Tonight is another sleep-disrupted night.

eyes wide open

I can’t decide if that’s any better than a completely sleepless night or not.  Since the chocolate ice cream is all gone, I decided to come in the office and tell you guys about insomnia instead.  A sort of walk-in-my-shoes type blog.

The evening starts out okay.  I’m all tired out, ready for bed, thinking tonight I will really get right to sleep.  (I have a lot of restless nights, so always happy when I think a good, restful evening is around the bend.)  My eyes are all droopy; I’m barely dragging.  Yippee!  Bring on the soft bed with the cool, clean sheets.

What time is it now?

Once in bed I squirm around and get all comfy… and that’s when it happens.  Just like my dad used to say (he had the same problem) “I go to bed, and my eyes pop open.”  No matter how tired I am, sleep eludes me.

Now, comes the I-am-not-getting-up stage which includes more tossing and turning, forcing my eyes to stay closed, and the leg moving.  My dad had that, too.  When we were staying the nights with him right before he passed away, you could hear him hitting his leg against the wall.  It’s awful!!  My body will not lie still.

insomnia

As hard as I try to lie still, within three second I have to move my legs.  Drives me nuts! (I wonder if that’s why I’m so odd? hmmm)

Next is “the-magazines-say-not-to-lie-in-bed-if-you-can’t-sleep” stage.  Okay.  So I get up and look for ice cream.  I have all kinds just for these insomnia evenings: chocolate, French vanilla, strawberry, cherry garcia, vanilla bean, drumsticks, popsicles.

ice cream

Oh, I could go on and on.  If I don’t start sleeping better soon, I’m going to have to buy new clothes!

And since it’s boring to just sit and eat ice cream, I come into the office and play games or get on Facebook or Yahoo or write a blog.  I’m not at all sure insomnia blogs make any sense because I can get really loopy on these evenings.  (Did I mention I love ice cream?)

Some nights I get to the point of exhaustion fairly quickly and actually fall asleep… only to jerk awake.  What is with that???  That is just so unfair.  Even when I do get to sleep, I wake myself up!!  Geez Louise!  Can I get a “Give the girl a break for crying out loud!”?

If all else fails — the flailing around for hours and wearing myself completely out of energy that I eventually fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning or diverting my attention away from the stress of trying to sleep by eating delicious ice cream and getting on the computer or sleeping in a different spot like the couch — then out come the big guns.  I’m talking meds.

Ambien

I’ve tried several, some prescription and some over the counter, but good old Valium works the best.  I can even break it in half (I am definitely not a heavy weight) and it will relax me just enough to fall asleep and sleep the rest of the night without jerking awake every 30 minutes.

Now, you say, then why don’t you just take one as you go to bed.  Well, I just don’t like to take meds.  I like to be as natural as possible.

counting sheep

So in the quest for natural sedatives, I’ve read all sorts of magazine articles and looked up insomnia on the internet in order to try remedies that may help without the aid of meds.

And some of them really do work.  I actually love yoga but have let it go by the wayside for the past couple of years.  It helps the body overall more than any other exercise that I’ve tried.

Yoga moves to beat insomnia

Walking is also a good boost for a good night’s sleep.  Walking in the evening seems to quiet the legs, calms the muscles somehow to let the legs actually rest.  One would think that walking of the evening would cause a person to be pumped up and ready for action instead of ready to sleep, but for those of us who suffer with insomnia, evening exercise does the opposite.

massage to relieve insomnia

 

It is always better to have someone else to give you a good massage; however, if you’re like me, you are the one and only and have to do it all yourself.  Here are a few massage techniques that have helped me on occasion, along with the big, noisy ball vibrator that weighs a ton. (This is a clean blog; get your mind out of the gutter!)  I have fallen asleep with that thing lying across my back, the roaring sound just kind of lulls me off to sleep, but it will tear my hair out and pinch like crazy if I’m not careful.  Needless to say, that only comes out of the closet if I am having a lot of muscle pain with the insomnia (which is probably why I have the insomnia on those nights.)  Sigh.

complications of insomnia

Shoot!!  I have all these symptoms!  I am soooo complicated!  Alas.

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