We don’ typically think of insomnia as a fatal disease, but in light of recent events over the last year and a half I see a growing trend that really concerns me and I feel compelled to write about it.
In January 2008 Heath Ledger was tragically found dead and we learned that he had been suffering from chronic insomnia for some time and that this was probably the motivating factor in all the drugs found in his body.
Then just last month, Michael Jackson is also found dead and we learn that he too had been suffering with insomnia for a long time and it is one of many factors that likely contributed to the level of drugs in Jackson’s body. So much so, that he felt forced to take extremely drastic steps and use a dangerous and potentially lethal anesthesia drug to induce sleep.
Personally I was a great fan of Heath Ledger and felt it was an incredibly sad and tragic loss. I mean really, I don’t think I have ever seen a better performance in my life as when Heath Ledger played the Joker in Batman. When he walked across that lawn wearing that skirt, he totally embodied that character and in my mind left an imprint that will probably last forever.
Now, I know that many people take issue with Michael Jackson’s character and frankly so do I, but our goal in this post is not to discuss this issue or debate his innocence or guilt, but to look at a serious human condition that is a growing problem. Regardless of how we feel about Michael Jackson, people dying because of the inability to sleep should concern us all.
The fact that Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger were celebrities and in the public eye brings awareness to the chronic insomnia issue that otherwise wouldn’t happen. We can ask ourselves, how many average folk are experiencing the same thing? How many people are dying as a result of dangerous steps they are taking to address chronic insomnia that we never hear about? I can tell you that my keyword research tells me that more than 2 million people a month are doing searches on the Internet for insomnia information. So we can safely assume that this is a vast issue affecting millions of people.
No, we cannot say that chronic insomnia directly killed Heath Ledger or Michael Jackson, because that is not likely to be on the death certificate, however it seems to have played a very large part indirectly. Apparently both of these men were suffering so greatly they felt the need to take drastic steps to find relief. It was this combination of steps that ultimately resulted in their untimely demise.
The saddest and most tragic aspect in this story is that there are many steps that can be taken to address insomnia and the inability to get adequate sleep successfully that don’t involve dangerous drugs. It is a great mystery to me as to why such intelligent and creative people with the financial means to pursue any treatment method they desire, like Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson, did not pursue any natural health options. I wonder, did they just dismiss these possibilities or have they not been made aware that there are other choices?
I’m guessing that they probably weren’t aware, or if they asked their traditional MD, they likely instructed them to dismiss these methods. Instead, they put their faith and literally their life in the hands of medical doctors that lead them astray in the worst possible way we can conceive. I could really go off on a tangent on this aspect of this issue as well, but again, our focus today is on looking at the serious issue of insomnia and the impact that lack of sleep has on our life. However, I will say that in my opinion it is truly a crime and highly unethical that medical doctors can engage in such irresponsible and destructive behavior and they should be held accountable.
If Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger had access to or were encouraged to pursue natural health methods for their insomnia they would have learned how to get to the root of the problem, instead of using dangerous drugs. They would have learned that the two biggest contributing factors to chronic insomnia or the inability to get a good nights sleep are diet and environmental toxins.
Sugar, white flour, caffeine and other junk food is not only destructive to our health, but they also have a serious impact on the neurotransmitters in the brain. The same applies to environmental toxins. The food you eat and the toxins in your environment alter, disrupt and destroy crucial neurotransmitters. An imbalance in neurotransmitters is at the root of many conditions and insomnia is one of the most common. Neurotransmitters are what regulate our patterns and quality of sleep. Undiagnosed food sensitivities, mold & chemical sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, adrenal disorders and excessive stress are other common root causes of insomnia.
Getting adequate sleep is crucial for our physical, emotional and spiritual health. It impacts our quality of life, our level of health and even the length of our life. Research suggests that people who don’t sleep well don’t live as long as those who do. Lack of sleep can result in decreased immune function, memory, learning and problem solving abilities, depressed mood, frustration, irritability, as well as type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety and heart disease and much more. It is vitally important that people understand the importance of sleep in their life and learn how to encourage it to occur naturally.
Taking drugs for insomnia only perpetuates the problem and creates other health issues and concerns. It is totally unnecessary to take these dangerous prescription drugs. The deaths of Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger, as well as the suffering of millions of others with chronic insomnia were completely avoidable and unnecessary. By making simple changes in the products you use in your home, your diet and lifestyle, insomnia can often be overcome.