I have some really weird dreams. Like really vivid, sometimes nightmare-like ones. Combine that with the fact I don’t sleep well and need to get up in the night to eat, sleeping is a bit complicated!
I don’t sleep well because my cortisol coverage is lowest overnight. Everyone’s cortisol naturally goes down at night, but if your body needs it (stress, illness, bad day), it would still continue making it in the background while you’re asleep. My last dose is at 17.30 and my next dose at 8.30 so that’s a long time to go without. The body’s then supposed to start making it again at around 2-3am ready for you to get up in the morning, which mine obviously doesn’t.
Which is where the getting up to eat and not sleeping thing occurs. When my body starts to struggle because it’s lacking cortisol, it wakes me up with adrenaline so that I don’t die in my sleep, and I get hypoglycaemic symptoms, which mean I need to eat.
The title of this blog is ‘dreams’ so you might be wondering why I’m explaining that. When you have dreams, you sometimes wake up feeling really stressed or angry or sad for no reason. You can’t always remember why, but your body has an emotional response to it, which means your body makes cortisol to respond to it. So when I have weird dreams, my body wants cortisol which it doesn’t have, so it wakes me up because of the reasons above with an almost electric shock reaction, sweating, shaking and a massive wave of nausea. It’s not pleasant.
This happens at least once a night, usually closer to two or three times. Sometimes I can avoid eating (because night time eating obviously isn’t good for me if I don’t absolutely have to), sometimes I can’t.
I’m working on trying not to have dreams because I think that might help a bit with sleep. It’s a bit of a cycle though because the less sleep I get, the less cortisol I have in reserve, which means less ability for my body to be able to cope with the dreams! So I’m currently keeping a dream journal and working on meditation and other strategies in the day. Fingers crossed!