Do it right, you will sleep right

by Jones

I have had chronic insomnia for many years. It started after I had my daughter. I was diagnosed with post-partum depression and insomnia was a symptom.

I would not take any sleep aids because I was breastfeeding. I tried herbal teas, homeopathic remedies and vitamins. I tried warm baths and relaxing music at night. I kept the room dark but that scared me so I used a night light. None of it worked for me. Eventually I gave Ambien, a sleep medication, a try. I would fall into such a deep sleep after taking it that my husband could not wake me. It scared both of us and since it also gave me only 4 hours of sleep, I quit taking it. I tried Ativan which worked a little better but after awhile I would had to take more to get the same effect. I refused to do so and I was really miserable for years. You don't realize how much the lack of sleep affects your thinking and mood. I have been in psychotherapy and, while it was helpful, it did not help my sleeping disorder very much. In my opinion, after years the neural pathways in my brain were well established for not sleeping and what I needed was to somehow rewire my brain. But how to do it? Eventually, here is what has been working for me the past year: I entered a healthy and happy relationship with a satisfying sex life! I started the medication Trazadone 50 mgs one per night. I keep the bedroom cool and dark and I have a oscillating fan on all night. I avoid most caffeinated products but when I indulge I take nothing after 5 pm. I avoid late night meals. I stay off of the computer and television an hour before bed which helps me to relax. I stay off of the phone as well. I drink no alcoholic beverages. I do not smoke. When I exercise on a regular basis, the quality of my sleep is better. Earplugs work well for me as I am a light sleeper. A few drops of lavender essential oil on my pillow is very soothing. An occasional massage is a wonderful prelude to sleep. I have nice quality sheets, pillows and blankets on our bed. I have a dreamcatcher hanging near my window.

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