Hello everyone, I hope you are healthy!
In these times the importance of “good sleep” has been disappearing, it may be due to work, emotional reasons or bad habits when it comes to rest. In my years of career I have seen how patients told me that they suffered from migraines, headaches, fatigue, among other symptoms, recurrently and have not realized that the root of their ailments is the lack of a good eight hours of sleep.
Functional Medicine is an impressive methodology, it does not wait until the patient is sick, we seek to prevent the disease through a general diagnosis of their ailments, before it occurs. A group of health specialists, each one, in his branch, evaluates the patient in search of this type of bad habits that could lead to a medical problem.
The patients with the above-mentioned symptoms that have come to my office suffered from insomnia due to their bad habits hours before sleeping. The human being requires seven to eight hours of restful sleep during the night, in these hours the body rests all the muscles, and the brain recovers and organizes all the ideas during the R.E.M. stage of sleep.
In all cases I recommended the following:
– Clear the mind hours before bedtime: When in bed do not be distracted by nighttime activities that will wake you up and interrupt your sleep, before going to bed you should be clear of responsibilities that will take away your sleep.
– Do not use electronic equipment: Such as telephones, televisions, tablets, laptops and computers, even the lights in the bedroom should be dimmed at bedtime! The human brain reacts to the environment and when there is so much equipment illuminating our space our subconscious thinks that it is still daytime, and we are not resting well. It only takes 30 minutes of time without these devices before going to sleep to notice the difference.
– The bed is only for resting: This is something simple, but very effective, in most cases people perform activities outside of sleeping in bed; for example, eating, doing work, studying, among other things that can then disassociate the bed as a resting space. In these cases, they should perform these activities in their respective spaces.
– Avoid coffee: I have seen cases in which my patients have told me that they drink coffee hours before going to sleep, caffeine alters our brain activity, altering its chemistry and making us more active. This effect is temporary, but it is detrimental hours before bedtime, spending hours in bed without being able to rest does not help much to regain sleep.
As Carlos Monsiváis has said: “Insomnia is not a good counselor. The only thing that allows us to see clearly are the consequences of lack of sleep, and that obviousness nullifies thoughts and feelings”. Poor rest can bring out the worst in us. That’s why before considering a treatment that may be strong for the patient, I always look to see if they have had a good night’s rest before.
The antioxidant scan can help you identify factors that may be contributing to your insomnia. With this information, your functional physician can develop a personalized treatment plan to help you sleep better.
Functional Medicine continues to grow today for the results it offers in its comprehensive treatment, in Functional Wellness Network we know its capacity for action and its results and, therefore, we are constantly documenting cases and innovative processes in Functional Medicine. Functional Wellness Network is a network of health professionals who provide advisory services to medical centers.
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Dr. Kent Nelson
Functional Wellness Network