The clock shows the time: 2 a.m.
Suddenly, eyes fly open and the brain starts churning.
It’s started, the hours of tossing and turning with sleep only a dream.
I learned at the Women’s Wellness Forum that not only what I choose to eat, but also the makeup I use every day and my ever changing hormones could very well lie at the heart of a long sleepless night.
I always knew food was important, but I never realized how much.
Three Rim Country women — Heidi Kueny, Yvette Thorson and Deborah Rose-Ellis — spoke from their years of experience on each of the three reasons for what they describe as toxic sleep.
The Forum decided to make sleep the theme of the conference because of the serious health risks, not to mention the frayed tempers and groggy days, people suffer from a lack of sleep.
Recent studies have shown that the brain uses sleep to flush toxins out of the brain that accumulate throughout the day. A consistent lack of sleep can ultimately cause Alzheimer’s say researchers — and as we know, a really bad case of grumpiness.
Explains a lot in my case. I’ve suffered from sleepless nights for years.
Rose-Ellis, who worked in naturopath and chiropractic offices for years then went on a five-year detox journey by eating a raw vegan diet and now teaches a healthy living class, said food plays a big part.
“The body does most of its cleansing during the night,” said Rose-Ellis. “Coffee can’t save you (if you don’t get enough sleep). We’re guzzling food and drinks to help us get through the day.”
Red Bulls, espresso, tea, cola, and chocolate ... how many times has 3 p.m. come around and the office goes out for a coffee break? Rose-Ellis says that simply won’t help and probably will cause another sleepless night.
Rose-Ellis said healthy food equals healthy cells, which enables healing sleep.
She also introduced a list of foods high in melatonin, a hormone that supports the circadian (sleep) rhythms: raw black walnuts and almonds, tart cherry juice, all berries, melons, onions, garlic, yams, and valerian root.
“People describe the smell as old socks, but drink it in a tea and add hibiscus flowers and chamomile,” she said.
But if the information was overwhelming, and it was for me, she suggested two things to help with detoxing: cut out ALL artificial sweeteners and add a super green food, such as spirulina and green algae to the diet.
“I have a green smoothie every morning,” she said.
The super green food (she buys from LivingFuel.com) helps to flush out heavy metals and toxins that contributes to interrupted sleep.
Kueny, a 32-year medical professional, also said food can affect hormones.
She suggested staying away from all soy products, while adding ginseng, red clover, black cohash, raw almonds, grapefruit, aloe, super greens, and sunflower oil to the diet to help balance hormones.
Thorson, who currently works for Banner Health, showed me that most of the cosmetics I currently use have lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and petroleum in them.
As I eat, the lipstick I use is slowly dumping toxic materials in my body.
Over time, said Thorson, they will build up in my cells and unless I can detoxify, they will keep me from sleeping.
She said several companies, such as Arbonne, use all natural ingredients for pure healthy makeup.
Frankly, I feel a bit overwhelmed, but I have committed to starting slow and dumping all the toxic food and ingestibles from my life.
I’m looking forward to a good restful night of sleep!
Mix and match according to taste.
by Simple Green Smoothies
2 Cups Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, bok choy, Swiss chard, collards, dandelion) — or add a green powder such as Living Fuel Supergreens
2 Cups Liquid Base (water, coconut water, coconut milk, almond milk)
3 Cups Ripe Fruit (banana, mango, berries, avocado, peach, pear, apple, pineapple, grapes)