It seems there are two kinds of people in the world: those who fall asleep before their head hits the pillow and those who toss and turn longing for a good night’s rest. Which one are you? I see so many posts on Facebook from friends who are struggling to fall asleep. Boy! I sure can relate! I spent the first 32 years of my life counting sheep to no avail.
I never knew it was possible to switch from one type of person to the other…but, thank the Lord, I did. So, why can I suddenly fall asleep with no problem now? Honestly, I’m not sure. It has something to do with the changes in my physical health. I always thought that I had trouble sleeping because of my overactive mind. I just had trouble shutting off my thoughts. I would ask my husband, “How do you shut your mind off so easily when you go to bed?”
He would just say, “I don’t know. I just do. I just go to sleep.”
Simple, right? No! I was frustrated to the point of tears about this phenomenon. I was jealous of his snoring. Why can’t I do that? Well, now I can! Don’t get me wrong… I am a night owl. I love to stay up late. The difference now is that when I decide to go to sleep, I lay down and fall asleep within minutes. Previously, when I decided to go to sleep, I laid awake for hours while feeling exhausted and yearning for dreamland. What changed?
I could just say, “Thank heavens I can sleep now!” and call it a day…but, what about the rest of you who are still struggling? What about my Facebook friends? I can’t leave you behind in sheep pastures. So, I did some research. Here’s what I found:
- Consumption of caffeine at any time throughout the day can interrupt your natural cycles and interfere with sleep
- Food colorings can act as stimulants
- Food sensitivities and allergies can cause insomnia (ding, ding ding! there’s my culprit)
- Diets high in refined sugar and refined carbohydrates can affect sleep (uh…yep…that was me!)
- adrenal glands and thyroid gland that aren’t functioning well can interfere with energy and alertness, throwing you all out of whack (ding, ding, ding! We have another winner!)
I know that no one wants to hear the truth. You all wish I would lie to you and say that all you need is a beach vacation or a pill. No one wants to change their diet, their habits, their lifestyle. I think the big point is this: your insomnia may not be caused by stress, anxiety, or an overactive mind. Your insomnia may have a health-related explanation. Don’t assume that it’s the always mental. There are lots of people with stress and active minds who are drooling on their pillow before you even get comfortable. Something else is making the difference.
When I hear about people staying awake until 3 a.m. against their will, I worry. I worry because that’s exactly what I did for years and years until my body reached its limit. As you know, I’m on a mission to save the world from unnecessary physical suffering. There are so many, many warning signs given by the body to notify us of our health condition: the consistency of our poop, our ability to sleep or not sleep, our skin, etc. Take note. Heed the warnings. Face the facts. Take care of your body before it decides to bail on you!
“If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?”
Photo Credit: AlicePopkorn via Compfight cc