What is Insomnia & How I Kicked Its Butt!
Are You Sick of Not Getting Any Sleep? Would You Actually Consider Selling a Kidney Just to Make it Stop?
Insomnia can steal your life a little at a time. It takes the fun out of your days and leaves you in a desperate state night after night. At first, you think I’ll just find some good books and get ahead on my reading. I can use this to my advantage and the reading will make me sleepy. Genius! Then, you are done with your book and staring at the clock at 4 am. By the time 6 am, comes around, adrenaline kicks in and you feel invincible. This plan will work! Tonight you will get some sleep and it will all be a fading memory.
However, after repeating night one, you start reevaluating your plan. This time there is no adrenaline, your eyes are burning, you don’t know how you are going to muster the energy to get dressed much less get through the entire day!
On night 3 you cannot even read the words on the page, you make yourself get up and go out. You think maybe if you go to an all night coffee shop, it will pass the time. On the drive there, you are seriously questioning your driving skills and sanity. Even traffic lights are proving to be a major source of confusion. You make it there and have a hint of hope that things will be okay…eventually. There are people here, just like you, drinking coffee at 3:00 am. You will be fine somehow. At least you are not all alone.
The fourth night, you are delirious. There is no other word for it. You are texting your friends crazy shit that makes no sense. You are starting to see things. When you drive, you are swerving to avoid hitting little kids playing in the street, only to realize there is nobody there. You decide to just go home and stay there for everyone’s safety.
You watch all the movies you can find, read more, write some, and go absolutely mad! Then, after a long excruciatingly long night, the sun rises. The worst part is trying to cope like a normal functioning person in the daylight. You are having so many accidents and mishaps at work, you are certain today is the day you will get fired.
You start to care less about others and their petty concerns. You are fighting to just survive the day. Why are they talking to you about the latest shoes they found on sale? Why are they talking to you at all?! You are turning hateful by the second. It seems to never end.
You try bargaining with an invisible Higher Power. You convince yourself you must be in some sort of purgatory. Surely, you must have died and you are not aware of it. Then, you start pleading to come back. You start looking for some redeemable qualities to your previous life. You make promises to God that you know you can’t keep, but you are desperate enough to try.
You Are Not Alone
Roughly 60 million other Americans suffer from sleep disorders each year. Some people have short periods (days to a few weeks) of difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (called acute insomnia). Others have this difficulty for a month or longer (called chronic insomnia). Some individuals even suffer for years. As you can see from the one example above, Insomnia can be very disruptive to a person’s life, so understanding insomnia can be essential in finding relief and a lasting solution. For some, it is not as obvious. Some individuals can fall asleep but struggle with staying asleep.
There are many different symptoms that are often overlooked such as waking too early, difficulty falling asleep, not feeling rested after a night’s sleep, daytime tiredness or sleepiness. Often, a person may think they are getting sleep, but if they are not staying asleep, they may not be getting the quality sleep they need. This can cause sleep deprivation and symptoms of insomnia as well.
How it Hurts You
Sleep deprivation can start as a few mild symptoms in the body and over time can lead to very serious conditions. Here are a few surprising and serious effects of sleep loss.
- Accidental Death
- Impaired Brain Activity
- Cognitive Dysfunction
- Memory Problems
- Accident Prone
- Weakened Immune Response
- Cold & Flu
- Weight Gain
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
The Secret Combination
I was one of the lucky ones that suffered for years from insomnia. I tried many different pills, tinctures, and remedies. For years, I was dependent on Tylenol PM. They claim it is not addictive, but I felt like I needed it every night just to get to sleep. After taking it for a while, I found myself waking in the middle of the night with restless legs and a sort of nervous energy in my body. I tried working out really hard before going to bed so I was completely exhausted. I would still wake in the night.
Then, purely by accident, I found the perfect combination. The best part is, It has continued to work for me. I find that I fall asleep, sleep soundly all night, and wake up more refreshed. After years of being a very moody morning person, I now actually wake up smiling. I might even say I feel happy. Just don’t tell my friends. I hate to spoil my reputation. I don’t want them to think I don’t appreciate them bringing me coffee in bed. What is my SECRET?
Thank you for reading.
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Misha Almira is a shamanic healer. meditation teacher, and full time blogger.