By Oren Landa (Osteopath, Naturopath) – Kiara Naturals

You are not alone

Sleeping disorders are some of the most common problems of modern men and women. In some countries more than 40% of the population suffer from some form of sleeping disorder. That’s nearly 1 out of every 2 people! It’s such a big problem that sleeping disorders and associated treatments are estimated to cost the US government over 130 billion dollars a year. These figures reveal the depth of the problem, and that we should be treating sleeping disorders as a pandemic.

Although it is seemingly a minor issue to some, for those of us who suffer from them, sleeping disorders can make waking life extremely hard. In the short term, disrupted sleep can lead to physical fatigue, muscle pain, reduced cognition, irritability, anxiety, stress and depression. In the long term, sleeping disorders can lead to reduced vitality, hormonal diseases, lower immunity, digestive disorders and slower healing. There are even studies linking long term impaired sleep with increased risk of cancer. In most cases, it first and foremost substantially reduces our quality of life and enjoyment.

Sleeping is crucial to health

In the course of healthy living, there are fewer things more important than sleep. Besides being a pleasurable and much appreciated part of our day, sleep is an essential part of a healthy life. Our minds might drift away, but during sleep our body is extremely active. During healthy sleep, our digestion, detoxification and healing processes get the resources and time they need to work their magic.

For an action that requires seemingly no action at all, sleeping is an extremely complex and intricate thing to do. Like all complex things in the human body, it involves and is dependent on countless factors for success. This means that treating sleep disorders is hard, and sadly in many cases treatment only offers temporary relief.

Why are we not sleeping?

The interconnected systems and processes involved needed for and dependent on sleep make it really hard to determine the cause of bad or reduced sleep. Is sleep disturbance a disease that causes other symptoms? or is it a symptom caused by other factors? Of course this is very individual and every person is different. The most common sleeping “disease” is called insomnia.

Insomnia is not a disease per say, it’s a disorder. Similar to all disorders it is a collection of symptoms and criteria that are bunched together to describe a situation. In this case, a persistent problem of falling and staying asleep. From its definition, we can understand that insomnia is in fact addressing a symptom, which is disturbed sleep.

Our biological clocks regulate our body and tell it to release different hormones and signal molecules (such as cytokines for inflammation) during the night. Cortisol is secreted during the day peaking during the morning. Hormones for sleep and relaxation when the sun goes down, other for energy and power when the sun rises. When we lived closer to nature and more connected to the natural rhythm of our environment, this happened very naturally. Today we are living in a very different world. Lights during the night, including stressful stimuli such as blue light from screens, driving cars, working late hours and eating late at night are all counter intuitive for our bodies. An animal that is stressed cannot afford to relax and sleep. If there is a constant threat to it’s system (even if we don’t see it as a stress, I mean it’s just a movie) or to it’s family (financial concerns, domestic arguments and just day to day household chores) no animal would be able to enjoy a good sleep. Humans are the same.

Because sleep is such a sensitive mechanism, it’s natural that emotional or psychological dis-ease can impair sleep. Of Course physical pain such as back pain or neck pain can make sleeping a nightmare. Late night eating and drinking causes the body to secrete hormones that promote rest and digest, but do not support sleep. Especially if we need to wake up to go to the toilet.

Conventional treatment

Those of us that suffer from sleeping disorders would do anything for a good night’s sleep. At least to begin with. Conventional treatments offered by doctors and clinics focus mostly around symptom relief. The most common solution is medication known as “sleeping pills”. These synthetic chemical drugs over ride the body’s natural state and basically drug us into sleep. They do not treat the cause of the problem. In many cases, doctors will prescribe these again and again without even addressing some basic things that can have huge effects. Over the past decade, we are seeing an increase in doctors prescribing anxiety medication for sleep. These were never even intended for treating sleep, but because one of the side effects is drowsiness, and anxiety can cause or be caused by a lack of sleep doctors used them too often. Besides not treating the actual cause, these medications can be extremely dangerous. They cause dependency and you build up a tolerance for them very quickly. In some cases people can no longer sleep without them.

Another issue is that for those that do manage to get some sleep relief with medication, a major side effect is the feeling detached from life while being awake. Reports of a sense of having a vail between them and the world. Reduced pleasure, joy, sadness and a whole range of emotions and sensations that substantially reduce their quality of life.

We have the power – take control of your sleeping health

The wonderful thing about sleep is that it is very affected by our lifestyle, and therefore responds very well to lifestyle changes. Here are some simple, cheap, effective and easy changes that you can do to take control of your sleep.

1. Reduce caffeine levels – today’s lifestyle demands high performance on all levels. Stimulants such as coffee, caffeinated tea, cacao and sugar force our nervous system into a fight or flight mode. Having many of these repeatedly throughout the day has an accumulating effect that even if we are then tired and ready to shut off our minds, our bodies cannot. Make sure you don’t drink any caffeinated or sweetened drinks after 16:00, and limit these to 3 a day in total. Drastically reducing these can be hard and even cause headaches and fatigue, but this is only a sign for how damaging they can be and how dependent our bodies become.

2. Avoid Blue light 30 minutes before going to bed – this means no phone, laptop or TV screens. Blue light stimulates our stress neurons and reduces the secretion of Melatonin. Allow them to calm down before bedtime.

3. Drink a soothing tea – Chamomile, lavender or Melissa are great herbs to relax the nervous system and get you ready to sleep. Infact, having these plants near your bed or putting a drop of either of their essential oils is proven to improve sleep.

4. Get into a sleep rhythm – Our biological clock governs so many processes in our body. Just like adjusting to jet lag in a new time zone, we can train our body back into a healthy rhythm. A strict sleep regime can change your life. its simple; make sure you always get 8 hours (or as close as you can get to that) a day. Set a sleep time and a wake time that no matter what you stick to. Make sure you’re in bed before 23:00 and distraction free. Then no matter how little or how much sleep you had you wake up and get out of bed by 07:00. Avoid napping during the day. You might feel tired during the day, but resist! Like any activity, also sleep can be trained and it takes practice to make it perfect. Sleep training is a huge and expanding science that is helping millions of people!

5. Calm your mind. lay in bed and breath focusing only on your breath. This mindfulness sleeping trick will be great for your sleep and your feeling the next day. Breathing out stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and will set a good relaxation cascade in your body. Meditation has been proven to improve sleep in even the most severe situations. Every time your mind drifts away from our breath, calmly and happily bring your attention back to your breath. Do not judge yourself for drifting to other thoughts, this also takes training.

You will get better

As with any long lasting disorder, healing takes time. You wouldn’t expect a fractured bone to heal in one night, or just after one day of rest and elevation. Sleep is the same. Small changes, persistent and with the knowledge that you will get better will improve your sleep. With the right attitude, mindset and patience you will get better, but only you have the power to change it.

Shop CBD Wellness Products in our Balance Health Shop and maximize the potent benefits of using CBD as a skin nourishing and repair companion to achieve a great skin!

We also offer Balance Health Sleep Package to improve your sleep patterns helping you restore balance!

Source: https://kiaranaturals.com/blog/news/sleeping-better-the-natural-way/

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