Tired? Low Energy? : Natural Solutions to Better Sleep
Getting To The Root Causes Of Why We Are All Tired
Twenty to thirty percent of our population visit their primary care physician and their chief complaint is fatigue; they’re tired all the time and want to feel better.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine rarely allows for physicians to spend enough time with you to explore the many reasons you might be experiencing fatigue.
Functional Holistic Medicine practitioners on the other hand, asks lots of questions and more importantly listens to personal history. They look at all aspects of your life and your whole health journey which helps to connect the dots and get to the underlying cause of the problem.
Anyone who suffers from sleep problems and insomnia knows the toll it takes on their health and their ability to function. Energy plummets, brain function crashes, and daily activities feel like monumental chores.
Taking sleep medications may help but they come with a price — they make many people feel groggy and spaced, and their effectiveness is short term while their risk of dependency is high.
Not only do sleep problems make it hard to function, they also weaken immune function and significantly raise the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic health disorders.
What many people fail to realize is in the many cases, insomnia and sleep challenges can be caused by blood sugar imbalances.
Let’s take a look.
Insomnia and Blood Sugar Instability
There are Two types of insomnia that can be traced to blood sugar instability:
- Having a hard time falling asleep
- Having a hard time staying asleep
In both cases, the 24-hour cortisol rhythm has deviated from it’s normal pattern.
Cortisol is made by the Adrenal Glands and is one of our most important Hormones.
It regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress.
Cortisol should be highest within 30 minutes of waking and then gradually decline throughout the day until it is lowest at bedtime. The Cortisol rhythm mimics the Circadian rhythm. When Stress is high for too long then we see challenges with Sleep, Blood Sugar imbalances and Inflammation.
Let’s discuss these two distinct patterns.
Having a hard time falling asleep
When we measure the cortisol rhythms of people who have a hard time falling asleep, many have high cortisol in the morning as they should, however it stays high throughout the day, maybe drops after the evening meal for a bit then may even spike in the evening when it’s time to go to sleep. Typically find these patients also have high blood sugar and inflammation, which leads to the high cortisol levels.
These folks feel “wired and tired”
Having a hard time staying asleep
These patients fall asleep just fine but typically wake up around 3 or 4 a.m., often filled with worry and anxiety and perhaps even heart palpitations. This is due to nocturnal hypoglycemia.
That means that their blood sugar levels plummet during the night, depriving the brain of the energy. Energy it needs to carry out its job to repair and restore the body during the night. To compensate, it triggers the release of adrenal hormones to activate what we call glycogenolysis. That is a fancy word for the breakdown of glycogen which is store in the muscles and the liver to create glucose. Glucose that is need to restore energy to the brain. Unfortunately, this adrenaline surge activates a danger signal so it also wakes people up with worry and anxiety. Once you realize there is no real danger, you calm down and then have to pee. Right??
These folks feel just “plain tired” flat.
So if you are tired, feeling fatigued and Sleep is a challenge for you start with looking at how you manage your Blood Sugar and energy throughout the day/evening.
Diet is KEY
Clean it up and limit the number of carbs you consume. If you walk up at night then do not eat sweets, deserts, or have alcohol before bed. You might also be sensitive to Fructose the sugar found in Fruit.
You might benefit from additional Amino Acid support like Protofood, or Minerals like Zinc. Vitamin B1, B6 & B12 can also be helpful.
If you are you are someone who gets sleepy after a meal and then gets a second wind, then perhaps you are you eating too much food at once or consuming a food that causes Insulin Resistance like Gluten or Dairy? (Ice Cream, Chocolates? ) or it could be that there is not enough Protein and Minerals (Veggies) or Good Fats in your meal.
You could benefit from B Vitamins, Selenium, Omega 3, and a lovely combination product called Diaplex or a herbal formula called Metabol Complex.
To order whole food supplements. Click on this link. Once at the home page you click on the drop down that says Patient Direct and use this special code W8MJSC to set up your account.
Movement everyday is important for managing Blood Sugar and Stress… Aim for 30 minutes each day.
Hydration is key however I suggest that you stop at 7.00pm.
Limit screen time before bed and have 15/20 minutes of quiet time to slow down and prepare for rest.
I would also suggest that you check out my Mini Stress Test. As we discussed earlier it is hard to keep Blood Sugar Stable under High amounts of stress. Unfortunately we all know what that feels like these past 6 months. So focus on what you can do to be healthy and increase your energy.
If you are doing all the things we mentioned above and still feel tired and fatigued then make an appointment and we will dig a little deeper to uncover the Root Cause of the Issue. It could be that you have Digestive Challenges, a Genetic Variant that needs to be supported, an Infection, Liver and or Detox challenges etc etc etc. Whatever is keeping you from having the health you want I know we can help.
Convenient Virtual Visits are available. 😀.
As always have a healthy week and if you have questions please do nit hesitate to ask