“Why can’t I sleep?
Sleep problems can mean insomnia, where you have trouble getting to sleep and, when you do get to sleep, you cannot remain in a restful, relaxed state.
Currently, there are several ideas about how to deal with this.
These include keeping electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, and TVs, out of your sleeping area, and winding down your evenings in plenty of time so that when you get into bed, you are ready to fall asleep.
Sounds good, but that may not be enough. Your body may need more help, especially your brain and liver. Let’s go into the details of those two now. First, let’s review how toxicity can affect the brain.
Toxicity, sleep, and the brain
Two forms of toxicity can majorly affect your sleep:
Excess acidity prevents nerve cells in the brain from functioning normally – the body’s natural balance, homeostasis, has been severely affected. This imbalance causes a higher level of agitation and restlessness because the brain has detected that it is under attack. This restlessness becomes even more evident as you try to sleep.
Heavy metals, such as mercury, interrupt the connections and nerve impulses in the brain. Mercury affects the normal functioning of the brain, causing a higher level of agitation and anxiety. These feelings will show up when you try to rest, and will surely affect your night’s sleep.
When your body is severely affected by excess acidity and high levels of heavy metals, it cannot relax, heal, repair, detox, or rejuvenate.
Check in with your own experiences, just for a moment: do you sleep soundly when you are agitated, physically or emotionally? Most people do not.
Brain and liver, working together
When the liver is overburdened with toxicity, it cannot perform one of its key functions effectively: removal of toxins from the body. Failing to do this, toxicity begins to accumulate in the blood and the brain, causing a downward health spiral: poor mental functioning, negative changes in personality and behaviour, and debilitating changes in sleep habits.
“You should be able to go to bed, fall asleep within ten minutes, and not wake up until morning, after 7-8 hours. You should feel refreshed upon rising. Sound familiar? Not for most people …” Dr. Stephen Gangemi, DC.
When you have sleep problems as a result of toxicity accumulating in your blood and your cells, a Catch-22 situation develops. The increase in toxicity accumulation causes your liver and brain to have a reduced ability to detoxify your body at night. (Your liver, a key detoxification organ, is most active between 1 to 3 a.m.)
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is a deep sleep that allows your body to heal, repair, and detoxify more effectively. This is your rejuvenation sleep.
Is toxicity only stealing your sleep?
It is at this point that we are about to learn of a new dimension to sleep problems: if periods of insufficient sleep become extensive, the effect can be long-term and potentially fatal:
“If you typically get less than 6 hours of sleep, you may have up to a fourfold increase risk for stroke compared with those who get 7 to 8 hours of sleep and more” – a study reported to the SLEEP 2012 conference in Boston.
Strokes are reported to be the fourth leading cause of death in Canada and the USA. They are no longer a disease of old age – the National Health Service in the UK reports that strokes experienced globally by those under 65 have increased by 25%.
Margaret Thatcher, former U.K. prime minister, was renowned for needing only four hours sleep at night. Was it just a coincidence that towards the end of her life she experienced a series of mini-strokes that developed into stroke-induced dementia and, finally, took her life?
Sleep is a long-term investment
“Over time, poor sleep or insufficient sleep leads to a body that is unable to repair itself adequately and increases the risk for migraines, fibromyalgia, autoimmune issues, obesity, and heart disease. “ Dr. Mark Wiley, Ph.D., OMD, MSM.
According to Dr. Wiley, new research suggests there are even more reasons why we must get our full amount of sleep. Maiken Nedargarrd, M.D., and his group at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) have discovered that the brain is detoxifying while we sleep, and protecting us from the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Toxins in the blood and brain affect your sleep
The Environmental Working Group study in 2004 found the average newborn baby has 287 known toxins in their blood. So what have you have been exposed to in through your entire life? The degree to which wastes and toxins accumulate in your body adversely affect your sleep. How can you enhance your body’s capacity to detoxify and get rid of waste while minimizing your exposure to toxins? Many diseases of our society are actually related to our inability to eliminate toxins.
Sleep, stress, and hyper-acidity
Have you noticed that you are experiencing higher than normal stress levels lately? Have you been reacting, more than usual, with anger, frustration, irritability, low tolerance, and aggressiveness?
Stress and negative emotions cause acidity levels to increase. A diet high in acids foods such as carbohydrates, sugars, and sodas lessen your body’s alkaline reserves of minerals and trace elements, fuels needed by your body to detoxify.
You can reverse that spiral – less toxicity, more sleep
“The good news is that the diseases and symptoms stemming from environmental toxins are relatively simple to identify and correct. If the problem is toxicity, then by definition the solution is detoxification.” Lyn Hanshew, M.D.
When a person’s sleep patterns improve, the body can begin to recover its balance and regain a progressive, upward health spiral. Who doesn’t feel better after a good, restful night’s sleep?
Make sleep a long-term investment, and it will, without a doubt, bring great returns.
To actually see how mercury impacts the functioning of the brain, check out “How mercury causes brain neuron damage,” a YouTube video from the University of Calgary.
For more about the impact of diet and stress on acidity levels, see “Osteoporosis – is it reversible?”