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Living with Insomnia

That week’s episode of The Secrets of Sleep focused on insomnia and I thought that might be useful for me to share my experience of living with the conditions.
For as long as I can deep remember I didn’t sleep well. One of my earliest memories is going downstairs and that saying I can’t sleep. My dad took me back to bed and told me to close my eyes easily. we did but still sleep didn’t seem to come!
As I got older that seemed to get worse and worse and my memories of night time in my teenage years is of being awake. But that was normal, surely everyone didn’t sleep?
I vividly remember that feeling of abject terror that I wouldn’t fall asleep and it I would be shattered the next day. That sickness in the pit of my stomach as I counted down the hours to “wake up” time stays with me up to this days.
“If we fall asleep now, I will have had 6 hours sleep”
Then
“If I fall asleep now I will have had 4 hours sleep”
Then
“If I fall asleep now I will have had an hour and a half, I am going to be soooooo tired tomorrow!”
If by chance I fell asleep earlier I would religiously recreate the routine from the dark night before. This might include sleeping at the opposite end of the bed, sleeping on the floor, putting all my cuddly toys in beds with me or thinking about scoring the winning goal at Wimble for Rotterdam United.
As we got older I started to fall asleep more easily, drifting off to the TV or radio mobiles but would wake to switch it off and often struggled to get back to sleep. We got more sleep, about 3-4 hours, but any time I was under stress, such as at exam times, or issues at work, I would wakes really early and that would be it.
I left university and I went to work in with family business. Ironically, I am the third generation of my family to be involved in the Sleep Products industry and I never leave I could really make my sleep issues with in public. Who would buy a bed off someone who can only sleep a couple of hours a night? They would never believe what we told them about the products I sold!
The internet was my savior. I learnt more about sleep and started to apply the things I read online to myself and worked out what worked for us. The important change was accepting that I was a bad sleeper. But also telling myself that I was brilliant at being very tired. That mind shift stopped the worry I had around my sleep and let me to be able to sleep better.
But I still struggle to sleep from as set a time. Early morning appearances on TV, worries about work and many other things can cause me to have very poor sleep. In that fact, just this morning I got up at 6:00 am as The Little Sleep Geek had a very bad cough and she woke me up and we couldn’t get back to sleep. Rather than
Worrying about it we got up and started my day. This approach really works for me, rather than my worries returning a bad night sleep into weeks and weeks of poor sleep I now accept the mid night of poor sleep and move on. I am using the sleep deprivation caused by the poor night’s sleep to sleep better the night after.
That was my experience of living with the condition, of not even realizing there was a solution and how long the process took for me to solve my problems that inspired me to become a sleep practitioner. I wanted to go together what I knew about products with my own experience of been an insomniac and also my training as a practitioner. I now utilize my unique set of skills to help ant other person who struggle to sleep.
If you would like to find out how we could help you or a member of your family sleep better, please see the links below.

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