Over the past 15 years I have tried almost 70 different ‘solutions’ in a bid to get on top of my insomnia. Yes, you read that correctly.
Temazepam. Zopiclone. Zolpidem. Amitriptyline. Beta blockers. Antihistamines. Progesterone. I procured tramadol and oxycodone (opiate painkillers) from my beloved mum’s supplies.
Many pills didn’t work, some did. But I was scared to take drugs permanently, and every time I stopped I stayed awake.
Natural sleeping aids? Don’t get me started. From Bach Flower Remedies via magnesium, B vitamins, melatonin, ashwagandha, chamomile, lavender, passion flower, valerian, lemon balm, hops, poppy, skullcap and tart cherry juice to adaptogenic mushrooms, L-tryptophan, ferritin, CBD, 5-HTP, GABA and adrenal cortex extract, I ingested them all.
Sold on social media as ‘miracle capsules’ or ‘knock-out drops’ by people who have never been sleepless in their lives, some may benefit certain individuals and will support the nervous system.
But for serious insomniacs, they’re akin to treating a third-degree burn with paracetamol.
Non-ingestible remedies? Covered. Sleep masks, sprays, oils, blackout blinds, ear plugs, apps, endless gadgets, sleep pillows, mattress toppers, weighted blankets, hypnotherapy, brainwave therapy, sound therapy, LED therapy, running therapy — I’ve been there and done that.
I went to the world-famous Mayrlife health clinic in Austria, and succumbed to a strict gut health diet of 600 calories a day, enforced rest and a battery of bespoke doctor-prescribed treatments.
High-flyers revere the method as the ultimate way to surrender and relax, but I barely slept at all.
I even flew to the Caribbean to learn how to sleep through practising mindfulness, which was nice. But I still didn’t sleep . . .
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