Uh-oh! The Spinning Head Returns!

Last night I was awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. Hello, again, insomnia! This affliction has bothered me my entire life. In times of stress, and sometimes – for no reason at all, I have a problem with insomnia. I’ve written several posts and even poems about this topic.

Part of it is hereditary, I know. My mom, 84, deals with lack of sleep more chronically than I do. I’ve taken measures to deal with it, while she is just learning ways to combat it. I feel like my sleep hygiene is adequate. I go to bed at the same time each night. I wake at the same time each morning. I do not have a T.V. in the bedroom and try to stay off my phone. I enjoy paper books and read for roughly 30 minutes before shutting off the light. Our room is cool, but probably could be cooler, as I frequently have to strip down after I’ve drifted off. It is dark, without ambient light from indoor appliances or the outside. It is quiet, without the ticking of clocks, music, or other noises that could disturb. I do have to admit that I miss listening to outdoor noises at this time of year. I try to avoid alcohol in the evening and recently have given up my nightly glass of wine at dinner to just having an occasional glass prior to our evening meal.

But, sometimes, such as last night, I went to bed and read my book, nearly falling asleep with it in my hands. Upon turning off the light, I had to take off my sweatshirt. I had warmed up and was now feeling overheated; sleeping in just a tee-shirt usually solves my internal combustion. I run warm/hot and produce a lot of heat, so being able to take off layers is helpful. I like a lot of weight with my bed covers so this contributes to the overheating. Last night, I was able to drift off easily after removing my sweatshirt.

But, by 1:40 a.m. I was awake – wide awake. I laid there waiting for sleep to return. Finally, I went to the bathroom. I took a short-acting (4 hours) antihistamine – this usually helps me. And, eventually, it did. But, it was close to 3 a.m. before I drifted off again.

My husband saw a behavioral conditioning course available online to combat insomnia. He mentioned it to me. I am reluctant. As a former nurse practitioner and experienced insomniac, I have tried to treat my issue with sleep. Often, I am successful for a period of time – then, it returns. I’m not sure there’s much more I can do. I know that I do not want to be my mom, an elderly woman, still fighting this affliction.

The spinning head returned and I’d really like it to be empty and void of thought so I can have a peaceful night’s sleep. Maybe, I’ll have to consider the behavioral conditioning course. It might be worth the forty dollars.

Photo credit by Elf-Moondance on Pixabay. Free for use licensing.

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