It is amazing to me how much I take sleep for granted, that is until I can’t seem to get any. Growing up I always had a hard time going to sleep. As soon as I would lay down my mind would start working overtime. Usually not about anything important either, just random stuff that kept me awake. Most nights it would take me an hour or so to fall asleep, sometimes two hours if I was really lucky. However, I could fall asleep in a car no problem. My husband and I drove the Alcan 15 times in 5 years, going back and forth between Alaska and Utah. He always joked that it took me at least 10 times to actually see it all because I had such a hard time staying awake while we were traveling.
Then I had kids. I don’t know if it was a hormone change or just busy all day with kids, but I was tired all the time. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out. If my kids woke me up in the night, as soon as the issue was dealt with, whether feeding or changing diapers, or scary dreams, I would lay back down and be out almost instantly. That is how I have been for the last 20 years. It was super nice! My oldest daughter turned 20 this January, and funny enough, the insomnia, or whatever makes my mind race when I try to sleep, is back, almost 20 years to the day. Really weird timing.
When I was growing up, and all the way up till the past two years it has never been a problem. All those years I have been able to sleep in until at least 7:00. On rare occasion having to wake up earlier than that and actually stay awake. The past year and a half I have had to wake up at 5:30 during the school year to teach an early morning Seminary class. I believe that for most people the solution is to go to bed earlier. That was my solution as well, and it worked great up until this January. My new routine is: go to bed at 9:30, lay in bed, as still as possible until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning (assuming that at least my body will rest), then fall asleep for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours, get up and go teach. At least the was the first week of being back at school. Remember how I sleep in cars and imagine my issue getting home from Seminary! I haven’t crashed yet, but boy am I tired by the time I get home.
I do not like taking medication for extended periods of time, so I have been resistant in taking something like Tylenol PM even though it says its non-habit forming, I still worry. After praying about a solution and being not only tired, but somewhat discouraged, I had a thought, some inspiration, to drink some Camomile tea. I don’t drink green or black tea because of my religion, but herbal tea is ok to drink. I have just never found any that didn’t taste like grass and dirt so have never really like tea. But I decided to try it. Camomile tea still tastes like grass and dirt to me, but with a little bit of honey and lemon juice it’s not too bad. But more importantly, it has helped immensely. I still don’t fall asleep right away, but now I do fall asleep by around 11:00. It is amazing how much of a difference 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night makes in my ability to function the next day.
I am grateful for change, and the opportunity it is for me to learn about my body. I am also super grateful for sleep! I wrote recently about Injury, and how easy it is to take abilities for granted until we lose that ability. This past month, sleep has been the thing I have been able to really appreciate again for the first time in 20 years. I am also grateful for the inspiration of a solution that I feel comfortable with, and so grateful that I have a Heavenly Father who is in the details of my life, to care about me enough to inspire me on something that could seem so trivial in the whole grand scheme of things. Do you have trouble sleeping? What are some of the solutions you have come up with?