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Insomnia: What does it feel like to be an insomniac?

Insomnia is utterly scary. Not only is it difficult to fall asleep at night, but it’s also hard to stay asleep. You nod off eventually then, suddenly I’m wide awake but still tired and drowsy. A thought filled hour passes and I fall asleep again. 30 minutes later, the cycle just keeps repeating itself.

For an insomniac, this goes on day after day and month after month. You feel as though you can not escape the mounting stress and anxiety you face throughout the day. Some days are much harder than others, for me it was the worst during deadlines like budget meetings and progress reports, but after the meeting was over, my insomnia just kicks right back in.

Some nights, I was exhausted by as early as 8 pm. so I turn in hoping for a good night’s rest. So, I close my eyes and lay in my bed. I start thinking about how I messed up the slide sequence in my presentation. The thought is stupid and trivial but that’s how it starts, thinking about the stupidest things that happened that day. Hours later, I’m still awake.

At some brief moment, I must have fallen asleep as my wife opens the curtains and I know it’s time for me to head off to work yet again. I must have had, about 2 hours of actual sleep? Not so great when you have a month-end sales meeting. And it’s probably not good to drive today, I think. This morning, I’m really tired. I’m really worried, not for my own safety, but for the danger, I present to other motorists.

The cycle just repeats itself night after night. I felt, at one point, that I’d take any amount of sleep over none at all. For an insomniac, It’s a victory to get any sleep at all. One particular morning, I decided to put an end to it, once and for all! I was determined to turn my miserable life around at all cost. So, still skipping breakfast, driving Kamikaze style but actually dodging the coffee junkies queuing at the percolator. I head off to my desk and turn on my P.C.

I type into the Google search bar- “how to beat insomnia naturally” and hit enter.  This is what I came up with,  from within the literally hundreds of “insomnia busting” aids I selected 5 supplements and  5 exercise regimes. That evening, on my way home, I popped into a nearby health shop and bought the supplements. Starting that same evening, I had a shower, took one supplement and selected one 5 minute exercise.

I had decided to stick to the same supplement and exercise program for a week. Jot down any significant changes if any, then start on the next supplement on the list as well as the next 5-minute exercise program.  I kept this up for 5 weeks, popping the supplement and doing the 5-minute exercises.  By the end of week five, my notes showed conclusively, what worked for me and what did not.

Insomnia is only a faint memory and I have been sticking to what works for me, for 24 months now and while I am not suggesting anyone should copy what works for me, I am suggesting only, that whoever wants to take something positive away from this article, it should be the positivity of sticking to your program of elimination by keeping notes and once you find what works for you, sticking to that for the long haul.

I found Magnesium supplements worked best for me. The second positive takeaway was vitamin B so I combine the two. The exercise I selected, was greatly governed by my lower leg amputation and consists of: 8 exercise groups of 37. 5 seconds each to make up a total of 5 minutes.

* Lying down on my back, and stretching for 30 seconds.

* Next, raising my legs vertically, five times each.

* 20 sit-ups* 40 shadow boxes toward the ceiling.

* Locking both wrists and pulling away for 10 counts each, while doing Kegel clenches.

* Pushing hand-palms together for ten counts, while doing Kegel clenches.

* Breathing in a through the left nostril, exhale through the right nostril 10 times.

* Then alternating

Note: I take the supplements and do these exercises just before sleeping. I make a point of being in bed, by no later than 10:30 pm.


What do you think?

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  1. I completely understand this struggle. What works for me is my daily Joga practice at 7PM and then an hour before I switch off my light I put classical music on, softly so that I could barely hear it and leave it on while I drift asleep. This works because you concentrate on listening to the music, so your mind gets cleared of all thoughts that would normally keep you awake.

  2. I experienced this after the loss of my son. The PTSD would not stop and I could not close my eyes without seeing everything in detail. I finally tried many different things and it eventually stopped, thank goodness.

    • I can almost comprehend your loss, Carol.My only son, 35, went to the U.K. to start a job 7 years ago. We stayed in touch via Cellphone every week. My wife and daughters have visited him twice during the 7 years. Suddenly, he sent us an email, that he was getting involved with a young woman and that he has joined some or other religious order that requires him to sever all ties with his birth family, which includes my wife and me, our two daughters and a granddaughter whom he adores. It involves changing his name. We have not stopped searching for him by phone and via Internet, but we have not been able to trace him, thus far. So, yes, I can understand a little bit of your pain. God bless you, my friend.

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