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  • Writer's pictureMartha Lewis

Why the medical system can’t solve your insomnia (and what can)

Western medicine has figured out how to save and extend life which is amazing.

But the medical system can’t help you with insomnia.

My skepticism with the medical system started when I was in college. My mom had depression and so she was on different meds for most of her life. At the time, her psychiatrist suggested that her daughters take an antidepressant for “prevention.” So I started taking Zoloft even though I had zero symptoms of depression. (I was having the time of my life, studying, playing rugby and partying.) Within a few weeks, I was sleeping all the time and not caring about having fun. My roommate pointed out the change and said maybe that medication wasn’t good for me. I agreed and stopped taking it and went back to my normal, fun-loving self. But I started to not trust the medical system that prescribes drugs to people with no symptoms.

This is what I've learned over the years since then.

Our healthcare system does not help with prevention of disease. It uses bloodwork to diagnose disease. Until then, it’s a wait and see model. “You're pre-diabetic. Let’s wait until you're fully diabetic and then you can take insulin for the rest of your life.”

The medical system is all about diagnosing disease.

The medical system can’t help you with insomnia.

The medical system’s solution for disease is either drugs or surgery. These are band-aids that don’t get to the root of the problem.

Your doctor can prescribe a sleeping pill that sedates you and doesn't give you natural sleep.

They cover up your symptoms and get you feeling “fine,” but they don’t get you healthy.

In fact, most drugs have side effects that make you more unhealthy over time.

Another issue with our medical system is that pharmaceutical companies heavily invest in medical schools and marketing to doctors. Authors of an article in in-Training wrote, “ Medical students’ exposure to pharmaceutical marketing begins early, growing in frequency throughout their training.” The more they’re exposed to the companies with lunches (up to 70 a year), gifts and promotional items, the more their skepticism diminishes over time. And the pharmaceutical industry spends more than 14 billion dollars a year on marketing to doctors, almost double that of research and development!

The medical system can’t help you with insomnia.

So many of the chronic diseases that plague us today are preventable with lifestyle and diet. Even the CDC estimates that eliminating three risk factors (poor diet, inactivity, and smoking) would prevent 80% of heart disease and stroke, 80% of type 2 diabetes, and 40% of cancer!

Your doctor may tell you to change your diet and exercise more. But he doesn’t help you make those changes. And our society doesn't make those changes easy, with processed foods being cheap and readily available, daily use of coffee and alcohol being socially acceptable, etc.

The medical system can’t help you with insomnia.

This is because insomnia is caused by imbalances in your body. Your body isn’t totally healthy if you can’t sleep normally. (Even if you eat well and exercise and care about your health.)

Building health and fixing disease are two different things.

The medical system isn’t looking for the root cause of your insomnia.

The medical system doesn’t help with building health.

So what’s the answer?

You have to go outside the medical system to be truly healthy so you can sleep normally.

You have to use an alternative health approach.

There are many forms of “alternative medicine.”

What I use is functional medicine.

Functional medicine is looking at how your body is working as a whole. It looks for the root cause of disease.

I use functional lab tests so I can see what’s going on in your body, what’s out of balance, what needs to be corrected. It’s testing instead of guessing.

Functional lab testing shows how the different systems in your body are working so we know what to fix, kind of like how a car mechanic plugs your engine into the diagnostic machine to see what’s wrong.

Symptoms have many causes. What’s causing your sleep issues can be completely different than what’s causing someone else’s.

From my experience working with almost 100 clients, I see that the most common causes of insomnia are:

All of my clients have different combinations of these imbalances. And it’s never just one thing. That’s why there’s not one magic pill that will solve the problem.

If you can’t sleep normally, you have 4 practitioners you can go to:

  1. Doctor

He/she will run blood work (which will likely come back “normal”) and prescribe a pill.

  1. Therapist or sleep coach

He/she will help you with the mental part of not sleeping and sleep hygiene (which are important but won’t help with the physical imbalances that are causing your insomnia).

  1. Functional medicine doctor or naturopath

He/she will address the physical cause. But I’ve found that these doctors don’t specialize in sleep, they don’t look at everything in your body that could be keeping you awake, they will recommend changes but they don’t help you make those changes, and they don’t help with the mental part.

  1. Complete Sleep Solution

We’re different because:

We specialize in sleep.

We look for everything out of balance in your body that is affecting your sleep.

We give you the support you need to change your diet, habits, etc. if necessary.

We look at both the body and the mind.

We use lab testing to find the imbalances in your body.

And we help with negative thoughts and worry about sleep and stress in general.

Book a free consultation to find out how the program works and if we’re a good fit to work together. We want you to start sleeping better as quickly as possible, naturally without drugs!

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