I have always been a night owl for as long as I can remember. I've always liked to stay up late and have always functioned better at night than I do in the morning (for real, don't even try to talk to me before 9).
But when I ended up with advanced adrenal fatigue a few years ago and had to make a lot of lifestyle changes in order to heal my adrenals, I had to start being better about my sleep schedule. It is important for those with weakened adrenals to be IN BED by 10 p.m. (because of our body's natural "re-setting" process), so I started making sure I went to bed right on time and would make sure to sleep in whenever possible as well (also important for healing adrenal fatigue).
But, in typical silly human fashion, as I started to feel better, I started to get lazy about my lifestyle. I never fully went back to how I used to be... but I did start staying up late again (til at least 11 pm, if not 12 or 1 am), I would sneak in sugar more often and I would have more alcohol and coffee (although it was still decaf). They might not sound like big things to you, but they actually are, because of the strong impact they have on your overall health. Especially if you tend to have weakened adrenals.
So, back to last night.
Yesterday was a pretty normal day... I had a couple pet sitting visits and was working on some promotion for my book (that will be out in December!). But I did do a couple things during the course of the day/evening yesterday that would come back to haunt me later. More specifically, at 12:51 am last night. First, I had an iced decaf coffee early in the day. Not too big of a deal... except that I wasn't very good about drinking water yesterday either and coffee has a dehydrating effect on the body. Then at dinner, I had a pretty substantial glass of white wine (which is also dehydrating and tends to be high in sugar), followed by a big ol' dessert that consisted of a healthy, homemade zucchini brownie (yummier than it sounds) with vanilla ice cream and homemade chocolate syrup on top. Which means... I had sugar and alcohol in the wine, followed by a LOT of sugar in the ice cream and then went to bed with no protein snack (another lifestyle change I had made previously). Yea... bad idea.
So there I am, sound asleep at nearly 1 am, when all of the sudden... I wake up sweating and hot, with my heart racing 100 miles an hour and a severe headache at the base of my skull in the back. Now, for some people, this may seem like a cause for concern. But even though it was very anxiety-inducing and extremely comfortable in the moment, I didn't freak out because I knew what was happening.
I was an idiot.
Ok, that's not very self-loving. So, I'll say instead... I did something idiotic. I know better than to overload my body on unhealthy things like that, all while not drinking enough water either. Yet, I did it anyway and I was paying the price for it.
Basically, my blood pressure had spiked in the middle of the night and I was having a hypertensive episode (which I recognized because I had them whenever I tried to exercise when I had adrenal fatigue). Both the sugar and the alcohol had raised my blood pressure and the fact that my body felt that it was dehydrated too didn't help, since that causes the body to squeeze the blood vessels even tighter in attempt to hold on to the water that is in them.
I was laying there feeling like I was going to have a heart attack, wishing I could go back in time. And although I did actually come up with a great idea for a new mini e-course (stay tuned!) and sang a lot of great 80's tunes in my head while I waited for my body to calm down... I mostly just felt stupid. Because I was basically feeling awful from something that I had very much had control over.
So, why am I telling you this?
Because I want to let you know that 1) even those of us who live and work in the "clean eating/healthy living" space still mess up from time to time, 2) what you put in your body DOES effect how you feel and 3) some of those symptoms you may be struggling with may just be related to what you're eating or drinking.
Thankfully, that little unpleasant episode was enough to make me get back on (heck... JUMP back on) the wagon today and all 3 of those things are hitting the curb... it's back to no sugar, no alcohol and no coffee. The coffee isn't even that hard for me because all I drink is decaf and that's only once in a blue moon. And although I will bring the occasional alcoholic drink back in to the mix after a little while, I need a break from that too. As for the sugar... it is going bub-byes again for GOOD. It is just not worth the havoc it wreaks on your body (whether you feel it or not). Like I said, I barely even stepped back into the water with it, much less wade around in the deep end of the pool like I used to, yet I still felt the effects of it because it is toxic to your body. Plain and simple.
The funny thing is, this also comes on the heels of something else that I am going to tell you about in a separate blog post because I have some good information I want to give you. But this past weekend, I had another little wake-up call about my products.
Now, if you've been following me for any amount of time, you probably know how passionate I am about knowing what ingredients are in your products and making smart, non-toxic choices. But even I found that I had fallen prey to some marketing gurus and let a few things slide myself. Needless to say, they immediately went in the trash can and have been banished from my bathroom forever, but I wanted to share with y'all that again... it can happen to the best of us and that's why it's SO important to be consistently vigilant about your products and not fall into a complacent slumber.
I will make it even easier for you though (because that's what I like to do!) and give you some of my favorites that I have already done the research on and KNOW are healthy choices in the next blog post. And if you don't even know why you should care about any of this in the first place, I will tell you about that too. ;)
But for now, it's time to enjoy a sugar-free zucchini brownie (sans ice cream) and catch up on my sleep!
Until next time, keep your worries tiny and your dreams BIG!