Welcome to my new monthly series: The Insomnia Fix. I have quite a bit of experience with insomnia, having dealt with it earlier this year. If you suffer from insomnia or any form of sleep deprivation, I can totally sympathize.
It all started when I was in school. I have always been a night owl. I love nighttime, when the whole house is quiet. It’s so calming and peaceful. Because of this, I often found myself staying up reading or doing assignments late into the night. Occasionally, I would even stay up all night, or until an assignment was complete.
As you might imagine, this had a horrible affect on my sleep habits. Things were getting out of control. Either I would only sleep an hour or two, or I fell asleep at 4 o’clock AM, and slept until noon. My internal clock was completely off, probably from the all-nighters I pulled for my classes. It was similar to jet lag, when your body is set to a different time zone.
So, what did I do? I did what people do when they travel, I stayed up and adjusted to the correct time zone. One Friday night, I stayed up all night and all through the day Saturday, then went to bed at my new bedtime – 11:00 pm. It wasn’t fun for me, (or anyone around me ), but it worked. I’ll adjust this to 10:00 in the future, but for now was a huge improvement.
I also started a new bedtime routine. I turn off all electronics at 10:00, do 30 minutes of evening yin yoga, followed by 30 minute of meditation. For the first few nights, I used the herbal` supplement “valarian root” to promote relaxation, but was eventually able to fall asleep without it.
This was my experience with insomnia. It didn’t last too long, but, long enough to be a burden, not only to me, but my family as well. I was quite crabby and snapped at everyone, even my dog. Something had to be done. Though, what I did worked for me, it may not work for everyone.
In fact, this experience had such an impact on my life, that I wrote my graduate thesis on melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone. I discovered that it is so much more than a sleep hormone. I’ll be highlighting melatonin in a future Insomnia fix article.
I also decided to start this new series devoted entirely to insomnia, because of my own experiences, and the impact it had on my life. Throughout this series, we’ll delve deep into the types of insomnia, the root causes of insomnia, as well as cures, techniques and recipes designed to help cure this awful problem.