- Amanda is a 37 year old mom working part time.
- For 5 years she struggled with insomnia that kept her mind racing and her body tired.
- She tried sleep medications, antidepressants, and melatonin but they made her groggy. I tried addressing her adrenal issues with supplements, but the insomnia persisted.
There was no question that Amanda’s case was not your typical insomnia case. When we discussed her busy lifestyle, it became clear to me that stress was playing a role in her issue. We worked on controlling her elevated cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and rebalancing her nervous system. And even though she felt calmer and more in control, sleep still evaded her. I could tell that supplements alone were not going to put out this stress-fire.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) estimates that 35% of Americans do not get enough sleep. A lack of sleep becomes insomnia when it causes you to feel impaired during the day and persists for over a month without any other discernible cause. About 6% of Americans fall into this category.
Emily Fletcher is very familiar with insomnia because she suffered with it for a long period of time. It caused her to feel worn down, stressed out, and unhappy despite having a dream job she’d worked her whole life to get.
Luckily, she discovered meditation and it changed everything for her. Since then, she’s taught a technique she developed called Ziva Meditation to thousands. She also wrote the book, “Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance”which she hopes will also help people get a handle on their stress and conquer their insomnia.
Stress and Insomnia are Intermingled
The effects of stress on the body can be significant, especially over time. One of the things that stress does is release hormones that keep the body and brain alert. When it comes time to sleep, the mind simply can’t relax. And then, we experience stress from not being able to sleep. Emily says it’s like the chicken and the egg conundrum – you can’t really say which comes first.
When we are tired, we feel stressed. When we are stressed we feel tired.
The Modern World Isn’t Helping
In addition to our stress, there are other things in the modern world that may be contributing to sleeplessness. Emily points to our screen time (blue light mimics the daylight and tricks our circadian rhythm into thinking we should be awake). Our modern diet also plays a role in sleep issues because we generally consume too much caffeine and sugar. In addition, we are living in a time where everyone is busy and sleep is not seen as a priority. Emily says that tiredness and busy-ness trigger the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which in turn makes it hard to sleep and further fuels our stress.
Stress Makes us Stupid, Sick, and Slow
Being in a perpetual state of stress slowly breaks down our body and our mind. We might place the blame on lack of sleep or insomnia, but it’s really the stress.
Emily believes that meditation (not mindfulness) can reset this cycle. By meditating each day, you give your body the time to deal with the stress so that when it comes time to sleep, you can actually dedicate that time to sleep. When the stress is taken care of, the insomnia goes away.
If you never deal with the stress, you will forever be using sleep time for stress relief and never actually experience reparative sleep which is essential for optimal health.
Eliminating Health Mysteries
Amanda tried Emily’s technique and was amazed that after a couple of weeks she actually slept through the night. It took some time to undo the damage done by 5 years of insomnia but with a regular meditation practice and the right supplements, we were able to get Amanda’s health back on track.
If you suffer from insomnia or known someone who does, please take a look at stress management techniques like Ziva Meditation – it could be the missing piece of the puzzle. And, remember that just because so many people shrug their shoulders because everyone is stressed out, it’s not okay to let it get to the point of insomnia and start an avalanche of health issues.
The answers to your insomnia and stress are out there and accessible to you. You can solve this health mystery.
Be sure to share this episode with anyone you know who is struggling with insomnia.
Resources and products mentioned on the podcast:
Thanks to my guest Emily Fletcher. You can connect with her here: https://zivameditation.com/
If you’re interested in her online meditation program go here.
Or, Grab her book: Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance plus when you use this link, you’ll get a bonus gift that’s just for Health Mysteries Solved listeners!
Thanks for Listening
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