I have an insomnia problem. It’s an on-&-off thing that is certainly not so easy to shake! But we’re breaking up. We have to.
This is such a silly topic & I’m rather embarrassed to write about it. But it is real. For me, at least. Allow me to explain.
This post has been a month in the making. The first draft was written exactly a month ago during the night some time. It was just a couple of days after returning from the doctor for the second time in 10 days with flu. I’ve known for some time that my immune system is very compromised (mainly due to trauma which causes insomnia which causes stress which causes weight gain which causes more stress and more insomnia…). Get the picture?
After my visit to the doctor, I asked my husband when my insomnia started. Or more precisely: when did it get so bad. I used to be a fantastic sleeper. My head would touch the pillow & ‘bang’ I would sleep like a baby until morning. Back to the question that I asked him & his very analytical (left brain) answer: “After Oliver was born it was three out of 10”. That was probably normal, given the fact I had an infant. Don’t we associate early stages of motherhood with insomnia anyway? “Then, after the trauma of the hijacking, it increased to a seven out of 10. But when we moved, it escalated to an eight out of 10.” Sadly, it has been that bad since.
A small part of my insomnia can probably be attributed to being from a family of insomniacs, but that is just a small contributor.
If you google insomnia, you’ll realise that it is caused by a variety of issues. You know the drill. Psychiatric & medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, specific substances, and / or certain biological factors.
Sadly, I have ticked many of the boxes over the past couple of years: hypothyroidism, trauma, feeling depressed. All of these months with insomnia explains some of the other challenges that I have had to deal with, including (but not limited to) a dof head, the desperate desire to nap during the day, low energy levels, extreme compromised immune system, total exhaustion at 9am in the morning & really bad eating habits. It’s so unhealthy.
Things have not been all bad though & I can honestly say that I have improved over the last month since my talk with the doctor. We both decided that healthy sleeping habits need to take priority & that sleeping tablets are not the route to take yet. But it is still a process. Strategies that I have found effective for insomnia (providing that I implement these of course) are:
- Not eating too close to bed time – especially if you have reflux.
- Taking a relaxing bath or shower before bed.
- Try to keep a tiny tot out of your bed.
- Do some easy reading (from a real book or mag – no devices) before bed.
- Aim for a specific bedtime & a set time to rise as far as possible.
- Use the bed for sex only – no more iPad’s, iPhone’s, series of any other tasks are allowed in the bed.
- Eating well & moving enough during the day.
- Taking magnesium before bed.
Over the next weeks, I need to focuss on getting enough quality sleep again & get into healthy sleep habits.
Tell me: do you also struggle with insomnia? And how do you cope with it?
Ps. It is almost two in the morning now, so I’m going to try & get back into bed soon…