Case Study – Insomnia and Good Nutrition
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects people all over the world, and of all ages. Essentially, the symptoms of insomnia can be divided into three distinct groups:
– Those who find it difficult to fall asleep when they go to bed
– Those who get up in the middle of the night, sometimes several times during the night
– Those who get up early in the mornings and can’t seem to fall back asleep.
No matter what the symptoms are, you will find that the results are the same. If you’ve been suffering from insomnia for a long time, you will notice that your mind and body begin to function less effective. People need sleep to well in order to work efficiently. It is the nature of things. Sleep allows us to recharge and revitalize our minds and bodies.
Causes of insomnia
There are many different causes of insomnia, some of them include:
– Stress of any kind (divorce, loss of a job etc)
– Taking certain medications
– Working at odd times (shifts)
– Medical conditions (such as chronic pain, dementia)
– Jet lag
Sleep is important, not only for your mental well-being but for your physical health as well. Sleep deprivation, up to and including insomnia, can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease, as well as confusion, depression and the possible worsening of the early symptoms of some dementias. Lack of sleep can cause a major slowing in reaction speed as well, and a sleep-deprived driver is no safer to have on the road than a drunk driver. Sleep is one of the functions of the body that is regulated by proteins, and increasing protein intake slightly may help to get you back to sleeping like you used to.
Bryan is worried about all of his life changes and is not sleeping more than two hours per night on most nights. What he does not realize is that part of his problem is extreme hunger and borderline dehydration. In his efforts to lose weight, he has limited his calories to less than he needs and only eats three meals, the last of which comes at six pm, leaving him without food at all for over twelve hours.
After discussing his sleep problems with a doctor, Bryan makes several changes. First, he adds additional calories to his day, including small snacks between meals. Next, he adds a final small snack before bed, a protein/carb mix that allows him to sleep without being overly hungry or overly full. During the day, he uses a protein supplement, as a between-meal snack, giving him 25 grams of high quality protein for only 100 calories. At night, he eats a small bowl of cereal with skim milk. His wife is using a as well and finds that it is helping with her morning sickness, especially when she consumes it before getting up in the mornings.