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Insomnia

Why can’t I sleep when I’m tired?

It’s 4:12 a.m. and you are awake again, just like the night before and the night before that; your alarm is set for 6 a.m. and you are wide awake but exhausted. Why does this happen?
Perhaps you are stressed out; your thoughts are racing about things you should be doing during the waking hours, things you need to get done, and regrets from the past.
It is a well-known fact that the body needs restful sleep in order to regenerate cells and this occurs during REM sleep. In fact, one of the first indicators of ill health is waking up during the night. A healthy body sleeps straight through the night. You may think you drank too much water the night before causing you to get up to pee. This is a common thought but it isn’t the reason you get up at night. Consider that when you were a child you slept through the night fine despite the fact that you were probably well hydrated.
 
What time of the night are you waking up? The exact times you find yourself waking up mean something specific. The following is a quick reference as to what organ systems may be struggling and need support.
 
Between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. If you find yourself having a hard time getting to sleep during these hours, for example you are making mental lists of things you have to do the next day and your mind is having difficulty turning off and winding down, this is an early sign of gallbladder problems. Other symptoms that people might be experiencing are loud bowel sounds, diarrhea about 15 to 20 minutes after eating a meal and sensitivity to milk products.
 
Between 1 and 3 a.m. If you wake up during this time period, it’s like the witching hour, and this is a liver toxicity issue. If you are taking prescription medications, this is a common indicator that your liver is having problems breaking down the chemicals and that is exactly why your doctor will have you do bloodwork every four to six months. They are looking at your liver enzymes because medications are toxic to the liver and if you find yourself awake at this time of the night, it is your liver that requires support. Also common for people who are awake between these hours are generalized muscle aches and pains and joints cracking such as the ankles when you walk. This is because the toxins have accumulated to such a degree that they have started to lodge into the tissues of the body, including muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. The result can be joint pain, and many times these people will have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but it’s really a situation of liver toxicity.
 
4 a.m. This is a consequence of adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are the organs that manage stress in our bodies and are in charge of the fight or flight response. Just like a light switch cannot be both on or off at the same time, if the adrenal switch is turned on, you will find yourself in fight or flight mode ALL the time. These people are chronically tired and by early afternoon are exhausted. These are the folks who require a caramel macchiato just to push themselves through to the end of their work day. Their ability to handle stressful situations is also compromised. They will often break down emotionally or have an exaggerated response to stressful situations. They may have been previously diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. These are the people that get home after work and crash on the couch. They have used up all of their energy to make it through the work day and have no energy left to give to their families when they get home; they are merely existing, not really living.
 
Often, women who have had hysterectomies will find themselves awake around the 4 a.m. hour. This is because the female organs are the backup system for the adrenal glands, and if the uterus and ovaries are gone, it puts all the burden on the adrenal glands.
 
Between 3 and 5 a.m.  If you wake up at 5 a.m. without an alarm or even on the weekends, this is an indicator of prostate problems in men and bladder issues in women. More specifically, men will wake up from 3 to 5 a.m. to urinate. Hesitation at the urinal, having to wait before urination stream starts or a decrease in the force with which the urine exits are indicators of prostate problems. Down the line it can lead to erectile dysfunction but the first sign is getting up between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m.
For women who get up at around 5 a.m., it is an indication of bladder insufficiency. Often these women will also have pain in the bottoms of their feet when they get out of bed; many will believe it’s plantar fasciitis or a foot problem but it’s not related to the feet. They may experience cramping in the toes or have bunions or other foot problems, and if this isn’t addressed, the symptoms will progress to where when they laugh, sneeze or cough, they will urinate. Contrary to popular belief that bladder leakage is due to having children, this is not the case as many women who have never been pregnant will also suffer from incontinence and the first symptom of this problem is waking up at 5 a.m. to pee.
 
Healthy people will sleep straight through the night; if you are not sleeping, pay attention to the times you wake up. The body always gives us indications of stress and imbalance. What I have outlined in this article are the initial stages of abnormalities occurring in the body. If you have had organs removed such as the gallbladder or appendix, there will be shifts that happen as your body tries to correct the imbalance and other systems will try to compensate for the loss. Remember, our bodies are like an ecosystem—everything works in harmony.
 
This article is designed to assist you in identifying connections of symptoms which may otherwise not have been known. The key reasons why you are not getting restful sleep may be a vitamin deficiency, organ imbalance, structural situation or a combination of related factors. 
I have tried to illustrate the most common reasons why insomnia may be occurring. It is always best to have a detailed discussion related to your specific health circumstances; for example, you may be getting up multiple times throughout the night and for this reason it is important to find out the first domino to fall in the chain. Figuring out exactly what is causing the insomnia is possible, and the sooner it can be identified, the sooner you can get your beauty rest.
 
Dr. Colette Cseszko has been practicing in the Bay Area since 2001. As a board certified chiropractic physician and certified to practice medical acupuncture, she provides her patients with a unique treatment approach by combining chiropractic, acupuncture and physical therapy modalities. She is the owner of Gentle Touch Chiropractic and Wellness Center, 10575 68th Ave. North, Ste. D1, Seminole. For more information and to set an appointment, call 727-235-3265 or visit Gentle-chiro.com. See ad page 35.
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