Many people may think that sleep (or lack of sleep) is a stand alone issue, and other factors like lifestyle or dietary inputs do not play a role. Quite often, when someone is diagnosed with insomnia or other circadian rhythm imbalance, they are sent home with a prescription for a medication to help them sleep which may, or may not, solve the problem.
A more natural and holistic approach, however, looks at all of the reasons why the body is not responding to sleep cues and circadian rhythm inputs, and works to unwind your symptoms and story to decide whether sleep is the primary issue, or the secondary issue of another underlying cause. When the body is not sleeping well, this throws off our 24 hour internal clock, affecting our digestion, adrenal glands, immune system and a cascade of hormones all needed to fulfill a good nights sleep and also keep up functional during the day. When one or several of these factors is off, sleep disturbance usually is a side effect. Although it may not be the underlying issue, it is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed and remedied quickly, for lack of sleep is one of the most troubling symptoms affecting our everyday life.
How do we go about treating sleep imbalance?
First, we go through a thorough health history, and also obtain an understanding of your daily lifestyle. Having a sense of your normal circadian rhythm helps us zero in on what body system or hormones need adjustments so that we can be more targeted with our therapies.
Then, we make several recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and also diet. You’re lifestyle and habits play just as significant a role in sleep moderation as any medicines you actually take. We work on what will be sustainable for your lifestyle and set short and long term goals.
Finally, we custom compound herbal or homeopathic formulas that are specific and targeted to your individual sleep pattern. There is not one single herb, drug or remedy for “fixing” sleep. Rather, there are dozens of combinations that could work differently from person to person, which is why it is necessary for us to have a lengthy and thorough discussion. We may provide two formulas – one for acute relief and one as a long term tonic. When working to support sleep, it’s often necessary to have immediate symptom relief (usually called the “band-aid” approach – this is not solving the problem, just masking it for a little while), and also long term support that works to set your foundational rhythm in place again so that your sleep disturbance does not repeat itself.
If you feel like you’ve been having difficulty achieving a full nights sleep for several nights, weeks, months or even years, and have tried other therapies unsuccessfully, Richmond Natural Medicine may be a great fit for you.