Natural Treatments for Insomnia: Goodbye Sleeping Pills!
If you wake up every day feeling exhausted, then we can help. Refreshing sleep is essential for good health. Although occasional sleep problems are normal, chronic sleep loss can significantly diminish the quality of your life and may contribute to health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, impaired learning and memory, mood disorders, anxiety, and cardiovascular issues. Sleep problems can also lead to chronic disease by weakening your immune system. Many people do not want to depend on sleeping pills for regular sleep. At Progressive, we provide natural solutions that quickly improve your sleep without pharmaceutical medications.
What is Insomnia?
If you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or do not feel refreshed upon waking, you may have insomnia. Primary insomnia generally has no known cause but may be associated with life changes and long-term emotional upset. However, most cases of insomnia are secondary, which means they are a result of another problem. Certain medical conditions, injuries, illnesses, medications, psychiatric disorders, environmental substances, and sleep disorders can cause secondary insomnia. Both types of insomnia may be short-term, lasting only a few weeks, or may be chronic, lasting for months or years.
Chronic insomnia can have profound effects on health, productivity, and safety. In fact, sleep loss can cause lapses in alertness leading to mistakes, such as medical errors, and traffic and work accidents. Insomnia can also worsen other medical conditions, such as chronic pain and inflammation. Although many people know how it feels to lose sleep a few nights in a row, they may not know of the effective and natural treatments available for insomnia.
If you also struggle with depression, we can help! Please see our Natural Treatments for Depression page.
What Causes Insomnia?
Short-term insomnia is often associated with how we handle stress in our life. Stressful situations at work or home can create a state where we are unable to “shut off” our minds at night, so we think or worry about things instead of relaxing into our nighttime sleep. Psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, and tension are a root cause of about 50% of insomnia, however, dietary and lifestyle factors can play a major role. Poor food choices and impaired digestion can significantly affect our sleep and prevent our body’s ability to make the necessary hormones and brain chemicals that are associated with healthy sleep. Chronic insomnia may be a result of a known or unknown medical condition. No matter what type of insomnia you have, at Progressive, our doctors listen to you, learn about your health and lifestyle history, and identify the root cause of your insomnia.
Our Integrative Approach to Treating Insomnia
Since your insomnia may be caused by many factors, our doctors go beyond conventional thinking and use cutting-edge laboratory testing to pinpoint exactly why your body has trouble with sleep. These may include food sensitivity, neurotransmitter, or gastrointestinal function tests. At Progressive, we look closely at dietary and lifestyle choices that may be contributing to your condition and rule out other sleep disorders. We support a comprehensive approach to improving both the quantity and quality of your daily sleep and integrate science-based, natural treatments. Our approach is often more effective than pharmaceutical sleep aids, which come with their own set of negative side effects.
Natural Treatments for Insomnia
Once our team of doctors understands your health history and your lab results, they design an individualized treatment plan to prepare your body for healthier sleep patterns.
Natural treatments for insomnia may include:
- Diet and Nutrition – It is important to consume healthy, whole foods rich in nutrients that support sleep. Amino acids, B vitamins and vitamin D are important brain chemicals that you get from eating healthy foods. Further, some foods you currently eat or drink, or the timing of your meals, may be contributing to your insomnia. At Progressive Medical Center, our sophisticated testing can uncover your specific nutrient deficiencies as well as measure your brain chemicals. Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for healthy sleep. Serotonin and GABA are key brain chemicals that help you with restful sleep. With information about your levels of magnesium, serotonin, and GABA, your doctor can use diet and nutrient supplements to restore your brain chemistry so that you can sleep better.
- Digestive Support – Your intestinal tract is home to the enteric nervous system, also known as our “second brain.” This is where many of your brain chemicals are produced. In fact, 95% of serotonin is produced in your intestinal tract. Low serotonin is linked to insomnia. Therefore, we support your digestive system to optimize your brain health. Your digestive system must be in good working order to help you digest and absorb the particular nutrients from your food that promote relaxation and sleep.
- Hormones – Insomnia may be a sign that your hormones are out of balance. Hormones are powerful messengers in the body that control stress, growth, reproduction, and repair. Menopause, low hormone levels, or adrenal fatigue may cause sleeplessness. Stress hormones can keep you awake and prevent you from relaxing. Your levels of melatonin, a hormone associated with healthy sleep cycles, may be low, making it hard to fall asleep. We can test and balance your hormones to help you feel rested every time you wake up.
- Acupuncture – If your sleep is habitually disturbed it can be very damaging to the vital energy of your body. This can disrupt function, including sleep. At Progressive, we offer acupuncture as an effective treatment for insomnia, since it has a calming effect on the nervous system. Acupuncture can restore balance and function to your body and improve sleep.
- Sleep Habits – Your sleep habits along with the environmental condition of your bedroom may affect your inability to sleep soundly. We evaluate how you prepare for sleep along with your bedroom set-up to ensure there are no distractions to restful sleep. Our doctors may also perform a sleep study test if necessary to rule out other conditions.
If You Want to Learn More Natural Approaches to a Restful Night’s Sleep, Call Progressive Today.
If you would like to learn more about Progressive Medical Center’s integrative approach to treating insomnia, please call us today. To schedule an appointment at one of our Atlanta-area locations, call 1-770-676-6000.