Sleep Deprived

Does anyone have some magical remedy for the inability to sleep? If so, can you pass it along? I think I am functioning on about 3 hours of sleep right now.  I believe I have said this before, but I am one of those people whose body requires 8-10 hours of sleep.  I always have.  I was the college kid who went to bed at 9:00 every night because I knew I couldn’t function without sleep.  In the last 5 years or so, I suddenly cannot sleep.  I can’t fall asleep, and I wake up and then can’t go back to sleep.  It is really killing my brain and contributing to my migraines.  I wish I knew what was causing it. I typically go to bed between 10 and 10:30 these days, but I just lay there tossing and turning for hours on end until I finally fall asleep. I hate it because I feel like every time I move around I am waking up my husband.  Last night, I am fairly certain that I fell asleep sometime after midnight as that is the last time I remember seeing while staring at the clock.  Then, a storm rolled through at 2:00 and the booming thunder woke me back up.  I dozed off and on for a few minutes at a time for the rest of the night.  I, of course, then got up with a migraine this morning.  I get out of bed most mornings feeling like I have been run over by a big truck.  body needs sleep.  My brain needs sleep.   

I have talked about my inability to fall asleep and stay asleep repeatedly with my doctors over the years and no one seems to have any answers or remedies for me.  Most of them are surprised that my migraine medicine doesn’t make me sleepy as that is an extremely common side effect, which is why I take it per their direction at night. Sometimes I wonder if it has the opposite effect on me, but I have been taking it way longer than I have had the sleep problems.  I am certainly not willing to stop taking it either.  Even though I still get migraines, they are nowhere near as extreme or as frequent as they are when I am off the meds. Some doctors have thought that my sleep problems were related to stress, but these days I am less stressed than I have ever been. If anything, I was way more stressed when I was working full time, staying up later, and getting up earlier. I guess maybe I was just more exhausted back then that sleep came easier.  I don’t know.  It just doesn’t make any sense to me.  Should I go back to running myself ragged so that I fall asleep from mental and physical exhaustion or continue to live a less stressed life and not sleep? I’m not really a fan of either option.  Now that I am thinking about it, it really has been since I stopped teaching that the sleep problems have started.  I just don’t understand that.  

I have tried multiple things including essential oils, blue light blocking glasses, reading, and so many other things.  Nothing seems to work.  There have even been times when I have taken Tylenol PM, and I still can’t sleep.  We also keep the house pretty cool at night and run a fan year-round because sometimes I get super hot when I am asleep and wake up sweating.  It is just so crazy to me that my body craves sleep so badly, yet it doesn’t come easily.  I think I got more sleep when I had infants than I do now!  Clearly I have chronic insomnia (you know how I love diagnosing myself). Seriously, a quick appointment with “Dr. Google” confirms my diagnosis. I have ALL of the symptoms.

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night-CHECK
  • Waking up during the night-CHECK
  • Waking up too early-CHECK
  • Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep-CHECK
  • Daytime tiredness or sleepiness-CHECK
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety-CHECK
  • Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering-CHECK,CHECK, CHECK
  • Ongoing worries about sleep-CHECK

I just want to know how to fix it, preferably without adding any medications or taking any away. I’ve tried all the things that “Dr. Google” suggests, so now what? Maybe I need to see a sleep specialist.  Do those even exist? I feel like they do. I’m getting pretty desperate at this point. I just need sleep! 

Anchored and Sleep Deprived,

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