7 Myths About Insomnia
Updated: Mar 23
There’s a lot of sleep advice out there. As a functional health coach, I believe that most of it is wrong.
Here are 7 myths about insomnia that will explain why everything you’ve tried hasn’t helped:
Myth 1: If you follow the sleep rules, you will sleep.
If you google how to sleep, you’re going to find the same generic advice everywhere: -avoid screens before bed
-don’t drink caffeine after 2pm
-don’t drink alcohol before bed
-exercise every day
If you’ve tried all of these things and they haven’t helped you sleep better, it’s because there’s something going on in your body that is keeping you awake.
The most common physical causes of insomnia are:
-an unhealthy gut
-high cortisol at night
The only way to sleep better is to find out what’s keeping you from sleeping normally and fix those imbalances.
Myth 2: There’s nothing wrong in your body because your blood work is normal.
You may have gone to your doctor and done blood work to find the root cause of your sleep issues. And your results come back “normal.” This doesn’t mean that there aren’t imbalances in your body that are keeping you awake.
Here’s why. Blood work is meant to indicate that something is seriously wrong, that there’s likely a disease or disorder. But you could be progressing toward something and still be in range according to the blood work.
The other problem with blood work is that the labs’ normal ranges are based on an average of people taking the test. They show what’s common, not what’s ideal. I interpret blood work using functional ranges which are optimal results that people have when they have no symptoms and are healthy. There’a big difference between normal and optimal.
I use functional tests that show how different systems in your body are working so I can see what’s out of balance. These tests catch imbalances that blood work doesn’t.
You can read more about functional lab tests here.
Myth 3: It's all in your head.
When your blood work comes back normal and sleep meds don’t work, your doctor will tell you to see a psychiatrist because it must be all in your head.
Mental stress and worry can sabotage your sleep. But there’s always something physical going on in my clients’ bodies that explain their sleep issues.
It’s not all in your head. And it’s not your fault.
Myth 4: Sleeping pills are the cure.
Doctors usually prescribe sleep meds for people with insomnia. They don't know what else to do.
Sleeping pills are a band-aid. They don’t address the root cause.
Sleeping pills have side effects and they change your brain chemistry.
Sleeping pills increase your risk of dementia and death.
Learn more here.
Myth 4: A sleep study will show why you can’t sleep.
Sleep studies look for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. If you don’t have a true disorder, they won’t show the root cause of why you can’t sleep normally.
Myth 5: You shouldn't nap.
You’ve probably read that you shouldn’t nap if you have trouble sleeping at night. I disagree. I’ve found for me and many of my clients that taking a nap can actually help you sleep better at night. That’s because napping lowers your cortisol levels and reduces stress.
Taking a nap at the right time is important. Learn more about napping in this blog post.
Myth 6: Sleep problems go away on their own.
Many of my clients have been struggling to sleep for years or decades. Some since childhood. They’ve tried everything and nothing has helped. Their sleep issues never disappeared. They may have had some decent nights here and there. But insomnia has been present most of the time.
Your sleep problems most likely won’t just go away. A healthy body sleeps well. If you can’t sleep, your body isn’t healthy. There’s something out of balance and it’s not going to magically correct itself. The only way to sleep better is to find what’s out of whack and then correct it to restore your health.
Myth 7: You have to live with insomnia forever.
You may have given up hope that you’ll get better. The longer it’s been and the more things you’ve tried, the more hopeless you’ll feel.
I want you to know that it is possible to get better. You just have to find the root cause.
This is fiaxble!
I’ve helped clients who have had insomnia for decades and they get better.
My client Amy has been struggling with sleep since high school. She was off and on Ambien for years. Within 3 months of working together, she’s sleeping great without Ambien.
This could be you, too! Schedule a call to talk about what’s going on with your sleep and how I can help you sleep better soon.