And to all a Good Night

This week the 25th of December, officially the Christmas holiday, is upon us  along with the extremely auspicious but shortest, darkest day of the year 2010. I fervently anticipate  my days being filled with increasingly long hours of daylight.  Facts are facts, and scientific data is just that but in my rather myopic world the passage of the 22nd of December, the winter solstice, is all that is necessary to already make my days seem longer and brighter.

As with all weeks in my life this one was filled with lessons and the knowledge that there is always something to be to learned. A week ago I wrote of my “feeling well” and I will never learn that this is apparently arrogant and self serving. “Why?” you ask. It seems whenever I let those thoughts escape from my brain in to the printed word I have to make a retraction and I shall but it pains me to admit my foolishness. As always, I am not discouraged, only humbled. Last week I found myself at a nadir but with a bit of outside assistance I endured and conquered and rose again like the Phoenix.

I guess it was fickle of me after writing in Monday’s blog that all was well with me to go ahead and change things but one of my characteristics is I am always willing to try something different. After I published last week’s blog I wrote the moderator of one of the two health forums I participate in and asked for advice regarding my slightly lower than normal daily temperatures. The moderator, named Diane, sagely advised me to “stay the course”. Did I listen? Not exactly. I didn’t increase any dosages or foolishly decrease but I added something back in to my daily regimen that I eliminated some time ago because it was said to have deleterious effects on some people, so I added a nightly dose of 3 mg of  Melatonin. Oh, but not just Melatonin, no I couldn’t just add one thing.  I had to add two, because that is what I do. I added about 750 mg of  GABA to see if my sleep would become a little deeper and more restorative.

The first night I took the 3 mg of Melatonin and sadly the result was not a more restorative night’s sleep. I was restless, constantly hot and generally disturbed. I woke Wednesday morning feeling a little like souffle that has been reheated (does that conjure up any visions?). Convinced that I just needed slightly more of something, anything to improve my sleep, Thursday night I added the GABA to my Melatonin. In hindsight, I conclude from my rather disastrous actions and with Christmas stories in mind, if I were a little boy given an air gun on Christmas morning with the warning that “you are going to shoot your eye out” I would most assuredly “shoot my eye out”.

Thursday night I found myself staring at my uninteresting, slightly boring  ceiling fan for what seemed like hours, slipping uncomfortably between spells of sweat to spells of agitation and cold. My dreams were disturbing  (suffice it to say, I was not dreaming of a White Christmas) and they jolted me awake several times in just the  couple of  hours I laid there. Having had enough of tossing from one side of the bed to another, my legs now tangled in bedding I finally got up. By this time my heart was racing and skipping after every 10 beats or so, which, needless to say, is exhausting. Exhausting, yes, but you can’t sleep because it is also stimulating as only your heart racing and jumping around can be.

When I can’t sleep I find a cup of warmed milk extremely comforting, so I headed for my dark kitchen stumbling and generally creating havoc. Thanks to my clattering around I soon had company in the kitchen and we both gratefully consumed our warmed cow’s milk (from grassfed cows but not raw) and  eventually went back to sleep. Two hours later I was wide awake again. It was now 3 a.m., the middle of a cold night in Minnesota in a house that is kept very cool indeed, and I was not getting up again and eventually I slept. I woke again at 5, my normal time to start the day, so I got up but the feeling that I hadn’t really slept was pervasive and my heartbeat was still irregular.

Knowing I had once again taken the wrong fork in a trail that in truth only led in one direction, I felt deflated and disappointed by my wayward actions. With my head hanging in disgrace, I contacted my forum and sheepishly told my story asking for possible answers. As it often is, the answer was a real head banger. As in “why do I do these things to myself?” head banger. However, banging my head will only end in a headache, so I chose to learn yet another lesson and share my new found knowledge as my gift to you the reader.

Yes, a Christmas gift from me in the form of advice and here it is. If you have adrenal fatigue limit your intake of Melatonin. Melatonin, especially in doses in excess of 1 mg, are known to lower cortisol and low cortisol overnight will cause surges of adrenaline  making you hot and causing your heart to race and possibly beat in an irregular fashion.

These unnatural surges of adrenaline will also contribute to hypoglycemia and if you have ever suffered from hypoglycemia you know how disturbing that is, so heed my warning and learn by my mistakes. If you even suspect you have adrenal fatigue (7 stages) know those things that may potentially put a strain on your challenged and weak adrenals. Testing the health of your adrenal and endocrine system in general may not only ruin your night’s sleep, it will harm your health overall.

I wish I could do more to spread some Christmas cheer to all but in the end advice, or better put, sharing my insight, my experiences is what I do on this blog. Before I sign off, I will share the lines of a great, rotund man who in literature is always dressed in crimson red and speaks with ruby tinted lips lined with fabulously white hair “Merry Christmas to all (December 25th is after all Christmas and nothing else) and to all a good night”. I mean it, have a really good night.

Until next week and another life’s lesson,



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