FOOD is MEDICINE: insomnia

Insomnia is a BIG deal! It’s definitely not worth ignoring. We hinted at the many consequences of insomnia in our last blog. We know how it affects us, and most of our friends too. But… what is it?

In our fast-paced lives the effects of insomnia touch us all in some way. With 48% of Americans reportedly suffering from occasional insomnia and at least 22% reporting nightly insomnia our lack of restful sleep takes its toll. A new study estimates that insomnia is responsible for 274,000 workplace accidents and errors each year, adding up to $31 billion in extra costs. Not only is your productivity in jeopardy but your health is too.

Insomnia defined:

A lack of sleep or disrupted sleep that occurs at least 3 nights per week and lasts at least 3 months. Insomnia can occur for many different reasons:

  • Changes in environment
  • Unhealthy sleep habits
  • Shift work (specifically night shift)
  • Other clinical disorders
  • Certain medications

Those who suffer from chronic insomnia may benefit from treatment to help restore restful sleep.

Risk factors:

  1. Stress [stressful events or even chronic stress can lead to a lack of sleep in both the short and long term]
  2. Age [Because of changes in sleep patterns and health, insomnia increases with age]
  3. Gender [Women are more likely to experience insomnia: Hormonal shifts during the menstrual cycle and in menopause may play a role]
  4. Hyperthyroidism [This causes hormone imbalances and can disrupt sleep patterns]
  5. Arthritis [The pain and discomfort can cause insomnia]
  6. Anxiety & Depression [This lead to difficulty falling asleep]
  7. Medications [Some include: high blood pressure medication, birth control, cold and nasal allergy medication, and antidepressants]

What you need to know:

Symptoms:

  1. difficulty falling/staying asleep
  2. irritability
  3. difficulty paying attention
  4. tension headaches
  5. GI distress

Complications:

  1. slowed reaction time
  2. brain fog
  3. weight gain/obesity
  4. heart disease/high blood pressure
  5. diabetes

Treatment:

  1. create a sleep schedule or routine by using the tool Nutrition Rx protocol offered below
  2. breathing exercises: try out box breathing, mentioned in this blog
  3. exercise: 20-30 minutes of vigorous exercise each day [preferably in the morning] can help promote restful sleep at night
  4. limit caffeine after 12:00 pm
  5. write it out: keep a journal next to your bed and write down your worries, thoughts, and to-do list to help clear your mind

Are you ready to sleep more soundly?

Enter your information below to receive a personalized “nutrition Rx” protocol + sleep hygiene routine.

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