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Sleep

Sleep 
Delving into upstream biochemistry of sleep disruption.

There is so much involved in the quality of the sleep that we get, and when sleep goes offline, the downstream effects on the quality of our lives can be devastating.  

 

To me however, trouble with sleep is a downstream SYMPTOM, of an upstream problem, and to reset the natural sleep rythum of the body, we need to look beyond the obvious into the why. Understanding what is driving a lack of rest in the body and brain is important if we are to restore the body's ability to align all the underlying processes associated with quality, restorative sleep, naturally. 

Quality sleep involves a complex interplay of biochemical processes in the body. Some key biochemical factors that contribute to good sleep include:

  • Melatonin Production: Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in response to darkness. It helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle by promoting drowsiness and lowering body temperature. Melatonin production is influenced by exposure to light, with levels typically rising in the evening and declining in the morning.

  • Neurotransmitters: Various neurotransmitters play a role in sleep regulation. For example, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and sleep by reducing neuronal activity in the brain. Serotonin is another neurotransmitter involved in sleep, mood, and appetite regulation.

  • Adenosine: Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that accumulates in the brain throughout the day and promotes sleepiness. Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors, which can interfere with sleep.

  • Cortisol: Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that follows a diurnal rhythm, peaking in the morning and declining throughout the day. Elevated cortisol levels, particularly in the evening, can interfere with sleep onset and maintenance.

  • Body Temperature: Body temperature regulation is closely linked to sleep. Core body temperature naturally decreases in the evening, signaling the body that it's time to sleep. Disruptions in this temperature regulation can affect sleep quality.

  • Inflammatory Markers: Inflammation in the body can affect sleep quality and duration. Elevated levels of inflammatory markers, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), have been associated with sleep disturbances.

  • Hormonal Regulation: Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid hormones can influence sleep patterns. Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as those that occur during menstrual cycles or menopause, may affect sleep quality in women.

  • Nutrient Availability: Adequate levels of certain nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins, are essential for promoting relaxation and maintaining healthy sleep-wake cycles.

  • Stress Response: Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in response to stress can disrupt sleep by increasing arousal and alertness. Chronic stress and elevated levels of stress hormones like cortisol can contribute to insomnia and other sleep disorders.

 

Beyond these biochemical processes that interact with a myriad of environmental factors, lifestyle factors, and individual experiences of sleep, we also want to understand what the body is trying to accomplish, what is missing, and what needs to be addressed physiologically, biochemically and psychologically, to enable the body reset its own sleep rhythm, naturally.

At the clinic we believe that the body is always trying to be well, and when things go offline there is always a reason. We use nutrition, energy medicine (frequency specific microcurrent) and somatic psyche work to get to the bottom of sleep issues. 

There is always a reason, when we understand it and work at the causative level, sleep restoration becomes part of a natural return to a healthful state. 

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