by Elisa Adams
from pain itself, there is rarely anything more disconcerting than lying awake
in the middle of the night, unable to sleep. For Linda, who lives near Gary’s
Farm Stand in Littleton, sleepless nights have plagued her since her teens, but
when she came seeking a solution in January, she said that prior to
Thanksgiving, she’d been getting the “best sleep I’ve ever had in my whole
life!” Then, with December, came extra demands on her schedule, and her
restful sleep fled.
She told me, “I actually liked it then, because I was never
sleepy, and I could stay up late and get a lot done. After Christmas, my son
Michael was home from college for the holidays, and it was still pretty
hectic.” But then, life seemed to ebb back to normal, and still Linda was
experiencing long periods of wakefulness in what was supposed to be her sleep.
I suspected adrenal exhaustion, a common cause
of restless sleep. Sure enough, her adrenals were down to 30%, low enough to
prevent them from maintaining her night-time glucose levels at a normal level.
Low blood sugar can cause 3 a.m. wakefulness and also anxiety.
We scanned for a remedy and came up with licorice.
Linda looked at it for a second, and blinked. “I was taking licorice,” she said, “but I ran out in November, and
never thought to get any more! I tested myself yesterday, and I got that I had
stopped taking something I needed, but I couldn’t think of what it could
The next time I saw Linda, she was ecstatic.
“It took four days,” she told me. “The first night I slept a little better
than the night before, and the second, a little better than that. By the fourth
night, I was sleeping like a baby, all the way through.”
Linda came by yesterday and is still very
pleased with her quality of sleep. “You saved my life,” she said, beaming.
“I’m sleeping so well again, just like I was before Thanksgiving!”
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