How many times have you or someone you know say, “I’m so tired, I did not sleep well (or at all) last night? If that’s a complaint that sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. In fact, millions of Americans are right up there with you.
According to www.sleepeducation.org:
- 30% - 35% of Americans have “brief” symptoms of insomnia;
- 15% - 20% have a short-term (< 3 weeks) insomnia disorder; and
- 10% have a chronic (> 3 times per week for > 3 months) insomnia disorder.
Common symptoms of insomnia include:
• Inability to focus or concentrate
• Poor memory
• Mood disturbance
• Daytime sleepiness
• Low motivation or energy
• Increased errors or accidents
Further more, “Studies of epigenetic modifications of cellular DNA expression indicate sleeping less than 7 to 8 hours a day (or night) cause changes in DNA expression that predispose us to diabetes, and cardio-vascular disease, amongst other common chronic disease processes.” – Trip Goolsby, MD
So, what to do? A few unconventional, but effective, options recommended by Infinite Health Integrative Medicine Center include:
- Brainwave Entrainment
Brainwave entrainment is a method used to stimulate the brain to enter into a desired brainwave frequency state by using pulsing sounds, lights, or the electromagnetic field. The pulses cause the brain’s ‘frequency following’ response to align with that of the desired state.
There are five main brainwave states: Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, and Gamma.
When we are awake, active working, problem solving, etc., our brain is in the Beta frequency. When we are in a sate of relaxation or light sleep our brain goes into the Alpha frequency. Theta is the frequency that allows the body to repair and heal itself, and when we are in deep sleep our brain is in the Delta frequency, which is the frequency that enhances immune system integrity.
A great resource for learning more about the benefits of brainwave entrainment, as well as one of the brainwave entrainment product lines Infinite Health recommends is EquiSync (www.eocinstitute.org). Equisync’s sound technology is both pleasant and easy to use. At last check the company was offering a free demo.
I am an avid proponent of holding a mantra specifically for the purpose of quieting my mind in order to fall asleep. When the monkey in my mind is running rampant frenetically searching the databanks for solutions to this issue and improving that thing, a mantra is like giving that monkey a banana. It is a focal point that is easy and each time the mind wanders, the mantra brings it back to center, so to speak.
Personally, I like to use “Thank you” as my mantra. As I am laying in bed, finally growing weary of mentally trying to fix things, I mentally speak “Thank you” on the inhale of my breath and “Thank you” on the exhale of my breath over and over and over again until I eventually drift off to sleep. Each time my monkey mind becomes distracted, when I realize that, I simply, without judgment, begin the mantra again.
- Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Frequently overlooked is the vital role optimized hormones play in achieving quality sleep for both men and women. Imbalances in melatonin (a hormone produced by the pineal gland and contributed to the regulation of sleep and wakefulness), thyroid, testosterone, estrogen (which helps move magnesium into tissues, which is critical for synthesizing important sleep neurotransmitters, such as melatonin), progesterone, cortisol, and growth hormones can all cause sleep disorders.
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), are hormones that are biologically identical to those your body produces, and are not to be confused with conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT). BHRT is effective for treating insomnia by balancing and optimizing those previously mentioned hormones, such as melatonin, estrogen, progesterone, and/or testosterone levels, etc.
BHRT may be delivered into the system via injections, pellets, and topically. The efficacy of each delivery method varies, and so it is important to partner with a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable, understands the importance of precision-medicine (as opposed to a cookie-cutter approach), and who closely and consistently monitors labs to ensure effective dosing for optimized results.