How I Got To Sleep
Even health coaches experience health problems from time to time. I started experiencing them quite frequently and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me or how to fix it which was quite frustrating being a health coach. My main problems were recurring insomnia that was worsening all the time along with frequent colds. My lack of sleep was severely impacting my life to the point whee I wasn’t able to function normally or keep appointments. I’ve had a couple of bouts with insomnia in the past and I knew what to do. Or at least I thought I knew what to do. I tried to keep consistent bed times and get up at the same time each day, made my room as dark and cool as possible, took magnesium, melatonin, tryptophan, herbs, 5htp, GABA, warm baths, inversions, yoga, no caffeine, exercise, meditation, earthing, went to the doctor, a therapist, maybe I was depressed? Maybe there is EMF stress? Maybe I’m not getting enough daylight? I knew after it got really bad, zero sleep 4 nights in a row, that something was really wrong and eventually realized that it wasn’t just that I was magnesium deficient or suffering from a broken heart.
So many people told me not to think about it or try not to worry about it and stop researching sleep, but I knew in my gut that there was some biological factor keeping me awake so I kept searching for the reason behind my not sleeping. I’ve experienced insomnia before and I know what it feels like. This felt different, like something had flipped the switch in my sympathetic nervous system to the “on” position and it was permanently on. And flipping the switch to the off position was not happening no matter what. Even flipping a large tractor tire 80 times during the day didn’t make me drowsy enough to fall asleep at night. A “good” night of sleep for me over the course of a couple of months was 3-4 hours of interrupted sleep. Not sleeping for multiple nights in a row happened frequently and made everything worse in general. I felt like I was walking around in a fog all the time and I wasn’t myself. I’m so happy I didn’t give up trying to figure it out, because one day I finally figured out the problem. It hit me seemingly out of the blue – could it be mold biotoxicity?
Over a year ago, I called the police because my neighbor’s shower water was running for three days straight across the hall from my apartment. When the police broke in to check on him, I could see the bathroom and most of the living room COVERED with mold! I assumed the management company had fixed it but what if they didn’t? Or what if my building had other water damage? I had watched Dave Asprey’s movie Moldy a few weeks prior and wondered if somehow that could be what was behind all of this. My intuition was right and I later found out the management company had only painted over the mold in my neighbor’s apartment and there were multiple occurrences of water damage in my building. My bathroom ceiling, for one, was so wet from a leak that you could poke a hole in it with your finger.
I got help from a functional diagnostic nutritionist friend of mine, Michael McEvoy from Metabolic Healing who said, “What!? You still live there?!?” He suggested I get a blood test to see if the mold was likely the cause of my troubles. It was! Once the source of my problem had been identified, I decided I had no choice but to move. With the help of my family and friends, I moved to a new place to live and Michael helped me develop a protocol to detox that allowed me to get back to my normal self quickly!
Here are some of the most helpful things I did to feel better. They can be applied to many health issues, not just mold biotoxicity or insomnia. I’m not recommending these specific steps as a protocol; they are simply the things that helped me the most in my recovery.
Reduce/Eliminate Toxic Exposure – Moving away from the mold was the single, most important step I took to begin the healing process. For me, that meant leaving my awesome apartment on the beach. It was sad at first, but absolutely the right decision. I couldn’t expect to get better while repeatedly exposing my body to the source of the problem.
Detox – Now that I wasn’t being constantly bombarded with mold spores, I was able to more effectively support my body’s detoxification efforts by supplementing with glutathione to detox and drinking clay to bind to the newly released toxins. Although the body makes glutathione, an important antioxidant, mine was likely being depleted in my body’s effort to detoxify. Regular glutathione supplements are not well absorbed and utilized, so I opted for nasal glutathione from GlutaGenic. After about three days of this product, my sleep improved dramatically and I felt like I was back to my normal self. I went from taking 7 supplement pills and two droppers of an herbal tincture every night to get a few hours of poor quality sleep – to literally nothing. It’s not a sleep supplement, but for me, it was the key to giving my body the support it needed to heal itself.
Repair the Gut – Drinking good quality bone broth daily helps to repair gut lining and the glycine can be helpful in improving sleep. It’s also good for bone and joint health. Gut health is connected to practically everything, so I worked on strengthening mine with probioitcs and bone broth. I love homemade bone broth, but if time is tight, Kettle & Fire makes an excellent, organic product that is high quality and super convenient. They ship it to your door!
Eat Clean – As someone passionate about healthy eating, I always pay attention to what foods I give my body. Giving faithful attention to eating healthy, clean foods in harmony with my metabolism is so much a part of my everyday life now that I don’t have to think about it, but it’s certainly worth mentioning and without a doubt, one of the reasons I was able to recover quickly.
Exercise – While I wasn’t working out at full capacity during the worst of the insomnia episode, I did find it extremely helpful to keep on a regular exercise schedule to mitigate stress and feel alive. When I wasn’t sleeping well enough to do my regular high intensity tire flipping, log throwing routine, I did more gentle activities like Qi Gong or walking barefoot on the beach. I like to work out outside as much as possible get fresh air and sunlight in addition to all of the other well-known benefits of exercise.
I likely have more work to do to completely recover from a year of exposure to bio toxins, but I certainly feel energetic and healthy again!