I’m no sleep specialist but I’ve certainly suffered in the past from the inability to just fall asleep and get a peaceful night’s rest! A friend and I were talking about this the other day and we shared tips.
Here’s the gist of our discussion and what we came up with. I really hope you find something that will help you with this struggle.
There are different reasons why people are suffering from lack of sleep. Can you imagine this: statistics show that a large number of adults lay awake at nights when they should be sleeping! Are you one of them? What is your reason for not being able to sleep? Sometimes we have to get to the root of the problem before we are able to fix the problem. Below, is my story and reason.
I was in an energy zapping job and was doing way too much until I was totally burnt out, stressed and unable to perform to the best of my ability. The worst part of this all was that I could not sleep at nights! Have you ever been too tired to fall asleep? Well I was. And it was horrible! As a result of my lack of sleep, I was having scary hallucinations that felt so real! I hit panic mode and sought out some counselling. More on that later.
My friend on the other hand, couldn’t sleep because she had recently been diagnosed with the big C and the worry of the whole situation kept her up at nights. Poor thing tried so many different things that she was so overjoyed when she found one that actually worked.
I am hoping that you can find something here that will help you or your loved one.
My readings have shown me that people suffer from insomnia for a number of reasons: from chronic pain to noise pollution and relationship issues and everything in between. So the solution has to be something that’s tested and tried as not everything works for everyone! Point is, you may not get results with the first thing that you try.
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When I did counselling, I was told that you have to work at the root of what is causing your inability to sleep. For me, it was a stressful job that I wanted so badly to leave, and I told her. She asked me to think about how I saw myself in the big picture of things and also whether I was feeling less than the rest because so many people seemed to be coping when I clearly wasn’t! She suggested a few cheap reads that I cannot recommend enough! Honestly, they helped me to put things into perspective and to make some decisions regarding my life and future. The books are Introduction to Coping with Anxiety by Brenda Hogan and Leonora Brosan and An Introduction to Improving your Self Esteem by Leonora Brosan and Melanie Fennel.
The books actually opened my eyes to my reality and guided me as to how exactly to treat how I was feeling. Talk about soul searching! I had to face the problems head on and make some drastic moves in my personal life and also my career. I even quit my job and to this day still think I would have had a nervous breakdown if I didn’t. When you read my story you will understand why I had to do it.
Needless to say, my friend and I did try a few things to try to get that elusive sleep back to a regular pattern. Some worked but were only temporary. Others didn’t do anything for us but we’ve heard of others who have had luck with them. Like I said earlier, it’s a matter of trying them and seeing which one works for you. It’s just like taking advice that people give about growing your hair! Some remedies work for some people but not for others. Here are some of the ones my friend and/or I tried
- Kalms herbal tablets (Some people swear by it but the first night I took it I had a funny feeling in my head so I didn’t take any more). It was my friend Antoinette who told me about it. I’m all for herbal treatments but …
- Blinking your eyes really fast (you decide, lol)
- Having a warm drink before bed (I tried my favourite hot chocolate drink but I think it’s partially to be blamed for my weight gain (it’s easy to lay blame, isn’t it)
- Read a book (but who is going to switch the light off if you haven’t got a bedside light? And by the time you get up to switch the light off, you’ll be wide awake anyway)
- Deep breathing and concentrating on each breath (This actually worked for me for several months)
- Wake up at the same time everyday (don’t know how this would help. After all the problem is falling asleep!) But some people say this has worked for them.
- Use window shades/blinds to block out light These ones have been a real God send to me and I’ve since told so many people who have also used them. If the problem is that too much light is getting in, you will need some proper block out blinds.
- Read boring classified ads on things you have no interest in (I did this for some time too and it did work but again there was the matter of the light when its time to fall asleep!
- Avoid high drama whether in your personal life or on TV before you fall asleep
- Listening to soothing music/talk. My friend says she has found a YouTube channel that has some sort of dreary male voice set against some equally dreary music and also a cloudy background that is bound to let you fall asleep. She says it works for her and she says it’s the man’s voice. It’s way too boring to keep listening to, plus he keeps saying things like ” In your mind’s eye, watch your body drift off into the clouds…just relax”. That particular one was actually a little over 3 hours long! That’s a long time to stay awake when you should be sleeping!
One of the really good thing to come out of my sleepless nights is that I would get up at nights and just write. Writing helped me to get my head clear about what I was going through and to be able to encourage others. Some of my night writing is now published in this little book called Living Life While Squeezing Lemons. It is a lovely little read that is funny, yet practical and I would encourage you to also write your own book and make money from the fact that you had difficulty sleeping! What do you think?
I would strongly suggest that you try some of the ideas and seeing what works best for you. There are many other things you could try and I’m confident you will get the result you are after. Whether it is medication or simple changes to your routine, or reading up and making changes to your life, it can be done. If not, you may need to see a counsellor or sleep specialist.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do.