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Insomnia

Posted Apr 23 2009 5:25pm
(n):an inability to obtain sufficient sleep, especially when chronic; difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness.

I've never been a very good sleeper, just ask my mother. I started out as a colicky baby, but once the floor-pacing ended, my sleeping never normalized. By middle school, I learned to function off of a half night of sleep. By high school, I could function with three to four hours over the course of three to four days. By college, I would go weeks without sleep.

I wish I could say that my poor sleep habits were connected to my excellent academic habits and constant involvement in extracurriculars. While I was a busy student and I took my studies seriously, the inability to sleep is just that -- an inability to sleep. I know the my brain running wild is part of the problem. Sometimes, it just goes overactive and I can't shut it off. But a lot of times, it's pretty blank and still sleep works in a cyclical pattern for me -- weeks of sleep followed by weeks where sleep eludes me.

I've tried everything I know to try. I've tried sleeping pills, over-the-counter and prescription. If they work, I'm far too groggy the day after which means I'm just as semi-functional. More often, they just don't work. I can't find something that both puts me to sleep and lets me stay asleep. In fact, most pills actually act as a stimulant rather than a relaxant, so I'm more likely to spend the night awake. I've tried to create a schedule that encourages sleep -- to bed the same time each night, up the same time in the morning, no naps, a routine that includes "relaxing" activities like exercise and showers. No dice; the cyclical pattern works the same.

The same way sleeping pills wake me up, I know that caffeine calms me (I have some very confused pathways going on). It helps me fall asleep, but it doesn't help me stay that way. Two hours later, I'm right back up. Plus, I don't generally drink caffeine, and the need to sleep seems like a poor reason to make it a habit. I do have melatonin in my medicine cabinet, I've never tried it, but I want to. The effect of the supplement hasn't been fully tested in pregnant women, though. And some early studies that I've read have indicated it may pose a problem. So, at least during the 2ww, it certainly isn't something I can try.

I'm out of ideas and so is my doctor. And I haven't had more than 3 hours of sleep in a night since Tuesday. I really just want to sleep. Six hours: that's all I ask for. I just need this period of insomnia to be over. On the upside, I guess, I haven't had a migraine in weeks.

-- Mya
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