Most healthy children are excellent sleepers. If we start off this way, what causes someone to become a poor sleeper?
Humans have evolved to spend one-third of our lifetime asleep. Adults should aim to sleep around 7-8 hours a night. Your body and mind will function optimally on a two-to-one ratio of wake-to-sleep.
At Vita, we view insomnia as a serious condition, and proper sleep will be a priority in any health program.
The website SleepFoundation.org states that “insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, specific substances, and/or certain biological factors.” Recently, researchers have begun to think about insomnia as a problem of the brain being unable to stop being awake. Your brain has a sleep cycle and a wake cycle—when one is turned on the other is turned off. Insomnia can be a problem with either part of this cycle - too much wake drive or too little sleep drive. It's important to first understand what could be causing your sleep difficulties. There are many possible chemical interactions in the brain that could interfere with sleep.
What are some of the effects of poor sleep?
Insomnia alters brain function and structure in ways that impair concentration and alertness. Fatigue and drowsiness from poor sleep can lead to slower reflexes and ultimately has the life threatening potential to cause fatal accidents through events like falling asleep at the wheel of your car. Primary insomnia also increases the risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
Sleep is a habit. If you have insomnia, then you have the habit of poor sleep. Our program is meant to uncover the cause of your insomnia, and then break your unnatural habit.
We treat the condition with a multi-discipline approach to help create a new habit of deep, restorative sleep.
This Graph indicates how the day and night clock synchronize with your temperature, cardiovascular and hormonal systems. Notice that at 9pm melatonin is being released - bed time should be by 10pm to take advantage of this. We need to monitor your day to help your night.
The assessment for insomnia is a multi-faceted: measure stress levels, take a thorough history, determine cortisol levels, heart rate variability and complete a functional exam to reveal the cause of the insomnia. Treatment will reflect your exam and may include many of the Vita disciplines.