I have suffered with insomnia for as long as I can remember. I have tried everything, been on several Sleep Hygiene courses, followed old wives' tales, etc. I drank heavily too, although I slept, I wasn't rested, but had enough energy to continue. Not helpful, I could list a million reasons, but there's no point. It helped at a time I needed it.
When I finally resorted to sleeping tablets to help regulate my sleeping pattern, I was desperate. I mean really desperate!
I was sleeping a maximum of two, maybe three hours a night. Then I would have an episode (every 7-10 days) of hypersomnia to balance it. I'm talking 14-16 hours sleep, so dead to the world I could sleep through four different alarms.
This is not productive or helpful to an employer!
So in my sleep deprived state, I pretty much begged for something to help me.
I had a long talk with a Doctor, who advised me they did not like handing them out in my area! Seriously 'handing them out'. I was crying, shaking, visibly distraught I was having to ask for help. I knew I couldn't carry on the way I was.
Eventually he agreed to giving me a two week supply. I took them the first night and I laid in bed waiting for them to kick in. Not tonight was the response.
The next night I slept. However the joy was short lived, the following day I felt like I had been beaten half to death and then hit by a bus! It was awful.
So I resorted to only using them when I knew I needed to sleep. Saying that now just sounds silly, but if you suffer with insomnia, I think you may understand. That initial two week supply lasted me over a year!
Pills didn't work. What else could I try?
Around this time my depression got worse, as did my sleep. There was now periods of oversleep around every 10-14 days. My worst period of oversleep was whilst I was being treated at ACS (Acute Community Service). I went to bed on the Saturday evening, and woke up at 10:00am on the Monday! It really freaked me out.
When I mentioned it to (and still do) to any of the medical practitioners I am involved with, the response is but that's an ongoing issue...
Well, yes. A ongoing issue I would like to stop!
I am now in therapy and it is one of the things I am trying to work on, but I haven't found the answer yet.
One of the things I tried was relaxation techniques, some involving meditation.
As I have an iPhone I looked on the App Store to see what was there. I noticed several buy someone called Andrew Johnson. The reviews were pretty glowing, but could he really be that good?
I downloaded the free version of a couple of his apps. I plugged my phone into my Sound Asleep pillow (a great buy) and laid listening.
The first thing I noticed is his voice, he has a really soft lilt to his voice, and a calming beat. He doesn't speak too fast, nor too slow. I listened to several of his apps over the next couple of months.
He recommends listening to them daily for 3 weeks to get the benefit.
He didn't cure my insomnia but did help me learn to relax. I think that is important, it isn't something we are taught to, we are just expected to be able to do it.
I purchased several of the full downloads and know that although I may not fall asleep, I am a lot more relaxed. I, personally, found it helpful as if my mind was taking me off somewhere I could just return to focus on his voice. Similar to some meditation where you bring the focus back to the breathing.
Having become a fan on Facebook, I saw other apps he had coming out. Somebody posted a review of Positive Pregnancy on there, so it seemed logical to add to my collection. Again, I'm not sure how much it is doing to create a positive pregnancy beyond a more relaxed mummy to be, but that's a good enough result for me. Anything else is a bonus.
Check out Positive Pregnancy here
A full list of all of Andrew's recordings