I. FEEL. YOU.
If one more person lists sleep hygiene practices at me, I will be surgically installing a blue light directly into their retina. (A joke, of course). But people, though meaning well, don't realise how ridiculous it is. The idea that someone who gets 2-3hrs sleep a night, making their life miserable, hasn't had a big google about how to fix it.
I've had insomnia... forever(ish?). My mother took my 10 year old self to A&E after I hadn't slept for 3 nights, begging them to just make me sleep.
I can't fall asleep, and I can't stay asleep. I follow most sleep hygiene to the letter, but I am a shift worker so sticking to an exact routine is impossible.
Maybe once a week I'll get 6-8 hours, but otherwise, its generally 1-3. After a few night of this, I struggle to function. I tremor. I get vertigo. I have memory issues. And I crave sugar so badly I spoon honey out the jar.
The key problem for me is raging adhd. I simply do not possess the "off switch". I am just 100%, all the time. I'm not stressed or anxious. My brain just wont shut up, and sitting still makes me itchy.
I've refused benzos and Z drugs for sleep. Because to me, that's the point of "game over". Life will never be the same, and I'll always be a sedated, false, version of myself. I'm 27. I don't want to subject myself to a lifetime of relying on ever increasing hypnotic drugs.
And it's terrifying because I'm a vet. I worked so hard to get to where I am. The sleep loss never used to really affect me, and I functioned well. But it's becoming so clear that the older I get, the more the damage is accumulating. This week is the first time ever I've had to call in sick to work because I was so sleep deprived (showing the signs I mentioned above), that I just did not feel I was fit or safe to practice.
To summarise, it is just shit. I don't have anything useful to add, and no magic advice. But I suppose just know that you're not alone.