“Sleep problems, or insomnia, is characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Approximately 60 million Americans suffer from sleep problems. Chronic insomnia can seriously disrupt a person’s life, taking a heavy toll in both personal and professional relationships. And although sleep disorders can be debilitating in and of themselves, over time they can lead to functional impairment and decrease resistance to illness.” From Genova Diagnostics website, http://www.gdx.net.
Tests from Genova Diagnostics cover the following possible causes of difficulty sleeping: (the following are quotes from www.gdx.net.)
- Adrenal Hormones: High levels of cortisol are often associated with stress, restlessness, and inability to sleep deeply throughout the night.
- Melatonin: Melatonin is known as the body’s “biological clock,” released from the pineal gland at night to promote sleep.
- Nutrition: Balanced B vitamins, minerals like calcium and magnesium, essential fats, and amino acids are essential for a relaxed nervous system.
- Amino Acids: Amino acids such as tryptophan serve as important precursors to sleep-promoting neurotransmitters.
- Allergies: Allergic reactions to foods or environmental substances in some individuals can induce stress reactions that impair sleep.
- Female Hormones: Fluctuating and declining estrogen in peri- and postmenopausal women may induce hot flashes, night sweats, or insomnia.
- Male Hormones: Men who suffer from disruptive sleep apnea have been found to have low levels of testosterone at night.