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bulimia and insomnia

by Roxanne

Shaye, did you experience insomnia when you had your bulimia?

Shaye Says

Hi Roxanne,

Thanks for your questions...

As a child I suffered terrible insomnia... Sometimes for weeks on end I would hardly get a decent nights sleep. I remember lying in bed and all the worries in the world would begin to plague my mind...

As a child the worries were meteorites hitting the earth, my parents dying, aliens in my room and so on...

As I got older, and bulimia entered my life, the sleepless nights didn't improve. I would still go through phases of excessive worrying which would lead to my tossing and turning all night long. I'd also get up sometimes a few times a night to binge and purge - so obviously this didn't help with the sleep.

So yes, I guess insomnia was a problem for me... I never linked it to my bulimia - but in hindsight - I think they could very well have been linked for 2 reasons...

1) Bulimia makes you focus on negatives... which obviously makes you worry more and lie awake with a million and one not-so-wonderful thoughts running through your mind

and, a more chemical-physical reason

2) Your adrenal glands control your blood sugar levels... When you binge on complex carbohydrates, or other high sugar foods - your adrenal glands become very stressed. I'm not sure of the exact science behind it, but in the end your body releases stimulatory hormones which cause restlessness, irritability and sleeplessness. For some reason, this happens mostly at night time! Not so awesome when you need to get up early for work!

I hope this sheds some light on why you're having trouble sleeping! If it helps, I've found that if I wake at around 2-3am, I eat a banana and I can often fall back asleep. It also helps to turn off all computer and T.V.'s about 1 hours before bed so that the mind can relax.

Take care :)


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Article by Shaye Boddington
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