5 Reasons why your efforts to get your sleep back have been a waste of time, nerves and money
Today I want to talk about why you will never be able to sleep again, if you are only looking at “Sleep” as your problem.
This might sound counterintuitive because, obviously you’re not sleeping, so it would make sense to just google ‘How do I sleep again’, to buy books that tell you about sleep science, what sleep is doing. They may tell you about bedtime routine, sleep hygiene (what you can do in order to sleep better before going to bed). They might tell you about things you can even do during the day to help you sleep at night.
But I am telling you here, that that is not going to help.
If you are someone, who has had chronic sleep issues, who’s already tried pretty much everything that you can think of and you want to sleep, but you can’t, especially if you’re lying awake at night, your body is tired and yet there’s still a buzz inside that is keeping you awake then those books, articles etc will not cut it.
I’m going to tell you exactly why that is and I’m going to tell you what the five steps are that you have to take, in order to get that sleep back.
Here are the five steps:
The first thing that we’re going to talk about today are hormones. If nobody’s talked about your hormones before whenever you went to see someone to help you with your sleep, then that was their first mistake. I see that with my clients over and over again. As soon as they have a hormone imbalance, sleep is one of the first things that goes out of the window.
How do we get a hormone imbalance?
It can simply be because of our age, especially with women. We’re talking perimenopause, menopause and our cycles. But most of the time, we also have to remember that the stress hormone cortisol is a reason for hormone imbalance too and we tend to not really understand that.
A lot of the time when we talk about stress, we think it’s just what is going on in our head. The deadlines we have, the work we have, our relationships. Sometimes we also consider accidents or something similar; where we know that our body is affected. Whenever we have any of those other emotional forms of stress, even if we think they are just affecting our mind and our thoughts, they are actually affecting our body too.
Our body responds to stress by producing cortisol in order to cope and it means well, but cortisol is a catabolic hormone. It’s the hormone that brings a lot of dysfunction if it’s there for too long. If nobody has ever asked you about your hormone levels; if nobody has ever looked at how you hormones are converting inside of your body, that was their first mistake, but it’s your first step to getting back to sleep.
Hormones are crucial.
I regularly see difficulties with oestrogen and testosterone hormones that are out of whack as well as progesterone. Those are three hormones that I always look at as well as cortisol and melatonin.
2. Thyroid function
The second element that people don’t look at, and if nobody asked you that before, then they haven’t done their job, is your thyroid. 90% of my clients have an under functioning or an over functioning thyroid.
A quick disclaimer: I know a lot of clients have their thyroid checked and are told everything is fine.
Very quick side note to this. When you get your thyroid checked in a lab, the ranges are a statistic, which means that they look at numbers that people have when they go to a lab. It’s not necessarily the healthiest population that is going there though. The ranges are very often from just about not being completely sick, but it’s not the healthy range and I want you to be healthy. The ranges that I look at are much narrower than functional diagnostic medicine looks at.
If your thyroid is out of balance, sleep is one of the first things to go for many people
Number one is hormones, number two is thyroid health, and I’m talking TSH (thyroid stimulating homone), T4, T3, reverse T3 (hormones associated with the thyroid) and your antibodies.
3. Gut Health
If you see someone to help you with your sleep and they haven’t asked you about your digestion, if they haven’t asked you about food sensitivities, if they haven’t asked you whether you’re bloated all the time, whether you have problems with your stool movement, then they haven’t done their job because your gut is where your immune system is and if your immune system is inflamed, it is going to give you cortisol. It’s going to create a buzz at 2:00 AM, especially if your gut is weakened and the defences are down.
Parasites and Bacteria
Very often we have parasites and bacteria that are coming to take the place of healthy gut flora and they can create massive havoc.
I always suggest getting a parasite and bacteria check done and I reckon 70% of my clients test positive for one of those. When we eliminate the parasites or invasive bacteria, it’s not just sleep that improves but an improvement in migraines can also be seen. A range of positive benefits can be seen.
If nobody has asked you about this, they haven’t looked at sleep in a holistic manner, so it might not be a head thing. It really might be something in your gut.
The fourth element to look at is your nutrition and can be something that a lot of people have already looked at. They know that they shouldn’t eat too late. They know that they shouldn’t drink coffee or drink too much alcohol before going to bed.
But nutrition is really when someone looks at what you eat and they evaluate how your blood sugar levels are being influenced through the food you consume.
When you eat something, sugar is released into your bloodstream and depending on what the food item is; it’s going to be a quicker release or a slower release. What we want, is a slow release of blood sugar so that your insulin levels don’t spike, because the by-product of insulin is again cortisol. We don’t want to have blood sugar spike. We want a nice balanced way of giving your body energy and also prevent the production of energy in the middle of the night when it’s not needed. We don’t want your blood sugar/insulin curve to go up in the middle of the night.
Food choices are super important. Food sensitivities are also incredibly important, because if you trigger sensitivities, it’s going to create an inflammation and again it’s going to create cortisol and adrenaline spikes.
Vitamins and Minerals
It’s absolutely illusionary to think that just because you’re eating healthily, you’re going to get enough vitamins and minerals.
In an orange you have 45 milligrams of vitamin C. The RDA, which is the recommended daily allowance, is 60 milligrams. This measurement was established over 20 years ago and it was just to tell you how much you need in order not to be sick. I don’t want you just not to be sick. I really want you to be healthy and especially if you have a lot of stress going on, your body needs vitamins and minerals in order to function. Instead of 60 milligrams, recent research has shown that it’s actually around 2000 milligrams that you should get in vitamin C. You would need a gazillion of oranges, as they only have 45 milligrams.
It’s really not just what you eat; it’s also if you lack any minerals. If you lack any minerals for sleep, which is mainly magnesium that I see, but it can be whole a range such as chromium, which I see quite regularly. That’s something that someone, who’s working with you should ask about. If they don’t do that, if they just give you a couple of hints at how you can eat healthier, then that is not enough most of the time. I really want you to boost your body as a whole.
5. Sleep Foundations
We’ve discussed your hormones, thyroid, gut and nutrition and finally we need to deal with the sleep foundations that need to be in place.
Going to sleep is not like flicking an on/off switch. It takes some time and for some of you it’s going to take longer; but your sleep foundations, are not going to be enough if you have chronic sleep issues. They need to be in place and they are essential, but they are not going to be enough if the other 4 elements are not in place.
Hormones, the thyroid, gut health, nutrition and the sleep foundations are the five elements that I look at in my “Five Step Sleep Like a Boss Process”.
- I’m interested to hear if you’ve ever asked someone to help you with your sleep, did they look at all five of those categories?
- Did they help you to find a test, to really figure out what’s going on inside of your body?
- Did they understand that sleep is not a standalone element, but that it is connected to other elements, that it’s not enough to just look at your head or to just look at your body? It’s both.
You need to relax your mind in order to reduce the stress produced in your body; but you also need your body to be healthy and well supported in order to digest any stress that is occurring.
That is what I mean when I talk about about holistic sleep solutions. And you can find my complete protocols, materials and lessons on that right her
I hope that this article has helped you.
To re-iterate the Five Steps are:
- Gut health
- Sleep foundations.
If you haven’t looked at all five of those, then you’ve most likely missed at least one connection to your sleep.
I published my new course, the “Five Step Sleep Like a Boss Process” master class series on 2nd July. They are five video lessons with tons and tons of material dive in and start your journey to better sleep.
You can let me know which one of these elements you have not looked at and send me any questions you may have in order that I can help you in those five categories. I would love to help.
Let me know if you have looked at those five categories?
If not, then tell me why or tell me where you would like to start and I can give you some pointers. If you haven’t checked out my food video series yet, then do.
I dive into a bit more detail in those and definitely check out my free video series
About the Author
Christine Hansen is a holistic international sleep expert, speaker, and sleep coach. She is the creator of the “5 Step Sleep Like A Boss Process” focusing on sleep foundations, gut health, thyroid issues, nutrition and hormones that helps people to fall and stay asleep without having to rely on sleeping pills.
As a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, Spencer Institute Certified Sleep Science Coach and Nutritional Therapist, Christine combines emotional, lifestyle, and biochemical stress management in bespoke programmes for her clients.
Her expertise has been featured in numerous international publications, such as The Independent, The Guardian, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Entrepreneur on Fire and many more.
Christine is a mother, #1 Amazon best-selling author for her book Sleep Like A Boss – The Guide To Sleep For Busy Bosses and award- winning entrepreneur of the coup de coeur award of the Creative Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg Awards. Christine is based in Luxembourg and fluent in English, German, French, and Luxembourgish.