Sleeplessness. We Can Help.
Do you find yourself waking up tired? Or do you wake during the middle of the night and then realise you need to go back to sleep, which in turn creates stress and a rush of adrenaline? Sleeplessness is a major health concern for those with poor sleep patterns or a reduced quality of sleep. Not only will your capacity to live a vibrant life be affected, but there is so much more to sleeplessness. In this blog, we will discuss the causes of sleep deprivation, its effects on the body, stages of sleep, and solutions. So if you are looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, this blog is for you.
Causes of Sleeplessness
When we don’t receive enough sleep, this can be extremely taxing on the body, not to mention the mind. But what are the main causes of sleep deprivation?
- Overactive mind regarding device usage before bed
- Depression and anxiety
- Western medication
Effects on the Body
Over time, lack of sleep can potentially have long-term ill health effects. Research states that sleeping less than seven (7) hours per night can disrupt your natural healing capabilities, including memory retention, the endocrine system, the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system and the central nervous system.
At Nurtura Health, we treat patients who have developed conditions due to sleeplessness, such as –
- Adrenal fatigue
- Chronic fatigue
- Memory issues
- Mood changes
- Lower sex drive
- Weakened immune system
As well as treating them with supplements and herbs that can improve their quality of sleep, we also go beyond treating the body. Our professional Naturopaths will discuss what is going on in your life that could be the cause of your sleepless nights. Sometimes, while it may not be obvious to you when discussing your life, your Naturopath could assist in finding the underlying cause of your lack of sleep. This within itself can start a ripple effect of healing and discovery, creating a treatment plan that may restore your sleep.
The Important Five (5) Stages of Sleep
Sleep is very important, and as you read on you will understand why you need a good night’s sleep.
Stage 1 of non-REM sleep
When you first fall asleep, you enter stage 1 of non-REM sleep. This is characterized by the cessation of muscle movement and the slow movement of the eyes behind the eyelid. This is the “twilight” stage of sleep where you are probably still aware of some of the things going on around you. This is a light stage of sleep and you can usually be woken by noises or other disturbances.
Stage 2 of non-REM sleep
This is the stage where you are actually fully asleep and not aware of your surroundings. During stage 2, the heart rate and breathing regulate, the body temperature goes down, the eye movements either slow or stop completely.
Stage 3 of non-REM sleep
Brain waves slow down in stage 3 with only a few bursts of activity. This is a deep sleep where muscles relax and breathing slows even more. This stage of sleep is difficult to awaken from and you may feel disoriented if an alarm or disturbance pulls you out of it.
Stage 4 of non-REM sleep
Stage 4 is an even deeper sleep where the brain waves further slow and sleepers are very difficult to wake. It’s believed that tissue repair occurs during the stage of sleep and that hormones are also released to help with growth.
Stage 5: REM sleep
The final stage of sleep is REM and this is the cycle where we dream. The eyes move rapidly behind the lids and breathing becomes shallow and rapid. Blood pressure and heart rate also increase during REM sleep and the arms and legs are paralyzed so that sleepers can’t act out their dreams. The purpose of this stage (and of dreams) is thought to stimulate the sections of the brain that are needed for memory and learning and a way for the brain to store and sort information. REM sleep occurs approximately 90 minutes into the sleep cycle.
Solutions to Assist a Better Nights Sleep
There is much said about white noise, but have you heard about brown and pink noise? Brown noise is a lower frequency of the bass sound, such as waves crashing in the ocean. Pink noise is once more nature-based but more subtle. Think of the steady falling of rain on a tin roof. Brown and pink noise are more suited to assist in lulling one to sleep due to their constant ebb and flow of noise that soothes one into slumber. Where can you source brown and pink noises? Try YouTube, or music dvd shops, Spotify etc.
At Nurtura Health, our Naturopaths can provide you with herbs and supplements to coincide with any other methods you may use, including brown and pink noise. Even a warm bath or foot soak with lavender oil can calm your nervous system down. We also recommend a Bowen Therapy session or massage in the late afternoon to promote relaxation and a letting go in preparation for a good night’s sleep.
Ask us how we can have you catching some zzzz’s again sooner than later.