Lack Of Sleep And Stress

Discussion in 'Insomnia, Sleep Issues' started by CentralCoastIan, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. CentralCoastIan

    CentralCoastIan Member

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    Hello everybody,

    I've been having a lot of sleep, adrenaline, and stress issues lately. I already posted this in the meet and greet forum, but I'll post it here again, as it really outlined my problems well.

    It seems like it would be easier to answer this question with a story of my health issues, as opposed to a direct answer. I went Paleo last year during the beginning of the summer. At first, I felt great, full of energy, wanted to go outdoors all the time to "fulfill my primal needs" or some bs like that, lost A LOT of weight (over the whole course of going Paleo I actually lost too much weight), and my depression and anxiety disappeared--hell, I'm sure a kid who was obese their childhood would lose their depression too if they lost weight. Over the course of 8 months, I progressively lost more and more weight; however, my mental cognition started to deteriorate, and so did my happiness and general well-being. I started having symptoms such as cold hands and feet, even when the weather was about 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit--eventually I developed Raynaud's, you can bet that was scary the first time I saw my fingers turning purple! I also started to have intense sugar and carbohydrate cravings, but I didn't feed into them because I thought carbs would cause, "insidious weight gain," to steal a term from Mark Sisson. And then things just got worse, I started having extreme panic attacks in the middle of the night. I would wake up gasping for air, my heart beating, feelings of death hanging over me, complete anxiety and hysteria. I thought that it might've been central sleep apnea (luckily I didn't waste money on a sleep study). And then the worst of it all, DUN, DUN, DUN!.... Severe constipation. I would literally have to take enemas every day so I could eliminate on a daily basis--talk about embarrassing, and well, very, um, un-manly. Eventually, after I was sick and tired of all this crap I had been dealing with, I thought, hey maybe I should go vegan (my brain must've really not been thinking!). So I did that for a week, until I decided that my food needed flavor and that salads and bland vegetables wasn't gonna cut it. So I went back to low-carb Paleo, and did that for another month and half or so, until I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (oh really, never woulda guessed with all the symptoms), that I had pretty much self-diagnosed. The really sad part about this, is that the doctor didn't think I had it, even when the bloodwork came back and showed low t4 and high TSH :/.... Anyways, after searching the topics about hypothyroidism on Paleohacks, I found out about Peat and Matt Stone. So, after reading Diet Recovery 2 in an evening, I decided I would fall into my extreme sugar cravings. I ate cupcake after cupcake, and ice cream, and buttered toast with sugar and cinnamon on top (oh my lord, cinnamon toast, as I call it, was amazing for recovering from extreme carbophobia), and just about everything that contained sugar that was in the house. I cried. I had been going against what my body had said for so long, thinking I had to overcome my cravings, thinking I was doing the right thing, thinking I was the healthiest one in my family, thinking I had such will power and self discipline, thinking I was superior. I was wrong, dead ******* wrong! So after a few months of eating Matt Stone style, I gained some weight at first, but started to lose it naturally, gained muscle, libido increased, became happy, could think clearly (holy crap this really helped for my chem class), I never felt nervous or jittery, I felt, normal... Well, this amazingness, was cut short. I had to get a job, because living out here in California is very expensive, and when your family lives on welfare and social security, a child working to help pay family expenses is nothing abnormal. The only job I could find (I live in a college town, mind you, so job pickins is far and few) was one where I worked a night shift. Uh-oh, I had been going to sleep at 10 PM to 10:30 PM, and now I'll be working until 12:15 AM, and I probably won't be able to go to sleep until 1:15 AM or possibly later. This was a disaster for me, the first month I was OK, just OK. I expected things might get worse, but I just ignored and tried to have a good time, and I did for the most part. About 2 months in, though, I started having really bad sleeping problems, and I gained weight again, and I could tell I was heading in the direction of obesity if I kept up this 6 hours of sleep a night routine--remember, my body still hadn't fully healed from going low carb, and the hypothyroidism didn't help. I really pushed myself some days, and eventually I started having adrenaline cycles, where my I would feel really good, then CRASH, horrible feeling, then up, and then down, up, down, all throughout the day. This really affected me mentally and physically, I lost strength, libido, energy, etc. Luckily, this only carried on for another few weeks before I quit. I knew school was coming up, and I could use my financial aid as means to help pay for family expenses. Well, I thought my problems would improve since I wasn't working anymore, and I thought I could get back to a regular sleep schedule. Wrong. My sleep schedule actually got worse, and this is really where I am now. I try to go to bed around 9:30-10:30 PM, if my adrenaline doesn't kick in and keep me up till 11:30. However, I only sleep for about 3 hours, then, BAM, wake up feeling tense, hot flashes, pounding heart, not really hungry at all. And I can't really go back to sleep then after that. This has basically interfered with everything in my life. I can't play basketball anymore, which I love to play; I don't have the energy to play guitar at all, which I love even doing more; and going to school feels like a death wish.

    I should mention that my elimination has been very good; lately, I've been eliminating about 1 time a day, sometimes 2.

    During the day, I try to eat cheese and gelatin for most of my protein, getting egg and some meat in there too. I eat raw carrot on an empty stomach and in between meals throughout the day, I really do love the taste of raw carrots. I do about 50% my own homemade OJ and 50% store bought, pulp free, non concentrate OJ--remember, I'm on gov. money, so buying lots of fresh, good quality fruit is very hard to do. I have coffee with milk and sugar--the best and only way to drink it! I like tortilla chips fried in coconut oil with lots of salt, and then most of the time, I'll put cheese on top and heat it up to make nachos, and then down a big glass of OJ with a bit of sugar in it.

    I normally drink a glass of warm milk with sugar, salt, bit of coconut oil, and some gelatin before bed, and some nights that helps and I get to sleep for about 5 hours before I wake up. I will drink this concoction again in the middle of the night to try to go back to sleep.

    I also supplement with Pregnenolone 50mg, 400mg Magnesium, and 50mcg of levothyroxine. Sometimes, I take a TB of vinegar in water to help raise stomach acid, as I have achlorhydria as well.

    I'm really trying everything I can to get better sleep. I wonder if maybe it's a nutrient absorption problem or a possible glycogen storage issue.

    Any responses would help greatly, and thank you.
     
  2. ilovethesea

    ilovethesea Member

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    Do you take your temperatures and pulse?

    Levothyroxine is T4 only. RP says most people feel better with some T3 as well, i.e. in a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 (T4 to T3) and I have experienced this to be true. I used to have some sleeping issues and measured high cortisol on blood and saliva tests, but this resolved when I started taking an NDT (I used be on Synthroid before that). I also found I needed a much higher amount of T4 than I was taking, but obviously you'll want to do increase that very gradually (and have the corresponding ratio of T3 as well).
     
  3. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    CentralCoastIan, :welcome

    Estrogen dominance possibly, low metabolic rate. Estrogen interferes with glycogen storage of the liver, cortisol also rises with estrogen. That late nights might have been what it took to push you over the metabolic disaster edge.

     
  4. OP
    CentralCoastIan

    CentralCoastIan Member

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    Yes, I do. They fluctuate a lot throughout the day. My hands and feet get cold when I don't eat for a few hours, and then I'll get sudden hot flashes, and I feel like it's some sort of hormone surge, like adrenaline or estrogen(?).
     
  5. OP
    CentralCoastIan

    CentralCoastIan Member

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    Metabolic disaster edge does not sound very good :(
    So maybe more carrots and maybe some vitamin E or Progesterone?

    By the way, thanks for the welcome :)
     
  6. ilovethesea

    ilovethesea Member

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    Cold hands and feet are a hypo symptom. Do you measure your temp 1st thing in the a.m. before getting out of bed, 10 mins under the armpit? That's the best indicator. Also measure before & after meals... if temp goes down after a meal it's an indicator you are running on adrenaline.

    You may want to consider adding some Cynomel to your levothyroxine.
     
  7. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Sorry. :( Maybe I used the wrong choice of words. Hypothyroid is a more appropriate description.

    Everything Peat should help turn it around.
     
  8. OP
    CentralCoastIan

    CentralCoastIan Member

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    @ilovethesea:

    I haven't been measuring my temps because I'm waking up at around 3-4 AM, feeling really hot and flushed. I have noticed that when I get a good meal in, my temperature does drop a bit. And I do want to try the Cynomel, do you know of a good website where I can obtain some if I can't get anything through my doc? I'm assuming he might be up to giving me something since I legitimately have hypothyroidism.

    @Charlie:

    Ah, they makes me feel a bit more comfortable having this disease. Ok, one more question. During the evening, my arms progressively get veinier and feel constricted and tight, I get more and more flushed and have hot flashes, and I get really bad water retention. I'm thinking it might be an estrogen/serotonin issue. Do you have any advice for this?
     
  9. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Keep reading Ray Peats articles. I am dealing with estrogen dominance too and its a pain in the butt to turn around it seems. Just gotta keep cracking at it and doing all things Peat that you can.
     
  10. Dan Wich

    Dan Wich Member

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    Welcome Ian!

    If it's any comfort, I think a lot of Peat people ultimately end up with improved sleep (myself included). How long has it been since you've started your "new" sleep schedule?

    It could be helpful to enter the amounts of your foods into Cronometer to check for deficiencies and to see your macronutrient ratios. I'm curious about how your cheese/gelatin/eggs/meat stack up in comparison to your sugar sources.
     
  11. AmandaWald

    AmandaWald Member

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    Hi Central Coast Ian,

    I had the same issues as you a while back, exactly the same! In fact, it is what got me back to reading the Peat articles.

    What has helped me is SUGAR in all shapes and forms.

    I have/had the same problem of waking up hot - being 50 years old and female, I thought it was just the hot flash thing, but I don't get all sweaty, just hot - and then feeling wired and unable to sleep for at least another 90 minutes, two hours.

    When I read that SUGAR (in fact, fructose might be even better) helps, I also tried the sugar/salt/milk nightcap and that did help. I also plonked a jar of dried apricots next to my bed and if I woke up, I would have one or two whilst lying in bed. And this worked really well!!! I found that I could then get back to sleep again!

    The other thing that has helped me is to make sure I get enough exposure to natural light during the day. I think I had messed up my body clock by sitting under poor light after breakfast, which would make me feel so sleepy that I was going back to bed again in the morning (I tutor schoolkids in the afternoon, so I need to be awake then, not having a nap). This was a mistake! I now try to get outside in the morning so my body knows what time of day it is. That seems to have helped, too.

    My sleep isn't perfect now, by any means, but it is MUCH better than it was in September when I was waking up every 90 minutes to 2 hours, huge adrenalin surge, I think it was, causing the heat and being wide awake and wired. This must have been caused by lack of sugar in the liver, so I have also tried - with some success -to avoid alcohol in the evenings, as this just makes the problem much much worse.

    I am now trying to work on keeping my sugar intake high - i.e. to eat enough sugar to keep the adrenaline surges at bay - and to get enough daylight. I live in Europe (Germany) so this is a challenge now that winter is on its way.

    When I skimmed through your diet log, it seemed that the sugar element was low. It goes against the grain after being low-carb paleo, I know, but it DOES help.

    Hope this helps, too. I reckon a dose of things like dried dates, figs, apricots and raisins, sultanas might be helpful. I just found out that these are also really high in potassium, which I think Peat said was good for insulin control.

    Hope you sleep better tonight,

    Amanda
     
  12. Dayman

    Dayman Member

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    Hi I am having a similar issue so I might post a couple of ideas.
    I have just started taking a NDT and the first day was great, however that night when going to bed my feet were cold and my mind was buzzing so I couldn't fall asleep.
    I suspect that it might have been something with the adrenals.
    What I ended up doing was taking B-5, vitamin c, and eating a bunch of salted ice cream.
    Finally a little bit of topical progesterone. I'm not sure which thing was the most important but my feet warmed up and I was able to get to sleep.

    I am wondering if anyone else has experienced similar issues and what has helped.

    Also if I do not have any T3 is it okay to try a small amount of the desiccated thyroid to get to sleep.
     
  13. Bahaa El wazzan

    Bahaa El wazzan Member

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    Oh my god

    Somehow the same story
     
  14. walker_in_aus

    walker_in_aus Member

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    Hi,

    I am having the same problem. Hypothyroid symptoms, and adrenaline surges about half an hour after I've gone to bed - just on the point of sleep. Happened exactly a year ago when I was low carbing (always had sleep problems as a kid though) and I had consistant insomnia for about 5 months before trying hypnosis. Slept like a baby for six months, and now BAM it's back, AFTER I started eating sugar again. May have reduced my protein intake too much? Definately have estrogen problems (varicose veins, many years on contraceptives, on and off usage of anti-depressants)

    I'm too tired to try and figure it out again, been seeing hynotist again but struggling. Also so desperate I have been taking oxazepam. I'm thinking it probably just makes it worse, stressing my liver, so the next time I sleep my glycogen stores are running out too fast.

    I'm sure there is a mental point in it too, I am very very upset and scared that this is happening again.

    I was trying Tyronene but did not seem to have significant effect on me. Was trying high doses, then tried lower. Thinking I should try the t4/t3 mix but I'm just so sick of trying and trying.

    Anyway I'm sure eventually I will sleep again. Other option is not really worth thinking about.
     
  15. Bahaa El wazzan

    Bahaa El wazzan Member

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    Well now im on 50 + gelatinee

    Im sleeping 7 hours at least
     
  16. Bahaa El wazzan

    Bahaa El wazzan Member

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    Sometimes its alot of inflammation

    Try amoxicylline before bed for 7 days course

    When i was on it
    I slept very well
     
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