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  • Writer's pictureMartha Lewis

How Metabolic Chaos Causes Insomnia

Updated: Mar 23

Do you have trouble sleeping?

Are you tired all the time?

Do you feel older than you are?

Many people feel these things. They’re common complaints but they aren’t normal!

To explain, first I want to tell you about metabolic chaos. Metabolic chaos means that different systems in your body are breaking down and your health is compromised. This chaos happens when you are under more stress than your body can handle.

3 kinds of stress contribute to metabolic chaos:

  1. Mental stress from worry, fear, or emotional trauma

  2. Physical or biomechanical stress due to injuries, physical trauma, accidents or over-exercise

  3. Chemical or functional stress from pathogens in your gut, toxins, unhealthy foods, drugs or medications, and sleep deprivation

Some of these stressors are obvious, like worrying about finances, taking care of a sick family member, or getting hurt skiing. But many of them are hidden, meaning you can’t see them and you don’t know they’re there. Even though you know they’re bad for you, you can’t directly see what eating fried food, taking ibuprofen, or having a parasite does to your body over time.

If you can't sleep, you’re in metabolic chaos. Your body is breaking down. If you don't figure out why and fix it, you’re going to keep getting worse.

The only way to find out what’s causing your body stress is to do lab tests that find the root of the problem. Looking at your gut, liver, digestion, mineral balance and hormones will uncover your hidden stressors. Then we know what to fix so you can sleep like a normal person.

When you’re young and healthy, your body can handle stress. But at some point, you may start noticing some common and annoying symptoms like needing caffeine to wake up in the morning or having minor aches and pains. If you don’t address your stressors, especially the hidden ones, over time they will cascade into other areas of your body causing more symptoms and eventually disease.

Eventually, different systems in your body will start to break down. What breaks down first is determined by your body's metabolism and genetic weak links.

Since most of my clients deal with insomnia, what deteriorates first for them is neural health tissue which affects their sleep. Either they have a hard time falling asleep or they wake up in the night and can’t go back to sleep. Many people with sleep issues also experience anxiety or depression and other mood issues. Some have brain fog and memory problems, too, because of this breakdown in nerve tissue.

For other people, different parts of the body start to break down first. It could be carbohydrate metabolism that stops working correctly. When this happens, you can eat healthily and avoid sugar and still have blood sugar issues. Or your hormone system might start to give out and you can face menstrual issues, “adrenal fatigue” or hypothyroid symptoms.

If you look closely at the Metabolic Chaos chart, you'll see that the arrows pointing from the center of metabolic chaos go in both directions. This shows that as one system in your body starts breaking down it leads to even more metabolic chaos which then causes another system to break down which leads to even more metabolic chaos. If you don't find out what's causing all this chaos, your body is going to keep breaking down and you're going to get sicker and sicker.

Treating symptoms only leads to more metabolic chaos and will make things worse. The more you try to deal with your symptoms with over-the-counter or prescription drugs, the more out of balance your body gets as your body has to detoxify those drugs and deal with their side effects.

Dealing with stress is the key. Managing the stressors you’re aware of is the first step. Uncovering hidden stressors and addressing them is the second step.

Functional lab testing will show what’s going on in your body that’s contributing to metabolic chaos. Looking at the gut, the liver, mineral balance, hormones, and more will find the source of the problem. Instead of focusing on one specific thing or another as blood work does, I like to look at the big picture of what's going on in your body and what isn’t working correctly.

One of my first and favorite clients, Jaipal, came to me with sleep issues, mainly waking up in the night and being awake for hours. He’s an architect and he didn’t have the energy, clarity, or creativity he needed to perform his job because he was so exhausted. His lab tests showed that he had a parasite, H. pylori, and a damaged gut. His estrogen was through the roof, his minerals were out of balance, and he had many food sensitivities.

I helped him change his diet, get to the root of his stress, and recommended supplements to get back in balance. As he wrote 6 months later, “A month in, I started to sleep much better. Two months in, I realized I had dropped 15 lbs of extra weight. I started waking up with more energy and found that I could get through a full day with focus and attention...Now I have regained the confidence, energy, and positivity that I always remembered throughout my life.

This is what is possible for you, too. You can book a free call with me to find out how I can help you get the sleep you need to live your best life!

Book your call here!

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