Monday, July 2, 2012

Insomnia Advice: Bring it On :-)

I have been suffering from insomnia since I was a very young child.  I think much of the reason that I learned how to read before I was three is that my parents told me I had to stay in bed, even if I couldn't sleep, and ... well, there's only so  much you can do.

As you can imagine, I've heard every trick in the book.  Most of them are legal ...

I can honestly say that I have tried to battle my insomnia (which, if you are my Facebook friend, you are all too familiar with since I have a tendency to start ranting on FB when I can't sleep, which is with an unfortunate frequency).

But I've pretty much come to terms with it, all joking aside.  I've had a sleep study done (I learned that I have "ideopathic" issues falling asleep and staying asleep once I get there ... it was very useful ;-)), I developed good "sleep hygiene" (which is basically having a set routine and using relaxation techniques and such), and I have a prescription for Ambien that I use only when I am on the verge of going completely bananas from lack of sleep.

I have tried virtually everything to deal with my sleeping issues with the exception of hypnosis.  I am honestly pretty scared of hypnosis, because in addition to having horrible insomnia, I have horrible nightmares most of the time when I do sleep.  These nightmares are in general based around one of those traumatic life events that scar you forever, and I have dealt with it as much as I am going to.

I even hesitate to use Ambien overmuch because I get trapped in my nightmares sometimes, and I can't even wake up.  It's like being in a Nightmare on Elm Street  movie ;-)

But seriously, I am hoping that you will share your experiences with (and advice pertaining to) insomnia here.

I am compiling a list of things that I have tried and/or had recommended.  I have bolded what has worked for me on some level.

*  Melatonin
*  Ambien
*  Marijuana
*  Nyquil
*  Ginger root
*  Warm milk
*  Honeycomb
*  Reading
*  Watching television
*  Eliminating caffeine
*  Relaxation techniques (for awhile, counting backwards from 100 while actually visualizing each number worked)
*  Sex
*  Exercise
*  Intentionally staying up all night to "get caught up"
*  Advil PM
*  Music
*  Changing pillow positions/beds/and so on
*  Sleeping in a dark room
*  Muscle relaxants (Valium, Flexeril)
*  Sleeping in a bright room
*  Alcohol
*  Getting punished for bugging my parents in the middle of the night when I was a little kid
*  Warm bath

So, yeah, I think that's pretty much the gamut, other than the hypnosis thing, which I am not prepared to tackle.  I don't know that I ever will be, truth be told.

Do you have any advice (or encouragement) for struggling insomniacs out there?  Share in the comments :-)