I know more about sleep than any ordinary person should (anyone who doesn’t study it for a living of course). This may be due to the fact that I had frequent nightmares as a child leaving me to not want to go back to sleep. My parents would put on Cinderella for me on the old VCR we had which I suppose at that time wasn’t that old. In all seriousness, without my anxiety medicine it takes me at least a half-hour or so to get to sleep. An average person needs about only fourteen minutes to get to sleep. While on my medicine, however, it takes me even longer. I estimate it takes at least an hour for me to get to sleep.
Sometimes there are obvious factors as to why I’m having difficulty. One such factor is what I call “racing brain syndrome” (catchy no?) where my brain either has too much creative energy or too many worries going through it. Often I also seem to want to recount the day or even random events from my past. Sometimes it’s like my brain missed a memo from my tired body and the late time on the clock that I am supposed to be sleeping. I have read that people have written in a journal to help with this so they can get all the ideas out and finally have their brain rest. I’ve tried this before, especially if I have creative ideas, and it has helped a bit.
Sometimes the room is either too hot or too cold. I’m either curled up in a ball trying to warm myself up enough or I’m stretched out with my legs search for the cool places at the sides of my bed. I have read before that the best temperature for sleep is in the mid-sixties. Other physical factors can be aches and pains (often due to my scoliosis) but if this happens at least that can be quickly fixed by taking an Advil.
And before you ask, yes I have taken Benadryl and melatonin before for my issues getting to sleep. They don’t really help me much. One positive is how much I have learned about sleep because of my problems. And even though I still struggle sometimes, at least I know I have a lot of knowledge in my back pocket to try out if I need it.