Insomnia is a disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep, or both. Difficulty sleeping can be related to many factors including mental stressors like anxiety and depression, altered hormonal levels, need for medications and poor food choices.
Insomnia is a problem that impacts over 60 percent of Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundations 2011 report.
The impact of poor sleep can exacerbate any existing health condition because it's during sleep time that our bodies rejuvenate, restore and recover after our daily activities. If your body is already healing from another health condition, lack of proper sleep is actually acting as an additional stressor from the body.
Today I want to share a profile of one of my patients whose life has been transformed by getting her sleep back on track.
She came in complaining of hot flashes, back pain and inability sleep through the night. She is a very balanced person who practices yoga, and who engages in meditative practices on a regular basis. She eats a diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables, along with a combination of healthy grains and meats.
She had tried a variation of mind-body techniques on her own and achieved some level of improvement but she was not achieving the results that she wanted, and finally decided to get some professional support.
My patient and I started with a hormonal profile that looked at several different hormones. According to the Mayo Clinic, hormonal shifts occur as a woman transitions from having her monthly cycle to menopause. The hormonal changes which impact sleep the most are night sweats and hot flashes.
The menopausal tests revealed that her female hormones were low, even for a menopausal woman. She needed estrogen and progesterone. We also found that her thyroid hormone was low, along with her cortisol and DHEA levels. This is a very typical result for many of my menopausal patients.
The treatment plan included giving her bioidentical female hormones: estrogens, progesterone and DHEA. These require a prescription.
We also added some adrenal support to balance her cortisol levels that interfere with sleep too. Oral progesterone was the main support as it has been shown to improve sleep disturbances in menopausal women.
After two months, her hot flashes were completely gone. Her sleep had improved tremendously, however she wasn't sleeping through the night. We made some adjustments to improve her adrenal support, and her sleep has become heavenly. She is so happy and wishes that she had come to get support years ago.
I wanted to share this case because it highlights two important treatment options to improve sleep.
The first is that hormones can be the direct cause of insomnia. Many attribute stress and racing thoughts to their inability to sleep. So it is important to have the correct specialty hormonal panels run — which are not always blood tests — to understand the root cause of your insomnia issues.
Second, adrenal support is an instrumental part of the picture for better sleep. Women that are not menopausal, but who are having insomnia, can benefit from adrenal support to improve sleep.
If you, or a woman you know, is having sleep issues on a weekly basis, it is worth finding out more about how my protocols could change your sleep for the better. Check out healthydaes.com for more information.
Live Vibrantly and Sleep well,
Dr. Daemon Jones
Insomnia. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
Annual Sleep in America Poll Exploring Connections with Communications Technology Use and Sleep.
National Sleep Foundation. Retrieved July 7, 2015.