Homeopathy – a solution to Insomnia

So, if a patient comes to you and asks for sleeping pills because they struggle with insomnia. Either they struggle falling asleep or they wake up in the night and struggle to fall back to sleep. How would you approach that patient? Would you look at the general stress load, always, when someone’s struggling with insomnia? We quickly talked about functional medicine last time. So I see Insomnia as a symptom, it’s not a disease. It’s not a diagnosis. It’s not something you can label somebody with and it will be different for every person. So, I need to go and say, ‘Why is this person not sleeping?’, and then you go and play medical detective. And that is fun. That is fun instead of reaching for your prescription pad. Sleeping pill. Here we go. It’s a huge issue! Huge issue with addiction. The problem with the sleeping pill is this, you have four stages of sleep and you have to go through all four stages to have a good night’s rest. Most pills put you to sleep almost anasthetically-wise. It just blocks the activity in your brain. So, people wake up and they’re still tired. They didn’t have the normal physiological reaction. So that, for me, is quite important. But you can have people who don’t fall asleep because they sit and watch TV until an hour before they want to go and sleep. I think there’s a term for that. Something like sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene. Beautiful. One can go and google sleep hygiene and look at all the different things. Not have coffee too late. Even meal, you shouldn’t have your meal after six if you’re struggling with sleep issues. At least three hours before or you go to bed after your meal. Because you need to have a clean gut by the time. Not clean but you need to have digested your food because digestion takes a lot of energy. You need your energy while you’re sleeping to clean up, restore and repair. Talk to me about that because it’s fascinating how every organ has a different time that it starts functioning. Night time is your restore, repair, replenish, reset and rebuild time. So, the four R’s. Lots of R’s. Easy to remember if you’ve got something like that. Sorry? It’s easy to remember if you’ve got something like the four R’s. Well, it’s five. Restore, replenish, replace, rebuild, recharge. And that’s your parasympathetic nervous system. The liver needs two to three hours, typically from about one o’clock/ two o’clock. That’s when it really starts kicking in and doing its detoxification and cleansing. So, is that why most people who’ve had a heavy night of drinking wake up at about two o’clock in the morning? Apparently they also have withdrawal symptoms. You’re full of alcohol you actually have withdrawal symptoms. That I’ve heard but I’m not actually sure about it. But that’s when the liver is supposed to kick in to do its work. But now it gives attention to the most important toxin in the body and that’s the alcohol. It will first do the alcohol and only then start cleansing the rest of the body. It just gets overwhelmed. So you have to give at least three hours after you have a meal before you got to bed. The moment you go to bed on a full tummy your body says, ‘I’ve got all this nutrition now, what do I do with it? I can’t use it because I’m asleep. Make fat out of it. Pack it in the liver’. That’s why we see fatty liver disease. Thirty years ago we didn’t see non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Now I see it so often. That liver just cannot function properly, it can’t detox properly if it’s full of fat. If you don’t break down, we even have brain chemicals that we need to break down. So during the day you produce adrenaline, that’s your fight or flight. At night you need adenosine – that’s your sleeping hormone. You need to calm down this and increase that and it’s a balance (homeostasis). One of the things that happen when you sit on your tablet, cell phone, TV, we know about the two common rods and cones, receptors in the eyes. They’ve found that there’s a third receptor and that reaction on blue light. And blue light is neon lights and various other things. So, if you have that into the eye you’re telling your body it’s still day. If you sit in front of the TV or in front of the computer and you want to go to bed, and your body’s telling you it’s still daylight – it’s not going to work. And that is part of sleep hygiene. So a glass of milk is not going to do it? Banana works, there’s some amino acids which you use as a precursor to build brain chemicals. Because people look for natural ways if they don’t want to pop a pill, any kind of pill. So, if you’re wanting something more gentle would you suggest a homeopathic complex remedy specifically for sleep, anxiety, stress? There’s a beautiful remedy. Can I take this? Yes. This is, you know, that’s the beauty with homeopathy. They go and they don’t look for symptom relieve they look for the underlying reason. Boiron is a French company and there’s a product called Sédatif PC. What they do is they use homeopathics – we know about Valerian to calm people, it’s not in there. What they did is they said, ‘How do we balance the adrenaline (that we produce during the day) and adenosine (that we produce during the night)? How do we bring that back? And how does anxiety, stress and insomnia fit together? Because it’s a vicious cycle’. If you don’t sleep well. We all know if you’ve had a really bad night and you wake up, you’re already irritable, tired and get easily upset. If you wake up and you’re tired and already irritable, you’ll get upset easier and you will get anxious easier. If you go through that you won’t sleep as easily that night. It’s a physiological reaction, fight or flight, stress and strain, sympathetic/parasympathetic. We talked about that last time. So it’s just a sympathetic over-stimulation. It’s stress on the body to not have had good rest, to not have had all the repair what’s needed. I’m at conflict here because I don’t like popping pills of any kind but I do understand that sometimes I don’t like stress all the time either. So you can’t choose your environment all the time. You can choose how you react to it. That’s right. And the thing is yes, we reach for a homeopathic complex remedy. Is that something you would recommend for a short period of time to take that remedy say four-hourly over the course of a week while you’re dealing with some or other stressful situation? Because let’s face it, this is not going to go away. And I don’t want to advocate people popping pills for the rest of their life. So, as you rightfully said last time you look at good sleep, you look at nutrition, you look at environment. Sleep hygiene is obviously important, you know, not overusing any kind of screen time. But how would you address the need in us for a quick fix and have even this homeopathic remedy four times a day? I think it’s important to actually treat it in the short term because once you start sleeping better you’ll handle the day better. I totally agree with you. Anything that’s herbal or homeopathic or medicine, it shouldn’t be necessary to use it chronically. I think we’re missing clever food options. Because there’s certain things that you can have either as a tea or that you can eat that can calm down this whole stress response. That’s another episode. There are lovely teas. The answers, all of them, are out there in nature. Every single thing. But it is a problem. Nowadays, modern life is a problem. The beauty with Sédatif PC for instance is you don’t take it at night to fall asleep, you take it during the day to handle the acute stress. And you can take it almost like Rescue remedy. You can take it hourly until things are better but you take it during the day and because it doesn’t put you to sleep at night you’ll be calmer and fall asleep easier. Because you haven’t treated the symptom but the underlying physiological imbalance. So what makes it quite nice then is when you look at a product, for example, I was looking at it earlier for stress, anxiety and sleeplessness. So if you as a mother, you’re concerned about your child and it’s exam time but you know there are other stresses as well and you know that they child isn’t sleeping so well. So instead of going and finding a remedy for every single one of them, you would recommend they take a complex like the Sédatif PC, as an example. Absolutely. It’s the same. It’s different physiological reactions to the same underlying problem. And that’s the beauty of it. I often talk to other doctors and because we have the discussions. We have groups. They often look for remedies (natural remedies) for a problem. And I keep on saying don’t treat, because then it’s the same, the symptom. It’s just popping a pill for an ill. Exactly. If you just treat the symptom with what’s natural, sure it’s safer and better. But what is the underlying problem? And it’s like I said last time, every time I see a patient I say, ‘What’s going on here? What’s the underlying problem?’ Because if you solve that, it’s like magic. So take an exam-stress child. So you’re underlying problem, okay you have an exam, but it’s also got to do with confidence issues, and it’s got to do with fear of failure, etc. So, it’s not just it’s exam time ahead of time I’m going to go and get. You know, you’ve got to sit with your child and find out the symptom but at the same time you’re using a homeopathic remedy as a potential acute stress-management support tool. Beautiful. Generally, I don’t get stressed or strained too easily. I actually enjoyed exams because it was (for me) a nice test of ‘do I know my work or don’t I do my work’. And I didn’t really do that well. I did okay but I enjoyed it. So, exams aren’t necessarily stressful but you get people who go out and really manage it. And it need not be stress. It could be a mindset. You’re going to have a lot of very jealous people. So what’s the end? What can happen? You can’t die. You can then maybe not get five per cent less. The fear of failure. I suppose. What would you like to leave the viewers with in closing? I think people need to be more enthusiastic and excited about their symptoms. So, if you have a symptom. Okay, that is strange. Instead of focussing on that and dwelling on that and making the thing worse. Go and say back, ‘Oh, this is interesting. What is my body trying to tell me? What’s the solution?’ And obviously sometimes the solution is very difficult, you’re thrown into a situation that you can’t handle. But you can change the way you react to that. You can work on that. There’s a neuroplasticity. You can rewire by focusing on certain things, actually rewire your brain. I want people to actually stop focusing on their problems and start focusing on the solution to the problem because then it’ll go away. And that’s when you learn and become wiser and stronger and better off. And next time that same problem won’t have the same physical reaction. What a bargain! Absolutely. So, lovely to have you. Thank you again for your time. Myself, I really enjoyed it. I’ve written all the different topics we still need to discuss. I hope so and I’d love to. Thank you. Thank you so much. Pleasure.

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