My Body Was Under Stress!!!
When I lay out everything I was doing at the same time, it’s easy to see that I was putting a lot of stress on my body. However, I didn’t even think about how all these extreme endeavors would affect me when done in tandem with each other.
If you are in the midst of doing something similar, then take heed to my mistake. All this put my body under a lot of stress. I also wasn’t fueling my body correctly for the amount of exercise I was doing. I needed to not only eat more but I needed good carbs. Doing an Anti-Candida diet was NOT wise to do. Especially with how much I was exercising.
You body needs a balanced diet. Eliminating ALL sugar is not healthy as your brain needs SOME sugar to function. Because I didn’t refuel my body properly, I caused my glycogen stores to become depleted. When your glycogen stores are depleted, your body will often release a surge of cortisol in the middle of the night. After researching this a bit more I learned that this is actually your body signaling to you that your blood glucose levels are too low and that you need to refuel. (Source)
What Were My Insomnia Symptoms
The first week that I first began to experience insomnia my symptoms were as follows:
- Not Able to fall asleep until about 3:30 a.m.
- Racing mind and thoughts
- Feeling of restlessness and alertness
- Anxiety in trying to ‘make myself’ fall asleep
Then I started to do some research to get to the bottom of what was going on with my body and why it was taking me so long to fall asleep. I then began to make some changes.
My Dietary Changes
1. I Ended the Low-Sugar Candida Diet
First and foremost, I ended the nightmare of cutting out ALL sugar in my candida diet. This was NEVER a wise idea for me to do. Although I do believe that most people struggle with an imbalance of candida in their gut, going on an extreme experimental diet could be dangerous and counter-productive.
I have since learned that cutting out foods to extreme measures can actually cause other areas of your body to become imbalanced. So if you feel that you might have a Candida overgrowth, I would highly recommend following a program that is safe and well designed to keep your body healthy.
The two programs I would recommend are:
- The Body Ecology Diet created by Donna Gates.
- Christa Orecchio’s The Whole Journey ‘Kick Candida’ Program
2. I Added in More Carbs
Not only did I add in more carbohydrates, I actually upped my calories in general. When you exercise regularly, you MUST replenish what you put out in the gym. I was not doing this which contributed to my slow and steady depletion of my glycogen stores. You want to stick with high amounts of protein combined with smaller amounts of carbs within 15-30 minutes of your workout. (2)
Once I upped my carb intake, I noticed a huge difference in my sleep. It took me considerably less time to fall asleep and I was sleeping deeper without waking up in the middle of the night.
I do want to add here that I also believe I might be have been dealing with a mild case of Adrenal Fatigue. In the previous year or two leading up to insomnia, I experienced some major life change. My mother’s battle with cancer, her death, getting married, and getting pregnant all happened within a matter of 2 1/2 years.
All this immense stress on my body probably cascaded into the beginning stages of Adrenal Fatigue. Many of my symptoms directly coincide with symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue. Again, I discovered this through hours of online research. Although I wasn’t in a place to go and get my body tested, I did follow some of the diet and lifestyle recommendations which helped me immensely.
If you have experienced something similar, be open to the fact that you might be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue. It’s definitely something to consider of you have insomnia and are recovering from MAJOR specific stressful situation.
3. Avoided Caffeine and Stimulants Past 1 pm
Lastly, the main diet change I made was to be conscious of avoiding any kind of stimulant after 1 pm. Some people are blessed to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee or Earl Grey tea right before retreating to their bed. However, if you struggle with getting a good night’s rest, it would be wise of you to avoid the following stimulants AFTER 1 PM:
- Regular (Caffeinated) Coffee
- Regular (Caffeinated) Tea (Black tea, Green tea etc.)
- Soda (Which you shouldn’t be drinking anyway….tsk, tsk)
- Chocolate (I know….a BIG bummer)
- Large Amounts of Sugar
- Generous Amounts of Alcohol (Proven to actually inhibit you from entering deep sleep, even though it makes you tired)
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)Powder (SOOOO incredibly good for you. But as I mentioned in my previous post, you shouldn’t take it before bed as it gets you all energized. We now take it in the morning with our breakfast.)
WHAT ARE THE REST OF MY TIPS? STAY TUNED FOR PART 3 WHICH WILL BE POSTED NEXT THURSDAY!
- Sleep Distruptions. Adrenal Fatigue.org