These little-known reasons behind sleep disorders like restless legs, sleep apnea and night time reflux have been of particular interest to me. I’ve experienced sleep apnea and I have clients who come to me with a variety of sleep issues ranging from night time reflux to periodic leg movement sleep and other challenges that make sleep difficult.
Here are some thoughts based on my research and discussion with experts in the field. These have helped me and my clients get sound sleep at night!
Vitamin and Mineral Balance
Magnesium and potassium are often related to sleep challenges, including restless legs, periodic leg movement sleep, night terrors and nighttime reflux. A very clever neurologist, Dr. Stasha Gominak, began wondering why so many of her slim, young patients (who did not fit the profile for sleep apnea) were suffering from sleep apnea, headaches, REM apnea and leg movement.
She began treating her patients with magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 — and she noticed iron deficiencies. She was successful at getting patients of CPAP (a sleep apnea device sending oxygen into airways at night) and relieving them of headaches. I think Dr. Gomiak is on to something, but I would do further testing on vitamin D levels and iron levels because there are other root cause mineral imbalances that may be behind these and supplementing with them may make things worse. Learn more about vitamin D testing here.
Potassium imbalance or chanelopathies may be reflected in things like night time reflux, restless legs, night terrors (waking up feeling like someone is in the room or as if a demon is sitting on your chest taking away your oxygen) and sleep apnea as well.
When we sleep, we go into a type of paralysis. As we start to fall asleep, our bodies must feel SAFE to go into that state of paralysis. We need adequate levels of B vitamins and minerals to do this. What can also help is focusing on feeling safe when sleeping.
The affirmation Louise provides to heal this condition of insomnia:
I lovingly release the day and slip into peaceful sleep, knowing tomorrow will take care of itself. –Louise Hay
You might add, “I am safe.” to this affirmation.
Let your body know you are safe. Trust that if you are experiencing trouble sleeping, Life is loving you and wants you to address something in your lifestyle that will allow you to thrive once you let it go. Is stress building up for you? Are you always doing and never resting? Do you give and give, but don’t get to receive? Are you saying yes when you want to say no? Do you feel safe? Ask yourself these questions.
Bottom Line, Consider Getting These Tests
- Spectracell Micronutrient Test. This looks at nutrient levels in the Lymphocyte, which reflects intracellular levels in the last ~6 months. This will tell you how your minerals are doing.
- Vitamin D (both 25 OH and I,25 OH) – measures both the storage form and active form of vitamin D.
Then work with a knowledgeable practitioner who can help balance your vitamins and minerals.
Here’s What You Can Do Now
- Use your affirmations before sleep. Remind yourself that you are always safe. Forgive yourself for any struggles you are having right now. Journal about the above list and anything that comes up around how you can feel safe and trust life, especially at night before bed.
- Create a safe, soothing container for yourself in your bedroom (Hay House author Terah Kathryn Collins of The Western School of Feng Shui always has great tips for how to create a safe bedroom space. Check out their Facebook page and books!)
- Take a magnesium flake foot bath or full bath before bed. Take a look at magnesium deficiency symptoms and you’ll see why it can help.
- Consider a vitamin B complex or 500 mcg of Jarrow methyl B12 lozenges (let sit between upper lip and gums or under tongue for at least 90 minutes to get the sublingual benefits). There is another sublingual form of B12 called Dibencoplex by Anabol Naturals that is adenosyl B12 and is better for those of you needing less methyl groups (you know who you are if this makes sense to you!).
Remember to consult your doctor or health care provider — I am not a doctor and these recommendations are for educational purposes. I encourage you to research further and always listen to your inner voice!
I hope these suggestions can give you clues into the symptoms your body is using to speak to you. Remember, above all else, your body loves you and wants you to be at your best. Each symptom is an opportunity to turn within and see where we can love ourselves more each day.
This article started from a conversation we had on Facebook!
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