Jamieson Health Center Newsletter
November 2, 2010
Volume 2, Number 9
Dear patients, dear friends,
Many of you are suffering from insomnia. You are not able to obtain sufficient sleep. Either you can’t fall asleep, or you can’t stay asleep and wake up several times during the night. You may wake up too early in the morning. Or you have a sense you didn’t get enough sleep, despite sleep of adequate duration. You have trouble getting up in the morning and drag yourself through the day, desperately needing a nap.
Sleep is very important to regenerate your body, recover from the stressors and repair the damage done to our bodies during the day. A natural restorative sleep of seven to eight hours allows your body to replenish every cell, boost your immune system, regulate metabolism, improve cognitive functions, eliminate toxins and free radical damage, balance hormones, restore adrenal glands, prevent heart disease and make neurotransmitters.
Sleep is divided into two stages – non-REM sleep and REM sleep. Non-REM sleep is further divided into stages one to four (lightest to deepest sleep resp.). A normal night of sleep in an adult begins with about 80 to 90 minutes of non-REM sleep, followed by a 10- 15 minutes of REM sleep. The two stages alternate throughout the night with a REM-non-REM cycle length of approximately 100 minutes. The duration of REM sleep periods tends to increase with each successive cycle. Both REM and non-REM sleep are necessary for the maintenance of good health.
Unfortunately, many patients with insomnia immediately resort to sleeping pills, which do not provide REM sleep and put them at risk of severe side effects. Just watch the following Fox News video on YouTube “Is Ambien creating a nation of zombies?”.
Sleep disorders are relatively easy to manage once you understand what causes them. In most cases, a change to your diet and lifestyle will dramatically improve your sleep. In addition, natural B-vitamins, minerals and herbs help you relax and improve anxiety and sleep problems. For those suffering from severe sleep disorders, caused by physiological or psychological issues, regular adjustments and neurofeedback therapy are very effective treatments.
When in doubt, give us a call for a free consultation and we can discuss your options.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Samuel Jamieson, D.C.
Can’t sleep? Suffering from insomnia?
Whatever happened to getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep? When was the last time you actually hit that goal? Almost never, right? That's a shame because adequate sleep is one of the most effective ways to help your body recover and regenerate from the stressors of life. It is paramount to do whatever you can to get eight hours of sleep a night. Inadequate sleep negatively affects your endocrine (hormone) system, altering cellular regeneration and impairing optimum hormone function.
Insomnia or poor quality sleep is so common nowadays. It is estimated that over 15% of Americans are severely affected by insomnia. According to Michael Aldrich in his book “Sleep Medicine”, 10% to 20% of adults report chronic insomnia in the course of a year, with women more affected than men. Insomnia appears to increase with age and is much higher in persons over the age of 65 years than in younger adults. In 2008, hypnotic drug (like Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata) revenues exceeded $7 billion.
Tips for a good night’s sleep.
Here are some important dietary and lifestyle tips for a good night’s sleep:
1. Relax before bedtime.
Avoid stimulating activities at night. Don’t watch scary or violent movies, don’t exercise intensely, don’t start a new project at the end of the day, and try not to get involved in emotional situations (e.g. an argument). Instead, dim your lights and relax yourself in the hour or two before bedtime. Take a relaxing bath, listen to quiet music or read.
2. Set a schedule.
Remember that your circadian rhythms are ruled by the rising and setting of the sun. It may not be possible to follow the rhythms of nature, but go to bed at a set time each night and get up at the same time every morning. Don’t sleep in more than one or two hours later than normal and do not disrupt your sleep cycle.
3. Avoid stimulants.
Caffeine, chocolate, sodas and cigarettes stimulate your brain and prevent it from recognizing when it is time to sleep. Don’t drink coffee after 3pm. Alcohol may help you fall asleep easier, but you’ll likely wake up during the night because of dehydration and low blood sugar.
4. Stay warm.
Your body temperature drops at night, so keep your feet warm with a hot pad or hot water bottle. Take a warm bath with essential oils before going to bed.
5. Control your environment.
Keep your bedroom dark, uncluttered and soothing and at a comfortable temperature, better on the cooler side or with a slightly opened window. Wear comfortable 100% natural fiber clothing. Be sure to have a good mattress and pillow.
Try to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity daily, but not in the evening. Weight training, cardiovascular exercise, yoga, stretching, and breathing exercises all improve sleep efficiency, total sleep time, number of awakenings and sleep quality.
7. Eat well.
Finish your dinner at least three hours before bedtime to avoid digesting your food during your sleep. Do not over-eat. Include whole natural foods that are rich sources of tryptophan, such as turkey, chicken, beef, and nuts. Also include fresh fruits and vegetables which have a mild sedative effect. Avoid hydrogenated oils, fried foods, carbohydrates and sugar. They disrupt your blood sugar levels.
Keep your bedtime snacks small. Avoid sugar and spicy foods. Eat more protein like nuts or a protein bar before going to bed to avoid blood sugar drops and cortisol spikes that wake you up. Minimize liquids before bed to avoid nocturnal trips to the bathroom.
For more information about insomnia and what causes sleep disorders, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.
Causes of insomnia
There are many intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute to insomnia. Some predispose the person to insomnia, some precipitate the condition, and others perpetuate it. In most insomniacs, several of these factors play a role.
Predisposing factors include personality, age, genes, and intrinsic neuro-biologic factors. For example tense, anxious, nervous and worried persons; those who internalize problems; and those who tend to have somatic responses to stress are at higher risk of developing insomnia than individuals who are more relaxed.
Precipitating factors are associated with the patient’s life circumstances. In one study 74% of insomniacs reported a stressful event at the onset of insomnia, and almost half of them noted that worries made their sleep worse. Particularly mood and anxiety disorders are the cause of insomnia in 40% to 50% of patients with serious insomnia.
Perpetuating factors keep the cycle of insomnia and stress going. For example, psycho-physiologic insomnia is a conditioned response, which occurs in some patients following an episode of insomnia that may have been triggered by a specific stressful event. Although extrinsic factors may play a role, these patients are often hyped-up by their efforts to fall asleep and by worrying about not being able to do so. They will often take a long time to fall asleep and wake up frequently.
Inadequate sleep hygiene is a term used for behavior patterns prior to sleep and/or a bedroom environment that is not conducive to sleep. Such behaviors can include strenuous exercise, stimulating mental activity, large meals, eating sugar and carbohydrates, highly emotional discussions or thoughts, and a general lack of relaxation in the one to two hours leading up to bedtime.
The use of alcohol can also perpetuate insomnia. Many people use alcohol as a ‘nightcap’ to help them get to sleep and it does often have the desired effect. However, alcohol is also a major cause of early morning awakenings because it disrupts your blood sugar. It surprises some patients to find out that their caffeine intake is a major cause of their insomnia. A number of medications are also associated with insomnia. These include monoamine oxidase inhibitors, B-adrenergic receptor agonists and corticosteroids, among others.
When you need more than dietary and lifestyle changes to get a restful sleep.
In almost all cases of insomnia, dietary and lifestyle changes need to be addressed. This may be as simple as changing your eating habits and choosing to be healthy by eating healthy foods. Avoid sugar, carbohydrates, fried foods and trans-fats. Second, avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible. Relax and eat some protein before going to bed. Exercise to alleviate stress.
In all cases of insomnia, it is important to support the nervous system, whether stress or anxiety are a cause of your insomnia, or whether nervous debility is a result of inadequate sleep. It is therefore very important to nourish and strengthen the nervous system rather than simply giving medicines at bedtime to induce sleep. Taking B vitamins, minerals and herbs during the day will help you to be more relaxed and in a better state for sleep at the end of the day.
However, often stronger intervention is needed such as regular holistic chiropractic adjustments to heal the underlying physical causes and/or neurofeedback therapy to help eliminate the underlying psychological causes like anxiety and to obtain a deeper level of relaxation.
Abnormal cortisol levels and/or rhythms will affect getting to sleep or staying asleep. Adrenal saliva tests can help determine irregular cortisol levels and whether your cortisol circadian rhythm deviates from the norm.
Here are some supplements and herbs to nourish the nervous system, alleviate anxiety and help you relax:
A lack of B-vitamins affects the nervous system. Studies show that thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacinamide (B3), folate, pyroxidine (B6) and B12 all play a role in improving sleep patterns.
· Cataplex G contains B-vitamins and synergistic factors supporting the parasympathetic nervous system.
· Inositol is a great source of vitamin B9 to support your nervous system’s 5-HTP, melatonin and GABA levels.
· Drenamin provides comprehensive support for weak adrenals. It helps normalize cortisol and melatonin production.
Minerals are extremely important to balance the nervous system. Calcium and magnesium can have soothing effects. Lack of magnesium has been associated with disruption of the normal circadian rhythm, including sleep. Potassium and zinc help sleeping efficiency, especially when awakening during the middle of the night. Iron helps restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.
· Chezyn is an excellent source of zinc, copper and iron provided in the body’s natural ratio.
Amino acids are building blocks of protein and can be easily depleted by stress or a lack of good quality protein intake. Tryptophan in particular is well researched as a precursor of serotonin and melatonin to help sleep quality.
· Protefood is a source of 8 essential amino acids. It also supports blood sugar regulation to help you stay asleep.
There are many herbs that are known to improve sleep and sleep quality. They have no side effects and are non-addictive. They can provide little miracles without any of the side effects of sleeping drugs.
· Valerian Complex is a combination of Valerian root & rhizome, Spiny jujube, and passion flower and is effective for stress and anxiety. It is important to take Valerian for at least two weeks to see the affects on your sleep.
· Nevaton combines the actions of St. John’s Wort, Damiana, Skullcap and Schisandra to help calm the nervous system, support bile production and provide adaptogenic support.
For more information about insomnia and any of the treatments mentioned above, call our office at 408-517-0706 or visit our website at www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com.
JAMIESON HEALTH CENTER
Samuel R. Jamieson, D.C.
Emotional Stress Relief
Total Body Modification
1175 Saratoga Ave, Ste 8
San Jose, CA 95119
We’re on the Web!
Seminars we’ve taken.
Since I want to make a difference in your lives and that of your children, I’m constantly trying to keep up with the latest developments in healing practices and new discoveries in the area of alternative holistic medicine. To that end, I have attended the following seminars and conferences over the last several months:
· NeuroIntegration therapy– Level 2 training
· International College of Applied Kinesiology Annual Meeting 2010
· Doctor of the Future – The Practice of Rational Intervention
· NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis of Andropause
· Metabolic Biotransformation: an overview of detoxification and weight management
· Restoring Gastrointestinal Health
· Practical Blood Chemistry
· Functional Neurology for the Primary Care Provider
· Neurotransmitters and Brain
· Applied Brain Concepts
· The Thyroid-Brain–Immuno Connection
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Female Hormones in Menopausal Women
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Hormones in Cycling Women
· The Impacts of Estrogen on the NeuroEndocrine-Immune Axis
· Restorative Endocrinology: Balancing Male Hormones
· Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics for Addictions and OCD
Some patients have asked about previous newsletters and they can be found on our website at http://www.jamiesonhealthcenter.com/archive.htm
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