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  • Writer's pictureMartha Lewis

Are your sleep issues genetic?

Updated: Mar 23

Many of my clients have family members who also have sleep issues. And so they think their insomnia is genetic.

It is genetic. And it isn’t.

Let me explain.

First of all, our genes don’t determine our fate. You may have a gene that predisposes you for cancer, for example. But those genes can stay turned off unless something triggers them to turn on. Stress, toxins and inflammation are what can turn certain genes on.

It’s the same with insomnia. You might be genetically predisposed to insomnia, but it doesn’t mean that you are destined to get it no matter what.

Secondly, when your body is stressed over time, eventually different systems in the body start breaking down. What systems break down first are determined by your genes and metabolic type. For those of us prone to insomnia, it’s our cognitive health that breaks down first. Or second. Or third. (You may have experienced other symptoms before insomnia.) So yes, you may be genetically more likely to develop insomnia as well as memory loss and poor concentration when your body gets out of balance. The key then is to keep your body in balance.

Thirdly, many stressors in the body can be passed down from mother to child. Toxins and heavy metals can pass through blood and breastmilk. This isn’t through genes but these things can be passed down from generation to generation.

Another thing that mothers and fathers can carry on to their children is their gut microbiome, or the species of microbes living in their gut. So if your parents didn't have a healthy gut, they can pass that on to you. An unhealthy gut is a main contributor to insomnia.

Sleep issues are a sign that your body isn’t healthy. Even if you have a healthy lifestyle.

If you have insomnia, it’s going to take more than just a healthy diet and exercise to get back in balance.

To get back in balance, you need to find and address all the stressors in your body and your mind that are keeping you out of whack.

Just because your parents or other family members suffer from insomnia doesn’t mean that you have to!

The way to get over sleep issues is to

1. Find out what’s out of balance in your body

2. Address those things and restore your health so you can sleep normally.

This is exactly what I help my clients with every day. Book a consultation to talk about how to find out why you can’t sleep and how I can help you sleep better soon.

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