Sleep is a critical element of one’s overall health. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain, fatigue, poor mood, and poor cognitive function. Unfortunately, many people are not getting enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Of course, individuals may require more or less than the average amount depending on the person. If one finds them self regularly getting less than 7 hours of sleep and feeling exhausted, moody, and having difficulty thinking clearly, they likely need to get more sleep. Furthermore, good quality sleep is just as important as getting an adequate amount. Constant interruptions due to discomfort and insomnia can severely reduce sleep quality and duration.
Insomnia Contributing Conditions
Insomnia is a common condition that has a great many causes. Existing medical conditions may cause one to experience insomnia. In some cases, the symptoms associated with the condition are the main contributors to sleep dysfunction. Recognizing the correlation between one’s condition and their sleep difficulties may help resolve insomnia. Some of the most common insomnia inducing conditions include:
- Nasal and sinus allergies
- Gastrointestinal conditions
- Neurological conditions
- Chronic Pain
- Low back pain
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
- Sleep Apnea
Unfortunately, some medications, particularly those for treating psychiatric conditions, may also cause insomnia.
Insomnia Inducing Habits and Lifestyle
In addition to pre-existing medical conditions, an unhealthy lifestyle and poor sleep habits can induce insomnia and make it a regular occurrence in one’s life.
Keeping the Brain Active at Night:
The body is naturally adapted to the day-night cycle meaning that it physically wants to sleep at night and be awake during the day. If one watches nighttime television, works late into the evening or has a job that requires late night or all night work, their body’s internal clock can get thrown off. Stimulating activities cause one’s brain to remain at a heightened or active state for an extended period. This inhibits it from shutting down and entering the restorative sleep cycle. Optimally, one wants to give their brain time to unwind and relax for an hour by avoiding unnecessary stimulation before bed.
Trying to Catch up on Sleep:
Those with insomnia often get stuck in a cycle of taking naps during the day to try and resolve their sleep deficit. Unfortunately, naps are not universally helpful in the long run. Some may find it more difficult to sleep at night if they take a nap. Furthermore, excessive amounts of sleep per night can trick the body’s cycle into thinking it is earlier than it is making it hard for one to fall asleep the next evening.
What is Ingested Affects Sleep:
Commonly consumed substances can be highly detrimental to sleep. Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine all impact sleep quality. Although alcohol may be an effective means of reducing brain activity, it often leads to multiple disruptions during the night.
When taken in excess or near one’s bedtime, caffeine can cause insomnia. Caffeine has the capacity to remain in one’s system for up to eight hours. Because of its brain-stimulating qualities it can make it near impossible to fall asleep.
Much like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant and can make it difficult to fall asleep if ingested before bed. Furthermore, smoking is greatly detrimental to one’s overall health and the habit should be dropped as soon as possible.
Insomnia ProtocolMany of the above factors that contribute to insomnia do so because they impact various elements in the body. It can be difficult to resolve the numerous imbalances brought on by any number of the previous habits and conditions. One way to approach insomnia treatment, in addition to lifestyle change, is utilization of a supplement package. HoltraCeuticals has compiled a collection of their supplements to form the Insomnia Protocol. Each of the four supplements included in the protocol provide focused relief to the most common sources of insomnia.
Muscle discomfort in the form of back pain, muscle spasms, and chronic pain may be caused by a magnesium deficiency. Maintaining proper magnesium levels is required for muscle function. When one’s cells have an overabundance of calcium while also experiencing a magnesium deficiency, their muscles enter a state of sustained muscle contraction. This may cause one to experience muscle twitching, spasms, and convulsions. Further sleep inhibitors caused by magnesium deficiency include chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and leg cramps. All such discomfort contributes to insomnia. Magnesium supplementation may help resolve these issues that cause nighttime discomfort thereby improving sleep quality.
The body naturally produces many substances that aid sleep. One of these is the hormone melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland. This gland kicks in at roughly 9pm and releases melatonin to induce sleepiness. When working correctly, levels of this hormone remain high throughout the night to maintain sleep. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Melatonin deficiency can cause one to experience poor focus, fatigue, irritability, and insomnia. There are various melatonin inhibitors including:
- Keeping the brain stimulated late at night
- Jet lag
- Naturally reduced levels due to age
- Watching TV and leaving on lights before bed
- Lack of exercise
- High blood sugar
In addition to a straight melatonin supplement, Insomnia Protocol contains Sleep Tight. It provides melatonin as well as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). This chemical helps the brain wind down and helps prevent it from becoming over-active. Sleep Tight also contains Chamomile, which is widely recognized as a natural sleep aid.
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is an important factor in proper sleep. This adaptive system allows one’s sleep cycles to acclimate to different conditions over time. When HPA activity is low, sleep can healthily commence. Alternatively, high HPA is associated with sleep deprivation. When excess cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is present in one’s system the axis can fall out of balance. Improperly functioning HPA activity can lead to poor sleep. A supplement such as HPA Balance produced by HoltraCeuticals contains multiple HPA balancers such as ashwagandha, magnolia bark, and phosphatidylserine. By utilizing the cortisol reducing elements of this compound, one can help maintain proper HPA balance, which helps reduce stress and restore sleep quality.
Stop Losing Sleep
If you are one of the many suffering from insomnia, it’s important not to submit to its terms. It may be beneficial to supplement your efforts with the Insomnia Protocol to give yourself the greatest chance of succeeding in restoring healthy sleep. The many elements found in this supplement package help relieve sources of discomfort, promote melatonin, and reduce stress. You can rest easy knowing the benefits of this multipronged approach to treating insomnia are available to you.