You're exhausted from juggling housework, work, and family obligations and climb into bed, ready for a good night's sleep. You turn off the light, settle in, and wait to doze off. But, frustratingly, you can't fall asleep. Or, worse - you fall asleep but wake in the middle of the night fully alert and filled with anxiety. Or just incapable of falling back asleep.
This scenario is caused by insomnia, a regular inability to sleep. Not only is it frustrating, it is also disruptive to your energy levels, mental alertness and general mood.
Insomnia is usually caused if you are under stress. If you are an insomniac, you've probably tried many remedies, but to get a good night’s rest you have to tackle the cause of your restlessness.
Aids like sleeping pills are no solution and should only be used for a short time while you treat the causes of your sleeplessness. It is important to take a holistic approach to insomnia and address the following imbalances to retrain the body to return to its normal sleep cycle.
Imbalance #1: Excess or deficient cortisol
Stress triggers a physiological reaction in your body called the "fight-or-flight" response where your body releases stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and cortisone. Usually, these stress hormones disperse once the threat has passed. However, if you're someone that is always in high gear, your body will be flooded with these stress hormones for long periods of time without rest. This can draw you into a cycle of alertness and sleeplessness.
Signs of cortisol imbalance:
To stabilise cortisol imbalance try:
Imbalance #2: Hormonal Imbalances
An imbalance in the neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, GABA) or hormonal imbalances can affect your regular sleep cycle.
Try: Increasing your vegetable intake or consider a supplement with: Taurine, theanine and glycine
3 EXPERT TIPS FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
With a few of these tricks up your sleeve, you will soon be on the way to a good night’s sleep. If you need help with the root causes of stress, why not click here to try our 8-week stress programme, which includes a host of tips, techniques and downloads to help you deal with the anxieties often causing sleeplessness.
Sheeba Majmudar, Naturopath and Nutritionist at Verita Advanced Wellness. This article has been published with permission and is courtesy of Verita Advanced Wellness, a premier partner of Great Eastern "Live Great" programme.