I must confess … this is not a post that I ever thought that *I* would be writing!
My whole life I have struggled with being tired all the time (thanks to glandular fever, depression, severe anemia and sleep apnea).
And now? I find myself struggling with insomnia.
No matter how tired I am, it takes me hours to go to sleep at night (the husbear is the exact opposite – falls asleep pretty much straight away, only to wake in the wee hours. About the time I actually go to sleep, LOL).
It’s almost as if once I lay down, my brain goes into over-drive. How I wish I could take it out (like dentures!) and put it in a glass of water on my bedside table, until the next morning!
It’s true that I work long hours and am pretty much always on the go, so perhaps my mind doesn’t get a chance to wander freely during the day – and has to make up for lost time once I go to bed.
I have a notepad and pen by my bed so I can write down any magnificent ideas, or things that I’m worried about forgetting. But I still can’t go to sleep.
Sometimes we listen to relaxation music; and sometimes that helps. And sometimes it doesn’t.
Ditto with leaving the fan on for white noise, or the air con to make it a comfortable temperature.
I’ve tried cutting out weekend nanna naps – no dice. I still can’t go to sleep.
It doesn’t matter if I go to bed at 8.30, 10.30, or 12.30. I still can’t go to sleep.
I try to practice good sleep hygiene – ie no caffeine after lunch, making the bedroom a welcoming space, blockout curtains, regular bedtime routine, try not to use my phone/computer immediately before bed etc.
But I still can’t go to sleep.
I snuggle up to the husbear and/or to Sophie – my toy puppy. But I still can’t go to sleep.
I’ve given mindfulness techniques a try – breathe in for four, out for four. Relaxing my body one part at a time, starting with my feet and working up to my head (or vice versa). If anything, my body just fights me even harder when I do this. No matter what I do I cannot get comfortable. I literally cannot keep still, and have to wiggle or twitch, or get up and go to the toilet AGAIN.
I worry that I’m annoying the husbear, but he assures me that he doesn’t notice. Much like once I’m finally asleep, I rarely register that it’s his turn to start tossing and turning!
I’m not sure why this has become such an issue for me lately. My best guess is that it is a symptom of menopause (I also suffer from the occasional hot flush, or night sweats).
Sometimes in desperation I will take a paracetamol or even an antihistamine an hour or so before bed, though it’s not a habit I really want to get into. It might just be the placebo effect but it does seem to help.
I’m not sure what to try next. A couple of people have suggested magnesium supplements; melatonin; using lavender or similar scented oil in a diffuser; or Bach flower remedies.
As I write this it’s around 9pm and I’m feeling tired, but I’m starting to dread bedtime because I know the battle that lies ahead.
I look back on those days when I was permanently exhausted, and how my head would literally hit the pillow and I would sink into sleep almost immediately, and almost wish it was like that again (believe me it had plenty of downsides).
So over to you dear reader: Do you have any suggestions that might help me in the search for sleep?!