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Yesterday and today I’ve experienced more aches and pains than usual.  I’ve woken up with lower back pain and have generally found it hard to get to sleep and stay asleep.

I wonder if these are more withdrawal symptoms?

I woke up at 4am and didn’t get back to sleep until around 6am.  I couldn’t sleep in too long either as we had church to go to.  A short Nana-nap has revived me somewhat.


My history of sleeping problems

About three years ago I hit rock bottom.  I burnt myself out quite severely.  I was living in the UK, out pretty much every night; spending my weekends madly sightseeing at every opportunity, and dealing with a very sick Mother back home in New Zealand.  My mother had major heart surgery.  Followed by lots of complications.  I spent several nights staying awake until the wee hours waiting on  phone calls (because of the time difference) so that I knew she had come through the surgery and subsequent procedures ok.

This event pushed me over the edge of exhaustion and I literally only just caught myself on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  My lifestyle and the stress of living far away from my family took their toll on me, and eventually I ended up being diagnosed with severe burn-out and a generalised anxiety disorder.  For someone who has studied Psychology and Counselling, this was an especially bitter pill to swallow!  I should have seen the signs, right?

I took some pretty drastic steps to change my lifestyle (moving back to New Zealand was one of them), and recovery took the better part of a year and a half.

During my burn-out period, I had terrible trouble sleeping.  I felt wired or on edge all the time, kind of how I think people who drink copious amounts of caffeine must feel.  Getting to sleep took well over 90 minutes most nights.

Nowadays, getting to sleep isn’t too bad.  It takes me maybe 30 minutes, unlike my husband who can fall asleep in seconds!  If I’m worried or anxious about something, the first place it shows up is my sleep.  But mostly I struggle with sleeping soundly right through the night as I wake up multiple times, and can lie awake for ages.

A number of people on the Sweet Poison forum say that going fructose free has really improved the quality of their sleep.

That’s a benefit I’d really like to get out of this new lifestyle.