Sleep deprivation is tough stuff.
There are endless numbers of causes - probably mostly having to do with bad eating habits.
Other factors often enter in - especially having to do with stress. And stress often results from eating the wrong foods.
Could be something as simple as eating too many carbs - especially those with very high sugar content. Especially eating the sugar-rich carbs just before going to bed.
If you eat a typical fast-food laced diet, or lots of processed foods from the supermarket, the chemicals you ingest can result in high levels of toxicity building up in your body.
The direct result is often sleep deprivation.
It could also be too few carbs.
Improving your eating habits will not only improve the quality of your sleep. Your overall health and vitality will move up exponentially.
For some specifics, visit my nutritious food pages.
Long term sleep deprivation is dangerous.
We all need deep, solid sleep every night - not only for the rest, but for cleansing to occur.
For years, it was my habit to indulge in snacking during the evening hours.
I would start after the evening meal and often continue until it was time to go to bed.
My snacks usually consisted of relatively healthy foods, such as raw nuts, fruits, and unsweetened carob chips. That was true for at least the last 4-5 years of my snacking experience.
Prior to that time I indulged in various tasty cheeses with crackers. I thought cheese was a health food - and that whole grain crackers were fine.
Naturally I washed it down with fruit juice out of a plastic bottle - sometimes out of a glass bottle.
A few years later I found that drinking liquids out of plastic containers caused the ingestion of plastic. Even the processed juices themselves are not healthy.
They have preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Even if it has sugar - especially refined sugar added, that juice can add to your sleep deprivation, along with your growing belly.
Sleeping deprivation came only sporadically - but when it did, I was miserable the next day.
At least the obvious sleeping problems were only sporadic. I didn't actually experience any long-term sleep deprivation.
But I gained weight steadily.
According the Dr. Junger, writing in his book, Clean, the main reason not to snack during the evening after supper is that our physical bodies need a 12-hour time period between supper and breakfast with no food intake.
Dr. Junger tells us that the 12-hour no eating time frame is necessary in order for the regular daily removal of toxins to occur, and for important internal repair work.
The 12-hour fasting period between the evening meal improves the quality of sleep so that sleep can be deep and refreshing, enabling the rebuilding of tissue including the liver and other vital organs.
During the 21-day detoxification plan detailed by Clean, Joyce and I both lost extra pounds and gained lots of energy. We were both relatively healthy, since we'd been eating well and exercising regularly for at least 12 years.
We both slept better during the 21-day cleanse, and following the cleanse. We still do not snack between supper and breakfast.
We're both easily able to maintain our lower weights. In fact, we're both very slowly losing a little more weight as time goes by.
Joyce didn't have as much extra weight to lose as I did, but she looks great, and is wearing size 3 or 4 - down from 8 or 10.
I've gone from around 200 pounds to around 170. I haven't been as light as 170 since I was in high school more than 50 years ago.
For about 25 of the last 30 years I had a close friend and business associate who continually experienced sleep deprivation. For most of his adult life he had gotten by on less than 2 or 3 hours of sleep each night.
He died of a heart attack a few years ago, just one day before his 66th birthday.
His sleep deprivation resulted from a multitude of health problems - not the least of which was obesity. His entire condition was the result of very poor eating habits throughout his life.
I was able to talk him into juicing and drinking distilled water for a few months about 3 years before he died.
During that time he lost a significant amount of weight, said he was sleeping better and felt better than he had before.
Unfortunately, because of the self-imposed demands of his professional life, he was unable to sustain the juicing and hydration for any longer than a few months.
I know of several other individuals who are in the same boat.
In some cases, they just think it should be unnecessary to make such sacrifices in order to get well and sleep well.
Many people will never change their lifestyles, because they're convinced that modern medicine will be able to solve any resulting severe health problems.
Or maybe they just think sleep is a waste of time.
Lots of folks try to solve their sleep difficulties by using medications. They trust their doctors - some of whom have become close friends. Many doctors themselves are the victims of their own medical practices.
Read about Dr. Junger's experience as a young cardiologist as related in the Chapter 2 of Clean. It's a real eye-opener, as is the entire book.
The second chapter describes a young intern in his early and mid twenties who experienced the ravages of stress and really poor nutrition. Like a lot of young people in high stress vocations, the doctor accepted lack of sleep, weight gain and other problems as the norm.
He figured that once he graduated, things would change.
In fact, things got worse when his responsibilities increased as he wound up running the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at a major hospital in New York City.
Consulting with a colleague in the hospital, a gastroenterologist, Dr. Junger was told that not much could be done for his irritable bowel syndrome except try to control the symptoms with antispasmodics, antiflatulance pills, painkillers, and antidiarrhea medication alternating with laxatives.
The downward spiral continued as he began waking up with chest pain.
Dr. Junger writes, If I hadn't already been a cardiologist myself by then, I would have gone to see one, but I knew the heart muscle and its arteries were not the problem. That other aspect of the heart, the one I had not had a single class or discussion about in all my years of training, was the problem. I was sad. In fact, I was depressed.
Then, the non-stop mind activity began.
There were always thoughts rolling through my mind. It was not me choosing to think them. In fact, if I had a choice I wouldn't be thinking 90 percent of the thoughts that were happening day in and out....
The thoughts were louder at night. I could not sleep. Which only led to more thoughts. If I was not choosing those thoughts, who was? Where were they coming from? Was I going mad?
At this point the young cardiologist decided to consult a top psychiatrist.
Depression was the diagnosis - Prozac was the prescription.
Another psychiatrist for a second opinion. Diagnosis: chemical imbalance in the brain.
Luckily for all of us, his readers, this Doctor's natural instincts kicked in, and he rejected the idea of being on prescription drugs for the rest of his life.
Visiting numerous bookstores, he researched psychiatry, psychology, thinking, thought, the mind.
He read everything he could get his hands on until he wound up in the Eastern Philosophy section of one of the bookstores.
As I was browsing the shelves, a book literally "fell" on my hands and opened up to a chapter titled "meditation: Silencing the Mind." As I read the first few paragraphs, it was as if the skies were opening up. It said that through the practice of meditation one could slow down and even stop the incessant habitual thinking process...
This information was exactly what I was looking for.
From the bookstore to upstate New York, overseas to India - several drastic changes resulting in a holistic doctor who understands the integration of mind and body, and the great importance of precisely determined dietary practices, elimination of toxins, and proper exercise.
Dr. Junger cured himself of sleep deprivation along with a bunch of other stress-caused maladies.
Buy the book, read it, and follow the detailed directions.
Say goodbye to sleep deprivation along with many other health problems - maybe all of them.
Let me inject my personal view with regard to sleep.
Contrary to sleep being a waste of time, it's a wonderful time of inner rebuilding and revitalizing.
As Dr. Junger and many other health professionals tell us, sleep as absolutely necessary for both short and long-term health.
It's also a great pleasure to sleep soundly night after night.
Especially when you live in a place such as Colorado - where we can sleep with the window open to the sound of the wind rustling the leaves of nearby trees - or having the gentle rain provide its therapy. Not only the sounds, but the smells of the plants, rain and fresh mountain air.
Who can deny the incredible therapeutic effect of sleeping near a stream - or near the ocean with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach?
I have the best dreams while sleeping near a stream or near the ocean where the sound of the stream or the waves along with the scents are very noticeable.
Sleep researchers seem to feel that REM sleep is that really deep sleep during which dreams occur. Not that we always remember the dreams.
Sleep is special at so many locations around the country and around the world -- where is your favorite place to sleep?
If you are experiencing sleep deprivation, please do yourself a huge favor and don't take any medications.
This is a great place to prove to yourself that you can solve any and all of your own health problems without medications.Return to Self Health Care from Sleep Deprivation