I told the Hubs last night that I just want to be over this whole not taking Ambien thing. I want to have this behind me.
I imagine this is a common feeling with a lot of people struggling with a dependency.
They just want to be on the other side of the problem, you know what I mean?
Thankfully, I married a sweet man. A good man. A loving and righteous man. And yes he snores and can leave his socks on the floor by the bed and yes, those things REALLY annoy me but I so appreciated his response.
He told me, “Mama, you’re doing it.”
And that blessed my tired soul.
Waking up in the morning with 6-7 hours of sleep free from Ambien is victorious. It’s like I battled some dark, evil dragon and won. But I don’t feel that I’ve got this all figured out yet.
Of my own strength, I’m vulnerable and weak so when I told my oldest OS what I was doing, I appreciated Nate’s full attention. At 22 years old, he has a life of his own and doesn’t always hear me and can be easily distracted. But this time, Nate sincerely listened to me. And he said this. “Mom, I’m really proud of you. That was nasty stuff.” Oh my, this matters to him. I want my family to be proud of me. (Lord, let my family be proud of me because I’m relying on you.)
So since I realize that I’m not the only one with sleep problems and I’m seeking to find natural, restful sleep, here are some things that might help. These are drug-free and healthy options. I’m dissecting the things I’m doing because I hope to encourage someone else. You can do it. Actually you can’t but God and you can. I’m an imperfect example of someone that’s moving forward, giving it all I got and letting Jesus fill in the rest.
I go to bed early, around 10:30. The later I go to sleep, the more I stress about how late it is and how I’ll never fall asleep. It becomes a vicious cycle of despair and fatigue. Hitting the sack earlier allows me some time to unwind.
I listen to my family’s advice. Wouldn’t you know that the Lord recently used a teenage kid to offer me sage counsel? It came from my middle OS Aaron who was positively insistent that I go to bed early. My ministry minded OS learned of my desire to rid myself of Ambien and he reasoned quite logically that if I went to bed early and it took me a while to go to sleep, at least I would probably sleep through the night and feel more rested. And you know what? That guy was right! If you are struggling in this area of life, what advice are those who love you most telling you? If it’s healthy advice, take it. If it’s stupid and will just lead you down another bad path, fuhgettaboutit.
I’m careful about what I put into my mind. Have you noticed (because I have) that there are some really terrible tv shows on late at night? One night while taking Ambien, I fell asleep on the floor with the tv on. When I awoke, I couldn’t believe what was on tv, it was something I never needed to know about or see. And btw, I wasn’t watching porn before I went to bed, thank you very much. But I am discerning about what goes into my system emotionally, physically, spiritually and nutritionally. I’m aiming to fall asleep PEACEFULLY and NATURALLY and this is an easy thing that makes a difference. I guard my mind and all of me, body and soul feel better.
So if you are trying to learn how to sleep, what are you putting into yourself throughout the day and especially just before going to bed? I have a very sensitive constitution. Things bother me easily. I avoid loud music, alcohol, illegal drugs, crazy stuff on tv, sexual content, graphic violence, disturbing images, intense music, books and internet sites especially before bed. It might work for you. Seriously, what have you got to lose besides getting another monkey off your back?
Don’t look at the clock. The Lord told me (and not like in a big, booming voice from heaven but actually deep within my spirit), He said, “Don’t look at the clock. It will thwart your progress. Trust me instead.” So when I have a late night trip to the restroom, I do not glance, not even for a second at the clock. Sure sometimes I’m tempted and I have looked before and God was right (as usual) it didn’t help me. Jesus does though. Don’t look at the clock.
I’d love to hear about any of your suggestions too. Freeing myself from this drug is a big deal and while I’m don’t feel that I can claim total victory, I’m making progress. Thanks for your encouragement and support. You bless me. Sweet dreams and I really mean that.
How about swimming a few laps? I know that if i have done some kind of exercise during the day, i fall asleep easier. : )
Great idea! I haven’t been to the pool and it’s been crossing my mind. Thanks for the suggestion!
I find exercise helps however once a week I still have a night where I just can’t sleep. I have the problem of too much on my mind, a friend told me to get up and write it down. I have to say it does help. Instead of continuously thinking about everything I need to do, I write it down and let it go until morning. Not sure if you have this problem or not, but if you do put a notebook by your bedside and write it down and let it go it might help.
I need to do that also. I found in the past when I’ve done that I can’t read my writing and it’s all crooked. Still a great idea so you feel like you’ve deposited the ideas/thoughts somewhere. Thanks for sharing!
A nice warm, relaxing bath in the evening helps me to relax and unwind. I sometimes get sleepy at 8 or 9 pm and I have learned to GO TO BED RIGHT THEN. I will sleep longer if I go to bed when I am sleepy. if I fight through it until 11 PM, I cannot fall asleep easily.
Oh yes, great suggestions! It’s so true too! Thanks for the great reminders!
I have this little trick that I do and it works for me. The only other person I have told about this is my husband, so you might try it and see if it works for you. The bible tells us to take control over our thoughts. so if your mind is full of all things that went on through the day and what you have to do tomorrow, then stop, take all your thoughts captive. Close your eyes, get a mental picture of ‘nothing’. what does nothing look like to you? Then repeat over in your mind the word nothing concentrating on the picture of nothing. I know it sounds really strange, but I came up with the idea after my mind just racing and racing, knowing that I needed to think of nothing……so, I did and basing the solution on the scripture of taking your thoughts captive! You do have to work at it, making sure not to let your mind wander. It absolutely works for me and you won’t know it worked until you wake up in the morning!!! I would surely be interested to know if it works for someone else other than me!
I love it! I’ve tried something similar but I really like your technique. It will take some concentration but it would give my brain something useful to do. Plus it’s great because it’s holy, natural and FREE! I really appreciate you sharing. There is hope! Nite nite!
I’m wondering if you’ve tried this technique yet, and did you have successful results?
What technique are you referring to? If it’s natural and safe, I’m interested!
The one I wrote in….right above this reply….from Denise!
I’ll try it tonight! I wish trying to sleep was calorie burning! Thanks for the reminder, it’s worth a try that’s for sure!
Something funny…someone once told me to pack into a ‘virtual’ suitcase all the things on my mind when my mind wouldn’t shut off in the middle of the night. It’s a great idea for someone who doesn’t obsess about fitting everything into a suitcase just so, not wanting to waste any space and making sure it’s all even placed…it started out as a great idea, anyway! 🙂
Thanks Karen! I might need more than one suitcase but I like the imagery! If my mind were a suitcase, I’m carrying wayyyy too much unnecessary items and I’ve definitely overpacked! 😉 I will give it a try and I appreciate the creative suggestion!
All of the above sound great but here are a few more thoughts: If you google Dr. Mercola – sleep you will find he talks about sleep hygiene. TV, computer, emit lots of blue light which can disrupt sleep. I have to cover my clock because it is by my head and way too bright. I use a product called myocalm PM because I find my stress leads to very tight muscles and so I don’t sleep well. Has your dr checked your Vit D, magnesium, etc levels? I can’t imagine what a challenge this must be. I’ll be reading and passing along info to my sister who takes that med. It worries me. Thanks so much for sharing!
Carol (WP Mom ’13)
Thanks Carol, great ideas! I’m sure I have low Vitamin D levels, I haven’t been in the sun at all but busy with life things. I appreciate your concern not only for me but also for your sister. It’s a challenge and a struggle but I’m learning that I can do this. Well actually I can’t but God and I can. I’ll check out that site too because I do believe in the sleep hygiene thing. If you have any more ideas, please share. There are a lot of sleepy people out there.
For me… with my restless leg syndrome… a hot bath and a bedtime ritual… doing the same thing every night in the same order at the same time. Soon, my body can know how to anticipate sleep.
So proud of you!
I have noticed that a ritual is important. I’m so eager to learn and claim victory over this. Thanks for the wonderful encouragement and ideas. ❤