Insomnia; Adrenal Fatigue
Most of my life, I had problems with sleep. Not the least of which was sleep apnea that was so severe at one point, my blood oxygen levels dipped into the 70′s, I stopped breathing for at least 10 seconds of every minute I tried sleeping. I’d nod off at the computer, at bus stops, and driving my car – prompting a revocation of my driving license for a period of several years. An accidental discovery that skipping sugar helped me was the start of a journey that led to no more snoring, no more apnea, getting my license back – and finally sleeping for the first time in I can’t recall. I loved the veritable coma-like experience, versus the wake 10000 times a night.
So, when my kids, my Mom, and I went to Colorado to help care for my Dad in his last weeks, it was a huge shock to my system, in a lot of ways. Emotionally: caring for a dying man who’d abused me as a child. Physically: forgetting to eat or care for myself. Stress: dealing with his psychotic/drugged-out wife & all the other stuff. Sleep was a pipe dream. In the two weeks I spent in Colorado, I slept on the same surface twice. I had to sleep on the floor, two couches, a bed, and even sleeping upright in a chair some nights. In the ER that first night, I forgot to drink *anything* for 8-9 hours and my kidneys could not handle that – I’m still dealing with the damage from that. After Colorado, there were the nightmares about Colorado & my Dad. Then my cycles went haywire & I was having horrible emotional backlash from that & my marriage suffered. Then more stuff happened – and bad sleep, not enough sleep, & insomnia seemed to hang over it all.
I wrote yesterday about starting to look into adrenal fatigue. Based on some info I found, we decided to roll all bedtimes in the family back by half an hour & see if that helped. The recommendation was to try to get to sleep by 11pm, before a second wind happened & kept me up for several more hours. Well, as things usually are with kids, change is hard & my son took longer than normal to wind down and go to sleep. It wasn’t too bad, but I also wasn’t wound down by 11, and though I definitely hit a ‘sleepy’ point, my mind started up about 11, (go figure) and I ended up being awake until after midnight. Then my son needed pain meds at 3am. I don’t remember how long it took to go back to sleep after that, but I really did not want to open my eyes at 8 this morning.
It’s a vicious cycle. Bad sleep = higher coffee intake = more wired than is good at bedtime = later/worse sleep = doing it all over again.
How does one get off the merry-go-round?
Just going to have to tough it out during the day. We are going to keep the new bedtimes for a while, at least. I’m going to limit myself to one 16-ounce mug of coffee for a bit, replacing later cups w/ herbal tea. No naps. I’m going to try even harder to eat clean, as I’ve let some carbier things back in because it’s easier and more comforting.
Change is never easy, but it’s so worth it in the end. It will be so worth it to get back to quality sleep w/ little to no insomnia.
Filed under: Paleo/Primal WOL | 3 Comments
Tags: adrenal fatigue, batch cooking, depression, emotional eating, healthy, paleo, Primal, sleep apnea, weight loss