• Gloria Smythe

The B***h called Insomnia

I have never realised the importance of sleep more than I do now and it is an area of great importance when it comes to our wellbeing.

I have never been a great sleeper but over the last 3 years the sleep deprivation that I experienced whilst in the menopause has driven me to getting medical intervention with sleeping from my GP. It was not by choice but more of desperation, as I had tried so many natural remedies, none of which actually worked.

I wouldn't say I had a problem with falling asleep but I certainly had an issue with staying that way. In the space of two hours I would wake up at least 6 times and each time felt anxious as I knew how my night was going to pan out ........ not much sleep and an extremely long night, and then because I was already anxious along came the hot flushes in full force. I would lay there wishing the night away just so that I could get up as normal , get ready for work and hope I would be reasonably okay with my work colleagues for the rest of the day as I certainly didn't feel very nice.

Over period of a year this went on and of course there were implications .......... two frozen shoulders, both at the same time, both very painful and something I wouldn't wish on anyone. After months of physiotherapy and lack of movement on my arms, enduring steroid injections in both were my only relief. I already had enough issues with insomnia and the pain of my shoulders made it worse.

I suppose the reality really kicked home when my work colleague told me I looked grey and that the bags under my eyes looked like shopping trolleys. I actually felt as if I was the groceries in the trolley, having more and more cans piled on top of me each day. My skin was dull and whatever glow I may have had, no longer existed.

I spoke with my GP and he recommended that I try them for a week just so that I could sleep, without discussing side effects with me usual. I got the tablets home and instantly googled them reading a whole load of things I didn't want to see or take on, but I was desperate for sleep, and literally on my hands and knees begging for this cycle to end. So instead of taking the full tablet, I took half and I am not going to lie, it was the best ever sleep.

I slept for a whole 6 hours ........

The 10 tablets I was prescribed, lasted 2 months as I only took them every now and then, or when I had had literally no sleep over a period of 4 days. That was 2 years ago.

Today I use sleep meditation audio, each night. I very rarely hear the end of them and they last for 3 hours, which tells me that I have slept a solid 3 hrs at least, which works for me. Each night is very different and is not as consistent as I would like but it is nowhere near where it was before, which is great. I still have some of my little helpers in my bedside table if I need one and I am not ashamed to say so either.

Sleep deprivation is so debilitating on your wellbeing and it is so important to take action on this as soon as possible. Some herbal remedies work for others with sleep techniques, which is great and I wish i could have found a solution using this, but either way, work with what works for you and no one else.


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