxification pathways and the excretion of toxins. Determine what toxins you need to target for elimination (food metabolites, heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, biofilm etc.) You also need to have evaluated the efficiency of your lymphatic drainage and cell membrane function and free radical stress. This is done best by an FLT specialist that will run a fasting BIA test. For more information on this rather complex subject contact

Hormones Contribute – Insomnia

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan