Mineral Imbalance Can Cause Insomnia
Not sleeping can drive you crazy. When I used to lie awake at night, I’d think of everything I did that day trying to pinpoint what I did wrong that was keeping me awake. Was it the chocolate I ate at 4pm? Did I exercise too little or not enough?
As I learned more about how things in the body can cause insomnia, I’d wonder if it was my liver, or the parasite in my gut or because I had heavy metals. Now I know that it was all of those things and more. I finally got over my insomnia by addressing everything that was contributing to it: my gut, liver, hormones, mineral imbalance and food sensitivities. Trying to fix one thing wasn’t enough.
This week, I want to tell you about something you may not have heard of: mineral imbalances can cause insomnia.
You hear about vitamins all the time, but you rarely hear about the importance of minerals for health and sleep. All of my clients have some sort of mineral imbalance which makes sense since they aren’t sleeping well.
The most important thing to know is that, even though you hear about minerals by themselves (magnesium can help with sleep, for example), they work synergistically together. If you take too much magnesium, it affects your calcium, sodium and potassium levels.
You need other nutrients to absorb magnesium, like boron, vitamin D and B vitamins. Magnesium supplements won’t help you sleep if you don’t absorb them.
I have all my clients do a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis because minerals are so important for sleep. The first thing I focus on is getting the four primary minerals in balance: calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. These four minerals are always out of balance and you can’t deal with heavy metals or iodine deficiency until these are balanced.
Do you have slow metabolism? Most of my clients do.
What does slow metabolism really mean? Slow metabolism or oxidation means your adrenals and your thyroid are sluggish. Slow oxidation also has to do with your minerals. Your body isn’t able to retain sodium and potassium, so those levels are low on a mineral test. Then calcium and magnesium can’t get out of cells so they build up in the soft tissue (like the hair) and aren’t available to be used.
Calcium and magnesium look high but they’re actually low in the body and being excreted into the hair. This client was taking magnesium supplements (that’s why magnesium was so high) but she wasn’t absorbing them so they ended up in her hair.
Do you have any of these symptoms of slow oxidation?
hypothyroid symptoms (weight gain, cold hands and feet, fatigue)
sugar cravings and low blood sugar
apathy, depression, social withdrawal, negative thoughts
low blood pressure
osteoarthritis and osteoporosis
Here are the causes of slow oxidation:
chronic stress (both physical and mental)
poor diet (low protein)
supplements like calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D
toxic metals and environmental chemicals
chronic infections (especially in the gut)
medications (blood pressure drugs, sedatives, sleeping pills, marijuana, pain pills)
The mineral test and the other tests my clients take show what’s causing their metabolism to be slow. And then I work with them on all the factors that are contributing to their mineral imbalance: I address their gut infections, help them find their optimal diet, work with them to minimize toxins and give them tools to lower their mental stress.
If you are a slow oxidizer, it’s sabotaging your sleep. That’s why it’s so important to look at what’s going on with your minerals and get them back in balance.
Next, I want to tell you about what happens if you aren’t absorbing calcium and it creates a calcium “shell.” I use the Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis test to see if my clients are excreting lots of calcium which means they aren’t absorbing it and so it’s building up in the soft tissues including the hair.
You can get a calcium shell from too much calcium supplementation, emotional trauma or chronic stress, hard drinking water, hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s, iodine deficiency and copper toxicity (which I’ll be talking about tomorrow).
Do you have any of these symptoms of a calcium shell?
Joint and muscle pain, cramps, spasms or twitches
Hypothyroid symptoms (cold hands and feet, weight gain, fatigue)
Arthritis, osteoporosis, boner spurs
Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome
Poor dental health and tooth decay
Feeling disconnected, apathetic, numb
Anxiety, irritability, racing mind if paired with copper toxicity
If you have any of these symptoms, you could have a calcium shell. If calcium isn’t going into your bones where it’s supposed to, calcium can build up in the soft tissues and cause these unpleasant symptoms. It can increase your risk of heart disease if calcium builds up in your arteries. This is why calcium supplements can be dangerous and why you never want to supplement with calcium unless testing shows that you need it and you take it with vitamin K2 which helps put it in the bones where it’s supposed to go.
Almost anyone with a calcium shell is also a slow oxidizer which contributes to insomnia. To get your minerals back in balance so you can sleep normally, you definitely need to address a calcium shell and other mineral imbalances.
If you’ve been on birth control or been a vegan or vegetarian, you need to keep reading! You probably have COPPER TOXICITY, which is contributing to your insomnia.
Copper is a metal that can accumulate in your liver and your brain and can cause all sorts of distressing symptoms like:
anxiety or irritability
Many of my female clients have copper toxicity because birth control is the main cause of too much copper. It’s been over 12 years since I took birth control pills, yet I’m still excreting copper as I’m working on balancing my minerals.
You can also accumulate copper from xenoestrogens like pesticides and BPA in plastic, cooking with copper pans and drinking water from copper pipes. Many vegetarians and vegans have excess copper because their diets are low in zinc which keeps copper from accumulating in the body.
Copper affects other minerals because it depletes potassium, it raises sodium at first then depletes it, it increases how quickly you burn through magnesium by 5 times and it pushes calcium to the soft tissues creating a calcium shell (see yesterday’s post).
Now you know that copper toxicity is an often overlooked cause of insomnia. I have all my clients do an easy Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis test so we can see what’s going on with their minerals that’s affecting their sleep. If you focus on your gut or your hormones but you don’t address mineral imbalances like copper toxicity, you won’t fully get over your insomnia.
As you’ve learned this week, analyzing minerals is extremely complex but it’s also an important piece of your health and sleep. The mineral test also gives insight into how many systems of the body are working: thyroid, adrenals, blood sugar, nervous system, stress, hormones and more. With this valuable information, we can get minerals back in balance to help get your systems back in balance so you can sleep like you want to: peacefully, uninterrupted and deeply!
When I help my clients improve their sleep and work on their health, it can be a bit of a roller coaster. They see improvement but some nights are better than others. One of my clients is having a few nights of seven hours of sleep (amazing!) and then a couple of nights when he wakes up at 3am. He used to wake up at 3am and not fall back asleep. Now he’s falling back asleep most of the time, sleeping for 7 hours total and feeling great the next day.
This roller coaster is normal! It will get more consistent over time as he works on his gut, his hormones, his minerals and his liver. Soon enough he’ll be sleeping great most of the time! And it’s fun for him (and for me) to experience things getting better and better and celebrate every improvement.
The most powerful part of finding out what’s going on in your body that’s causing your insomnia is that you don’t feel crazy anymore. The reason you're waking up at 3am and not falling back asleep isn’t because you aren’t breathing correctly or you didn’t meditate for long enough. It’s because there’s something going on in your body. Now you know this and so there’s no need to get anxious because you know you’re working on fixing it.
This is what’s possible for you, too! I know because I’ve overcome my own insomnia by finding out what was going on in my body. And it’s happened to dozens of my clients. Whether they’ve been struggling for months, years or ever since they can remember, I help them find out what’s causing them insomnia and give them a plan to fix it so they can live rested, happier and healthier lives! Book a call with me to find out how I can help you get these same results!