Dealing with Insomnia: The Best Sleeping Medication Isn’t in a Pill

Inside: Many of us take sleep medication without knowing the long-term effects on our bodies! We can find the best sleep medication and many times it isn’t in a pill, but lifestyle changes that promote sleep.

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Sleep Problems?

I never knew what it felt to have insomnia. I have always been able to sleep, and pretty much I could sleep wherever I was.

All that changed a few years ago.

I’m not sure if it was adrenal fatigue or hormonal issues after baby number five, but I found myself not able to sleep for three full days.

Day or night I couldn’t drop into dreamland. I actually begged my husband to take me into my doctor.

I left with a prescription and knew without a doubt my zzz’s were on their way.

Once I had that pill in the palm of my hand, I knew nothing would come in the way of sleeping. My anxiety about falling asleep melted away because this pill worked so well (I found myself before not trusting God would help me overcome my sleep issues).

That was until I noticed my bladder seizing and painful which finally was linked to the sleeping medication.

My fear returned of not sleeping again, but it was quickly stopped because I did find sleep.

What is a Sleeping Pill?

Before I talk more about this subject, I want to address that I am not a doctor. You might deal with a health condition that requires a prescription for sleep medications.

I am not knocking the meds. We each have to weigh the risk versus benefits for all things we take for our bodies.

Not sleeping has many risks involved with it also. So we need to decide for our own specific situations what we’d like to use and what positives and negatives come from our decisions.

The definition of a sleeping medication can be either prescription or over-the-counter medication that acts like a hypnotic sedative which relaxes, promotes and can extend sleep.

The truth of the matter is 48% of Americans have occasional insomnia.

Around 22% have nightly or many nights a week of little to no sleep.

As a nation, we aren’t sleeping the best.

However, did you know sleep meds as a whole were intended as a short-term solution?

What Happened to Short-Term?

So many people I know are on medications for sleep for the long-term.

Their bodies don’t even know how to fall asleep nor stay asleep without meds on board.

Did you know that sleep meds were originally only to be used 7-10 days?

According to the National Foundation for Sleep, “the goal being to take a sleep aid for the shortest duration that still provides you with the proper sleep benefits.”

So many times, people build a tolerance to the meds and find themselves not sleeping again.

However, the original reason for the sleep issue was never uncovered, and now they find themselves in a major bind not getting resolution even from medication.

Side Effects of Sleep Medications

The side effects of all sleep medications are huge (taken from the Cleveland Clinic):

  • Oversleeping
  • Being too drowsy to drive safely the next morning
  • Being too drowsy to work or perform other necessary functions the next morning
  • With some prescription sleeping pills, doing potentially dangerous activities such as eating, walking, leaving your house, having sex, making phone calls, carrying on conversations, or driving while you are not fully awake. You may not even be aware of these activities as you are doing them in your sleep
  • Allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Facial swelling (angioedema)
  • Falling down
  • Increases risk of cancer (BMJ Open 2012 Study)
  • Tolerance

The Goal of Getting to Sleep

Whenever we become unable to sleep, the goal should be to get us back sleeping as God intended in the ideal state without medication if possible.

Sometimes, we have to change our habits in order to promote sleep. It takes intention and work to overcome the challenge of not sleeping to again finding sleeping.

The Best Sleeping Medication (it isn’t a pill)

My issues with sleep (according to testing I’ve had) could be attributed to adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, and anxiety.

Some of the things I’ve done which have helped me regain 8 hours a night without sleep medications or tossing and turning at night:

  • CBT for Insomnia which is where we change our thoughts about sleep and the lack of sleep we are getting.
  • Exercising daily to release stress and increase overall body wellness.
  • Staying up until I notice physical signs of tiredness in my body versus time on the clock.
  • Not watching T.V. in my bed or in the hour before I go to sleep.
  • Magnesium Supplements
  • Sleep supplements (I no longer need these now that I’m sleeping regularly again): Young Living Sleepessence and Immupro
  • Essential Oils diffused and rubbed on my feet such as RutaVaLa, Cedarwood, Peace & Calming, Lavender, Vetiver, and Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil sprayed on my feet.

Talking With Your Doctor

If you’re currently on sleep medication, might I urge you to talk with your doctor and even look up the side effects/long-term side effects of being on these drugs. Have the talk with your doctor before going off of the medication.

They aren’t meant to be used long-term.

You can find sleep again without using medication.

That’s the first battle you need to overcome.

God blessed you with the ability to sleep and you can sleep without the meds, it might take a little while to get back into the habit without meds but you become a savvy sleeper again!

Here’s a link to read more about my story and even how I use Young Living Essential Oils.

To read the other posts in this sleep series!

Why You Need To Make Sleep More Of A Priority

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and DreamsWhy We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and DreamsWhy We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and DreamsYou'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent TimesYou’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent TimesYou'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent TimesAlaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask, Blindfold, Super Smooth Eye Mask (One Strap)Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask, Blindfold, Super Smooth Eye Mask (One Strap)Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask, Blindfold, Super Smooth Eye Mask (One Strap)Bedsure Fleece Blanket Throw Size Navy Lightweight Super Soft Cozy Luxury Bed Blanket MicrofiberBedsure Fleece Blanket Throw Size Navy Lightweight Super Soft Cozy Luxury Bed Blanket MicrofiberBedsure Fleece Blanket Throw Size Navy Lightweight Super Soft Cozy Luxury Bed Blanket MicrofiberURPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser,Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home Office BabyURPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser,Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home Office BabyURPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser,Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home Office Baby

 

14 thoughts on “Dealing with Insomnia: The Best Sleeping Medication Isn’t in a Pill

  1. Unfortunately, because of a chronic pain disorder and insomnia for decades, I’ve been on medicine for years. I didn’t sleep. I WANT to have hope without it, but really don’t. This has some great ideas that I will revisit 🙂

  2. I’ve struggled with insomnia for most of my life, but especially since having a stroke five years ago. I have read numerous books and my sleep hygiene is great; still wrestle with insomnia over half my nights. Sometimes it lasts for weeks at a time. I’m currently working with a cbt therapist; praying something clicks.

  3. My chronic illness and hormonal changes changed my ability to sleep (a common problem for women). Insomnia became frequent. So I began taking Benadryl at night. Like you, it became habit forming. Gradually, I had to reduce it.

    So I began adding the natural remedies you mention: Magnesium and Melatonin. I try not to drink any caffeine after 2:00 p.m, and that is rarely. Since I need a daily nap because of my autoimmune disease, I set a timer. That nap is only 30 minutes.

    I rise when my body wakes me at around 5 a.m., and I try to have the same bedtime each night. We dim the lights and our iPhone screens in the evening. All of that usually allows me to sleep.

    Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world without electricity, where the sun goes down, and it’s pitch black until the morning. Our devices and artificial light confuse our circadian rhythms. Of course, we also have our private battles with anxiety and worry, too. The quest for good sleep may be a lifelong effort, the human struggle.

  4. This is great! Typically, every time I have trouble sleeping it’s because I haven’t been taking very good care of myself. I have not taken enough time to stop and listen to my body & prioritize taking care of it. I’m reminded that God has entrusted our bodies to us- to serve us, so that we can serve & enjoy Him & others.

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