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SLEEP -what's that?
Member Name: juliassg71
Disadvantages: Many and varied - read review.
I have had a read through the other reviews on this topic, all of which give very sound advice with how to try to deal with this debilitating health issue, so I won't repeat that advice here but just wanted to share my experience as it comes with an array of other issues that might be relevant to another sufferer.
If you have read my piece on depression, you will know I have suffered with severe depression for the past six years and as you may know, one of the many varied side effects of this (also debilitating) illness, is insomnia although I have always had difficulty getting off to sleep in the first place for as long as I can remember. In recent months though, the insomnia has gotten worse and I know the fact that both my husband and myself have been made redundant hasn't helped but the problem still lurks in the dark corners of the night even when things are good.
My partner amazes me, his head can hit the pillow and be asleep in minutes (that is, if I let him - poor sod) as I will, as I lay there with a mind racing along at an astonishing rate, ask him random questions or make random comments such as 'Don't let me forget...' or 'Did you put that cheque in the bank?' or the best one of all 'What are you thinking about?'. When he responds 'nothing' this only sets me off more. 'How can you be thinking about nothing?' I have asked him enviously. Response. 'I don't know!' Is this a MAN THING or is he just incredibly luckily in his ability to be able to switch off so completely. How can you manage to think about nothing? I have thoughts pop into my brain at an alarming rate, jumping from one thing to the other.
I have conversations in my head that have yet to happen and even go over conversations I have had in the past and think about what I could have said differently. Do I want to be thinking these things? NO! I want to bloody well go to sleep as I have a six and five year old to contend with, a house to run and a thousand other things to do during the day and I would like just an ounce of energy to accomplish them! Depression in itself causes lethargy, the side effect I find the hardest to deal with, as it makes me feel ill and physically and mentally exhausted all the time and this is, well, so depressing, and hence the vicious cycle continues.
I have tried all the methods to alleviate this problem, warm baths, warm drinks, no caffeine, set bedtimes etc. - all of it (although I did struggle with the no alcohol advice so that hasn't lasted) - but god, I have to have something, but all to no avail.
Next step was to try herbal sleep tablets. Didn't work. Went to the chemist and asked for the next step up over the counter tablets (the non-herbal types) only to have a well meaning (I am sure) pharmacist tell me that because of my anti-depressant meds, she didn't want me to take them. She then continued to tell me about all the remedies I might try THAT I HAD ALREADY TRIED. I wanted to punch her in the head, but being British, just smiled and thanked her for her kind advice.
By this point, I was so sleep deprived that I was in tears some days. No thanks to my husband either who has put on a bit of weight and started bloody snoring! If I don't manage to fall asleep before him which rarely happens, I do not have a hope in hell of getting to sleep! He told me he didn't mind me waking him to get him to turn over. How sweet is that? Well it was sweet until on waking him, the first few times he helpfully responded - 'How can I be snoring, I'm not even asleep yet?' I may soon be in prison for murder - unless the jury is made up of 12 depressed, insomniacs - then I will have a good chance of being let off!!!!!
Anyway, I finally mentioned it to my brill doctor who manages my depression with me and she did allow me to have some stronger sleeping tablets but only 7 as they are highly addictive and already being addicted to wine, smokes, coffee and now Dooyoo, another addiction is all I needed! However, these didn't really work for me either.
This may be because, together with my insomnia, I also, when not busily occupied which you aren't when trying to sleep, I become aware of my swallowing and then can only swallow forcibly rather than unconsciously. My mouth becomes very dry and sometimes my throat closes up and I can't breath. This also sometimes happen when I am asleep (akin to sleep apnoea) and if my poor hubby doesn't have enough to contend with, I sometimes sit bolt upright in bed making a noise like an alien being strangled and grab onto him so he then sits bolt upright scared half to death! Oh we do have fun come night time!
Also, (yes, just one more thing) since having my two children I also have to get up to visit the loo (I knew I shouldn't have lied about having done those pelvic floor exercises) usually at about 2 or 3 in the morning and again once awake (if I have slept by then), I have trouble drifting off again and all too soon, a bouncy 6 and 5 year old are in my room asking me how many minutes until I get up (usually about 6.30 in the morning). What have I done to deserve this!!!
Anyway, how I have managed my problem is partly to accept it for what it is and not fight against it. The more wound up I get about it, the worse it gets, so I try to relax about it first and foremost and go with the flow. If I can't sleep I read and try again. Some nights are better than others but until the medical profession come up with a definitive cure I must, like others just do the best I can to get what shut eye I can.
If you have stuck with this until the end, thanks for reading.
Sleep well folks! x
Summary: I sympathise with each and every sufferer!
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