Sleep has eluded me for MANY years. . . so much so that I completely understand the desperation some have (propofol, anyone?) - I would NOT wish insomnia on anyone. That said, it has taught me so much - to listen to my body, to understand the impact of stress and unresolved conflict, and its significant importance (or impact!) to our health!
Carrie - I agree with you on the importance of unplugging. My husband is an expert in the tech industry and is always gathering the latest technology and gadgets for our home (we built almost 20 years ago and each room has ethernet built in to EVERY room and also have a server in our basement!). I've shared so much information with him regarding the potential health concerns regarding EMFs, but he still isn't convinced. That said, I've persisted enough that we now shut down our entire network at night. If anyone would like data on this, please let me know. I agree with using Blue Blocker (aka Amber) glasses at night for at least an hour or two before bed.
Martha - I haven't heard of this technique. . . which is highly unusual since I've pretty much tried everything. I am sleeping better than I have in a long while (probably an average 6 hours per night), so I think I'll hold off on trying that for now, but will keep it in mind!
Anna - YES. . . acupuncture!!! I did not realize how much this was helping me until my acupuncturist went away for 3 weeks (to China to complete his doctorate!) and I nose-dived. Game changer, for sure!
I've used a variety of medications and supplements over the years - too many to list - but here are the ones I believe truly helped:
5-HTP, PharmaGABA (recent find - excellent!), transdermal melatonin (need a script and is filled by a compounding pharmacy), Ashwagandha, and Magnesium (recently switched from Glycinate to L-Threonate). My FM (NP) doc swears by phosphatidylserine, but it didn't do much for me. Like Anna, I took trazadone (it is prescribed off label, by the way) - it did get me through some VERY difficult times, but I am not a fan of staying on any pharmaceutical long-term.
Here are a few "alternative" methods I've come across (and aside from what's been shared above):Socks
: I keep a clean pair next to my bed (gross to think about walking around the house and then crawling into bed with them)Tense/Release Exercise
: Start with your toes and tense up each muscle group for about 3-5 seconds (both left and right at the same time), then release. Work all the way up to your face. This technique is thought to release any stress built up in the body.Meditation
: Thought to help with stress reduction and racing thoughts. I personally like Mindvalley's 6 Phase Meditation (free with sign up!), Headspace (an app) or The M Word (by Emily Fletcher). These programs are great for those left-brained minds who have difficulty sitting still or don't want anything too "far out there".4-7-8 Breathing Method
: Touted by Dr. Weil as one of the best ways to fall into a deep sleep. It is simple - once you are relaxed in bed, inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat (I believe the recommendation is 10 times - but I don't think more or less will hurt). Here is the technique: https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/ ... -8-breath/Sleep Naked
: I'm not a fan - but some say this keeps your body at a lower temperature.Grounding
: Another one that I'm not practicing regularly, but I've heard great things about getting outside, barefoot for 10-15 minutes per day. Alternatively (or on bad weather days), take a regular spoon (make sure its a stainless steel one) and run the backside down the bottom of each foot three to five times. There are also grounding mats you can purchase and use to stand or sleep on.
I sincerely hope this helps anyone suffering from acute or chronic insomnia!!