You may have heard the saying, ‘You are what you eat’. This is a statement that rings true on so many levels. Our thoughts and emotions, the music we listen to and the books we read, the movies we watch and the foods we eat are all contributing to the ‘us’ that we create. Let’s look further at some issues directly related to eating and digestion.
Disturbed sleep is very often due to poor digestion from a late evening meal. Dinner should be eaten no later than 6 pm or possibly 7 pm – especially when children have early bedtimes. It is recommend to obtain a pleasant-tasting, chewable digestive enzyme (such as papaya) to assist with digestion of solid food in the bowel; this also aids in forming of soft stool by the next morning.
The other possibility is that food allergies are present. Many people have allergies and are not aware of it because the symptoms are not what they expect, for example heart fluttering or constipation. Muscle testing should be done to determine food allergies and avoid foods that cause an allergic reaction, or that are difficult to digest, especially before bedtime.
Review the list of Candida symptoms (caused by candidiasis, or fungal overgrowth) as they can cause extreme symptoms during sleep such as night sweats, frequent waking, dream disturbances, lack of feeling rested after sleep and hypersensitivity to noises.
Low tryptophan levels are also a possible cause of disturbed sleep. It is one of 10 essential amino acids that the body uses to synthesize its protein needs. It must be obtained from food sources, as the body cannot manufacture it. Trypotphan is converted to the B-vitamin niacin (in the liver) and is a precursor of seratonin, which is a neurotransmitter that supports appetite, sleep patterns and mood. A few foods that are good sources of tryptophan are red meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, soybeans and soy products, tuna, shellfish and turkey.
Mineral supplements should not be taken before bedtime. Melatonin levels that are low can also cause disturbed sleep. Supplements can be taken for a course of several months but then allow the body to begin to create its own levels of melatonin.
See our entry titled, “Serotonin – The Feel Good Hormone” here, for some interesting details about it and other hormone activity. We also invite you back to read an upcoming entry on muscle testing for allergies, coming soon!