I don't sleep - at least not all night. I tend to fall asleep very easily - every night between 10-10:30 pm. But I am almost always awake at 3:30 or so. I have been this way for years. At first I thought it was stress. At the time this started I was in a job I hated, my sister was dying of cancer, my oldest had headed off to college...blah...blah...blah. Lots of stressors in my life.
But over the years since then, I seem to be in this pattern of falling asleep easily but waking up way too early. I then toss and turn until I end up on the couch with the TV on low. The background noise of the TV tends to create enough white noise to settle my brain down and then I doze off and on until I officially get up at 4:30 or 5. I have always been an early riser but these sleepless nights are wearing on me.
I have tried everything - given up caffeine (which had no affect), staying up later (still have the same sleep issues - awake too early), tried to resign myself that maybe I don't need 7-8 hours of sleep (not the case because I was exhausted).
Back in January of this year I was really not sleeping, having stomach issues, achy joints (excuse whine). My doctor has been telling me it is my age - pre-menopausal and all that garbage. But I had been doing quite a bit of reading about going gluten-free and the affects of eating wheat products on our bodies. So I decided to give it a try. Well actually I gave up diet soda first thinking this was one of the issues and while it didn't make me feel any different I am glad I gave it up.
So for several months I did not eat any wheat products - no bread, pasta, cereal, pizza etc. While I gave up lots of things, I did not add any of the commercial gluten-free products to my diet. And I did notice a huge difference. My stomach issues went away, I was sleeping much better and my joints stopped aching. A co-worker keeps telling me it's psychosomatic - I didn't care if it was - I was feeling pretty good - and lost 20 lbs.
Then in late July - around the time of the wedding I went back to my old eating habits. It started with a beer here and there - ummmm hello - not gluten-free. Then some crackers...a wrap sandwich...a cookie...sigh. It was so easy to slip into my old habits.
And geuss what - all of my old symptoms are back. The sleepless part is the worse one! I was awake at 2:30 yesterday...3:15 today. At first I thought it was stress - I had a bit of a health scare this past month. And that combined with my knee injury I guess I chalked it up to the stress of an upcoming surgery - possibly two. But I really think it is the gluten issue. While I don't have all of the really nasty symptoms from a gluten allergy I feel crappy enough to go back to my wheat free eating habits.
So starting today - after that last chocolate chip cookie at work yesterday - I wil be changing my diet again. Wish me luck!
P.S. The picture has nothing to do with this post - I just hate posts without any pictures.