Root Causes Of Insomnia
Have you ever wondered why you always find yourself waking up in the middle of the night? In some cases, it’s just linked to your work schedule, crying baby, or the need to go to the bathroom because you’ve had a little too much water before going to bed.
So if this is you, then there’s probably nothing to worry about. However, if you find yourself awake for no reason at all and unable to go back to sleep, then that’s another story.
Remember, there’s always a reason WHY!
ROOT CAUSES FOR WAKING UP AT NIGHT:
When you lie in your bed at night, what does your mind usually do? Recall what happened throughout the day right? Especially the stressful moments and sometimes you even start thinking about what you have to do the next day or worry about things that haven’t even happened yet…
This can put your body in a “fight or flight” state which will then increase cortisol production. Higher levels of cortisol will decrease melatonin production because they have an inverse ratio meaning that when melatonin goes up, cortisol goes down and when cortisol goes down, melatonin goes up.
Remember, a lack of melatonin will make it difficult for you to tap into a deep sleep!
2. LACK OF MELATONIN
Melatonin is known as the “sleep hormone”. It helps prolong your sleep time, reduce the time for falling asleep and it also enhances the quality of your sleep. It is expected that we will naturally produce it at night but this is not always the case!
The body does not receive the signal that it’s time to start lowering cortisol and increase melatonin production whenever you’re exposed to blue light (TV, smartphones, computer screens, etc.).
This is why I strongly believe that everyone should be wearing blue light-blocking glasses.
You can find the one that I recommend here.
3. GUT ISSUES
A leaky gut is a common culprit of insomnia. Issues in your GI tract can stimulate inflammation which will then cause autoimmune issues and boost production of cytokines. More cytokines can lead to increased levels of cortisol.
4. IMBALANCED HORMONES
Serotonin (aka the “happy hormone”) is converted to melatonin at night so producing enough serotonin throughout the day is essential. Lower levels of estrogen (especially during menopause) can lead to lower serotonin levels.
Oh and by the way, did you know that the majority of serotonin is produced in the gut? This is why before you work on anything else, you need to work on gut health first!
5. BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION
Blood sugar imbalances can contribute to higher levels of cortisol. High blood sugar can also make you feel hot, irritable, and uneasy which makes it harder to sleep!
Low blood sugar can also trigger nocturnal hypoglycemia which can lead to restlessness, changes in breathing patterns, and even shaking or trembling.
6. NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES
A study showed that a lack of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K can have a direct impact on sleep.
Choose what foods you put into your body wisely! Everything begins with great nutrition, but it has been clinically proven that even with organic food, we’re not able to get all of the vitamins that we need.
Our soil has been tested numerous times and it has been shown to be depleted in vitamins & minerals. If it is not in our soil, how is it going to be in our food?
This is why I’m a big proponent of supplements and there are specific ones that I recommend for everyone on a daily basis. I go through this in my GI Protocol but don’t forget that not all supplements are made equally! Make sure that you’re buying your supplements from a functional medicine company that not only uses absorbable forms of vitamins and minerals but are also testing for heavy metals!
Unhealthy lifestyle choices whether it is an inflammatory diet, alcohol, or too much coffee can also cause sleep deprivation. All of these can raise your cortisol levels and therefore, decrease melatonin.
Apart from that, instead of repair and rejuvenation, your body will be focusing on fighting off all the inflammation so you’re cheating yourself from restoration!
Waking up in the middle of the night is very common but it’s not necessarily normal.
If you’re not tracking your sleep, I highly recommend doing so. I’ve been tracking my sleep for a long time and there are multiple inexpensive devices out there that you can use.
Remember, sleep will have a direct impact on multiple aspects of your health.
Not only has it been shown to decrease lifespan but we know that the body needs a good amount of deep and REM sleep in order to repair, restore and rejuvenate itself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Integrative health practitioners like myself can help you look for the underlying root causes and give you recommendations based on YOUR body.
Leave a comment