How to Get to Sleep and Stay Asleep

Trouble sleeping, anxiety and sleep, insomnia, depression and insomnia, hormonal imbalance, cortisol, acupuncture for insomnia, supplements for sleep

One of the worst things about being in a constant state of overwhelm is that sometimes it’s hard to fall asleep, and even when you do, staying asleep can be daunting.

Some of my patients experience the feeling that they “should be” doing so much more. At the same time, they feel like they can’t handle everything that life throws at them, creating a sense of anxiety.

Anxiety and overwhelm disrupt otherwise “normal” sleep patterns, which causes exhaustion, depression, and ultimately, overwhelm and anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle, and I’ll tell you why.

Did you know that people with depression also commonly experience insomnia?

Sleep disruptions can cause hormonal imbalances which contribute to symptoms of depression. For instance, if at night you feel “tired but wired,” you might have difficulty falling asleep. This is because when you are anxious, overwhelmed, or depressed, your neural pathways block your body from naturally producing serotonin, GABA, and melatonin – the hormones that help you relax, feel calm and fall asleep.

In addition, anxiety and depression create an overload of cortisol, a stress hormone, which causes you to wake up in the middle of the night worrying about things that you wish would wait until morning.

Depression causes hormonal imbalances that interrupt sleep. But disrupted sleep also causes depression. So what can you do?

I will tell you, like I tell my patients, there is good news! I offer a number of modalities that can help you get to sleep and stay asleep – naturally combating the cycle of sleep disruption and anxiety/depression.

So where to begin?

Schedule an appointment. If you have chronic insomnia and haven’t found relief from traditional medical doctors, I can help. An underlying condition may interfere with your sleep, and I can help you get to the root of it.

Try acupuncture. Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of imbalances, including insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a complete, professional medical system that has been continuously practiced in China for over 3,000 years. Acupuncture utilizes fine, sterile needles inserted at specific points called acupressure points to rebalance the flow of energy and naturally heal the body.

Consider taking supplements. There are a number of supplements that can help to improve sleep, such as magnesium, melatonin, L-theanine, magnolia bark, CBD to name a few. It really depends on what your needs are… trouble falling asleep…trouble staying asleep…or both.  Magnesium, melatonin, CBD are usually great at helping you fall asleep while theanine, magnolia bark and CBD can be good for trouble staying asleep.

In addition to the above options, there are some things you can do to improve your sleep habits on your own. Don’t forget to:

  1. Practice good sleep hygiene. Have a consistent bedtime routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Make sure your room is cool, quiet, and dark. Put all electronics away.
  2. Move to burn off excess energy. Exercise can help to improve sleep quality. It increases serotonin, decreases cortisol, and decreases adrenaline. Just remember not to exercise too close to bedtime, as this can make it difficult to fall asleep.
  3. Give your eyes sunshine in the morning. This will help to regulate your circadian rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep at night.
  4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  5. Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

Sleep is essential for good mental health. When we don’t get enough sleep, we are more likely to experience mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. We are also more likely to have difficulty concentrating and making decisions. I help patients get to the root of their symptoms by offering a complimentary 15-minute consultation for new patients. If you have questions about sleep and how it relates to mental health, please schedule with me here.

Posted in Acupuncture, Anxiety, blog, Depression, Herbal Supplements, Hormone, mental health, Natural Medicine, Sleep, Stress & Adrenal Health Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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