Saturday, January 24, 2009

Insomnia and Binge Eating

I used to have insomnia a few times a week. I would snuggle for awhile with T. waiting for sleep to overtake me and then get up and enjoy the quiet of the night. I would spend some time reading and eating and maybe take a bath, then I would get back into bed and fall asleep. This was a pattern of mine for years.

In 2007 when T. and I lived apart for the first time, I started taking Tylenol PM every night and the insomnia went away. Recently it has come back. I am trying to wean myself from the Tylenol PM and of course the old insomnia was waiting patiently, wanting to show it's ugly face.

Last night I couldn't sleep. I got up and came back into the living room and heard the old voices in my head telling me to eat. I am of course trying to change my eating habits and I've been pretty much in control for over a month now. So the fact that the binge monster showed up at the same time as the insomnia monster really threw me. I tried to talk myself out of it. Searching for something on TV to watch instead. It didn't work.

I ate but not too much. It was the equivalent of a normal meal. I even calculated the calories of my "binge".. What bothers me about it is that I felt so out of control. It was like I saw myself doing it and couldn't stop.

I have always had issues with food. It has been my comforter, my friend, my sleeping pill. I am trying to change my feelings about food and look at it as just nourishment but it's hard to let old habits and feelings die. I realize this has been going on for years and it's not going to change overnight.

I remember being a child and lying awake in my room listening to my Mom rummaging for food and eating uncontrollably. I also heard the purging that went on afterward. My Mom was a bulimic. I imagine it was her control in life. She had so little control over my Father's drinking and needed to control something. I wasn't really aware of what was happening then but in retrospect I can see it clearly now. I believe those things stay with you and make imprints on your psyche. They can influence your choices and they certainly influenced mine.

I have never been a healthy eater. I have always eaten what tastes good and on no kind of schedule. This healthy eating is brand new to me. It's a brand new challenge I am taking on and I'm excited to see where it takes me.

I'm trying new foods and recipes daily. It's a wonderful thing to eat healthy and still enjoy the food I am eating. I have always equated healthy eating with food that tastes lousy or bland. Last night we had brown rice with a new chicken dish I tried. It was delicious. It is something I plan on continuing.

I couldn't sleep last night so I got up and binge ate. It is a pattern and a cycle in me. I acknowledge it and let it go. Today is a new day and my eating is back on track. I worked out and it felt extra good to get rid of some of those calories. One of the extra bonuses is that I indulged my cravings and now they are gone.


SunTiger said...

As a hypnotherapy junkie these days I'm wondering if that would help you stick with your dieting goals (hypnotherapy).

I also learned (since I'm researching the whole peri-menopause thing) that NOT sleeping can be due to hormonal changes. Maybe try drinking vodka before going to bed. LOL. {{Works for lil'ol perimenopausal me-e-e-e-e.}}

Xanadu said...

To elaborate on what SunTiget said...I'm POST menopausal, and the sleeplessness (is that a word?) came when I started going through menopause, and has been here ever since. Sorry...didn't mean to give you something so exciting to look forward to.

BUT..."I acknowledge it and let it go." That sentence shows me that you are aware of what you're doing, not like a sub-conscious thing, and you're not going to dwell on it. (Are you?) lol. Funny, I did the same thing today. As of this morning, I had gained 1 pound back, but told myself I wasn't going to obsess about it. I was doing well with my eating all day, but just went crazy about an hr. ago, when I had dinner. Ate too much bread (hamburger bun), had a white sauce with my food, then a cookie AND a Marshmallow Peep after my meal. What the hell was I thinking? Checked the nutrition guide on the Marshmallow Peeps package, and one has 25g carbs. YIKES. That's more than I'm allowed in a whole day. HA!

Anyway, I hope tomorrow is the start of a new day, and you wake feeling rested, and ready to pick up where you left off with your healthy eating. HUGS!

greeneyes67 said...

Interesting thoughts on periomenopause. Hmmmm... I think my Mom went into it early.

Xanadu: Trying to let it go. To not obsess. I'm glad I'm not the only one!! lol

TuesdayPillow said...

It also works well if you don't buy anything unhealthy - especially if you know you are going through this cycle. Try to limit it to ONE thing, and once it's gone it's GONE!

Dorrie said...

to elaborate on TP's suggestion, if you only have things in the house that you are allowed to eat masses of, that may help. I ate a whole bag of popcorn last night because it was there! lol

You may want to change the eating TIMES in the day. I notice that, when I do have breakfast, I am more hungry at noon then when I don't (I don't normally have time for breakfast so I skip it). It might be a nice experiment to try. My theory: the body is in the process of digesting and suddenly has nothing and craves more.

In Germany we normally have the big meal at noon, the "lunch type" meal in the evening around 07:00. Large meals at night are said to be unhealthy.

Dorrie said...

P.S. your Lake Havasu clock shows MY time to ME ... 06:12 a.m.! lol

becomingkate said...

I was doing that awhile back, so I went and bought some crunchy cereal to eat if I woke up at 2 am. Mini Wheats I think (you can eat a tiny bowl and be full, lol)
Hope you sleep well tonight.

Fake-brunette lives said...

I grew up with a bulimic so understand the noises and sounds
I am suffering from sleep deprevaition . . geeze I hope it isn't early menopause because that would probably be the final straw

Judy said...

It's good *not* to have a stocked fridge or cupboards with goodies foods!

My thinking is: If I don't have it in the house, then I won't eat it!.

MrB was always eating whole carton's and packages of various foods, namely icecream and anything sweet!

Now when he wants icecream, he gets a small pint of it, in just one flavor!

I have trouble 'staying' asleep most of the time...because of R.A. and the meds (3 of them) that make for insomnia.

I get about 4 to 5 hours of un-interuppted sleep, and 6 hours if I'm lucky!

I hope you can hold off eating at night!

Love ya! hugs

BenB said...

I've had numerous bouts with insomnia since I got divorced in 2004. Even to the point of depression where I would not be able to sleep for days at a time. I know the feeling - it ain't no fun. I'm not totally over it, either, I still wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and just - lay there, awake.

Maggsworld said...

Great ending and a wonderful way to deal with disturbing patterns. Acknowledge, do not beat yourself and see that today is another day. Maggs

Doug said...

If I don't eat during the day, or eat junk food, I tear into anything I can find when I get home. I try to buy real food so at least a few times a week I have meat and vegetables. I don't especially worry about carbs. I do a fair amount of physical work, and I need them, so I don't count them.

Sleep is pretty much an alien concept. Four hours in a row is about the limit, and then I just nap for the rest of the night.

Linda said...

Just a thought but maybe you are not getting enough calories during the day. I'm been researching nutrition so much and too little calories is just as bad as too many...especially since you work out too.

Cin said...

I can relate all too well:( Never give up,each day is a new day to start over.

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