INSOMNIA DIARIES #1
Insomnia is a huge bitch, right? Some people thinks it sounds so cool to be able to stay up all night to do whatever you want - but that's the total opposite of what insomnia entails. It's a horrible thing that embodies you and makes you feel like a zombie. As much as zombies are super trendy right now.....feeling like an actual zombie minus craving the brains is terrible. I'm always out of it and my body probably functions 30% less then it would on a good night's sleep. What the heck is a good night's sleep? All I do is lay down....go into a daze...feel confused...go back into a daze....fall asleep for 25 minutes...and it's time to wake up for work -HOORAY! I always wonder how much more productive I could be at life if I could function at 100% instead of 70%. I'd probably cure a disease or be the reason for world peace. Anyway, insomnia sucks but there are ways to deal with it. I thought I'd share some tips on how to kick insomnia's ass
if you are unable to be prescribed sleep aids or don't want to become reliant on sleep aids. I haven't been able to get prescribed any sleep aids due to my heart problem and some other health issues.
Set a strict time for when to go to bed and wake up. I realize you're not going to fall asleep if you have insomnia...but get in the habit of laying down in bed at the same time and getting up at the same time each morning. This will help your body relax and hopefully will lead to longer sleep patterns.
NO ELECTRONICS! No TV, no phones, no tablets, no e-readers...nothing with brightness. When that harsh lighting, even if your brightness setting is turned down all the way, hits your eyes it keeps you awake. It makes your brain think you're awake and trying to be active - it'll make your thoughts crank even harder and not be able to clear your head for sleep. Music is okay, and physical books as well. Sometimes those can help people fall asleep naturally. Try a white noise machine too or a natural sound creator even. I know the sound of rain makes me sleepy so you may need to do a bit of experimenting to find a noise you can drift off to. With how my mind works, it's always moving. So, certain sounds kind of tune out all of my crazy & bizarre thoughts and settle me down. I realize that makes me sound like a dog or an infant...but it's true!
Drink all your water for the day. Drink a glass before you lay down too. It will help you wake up a little easier in the morning - because despite not sleeping it's still hard to get out of bed that next morning with all of the grogginess endured from lying awake all evening. Water is your best friend. Replace your caffeine, nicotine, and bad habits with water. Caffeine / sugar will obviously keep you up if you drink it past about 2PM. On the same note, do not eat huge meals before bed. Providing your body with energy to burn will make it nearly impossible to fall asleep - unless you have a Thanksgiving feast every night and put yourself out in a food coma. Then...we need to talk about portion control & I need to give you a high five for having that dedication.
** I just wanted to say I looked over Web MD to make sure I cover crucial points and this is something it said, "
Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day. " So - I guess it's doctor approved to drink some alcohol early in the morning as long as it's not late in the day. I'll start bringing my flask to work and let my boss know the internet doctor said it's better for my insomnia to drink during the day....**
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary.
Do not have a TV in there - because then you'll lay there during the day and your body won't see that as a place to sleep - it will become accustomed to it as a place you're always eating lunch in, watching movies in, ect. (Netflix and chill should be kept on your couch. FYI) Keep it simple. The lighting is crucial too. I can't fall asleep in pitch black. I need some ambient lighting that is soft and subtle.
Find lights that dim if you're like me or go buy a cheap nightlight! They make super cool ones now. I have one that projects a galaxy onto my ceiling. It's awesome sauce.
Make sure the temperature is how you like it - don't settle! If you need fresher air, buy an air purifier to clean it up. It's a worthwhile investment. If you're too hot, buy an AC; too cold? Get more blankets or a small personal heater. On that note - make sure you're not low balling on your bedding. Your sheets/blankets may be a material that your skin doesn't find comfy and relaxing. Think of where you fall asleep easiest. Usually this is a couch - try to find some sheets or a blanket that are similar to that material! It's as simple as apple pie. (You know, I don't get that saying. Apple pie from scratch is hard as shit to get right. The saying should be It's as simple as finding a hooker or strapping velcro shoes.)
Exercise is imperative. I realize how intimidating this word is so let me clarify - exercise can entail taking a walk or a short jog - not pumping 200lbs at the gym. Working out every day in the morning or afternoon will help tire out your body. Just don't, as almost everything on this list of tips warns, do any excruciating routines close to bed time because when you finish working out it's kind of the same as eating a large meal late at night - it pumps energy into your body making it want to be awake and productive. If you work out late at night you'll get into a "second wake" routine - which sucks! You'll be a little tuckered out for thirty minutes or so but then you'll be wide awake and want to do a million things like knit a scarf or adopt some cats from Craigslist.
~~ Machamp wants you to be fit and strong like him! ~~
The last thing I suggest doing is getting into a routine that is clearly associated with going to bed. Not only should you have a time where you definitely lay down each night - not necessarily fall asleep - but develop a core routine. For mine I: brush my teeth, wash/moisturize my face, take a bath or do something relaxing i.e. lighting a candle or reading a book and then I get in my jammies and lay down. It winds down your body from the day and triggers your mind to know it's time to go to bed! Also - if you're somebody who worries about everything under the sun while laying in bed, keep a journal or To Do list handy. Write out what you're worried about or transcribe a To Do list for the next day. That usually will clear your mind of worries and allow you to drift to sleep calmly.
Those are just a few tips that stand out to me when trying to get over insomnia. It's a very long and frustrating process, I get it. So, if you have any other tricks you wanna share or routines that work for you - please share! Us insomniacs need to not sleep TOGETHER. (But figuratively and literally, this is not a Tinder post.) A majority of adults suffer from sleep disorders so if you aren't able to dose off every night, it's time to change up what you're doing since your current situation obviously is not working. Thank you for reading and remember to #staynerdy!
Disclaimer: These are my opinions on what I think I can recall of certain events in my life. I am in no way accusing anyone of any crimes and will never provide personal information such as names, addresses, and things of that nature. This is all being used to tell a story to help others out who may be in a similar situation.