Did you know that a astounding 30 percent of Americans are affected by persistent insomnia? While no one necessarily enjoys not being able to sleep, few actually know what causes insomnia or what to do about it so the problem persists.
What’s worst is that sleep deprivation is at the root of nearly all disease. Sleep deprivation causes incredible stress in the body, inhibiting homeostasis. More specifically, sleep deprivation can cause dehydration, another major ailment that nearly 70 percent of Americans struggle with.
If you wish to experience an optimal state of health than quality sleep is imperative.
The Nasty Side of Sleep Deprivation
Most of us know that sleep is incredibly important for good health. Sleep is when we repair and enter a deep state of homeostasis. While staying centered and grounded in your true self will surely keep you in a state of balance, nothing quite compares to quality sleep when it comes to deep healing.
Well, I mean unless you’re taking frequent spirit trips to the magic universe, then perhaps you’ve hit new levels. While you’re still human, sleep is going to be a critical part of a healing process and feeling our best.
If we aren’t centered and experiencing a lot of stress, it is likely that our sleep is being greatly affected for the worst. When this happens were might be at risk for numerous health disasters, just to name a few:
• Anxiety & Depression and other mental & mood imbalances
• Impaired cognitive ability
• Metabolic Syndrome
• Cardiovascular disease
• Impaired insulin action
• Impaired glucose control
• Digestive problems
• Elevated C-reactive protein (inflammation)
• Elevated cortisol levels
• And more
The Causes of Insomnia
Quality sleep actually starts long before bed time. As paradoxical as it sounds, we need energy to sleep. When we are depleted of energy we actually experience adrenal fatigue due to elevated cortisol — a hormone released during a stress response.
That is because in order for us to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone) cortisol needs to be low. As cortisol raises, melatonin decreases. In other words, stress depletes our energy reserves, making it harder to fall asleep. Then, this lack of sleep
The problem compounds when we begin to lose sleep frequently, which further raises cortisol levels and disturbs sleep patterns even more. This is why we need to “kill the monster while it’s small.”
One Simple Trick
While the optimal solution for insomnia is a holistic approach — addressing stress at the core and taking steps to dissolve it — sometimes the best thing we can do is take one step in the right direction. I like simple solutions, especially when it involves food.
I came across some research that demonstrated the sleep improvement power of a good old fashion glass of warm milk before bed. The bioactive peptides in milk, taken before bed, improves sleep remarkable. The studies show that when taken before bed, milk can:
• Promote deep sleep
• Support more restorative sleep
• Relax the body, prepping it for sleep
• Calms the nerves
• Improv various stress markers
“In one study, 32 healthy men were given just 150 mg of these milk proteins, and in just two weeks their sleep quality improved by 50 percent.
In another study, over 60 women who were complaining of a host of stress-related problems, such as digestion, cardiovascular, emotional, cognitive and social disorders, were given 150 mg of the milk proteins before bed. The benefits ranged from 50 to 60 percent improvement in all of the disorders listed (8).”
Supplements & Spiritual Solutions
GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the CNS. It is well established that activation of GABA(A) receptors favors sleep. It has been documented that individuals with insomnia have lower levels of GABA than those with normal sleeping patterns. (1)(2)
My personal experience is that I am in complete control of the functioning of my body via my thought creation. Just as the thought of some horrifying situation can trigger a physical sensation in the body (the feeling of adrenaline surging through the body) I know that the thoughts I create can also promote the release of relaxing, calming neurotransmitters. This is the purpose of many different yoga and Ancient medicine practices.
I find this to be the most honest solution to health as it is 100% empowering, there is zero dependency of any substance in this practice; however, it is much more difficult to master.
I will also use this moment to mention that through my personal experience and coaching practice that one of the major causes of insomnia is unfinished business, particularly in the realm of withholds. When we go to bed with any unfinished business, our attention and energy is diverted back and out of the present. This would of course make it difficult to sleep.
In the same way, withheld thoughts can pull our horse power back. I would suggest to anyone with chronic insomnia to address this more metaphysical area of the issue. Consult with your own spirit, what unfinished business do you have? What do you need to ‘get off your chest’. Reach out to anyone and complete the business. The result will likely be peace of mind and a much easier time falling asleep in the long run.
If you do wish to experiment with supplements for a sleep problem, I personally recommend GABAwave. It is used has tranquilizing effects, can reduce stress and anxiety, and is a nootropic (cognitive enhancing) substance. It can improve sleep quality and does not impede performance or energy levels.
An Ayurvedic Perspective
In Ayurveda, hot milk before bed is a staple sleep tonic. While milk alone will not solve a mental and emotional stress-related sleep problem, it’ll definitely help round the edges. Plus, I find the art of crafting food and recipes to be very creative and therapeutic!
According to Ayurveda, chronic stress depletes what they refer to as ojas. Ojas is said to be the physiological expression of consciousness, which is in charge of immunity, reproduction, beauty, and the overall health and well-being of the individual. That’s right, Ayurveda knows what’s up — WE are in charge of the immune system.
When our ojas is depleted from poor lifestyle — either from stress, lack of sleep, bad food, poor digestion, excessive activity or inactivity then the body begins to break down. The result is exhaustion, sleep problems, low sex drive, skin problems, stiff joints, accelerated aging and are risk of disease.
Practitioners say that Ojas takes 30 days to cultivate in the body, so this is no overnight fix thought it will serve as a tasty remedy. If you are persistent and make health a lifestyle then the result may be numerous and plenty.
Ojas produce enzymatic actions that are responsible for the digesting of food, which is perhaps one of the most important aspects of human health. Without good digestion the lymph, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nerve and reproductive tissues can be come toxic.
However, if we nourish our bodies, keep stress levels low than we can give our bodies the chance to regenerate these tissues and a new state of health can be the result.
Rebuilding Our Ojas
In Ayurveda, certain food and herbs may specifically help ojas. One of the best Ojas building foods? FRICKEN MILK.
Now, I realize milk is controversial topic, but let’s throw that dietary dogma crap out of this blog and recognize that milk is first of a real food and that is a huge deal considering the real problem with food these days is that it’s FAKE.
Additionally, milk has been praised since ancient and biblical times. It is also very well-documented and has been shown to contain properties that reduce numerous stress markers, support sleep, and even build what Ayurveda calls ojas.
The REAL problem with today’s milk: is that it is very difficult to digest. Here’s why:
- It’s typically from sick animals.
- It contains added hormones, chemicals and antibiotics.
- It is unnecessarily homogenized and pasteurized.
- Because of 1-3, it’s a nightmare to digest and makes people sick.
A Delicious Bulletproof Recipe For Baby Sleep
It’s recipe time. If you’re ready to cultivate some ojas with me and experience the benefits of deep, beauty sleep then here is a recipe that should help.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup raw milk (or coconut milk if you can’t get raw dairy)
- 1-2 tbsp grass-fed ghee
- 1 tbsp BrainOctane
- 1 tbsp chopped dates (no worries KETO peeps we aren’t eating these)
- 2 tsp chopped raw almonds
- 1 tbsp stone-ground coconut butter
- 1 tsp Ashwaganda
- 1 tsp Vanillamax
- 1/2 tsp Saffron
- 1/8 tsp Cardamom
- Stevia to taste
Here’s how you make it:
- Add your dates, almonds and coconut flakes to one cup of milk as you slowly bring it to a high heat (just below a boil).
- Once the milk has heated turn off the flame and let the spices steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain off the dates, almonds and coconut into a Blender.
- Add your fats, ashwaganda and stevia then Blend.
- Drink each night for 1 months at least (3 months ideally) to rebuild Ojas and support sleep patterns.
For more lifestyle tips for sleep to combine with these check out my other blog post HERE.