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Thank God, Sleep at Last!

by Elisa Adams


Aside 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 be!”

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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