Allergies and sensitivities have an impact on many aspects of our health and are often overlooked when seeking to determine the causes of sleep issues. Over the last 12 years, I have had many clients who come in complaining that nothing they do seems to resolve their sleep issues.
Frequently they have been forced to resort to sleeping pills from their doctor to finally get the sleep they need. In many of these cases, I have found that food allergies and sensitivities are a large part of the problem. They can cause
- increased anxiety and restlessness
- an inability to fall asleep
- difficulty staying asleep
Clients may find that they experience a faster than usual pulse rate, thirst, excessive urination, sweats and even shivering. They may experience dreams and nightmares or complain that their brain “just won’t shut off”.
Common foods linked to these problems include cow’s milk products, artificial additives and colours in foods, and the night shade vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.
There is some truth in the old wives’ tale that eating cheese before bed causes nightmares!
Of course, if your food allergies are causing you to experience digestive issues such as cramping, gas, reflux or indigestion then this too will affect your sleep. They can also lead to inflammation and pain in the body making sleeping uncomfortable.
In my practice I often find cow’s milk, wheat and corn to be triggers for digestive issues, inflammation and body pain. If you suspect that food allergies may be a cause of your sleep issues, try removing the common triggers of wheat, milk products, artificial additives and nightshade vegetables for a week and see if that helps.
Food allergies, along with environmental allergens such as dust and dust mites, moulds, pets and feathers can trigger stuffiness, sore throats and cough, leading to poor sleep. In this case, it is hard to avoid the triggers, but you can reduce them by withdrawing feather pillows, using protective covers on your mattress and pillows, and removing carpets from the bedroom. You could also seek treatment from a natural allergist or NAET practitioner who can efficiently eliminate the allergies.
Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF)
Another area to consider is the significant presence of EMF in our modern world. We are bombarded, sources including TVs and cell phones, wifi routers, bedside clocks, smart meters, household wiring and electrical outlets on the wall.
Just as an example, at my workplace I can pick up 32 different wifi networks from surrounding businesses and condos. These EMFs can have a stimulating effect on your body and mind.
You may want to remove all electronic devices from your bedroom and make sure that your bed is positioned such that you are sleeping at least 5 feet away from them; whether they are in your bedroom, the other side of a wall or in the room above or below.
If this is not possible then make sure they are switched off and unplugged from their power source.
For at least 2 hours before bed try to avoid using electronic devices, especially phones, computers and games, and preferably TVs too. This strategy gives your body and brain time to calm down and prepare for sleep.
So, to summarise, allergies and sensitivities can play a big part in your insomnia. I have only touched the surface here so come and see one of my colleagues at Ottawa Holistic Wellness or me to find out more about how these are affecting you.
Stop guessing and get the answers you need!