Sleep and illness:
This site is intended to help you improve your sleep. Medical problems that are common today are not inevitable and they are not just from “bad habits”. When we sleep normally we repair every night and everything works, day after day, for years on end. Disease begins to develop when nightly repair is incomplete.
I have been helping patients improve their sleep for 10 years, first with CPAP devices and sleeping pills then with a combination of vitamins. In 2009 I made the accidental discovery that vitamin D is directly related to all sleep problems. In 2013 I discovered that vitamin D deficiency results in a change in the intestinal bacteria that make and supply us with the B Vitamins. Sleep problems are caused by several linked vitamin deficiencies.
A “Vitamin” is a chemical we need but cannot make. Some are in the food, some come from the intestinal bacteria inside us. Animals have lived on this planet for millions of years without taking vitamins. The biology of our bodies was perfect without supplements while we still lived outdoors and had access to a varied diet. Vitamins are good for those who need them but can hurt those who don’t.
The story of vitamin D and sleep:
Sleep is something we have absolutely no control over, our bodies control us. When all humans lived outdoors we slept from sundown to sunup. Except for infections and injuries medical problems began in the elderly. In the 1970’s when air conditioning and sunscreen came we stopped making vitamin D on our skin from the sun and our vitamin D blood levels started to go down. When the vitamin D went down our sleep became worse. When the sleep started to fail unexplained new problems appeared; sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue. Things that were uncommon became common; autism, ADD, infertility, premature delivery, depression, new allergies. Diseases that used to appear in the elderly began to appear in the young; heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, autoimmune disease, arthritis, chronic pain, neuropathy, depression, constipation, insomnia, tremor, balance problems.
Can it be fixed?
Yes, but it’s complicated and takes months to years . This site is intended to be used with the help of a clinician educated in the RightSleep technique using specific vitamins to improve your sleep so your body will heal itself. Remember, vitamins don’t fix the body, sleep fixes the body.
Sleep and Neurologic problems:
A genetic problem means a disease that comes from a small mistake in our genes, our DNA. (Link to a DNA / gene explanation) There are many neurologic problems that come from the genes: Tremor, epilepsy, migraine, vertigo, depression, anxiety are all things that travel in families. One of the questions my patients ask is: “ If this was always in my genes why did I have my first seizure now?”
My explanation comes from observing my patients:
The chemicals we use to run perfectly are made in deep sleep. We make enough for a day and then we run out and go to sleep again to make more. In 2005 I started treating my daily headache sufferers with sleep apnea ( CPAP) masks. It was slow going, the masks aren’t easy, they don’t work like a drug. My patients came back and told me that after a month they woke up without a headache, but it didn’t last all day, the headache came back at noon. As they wore the mask for longer they noticed that the headache came later and later in the day until they made it through a whole day without a headache. My patients did not have low oxygen while sleeping, so why did they get better? Did wearing the mask allow them to stay in deeper sleep longer to make their own chemicals? That’s what I think. I heard the same story from my patients with tremor, vertigo, dystonia, epilepsy, depression, burning in the feet. I thought that slowly their bodies began to make their own chemicals and the problem came later and later in the day until it went away completely.
Drugs and Sleep:
All of the drugs I use are copies of the chemicals our bodies make. They only make them in deep sleep, we use them up while we’re awake. When we don’t get to deep sleep a chemical isn’t made and a problem shows up. That change in the genes has been there since birth but the “disease” only starts to show up when the sleep stops being normal. When we sleep better we make our own chemicals, the problem gets better and we don’t need the drug.
Everything I have posted on this site comes from my patients’ observations about their bodies. Some are brand new ideas, they may not turn out to be “the truth” eventually. They are just ideas. All of the “explanations” in medicine are really ideas. The only “absolute truth” in medicine is your observation of your body. Your body did not come with a “user’s manual” where we can check to be sure of “the truth”. Hopefully these ideas and stories will help you, and you will sleep better and feel better.
About Dr. Walter Stumpf:
Many of my ideas about vitamin D are based upon the extensive scientific work of Dr. Walter Stumpf who, sadly, passed away at the end of 2012. He was an amazing scientist who single handedly clarified one of the most important aspects of our endocrine system. Despite the widespread skepticism of his colleagues and repeated rejections of his journal submissions he continued to believe in the validity of his concept of “soltriol”. His many journal articles describe Vitamin D’s actions, and its integration into our endocrine system, made up of a triad of gonadal, adrenal and dermal steroids. He was a very brave person who endured severe criticism from his colleagues for 30 years of professional life and still believed that he was right. It was my pleasure to meet Walter and to get to know him before his death. Together we added the idea that soltriol is necessary for normal sleep. I think of him daily as I teach my patients about the important role vitamin D plays in our biology. Lack of attention to Dr. Stumpf’s work has produced epidemics of pain, suffering and death throughout the developed countries of the world that might have been prevented had his ideas been accepted earlier. It is my passionate hope that, when the rest of the scientific community finally catches on, Walter will receive a posthumous Nobel Prize for his work. I also believe that the name cholecalciferol, should be changed to the term that he coined for it; “soltriol”, partly out of respect for him but also because it is a term that more appropriately expresses our biological connection to the sun.