Not sleeping through the night can be a bear!! (or make you feel like an unhappy one…)
Many, if not all of my clients, wake up during the night “to go to the bathroom”. It’s a problem because uninterrupted sleep is very important for growing younger. It’s important for just feeling good the next day!
Recently I went on a backpacking trip to Yosemite National Park. I ended up going with a guide because all the bear stories I heard made me nervous to go by myself.
Before I retired to my tent for the night I had to put my food, cosmetics, soap, etc. in a “bear cannister” and then I had to place it at least 100 feet from my tent so the bears didn’t bother me at night. So, then I was thinking, well what happens if I have to get up and go to the bathroom during the night – in the pitch black of the night?
I had gotten into some bad habits with my eating, drinking and sleeping and had been getting up at night to use the bathroom at home. I was thinking how my bad habits were going to be a problem out here in the wilderness…
Here are the habits that I had gotten into:
- Eating later than 7pm – I would play tennis and then eat afterwards
- Drinking alcohol, i.e. a yummy glass or two of red wine at night
- Having a dark chocolate treat of some kind in the evening
- Consuming too much salt, i.e tortilla chips
OK, so I confess, these are some of the habits that I had started indulging in. Every night I would think I was going to do better but then I just couldn’t resist that glass of wine or the handful of dark chocolate raisins. Until…the thought of getting up and going to the bathroom in the pitch black with the bears began to freak me out.
So as I was hiking I thought about a few things. I didn’t have any alcohol so that wasn’t going to be a problem. I did have some dark chocolate though in my trail mix, but I thought all the hiking would counteract the stimulation caused by the sugar and caffeine. I didn’t know what time we’d have dinner so I couldn’t predict that just yet. I also knew that making sure my digestion was good, i.e. no gas and good bowel movements, would keep me sleeping soundly.
You know how once you wake up during the night you always think you have to go to the bathroom? Well, I wanted to do whatever I could to stay sleeping so this wouldn’t happen. I did NOT want to go visiting bears in the middle of the night.
So, after the first day of hiking for 8 hours, uphill for 1400 feet, with a 40lb backpack, I was exhausted and didn’t get to eat until about 8pm. I had a delicious organic meal-in-a-pouch of black beans, onions and other veggies with my can of smoked oysters. Well, I had gas that night, and guess, what? I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Darn! The good news is that I didn’t run into any bears AND I got to see the amazing sky with a trillion stars. The bad news is I didn’t feel so great. My digestion was impaired.
I decided I had to eliminate the dark chocolate raisins and take my digestive enzymes. Several of the dehydrated meals I took had dairy so I knew the digestive support would be good for me. I did both of these things and slept soundly the next two nights. Very relaxed in fact. As an added bonus, I didn’t experience any hot flashes – or warming – that I had been experiencing so I was able to stay snuggled in my sleeping bag all night.
Fabulous, huh? Just by eliminating the dark chocolate, alcohol and taking my digestive enzymes I stayed very relaxed and snug in my sleeping bag with no hot flashes. Wow! Simple, huh?
Take a look at your diet to see what you can change to help you sleep through the night. You will be super happy, less anxious and the wrinkles will begin to fade when you sleep through the night on a regular basis. Grow younger while you sleep amongst the bears in the wilderness. Who could have guessed?
© Robin Nielsen, NC
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