Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Insomnia is a pain

Anyone who has known me for a while, or who reads my facebook status updates, knows I am an insomniac to the core.It has come and gone throughout my life. My first memorable insomnia experience was in high school, when I learned that USA Up all night with Rhonda Shear was on at 3am. Not sure why I didn't seek help then. I was regularly falling asleep in class.

Throughout my adult life, it has come and gone in spurts, a night here, a few weeks there. That was until February when it reached an apex. Can I explain what brings it on? Not really. What I do know is that I have "pervasive thoughts." The brain, it just doesn't turn off..like, ever. And while I have heard of people up at night with worry, I'm really just up with my head spinning around dumb stuff. "I wonder if I should buy a new hammock this winter while they are on sell", "What is whoever doing tomorrow?" "What will be the next project on the house" Seriously! It's annoying. Here is what insomnia, at it's worse, looks like for me: Lying in bed till 5ish before falling asleep or awakening at the early hours and either not being able to fall back asleep or waking about once an hour until it's time to get up. Either way, in the last three months I have been looking at my alarm when it turns on at least 4 times a week. Total suckage.

I have tried a bunch of things to address this issue:

* -tried taking a herbal sleep blend. Impact: nothing
* -tried taking melatonin. Impact: weird dreams and waking up angry
* -no caffeine after 2 PM. Impact: some improvement in falling asleep but woke up at 4am just to see the sunrise
* -no alcohol. Impact: no change at all. I knew I wouldn't keep that one long
* -experimenting with TV/sleep timer. Impact: hard to tell. I don't really watch TV
* -stopped taking vitamins at night. Impact: none nut I could eat breakfast in the morning
* -focus on breathing. Impact: annoyance
* -reducing the temperature in the house. Impact: nothing just got cold in the night
* -cannot do the warm milk thing...just can't do it. I don't like dairy
* -taking an anti-anxiety medication for the racing mind. Impact: made me a zombie, a walking dead zombie, but not asleep
* -taking sleeping pills. Impact: they made me zoned out, slow thinking, and made me generally irritable the next day
* -taking pain pills. Impact: I took these but found out that with a good drink at the end of the night I slipped into a drunken stupor that would let me relax and fall asleep. BUT the opiates in them made me have some of the worst dreams of my life. They might not of all been scary but they were all disturbing to some extent.

So here is where I am at right now. Yesterday, I ordered some noise canceling headphones to see if its the constant droning of the ceiling fans that are almost necessary for a big house like ours.
I talked to a holistic healer that suggested that I try mediating while living in Hawaii. So far it is just a time in the afternoons that I can relax without the constant barrage of requests and irritations.
There will come a time when I go back to the modern day doctor but I want to exhaust all options first. At this point, I have found something that kinda helps but it is not something I can do every night. As much as I wish I could.
If you think I am making too much of this, I am. I sat up last night and watched the sun come above the horizon and could still feel myself internally trying to fight the urge to go to sleep.


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