When you head off on a paranormal investigation, in addition to taking along a kit of equipment, there is usually another bag of goodies we take along. Lollies, chocolate, energy drinks, and caffeine. All the good stuff that makes our taste buds happy and gives us the extra boost we need to stay up all hours of the night. It also seems to help curve the inevitable stomach growls in a room of silence. While it seems like a good idea, is this having an effect on our bodies that we are possibly misinterpreting as a paranormal experience?
* I am not trying to be the fun police and you are free to eat and drink whatever you want. These are just some things to be mindful of as I have very honestly seen people slam down 2 cans of energy drink back to back and then 30 minutes blame the 'shaky feeling' they are experiencing as being paranormal. I myself also tend to load up on caffeine and sugar before an investigation so it is good to know how these things affect our bodies.
Our body mainly consists of water and we need water to live. The only way to do this is to drink water to replenish our system. This is basic information we all know and I am the first to admit that I definitely do not drink as much water as I should. The recommendation is that a person drinks 2.6 litres for the average male and 2.1 litres for the average female. If you are sick, exercising, sweating a lot, or doing a lot of activity, you may need more water to replenish your system. It is very easy for your body to lose 1 -3 percent of fluid quite easily. This already starts to cause mild dehydration. It can change your mood, make you feel tired and groggy, make it hard to concentrate, and can cause headaches. When you think about a paranormal investigation, you are actively walking around a location for a number of hours. If you are not keeping your fluids up, you quite possibly could become dehydrated. You walk into a room and you start to feel a little bit confused and have a headache. While the first assumption may be that a spirit is making you feel that way, maybe you just need a glass of water. When a person is in a hot enclosed room and there are sometimes multiple people inside, they can feel faint and may need to go outside. Again is it a spirit affecting them or is it that their body is not coping with the heat and they again are a little dehydrated?
After having any sort of experience, go outside, get some air and have a glass of water. I had a person on one occasion feel like they were going to faint and leave the room. It was one of those hot nights, there were a lot of people around and not a lot of air circulation. She admitted she had not eaten dinner nor had any water for several hours. She herself said she didn't think it was something paranormal. some fresh air, a glass of water, and a quick snack she was ok to go!
While we may not be drinking enough water, we may be supplementing with a soft drink, energy drinks, and caffeine – aka coffee. While these drinks may give you just enough water to prevent you from being dehydrated, it also loads you with sugar which can have its own effect. While our bodies need sugar, we generally consume a lot more sugar than what our bodies need. When we do this, our bodies break this down into glucose. This glucose is released into the bloodstream where it goes into our tissues, muscles, and organs and converted into energy. You are essentially on a sugar high after consuming large amounts. It is here you have to remember that what goes up must come down. It is a possibility that your body can go through what is called a sugar crash. It is more likely with people who have diabetes but can occur in those who don’t have it. It is when your blood sugar falls low. It makes you feel weak, shaky, a rapid heartbeat, or a headache. How many times when you are on an investigation have you felt like this? Is it something paranormal or could it be your blood sugar?
Energy drinks are a big one here. We dose ourselves up thinking we can’t get through the next 8 years and need a bit of a pick me up or maybe it is to keep you awake on the long drive home. It is the high level of caffeine in these drinks that keep up awake. It stimulates our central nervous system and keeps us alert, awake, and feeling great. How many of you cannot start your day without a coffee? It is not the coffee you need, it is the caffeine and it is likely you are addicted to it. When your body is addicted to something and it starts to wear off, your body starts to crave it and you go through withdrawals. One of the biggest withdrawal symptoms is a headache. Again a common ailment felt during a paranormal investigation. Is a spirit affecting you and giving you a headache or is it time for your next coffee? It can also make you extremely irritable. When investigating we know each other really well. Sometimes it can be assumed that a person is perhaps being affected or under the influence of a spirit if they start showing traits that are out of character. If someone becomes quite snappy and maybe even aggressive while they may have some sort of attachment, maybe they are having withdrawals and just genuinely cranky. I would say it would be pretty hard-pressed to find many people that do not have some sort of caffeine addiction. Be it through coffee, soft drink, or energy drinks, most people will have some sort of addiction to caffeine and not even realize it. Other withdrawal symptoms include anxiety and drowsiness. Again these are two other things that could possibly be mistaken as something unexplained having an effect on a person.
We as investigators know the struggle of a paranormal hangover. It is widely thought that working with energy from the spirit world can be draining. Often we get home we hit the pillow fall asleep and wake up the next day quite lethargic, drained with no energy. I am experiencing one right now, it seems to be my regular Sunday. We should look at what we have done the night before. Did we get enough water last night? Did we overload with sugar? While it could be a case of a paranormal hangover, it could also be a case of not taking care of yourself properly. I will admit that I am guilty number one here. I often will have a bottle of diet coke for the caffeine and a mars bar in my bag. When I make a conscious effort to drink more water before and after the investigation, I find I recover much better the next day.
We know how much water we should be drinking and making sure we eat as it is all pretty much common knowledge in our day-to-day life, but we seem to forget about it all while we are out investigating. If we drive long distances or rush from work to get to an investigation, we might skip dinner or we are so busy investigating that we don't have a drop of water for several hours. So next time you have one of these kinds of experiences, take a step back and ask yourself, when did I have water? Did I have dinner? The smallest things can make the biggest difference.
What do you think? What is the one thing you should probably refrain from when investigating or do you have an amazing paranormal hangover cure? I want to hear all about it!
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