Having good sleeping habits is a very big part of health. Yet over 60% of the adult population suffers from insomnia. I think it’s time to shed a little light on this dark subject and show just how insomnia can affect everything we do. Knowing there’s always an action and reaction in the body when it’s experiencing inflammation we can actually see the relationship between obesity, depression, weight gain, heart disease, endocrine disruption, Alzheimer’s, insulin resistance and insomnia. When we don’t sleep well, it’s like crossing our fingers when driving through a red light.
The brain is the most important organ in our body. Every thought and action we have is controlled by our brain. Then the question is, “why do we refuse to add years to our life and let it work it’s ‘magical process’ at night?” Yes, sleep is a restorative process. Nothing shuts down when we sleep.
If you’re like most you may feel like you never get enough sleep, or you could sleep nine plus hours a night? Always a little tired or groggy? Or do you wake up at 2 am and can’t go back to sleep? This can be your wakeup call, that something’s awry!
When we sleep there are ‘tiny elves’ in our elimination system working round the clock.
*Sleep is not a passive event but rather an active ‘volleyball tournament‘ involving characteristic physiological changes in the organs of the body.
*The liver is usually detoxing at 2 am. In addition the kidneys and liver rebuild at night, when we sleep.
*Every system in the body including the brain eliminates toxins.
*When the elimination system is impaired~we have weight gain, insomnia and disease. (And maybe a few dead elves)
Taking a sleeping pill is a quick fix, but never the answer. We can end up increasing our toxic load, risking disease, addiction and unwanted weight gain.
Why Weight Gain with Insomnia?
When we don’t sleep well ~the body holds onto toxins and weight. The elimination systems are thrown out of balance and gut bacteria is disrupted. As a result one may experience constipation and/or skin issues. “Serotonin is found in the gut and the brain and regulates a wide variety of brain functions and behaviors such as circadian rhythms to assisting the hormone leptin.”(9)
Sleep balances leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that send signals to start and stop eating. Hunger cues are thrown off track when we don’t get enough sleep.
With chronic insomnia, the body experiences cravings. When using the computer late at night, we increase cravings and deplete vitamin D levels. Increasing cravings can lead to weight gain ‘and some gremlins destroying our kitchen’.
Stress is linked to weight gain and insomnia.
Stress and insomnia are best buddies. Stress disrupts our gut microbiome. (good bacteria) Prolonged stress impact the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland impacts sleep function. High cortisol levels in the evening are linked to insomnia.(3)
The best advise when stressed throughout the day is, don’t take it to bed with you at night.
Add exercise to your day. Your gut and brain will thank you.
Drinking alcohol, thinking that glass of wine will relax us before bed has the opposite effect on our cortisol levels. Alcohol keeps us awake.(8)
Immune system consequences when we don’t sleep.
The brain has an immune system that is connected to the body’s immune system. 80% of the immune system is found in the gut. There is significant interaction between sleep and the immune system, (or systems) and “restorative” sleep is needed to maintain good gut and brain immunity.
The catch 22?
Without good immunity we can suffer sleep depravation. “Chronic sleep deprivation might be linked to cause a increased mortality rate.” (1)
Metabolic and Endocrine consequences when we don’t sleep.
Insomnia plays ‘the wicked witch’ when it comes to the metabolic and endocrine systems. “We may suffer from uncontrolled hypertension and find it difficult to control blood sugar.” This reaction “affects our gut bacteria and immunity. Along the same lines, data from epidemiological and experimental studies have pointed toward an association between sleep deprivation and the development of serious metabolic and endocrine consequences, particularly diabetes.”(1)
“Insomnia is linked to the development of glucose intolerance and hypertension.”(1) Insulin resistance can lead into to Alzheimer’s.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals linked to insomnia.
Considerable research has linked endocrine dysfunction and sleep dysfunction as ‘toxic family members.’(4)
Endocrine disrupting chemicals disrupt hormone levels, and can keep us sick, fat and depressed.
Depression is associated with insomnia. This is another issue powerfully connected to the way the body acts and reacts when exposed to toxins. Depression is another avenue towards unwanted weight gain and obesity and increases if taking an antidepressant.
Our sex hormones influences circadian function. When we have depleted testosterone we can equally have a disrupted sleep cycle. What disrupts testosterone levels, is a high sugar diet.
Obesity leads to insomnia. Sugar is ‘the evil stepmother’ tempting us as she plays her roll in the endocrine disrupting process. Endocrine disrupting chemicals are linked to obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.(2)
Excessive consumption of sugar, is a culprit of cardiovascular disease.
Mercury alters brain and body fluid and is an endocrine disruptor. It’s the ‘silly putty’ in fish, high fructose corn syrup and dental fillings. “Mercury in all forms poisons cellular function. In addition to brain disruption, metallic mercury is also deposited in the thyroid, breast, adrenals, liver, kidneys, skin, sweat glands, pancreas, lungs, salivary glands, and prostate.” (7) Mercury disrupts all elimination cycles.
Statins are one of the many medications ‘with a tooth fairy on the side’ that can interrupt hormone levels and cause insomnia. Insomnia was reported with a higher frequency for statins.(5)
“A morning cup of sadness.” (as quoted by Jon Stewart) is an endocrine disruptor. Coffee adds to an acidic gut environment disrupts microbiome as well as the immune system and adrenal glands.
And forget about that cake you bought yesterday. Gluten has a negative effect the nervous system, immune system, digestive system and gut bacteria and therefore effects the brain cells. Gluten also adds to an acid internal environment.
If you find your daily lifestyle includes an abundance of toxins and chronic insomnia it may be time to ask for some help. Learn how you can get your circadian rhythms back to normal. Connect with me today.
Learn how to make a ‘v line’ for change. A good nights sleep is linked to the health of our pineal gland and both metabolic and endocrine systems.(6) Reduced sleeping time has a direct link to a foggy brain, premature aging, Alzheimer’s, weight gain, how you handle stress, heart disease, obesity and a toxic overload.
Author: Connie Rogers Integrative Nutritional Holistic Health Coach at bitesizepieces.net
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