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Uses of healing magnets >Insomnia


What is insomnia?

    Insomnia is the most common of all sleep complaints. Almost everyone has occasional sleepless nights, perhaps due to stress, heartburn or drinking too much caffeine or alcohol. Insomnia is a lack of sleep that occurs on a regular or frequent basis, often for no apparent reason.
    Inability to get a good night's sleep can affect not only your energy level and mood but your health as well because sleep helps bolster your immune system. Fatigue, at any age, leads to diminished mental alertness and concentration.
    About one out of three people have insomnia sometime in their life. Sleeplessness may be temporary or chronic. You don't necessarily have to live with sleepless nights. Some simple changes in your daily routine and habits may result in better sleep.

Types of insomnia

    A person can have primary or secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems that are not directly associated with any other health condition or problem. Secondary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems because of something else, such as a health condition (like depression, heartburn, cancer, asthma, arthritis), pain, medication they are taking, or a substance they are using (like alcohol). Insomnia can vary in how long it lasts and how often it occurs. Insomnia can be short-term (called acute insomnia) or last a long time (called chronic insomnia). It can also come and go (or be intermittent), with periods of time when a person has no sleep problems. Acute (short-term) insomnia can last from one night to a few weeks.

Causes of insomnia

    Common causes of insomnia include:
• Stress. Concerns about work, school, health or family keep your mind too active and unable to relax for sleep. Excessive boredom, such as after retirement or during a long illness, also can create stress and keep you awake.
• Anxiety. Everyday anxieties as well as severe anxiety disorders may keep your mind too alert to fall asleep.
• Depression. You may either sleep too much or have trouble sleeping if you're depressed. This may be due to chemical imbalances in your brain or because worries that accompany depression may keep you from relaxing enough to fall asleep when you want to.
• Stimulants. Prescription drugs, including some antidepressant, high blood pressure and steroid medications, can interfere with sleep. Many over-the-counter (OTC) medications, including some pain medication combinations, decongestants and weight-loss products, contain caffeine and other stimulants.
• Change in your environment or work schedule. Travel or working a late or early shift can disrupt your body's circadian rhythms, making you unable to get to sleep when you want to. The word circadian comes from two Latin words: circa for "about" and dia for "day." Your circadian rhythms act as internal clocks, guiding such things as your wake-sleep cycle, metabolism and body temperature.
• Long-term use of sleep medications. Doctors generally recommend using sleeping pills for only up to 4 weeks, or until you notice benefits from self-help measures. If you need sleep medications for longer, take them no more than two to four times a week, so they don't become habit-forming. Sleeping pills often become less effective over time. If you're taking sleeping pills every evening and they help, keep taking them. If they lose their effectiveness, you might sleep better by slowly withdrawing from them.
• Medical conditions that cause pain. These include arthritis, fibromyalgia and neuropathies, among other conditions. Making sure that your medical conditions are well treated may help with your insomnia.
• Behavioural insomnia. This may occur when you worry excessively about not being able to sleep well and try too hard to fall asleep. Most people with this condition sleep better when they're away from their usual sleep environment or when they don't try to sleep, such as when they're watching TV or reading.
    Insomnia becomes more prevalent with age. As you get older, three changes often occur that may affect your sleep. You may experience:
• A change in sleep patterns. After age 50, sleep often becomes less restful. You spend more time in stages 1 and 2 of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and less time in stages 3 and 4. Stage 1 is transitional sleep, stage 2 is light sleep, and stages 3 and 4 are deep (delta) sleep, the most restful kind. Because you’re sleeping lighter, you're also more likely to wake up. With age, your internal clock often speeds up. You get tired earlier in the evening and consequently wake up earlier in the morning.
• A change in activity. You may be less physically or socially active. Activity helps promote a good night's sleep. You may also have more free time and, because of that, drink more caffeine or alcohol or take a daily nap. These things can also interfere with sleep at night.
• A change in health. The chronic pain of conditions such as arthritis or back problems as well as depression, anxiety and stress can interfere with sleep. Other sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnoea and restless legs syndrome, also become more common with age. Sleep apnoea causes you to stop breathing periodically throughout the night and then awaken. Restless legs syndrome causes unpleasant aches in your legs and an almost irresistible desire to move them, which may prevent you from falling asleep.

Magnetic treatment of insomnia.

    There are numerous causes of insomnia as mentioned above however there is one common element that links all of these types of insomnia, and that is the body clock (circadian rhythm). Essentially the body clock is one of the bodies automated systems. It controls when we sleep and when we wake. If for any reason the body clock becomes out of sync, then sleep/wake patterns will be disrupted.
    The body clocks’ alignment is very delicate and easily disrupted, normally it will realign itself over a period of a few days, for example after a long haul flight, the body feels jetlagged because the time differences have disrupted the body clock. You only feel jetlagged for 2-3 days and then as the body clock resets itself the jetlag wears off.
    However in chronic conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, chronic pain and the aging process the body clock has been out of sync for such a long time that it becomes difficult to realign. This is often the root of the cause of most chronic insomnia. In order to successfully treat chronic insomnia you first have to reset the body clock.
    The body clock is controlled by a hormone, that is made in the pineal gland in the brain, called melatonin. Melatonin regulates the body clock and keeps it in sync. When the body clock is out of sync the pineal gland is not producing enough melatonin. The pineal gland is very susceptible to changes with in the body and will stop producing melatonin when various changes are occurring in the body.
    To be able to understand just how important melatonin is to sleep I have included a graph to show the different levels of melatonin in our bodies in a 24 hour period. You can clearly see that during waking hours melatonin levels are at a minimum, during the late evening (at around 8pm) the pineal gland begins to increase melatonin production. Production continues to increase through out the night until they peak at around 3 am. This gradual steady increase in melatonin levels during the evening and night allows the body to begin winding down and prepare for sleep, at around 10pm-12 am the body’s hormone levels are high enough to induce sleep. Once the melatonin levels have peaked during the early hours of the morning they will stay at this level for the next few hours, this maintains a deep sleep through the night ( if you were to wake during this peak level period you would fall back to sleep straight away). From around 6-7am the pineal gland shuts off and melatonin levels drop quite quickly, once they reach the minimum level once more you are ready to wake up.
    This is the normal sleep/melatonin pattern in a person who does not suffer with insomnia. If the body clock is out of rhythm then this process will not occur. Depending on how the body clock has readjusted itself out of sync you may find that you can quite easily fall asleep but then find yourself waking at regular intervals during the night, unable to get back to sleep, often feeling wide awake. This is caused when the pineal gland produces enough melatonin to induce sleep but when the levels reach maximum instead of remaining at the peak level for the night they rapidly reduce back to a waking level. If this occurs and you wake during the night you will have insufficient melatonin to fall back to sleep again.
    On the other side of the coin you may find it virtually impossible to get to sleep and spend many of the night hours endlessly tossing and turning, finally falling asleep in the very early hours only to have to wake up very soon after. In this instance the pineal gland is producing very little melatonin at all and the levels never achieve the peak that they should.
Melatonin is crucial in maintaining a healthy sleep pattern if you don’t have enough melatonin you are not going to sleep soundly. Melatonin is a hormone and can be taken in a drug form like many other replacement hormones, however it is not licensed for prescription in his country as synthetic hormones do have side effects plus if you take a substitute hormone the body can shut down production of its own supply. Melatonin can be acquired via a private prescription form some pharmacies or from various internet pharmacy sites.
    The most effective way to increase your melatonin levels is to stimulate your own body to produce more of it’s own supplies of melatonin. The pineal gland is very responsive to electro magnetic fields. When a strong magnetic field is placed around the head the pineal gland is stimulated to work harder and as a result it produces more melatonin. Over a period of a few days-a couple of weeks (depending on the individual) the body’s melatonin levels will have increased to normal. Once melatonin levels have reached normal the body clock begins to reset itself and insomnia will resolve.
The majority of insomnia sufferers will achieve very good results when using magnets in their pillow every night. Tests have shown that magnetic pillow pads reduce jetlag in long haul flight crews and they have been tested on chronic insomnia patients. The pillow pad must be left inside the pillow case permanently to prevent the body clock from becoming out of alignment again.

Case Study- Sam 33 years

    Sam is a qualified nurse and is required to work night shift duty. This caused him to suffer from insomnia. Since becoming a nurse in 1993, Sam had suffered with a disrupted body clock. His shift patterns rotated so he worked 3 weeks of day shifts followed by 1 week of night shifts. There was often only one 1 day in between the day to night change. This disrupted his circadian rhythm and as a result he suffered with insomnia. He found it very difficult to get to sleep, often not dropping off until 2 or 3am. He would sleep for an hour or two and then wake up and would find it impossible to get back off to sleep again. He would eventually drop back off to sleep at around 5 am only to have to wake at 6.30am to go back to work.
    Sam consulted his GP who prescribed a conventional sleeping tablet (Temazepam). Sam found that he was unable to cope with the side effects of the Temazepam, he could not get up easily and found his head felt heavy and he was lethargic for the first few hours of the day. Sam then tried a range of herbal sleeping tablets and had limited success, did not work at all and others gave him the same headachy feeling that the Temazepam had. Relaxation methods helped Sam to get off to sleep but did not stop him from waking and being unable to get back to sleep.
    Sam was first seen in our clinic in March 2001, it was clearly apparent that he was severely sleep deprived, the arrival of children had only worsened his insomnia and was only achieving 1-3 hours of sleep per night and sometimes even less. Sam was prescribed a magnetic pillow pad and 4-6 glasses of magnetised water per day. Sam was reviewed after 2 weeks and he reported that after just 5 days use he had had his first full nights sleep in 8 years. He was not sleeping through the night every night but the amount of hours sleep he did get had improved to 5-6 hours per night. After 4 weeks Sam was reviewed for a second time and he reported that he was now able to sleep through the night 4 out of 7 nights and the 3 nights that he was unable to sleep thorough he commented that once he woke it was only a short time before he could get back off to sleep again. Sam continued to improve over the next few weeks and even during his night duty he was able to achieve a reasonable amount of sleep. Sam still continues to use the magnetic pillow on a daily basis but only drinks magnetised water occasionally.

Uses of healing magnets >Insomnia

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