How Can I Keep from Reading? Pt. 3

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Why I Read, Part 3

My third answer is: I read because I’m tired.

I went through a long spell (5+ years) of insomnia. It was impossible to turn my mind off and go to sleep; even more difficult to return to sleep after waking at 2:00 – 4:00 a.m.  All recommended remedies were futile. My jaw clenched in frustration. At least if I read, I didn’t feel like the time was a total waste. A favorite coping mechanism was to go into the living room and read. My object was to become chilled through. Then I slinked into the warm bed and back into that sweet unconscious state.

Sal knew that she would not sleep so she took Emma to bed with her, hoping that the well-known story would soothe her troubled spirit and dissipate her worried thoughts…
~ from The Four Graces by D.E. Stevenson

Since I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and now use a CPAP, I’m sleeping 7-8.5 hours straight, which is wealth untold.

But I still use books to soothe myself to sleep. The hour between going to bed and the book falling on my face is my primary reading time. Each evening my husband asks me, “What are you reading?” and I give a short recap, sometimes reading a sample.

There are two kinds of bedtime books: books that put you to sleep, and books that make you lose sleep. I usually choose the book whose deadline (library, friend-loans, book club, self-imposed) is most pressing. Too many times I’ve listed an unread book for sale or swap (cold logic insisting I’ll never read it); when the email “Sold. Ship Now.” arrives, I panic and decide to read it before I mail it. Even when it’s 400 pages. #fearofmissingout

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Learning about Leptin

Take a toddler with a room stuffed with toys. She shows no interest in a toy until another toddler picks it up and plays with it. This is how I am with books. I didn’t get very far with Mastering Leptinwhen my friend gave it to me. I listed it on Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap. and the minute someone wanted it I had an overwhelming need to read it. I’m glad I did. The book has the feel of a self-published book—especially in layout and graphics—a hurdle to overcome when you care about such things.

Just what is leptin? First discovered in 1994,

Leptin is the hormone secreted by fat cells contained in white adipose tissue. It is the most significant hormone there is in understanding the function of the human body. p.4

Most overweight and fatigued people suffer from leptin resistance, a condition where the brain doesn’t receive the signal leptin sends to reduce the appetite. So this person feels hungry, particularly after dinner. Compulsive sweet cravings indicate leptin resistance.

DSC_2017Hormone management is complex because you can’t balance one in isolation from the others. With leptin resistance the brain can’t tell the pancreas to stop making insulin. Insulin stimulates leptin production. When a person is leptin resistant, he is probably insulin resistant and adrenaline resistant — when the fat cells can’t receive the signal to stimulate metabolism. Enter fatigue.

Expensive tests are not needed to prove there is a problem [of leptin resistance]. A person just has to look in the mirror and then take note of their level of energy. p.47

This book was never destined to be a best seller because there are no quick fixes, no pills that magically correct the metabolism. It comes back to those three ubiquitous words: diet and exercise.

Five Rules of Eating (The Leptin Diet)

1. Never eat after dinner.

2. Eat three meals a day.
3. Do not eat large meals.

4. Eat a high protein breakfast

5. Reduce the amount of carbohydrates.

Common sense, right? The most controversial is no snacking, making meals five to six hours apart. Richards maintains that frequent eating clogs the liver’s fuel system, that not eating between meals is good exercise for the liver. He likens frequent snacking to a repetitive strain injury to the pancreas.

Consistent exercise is the most important action I can take to correct leptin resistance.

Six Important Reasons to Exercise

1. Improve natural rhythm and pattern of fuel utilization.

2. Increase the parasympathetic tone of the nervous system.

3. Keep leptin food cravings and out-of-control behavior in check.

4. Enhance strength to stabilize leptin and insulin.

5. Improve muscle use of fatty acids so weight loss is easier.

6. Ensure adequate body heat, an important foundation for body rhythms and patterns.

Richards recommends a few supplements: Omega 3 oils, GLA, CLA, pantethine, and calcium. I’m not a big fan of supplements. I prefer to eat real food that contains what I need.

I plan to follow the five rules for at least six months and see what’s what. If you are interested in more information check out Wellness Resources.