Insomnia, my unwanted BFF


The other night I was so excited.  I was tired, achy, flary, all of the above and then some.  I was able to get in to see my favorite massage therapist for 50 minutes of amazing after work.  

I didn’t realize how badly I needed that massage until it was happening.

I left- feeling better and feeling sleepy- and rushed home to channel the sleepy into a good night of rest.  I got into bed around 8:45 (admittedly, very early for me but I was super exhausted) and I laid there looking at the ceiling, wide awake, until almost 2am.

There were relaxation techniques employed. There was yoga breathing. There was meditation. There was prayer.  And then I lost my zen like attitude and there was cussing, crying and wishing I had Harry Potter powers to knock myself out.  

Eventually I fell asleep but boy, was that night not fun.  

This is more of a call out for input because this is not a unique situation for me. My go to strategies for sleep issues are:

-I’ve created a ‘spa’ music channel on Pandora that I put on very low volume and focus on breathing/relaxation exercises

-I also have a white noise app in addition to a humidifier that sits about 4 feet from my bed that helps me drown out my thoughts.  Seriously, humidifier? Yes, I felt like an 80 year old because I was so excited when I bought it.  Who gets excited over buying such an appliance? This girl.

-I try to limit use of cellphone/laptop/tablet an hour before bedtime.  I am hit or miss at being successful here.

-Sleepytime tea! (I haven’t been compensated or even approached by the makers of this tea for mentioning this, disclaimer to make sure I’m being ethical .) Sometimes it works, sometimes it just wakes me up to have to pee. It does make initially falling asleep easier which for me is the biggest challenge.

-Heating pads- I own a variety and they do help me to relax

-Tiger Balm (again, not approached or paid to endorse, just mentioning for ethics reasons).  I don’t know if it’s the sensation or the smell that helps, but something with this calms me down.

But even with all of these tricks up my sleeve, I sometimes still struggle with sleep.  No, not sometimes.  Often.  I often struggle with sleep.  

What works for you?

7 responses »

  1. UGH. Not sleeping is the worst. I have been having awful, awful issues with insomnia (more like PAINsomnia) lately, but I do have some suggestions of things that have worked well for me in the past/sometimes help now!

    1.) Lavender essential oil or Lavender pillow spray from Bath & Body Works…something about the smell of Lavender really relaxes me!!
    2.) The Buddhify app!! I know you mentioned meditation already, but I really love this app and their recordings. Helps me fall asleep more often than not.
    3.) Hot washcloth over your eyes/face. I don’t know why this is soothing to me but it helps and creates a darker room as well. Worth a shot!
    4.) Muscle relaxants??? Have you tried any? I am on a VERY low dose of Tizanidine (2mg) as needed before bed and it saves me when I’m in a pinch. I took it last night and fell asleep almost immediately!

    Hope some of these suggestion are new for ya. 🙂 Also hope you start sleeping well…and SOON!

  2. I suffer from insomnia as well, and at times there is nothing in heaven or on earth to help. What I have found that does help most days is trying to keep my bedtime and wake up time as consistent as possible. It’s not always easy as a nurse, mother & wife, but I try my best. I turn on static noise every night and keep it on all night long. Right before bed I take a hot bath and soak in a lavendar scent to help relax me. I also now sleep with a very cushy and comfy sleep mask that has a mild lavendar scent. I have found this to make the biggest difference. There is something about the scent and the light pressure on my eyes that knocks me out like nothing has before. As for those nights when insomnia hits with s vengance, I play soliaire on my iPad with the screen dimmed as much as it will go and bore myself tired for however many hours it takes!

  3. You guys are too good about trying to stay healthy. I’ve tried every over the counter pill available with no success, until I discovered Costco’s Kirkland Sleep Aid, and two 10 mg. melatonin each night. I sleep like a dog (who ever thought babies slept well? mine sure didn’t, but my dog does!)

    • I take tinctures of valerian and mulein (2 to 1 ratio) with Rescue Remedy by Bach (relaxes).
      Puts me to sleep reliably. At times I may still not sleep through the night and will wake up a couple of hours too early. Then, instead of laying awake, I sometimes do some light reading on my Kindle with the back light turned down low. In twenty minutes I am usually knocked out until the alarm sounds (too soon!)

  4. I know it has been a long time since you made this post, but I wanted to offer my ideas as well. I recently downloaded an app that turns off the blue light on my screens at night, which makes a huge difference in how wired I feel when I lie down. I also take trazadone for sleep. It’s an old school antidepressant that they don’t prescribe much anymore because it has slightly sedative properties. PERFECT for bedtime. I take a low dose, but it always helps me fall asleep, which is the usual challenge for me. I also noticed that I sleep better if I take an NSAID before bed. I suspect that pain affects my sleep even when I’m not aware of it. I hope you’ve been having a better time sleeping lately! So glad to have found your blog.

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