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  • Writer's pictureNarelle

Is this your "Obstacle to Cure"?



This is one of my favourite terms It just rolls off the tongue and encompasses so much meaning.


Obstacle to cure is a homeopathic term which means anything that may disturb the action of a treatment we give, or anything that may interfere with the body’s ability to respond or heal. Essentially it is anything that is getting in the way of you returning to a state of good health.


You may immediately think well these can be easily changed. And you would be right. Many are based on choices and lifestyle like diet, habits such as smoking or alcohol or lack of exercise. But others are things we have little control over and sometimes no awareness - genetics, social status and pressures, stereotyping, and our environment.


Obviously any treatment is going to have a limited capacity to help if you are eating junk food setting up inflammation and providing your body with few nutrients to support and maintain health.


But there are another two that I think have a huge impact on not only a persons general health and feeling of wellbeing, but there ability to change.


And they are….Sleep and Stress.


Sleep

We are messy sleepers. We go to bed late because we still have so much to do, or we want some peaceful time for ourselves without the kids pestering us. We may wake across the night for a bladder stop or just because our minds start to turnover and we can’t stop thinking and worrying.


We feel perpetually tired.


And in our fast paced world, functioning on less sleep is a badge of honour.


Here is the list of things partial sleep deprivation does…

  • It causes accidents, slows your reaction time and limits your ability to listen, concentrate and focus. In fact the Three Mile Island Nuclear reactor meltdown, the grounding of the Star Princess Cruise Ship and the Exxon Valdez oil spill have all bee attributed to sleep loss and night shift related work performance failure.

  • It makes your dumber. Lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving. Plus sleep plays a critical role in consolidating memories in the mind. So if you don’t sleep you can’t remember what you learned and experienced.

  • It makes you worse at sex and kills your sex drive. Sleep deprived men and women have lower libidos and less interest in sex. In fact men with sleep apnoea have low testosterone levels. It has also been linked with infertility and sub-fertility.

  • It makes your depressed and anxious. There is a bidirectional relationship between sleep and mental health. People diagnosed with depression and anxiety are more likely to sleep less than 6 hours per night and people with insomnia are five times more likely to develop depression. In fact insomnia is one of the first symptoms of depression.

  • It ages you. Chronic sleep loss can lead to fine lines, dull skin and dark circles under your eyes. This is because your body releases more cortisol (stress hormone) and in excessive amounts and this breaks down skin collagen (the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic). Plus Human Growth Hormone is released when you sleep so if you don’t get adequate sleep you release too little and this doesn’t allow tissue to repair. Getting enough beauty sleep is possibly the cheapest anti-ageing routine we can do.

  • It makes you forgetful. Brain events in sleep are responsible for consolidating memory. If you sleep before learning something new you refresh your ability to make new memories. If you sleep after learning something new, it enhances your memory retention.

  • It makes you gain weight and eat the wrong foods. Lack of sleep is related to an increase in hunger and appetite. It decreases Leptin, the “I am full” hormone responsible for signalling satiety, and increases Ghrelin the hunger hormone which stimulates your appetite. Plus lack of sleep slows our metabolism and stimulates cravings for high fat, high carb energy dense foods.

  • It increases your risk of death. Lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems including heart disease, heart attack, irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. But thats not all. One study of 10,000 British civil servants over two decades found that those who cut their sleep from 7 to 5 hours or less, nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes. In particular, lack of sleep doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

  • It impairs your judgement. It can affect how you interpret events affecting your ability to make sound judgements and wise choices.

  • It makes you sicker. Immune system abnormalities have been shown in several sleep disorder from shift workers to insomniacs. Take a moment to think about when you are sick - you just want to sleep. When you get sick your very clever immune system actually stimulate the sleep system and sleep itself well.

So to summarise, lack of sleep makes your dumber, forgetful, accident prone, old, forgetful, gain weight, sick, more likely to die and no sex drive!


Maybe fixing your sleep patterns should go up your list of priorities? Or at least aim for between 7 and 9 hours each night.


Naturopathy is all about treating the cause and not the symptom, and sometimes this means we are looking for other “obstacles” that are preventing your from changing. And sleep is always at the forefront.

So if you are experiencing restlessness, struggling to fall asleep, waking regularly or waking in the morning exhausted, then seek some assistance to repair your sleep cycle. It could be the perfect start to a happier and healthier you.


Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory, makes you more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?

Matthew Walker


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