Tag Archives: sleep

Why Can’t I Fall Asleep?

Insomnia can be one of the most frustrating conditions to deal with. And while not all cases of sleep disturbances fall under this overused and often incorrectly utilized label, when you are sleep deprived you know it, and end up suffering on numerous physiologic fronts far beyond simply feeling tired.

But why does this happen?

How can we fix it?

Unfortunately there are plenty of reasons why our sleep cycle can be thrown off, ranging from diet and stress to outright neurological dysfunction. However, if we utilize our knowledge of physiology and start with a least invasive approach, we can start the balling rolling in the right direction.

We first need to understand and appreciate our body’s natural 24 hour cycle. This is called the circadian rhythm and is our built in sleep-wake cycle. This cycle is heavily contingent upon the inverse relationship between two chemicals: melatonin and cortisol.

Our adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to stress (chemical, physical and emotional) in order to provide our body with energy to deal with that stress. The adrenals and thus the release of cortisol can be set into overdrive when we are stressed or from constant blood sugar swings. This is important to grasp as cortisol has an inverse relationship with melatonin and is a driver behind the wake portion of our circadian rhythm. This means that when cortisol is elevated, melatonin and thus your ability to sleep is down.

Melatonin on the other hand drives the sleep portion of our 24 hour cycle. When all is functioning properly, our melatonin level rises throughout the day (as cortisol is dropping), ultimately culminating in its peak in the later evening, sending us off to a refreshing slumber. During the evening our melatonin level begins to drop as our cortisol levels begin to rise in response to our lower blood sugar during the mini fast that takes place when we sleep.

Cortisol then peaks in the morning (while melatonin level bottoms out) providing us with wide eyed energy for the day. As the day goes on cortisol level slowly dips and melatonin rises, and we repeat the cycle all over again.

Does this picture of perfect balance and physiological harmony sound like you?

If it doesn’t, you’re not alone as adrenal dysfunction is overwhelmingly common in contemporary lifestyles filled with poor diets and high stress.

Again, starting with a least invasive, general approach, there are things you can do in an attempt to recalibrate your circadian rhythm. The first thing you can do is to start your day out with 10-15 minutes of sun exposure. This exposure to natural light will signal the body that it is day time and lead to increased production of serotonin, which is the reason people tend to feel happier with higher levels of sunlight.

Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin and thus the more serotonin, the more potential melatonin that can be produced. This is why people who are suffering from depression due to a lack of serotonin also tend to have issues sleeping.

In addition to the sun exposure, you can also make sure to provide fuel for serotonin by consuming the amino acid tryptophan as this is the precursor to serotonin. In order to boost the likelihood of this conversion, adequate amounts of magnesium and vitamin B6 are also necessary.

Taking this step can start you on your way to more serotonin, more melatonin, and hopefully more sleep. However, there are some common pitfalls that hinder the pathway from serotonin to melatonin. One of the last steps in this conversion is called methylation. Potential attenuators of the methylation process include a junk food diet (high carb/sugar), birth control pills, hormone replacement therapies, and the bacterial gut infection, H. pylori. Working with a qualified health care provider to identify and rectify each of these situations is a must when attempting to correct that 24 hour cycle.

By far the most common cause of low melatonin is the aforementioned high cortisol. When one of these is up, the other is down. The most common cause of abnormal cortisol is dysglycemia or blood sugar issues. We have covered the causes of this extensively in past posts and it truly is a deal beaker when it comes to ALL aspects of health and longevity. Other than modifying the diet, having fasting insulin and HbA1c levels monitored can point you in the right direction.

A regular recharge by the way of natural, refreshing sleep is another vital pillar to optimal living and longevity.

Use this information.

Contact us for a consult.

Dig deeper.

Do what you have to do to ensure you are stacking the deck in your favor as much as possible in order to live this one and only life to the fullest.

Flu Shot???

With all of the information out there, the possibilities for the first “real” post were endless. However, I decided to go with something that has been in the headlines quite frequently these days and is always the subject of constant controversy and debate. It is something that pertains to each and every one of us as we all have the desire to remain healthy and feel good. The topic I am referring to is the infamous flu shot and whether or not to take part in the injecting of the masses.

First let’s look at your choices. In this country, for the moment, you still have the right to refuse the vaccine. Although if you’ve clicked on any of the recent headlines that pop-up on your computer screen, you’ve seen that people are beginning to lose their jobs due to refusing vaccination. Your other two choices are to receive an injection (the Flu Shot) of an inactivated or “killed” influenza virus or utilize a nasal spray which contains a live, but weakened influenza virus, sprayed directly into your nostrils. The concept behind the vaccine is that the virus contains these things called ‘antigens.’ When antigens are detected, a properly functioning immune system will respond by creating anti-bodies to combat the foreign invader. The idea is that if you happen to come across that identical viral strand, you should be protected due to the fact that you were previously armed with specific antibodies by the vaccine. You usually do not contract the flu virus from the vaccination, because it is supposed to be deactivated by nutritious substances like formaldehyde, therefore creating an immune response, but not an outright infection.

Unfortunately the flu virus is one that is constantly mutating and the viruses used in the vaccinations are predictions based upon data compiled by the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control. It is at best, a guess based on trending viruses and past successes. Even further, the CDC makes no denial that you can still actually still contract the flu. This isn’t just due to being infected with a strand that it isn’t included in the vaccine, but actually still contract the flu from the identical strand featured in the vaccine. Even further, The Lancet (a general medical journal) recently published a study noting actual prevention of influenza in 1.5 for every 100 people vaccinated. That is a 1.5% chance that the vaccine will actually work in its “intended” manner. In comparison, the same study illuminated that with the concoction of toxic chemicals used in the vaccines, the likelihood of serious neurological side effects occurring is 7.5%. By these numbers, that would make you 500 times more likely to be harmed than helped by the vaccine.

Another issue with the influenza vaccine and other vaccines is that there are no long term studies done on them. A recent Natural News article presented an interesting perspective: “Vaccines are considered “effective” if they merely prevent the flu. But what if they also cause a 50% increase in Alzheimer’s two decades later? Is that still a “success?” If you’re a drug manufacturer it is, because you can make money on the vaccine and then later on the Alzheimer’s pills, too. That’s probably why neither the CDC nor the FDA ever conducts long-term testing of influenza vaccines.”

If you’re already convinced that you need/want the flu vaccination, you should know exactly what else you are putting into your body. Despite many tireless searches on the CDC website to uncover the exact ingredients contained in the latest flu shots, they only make mention of a few common characters that appear in vaccines.

Aluminum

Why? Per the CDC, it is “To promote an earlier, more potent response.”

The Hazard they do not tell you about is it: Amplifies the toxicity of Mercury. Has been linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Anti-biotics

Why? Per the CDC: “To prevent the growth of germs/bacteria during the production and storage of the vaccine.”

Hazard: Anti-biotics do not discriminate. They destroy all bacteria, good and bad within your body. It is essential to cohabitate with a healthy population of intestinal bacteria also known as flora (pro-biotics). These bacteria line your gut and allow for proper digestion, absorption of nutrients and protection against entrance of foreign invaders. While the anti-body-antigen combination described above is crucial in the make-up of you immune system, it only compromises about 30% of your immune system. The other 70% is made up of your flora. So by taking a vaccine or any anti-biotic for that matter you are automatically wiping out 70% of your immune system.

Formaldehyde

Why? “To kill viruses and bacteria that may contaminate the vaccine during production.” – CDC

Hazard: This is the same well known carcinogen (cancer causer) that is used to embalm corpses. It has been linked to blindness, brain damage, seizures, liver damage, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive deformations, respiratory distress and cancer. Recent studies have shown that on occasion formaldehyde actually fails to deactivate the virus in the vaccine, leading to an actual injection and infection with a live virus. Opps.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Why? “To stabilize the vaccine” – CDC

Hazard: This substance is well known to be toxic to your nervous system; the nervous system that includes your brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves; the same nervous system that governs pretty much every function in your body. We are talking about voluntarily poisoning it and opening the door for a multitude of disorders and brain damage.

Thimerosal (mercury containing preservative)

Why? “Used on vials that contain more than one dose to prevent contamination or bacterial growth”
– CDC

Hazard: In as far back as 2003 the government published a report acknowledging a direct link between vaccines containing thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders in children, mainly autism. There is no safe limit of mercury exposure due to the fact that mercury accumulates in your body when you are exposed to it. Small doses add up to accumulated, toxic amounts.
While many vaccines claim to be “preservative” free, the flu vaccine is not one of them. The use of mercury is needed to continue to produce the mass quantities of the vaccine at a favorable price as well as prevent contamination in vaccine doses that contain more than one strand. This year’s flu vaccine is tri-valent, meaning it contains 3 different strands.

As with all posts, the intention here is to provide information to be used at your discretion. Once provided with the information and knowledge, you can become empowered to make an educated choice based upon your own personal belief systems and the information presented before you. Can the flu shot prevent the flu in some people? Maybe. Does everyone that is exposed to the accompanying ingredients demonstrate immediate symptoms? No. Do these ingredients increase the likelihood of serious, life altering conditions in the future? More and more research points to yes. So it comes down to a probable cost vs. a statistically unlikely benefit analysis. If you do choose to forego the flu vaccine, it is all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition, supplementation, sleep, exercise, hydration and chiropractic care in order to optimize the functionality of your immune system. More on how to do that to come in the future…

Good luck out there….

References:

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099%2811%2970295-X/abstract
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm
http://www.naturalnews.com/038420_flu_shots_toxins_chemical_preservatives.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/036748_thimerosal_vaccines_neurological_disorders.html