If there is one thing we can wish for all of our patients it is a good nights sleep.
Sleep is necessary to keep us alive, healthy,happy, pain free, intelligent and sane! It is a time of regeneration, growth and repair for body, mind and spirit.
How much sleep is enough sleep?
- Babies: 14 hours
- 5-year-old: 12 hours
- Adult: 7-9 hours on a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle
- Adult over 65: 5-7 hours, often a nap is necessary to reach 7 hours
What happens at night?
Four stages of non-REM sleep and REM sleep occur throughout the night, approximately 5 cycles each night.
Hormones produced at night: Melatonin & Growth Hormone
Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland; it is a critical component of the natural biorhythm of hormone(link to hormone balance) secretion. Melatonin release increases with darkness and decreases with the light. Melatonin suppresses cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone our bodies secrete during the daytime to keep us active, alert and responding to stress.
Growth Hormone allows our bodies to repair and restore as we sleep. It raises blood glucose, decreases fat storage and promotes accumulation of muscle protein; overall, promoting lean body mass.
Types of sleep disorders & common contributing factors
- Sleep Onset Insomnia: Anxiety, tension, depression, environmental or time changes, excitement, fear, phobia, noise, pain, caffeine, marijuana, medications, oral contraceptives, beta-blockers, thyroid disturbance, narcolepsy.
- Sleep-maintenance Insomnia: Depression, environmental or time changes, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, hypoglycemia, pain, drugs, alcohol, young children, frequent urination.
What can be done?
The most important approach is to treat the underlying causes of sleep disorders and insomnia.
For most of us with sleep problems, we need professional guidance. We feel we have tried everything and still cannot sleep.
North Coast Family Health can help. Our naturopathic doctors successfully treat patients with sleep disorders. We will help you find the cause and work on truly healing your whole life beginning with sleep.