Insomnia, sleepless nights, panic attacks, nightmares. It was a way of life I accepted as just how things were for me. Sleep had become a huge problem for me, insomnia for days on end. Doctors said not to worry you only need sleep every few days so cue the sleep meds. Was there a better way? YES!! Here's what helped me. First let me share my story, maybe you can relate.
It wasn't always that way. For years I slept so soundly, all night, fell asleep easy "before my head hit the pillow" most nights. Except for nightmares which I had pretty much accepted as a way of life because I had them since childhood. I thought they were normal (more on that later, it wasn't normal) but other than that no real problem sleeping. In fact, hubby used to get up for work in the middle of the night and I'd easily fall back asleep.
Problems started to escalate with work problems where there was no good solution. My brain would spin looking for possible options for working out the normal challenges of a multiple high visibility complex projects. Doctors told me no problem, people only need to sleep every few days, gave me some sleep meds with instructions to take them every few days so I could sleep and sent me back to work. Problem solved. That worked for a few years actually. Needless to say, I got a lot of work done.
Fast forward a few years... Eventually I needed stronger sleep meds, I had some unhealthy life situations that needed fixing so nightmares started to escalate. Meds no longer really worked and I was taking them every night and sluggish during the day. I was in a vicious cycle.
When I tried to wean myself off them, I was back to only sleeping twice a week, panic attacks were nightly except I didn't realize they were panic attacks. I had been for a sleep study and it was confirmed I didn't have apnea and there was no physical reason I would wake up choking. The pieces hadn't quite come together just yet. I plowed through existing in exhaustion.
Something had to give so here's some things I did in no particular order over the course of a few years. By no means am I a sleep expert but I sleep soundly now and hopefully you can benefit from some of these things that worked for me. Read part 2 here
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