Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or simply don’t wake up with as much energy as you’d like? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are not getting the vital sleep that we need to fully detoxify, repair and rejuvenate the body.
Sleep is more than simply a time to rest the body – it is an essential process designed to allow the body to perform many functions that cannot be done during the day.
While we sleep our bodies perform the following tasks, in order of importance:
- Removal of toxic wastes via detoxification pathways.
- Healing and immune system function
- Growth including muscle and cell building
- Emotional sorting and processing
- Memory storing
To perform these tasks a lot of energy is required. Without sufficient energy the body may not be able to carry out all of these functions every night.
It is common for people to say that they are so tired at the end of the day but they cannot sleep properly. Initiating sleep takes energy, so without adequate energy stores good quality sleep cannot be had.
With limited energy stores, your body may only be able to complete detoxification, which leaves no further energy for the rest of the tasks on the list. It is no wonder that people with poor sleep often suffer from anxiety or depression, or report poor memory and concentration.
Conventional treatment for sleep disorders is very limited, offering only strong sedatives and hypnotics (sleep inducers) to help you get to sleep. These drugs however do not improve the quality of your sleep, leading to fatigue the next morning.
A naturopathic approach to sleep looks deeper than simply using sedatives at night. To support a quality sleep the issues of detoxification, healing and immune function must be addressed, as well as supporting energy pathways in the body during the day so that you have adequate energy to complete your sleep cycle successfully.
Detoxification in the liver takes place in two phases. During the night, your body favors phase 2 detoxification by the liver, but during the day phase 1 detoxification should be dominant. Programs that do not address this balance and promote both phases at once (such as one size fits all detox programs) can actually disturb the balance, leading to disruptions in sleep and excess toxins released that the body cannot yet process.
To address detoxification, the liver, bowels, kidneys and lungs all have to be supported to ensure the best results. The recent advances in sleep studies have also given us insight into what the best time of the day to support these pathways is, bringing us exciting new concepts in sleep management.