Seriously. This has got to stop. I’m not sure when it first started, but I haven’t gotten a solid night’s sleep in I-can’t-tell-you-how-long.
I don’t know what’s causing the problems. Although like just about everyone, I have some anxiety,but it’s not what I’m thinking about in the middle of the night. Maybe hormone fluctuations have something to do with it, but fortunately, if hormones are a part of this, they are NOT affecting my blood sugar. And for that, I’m grateful. Anyway, it’s not clear to me what the problem is between me and sleep. But lately, it hasn’t been a symbiotic relationship.
I don’t have a problem falling asleep, but staying asleep the duration of an entire night? Forget about it. I usually go to sleep around 11:30/midnight, and wake up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed around 3:30am. I toss and turn. Finally fall back asleep after what seems like about an hour or so, and then it happens again around 5am. And there’s just no way I’m the kind of girl that likes to start her day at 5am. Nor am I the kind of girl that functions well on a mere 5 hours of sleep.
I’ve tried all sorts of remedies- mostly natural, and even some not natural because lately, I’ve gotten desperate! Here’s a list, off the top of my head, of the things I’ve tried to help me stay asleep during the night.
*warm baths with epsom salt (baths have always been a ritual of mine, but lately I’ve added in epsom salt and lavender oils)
*avoid screens (tv, computer, phone) as bed time approaches
*no caffeine beyond 2pm
*ear plugs and eye mask
*sniffing/rubbing on my temples some mix of essential oils that was given to me labeled “for sleep”
*this supplement that has melatonin, l-theanine and botanicals
*a magnesium supplement
*Ambien (Yep. I’ve heard scary stories about Ambien, but again- I’m now desperate enough to try just about anything that might help.) (And yes, I’m going to write a blog post on this, specifically, soon.)
If any of these things have helped, it’s been so subtle, I haven’t noticed. I still wake up around 3 or 4am feeling wide awake.
I’ve been listening to podcasts, and reading articles about how to get a healthy sleep routine going. I’m taking any and all recommendations. The new idea I’m trying this week that I just heard some sleep doctor talking about is: get OUT of bed if I’m not sleeping. He said we need our brain to associate the bed with SLEEP (or sex), not with tossing and turning. So, if you wake up, his advice is to go to another room, keep the light low, and do something like read until you feel tired enough to go back into the bedroom and fall asleep. I’ve tried that for the last few nights, and while I like getting in the extra hours of reading, I’m not sure it’s helping me change my sleep routine. In fact, I fear that it might be ingraining that 3am wakeup call even deeper into my book-loving brain.
Like I said, my sleep issues don’t seem to be directly hurting my blood sugar control or my diabetes in general. BUT, it’s well researched how vital sleep is to our overall health. Lately, I’ve had problems with my shoulder (supposedly tendonitus), my hand/wrist (supposedly carpel tunnel) and neck pain in general. I’ve said out loud, “I feel like I’m falling apart all of the sudden.” And when I think about my sleep- or lack thereof, it makes sense that this would be the case. SO: It’s important to me that I figure this out. My goal is to start sleeping a minimum of 7 hours each night. Right now, that sounds very lofty. But it’s just sleep I’m talking about here. SLEEP. Something I love. Something I want. Something I need. I CAN DO THIS.
I’m taking all tips, recommendations and advice if you have any to offer.