Allergies and sleep.
Allergies and sensitivities have an impact on many aspects of our health and are often overlooked when seeking to determine the causes for our health concerns.
Over the last 12 years I have had many clients who come in complaining that nothing they do seems to really resolve their sleep issues. Frequently they have been forced to resort to sleeping pills from their doctor in order to finally get the sleep they need.
Food Allergies and Sleep
In many of these cases I have found that food allergies and sensitivities are a large part of the problem.
They can cause
• increased anxiety and restlessness
• an inability to fall asleep
• difficulty staying asleep
When eating certain foods clients may find that they experience a faster than usual pulse rate, thirst, excessive urination, sweats and even shivering. They may experience dreams and nightmares or complain that their brain “just won’t shut off”.
Common foods linked to these problems include cow’s milk products, artificial additives and colours in foods, MSG and the night shade vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.
There is some truth in the old wives’ tale that eating cheese before bed causes nightmares!
Of course, if your food allergies are causing you to experience digestive issues such as cramping, gas, reflux or indigestion then this too will affect your sleep.
They can also lead to inflammation and pain in the body making sleeping uncomfortable.
In my practice I often find cow’s milk, wheat and corn to be triggers for digestive issues, inflammation and body pain.
If you suspect that food allergies may be a cause of your sleep issues, try removing the common triggers of wheat, milk products, artificial additives and night shade vegetables for a week and see if that helps.
Environmental Allergies and Sleep
Food allergies, along with environmental allergens such as pollens, dust and dust mites, moulds, pets and feathers can trigger sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness, itchy eyes, sore throats and cough, leading to poor sleep. In this case it is hard to avoid the triggers, but you can reduce them by avoiding feather pillows, using protective covers on your mattress and pillows, and removing carpets from the bedroom.
Electro-magnetic Frequencies (EMF) and Sleep
Another area to consider is the large presence of Electro-magnetic radiation in our modern world.
We are literally bombarded, sources including TVs and cell phones, wifi routers, bedside clocks, smart meters, household wiring and electrical outlets in the wall. Just as an example, at my work place I can pick up 32 different wifi networks from surrounding businesses and condos.
These electro-magnetic frequencies can have a stimulant effect on your body and mind. You may want to remove all electronic devices from your bedroom and make sure that your bed is positioned such that you are sleeping at least 5 feet away from them; whether they are in your bedroom, the other side of a wall or in the room above or below.
If this is not possible then make sure they are switched off and unplugged from their power source.
For at least 2 hours prior to bed try to avoid using electronic devices, especially phones, computers and games, and preferably TVs too. This gives your body and brain time to calm down and prepare for sleep.
So, to summarize, allergies and sensitivities can play a big part in your insomnia. I have only touched the surface here so come and see me to find out more about how these are affecting you.
Stop guessing and get the answers you need!