Now for the complicated stuff, but I’ll simplify it the best I can.
How well we sleep depends upon how healthy we are. On a cellular level if we do not have the ingredients to operate our cells, we are going to wind up with by products that create neuro-inflammation and that can keep your brain in an agitated state and you know when you are agitated it is hard to calm down and sleep. Exposure to industrialized toxins has been and continues to be of low priority in the clinical care of the chronically ill patient. Those with chronic exposure and/or poor detoxification pathways are most susceptible. Susceptibility is defined by an individual’s ability to bio-transform, detoxify and eliminate exogenous and endogenous toxins.
The detoxification process itself produces oxidative compounds and metabolites of those substances being transformed. These byproducts can induce damage to the cellular mechanisms and the tissues as a whole. We are not only concerned with the direct toxic effects, but also the cost and byproducts of transforming these substances to be excreted. There are a few forms of toxins. Toxicants: toxic chemicals such as pesticides. Xenobiotics: foreign substances typically synthetic, found in the body that are not derived from a normal diet or produced endogenously. Enbiotics: potentially harmful products that are produced by the body through natural metabolism. Most compounds are studied individually but they have a synergistic relationship with other toxins, which means they can make you sicker together not stronger. Arsenic can take up to 10 years to display clinical symptoms. Some people are not affected and that has to do with their ability to detoxify.
It is estimated that 600,000 tons of potential toxins are released into an environment every year in the United States. This is comprised of about 80,000 different compounds, which only about 10% have been tested adequately for safety. We are experiencing the highest rate of autism. The CDC estimates that one of 59 children have autism. Geographical regions with the highest number of Autism spectrum disorders coincided with the highest density of toxic landfill sites. Conversely, the least amount toxic landfill sites have the least amount of reported autism spectrum disorder cases. Patients now seem to complain of some type of food sensitivity that is new to them. There are more chronic disorders such as autoimmune disease than ever before.
Toxins do not have to be ingested. They can be inhaled, enter through open skin and even through topical/skin care products with direct skin contact. They can come up through the food chain. Certain algae can kill fish and certain unscrupulous people will sell you those fish. Without a doubt the largest toxic load on our system comes from the air that we breathe. Formaldehyde a form of off-gassing is a concern in our homes.
Cadmium contamination is almost ubiquitous. It is similar to lead and G.I. absorption of cadmium is greater in the young. If you are iron deficient you will absorb more cadmium. Mercury is another highly toxic heavy metal. Selenium may protect against mercury toxicity, but modern farming does not have any of Selenium in their soil.
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological, and photo lytic processes. This means they accumulate and affect human health. POPs are highly toxic, airborne, and accumulate in our fatty tissues. They will stimulate phase 1 detoxification pathways in our body, but they fail to stimulate phase 2 pathological detoxification pathways. This is known as phase 1, phase 2 uncoupling.
It is known that dioxin like compounds activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor which antagonizes a pathway that causes suppression of insulin receptors. It appears that some of the diabetes epidemic is not just happening from us eating too much junk food. Our auto immune systems are being triggered by toxins to attack us. Many diseases such as Parkinson’s is now being considered to be autoimmune problems. Alzheimer’s is now classified as type III diabetes. You’re probably wondering what is the connection here to sleep? I am getting there.
Some of those 80,000 contaminants are more popular than others. Phthalates were introduced in 1920. They are used to make plastics more pliable. They are present in everything from shampoos to water bottles and plastic wrap. They have even been used as enteric coatings for medication. They are linked to obesity, cancer, type II diabetes, respiratory illness, and behavioral disorders. In 2005 the CDC found that almost every single person in a 3000 people study had chemicals in their system associated with phthalates exposure. Besides being associated with creating infertility they may also create neuro- excitatory compounds. While Bisphenol -A has been outlawed in Canada since 2010 Americans are still getting plenty of this endocrine disruptor. Drinking plenty of water helps proper detoxification, but not when you drink it out of a Styrofoam cup, which is also a strong toxin.
Monsanto has done their job so well that we are now Roundup ready humans. One example of how Monsanto gets away with it is because the plants that they are killing have an enzyme pathway that is absent in humans. So they simply say it is safe. However the Shikimate pathway is present in the bacteria that is in our gut. Bacteria that is vital to us being human. Almost everything in our society has been aimed at killing the organisms in our gut that make us human.
I listed all that to convince you that to get a good nights sleep requires more than just Ambien. By the way, Ambien and similar drugs may help you get to sleep, but it interrupts the normal brain patterns that are required to get the full healing benefits of sleep. We have very complex detoxification pathways that require complex nutrients. Even if you are eating broccoli that doesn’t mean the broccoli was grown in soil that has selenium, which means that the very strong detoxifying glutathione mechanisms are not going to work.
Our livers function as a poison control center, fire station, fuel station, and hormone transactions depot. The liver deals with all foreign material such as bacteria, viruses, fungus, mold, parasites, protozoa, toxins, metals, and drugs. As a fire station it is responsible to handle/process all inflammation in the body. Inflammation along with oxygen free radicalization, are the top two causes of diseases that attack the human body. It metabolizes glucose for all energy production. It processes about 85% of over 600 hormones in the human body. Some things are good for your bile flow from your gallbladder and your liver, such as phosphatidylcholine, beets, phosphorous, taurine, real vitamin C, digestive enzymes, artichokes, IP6 found in artichokes, Milk Thistle and iodine.
To detoxify it requires a lot of energy in the form of ATP. That means detoxification is highly nutrient dependent.
Stay tuned for part 3.