Sleeping Patterns; Food Enzymes

As I was still emptying my fridge of 80/10/10 non-compliant foods, I decided to conduct an experiment. With a tin of sustainably fished tuna and another of similarly fished salmon, I wanted to know if eating this fish might affect my sleep.

I decided to conduct this experiment after I had enjoyed the best sleep that I’ve had for I can’t remember how long – from 10.30pm to 6.30am where I stirred briefly but went straight back to sleep – which just happened to be the night following my last post.

The next day I ate similar food to what I had posted including some quinoa for breakfast and a cappuccino, except that my night-time salad comprised lettuce and tomatoes from my Food Connect box along with the tin of tuna. I had a fitful night’s sleep waking just after midnight and again at regular intervals after that.

The following day I ate similar food including the quinoa for breakfast and the cappuccino, but this time my night-time salad included some extra ingredients from my patio including basil, mint and parsley along with the tin of salmon. And I had a similar night’s sleep waking just after midnight and a few times afterwards.

To be fair, in the past I always enjoyed a half or a third of such tins on a meal, so perhaps what I ate each dinner was really too much for my system. But what I ate was no more than what I would have eaten if I had gone out for dinner.

Anyway, the following day I ate again in a similar way but with no fish at dinner time. My sleeping pattern that night was from 10.30pm to 4.30am and then 5.30am to 6.30am, and since then I have enjoyed a couple of nights sleep going through to 6.30am – but only after days with no animal protein. So I’m reaching the position that eating fish at night-time might affect my sleep that night. But I still need to check how eating fish earlier in the day might affect me. 

The timing of meals and eating has become another item to investigate. I have read on the internet that it’s best to finish eating by 7pm at night, but there are some people who finish by 2pm in the afternoon. As I trawl the web right now, I’m reading that 5pm is a good time too. 

I rather like the idea of finishing eating earlier in the day. I understand the concept of food needing time to move through the stomach and also that we need to finish eating at least a few hours before bedtime. So I’m working towards making my last meal for the day as early as possible and in the meantime ensure that it is earlier than 7pm.

This afternoon I’ll be collecting two boxes from Food Connect – a Family Fruit box along with a Mini Mixed box. My first order from Food Connect was the Mini Mixed box which was enough for me at the time. Since I’m now predominantly on the 80/10/10 program with its fruit focus, I believe I can handle both boxes but will use up some of the vegetables in the mixed box by making soup for my Mum. However I do wonder whether eating all this fruit is sustainable. If we all decided we wanted to eat this way then I’m sure the farmers wouldn’t be able to cope, or perhaps over time their focus would move away from other crops onto fruit. So I am mulling about how I’ll proceed into the future.

Just to make things more complicated, I’ve become fascinated with Food Enzymes. As I keep trawling the internet and the local library for information on raw food, the word “enzymes” keeps appearing, and finally I’ve found a fascinating book that can explain it all to me.

"Food enzymes for health and longevity" by Edward Howell, published in 1994 and based on a book by the same author first published in 1946, is recognised as a classic and provides ample evidence of how important the enzymes are that we are either endowed with at birth or that we assimilate when we eat raw food or take enzyme tablets.

The part that I’ve appreciated reading the most is that eating raw food is very helpful to us because after we’ve eaten some raw food the enzymes are still intact in the food and help to predigest it, thus leaving our body’s enzymes free to do other important work. However cooking food at a significant temperature destroys the food’s enzymes.

I’ve been reading the book while helping to see my Mum through withdrawal symptoms from the heavy duty drugs that she has been on for shingles. Note to self: in the future, if I am experiencing significant pain and believe I can handle the pain, don’t take heavy duty drugs as withdrawal from them can be challenging. 

My Mum went through a fasting phase because she didn’t feel like eating anything, and then she started feeling so nauseous that she needed to go into hospital. It just so happens that a section in the Food Enzymes book explains what she might have been going through. 

It seems that most people who fast go through what could be called a healing crisis where they feel nausea and vomiting. Because we eat so much cooked food, the enzymes in our bodies spend most of their time helping to digest the food we eat. When we fast, the body’s enzymes can now work on healing our body by repairing and removing diseased tissues through the various elimination means.

The book appears to me to be more oriented to medical practitioners as it discusses research conducted in the same or similar fields. However, there are sections at the beginning and end including two interview dialogues along with a summary of the salient points that helps to explain the reasoning in the book. So I’m very pleased that I borrowed the book from the library.

However it didn’t give me the definitive guide for a healthy way of eating that I’m looking for, despite being very happy on the 80/10/10 diet program, as the main recommendation for people on cooked food seems to be taking enzyme capsules. So I’ll continue trolling the web to see what other ideas might come up about what appears to be a very important topic. 

From week to week, I never quite know what little snippets of information might catch my attention and influence what and how I eat. I feel like I’m on a treasure hunt, with good health as the prize.


Cathy said...

This is really interesting Tarah. I've had a lot of problems sleepwalking, sleeptalking, sleepcooking etc and while I've eliminated caffeine after lunchtime which seems to help (but not enough), I've never considered a connection to food.

I'd be interested in an update to how you progress with this.

Tarah said...

Thanks. I'm finding it really interesting too... I kept reading that people on 80/10/10 found they slept more easily and so I thought I'd monitor what I'm doing.

I had fish at lunch yesterday which didn't interfere with my sleep last night - I slept straight through to 6am.

It looks like it's better to eat animal protein earlier in the day.