Question 10/6 from Jennifer:

For the past few months I have struggled to fall asleep, despite feeling tired and run-down.  Six months earlier, I had a consistent sleep pattern, and now I am not able to get back on track.  What can be causing this and how can I correct it?


Answer from SkillfulDoc:

Inconsistencies in sleep patterns, which affect most people at one point or another, can generally be traced back to specific and/or cumulative stressors, such as conflict at home or family issues, job intensity and career problems, strenuous relationships, etc. Many times one is initially thrown from their center by something more “physical”, such as an illness or disruption of our previous cycle by travel. However, interrupted sleep patterns should not be treated as a simple sleeping disorder or purely a physical problem, and should be viewed as a symptom of a larger health and wellness issue.


In a similar way, other chronic conditions, such as frequent colds, acne outbreaks, chronic pain, and diminished libido may all be related to one or more of the other factors in your life. The “symptoms” of these health issues are often indicators that your life is off balance, and approaching the situation on a more holistic level – looking at them as part of your whole condition instead of as symptoms to be treated individually – will lead to a much more balanced and healthy life.


For this reason, I advocate “Skillful Living” to my patients, an approach to health and wellness that begins with attention, intention, focus, and purpose. By carefully and closely looking at all of the elements in your life and approaching them with serious purpose and dedication, your health, relationships, career, and entire life can be lived skillfully and can lead to improved overall well-being, health and happiness.


Health roadblocks, like interrupted sleep, will inevitably happen as life progresses. Take this time as an opportunity to stop and investigate your life and regain much-needed balance.  Ask yourself some questions. Have I been under more stress lately? Have I been eating differently? Is work especially daunting this last month? Am I carrying around any anger or resentment?


Perhaps the most important questions are, why is this happening now and what can I learn from this?



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