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Do you ever do that thing, where it’s the night, but you’re somehow afraid to go to sleep? You’re kind of dreading it? You get up and go to the refrigerator, sit on the couch with your computer in your lap, looking at facebook, watching television, half-heartedly reading blogs, half-heartedly watching television, and eventually,  you’ve gotten up and eaten a bunch of food that you weren’t hungry for and your body didn’t need, and it’s past 2am, and you’re so exhausted that you just kind of stumble into bed with a full, uncomfortable belly, feeling like crap. Do you do some kind of variation on it?

Sleep, food, and mood go together. When your sleep is off, your food is off, when your sleep and food are off, your mood is off. When your mood is off, your sleep and food are usually off.

One of the ways to begin to bring your life back to healthy is to start with your sleep.    Go out and buy a nice, comfortable set of sheets and a new comforter and lots of fluffy pillows. Make your bed someplace that is inviting and luxurious. If you can’t afford new sheets right now, wash your current sheets and bedding and fluff it up, spray it with some lavender and try to give it a little bit of new life. At night, an hour before you think you should go to sleep, get into bed. Let’s say you want to be asleep at 11, get into bed at 10. Don’t turn your TV on, don’t bring your computer into bed with you. Bring a book, or a magazine, or your iPod. Listen to some relaxing music with your eyes closed or listen to a guided visualization, and just begin to let yourself relax. This isn’t about sleep, this is about relaxing your body. Sleep is a natural biological process that your body can do once you begin to relax your body and your mind. You might also want to get into the bath about 90 minutes before you want to be asleep. A hot bath with Epson Salts is a great way to relax your muscles and calm your mind and warm your body up for sleep. Try to think of a nice bedtime routine that you can do every night that will help you fall into a restful sleep. You might draw for 1/2 hour before you get into bed, you might bathe, you might write in your journal, but find something that works for you and do it nightly.

If you find that sleep is impossible, there are lots of natural sleep solutions like herbal sleep aids out there such as valerian, chamomile and skullcap as well as amino acids like 5-HTP and L-Tryptophan or a synthetic hormone of melatonin that you can ask your doctor or Naturopath about for help with sleep. There are also over the counter solutions as well as prescription solutions that your doctor can help you sort through. There’s no shame in finding something to help you sleep. Being sleep deprived leads to poor decision making, especially around food choices. It also leaves you looking for more energy and many people use caffeine and sugar to achieve this.

Think about the Gestalt of it, you need a healthy body, mind, and spirit. You can’t have one without the other. Even if you find that you’re just not able to get your food on track, just start with your sleep. You will find, that once your sleep is better, that it will be much easier to deal with food.

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Most recent quote from community member: "Unbelievable progress. I had a slice of cake, wasn't that fussed about it and moved on. Cake is just cake! I never thought I'd get to this place. I keep thinking back to an earlier meditation when all the negative energy left down through my feet. That was really powerful. I'm planning to play it again. I've also drawn up a weekly meal plan of healthy balanced meals. This just helps to give me a bit of guidance and planning and eliminates any need for impulsive decisions when I often feel stressed after work. Amazing, thank you so much. I always hoped for hope, but n ow I feel like I'm living hope! I'm so grateful Leora. Thank you."
  • mim

    Thank you for this, I stumbled across this site whilst browsing the web desperately hoping to find answers, or a fix actually, I managed to skim through a few of your posts and cannot quite believe how common my thoughts and behaviours are. I am in a horrible cycle of being up all night, till 10am, bingeing – and I purge too, on huge amounts, over and over again, about 15 times, then I stay in bed all day. It’s extremely disabling, I can’t work, study, meet people etc. I wont go into too much detail, but this particular article helped me, it’s a huge relief – all i have to work on right now is my sleep. NOTHING else, for now. It’s hard for me not to jump into wanting to do everything at once, as I write this I am even thinking, sleep plus no bingeing and purging, plus lemon tea every morning, swim and walk every day, wash my face, take my vitamins, see my friends, go to all appointments, start going to OA, etc etc etc etc, then poof. so my goal now is to just get into bed before 12, and out of bed in the morning. I will probably have to take some sleeping pills to start with, and i struggle with insomnia too.
    sorry this is so long, thank you for this site

  • Leora Fulvio

    I am so very sorry to hear that you are suffering so much. I agree though, just start slowly, and don’t even think about the long term. Just do what one small thing you can to take care of yourself right now, in this moment, and let the future take care of itself. Please do check in and let me know how you’re doing.