Insomnia Struggles


Ugh! When counting sheep doesn’t help then who can I speak to? The shepherd? Yes, Mr. Shepherd, I would like to tell you that counting sheep is not working for me. What do you recommend for a sleep deprived insomniac like myself?

Today was a nice wake up call for me. Remember when I started taking a non-habit forming sleep aid called ZZZQuil to help me get my precious zzz’s? Well, you know their slogan: “NyQuil will help you get your zzz’s.” Well it worked but, caused two big problems: addiction and a nice allergic reaction. I became so addicted to this nightly slug that when I spoke with my therapist about this she told me this: “You do know it’s addicting, but worst of all it causes weight gain.” And the pharamacist told me the same thing and it has the same ingredients as Benadryl. Imagine the sheer look on my face. Cue the angry and scary picture of “The Nun”. That’s how my face looks like right now. Here this sleep aid was actually doing it’s job and letting me get 8 peaceful hours of sleep, but causing my body to break out in a rash. I didn’t realize that it had diphenhydramine in it and so does Benadryl. I’ve been allergic to Benadryl for many years and I was surprised that it took two weeks before a rash starting forming on my body.

Don’t even say: “I told you so” or “Haha, that’s a good one.” My body is so tired that my ciracadium rthymn is off by many beats. I’m so tired that I can’t even think or see straight. Don’t ask me what day it is or what date it is because I don’t keep track at all. So long story short, I had to throw out my ZZZQuil and invest in Melatonin for adults. I was mad again. I told the pharmacist and my therapist that Melatonin works like crap for me. I will try to sleep and will toss and turn. And scream out of frustration. Getting my giant self out of bed is a miracle let alone showing up for work or driving my car is miraculous. Apparently, I was taking the wrong kind of Melatonin in dosage wise. So now I have to start at 5mg and get my rest. I can just imagine tonight’s sleep. I will sleep hardly at all. The pharamcist said that Melatonin helps your circadian rhythm and only bump up the dosage as needed. She said no more than 20mg. If this doesn’t work, then I have to make a trip back to the doctor’s office and get something else. Sleeping pills? Would that be an answer that I’m looking for???? That could cause more harm than good.

So right now, I’m nursing a minor rash outbreak on myself with anti-itch ointment. It’s feels like the chickenpox again. But this is what I get for not doing my due diligence on sleep aids. We all make mistakes. It’s called learning. I made an appointment with my primary doctor to schedule a physical and search for a good dietician. I told you that my sleeping habits suck and so are my eating habits. I’m working on being a better person. It takes time. Losing weight and changing my lifestyle is always hard, but manageable. Honestly, I’d rather seek a professional to help me change my lifestyle because I don’t trust myself when it comes to dieting and exercising. I almost need like a drill seargant motivating and pushing me to exercise and eat right. No lie. Because if I commit to a diet, then I will start cheating faster than you can say it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve cut soda down to one can and one coffee a day. But there have been days where I cheated and added one more to the diet. Don’t we all have cheat days? Arrest me and book me with the charges. I will plead guilty.

For now, I need to take baby steps and try not to stress myself out and not be too hard on myself. Things will change, I just have to be patient and let them happen.

A typical night’s sleep looks like this:

10pm: Start getting ready for bed (On off days!) Brush my teeth, change into pajamas, turn the lights off, turn the fan on and shut both eyes.

11pm: Start getting ready for bed (On worknights!) Brush my teeth, change into pajamas, turn the lights off, turn the fan on and shut both eyes.

12am: Eyes are closed but haven’t reached REM stage or any deep sleep stage yet.

1am: Why are we still awake?

2am: Okay, 99 sheeps, 98 sheeps, 97 sheeps, 96 sheeps, and so on

3am: It’s only 3am??????????????????????

4am: Why does my bladder have to be awake now?

5am: Hey, I’m finally drifting off to sleep. Yay!

6am: Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! The annoying nuisance of having two Chihuahuas and one’s bladder needs to be emptied. But I just went to bed an hour ago. Can’t it wait?

7am: The barking intensifies and sunlight is peeking through. Why is there light coming through my room? It was nice and dark. Let there not be light! I’m trying to sleep!

8am: More barking because two dogs need to go out again and they’re hungry. Fine, I’ll get up and do something.

9am to 2pm: Start the day. Eat breakfast, if I don’t forget. Then lunch, and start getting ready for work. Let’s see do I have my keys, my wallet, my purse, my phone, is it charged, did I leave food and water for the dogs. Oh! Did I forget to put my clothes on and shower before I head to work? Crap, take a shower. Then brush my teeth and get dressed. Don’t forget to lock the door and set the alarm. And don’t forget your brain.

2pm to 11pm: Work, work, work, until your body can’t do anymore work. Then close the business and drive home. Make sure you turn off the lights to the business. Done that before! Make sure you double check your work. Did you remember to eat your dinner and take your medicines?

11pm: Arrive home. Take the dogs out and head to bed or at least try to. And the cycle starts over and over again until you are dead.

Man, I hope this Melatonin works for me. My body can only take so much before saying “I quit!” For those of you that can sleep soundly all night like my youngest Chihuahua (FYI, I hate you! When I say go to bed, she starts snoring like a chainsaw.), bless you. If you’re an insomniac like me, I feel you. I understand the pain and frustration. Do I really have to wait until I reach the gates of heaven to finally get some good sleep that I deserve????? I hope not.



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