Huh -interesting, I never knew that iron has an effect on sleep; I have been more or less anemic my whole adult life; was a vegetarian for most of it, and have an autoimmune thyroidits. Can take iron, but, kinda stupidly now that I think about it, never realized it was that important.
Will get some soon, and report back when I have a result.
Total SparkPoints: 10,805
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Fitness Minutes: (1,414) Posts: 7 4/1/13 10:26 A
After 20+ years struggling with anemia due to "girl problems," a cardiologist suggested that I have IV iron treatments. Instead of taking iron pill,s which made me nauseous and create other gi issues for me, I went for 5- 1 hour treatments. My levels will be tested in a few weeks, but I know that it has helped me sleep and feel better. Now I am hoping for a long term plan to be able to maintain my iron levels. I wish someone had suggested it years ago. Worth asking your doctor about it. Good luck!!!
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
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Fitness Minutes: (1,207) Posts: 1,172 2/27/11 12:51 A
My sleep issue is staying asleep, and going back to sleep when I awake during the night like to use the bathroom. I'm good for about 4 to 5 hours then sometime can't sleep again at all, or else it takes a couple hours to go back to sleep. Since working with my latest doctor on changing some medications, I found that 5 HTP (200mg) at night plus melatonin (50mg) helps. He says the melatonin is short term active so I take the sublingual type under my tongue when I wake up and it helps me go back to sleep sooner. I also will drink some hot tea when I awake if I can't get right back to sleep. I'll wait about 15 or 20 minutes and if I'm getting restless, just get up and reheat some from the tea pot. I watch a little TV - PBS can sometime bore me enough to fall back asleep. I go to bed rather early so I don't have to worry about getting enough hours of sleep. I also try to walk outside every day for 30 minutes before 1:00pm to stimulate the pineal gland. It sets up a reaction thru our eyes that resets the body's clock so that we are tired and producting the right chemicals to sleep thru the night. That is what the sleep specialist told me and it seems to help. Another suggestions was to go home after work and spend 10 minutes clearing my mind. You could meditate but I simply lay down in a quiet room with the shade down, and unwind. Then right before bed, I inhale some lavender oil by breathing it in deeply three times in each nostril. Since implementing these changes, my sleep has improved. It isn't perfect but it is bettter quality esepcially the early morning hours after the initial "4 or 5 hr "nap" during the first part of the night. Finally, I suggest you try Calcium Citrate powder 1 tsp mixed with hot water, 2 Tbls apple cider vinegar & honey or Splenda to sweeten. It will relax the muscles and help you sleep and also cures both leg cramps and you guessed it, menstrual cramps. Plus the vinegar has other trace minerals. For iron rich foods you'll want to eat spinach with some lemon juice on it (vitamin C helps absorb it), liver - the fabulous combo with grilled onions isn't low cal; but is the best source, lots of eggs, legumes especially beans, and prunes or prune juice. Eating it as a food souce shouldn't be a huge problem if your doctor is telling you to get it thru your diet.
OK, someone is going to reply on the hazards of toxic iron "overdose"... so to pre-empt... low iron is a "particular" problem for those of us who menstruate...
Now that I'm sleeping again, I'm going to leave the team... but
if you think Iron loss due to menstruation is your issue, email me, and I'll send you a log I created to quickly, graphically, track the flow (I've tried other ways to track, but nothing that worked)... That way you know how much you're losing, and how much iron you need to "top up the tank."
I am so going to try iron! I also have had low iron in the past and I just feel lethargic all day. Excercise wears me out and I don't feel like doing it because I worry I won't have enough energy to get everything else done during the day. My sleep habits are more like a series of naps and not real sleep. I really hope this helps it certainly can't hurt!
I'm cross posting this from the Dealing with Depression team... 'cause I still can't believe I feel this good.
Finally went in for a general physical, including blood work, doc suggested supplemental Iron. Now, to understand my story, you need to know that 5 years ago I was severely anemic, and that's when the depression started for me. I'd had some girl issues, and everyone blamed "hormones"... I took Iron (and Lexapro) at the time, and "got better" but never back to normal & happy, and weaned off both... I had some bad stuff in my life, blamed my mood on that, and "adjusted to the new norm" -- but I have literally thought of shooting myself at least 3 times each week for the past 5 years.
Exercise, and therapy didn't work for me -- just made me feel worse -- and that got me even more depressed, cause I felt like a failure even at that. -- but -- Duh-- low iron means exercise just beats you down... and your brain doesn't get enough oxygen.
FINALLY, after 5 years, I FEEL GOOD! I mean REALLY GOOD... not just "less bad than yesterday." I started taking the Iron 12/8... and finally had a good nights sleep, and woke up a new woman... I have been sleeping well, and felt wonderful every day for the past 2 weeks... so that's long enough for me to call it a real result.
So, 2 lessons here:
1) Don't neglect your routine checkups... something basic might be bringing you down. and:
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