I vaguely remember you, oh blessed sleep. You are the one that lulled my teenage body into ten hours of bliss a night. You are the one that defied the caffeine pills I took when cramming for college exams, gently pulling me into your arms no matter how hard I tried to concentrate. You are the one that allowed my world to turn pleasantly black every night throughout my thirties and forties, oblivious to every sound except the cries of a child.
So where the hell are you now?
It’s a sad fact that sleeping through the night is a thing of the past. I can usually fall asleep rather quickly, but my eyes pop open every few hours. Sometimes I manage to return to slumber just by changing position. Other times my brain turns on and shines a bright light on every negative thing that has ever happened in my entire life.
I’m not a fan of meds, so prescription sleeping pills are out of the question. I’ve tried over-the-counter sleep aids (diphenhydramine-based), and although they seem to quiet my brain, they don’t prevent the frequent wake-ups. (And now studies are showing that diphenhydramine can cause cognitive impairment in older adults. Oy.)
A doctor of alternative medicine suggested melatonin, but when I tried it, I had nightmares that bordered on hallucinations. Another medical professional recommended a 20:1 tincture of CBD and THC—and it did absolutely nothing.
I must ultimately be amassing enough hours, because I can function perfectly well during the day. (OK…maybe I yawn a lot.) But it would really be nice to doze off as soon as my head hits the pillow and not return to consciousness until it’s time to wake up.
Do any of you face similar problems? Have you found something that works? I’d love to get your feedback.