The Simplest Solution To Sleep

After making my post about sleep, or the lack thereof, I've had a massive break through. I say massive... why don't I just tell you about it.

I have been averaging about 4 hours sleep, give or take, for a long time. I was surviving somehow. But enough was enough. When I went to the doctors I mentioned it, and for me to do that it had to be bad. I'm incredibly stubborn in all health issues and I'm likely to leave it until it's much more complicated than it needed to be. Anyway...

The first doctor suggested that I spend a week where I don't use an alarm. Wake up naturally and it might kick start my body into a better sleeping rhythm. So of course I tried that. I had a week off coming and figured it was worth a go.

It did nothing. I actually slept less that week than I had done for months.

Back to the doctors I went. The doctor had said if that didn't work then we'd try a week's worth of sleeping pills that would hopefully achieve some different results. But of course I didn't get to see the same doctor, "Doctor A Locum" seems to be the default for appointments, so when I went in I told the same story over again. She decided the best course was to have a month's supply that I would take every other night.

Now, when she signed the prescription she was keen to let it be known that sleeping pills wouldn't be a long term solution, and I can understand how that's a concern. The first night I took a pill I was really unsure how I was going to react. But when I woke up I felt amazing. At that point I could understand how people get addicted to them. I hadn't felt that good in a long time. Then day two happened. No sleeping pill. I felt worse than I had done for the entire time without sleep. I was tetchy, I was tired, my entire body was weary. At that point all I could think about was taking another pill before bed that evening.

Those first two days were really eye opening. That amazing feeling followed by the crash made me want another one. Night three and all the nights that followed were a massive disappointment though. I felt no difference. According to my FitBit my night's sleep was basically the same, the only physical change was that I was waking up less when I was restless.

By the end of the month the only sign that those pills had made any difference was the fact I wasn't yawning as much. I still felt exhausted. But I knew that there was no way I'd bother taking sleeping pills again.

There had to be a better answer.

I had tried the things I'd mentioned in my last post at some point or another, there had to be something I was missing. There was, and it was simple, and I couldn't believe that no one had mentioned it to me before.

A third of your day is spent in bed.

There's the simple point. Eight hours a day laying down trying to help your body recover. I went on a hunt for information.

Whenever you lay in one position for a long period of time, the pressure on the downward side of your body causes blood flow to be reduced. This will eventually lead to your nerves sending signals to your brain to tell it you should move to solve the problem.

I read a few things that said this and I stopped to think... quite a lot of the time when I was waking up it was because my arm or leg had gone numb.

The next day I swapped my memory foam mattress for the sprung mattress on my spare bed. (As a note, please don't attempt this on your own, that was possibly the worst decision I've made this year.) Since doing that I haven't woken up with a numb leg or arm. I may not be getting any more sleep, but when I'm turning over in the night I'm not actually waking up and staying awake. Same results as the sleeping pills, but without the side effects.

I thought more on this point though, I wondered how many other people suffer with this problem. Buying a mattress is next to impossible. But people are starting to realise this, I've seen more adverts on TV recently giving you the chance to test a mattress at home. In a shop you can sit on one and think "ooh this is comfy", you can lay on it briefly and get the whole body experience... but it's not a night's sleep is it?

Not everyone has the same luxury that I do in having a second bed to resort to. There are still options though. Ask a friend if you can sleep over (of course other things might cause sleep issues there), when you're staying in a hotel ask for details about the mattress if you have a good night's sleep... or just have a power nap in Ikea.

[If a new mattress is on your mind then there are a few places that I've seen advertising home trials that are worth bearing in mind... Eve offer a 100 night trial with free delivery and free return. Dormeo offer a 60 night comfort guarantee, but if you change your mind you are responsible for the return cost. Tempur offer a 100 night trial, this one also takes uplift charges off your refund if it's not suitable. Even uplift charges are worth the chance to get a good night's sleep.]

I'm hoping that at least some of this will help you with your sleep problems. I wish that someone had pointed out it might have been my mattress. The stress my body and mind have been through has been awful, and if I'd known about my mattress I could have done something about it months and months ago. There's probably a lesson somewhere along the way here... don't let it go on too long, and do your research, the answers are out there if you look hard enough.

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