There are times in our lives when we struggle with sleeplessness or just trying to stay asleep.
Insomnia can be temporary, whereas a sleeping disorder can take a while to resolve. These conditions can be very vast with different causes, such as anxiety, stress, bad eating habits, or even allergies.
Eating Before Sleeping
We’ve heard it said, “don’t eat late at night.” and typically we think the reason is potential weight gain. Yes, this is true, but here’s the real reason: the body is always working to be in a homeostasis condition – balanced. When we eat at night, the pancreas works to secrete enzymes to break down food, as well as produces insulin to balance the blood sugar. This whole process can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on what was consumed. Once the pancreas is done and blood sugars are level, human growth hormone (HGH) comes on the scene. HGH’s job is to repair the body from the day’s activities.
Sleeplessness Due to Pain
Ever wonder why your joints or muscles hurt more when you are trying to sleep? The body will use all the raw material you fed it that day to make your skin, hair, bones, muscles, and tendons for tomorrow. Once this hormone finishes its task, brain waves should be in the REM stage where melatonin is secreted. This process can take 2 to 3 hours, and then serotonin begins to rise and we wake up feeling refreshed. When we eat at night, the whole process takes longer and melatonin doesn’t have a chance to complete its task. You may not get the deep sleep you desire. If the pattern continues, insomnia will set in.
One reason why we don’t stay asleep is blood sugar can drop during the night. To help alleviate this, make sure there is protein at each major meal. Start your morning with protein. For example, a protein shake, oatmeal, egg, ham or cooked chicken. (vegan – tofu or beans). If you start the day with protein, you are less likely to be munching on carbs at night before bed.
Another reason for waking in the middle of the night, (besides going to the bathroom) is the adrenals. These undernourished, overworked and underappreciated glands need extra support, especially during stressful situations, allergies, diabetes, arthritis, insomnia, low blood pressure and nervousness are some of the symptoms of an overworked adrenal.
To resolve the sleeplessness is to get to the root of the problem and go from there. Take some time to evaluate what is going on around you. If it is stress in your life? Can you minimize it? Is it diet? Make some healthy dietary changes. If it’s hormones, let’s get them balanced.
If this is something you are struggling with, perhaps get in touch with me and let’s work out a plan for you.