Julian lived a fairytale life. She was married to her Prince Charming, lived in a modest castle, had a little prince and princess, and a fulfilling career running her empire. She was only missing one thing: a good night’s sleep. She longed to sleep like she had been put under a spell, to wake up feeling fantastic, rested and ready to face the world. Can you relate to Julian? Are you one of many that cannot even remember the last time you experienced a full night of sound sleep?
Trouble with sleep is one of the most common symptoms of a person who has an incomplete “Circle of Health.” When one organ or gland is not functioning properly, other glands have to act as a backup, especially the adrenal glands. After a while, the body begins to shut down if it cannot get what it needs. Your body will try very hard to naturally heal itself. The only way you have a chance to heal is to sleep. So, if your sleep pattern is off, you cannot maintain optimal health.
A good night’s sleep is often the best way to help you cope with stress, solve problems or recover from illness. Identify your sleep patterns by taking a look at some well-known icons that also had difficulties with their sleep cycles.
WHICH FAIRYTALE DESCRIBES YOUR SLEEPING?
Sleeping Beauty enjoys 8 to 10 hours of sound, uninterrupted sleep each night, like a spell has been placed on her. She experiences ideal, deep, and restful sleep, while dreaming about wonderful moments to come. She wakes up feeling refreshed and ready for the beautiful day ahead.
Sleeping Beauty has a complete “Circle of Health.” Her body heals and rebuilds itself as she sleeps. She maintains good health by practicing nutritional habits and moderate daily exercise.
A balanced lifestyle will help Sleeping Beauty achieve more out of life with prince charming and decrease the effects of natural aging. She will be well-prepared and rested for unexpected stress!
The Princess and the Pea sleeps very lightly. Any little noise awakens her. She can’t get comfortable, feels that pea underneath her mattress, and every ache and pain associated with it. She can’t seem to get into a deeper sleep pattern. She’s at her wit’s end.
The Princess and the Pea has symptoms of adrenal fatigue from an over-stressed life. For example, a new mother, or a caretaker of an elderly or sick family member can have some of these same issues. Adrenal glands will be exhausted from the stress of daily activities, and sex hormones (estrogen and/or progesterone) are usually deficient in some manner. This makes sense since the adrenal glands, which provide our stress hormones, cannot back them up. Her “Circle of Health” has a couple of missing pieces that need to be corrected. She may be making poor nutritional choices and getting little to no exercise to help combat stress.
This princess would benefit from lifestyle changes, along with nutritional supplementation such as B & C vitamins and minerals. Testing for hormone levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol and DHEA would identify deficiencies and supplementation with bio-identical hormones can replenish the deficiencies. With the right supplements, she could return to a life of peaceful slumber with her prince in a short period of time.
Cinderella before the ball is so excited she can hardly stand it. She is very anxious about all the details keeping her mind so busy and full of thoughts. She may not want to fall asleep because of all the excitement. She may fall asleep for a couple of hours, and then at the stroke of midnight awaken and spend the rest of the night tossing and turning while thinking…thinking…thinking about all the details dancing around in her head.
Cinderella is experiencing adrenal fatigue because of extended periods of anxiety and excitement about her busy life. This causes her sleep to be restless and dissatisfying. Her body and mind need sleep to heal and process thoughts properly. She worries about the details that she might be forgetting and is desperate for the sleep that she cannot attain. Her “Circle of Health” needs attention in key areas of imbalance.
Lifestyle changes such as making her bedtime routine more relaxing, foregoing the alcoholic nightcap and replacing it with a relaxing bath, creating a quiet, darkened environment and removing distractions such a television could all be beneficial. Hormone levels such as estrogen and progesterone should be tested, along with neurotransmitter levels such as dopamine, epinephrine and serotonin. Any deficiencies should be replaced along with good nutritional support, B vitamins and minerals. Some herbal relaxants like valerian root may help Cinderella feel drowsy. Having energy to go shopping for those glass slippers is right around the corner with proper testing and supplements, along with a few lifestyle changes.
Snow White and the poisoned apple are knocked out with medication because she has no other option. She is dependent on a sleep aid to fall asleep. She sleeps for 8-10 hours in what appears to be deep sleep but awakens feeling tired, unmotivated towards the day. She has no extra energy to take care of herself much less hardworking family and friends.
Snow White may be suffering from adrenal fatigue (too much stress), hormonal deficiencies (menopause), neurotransmitter imbalance, poor nutrition, and toxicities. There are numerous possibilities of what might be her underlying cause of insomnia. Appropriate testing is a must to find the exact answer of what will bring Snow White back to reality. More than likely she has a combination of hormone deficiencies intensified by adrenal gland exhaustion. Her endocrine system is the first place to look for testing, correction and support.
Snow White can barely get through life because she has no circadian rhythm or natural sleep pattern left. She has completely altered her body’s ability to achieve rest. She must make a huge lifestyle change to slowly get off her medications that are inhibiting her natural sleep patterns and must strive to find the reason she is not sleeping on her own. This could be stress, hormone deficiencies, nutritional or toxicity issues. She must work towards finding out what her real issues are regarding her “Circle of Health.” She is attacking her symptom of sleep disturbance with sleep aids, but not finding out the true cause of her problems. Consider an alternative sleep aid like melatonin. It may help reach the deeper layers of sleep without feeling drowsy. Achieving balance both mentally and physically will help restore Snow White to feeling like singing “High Ho,” and going off to work once again.
There are four main contributing factors of Sleep Disorders: lifestyle, health complications, medication side effects and clinical disorders.
Lifestyle contributors when dealing with sleep disorders are the late night use of caffeine or alcohol. Sporadic or late night bed times can disrupt your normal circadian rhythms. Health Complications can influence poor sleep like pregnancy, illness, or sleep apnea. It is hard to get sound-sleep while enduring these types of health changes. Medications both prescription and over the counter, can have the side effect of insomnia. Ironically, sleep medications can often exacerbate the exact problem they are designed to help. Clinical Disorders can represent asthmatics that have difficulty breathing, substance abusers, and depressed or highly stressed individuals.
In order to get a good night’s sleep, you need to look into your overall health and wellness. There is an underlying dysfunction that is contributing to your disrupted circadian rhythm. Sleepless nights can be a nightmare. If you dig deeper into your health, you can regain the life of your dreams.
About the Authors
Jill Wade, DDS, MAGD and Kelly Martin DC are committed to helping men and women find a natural approach to wellness. Dr. Martin and Dr. Wade explore the synergy between the entire body and the mouth being a window to wellness and alignment. Co-Founding Relevance Health was a combined effort to help men and women lead healthier, better lives. To learn more about a healthy “Circle of Health” visit www.relevancehealth.com.