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Are You Sleeping Enough? At the Right Time?

Pain with Endometriosis

I must be honest with you, I am incredibly guilty of this one at the moment. My husband works in hospitality and sometimes doesn’t get home until 11pm and has been working really long days, so I feel like if I don’t wait up for him, then I don’t get to see him all that much. It means forcing myself to stay awake, even though I am tired and know it is not ideal for my health.

I noticed that a few of my symptoms started to reappear in a fairly mild state but none the less, the PMS started to come back a little and I was trying to work out what I had done differently. I hadn’t changed anything in my diet, my emotional stress levels were a little more elevated but overall, I wouldn’t have thought they would be sufficient to change my hormones that much.

As the liver regulates our hormones, we want to ensure that we look after it properly.

A few more interesting tidbits:

  • The liver does all its processing between 10pm–2am. If we miss this space and the body is still “working” on other things, then the full attention is not given to the liver to do its repair work and all its other jobs. In other words, if we are awake, instead of sleeping, the liver will not get enough blood supply to process all the things it needs to do.
  • Our melatonin levels kick in and follow the natural rhythm of the sun. When we go against this rhythm, we are altering hormone release of these and other hormones that are affected indirectly. (all hormones relate to each other)
  • Bile is released to clean up all the fatty residue from our diet. When we don’t rest and give it time to do this work, we are often left with remaining fats in the body. This explains that morning nausea feeling!
  • The liver is a direct link to our eyes. If you are having issues with your eyes, infections, puffiness, dark circles etc, this all relates to the liver. We often associate this with lack of sleep though.
  • We will struggle to make good decisions. I have noticed this lately. It is as if my head isn’t clear and making clear decisions becomes really hard. This is because the liver is still processing so all the attention is taken away from our brain. Ever noticed how clear and concise your thinking is when you are well rested or you have done a liver cleanse?

 

So, what do we do with this now? 

I think for me, it is about ensuring I get to bed earlier as much as I can. Perhaps having one or two days a week where I stay up and wait for my husband is okay but I realize that it affects everything else the next day from my studies to my business. Overall, I can see a strong correlation with stress levels going up, when we don’t sleep enough. After all, if we feel foggy brained, struggle to make decisions and feel energetically drained, then it is going to be heaps harder to not get stressed out about things. Everything will feel bigger and harder than it needs to be. This of course can make us feel depressed, anxious and overwhelmed. Never a good combination with Endo!

 

My new action plan

1. Go to bed early 5 nights a week.

2. Make myself a “going to bed” ritual. Go for a bath first, then read a lovely book and then burn incense or lovely oils to calm the mind.

3. Create a lovely space in the bedroom. Make it a cozy and lovely space.

It’s funny because I always thought I needed to stay up late and work or study hard but the truth is, when I go to bed early and feel more focused and clear, I get heaps more done the next day. There is a natural rhythm which are bodies feel good at. When we go against that rhythm, it is going to throw things out. Chances are, it will throw out more than our hormones and liver function, cos hey, the body is super smart!

I was guilty of going to bed late and getting up late and would often sleep 10hrs. (not that I think long hours are bad) I think the thing was, I thought I could make up for a poor sleeping pattern by sleeping more. Now I know better…

Are you keen to change your sleeping patterns with me? What is your new action plan? Let’s make our bedrooms super beautiful!

 

Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Anya

    This is a great post – thank you. I am definitely one of the people who is strongly affected by lack of sleep (no matter how slightly I go under my 8 hours per night) and by messing with my circadian rhythms. I also used to think in the past that good sleep was really just about getting enough hours, no matter when in the day they may come. I’ve found Dr. Henry Emmons’s book _The Chemistry of Joy_ on natural approaches to depression (which doesn’t necessarily pathologize medical/traditional Western approaches to treatment) enormously helpful in his discussions of the importance of sleep. He gives a few pointers that I found very useful. This is mostly for those that may have difficulties falling asleep on time or keeping a regular sleep schedule. I’m summarizing to the best of my memory:

    – trying to get up at the same time every morning, no matter what time you went to bed before. Making up for lost sleep by going to bed earlier the next night, not by getting up later (this was so counter-intuitive for me, but has been very helpful; this way I don’t get into the cycle of getting up late and not being able to fall asleep the following night).

    – trying not to go to sleep past 11pm (has to do with circadian rhythms)

    – picking a regular time to get up, sometime between 6 and 8 (circadian)

    – trying not to do work or use electronic devices past 8pm (this is a tough one for me with electronic devices; I usually use a free app like Flux that automatically screens out blue light, substituting it with light from more of the orange end of the spectrum (has to do with the natural light patterns and blue light’s circadian rhythm disruptions at night).

    – also, trying to keep the bedroom as a place of sleep, sex, and general relaxation only (no work, video watching, etc). This way, one would have a conditioned response over time that being in the bedroom means it’s time to sleep. This is a tough one for me…

    Anyway, thanks for a great post and I’m looking forward to hearing what other people share – this is such an important topic!

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I'm Melissa

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