The holy grail floating in clouds surrounded by the moon, stars, pills, Zs, and sheep

Sleep: The Holy Grail for Insomniacs

My fellow insomniacs, how many things have you tried in pursuit of a full night’s sleep? Do you feel like you have run the gamut from medications to techniques that promised to help you snooze? If you have and you are still not sleeping, I am certain you are frustrated beyond belief.

My quest to achieve something that faintly resembles a normal sleep schedule has been a journey filled with frustration. I have tried many things, and I have had limited success thus far.

Many things I have tried that did not work for me have worked for others, so do not let my failure to find sleep discourage you. You need to try these options to know if they will work for you, and that is the point. Keep trying.

Remaining open to trying new options

New medications enter the market. New techniques are shared. Do not let past failures keep you from trying new medications or techniques.

Be open to trying new options to determine if something works for you. I am not suggesting you try every single medication without putting thought into it. Research medications. Know what you need a medication to do for you.

Doing your homework

Whether you have trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or both, there are medications designed to help with different things. Take time to find out what medications may work for your needs. Discuss it with your doctor to determine what is best suited for you.

Don't be afraid to try

Have you found a new technique that may help you fall asleep faster? Try it. It might work for you. It might not, but it will only cost you a bit of your time to determine if it is useful to you. I took time to try counting sheep. I also took time to do deep-breathing exercises and tried getting out of bed earlier to try to force myself to go to sleep earlier. What might not have worked for others may work for you. Do not be afraid to try. Keep trying.

Celebrate the small victories

Capitalize on even the smallest of successes. Even a few extra minutes of sleep helps. I go to bed at the same time almost every night. I do not fall asleep, but I am still in bed. It forces me to take time to relax. I know it takes me several hours to unwind at the end of the day. I do not start to unwind until I am in bed, so it is important for me to go to bed to get ready for sleep.

It takes several hours of lying in bed in the dark to reach a point where I am able to close my eyes. The longer I delay going to bed, the longer it takes to reach that point. It is not a solution by any means, but it does allow me to fall asleep sooner than I would by not being in bed. That extra time makes a huge difference. I see that as a small win in my battle to get even the tiniest amount of extra sleep.

Small habits can make a difference

I have also learned to keep my bedroom dark because I tend to wake up frequently. If I see too much light when I open my eyes it takes longer for me to go back to sleep. As a light sleeper, I need white noise to drown out everything else while I am trying to go to sleep. Once I am asleep, I need that noise to stop so I can sleep a little deeper.

Setting the timer on the television works for me. I pick a stand-up comedy special so I don’t have to actually watch the television or concentrate on it. It helps me get a little extra sleep. If you have insomnia, you know what a difference even the smallest amount of sleep can make.

Keep pursuing the holy grail

No matter what you have tried in the past, do not let it scare you from trying new things to get some sleep. If something helps you snooze just a few more minutes, that helps.

Keep trying, and keep capitalizing on the small successes. Maybe you will be lucky enough to stumble upon the insomniac’s holy grail - a good night’s sleep.

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