WHAT’S DRIVING MY INSOMNIA? (PART 7 OF 7)

2010/05/24
Published

In Part 1 we discussed insomnia symptoms and insomnia causes. We listed 17 factors that could affect your ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, get a deep sleep or disturb your sleep. In Parts 2-6 we discussed the effects of toxic overload, hormonal imbalances, brain chemistry, how what you eat, leaky gut, food sensitivities and allergies cause insomnia symptoms and sleep disorders.

TOPIC SIX: Inflammation and Chronic Infection

Another aspect of immune inflammation that contributes to chronic insomnia and sleep disorders is chronic infection. Those individuals suffering from chronic fatigue and lyme disease have a greater association of viral and bacteria infections. Viral infections will be cyclical and can peak at night causing low grade night fevers or simply restlessness and fatigue that prevents one from resting despite feeling exhausted.

Western medicine has limited resources to treat viral infections. Prescription medications are used to suppress viral replication. They help to reduce symptoms but do not eliminate the virus from the body and viral titers (viral load) do not necessarily go down.  Alternative medicine is very effective in eliminating chronic fatigue viral titers, especially serial dilution homeopathics specific for virus. However, the side effects have to be managed. Immune Matrix uses its bio-energetic medicine techniques to boost the immune system’s recognition of the virus. This enables a more efficient attack against the pathogen and fewer side effects while detoxifying the virus from the body with serial homeopathic dilutions.

Bacterial infections located in the digestive tract from dysbiosis described above or those circulating and attacking other parts of the body (brain, thyroid, connective tissue, joints) can increase discomfort in the body and affect one’s ability to reach a deep and restful sleep. When the pathogenic infection is chronic it weakens and exhausts the adrenal glands, chronic low cortisol is the end result. You end up with low blood sugar before bed. Please see our other articles about cortisol for more detailed information.

TOPIC SEVEN: Stress

Any form of stress (infectious, physical, toxic, chemical, relational, metabolic, digestive, structural, or emotional) can impact our nervous system and adrenal glands causing neurological and hormonal overstimulation. We feel tired but wired, restless and unable to settle into a sound sleep. Our sleep will be more superficial and shallow and we awaken easily with recurring thoughts that occupied us the night before if the stress was relational or emotional.

The stressor can establish a chronic pattern in the body such that long after the stressor is gone, our body continues its stress pattern. Sleep will continue to be affected. If the adrenal glands are affected such that our evening cortisol output becomes elevated, the elevation can also continue and affect our blood sugar causing low blood sugar and over stimulate our nervous system before bed. We feel tired from the low blood sugar, hungry and wired.

If the stress continues, our adrenal glands become exhausted and night time cortisol levels become deficient making it difficult for us to metabolize and absorb our sugars. Night time hunger and exhaustion, feeling drained and light headed and often feeling more tired after eating can result if we eat carbohydrate snacks.  

Separate articles will address detailed elements of detoxification, metabolic challenges that arise from immune system interference with digestion, and how to resolve the chemical effects of emotional stress.  

TOPIC EIGHT: Obesity and Sleep Apnea

As we age we can gain twenty pounds or more. With additional weight the structure of the tissues that form the back of our throat, and in particular those structures of the upper palate (upper throat) and around the back of the throat become lax and can block off our airway as we sleep. This leads us toward a structural form of sleep apnea that can be alleviated with weight loss. In the case of loss of strength in connective tissue, in house surgical procedures are available to tighten tissue in the back of the throat to improve airway access. Weight loss helps to alleviate structural stress from weight gain and has been reported to help improve airway access.

With any form of sleep apnea, the oxygen to the brain is compromised and the heart has to work harder to oxygenate the body. Lack of proper oxygenation during sleep will exhaust our body biochemically and over years can lead to heart failure. Initial stages of sleep apnea leave us un-rejuvenated. Our sleep will be plagued by tossing and turning as our body wakes us to re-establish breathing when it is temporarily shut down.

Sleep clinics can test and diagnose for sleep apnea and devices can be worn to increase one’s oxygen content as you sleep. This will improve brain clarity and energy upon waking and relieve your heart the added stress of pumping harder to get more oxygen to compensate for night time breathing issues.

As you can see multiple factors contribute to our development of sleep disorders, and insomnia symptoms. Certain chronic infectious conditions such as lyme disease, chronic viral infections associated with chronic fatigue, pain disorders from trauma, fibromyalgia all can cause and aggravate existing insomnia symptoms. Hormonal changes associated with peri-menopause and menopause can throw off our sleep cycle rhythm through melatonin. Low thyroid and adrenal conditions can affect our blood sugar and alter our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Our ability to detoxify can make a sound sleep impossible. Our diet can make sleep a roller coaster of digestive symptoms. Finally, chronic stress and the accumulation of negative neuropeptides of emotion can over stimulate our nervous system. Examining each area for its possible contribution to your insomnia symptoms will help you focus your investigative efforts to get to the root cause.

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 healthcare 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