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Happy2Heal

Meals/food affecting cortisol spikes in the am or ...?

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Happy2Heal

I'm almost 2 yrs off lexapro after a rapid and poorly done taper.

 

I've been doing extremely well.

however, recently I've been waking up with that dreaded cortisol spike- my heart is pounding and I feel breathless.

 

this only lasts a short time and then I'm fine, I don't react to it emotionally at all any more, and am able to feel quite relaxed once it's over.

 

however, I do have atrial fibrillation and in the past, this sort of increase in my heart rate (or apparently anything that causes a sudden change in heart rate) can put me into afib, something I really really want to avoid, as I've refused to take anticoagulants, at least for now.

 

I am wondering if either of these two things might be affecting my 4 am spikes:

It seems that the times this has been worse were preceded by eating later at night than I normally do.

 

it also seems that it's related to me actually getting a nice long chunk of sleep, like around 5 hrs straight, during which time I am sure that I'm dreaming (I recall the dreams when I wake up)

 

one of the cortisol spikes coincided with a bad dream that woke me up so no surprise there, right?

 

but today, for example, the dreams I had were not alarming and didn't wake me up. I did however, snack later in the night than I usually do.

 

I was feeling good about the later snacks as they *seem* to help me sleep longer, but now I"m wondering if the snacking is causing the cortisol spikes-
OR if it's simply the snacking leads to better (longer duration) sleep and the dreams or something else cause the cortisol spikes.

 

 

would love anyone's thoughts on this. esp shared experiences, what has worked for you. etc

 

I am VERY reluctant to take any supplements or the like. but tweaking my day time habits if that might help, I am very open to that

 

thanks in advance

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JackieDecides
23 minutes ago, Happy2Heal said:

I was feeling good about the later snacks as they *seem* to help me sleep longer, but now I"m wondering if the snacking is causing the cortisol spikes-

 

 

I wish I could think of something useful but all that comes to mind is keep track of how late you eat and how it affects you. and I'd guess you are doing that already!

 

24 minutes ago, Happy2Heal said:

this only lasts a short time and then I'm fine, I don't react to it emotionally at all any more, and am able to feel quite relaxed once it's over.

 

wow, good for you. how long did it take you to learn to do this?

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Happy2Heal
10 hours ago, JackieDecides said:
11 hours ago, Happy2Heal said:

this only lasts a short time and then I'm fine, I don't react to it emotionally at all any more, and am able to feel quite relaxed once it's over.

 

wow, good for you. how long did it take you to learn to do this?

 

 

I don't really know,  to be honest. I had a LOT of practice, however since I always woke up with a severe cortisol spike during tapering, and that continued well into the first year off the lexapro. I only slept for maybe 20 mins at a time, if I slept at all, so like I said, I got a lot of practice. LOL

 

I plan to not eat anything past 6pm, which is roughly 4-6 hrs before I go to sleep and see if that makes a difference.

 

However if I am unable to sleep due to being hungry, I am going to have a light snack, some kind of complex carb. Being awake when you want to sleep is not fun, but having a growling stomach as well is just more than I want to have to deal with LOL

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy2Heal

hmm,

well, I ended up eating a snack kind of late because I'd been too busy to eat much during the earlier part of the day.

I did not wake up with the cortisol spike this morning, so perhaps it was related to disturbing dreams and not food.

 

*shrug*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JackieDecides

whatever the reason, glad to hear you didn't have the cortisol spike today! 

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Happy2Heal

thanks Jackie

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