To Sleep…

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this info here, though I know I’ve shared it other places we might frequent together (twitter, facebook, etc.). I have not slept without the aid of sleeping pills (atavan) in just over 2 years (12/15/06). In a way, I’m luckier than others who suffer insomnia: my body actually responds like I’m sleeping and much of my brain seems to follow this pattern too. I just have one part that does monkey gymnastics for hours, taking me down paths of dark imagination. It hooks on strange ideas – sometimes almost like dreaming – and works and reworks the idea nonstop.

So, while I say I do not sleep, it’s not a completely accurate picture. Most of me sleeps, I’m simply aware that time is dragging around the clock for the 6 or 7 hours that I’m laying in bed.

About 5 weeks ago I saw a neurologist about my problems with the atavan, and my inability to sleep without it. He prescribed an anti-depressant -I suspected this move would come – and suggested that as it works into my system, it might get my brain back to a place where I sleep naturally.

It was a small piece of hope.

I have always had trouble with sleep. As a child, it would take an hour or longer to fall asleep. I’ve had those sleepless nights fairly regularly. And I’ve had several bouts of this long chronic inability to sleep. The last one (30 years ago), was cured with an anti-depressant.

Drugs have changed and so have I. What worked back then had disasterous side effects when we tried this year. But I hopeful that a new drug might work.

Last night I slept without taking a pill. Not through the night – I woke up 3 times. Not as long as usual – I was awake at 5:45 am and not falling asleep again. But when I woke up, I wasn’t awake more than an hour and I fell back to sleep.

This just might be the beginning of something wonderful. I’m hoping that with natural sleep I get some more of creative (writing, photographing, concentrating) mojo back and return to the me I remember.


4 responses to “To Sleep…

  1. I so identified with everything that you said. My sleep problems go back to birth – literally my WHOLE life. I started working with a therapist a few years ago who continues to see me – but referred me to a psychiatrist as well. The psychiatrist was able to get my medications squared away with just a few tries (my GP had been trying for a while and that wasn’t working). And I am able to fall asleep easily and stay asleep. The ruminations have mostly stopped (both during the day and at bed time). So I am writing to say – good for you for being seen and taking care of this part of your life. I found that many other things were so much better – when I was able to get the ruminations and the sleep under control. I hope you have a good holiday season!!!

  2. Im starting to not sleep as well as I used to, and its getting harder and harder by the day. Im worried im going to start needing something stronger than my Tylenol PM and occasionally some more herbal helpers.

    Kelly Turner

    • Kelly,

      First herbal stuff to try is Melatonin. It’s a precursor to the seratonin we need to sleep, and works really well for most folks. There is also an ayurvedic blend that’s made for sleep. I’m trying to pick it up at Elephant Pharm, but they’ve been out every time I stop. Something that begins with a “a”.. I know I’m so helpful! But you might try checking on that and finding a place near you to get it. (when I find the name, I’ll let you know).

      For women, poor sleep is often an hormonal issue.

      Important steps in “sleep hygiene”:
      1. quiet, cool, dark room.
      2. exercise atleast 5 hours before you go to bed.
      3. try some meditation before going to sleep.
      4. no alcohol in the evening, no caffeine after noon.

      As a life-long insomniac, I hope you find a solution before it gets to severe.

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