Can’t sleep? Insomnia – Worse than you think

Can’t sleep? Insomnia – Worse than you think

Is this you?

You’ve suffered insomnia for months or even years.  You wake up feeling exhausted, you have that hollow tired feeling at the back of your head which just won’t shift?  You’ll fall asleep at the drop of a hat during the day or evening, but you just can’t sleep at night, you can’t get to sleep or you keep waking.

Or maybe you sleep through the night, but feel you just haven’t fallen into a deep sleep, and you still feel tired all the time.

Whatever your sleep pattern, insomnia has a profound effect on all aspects of our health, and at least 40% of us suffer from it at any one time.
Did you know that, just one night of poor sleep can cause a hitherto healthy person to be diagnosed as diabetic.  This is because of the huge impact sleep deficiency has on our blood sugar regulation. This was demonstrated very clearly in the recent BBC series “Doctor in the House” which I watched with interest as I met the Doctor in question, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, whilst we were both studying Functional Medicine in London.

Not surprisingly, weight gain and craving for carbohydrates are also associated with poor sleep.

What’s more, your performance, in everything you do, will be affected by poor sleep too. Studies have found that intelligence, focus, memory and reaction times, are all reduced by insomnia. This is clearly going to impact on your performance at work and on the sports field.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, chronic insomnia has been found to affect your risk for getting many chronic diseases as you age including Alzheimer’s disease, Cardiovascular disease and Cancer.

“Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care . . . balm of hurt minds, . . . . chief nourisher in life’s feast.
William Shakespeare – Macbeth.

I love this speech by the troubled Macbeth. , I used to love it for it’s visual imagery, but now, it has an extra resonance because it’s SO apt. Shakespeare had an intuitive knowledge of the importance of sleep.

Sleep does, indeed nourish and restore us, particularly the essential 3-4 hours deep sleep we should (but so often don’t) all achieve.

Sleep is something I ask all my patients about in their first assessment. Whether they have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep. Are they falling asleep during the day, or in the early evening, as soon as they sit in front of the TV, or do they wake too early. Are they restored by sleep or would love to just crawl back into bed.

If they have sleep problems, I always prioritise this in their health programs.

Sleep is an interesting and complex area of health, but, most people are able to transform their sleep patterns and their health. It’s just a question of knowing how.

To be continued . . . .

In the next post, I will look at some of the many reasons people don’t sleep. In the final post, I will be discussing some tried and tested solutions.

Check out my Insomnia Workshop:  Stop Insomnia from Stealing your Life



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