by Lauren Brown
During my teenage years, I suffered incessantly with insomnia, most nights having little or no sleep. I’d often wake up to a friend banging impatiently on my front door, due to my absence from our 8AM bus stop meet. My lack of sleep seriously affected me. My appearance, results and general enthusiasm were inadequate and unacceptable. I’d plunge out of bed and be ready in 9 minutes, submitting myself to the horrified glances from all the 10/10s in my year. My energy levels were worryingly low and I often found it tough to concentrate during the most crucial school years.
Unlike most people who are out for the count as soon as their head hits the pillow, my mind would swirl with all kinds of thoughts. Should I have eaten those 3 slices of cake? What deodorant would stop my excessive sweating? Was my foundation too orange (still an issue I clearly haven’t resolved), and whether my nonexistent relationship was worth continuing. When I was in school I used to overthink every situation, every comment, every look. I would toss and turn for hours just praying that my mind would be clear and I could fall asleep. But we all know stressing about something only makes it worse. One night I remember doing an all-nighter for no apparent reason. I hadn’t been out drinking, nor had I been with friends, still I lay awake tormenting myself. I got up at 4 am and had a bath and slowly slowly slowly got ready. I was shattered that day and fell asleep a good three times on my desk.
After finally seeking medical help, I’ve really focused on the importance of sleep. Now I understand why people suffering from insomnia may choose to take medication such as 2mg etizolam, in the hopes of finally getting the right amount of sleep and be able to function day to day. It can be a lot for anyone to have to deal with, especially when there are solutions out there that can help you improve this.
My doctor told me about something called ‘Sleep Hygiene’ and over the years I’ve finally learned to have a decent night’s sleep again. For some people though, there may be a deeper underlying issue such as anxiety. Some say cannabidiol may alleviate anxiety, which is why it helps with insomnia. Depending on which state you are in, you may be eligible for medical marijuana to treat your insomnia. You will need a medical marijuana card in order to get a prescription. You could try googling something like “how to get a medical marijuana card in illinois” to find out if you are eligible. Of course, though, a doctor should always be your first line of information. They can discuss many things about the drug, including alternate forms it can take. You can Read more here for a basic understanding. In the meantime, here are some important tips and tricks if you’re wide awake when you hit the hay.
1. Only go to bed when you’re tired.
Now I know this sounds obvious but even if it’s late and you think you should be fast asleep, if you’re not tired, you’re less likely to relax and your mind will still be swimming with thoughts.
Create a good setting.
Your bedroom is your safe haven. Make it pleasant and comfortable. You know what they say ‘tidy room, tidy mind. Maybe light a candle to help you relax, obviously try not to burn the house down.
3. No. Social. Media.
In our day and age it’s common for us youngsters to mindlessly scroll on every social media tool available. We don’t want to feel like we’re missing out before the end of the day but this needs to stop. Read a book before bed, or try some meditation. It will help clear your mind of traffic and not obsess over people on social media.
4. Eliminate Sugar!
Now this is the hardest task for me. Usually I can’t go a day without chocolate but if you feel like it’s a must, try not to have it before bed time. Sugar before bed will spike your blood sugar and you will crash before you even wake up, tiring the digestive system. Now that banana and yoghurt is much more appealing than chocolate!
5. Deep breathing and meditation!
Concentrate on counting to 4 and inhaling really deeply with each long second. Try and block out all thoughts and concentrate on sounds. What can you hear, sirens, birds, your mum ranting? Whatever it is just listen intently and calmly, without reacting.
I know for some of you, it’s the last thing you want to day after a long day at work, but you must know the positive effects of exercise by now! Let’s face it, you never come out of the gym feeling annoyed do you? That’s right, you feel like a champion. Sometimes it’s just difficult to carry yourself there but get in there and release those endorphins!
7. And last but not least: Regulate your Body Clock
Let’s be honest this rule isn’t going to be followed by anyone on the weekend, but if you do find yourself getting in from a boozy night out at silly o’clock, try not to spend the following day rippled with a hangover and sleeping well into the afternoon. Put on Netflix instead and sleep when it’s dark!