America Is Not Sleeping
Lets face it, America is not sleeping. The health of our society is on the decline. But, why? Why are 40% of American’s overweight? Stress. Unhealthy food choices. Prescription drugs. Lack of sleep. It’s all related and intertwined. According to SleepAdvisor.com, 9 million Americans take prescription drugs to help them fall asleep. This means that at least 9 million people out there are suffering with compromised digestion. Drugs effect the body reducing nerve, muscle, and organ function. There are natural things that you can have control over to help get better sleep, and I am here to share with you the causes of sleep interruptions.
Stress Robs Your Sleep
There are many causes of sleep interruptions, and stress is one of them. Americans are stressed, there’s no doubt about that. There are millions upon millions of us running around with sky rocketing cortisol levels. Stress robs your sleep leaving you with high levels of cortisol around the clock and the difficulty to loose weight and get solid sleep.
Lets chat cortisol. What is it? Cortisol is a hormone that is released from your adrenals when the body is under stress. It’s function is to repair and protect the body from stress. Stress can be mental stress, body system stress such as digestive dysfunction, and sickness stress. In a nutshell cortisol is what balances out the body when it comes under stress.
The problem with being chronically stressed, is that the adrenals are stuck in overdrive. When overdrive is in gear it’s like the body goes into train-wreck mode and can’t stop releasing cortisol. When it’s time to hit the hay at night, the body doesn’t know that it’s supposed to stop releasing cortisol. This happens when you have a hard time trying to fall asleep. If you can fall asleep easily but then wake up at night, this means that your body is on a natural cycle of being stressed and relaxed throughout the day. When two or three o’clock in the morning rolls around, your body is ready to be revved up again releasing cortisol and waking you up. It’s a vicious cycle really!
If you are among the many millions of Americans that suffer from chronic stress, it’s time to start learning and practicing self reducing/self love in your life. Head over to Building Better Mental Health During a Crisis to find great tips and practices to reduce your stress levels.
Unhealthy Eating Robs Your Sleep
Unhealthy eating habits are another huge cause of unhealthy sleeping. A sugar filled, processed and packaged diet will lead to the over production of insulin and cause the adrenals to release cortisol in order to try and save your blood sugar regulation. Unhealthy eating robs your sleep, but it also causes an unimaginable amount of stress on your digestion. Read more here on the Stress and Digestion Connection.
When you eat food, your stomach releases digestive juices and hormones to break down, absorb, and utilize the nutrients. During this process the stomach tells the pancreas to release insulin in order to transfer glucose to cells for energy. When someone is eating (or snacking) all day long, the pancreas never gets a break. The pancreas then becomes tired and worn out. The adrenals then step in to take over the job of giving the body energy. Cortisol, again, turns into overdrive and cannot turn off.
The same thing happens with unhealthy eating habits as does stress. If you are constantly eating around the clock, say every two to three hours, what do you think your body is going to want to do at two or three in the morning? Whether or not you want to wake up and eat in the middle of the night, your body is going to tell you that it wants that “sugar rush”.
Just a quick note on sugar. Just because you are not eating cakes and candy all day does not mean that you are exempt from the phrase, “I don’t eat sugar”. Potatoes, corn products, breads, they all break down to sugar/glucose in the body. Take a look at those protein bars you have everyday for breakfast. Eating Larabars? Eighteen grams of sugar in ONE bar friends, it’s too much. The adult body can only break down and utilize 25-32 grams of a sugar day.
If you think you are addicted to sugar, have a read on how Sugar Is The New Cocaine. It can help you better understand what is going on inside of the brain that won’t allow you to kick the crap. It’s addicting, there is no doubt about that.
Sleep Aids Rob Sleep
Sleep aids rob sleep. Sounds kinda like an oxymoron right? No, I typed that right, trust me. In my personal opinion, next to unhealthy eating and stress, I believe that prescription drugs are a leading cause of why America is so sick. In 2018, Americans spent $344.5 billion dollars on prescription drugs. That’s an astronomical number, yikes. Among these prescription drugs are sleep aids.
There is nothing natural or organic about prescriptions, which means the toll it takes on the inside of the body is pretty bad. The body can break up and detox out unnatural things, but only to some extent. An overload, everyday dosing of multiple drugs means the body will not be able to keep up detoxing and your organs will start to degenerate and not function properly.
Destruction of organs means what? It means that they don’t work the way they should and systems start to shut down. Brain dysfunction, immune system dysfunction, chronic inflammation, liver and heart issues, among so many more all arise from drugs. This also means that your digestive organs will be compromised. But, how does this affect sleep? Well, if you’re digestive organs are not working as they should nutrients cannot feed your cells or your brain, or your adrenals glands, in order to sleep properly.
If you struggle with falling asleep or wake up throughout the night and would like help, please reach out. There are many things you can take into your own hands to control how you sleep. Reducing stress, kicking sugar, and ditching sleep aids are a great start. But there are many more things that you can do as well! Learning how to Eating the Proper Macros and starting Intermittent Fasting are two of many other things that you can do to take control of the causes of sleep interruptions.