Do You Wake Up at 2 am? Is it Depression? Or is it…?

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Has this happened to you? You go to sleep easily, but 2 am
comes around and your eyes pop open. You’re totally awake,
but you know you need more sleep. You look at the clock and
groan – you have to be up at 5 am to get ready for work, and
you know you’ll be groggy, irritable, and fuzzy-brained if
you can’t get back to sleep.

Your mind searches for the reason why you can’t sleep. You
go over your recent fight with your husband, word for word,
over and over. Or you agonize over the poor grade you got on
that test. You may discover problems you didn’t even know
you had – not enough time to yourself, too much stress, too
little respect from your family or coworkers.

The negative thoughts charge on, and you stay wide awake.

Is it depression? Is it stress? Do you need sleeping pills,
or anti-depressants?

Maybe. But before you begin medicating yourself, try this
simple experiment. Don’t eat any sugar for a week, and don’t
drink any alcohol after 5 in the afternoon.

You may discover that you can sleep just fine, just by
making those simple changes.

If you eat that big piece of chocolate cake or sip that
glass of whiskey just before going to bed, your blood stream
will be bombarded with the extra sugar. (Yes, I know that
alcohol and sugar aren’t the same, but they both cause the 2
am wake-up problem, for the same reason.)

Too much sugar (or too much alcohol) in the blood stream is
a dangerous situation, and your body will pull out all it’s
forces to fight the “enemy.” Unfortunately, the battle is
fought too aggressively, so by 2 am your blood stream has
too little glucose. And your brain needs glucose. Your brain
realizes that there’s a big problem, so you need to wake up.

Protein can be reprocessed into glucose to feed the brain,
but it takes time. In the meantime, you lie there awake,
with an imbalance in your brain chemistry that tends to
cause a rehashing of everything negative from your day.

Your brain is looking for the cause of the problem but can’t
find it, unless you understand that the 2 am wakening might
be caused by sugar or alcohol. The chances are fairly high
that your doctor will not ask you what you ate or drank if
you go to him for help. Since you don’t know to look at your
diet for a clue to the problem, your brain looks everywhere
else – at the state of your marriage, at your financial
situation, at your children’s school grades, at your career
prospects…

Next time you wake up too early, think about what you ate
and drank last night. By finding the real cause of your
insomnia, you may be able to save yourself a trip to the
doctor. You might even give yourself an excuse for a healthier
lifestyle at the same time.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!
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