I Really Can Sleep Now

by Alice
(Arkansas)

I have had insomnia for as long as I can remember. Even when I was a very young child I had trouble getting to sleep.

I thought that "all the good stuff" happened when I was sleeping, so I fought sleep. I guess I eventually developed the bad habit of not falling asleep for a long time after going to bed. Even though I really wanted to get to sleep, sometimes it would take a couple of hours to finally fall asleep.

Through the years I tried lots of different things to be able to fall asleep quickly. One method I tried was staying up late. That way, I thought, when I finally went to bed, I might fall asleep faster. A few times I tried to "self-medicate", taking certain over the counter medicines with the side effect of making you drowsy. I've gotten prescription sleeping aids, and even though they worked for me, my insurance company would not pay for them as a daily solution, so I had to find something else.

Now this may not work for you, but it works for me. I don't even have to do it every night, but only when I don't fall asleep right away. I get comfortable, in my normal sleeping position; I close my eyes; and I listen. That's right! I listen! I listen and try to identify every sound I hear. Then I listen to each sound, trying to listen only to that sound, not hearing the other sounds. I listen to each sound, one by one, for several minutes each. I listen to the sound of the blades of the ceiling fan cutting through the air. I listen to the housing on the ceiling fan rubbing on something as the blades rotate. I listen to the sound of my husband's C-Pap machine as the air almost whistles through the hose. I listen to the sound of my husband breathing. I listen to the sound of the air conditioner fan motor. I listen to the sound of the air moving through the vents in the ceiling. I listen to only one sound at a time, in effect, tuning out the other sounds. It may sound crazy to you, but it works for me. My husband complains that I fall asleep too fast now! I think I may be snoring and keeping him awake!


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