Insomnia means that body lacks certain elements that help to relax its different parts such as the central nervous system, the brain and muscles or has an overload of certain other minerals which stimulate the central nervous system and the brain, resulting in the person's inability to relax and have a good night's sleep. The fact is that using sleeping pills either herbal or chemical does not tune up body mechanisms, but by creating an artificial effect on the nervous system it induces temporary sleep. However, in time, body's mineral ratios gets further disturbed and the patient gets increasingly addicted to taking those pills, hence the problem is further aggravated.


Our body needs vitamins and minerals for a balanced metabolism, to produce enzymes and hormones and for the flawless functioning of its different parts like the digestive system, the nervous system, the memory and other parts. The problem arises when human body faces the overload or deficiency of certain minerals. Either of these two problems can affect metabolism, disturb enzyme and hormone secretion and imbalance different body functions, hence leading to different sorts of diseases ranging from obesity and being overweight to depression, anemia, insomnia, diabetes, and many other undesirable situations.


Hair mineral analysis can often assist one to find and correct common causes of insomnia.


All Healing Requires Extra Sleep. During the day, one primarily uses the sympathetic nervous system, associated with spending energy and tearing down the body.  This is balanced by the parasympathetic system, associated with rest, nurturing and regeneration of body tissues. This is equally important and takes place when one is resting.  One may call it maintenance or repair time.


If you skimp on regenerative activity by not sleeping enough, physical and mental performance suffers, as well as one's work and relationships.  Illness develops because there is not enough time to repair damaged tissues in the body.  If you have a chronic illness, you definitely need extra rest and sleep.


Cleansing and Rebuilding the Body Require Energy. Elimination of toxins, an issue for everyone, occurs primarily at night while the body rests. The removal process requires energy and one's energy is finite. If you use most or all of your energy running around all day, you will not detoxify well.


Most Emotional Processing Occurs During Sleep. Often, during the day, thought processes are not completed due to interruptions or other distractions. The mind completes these processes during sleep. You may notice that problems that seemed difficult are solvable or even solved after a good night's rest. This can be due to increased energy, but is also due to actual problem-solving that goes on during sleep. In fact, many types of emotional development and processing of one’s past take place during the sleep state in many people. Thus, not giving yourself enough ‘down time’ is harming yourself in an emotional way as well as a physical one.


The Importance of Dreaming. Dreaming is another very important activity that only occurs during the sleep state. Dreaming is not a solitary phenomenon, meaning that it can have many different meanings.  Even higher animals such as cats and dogs engage in dreaming. Dreams can represent processing of one’s past or even just daily events.  In most people, dreams are often also processing other phenomena such as information from television shows and radio programs that the mind needs to mull over, as it were, and make more sense of.


Even unpleasant dreams, nightmares, premonitions and other phenomena may be important, at times, and should not be stopped by not resting or with the use of drugs. Of course, some dreams are due to just overeating or some other physical health condition. However, dreaming is a fascinating subject that could fill an entire article of this size. If one does not sleep enough, or does not sleep well for some reason, the dreaming process is interrupted or prevented, and this always impacts one’s health and mental development.  It is another reason why adequate rest and sleep are so critical for everyone, particularly the young, who are often the ones who do not “have the time;” or are “too busy” to stop and rest often. To read more about sleep and rest, and their importance, click here!





Calcium, magnesium and zinc are among the “sedative” elements. They are needed to relax the muscles and nervous system. Difficulty sleeping can arise when the hair tissue levels of these minerals are low. This can cause muscle tension and irritability that can interfere with rest and sleep.


This can also occur if the hair calcium and magnesium levels are elevated above the ideal, but the levels are low in relation to sodium and potassium. This is called a four highs pattern and is associated with a lot of stress, and perhaps muscle tension as well.




Insomnia is also common when calcium and/or magnesium become biounavailable. This occurs especially in slow oxidizers who have a hair tissue calcium level above about 80 mg% and/or a hair magnesium level above about 12 mg%. This indicates a buildup of calcium and magnesium is the soft tissues in many cases. However, the blood and certain other tissues can be low in available calcium and magnesium at the same time. This can give rise to muscle tension, irritability and difficulty sleeping.

Serum levels of calcium and magnesium, by the way, rarely vary much and are less indicative of deficiency or excess than tissue or hair levels.


Those with biounavailable calcium and magnesium often also have a copper imbalance that contributes to their insomnia. This is discussed below.




A hallmark of copper imbalance is insomnia. Copper has a stimulating effect on the brain, causes the mind to race, and it can also excite the emotions. High-copper individuals often stay up late and have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Insomnia before the menstrual period can often be due to elevated copper, as this tends to occur just before the menstrual period in young women.


Indicators for copper imbalance on a properly performed hair mineral analysis include a copper level greater than 2.5 mg%, copper less than 1 mg%, sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.0, sodium/potassium ratio greater than 6, a calcium level greater than about 70 mg%, a potassium level less than about 4 mg%, elevated mercury or a zinc level less than 13 mg%.


Improving the copper balance may take a few weeks to a few months or more, especially if other nutritional imbalances are present. For this reason, other remedies may be needed for a while until the copper is brought into a better balance. To read more about copper, read the article on this website entitled Copper Toxicity Syndrome.




The sympathetic nervous system causes us to be very alert and ready to respond to danger. Some people have difficulty “turning off” this system in the evening.


For these individual, some remedies will often be helpful. Also, they need to reduce physical or intellectual stimulation and activities after about 6 PM, ideally. Relaxation exercises, deep breathing, meditation, or soft music before bed may be very helpful. Keep computers off after dinner and do not engage in exercise or any stimulating activity at night. A warm bath, a little yoga, foot reflexology, a short massage of your shoulders or back, use of a chi machine or a very gentle walk might help a lot as well.




Some people have difficulty sleeping if they use stimulants such as caffeine or even sugar. Many find that eating sweets or chocolate at dinner or afterwards interferes with their sleep. While alcohol relaxes some people, in others it, too, will interfere with rest and sleep. Medical or OTC drugs can occasionally cause insomnia by various mechanisms. Even certain vitamin supplements, can be somewhat stimulating and can interfere with rest. These include kelp, B-complex vitamins, adrenal and thyroid glandulars or herbs, too much vitamin C or E, and possibly others.




We have all been up late worrying about someone or something now and then. Sleep impairment may also occur because one is processing too much emotional or mental data.


Unresolved conflicts or issues can also keep a person awake. For this reason, it is always best, if it is not too late at night, to make peace with partners, children and others in the house to assure a better night’s sleep.




Stimulants in the diet have been mentioned above. Not eating enough can also impair sleep in some people. While a heavy dinner may impair sleep, a light dinner or even an evening snack with protein can enhance sleep, especially for those who wake up at night. Warm milk is a folk remedy for sleep, containing calcium, tryptophan and a little protein.


Certain foods such as turkey and milk contain higher amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid that may assist sleep. This can account for drowsiness after a turkey dinner.  Other foods might keep one awake. Some people are hypoglycemic and must eat some protein or fat in the evening. Otherwise, blood sugar fluctuations in the middle of the night may wake them up.


Drinking too much liquid after about 4-5 PM may cause one to be up urinating during the night. It is best to drink the bulk of one’s 2 quarts of spring or distilled water each day in the morning and afternoon, rather than at night.




They include noise or light in the bedroom, EMFs from electrical appliances, especially any located near your head, improper mattress, feeling hot or cold, coughs, inability to breathe well, or anything else that prevents one from relaxing completely.


Going to bed late sometimes keeps a person awake because the sympathetic nervous system kicks in powerfully after supper to keep one up. Then when it is time to go to bed, one cannot relax. The answer is to always go to bed early, and go to bed even earlier if you are tired.




Some people seem to sleep many hours, but do not wake up refreshed. This can be the effect of certain toxins on the brain. They may allow sleep, but impair the rhythm of deep and superficial sleep that characterizes a great night’s rest. This is an important but subtle point about sleep. It explains why some people seem to get along on less sleep while others need many more hours of sleep to feel rested.


In other cases, this problem is due to an uncomfortable mattress that should be replaced. In still other cases, one is not refreshed because the problem is really adrenal burnout or some other condition. In these cases, just sleeping is not enough to recharge and refresh the body. A nutritional balancing program is needed to balance and correct the entire body chemistry. To read more about adrenal burnout syndrome, click here!




Hair analysis often tells us who has insomnia or a tendency for it.  Here are the patterns most associated with insomnia:


Copper Imbalance. Copper causes the mind to race and enhances emotions, both of which interfere with sleep. The hair copper level is often normal or even low.  Many people, however, have what is called hidden copper imbalance.  Assuming the hair test is performed correctly, which means the hair is not washed at the lab, indictors for copper imbalance include:


Copper greater than about 2 mg% or less than 0.9 mg%.

Zinc less than about 14 mg%

Calcium greater than about 70 mg%

Potassium less than about 4 mg%r

Mercury greater than about 0.03 mg%

Na/K ratio less than about 2 or greater than 10


A fast oxidation rate. This is often associated with low calcium and magnesium, another common hair analysis pattern associated with insomnia.


Four low electrolytes pattern.  This is often associated with anxiety, irritability and impaired sleep.


Calcium and/or magnesium deficiencies. A hair calcium level below about 35 mg% or a hair magnesium less than about 4 mg% may indicate deficiencies that often interfere with rest and sleep. Calcium and magnesium are needed to relax the muscles and the nervous system.


Biounavailable calcium and/or magnesium. A hair calcium level greater than 175 mg%, or perhaps even less, often indicates some degree of biounavailable calcium and perhaps magnesium.  This is highly associated with insomnia in many instances because it is functionally the same as a deficiency.


Many other hair analysis imbalances may contribute to insomnia. These include mercury toxicity, other high levels of toxic metals, and an imbalanced sodium/potassium ratio – either too high or too low.


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