Chronic Talk

Guide to Restful Sleep

Recently my doctor’s have weaned me off of prednisone (steroids) and some of my other muscle strengthening drugs and treatments. As we all know, a slight change in anything can cause a catastrophic cascade of terrible side effects. One of my side effects has been insomnia. Insomnia is a condition in which a person has difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, ….

Another side effect that accompanied my insomnia was night time sweats. Night time sweats are these beautiful sessions of fever and chill a person experiences while sleeping at night. Usually, I wake up in a puddle of my own sweat and I am forced to take a cold shower to cool off.

Night time sweats have made it increasingly more difficult for me to fall and stay asleep now, more than ever. I follow the tips below to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Premedicate before bedtime

Take a natural supplement or herbal tea before bed. Melatonin in 5 or 10 mg is a perfect alternative to prescribed sleeping medications. Also, Chamomille or any “Sleepytime” tea that is taken 30-40 minutes prior to bedtime, will help you achieve a great night’s rest.

Yoga/ Meditation

I recently incorporated deep meditation and yoga exercises into my nightly routine. I search “Beginners nighttime yoga” on Youtube and follow the guided yoga instructions. To set the mood further, I like to turn down the lights and light a few candles in safe places around the room. You can also search “Guided deep meditation and breathing exercises” on Youtube to find helpful breathing exercises that calm the mind, body, and soul. I like to burn sage and utilize my crystal gemstones to focus my energy and promote relaxation.

No Liquids

This tip may sound childish, but it’s vital. An hour before bed fight the urge to consume large amounts of fluids. You’re only human, and eventually, in the middle of the night, your body will want relief. Getting up to walk to the restroom, finish the deed, and then hop back into bed ensures that you’re wide awake at the end of the ordeal. No liquids, no problem.

Hot Shower/ Bath

My favorite trick to get to sleep immediately when my head hits the pillow is to shower/bathe in Lavender- Chamomille baby body wash and lotion up with the matching Lavender and Chamomille baby lotion. Again, I know at first glance this may sound childish, but trust me if it works for a baby, it’s safe and will work for you. The lavender and chamomille enter the bloodstream quickly via your skin/pores. You will sleep like a baby.

If all else fails

Prescribed sleeping medications are a last resort for me. Currently, I have been prescribed a drug called Trazadone. I call them Tranquilizers, but they absolutely will knock you the hell out. I have nothing against sleeping pills (when used correctly and not abused). I’ve also had other sleeping medications while admitted for hospital stays called Ambien. If I plan on taking my sleeping med I always take after a meal and before I physically lay down. I have insomnia due to my medications, disease, and mental health (anxiety) issues. My doctor prescribed medication as my “last resort” to get some rest.

Here are all of the tricks I use to get truly restful sleep as a Spoonie. Tell me in the comment section some of yours!

-ASH Out

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