I am sleeping better, I am less stressed, and I’ve lost 15 kilos! If I hadn’t come to see The Lucy Rose Clinic, I don’t know how I’d be now.”
– Glenda, Geelong
Sleep is such a vital part of a life full of energy, motivation and joy.
Did you know the best time go to sleep for your hormones is 10pm?
I wanted to share some points of view from other healing modalities from around the world about sleep for something different, and some tips to do today, to hopefully result in a deeper sleep tonight 🙂
Traditional Chinese Medicine
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), insomnia and other sleep disorders are the result of an imbalance in qi (energy). Pronounced chee.
As qi circulates through the body, it flows through the body’s “meridians,” such as the lungs, heart, spleen, liver, kidneys, stomach, gallbladder and so on. Of the twelve principal meridians, six are considered yin, and six are considered yang.
Insomnia is a yin deficiency, and is associated with poor circulation, spleen deficiency or stress.
Ayurvedic medicine also attribute sleep issues with an imbalance of energy – but uses different terminologies.
Ayurveda says we are made of three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. In each of us, these three energy forces have a balance to maintain health. When any of the doshas are out of balance, disease can begin.
Ayurvedic medicine points to sleeplessness and insomnia being caused by excess vata and pitta energies. Pitta out of balance is also associated with intense, potentially disruptive dreaming. Excess Kapha, on the other hand, is associated with oversleeping.
Factors that affect the doshas include diet, stress, lack of physical activity, and other illnesses.
Western Herbal Medicine
A herbalist will assess why there is a sleep issue by asking about sleep environment, stress factors, diet, health history, and temperament. Then lifestyle suggestions are made to correct the issue, and a herbal medicine prescribed to assist sleep onset. Common herbs used for insomnia exert a sedative and hypnotic action, such as valerian, or zizyphus. Other herbs are added according to the patients presenting complaints – eg – anxiety, depression, overwhelm, etc.
This is a modern form of natural medicine that is evidence based, and addresses the root cause of the concern.
Testing may include nutritional status to identify deficiencies or excesses, and then nutritional therapy is used to rebalance the system.
Toxins are often assessed and detoxification protocols assist removal of toxins that are affecting health.
Diet and lifestyle focus is an integral leg of this treatment approach, and diet is often tested against blood samples to asses food intolerances which drive inflammation and digestive upsets, causing fatigue, nutrient absorption issues, and more.
Hormone status can be tested with functional pathology to see the status and influence the bodies systems and nutrients are having.
Treatments are multi-tiered and will include nutritional supplements in therapeutic, tested doses, herbal medicine, diet and lifestyle guidance, and health coaching. Treatment plans are transient – in that they shift the body to a healthier level – and they often need to be adjusted every 2-6 weeks until complete health is returned.
Regarding insomnia, neurotransmitter production is assessed and function of melatonin hormone is supported to improve sleep onset.
Liver health is supported for patients who wake up hot between 12:00 – 3:00 in the morning, as this is a sign of liver congestion.
Environment is discussed – from mattress quality, to wi-fi routers in the house. Many people will have sleep disruption to many of our normal modern lifestyles, but these are usually easily resolved once awareness is achieved.
If you need help with your sleep, consider a functional medicine approach. Book a call to discuss how we can help. Click here to book in.
Tips to sleep better tonight
- Have a relaxed mind. Meditation is the easiest trick to calm the monkey mind and help us get to sleep. Try downloading a new app, pop on some headphones, and let the meditation track send you to a nice relaxed sleep.
- Take magnesium. If you have a supplement (make sure it’s not an energy one) you can take your magnesium 1 hour before bed to assist melatonin production. If you don’t have a supplement, have a lean protein snack like some chicken, or a cup of mineral rich bone broth.
- Turn the phone off. Once in bed, switch the phone to flight mode so you don’t get any notifications through the night and put it outside your bedroom. It also will reduce the amount of wi-fi being attracted to your room. Research shows the blue glow of technology can disrupt the production of melatonin.
- Got a lot on your mind when you lay in bed? Research shows that writing worries down and then physically throwing them away can help clear our minds of negative thoughts.
- Sleep in a cold room. Research shows we sleep best in a room between 15-20 degrees.
- Legs Up the Wall. After you have your magnesium, and your bedtime routine is complete, lay on the bed with your head at the foot end, and your bottom up on your pillow. Put your legs straight up the wall or bed head. You can tie your legs together with a belt if needed, as you want to be able to completely relax. Stay here – listening to your meditation track – for 5-15 minutes. Slowly, without jolting, roll yourself into your bed and drift to sleep.
- Have a herbal tea. Opt for a calming tea such as chamomile or lemon balm, or a sleepy time blend.
- Avoid caffeine. The effects of caffeine can last up to six hours.
If you need help getting deep, restorative sleep, we can assess your hormones, nutritional status, diet and lifestyle and build a treatment plan to empower you and heal you body to a healthier tomorrow.
You don’t need to ‘put up with it’, or let it get worse. Book a call and we can discuss how we can help.