Does anyone have any stories to share about recovering from "burn out", depression and insomnia while going paleo?
I have a long story of ill health behind me on all levels. As a result, I had wrecked myself just to find anything that would help me, especially through diet.
Now, as far as the current situation goes, I've been trying to recover from a "burn out" which I experienced a few months ago working as a gardener. I now realize I wasn't at all in good enough of health to be putting myself under the stress I did, so I basically crossed the line once more and it sent me even deeper into the spiral of depression, sleeplessness and stress.
The situation became so bad that I had to take a mild dose of an anti-depressant and sleep aid, which would, on very few occasions at first, get me into somewhat deeper sleep, if any at all. Regardless, I haven't had regular or deep sleeping patterns for years.
I've come a long way "spiritually" and emotionally and feel very grateful that I am no longer where I used to be. I just ditched the medication completely 3 days ago, in which time I had fasted for 3 consecutive days (I actually felt amazing at most times).
So, it seems that this whole time my system basically adapted to very little to no sleep. During this time, I had found that the less I eat, the better I felt and usually more energy I had. As I was just fasting, I felt a great "high" most of the time. On the other hand, when I would eat (usually overeating as well), I would feel worse in general, basically regardless of how I ate.
Two nights ago, I broke the fast with dried fruit late at night with another mediocre night of sleep and started back up slowly on high protein paleo (rather balanced).
Food slowly became more enjoyable throughout the day as I indulged on what I felt like a wide range of nutrients, which I had restricted myself from for a long time in search of the "perfect diet". This was for the most part eggs, almond butter, local yogurt, fresh fruits and veggies.
I went home rather late last night (which I am looking no longer hold as habit) and I kept eating bit before bed. I was in bed not much longer than 2 hours, but I felt the deepest sleep I had had in years! I didn't seem to be able to get back to sleep so I got up and am now having INTENSE hunger signals for the first in a long time. I would never be hungry before. I could even tell my hormones kicked in (I am male) after feeling like having no sex drive most of the time in my young adult life.
I take this all as a good signal and hope to be healing.. now as I write this, I am feeling like I am lightly getting symptoms of a cold or flu.. maybe a healing reaction?
Should this be normal? What's your experience?
I can't speak to the burnout, but you may find this article really helpful:
I have found that optimizing my D3 level & making sure I take 200-600 mg of Magnesium (citrate, glycinate or malate) before bed makes a HUGE difference in my sleep quality.
I also sleep with an eye mask.
Last time I was really burnt out I done about 5 days of low-fat overfeeding on carbs. Mainly rice but also some low fat treats and goodies. I only gained about half a pound which I lost pretty quickly but it also regulated my sleep and energy patterns.
Welcome to what normal really feels like.
You can get flu like symptoms when you're under a lot of stress, which you probably were, but you're healing now. Most people think feeling like crap is normal, or just a part of getting old, or whatever, but it's really the damage caused by poor diet.
The deep clarity that comes with a fast is a huge contrast to that.
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