Functional medicine for sleep disorders aims to address the underlying health issues causing your insomnia, rather than masking them with medications. It also seeks to reduce chronic symptoms, instil healthy lifestyle habits and enhance overall wellbeing.
Sleep plays a crucial role in our bodies, from mental health to hormone levels and immunity. To stay energetic throughout the day, it’s important to get enough shut-eye at night.
Sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing, yet when we don’t get enough of it, the consequences can be dire. Not getting enough shut-eye can have detrimental effects on our moods, energy levels, mental clarity – as well as making us more susceptible to illness and disease.
If you suffer from a sleep disorder, functional medicine suggests making lifestyle adjustments as part of the treatment process. These modifications can help restore healthy sleeping patterns, lower the risk of chronic diseases and enhance overall wellbeing.
Regularly practicing relaxation techniques is a proven way to promote restful sleep. Yoga, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation have all been linked to reduced stress levels, increased energy levels and prepared bodies for sleep.
Other techniques to help you relax include hypnosis and biofeedback, which use sensors to monitor your breathing, heart rate and muscle tension. These practices can teach you how to identify the triggers that prevent you from getting adequate rest at night and replace them with healthier habits.
Your doctor may also suggest medications to aid in sleeping. These could include over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids like melatonin, drowsiness-reducing drugs, and antidepressants.
These medications may help promote restful sleep if taken temporarily while you establish a good routine. It’s wise to consult your physician prior to beginning their use.
It’s best to avoid late meals within two hours of bedtime and caffeinated drinks at least eight hours prior to going to sleep. Alcohol and nicotine are both stimulants, so limit them accordingly.
If your sleep disorders are due to emotional health, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) could be the solution. CBT is a form of counselling that aims to improve your sleep by altering how you think and behave before going to bed. Additionally, CBT can assist in managing stress, anxiety and other emotional issues that might disrupt sleep patterns.
A sleep study can be beneficial if the cause of your insomnia is uncertain or there’s other evidence of a sleep disorder. This can be done in a laboratory setting or at home using polysomnography, which records brain waves, breathing patterns and eye movements while you sleep.
If you are having difficulty sleeping, it is essential to visit a healthcare provider who can accurately diagnose the source of your issue and offer treatment options. Functional medicine practitioners take into account all potential causes of insomnia and work towards finding solutions to restore healthy rest patterns.
Sleep is essential for our physical and psychological wellbeing. Lack of shut-eye can lead to serious medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and a diminished quality of life.
Insomnia is often linked to chronic health conditions and can be a symptom of either an existing medical issue or psychiatric disorder. It may also be caused by medications or non-prescription drugs like alcohol or caffeine.
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a disorder in which the airway collapses during sleep. It’s more common among overweight individuals and can be treated with CPAP machines or lifestyle changes like losing weight, having surgery or changing lifestyle habits.
Another common sleep disorder is narcolepsy, which manifests itself when individuals experience frequent night-time naps and REM sleep. This condition can be diagnosed through a sleep lab or home sleep tests and treated with medication.
Insomnia is often linked with Down syndrome (DS), and it can be a major concern for parents and their children alike. Not enough sleep can have detrimental effects on a child’s ability to learn and communicate effectively, placing an immense burden on parents and caregivers.
Insomnia can lead to sleep deprivation, which has detrimental effects on quality of life and may even lead to other medical conditions like asthma, bronchitis, heart disease or high blood pressure. Furthermore, it increases the likelihood of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Furthermore, chronic sleep deprivation has been linked with cancer development.
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most successful treatments for sleep disorders. This method involves altering dysfunctional thoughts about sleeping, resolving emotional issues that are causing issues and changing lifestyle habits that interfere with regular sleeping patterns.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most extensively researched forms of treatment and has been proven to improve sleep for those suffering from various conditions, such as anxiety or depression. CBT can also be employed to address narcolepsy and other sleep-related disorders.
Sleep therapy can be a quick and efficient way to improve sleep in the short term, especially for those who do not wish to take psychotropic medications. Plus, it’s often more affordable than other forms of therapy and results typically show after five or 20 sessions.
Your therapist may require you to keep a sleep diary during treatment in order to identify and address specific problems. With this data, they can decide the most beneficial course of action for you.
Your clinician will also work with you to enhance relaxation skills and make lifestyle adjustments to promote better sleep. They may suggest meditation, deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation techniques as effective ways of relieving tension.
These techniques help to relax both your body and mind, enabling you to fall asleep quickly. They may even aid in maintaining sleep once you’re in bed.
In addition to practicing relaxation skills and addressing underlying emotional issues, functional medicine can also help prevent insomnia from beginning in the first place. This includes abstaining from stress-inducing foods like alcohol or caffeine before bedtime and altering your sleeping patterns so you don’t have to go to bed at the same time every night.
Additionally, taking vitamin D can reduce your risk of developing other sleep-related conditions like narcolepsy and sleep apnoea by correcting underlying health issues. These may include diabetes, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances and low levels of vitamin D in your system.
Functional medicine practitioners use the most up-to-date scientific research to analyse your lifestyle and identify any factors preventing you from getting adequate sleep each night. They then create a tailored plan to help eliminate these disruptions from disrupting your rest.
Prescription sleeping tablets
Insomnia is a worldwide issue, impacting millions of people. It can cause reduced productivity, irritability and difficulty sleeping, as well as issues with memory and concentration. Fortunately, there are treatments available to help address this condition.
Over-the-counter sleep aids, like melatonin supplements or valerian extracts, offer a cost-effective and accessible solution. Furthermore, these nontoxic treatments have been known to be effective for mild cases of insomnia.
If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition caused by breathing pauses during sleep, your healthcare provider may suggest taking an oral medication called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). This medication helps keep the airways open so there’s no collapsed airway that could wake you up at night.
Older generation prescription medications that were once commonly prescribed to treat insomnia include benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). While these can help you sleep, they may also cause side effects like drowsiness or a hangover-like feeling the next morning.
Prescription sleeping tablets work differently and have fewer side effects than benzodiazepines, as they’re sedative-hypnotics — meaning they reduce the average time to fall asleep and increase total sleep duration.
Unfortunately, many of these pills can have serious side effects and be addictive. That is why it is essential to only take them when you truly need them for sleep – otherwise, potential addiction could develop quickly.
Orexin receptor antagonists (ORAs), a new class of sleep medication, work by blocking natural chemicals in the brain that signal when to go to bed. These drugs are less habit forming than older-generation benzodiazepine sleeping pills and can be taken right before bedtime to assist with falling asleep faster.
When taking a prescription sleeping pill, it’s essential to use the lowest effective dose. Too much of these drugs may cause drowsiness, daytime grogginess and an increased risk of falling; thus, consulting your doctor about an appropriate dosage before beginning use is recommended.
To improve your sleep quality and quantity, it’s best to make lifestyle and nutritional adjustments. Functional medicine practitioners can assess your diet, sleep hygiene and nutrient intake in order to identify imbalances that could be contributing to sleep disorders. They then create a personalized protocol of lifestyle and nutritional changes designed specifically to address those problems.