Why You Are Struggling With Sleep And What To Do About It with Christine Garvin
Sleep is a crucial aspect of our overall health and well-being, and yet, it seems like more and more people are struggling with getting a good night’s rest.
Women, in particular, seem to be affected by sleep issues as they age.
But what exactly is the connection between sleep and our health, and why is it so important to get enough of it?
In this week’s episode, Christine discusses the physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual processes that take place in our bodies while we sleep, and why sleep is so crucial to our overall health.
She also discusses the impact of stress on our sleep and how it affects our daily lives.
✨Struggling with sleep in the hospital due to pain and body being in fight or flight response
✨Using technology to distract from thoughts/provide background noise, but why that ended up hindering sleep
✨Factors that can contribute to poor sleep in women over the age of 35
✨The roles that cortisol and melatonin play in sleep/wake cycle, and how that 3am wake- up call is impacted by these hormones
✨Why blood sugar regulation is important for good sleep
Christine also talks about her upcoming sleep workshop, which delves deeper into these topics, including the role of food and supplements in promoting good sleep. Learn more about the workshop here and watch below for more on this topic:
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Christine Garvin 0:01
Everyone, welcome to this week’s episode of hormonally speaking, you got me here this week chatting with you about something that is constantly in my social media feeds. It’s certainly the biggest issue that my clients come to me. Not specifically for it, but it is something that almost all of them share. And that is dealing with sleep issues, right. So this feels like it’s something that impacts almost everybody these days. But certainly, if you are a woman over age 14, it becomes a big, big issue and becomes the thing that you focus on the most a lot of times in terms of just trying to make it better, right, because we know that sleep is at the core of our health, right? It’s kind of like eat sleep, blood blurt things out on your body.
And those are kind of the most important things getting some sun obviously, too. And we need to be able to have consistent sleep in order to really do all of the healing that our body does. When we’re down, right. It’s not just the simple fact of like, okay, I’m tired, I need to go to sleep. So that I will have energy tomorrow, you’re the processes that happen in your body during sleep. I mean, we’re just on the cusp of understanding some of them, there’s so many things that happen. Even if you think back to, you know, traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, they have understood for long periods of time that this is when our liver does a lot of its detoxing. This is when our kidneys kind of rev up and do what they need to do.
This is the time that all of our organs are kind of processing, moving things out. And really clearing the way for the next day. Because we’re always going to be encountering new things for our bodies to process, right, our body has to process food, it has to process supplements, it has to process medication, it has to process, the air that we breathe, and asked to process the products that we use and the chemicals that are in those products. And so you want to give your body as much of that kind of alcohol at downtime for the rest and repair system to really kick in and do what it needs to do in order to keep you healthy. Because we need all of those systems really working at, you know, the ultimate place that they can be working in order to keep you healthy.
Because as we are all well aware, there is so much that our body has to take on these days as compared to you know, any other time in history. We’re just facing lots of different things right now. And of course, you know, stress plays such a huge impact on our health. We’ve talked about that a lot on the podcast, and you need that sleep in order to really take your stress levels down, you know, in a major way and to process the emotions to from the day. I mean, that’s really what dreaming is right? So sleep is really a physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual experience. And it’s something that when you start to have trouble getting it consistently and deeply, you feel it in everywhere in your life, right you get like short with your family. You know, you get annoyed by people walking down the street doing things live in their lives. You know, we can have a hard time really focusing there’s so many different ways and not getting enough sleep impacts us.
So I wanted to talk a little bit today about my own experience with struggling with sleep. It’s hard for me to recall what was happening honestly, before my surgeries in terms of my sleep, I feel like maybe there was starting to be some would have sleep issues at that point. But not so bad that it became a thing where I was trying to figure out how I was going to get to sleep and how I was going to stay to stay asleep. But you know, if you’ve listened to this podcast for a long time, you know very well about my surgery that went wrong. If you’re new here, I’ll just give a quick synopsis.
I had a fibroid removed and then only burned me in three places in my intestines During that surgery. And that landed me in the ER Are two weeks after the surgery, the myomectomy was completed. And I had sepsis. And I ended up losing half of my colon, and you know, nearly died. So needless to say I was on tons of medications. When I was in the hospital, I was on IV antibiotics because of the sepsis, they had to do emergency surgeries, all of these things impacted my sleep, right, I basically could not sleep in the hospital. So I was in the hospital, I think altogether about three weeks. And I can remember so much of being there because I was awake for it. And I remember actually begging me at or begging them. And it’s kind of crazy, because they gave me all these other medications, but I was begging them for some sleep medications. And they wanted to give me melatonin. And I laughed so much, because of course, you know, I’m a natural practitioner, and I’m like, Yeah, melatonin, but not when you’re in the hospital, and can’t sleep, I was like, give me sleeping pills, which they did not.
So I struggled really, really terribly with sleep a lot because of the pain that I was experiencing. And you know, that’s going to be part of that. But also, everything was off in my body, right. So my body was just in that fight or flight response pretty much nonstop while I was there. So one of the things that I did to just drown out, you know, what was kind of going going on in my head just a little bit was to have an iPad there, and Netflix or Hulu or both, you know, we’re consistently running, if there wasn’t somebody in the room with me to serve, talk and be with me and that kind of thing, particularly at night, and I did have people stay with me at night, but I still had that thing running, I would just have headphones on. Because it was the only thing that kind of combed my system.
And I would get little bits of sleep here and there. But of course they come in throughout the night and check your vitals and those kinds of things. So I would just fall asleep and they would come in and I’d wake up. So I got into this routine of having the iPad on in the background, which you know, I’ll talk about here a little bit more in a moment.
Unfortunately, technology inhibits our sleep. And again, I’ll talk about that, the how and the why here on the moment. But I kind of got used to that. So by the time I went home from the hospital, and I left with an ostomy bag. And for those who aren’t aware of what ostomy bags are, it’s basically when your part of your intestine is pulled through your abdomen, and you have to attach a bag to your abdomen because that is where your waist is coming out. And that’s what they do, you know, for, in my case, letting the remaining colon chill out and heal for about six months. And then they could go back in and what’s called reconnect me, which they did. And I was lucky to be able to do that.
So they reconnected in my remaining colon to my small intestine. But in the meantime, to let that colon just relax, do some healing, they gave me an ostomy bag. So that means part of my small intestine was outside of my abdomen. And the thing about the type of osmy I have, which is called an ileostomy, meaning it comes from your small intestine, things are very liquidy let’s just put it that way when it coming from your small intestine in your colon is really where the actual stool forms, right, because all the water is absorbed by the colon.
And so that’s when you have this, hopefully, you know, easy coming out. But it’s still a fully formed bowel movements, that’s happening because of your colon. So things are coming out of your small intestine, it is liquidity. If you’re lucky, you know, the goal is to get it like toothpaste consistency. I tell you all of that, just to let you know that it’s kind of constantly going right because there’s no things are just kind of going through your digestion very quickly. So even if I hadn’t eaten in several hours, which I was having constantly eat because I was starving because I lost so much way and when food moves through that quickly, you’re going to be hungry all the time. Right.
And I was trying to gain back weight so I was eating a lot too. And it would just go right through me so I’d have to get up at my and actually what we would say maybe dump the bag right so basically go to the bathroom, but stuff out of the bag, go back to sleep so two to three times a night that was happening. So that was six months of that and so I really you know continue to use I had my computer on with Netflix or Hulu and what have you in the background on kind of consistently and waking up multiple times a night. And then finally six months later, I had my reversal surgery and I was able to start I’m working on getting a full night of sleep again, that really my body had gotten so used to having noise on in the background that was really hard for me to disengage from that.
Here’s the problem with having your computer running or phone running any of those things, a couple of things. Blue light from these devices trigger our cortisol production, which is our up and awake hormones, our stress hormone, but it’s also up and awake hormone, brain. So a that. And then second, we have EMFs, right, that are coming off of our technology.
And I know this is highly debated. But if you go to PubMed, you’re going to see a ton of literature, showing us that EMFs actually do impact our systems, and can impact sleep in a big way. And so particularly, you know, I have that computer in bed with me, not too far away from me. So there’s just EMFs are just emitting and keeping my body sort of in that fight or flight response, awake response, right. So it felt like it was helping, but it wasn’t it was actually going against my, my sleep patterns. So I finally was able to kind of get out of that mode of it.
And then my cat ended up getting sick, he developed inflammatory bowel disease, and he, he had the loose stools and the diarrhea. And oftentimes that would happen at night. And I would wake up and you know, have to clean up and these kinds of things. And so basically, I just had two and a half to three years of non consistent sleep throughout the night, which is really tough on your system, right. And my cat, you know, sadly, had to transition just about a year ago. And it was probably after that where I really started to hunker down on getting better sleep.
I mean, you could see it in my face, right, you could just see that I was not getting enough sleep. And that impacted my adrenals so much too. And my thyroid there are so many ways, again, sleep impacts us. And so I started to do all the things and I had tried some things before too, but I really hunkered down and you know, I was like alright, we’re doing the melatonin. Melatonin seem to help me get to sleep but not stay asleep. I tried l theanine did not help at all I tried magnesium did not help at all. So all of the things that are kind of talked about a lot to help sleep or not really helping me.
So what I ended up doing is trial and error of tons of different supplement combinations. And I finally came upon one that was it right and continues to be it for me. And it works for about 95% of my clients. So it’s it’s a life saver and a game changer. And it’s something I’m going to share with you next week in my sleep workshop that I am doing on February 15 at 12pm. Eastern Standard Time, I’m going to give you the lowdown on that combination that I utilize. And then other options too.
And one of the other things that we’re going to talk about is, you know, if absolutely nothing else helps you, then there is one hormone that is going to be kind of the most helpful. If you’re over age 40. You get it tested and you find out it’s low, that’s going to be the most helpful situation. If these supplements don’t don’t work for you, and we’re also going to talk about that hormone and the specific way of taking that hormone because it doesn’t help with sleep in all the forms, it only helps with in one form. So we’re gonna talk about that next week too.
But let’s talk about some of the other reasons that you know, we the basic reasons that you may not be getting enough sleep. And I’m going to go in depth into all of this next week during the workshop. So basically, the thing about women over age 40, in particular, and really 35 Are progesterone starts to diminish, right. And really sleep is not just about progesterone, it’s about estrogen too. And these levels, you’ll see women going into menopause, that when their estrogen drops, they’ll really struggle with sleep too, right?
So it is simply about determining some of the balance between those. That’s not the whole reason you’re not sleeping, but it is part of the picture. And I think that that’s very important to understand, particularly when you’re kind of trying everything else and nothing is working. So we’re gonna go much deeper into that next week. And then really the key everybody always wants to jump to estrogen and progesterone first, when the key is going back to cortisol, which I’ve already mentioned, right? So cortisol again, it’s known as our stress hormone, it’s released by the adrenals.
These tiny little guys that sit on top of our kidneys, and are the powerhouses really because they secrete that cortisol stress hormone, they secrete our stress hormone adrenaline. They also manufacture some of our, the sex hormones, too. There’s so much that’s happening in our adrenals, we want to make sure to take good care of them. But the thing about cortisol, it’s not just a stress hormone. It is also a circadian rhythm hormone, right? When we’re talking our circadian rhythm, which I’m sure you’ve heard of before, but it’s basically our sleep wake cycle, right?
Cortisol is one end of that, that is our wake cycle. And melatonin is the other end of that. That’s our sleep cycle, right. And melatonin is known as the sleep hormone. So you have cortisol, which is our awake hormone. And then you have on the other side of things, melatonin, that is our sleep hormone. And cortisol should rise gently in the morning, when you wake up, that’s part of what’s getting you out of bed, right, and then peak an hour and a half or so after you’re awake hour and a half to two hours, and then slowly go down throughout the day, while your melatonin starts to rise usually around that, you know, five to 6pm time, and then it is going to be hopefully nice and high by the time you go to bed at 10 or 11. And really try and get to bed by 11.
We’ll talk about the why next week too. And at the point that melatonin is nice and high, we want that cortisol to be nice and low, right? Because when you have cortisol too high during that time in the evening, that is what is going to make you really struggle to get the good sleep that you need, right? Because it’s your awake hormone, right? It’s trying to keep you awake. And it’s going to blunt the impact of melatonin. So we certainly want autonomy nice and high at night or sold to be nice and low.
Sometimes, you know, I see women that will be able to get to sleep decently well. But then they wake up at that three or 4am time slot, right? That’s a pretty common one. And a lot of times I think people think, you know, my clients be like, Oh, it’s because I have to use the bathroom, I have to pee, my bladder woke me up. Although your bladder certainly is probably most likely full at that time, and you are going to want to go to the bathroom. That is not actually what’s waking you up. It is actually cortisol peaking or raising too much at that time in the morning when it should still be low, right.
And we talked about cortisol rising in the morning. So when it happens, particularly around that three or 4am time slot, then it is going to make it hard for you to go back to sleep, right? This is when you start having those ruminating thoughts like you wake up, you go to the bathroom, you get back in bed, and suddenly you can’t go back to sleep because your brain is thinking about all the things that you need to do the next day, right. So cortisol, more than likely has had a steep incline that’s happened at that point. And that’s why you’re struggling to get back to sleep.
So one of the big ways that we really want to help that cortisol at night is to make sure that your blood sugar is nice and regulated during the daytime. This is something we’re also going to talk more about next week, but having stable blood sugar during the day is actually going to impact your sleep at night. Blood sugar and cortisol are very interconnected. And when your blood sugar drops, and all the night while you’re sleeping, that is a huge reason of cortisol increasing right of course all will increase under the stress of low blood sugar.
So another thing a lot of people will struggle with drinking you know alcohol and evening being able to sleep fine because it is something that calms their system in the you know, the time that they drink it and right after but what it’s also doing is lowering your blood sugar. Again in the middle of the night, that blood sugar is lowered triggers that cortisol to rise and here we are awake and cannot get back to sleep. So these are all things to take into consideration. Right?
I as I mentioned I’m going to share my supplements superstars next week during the workshop but it’s not just supplements it is what you eat during the day. It is what you eat in the evening. It is what are you doing before bedtime? What time are you getting to bed? You know are you having what is the room like that you are sleeping in? Do you have technology happening in your room that’s going to be stimulating to your system and stimulating to your cortisol. It’s all of these things.
So I’m going to break all of that down for you next week lifestyle, what you eat, what supplements to take. And of course, if nothing else works, but the number one hormone that you may need in order to help your sleep, what it is. So I hope that you can join me next week, if this is something that is a struggle for you. Even if you can’t make the time, which is 4pm, Eastern Standard Time, on February 15, you can still sign up for the for the workshop, and you will have the workshop sent to you afterwards.
And along side of the workshop. I’m also doing a free bonus worksheet because, you know, sometimes we learn all this stuff in the workshop. But then afterwards, we’re like, Okay, well, what what were the takeaways, right, so this worksheet is going to give you the specific takeaways of what you need to do to help support your sleep. And then I’m also including a free EFT session, which is emotional freedom technique. And that is going to help all of your energy systems. So basically, calming your nervous system before bed, because that can be a huge thing.
Also utilizing that if you do wake up in the middle of night with that cortisol spike, being able to calm your nervous system can help you get back to sleep. So I really wanted to offer a free EFT Video Bonus with this workshop too, because it can be such a powerful thing that you can do. And then in the moment, and it takes you two minutes to do. So, again, I hope that you can make that next week. If you can’t, if you sign up for the workshop, then you’ll get all of that sent to you right afterwards. So it’s no big deal. I know everybody’s busy, you know, at different times of the day. So we’re just trying to get this information out there to you.
And if you are listening to this podcast, after February 15, This workshop will end up being in my online hormones school, get your hormones, right. So you’ve still be able to access it, even if you can’t make it on the 15th. And you’re just here about this afterwards. So coming back really quick to the importance of sleep, and hormones. So much of our hormones, comes down to our Hormonal Health comes down to how is your circadian rhythm? How’s it working? Right? And I had a question from someone, I think it was on Instagram. They said, Well, I want to talk about the in Freudian rhythm, which is your menstrual cycle. Rhythm, right.
So it’s basically that month long process of your estrogen and your progesterone and your FSH and LH doing their thing, right, which of course when we’re talking when’s women’s hormones, and it’s very important to talk about the radian rhythm. But at its core, the radian rhythm is built upon your circadian rhythm. So having the normal process of cortisol rising in the morning, and then slowly going down throughout the day, and then that melatonin rising at night, and then slowly going down throughout the night, where it hits its bottom spot, when you’re waking up in the morning, so you’re not tired anymore, right?
That is the foundation upon which all of those other hormones are going to be built, right. And as we’ve talked about blood sugar is a part of that. And so the hormone insulin, which is how we get sugar out of our bloodstream and into ourselves to be utilized is part of the picture too, right? So really, making sure that your circadian rhythm that your blood sugar are onpoint that is going to help with that whole other aspect of issues that you’re having. When it comes to period problems.
When it comes to, you know, any kind of growths in your body fibroids, cysts, etc, we have to really hone in on this foundational level. First, it’s going to take care of a lot of stuff. And it’s going to help prevent a lot of issues too. So I hope that you can join me next week where I’ll go much more in depth about all of this. And hopefully have you sleeping better that night. Because let me tell you, my life is completely different since I’ve had consistent good sleep again throughout the night. And I want that for you too.
So hopefully I will see you next Wednesday, February 15. And in terms of the podcast, we’re back next week with another amazing guest. We have some really really cool episodes coming up. I’m super, super excited to share with you guys. Just some power real powerful people and events happening. And just information that I think is so, so important for you to know. So stay tuned, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already. Leave us a review if you haven’t, that is really the biggest thing that helps growth especially on iTunes. And as you might be aware, at this point, we did make the top 20% most shared globally and most subscribed to podcasts. And so we want to make that even higher this year.
We want to we want to hit top 5% So you would do me a solid if you share the podcast if you subscribe to the podcast if you leave a review any of those is fantastic. So thanks for being here as always, and I will see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai