A Guide For Insomniacs – Something That Can Really Work!
I have had insomnia since I was a little girl. I know it well, it’s in a word, torture and when it happens on an ongoing basis, it can literally make you feel like you are going crazzzzzy. You feel tired, and want to sleep, but can’t, your mind just won’t shut down. Its like a computer that is buzzing and getting hot, that needs to switch off, but won’t, no matter what you do.
I first remember being about 12, and having regular nights tossing and turning and just not sleeping at all well. I’d try sleeping in a different way (head where my feet normally go, or sleeping on top of my duvet so bed would be more comfortable) but most of the times I just had to wait it out until I fell asleep.
I knew then that it wasn’t right, but I didnt know why I had it or what I could do. I had many mornings at school just wanting to fall asleep at my desk and as a teenager, I just hated getting up. Energy has never been my strong point. Needless to say, that getting a good nights sleep is now SO important to me and I know without it, I am pretty useless. I spent years staying up on the weekends as a teenager and in my 20’s, partying and going clubbing. I would stay up literally till about 4am (and yes, certainly took drugs to help me do that) so that didnt exactly help my insomnia. I basically taught my brain that its ok to stay up until really late in the morning. It trained my adrenals to literally reverse themselves, where they wanted to sleep in early morning and stay up late all night. I know I am not alone in how this is.
Insomnia is a global epidemic and is affecting millions (it not billions) of people. It’s getting worse and not better. We are living in such stressful times that so many things are attributing to this problem.
Here are some stats from the Better Sleep Better Life Website
General Insomnia Statistics
- People today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago.
- More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
- One in three people suffer from some form of insomnia during their lifetime.
- More than half of Americans lose sleep due to stress and/or anxiety.
- Between 40% and 60% of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia.
- Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men.
- Approximately 35% of insomniacs have a family history of insomnia.
- 90% of people who suffer from depression also experience insomnia.
- Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. use prescription sleep aids.
- People who suffer from sleep deprivation are 27% more likely to become overweight or obese. There is also a link between weight gain and sleep apnea.
- A National Sleep Foundation Poll shows that 60% of people have driven while feeling sleepy (and 37% admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel) in the past year.
- A recent Consumer Reports survey showed the top reason couples gave for avoiding sex was “too tired or need sleep.
We can write long lists of what things are causing it and in the Tips section I will certainly list what you can try to do (which I have found does really help), but it seems it can be quite difficult to treat the root cause. For me, I don’t know if I will ever be able to sleep well unaided, where I don’t need to take anything. You see, I had years of chronic stress, even when a super young girl, so I know its affected my HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenals) which is responsible for pretty much every function in your body. My natural melatonin production just won’t kick in very well on its own.
I’ve had periods in my life where the insomnia wasn’t so bad, and then where it comes back with a vengeance for awhile. Just last year, for about 2 months in total and one very very bad month, I just couldn’t sleep. It was awful. Being a mum, and needing to get up to attend to my daughter, meant that I just wasn’t able to sleep in, and having 2-3 hours (or sometimes NO sleep) at night was just not enough. I would wake up, almost in tears and just feel that I was now on this awful cycle of needing the sleep, but just knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get it!
It got worse each day and it seemed no matter what I tried, it just wouldnt work. I even resorted to going to the doctors to try and get some hardcore sleeping pills! He said no, luckily because I will admit, years ago, back when I was about 25 I became addicted to sleeping pills. So to be that desperate to ask for them now, was a big sign I really needed help. And for those that know me well, you will know I normally detest pharmaceuticals!
I tried taking regular doses of melatonin, which sometimes worked but I never had proper deep and restful sleep. Id sometimes wake up at 2 or 4am and wake right up, not being able to fall back to sleep again. Then I started taking 5htp (this can also help people sleep) but for me it didn’t work often enough and I also got into a bit of trouble where I took 5htp also with some L-Tryptophan which was very scary because they both pretty much do the same thing, so in other words, I took too much seratonin enhancing things. I had rapid heart beats and fear of dying for a few hours. Pretty scary to say the least.
Then I went to the local health food shop and took some herbal sleep liquid that had things like lavender, skull cap, lime flowers, and valerian. Again, this worked sometimes but not often enough to sustain a deep sleep. It had alcohol in it like most herbal liquids/tinctures do and I knew that that counteracted what it was supposed to do.
It got so bad that one night I burst into tears and screamed and shouted at my husband that I needed help and that if I didnt get it, I was probably going to need to go away to a clinic somewhere! Yep, I almost had a breakdown.
Luckily, the very next day, a good friend of mine, Mark Eccles (aka one of the nicest people in the whole world) , from the fab Mr Elixir website, reached out to me and said, ‘Anna I have something that is truly amazing I want to send you. They are herbal sleeping pills that really work’ Mark had been using them himself for a few years and sent me some to try.
I wasn’t expecting them to work much because I had tried so many things, I just thought I was doomed, that I was going to always have crappy nights sleep.
Mark sent me some tablets called Great Nights Sleep 5. He showed me their website (Mark doesn’t actually sell them) and I must say I got very excited after reading the testimonials. But at the same time I almost couldn’t believe that they were going to be that good for me. This is what is in them:
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin B-12
I won’t go into what all of these ingredients do individually because that would make this a super long post, but if you are familiar with sleep enhancing ingredients and necessary nutrients, minerals and vitamins you might already be impressed like I was.
Mark sent me 10 tablets and since I have been taking them (I have now purchased my own bottles) I know this stuff REALLY really works. I’m blown away by it (and wish I could sell it because I would sell bucket loads of it!) to be honest, I just didn’t think anything natural would really help me sleep quicker, longer and deeper without it making me groggy the next day.
I take 2 of these tablets each night, just before bed. Then I get into bed and try and do some deep breathing in particular the 4-7-8 breathing technique is excellent at helping you fall asleep quicker. You basically breathe in for 4 seconds, then hold for 7, then release over 8 breathes. Its hard to do, if you aren’t used to doing deep breathing but wow it does seem to help, a lot. But these tablets oh my, are incredible. I will be continuing to buy Great Nights Sleep 5 as they are just brilliant. I’m so grateful to Mark, for telling me about these and now I am so pleased to be able to tell you about them. If you have sleeping difficulties, then you must try these out. I know of nothing else that is better! Im waking up so much more refreshed (I still don’t race out of bed in mornings but I do feel pretty good as opposed to so drained and heavy) and having much longer sleep and falling asleep so much quicker. I would take about 2-3 hours on an average night to fall asleep.
Now you probably wont read anything new here but I do think they are important. If you want a good nights sleep you have to do the following things to help your chances of the Great Nights Sleep 5 tablets really working. I have noticed if I don’t do these things, they aren’t a guarantee you will have a long nights sleep. You will sleep yes, but its not as good as it can be.
1. Keep body calm during the day.
If you have had lots of stress or suffer with anxiety it means you probably feel like your heart/mind is always on the ‘go’ which means that at night, you won’t be able to relax easily. To counteract this, I personally also take some another herbal supplement, to keep my body calmer during the day. I like taking Now Food Super Cortisol Support with Relora these have herbs such as relora (proven to reduce stress and cortisol levels) and ashwaganda that can help your body relax. It also contains other ingredients such as magnesium (another ingredient known for helping induce sleep) reishi mushroom (super amazing mushroom that has a whole list of health benefits) Rhodiola, Vit C, Holy Basil plus a few more things. Even before I started taking Great Nights Sleep 5, I felt better just from taking this Now Food supplement. It’s really excellent.
2. Avoid watching TV late at night.
I know, this is a no brainer really. It’s not good to watch TV just before going to bed (although I know, the best TV is usually on at night!) especially stuff that has lots of fast screen changes and bright lights. It really makes a difference if you don’t watch tv before bed.
3. Avoid screen time on phone and computers.
Again, you aren’t hearing anything new here, we all now know that staring at our phones and iPads before bad is so not good for the brain to relax. If like me, your only time to read is at night, then its hard to implement this rule. But, what I do is get in bed after my daughter has gone to sleep and read until about 9.30. Then I turn off my screens, take my Great Nights Sleep 5 and do my 4-7-8 breathing technique and soon I am asleep. You can also download the amazing flux program (available for desk top computers, laptops, iPads and phones (is also an app) which makes your screen darker at certain times so you don’t have the bright white screen affecting your eyes and brain. This is brilliant!
4. Avoid going to places that are stimulating (pubs, loud places)
If insomnia is a hard core problem for you like it can be for me, you will know that going to places at night that have lots of noise and stimulation, can really keep your brain wired for longer. So try and limit nights out to just the weekends so if you don’t sleep that easily at least you can try and sleep in a bit!
5. Do something relaxing.
Now, I haven’t exactly done this regularly but doing some suitable yoga poses that help induce sleep can really help. Same with deep breathing exercises they can really help too. You can also try and have a warm bath with lavender.
6 Be Careful what you drink and eat.
Pay attention to what you drink and eat before bed, so don’t have anything with caffeine in it, I even stay away from black tea. It keeps me up if I drink it after 2pm. Same with hot Chocolate and of course Caffeine. I don’t even have raw chocolate after about 2pm. And I don’t like having alcohol either. I find it keeps me awake, not induces sleep. Drink loads of water instead and try some herbal teas.
Well these are my tips for getting a better nights sleep. I cannot recommend highly enough to try the Great Nights Sleep 5, they are an absolute miracle to me and I am grateful I heard about them. They are also quite inexpensive and the company give you free bottles when you order.
If you do try them out, just pay attention to other things you are taking, you do not want anything to interact with the 5htp thats in them. So don’t take anything else that stimulates seratonin.
If you test them out, Id love to hear what they have done for you!
Check out Great Nights Sleep 5 here: