Sleep and Sanity

After nearly two and a half weeks with very little sleep, at long last……..it has happened!!!

sleeping guy

Please forgive my ramblings from last evening! It has been difficult to put thoughts into words, and onto a page with such little sleep and fragmented thinking. After re-reading my post this morning, I’m quite embarrassed about the direction it took. Although I do believe it very important to teach our younger generations the importance of environmental awareness. I am passionate about placing less power in the greedy hands of people/companies such as Monsanto. I believe whole-heatedly the necessity of banning GMOs and regulating the hormones, antibiotics and pesticides used in/on our food sources. And yes, I believe that there are a LOT of negative side effects caused by the use and consumption of genetically altered food and animals. No, although I may have sounded like it yesterday, I am not a raving lunatic! LOL

Back to more grounded conversation…. 🙂 

Insomnia is something that I’ve contended with off and on throughout most of my adult life. It’s frustrating! There’s nothing like being wide awake and not being able to do anything about it. Just wait. (Especially while you’re listening to your spouse snore away, with a care….) It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve learned the plausible causes/triggers of this annoying condition. Hormones! 

I used to think thyroid malfunction and hormone imbalances were nonsense. Just excuses used by over weight middle-aged women to be over weight and grumpy. It was actually a laughable joke to fellow personal trainers and me. “Oh, let me guess, your thyroid caused you to eat that pint of ice cream last night. Hahahaaha.”

Karma,  she’s for real and she doesn’t play nice!! And guess what, thyroid and hormone problems are no joke! It’s been an on going battle with me since my second pregnancy. It’s been eye-opening and educational, not to mention just plain miserable! I totally get the grumpy, whiny, frumpy middle-aged women that I used to train. There are days when I feel so defeated that I can totally understand the desire to give up and eat a pint of ice cream or bag of chocolate. I get it!! I won’t. I’m too competitive for that, I guess. But, I get it!!!! I just simply refuse to be defeated by such things!

When I was first diagnosed with my sluggish thyroid and completely out-of-whack hormones, I was struggling to make it through the day. There didn’t seem to be anything I could do to “wake up”. No amount of coffee, no supplements, no energy drinks that could perk me up for more than a minute or two. I exercised like a fiend for at least two hours every day and was gaining weight like crazy. My libido was absolutely non existent (poor hubby!). Understandably, I was also experiencing levels of depression that I had never known before.

Desperation finally drove me to seek help. (I’m not a fan of trusting in doctors.) Luckily, I found a naturpathic doctor that was wonderful! She ran some tests and ordered tons of blood work. When it all came back, it was clear as a bell what was causing my misery. My hormone function was nearly non existent. Almost zero. What was wonderful about this great doc was that she didn’t just prescribe medicine to fix my symptoms, but she educated me on what the probable causes of my condition were. We worked together to try to minimize my symptoms and discomfort, while I worked very hard on trying to educate myself further on what drove my body to this point.

The more obvious cause of hormone imbalance, was my previous pregnancy. It was a miscarriage. My body had not gone through the normal process of highs and lows and system resets that a full term pregnancy does. One could also argue the chicken and the egg theory. It is entirely possible that my hormones were off prior to the pregnancy, thereby resulting in the spontaneous termination. There’s only One who knows that answer with certainty. Moving on…

Another one of the largest contributing factors to hormone imbalances and thyroid conditions are toxins. We are exposed to so many harmful toxins on a daily basis! Our bodies are working in over-drive constantly trying to bring balance and excrete not just the toxins that we breathe, ingest and wear; but the toxic by-products of the over-processed, chemically enhanced, garbage that we consume.

So, one may ask, what is there to do? 🙂

There are detox programs that line the shelves of every vitamin shop and health food store. Detoxifying your body and helping to cleanse your liver and kidneys is a big start. I’ve tried numerous detoxes everything from “the lemon-aid diet” to juice cleanses. To be honest, I’m not sure one was any better than another.  Every body is different and everybody has different needs. Take the time to read, do the research before you commit to any long term detoxes/cleanses. 

Detoxify and cleanse your home. Rid your cleaning buckets of harmful and toxic cleaning products, such as chlorine bleach and ammonia. Get rid of products that contain synthetic fragrances and perfumes. Stop using lotions, soaps and cosmetics that contain toxic chemicals/preservatives, synthetic perfumes, and dyes.

Yes, it is less convenient to purchase natural non-toxic home, health and beauty products. It takes reading labels and doing a little research. Some items can be quite a bit more pricey. Others not at all. As cliche as it sounds, the more you spend on consuming organic and healthy foods, and replacing toxic products in your home; the less you’ll spend on medical bills. True story!!

A few of the cosmetic brands that I’ve found to have less toxins are 100% Pure, Josie Maran, and Tarte. My favorite household cleaners I make. I’ve posted the all-purpose household cleaner that I use on a couple previous blogs. For laundry detergent, I usually fall back to Seventh Generation. I just don’t have the patience to make my own, although I’ve seen some fairly easy looking recipes. I make my own skin moisturizers and body scrubs. I’ve posted recipes in previous blogs. 

All of this has helped me tremendously! There are still a great deal of toxins that I’m exposed to on a daily basis, though. Sadly, living in one of the most polluted cities on the US makes it hard to be toxin free. I’ll just control what I can and detox when my systems show signs of stress. As for my insomnia, this time, I’m certain is coming from my thyroid medicine. The good news in this, is that my thyroid is working as it should and apparently doesn’t need to extra kick from the medicine. So, I’ll cut back. Detox. Take some melatonin and sip a glass of wine… Sleep well!!!

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