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Welcome to The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast Season 1! We’ve created this podcast as a free resource to accompany our upcoming book, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness.
Episode #8: Step 4: Rest – Our Stories is an episode focused on our early sleep struggles, breakthroughs that helped us sleep more and speed healing, and what our sleep routines are like now. We also talk about autoimmune disease symptoms and the intimate role they can play in disrupting much needed sleep and how we tackle prioritizing sleep in a culture that seriously undervalues it. This episode is for you if you’d like insider deets on troubleshooting steps that paid big dividends for us when we were first working to improve our sleep or if you are looking for tips on staying on track with your sleep routine once it’s in place.
If you aren’t sure how much energy you need to put into Step 4: Rest, check out the “Where Are You on the Sleep-Quality Spectrum” self-test in Chapter 4. This test will help you identify if this is a low, moderate, or high-priority area. If you score low-priority, high-five! You’ve already got this area dialed in!
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- 0:00 Intro
- 1:51 The importance of Rest
- 2:42 Mickey’s early sleep struggles
- She worked as a barista for years and had to be up by 3:15 AM!
- 4:42 Angie’s early sleep struggles
- Panic attacks and anxiety plagued her sleep
- 6:54 When autoimmune symptoms create sleep disturbances
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Blood pressure irregularity
- 8:44 Mickey’s first sleep troubleshooting steps and breakthroughs
- 11:26 Angie’s first sleep troubleshooting steps and breakthroughs
- Blood sugar regulation (This blog post has great tips on blood sugar balance)
- 13:00 Angie’s sleep now and struggles
- Blue light exposure
- Amber glasses
- Snuggling (and the positive effects of oxytocin on sleep!)
- How long did the elimination phase last for Angie?
- 15:30 Sleep schedule with a family
- 17:30 Mickey’s sleep now and struggles
- Stress-driven insomnia
- 23:27 Dealing with the cultural message of “sleep can wait”
- Mickey on social pressures
- Angie on professional pressures
- 27:33 Tips for staying on track with sleep routines
- Phone zone
- End of work day boundaries
- Beginning of work day boundaries
- 29:44 Your homework for Step 4, Rest!
- Take a look at the “Sleep Troubleshooting Checklist” in Chapter 4 of The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook to help you evaluate if you are taking all the traditional steps for improving sleep and if there are any remaining areas to explore.
- 30:49 Outro
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The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast is a complimentary resource to our forthcoming book, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness. Support us in our mission to revolutionize how autoimmune disease is viewed and treated by pre-ordering your copy today!
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Check out the previous episode, Episode #7: Aglaee Jacob, RD on Nourishing Diets, and the next episode, Episode #9: Dan Pardi on Sleeping Optimally. For the full podcast archive, click here.
This is a great program topic , thank you. I see myself and my husband in your program. I am a 65 year old woman with Hashimotos’ and adrenal fatigue. I need 10 hours of sleep at night in order to feel my best. I find what works best for me is to eat dinner by 5 p.m. to be in my Epsom salt bath by 6 p.m. and in bed by 7 p.m. I read for a short while and then I am ready for sleep. I also use a lavender diffuser, room darkening shades, no TV in the bedroom as this is my quiet sanctuary.
I have had to set boundaries that not everyone understands. I have a house rule that says, “No incoming phone calls after 7 p.m.” because that constitutes “too much input.”
My major sleep challenges are waking up 10-15-20 a time per night from things which obviously disturbs my deep sleep patterns. This happens because of the following reasons;
1) A small (or more likely worn out bladder) that wakes me up every 2-3 hours all night long. And gets us up around 5 a.m. with a full bladder.
2) A dog that bounces into and out of my waterbed thoughout the night. Thisi s my husband’s choice so this pattern is not easy to change.
3) A husband who comes to be around 10:30 (which wakes me up) and tosses and turn and snores.
I do have another bedroom to sleep in but I am “resisting” because I would have to sleep alone again and because the heated and soft waterbed is so much more comfortable than the hard mattress. This is the last great challenge for me….
Hey Donna! Thanks for listening, and sharing your routine!
One thing I’m thinking might help is changing out your waterbed for something that is less likely to move when your husband or dog do – I just ordered a natural latex mattress because it is both soft and comfortable, but doesn’t move like a mattress with springs would. I can’t even imagine a waterbed!
Sometimes with bladder issues it can be very important to limit water intake at and after dinner.
Hope you are able to troubleshoot and get the rest you need Donna!
I have celiacs, hashimoto’s, IBS and Compound heterozygous – one C677T and one A1298C. I also have some other genetic MAO and CBS. I have have trouble sleeping. I take LDN, supplements, methly B vitamins couple times a week, D3, selenium, started lithium orotate, Molybdenum and take sleepy stuff- on and off benadryl, melatonin, magnesium citrate and 5 HTP. I am gluten, dairy, soy and legume free. I have tried Paleo and AIP protocol which I find isn’t enough carbs for me. I have tried meditation which doesn’t help. I have tried yoga too. I do drink coffee in the morning and have not been able to give it up. I haven’t given up sugar. I can not eat within two hours before bed. If I do I sleep horrible. I work at a nurse and do three 12 hour day shifts. I tried exercise but it can really cause me horrible fatigue. I do have a problem with being on internet before bed.
Hi Lori! Sorry to hear of your struggles – I think you pinpointed some areas that may be affecting you: caffeine, sugar, and technology before bed. In fact, even when I am doing everything else to ensure good sleep, I can have serious issues with just a late phone call or check of the email.
Did you try including lots of AIP-compliant carbs while on the elimination diet? Sweet potato, plantains, yuca, taro, hard winter squash. AIP isn’t a low carb diet (I personally eat quite a bit of carbs for thyroid health) but a lot of people implement that way because they are unfamiliar with the above starchy foods.
Is there a transcript for these podcasts?
I can’t download podcasts and prefer to read the transcripts? I also don’t connect with I Tunes so can’t leave comments there. I haven’t been able to participate in your program yet due to limitations with social media. The program looks good and I’m interested in reading it.
Hi Angela, we don’t have full transcripts, but you can look over the show notes posted here which cover quite a lot of the detail from the podcasts. Thanks!
Hi Angela – you can simply listen right on this page by clicking on the player up above, no need to use iTunes!
[…] out the previous episode, Episode #8: Step 4: Rest – Our Stories, and the next episode, Episode #10: Step 5: Breathe – Our Stories. For the full podcast archive, […]
[…] Autoimmune Wellness […]
I’ve always been a good sleeper until late 40s (was dx’d with Hashimoto’s at 41), and then my sleep plummeted into awfulness at menopause (51). I woke up at 3 am and would lie awake for hours; often I ended up with 5 hours of poor sleep. Tried everything: dark room, sleeping away from husband, bed early, no caffeine….then started a blood sugar balancing diet with 5-6 small meals a day, including protein at every one. Also went gluten free. This more or less cured my waking up at 3 am sleep problem AS LONG AS I AM STRICT WITH DIET! My awakenings were tied to blood sugar crashes at 3 am, followed by an adrenaline spike as my body attempted to, er, stay alive. I now only run into trouble when I: skip meals, eat too much sugar (esp. in “gluten free” products), eat PUFAs, or drink coffee or tea beyond my 2-cups a day. As a result, I’ve become fairly rigid about my diet. Wish I didn’t have to live this way, sometimes, but it’s far better than poor sleep!
Hi Jean! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. We have heard from others who were surprised to find out how much eating the wrong food can keep them up at night. So happy you found a solution!