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Sunday, August 10, 2014

confessions of an insomniac

I've always been a troubled sleeper. I get anxious about sleep, which of course leads to insomnia.

My insomnia was at its worst during my senior year in college until about a month before my wedding. Perhaps that was my subconscious trying to tell me something? Anyway, it finally improved when I gave into taking an antidepressant. Nearly two years of 2-3 hours of sleep a night ended as I finally slept like a normal person. It was pure heaven.

I've tried to get off the meds before--I make it three weeks then crack up. I've finally learned it just isn't worth the pain and that my brain chemistry needs a little help in order to function properly. I'm only on about a quarter of what is considered a therapeutic dose but it does the trick.

However, I am also on another med that helps me quiet my mind. It isn't an actual sleeping pill, but rather an antihistamine (sort of like Benadryl but I can't take Benadryl anymore because it makes me literally start vibrating). I was put on this med when pregnant with Pibs because of course the insomnia and anxiety around sleep reared its ugly head.

I've had very few sleepless nights since beginning this cocktail of meds. Truthfully, it has been delightful! However, I have been in a mild depression for about seven years now. My life started to unravel after Pibs was born and that is when it started. Then there was the divorce, which can make any person depressed.

Lately I've been realizing that I sleep WAY too much (this didn't suddenly start, I just suddenly realized it is a problem). I am always tired. My first thought upon waking is wondering when I can take a nap. After talking this over with my doctor recently, I realized that it is more about too many meds rather than depression. She asked if I would cut out the sleeping meds and I told her just the mere thought of that made me start panicking inside.

So I decided to cut my dose in half. That was a few weeks ago. I am still sleeping great but just at night now--far less napping in my life! I have more energy, my head feels clearer and I am getting stuff done. Is it possible that I have been suffering from medication grogginess rather than depression?

Makes me wonder what is possible now! The plan is to get off the med entirely. It still freaks me out though so we'll see. Not sure I can tolerate sleepless nights as a single mama!

Isn't it crazy that the solution to my energy crisis may have been in my hands this whole time?

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