My life as an Insomniac
For as long as I can remember I have had trouble falling asleep. In fact, my mother used to tell folks that when I was a baby she would come in to check on me before going to bed and my eyes would be open. She never turned the light on so I was just lying there in the dark, awake in my crib.
As I grew older I didn’t much think about it. I would go to bed and go to sleep. Just that easy. But getting married and having responsibilities must have awakened those very early sleep patterns. I just don’t get sleepy at bedtime. In fact I have stayed awake, reading a book until the wee hours and was still not sleepy.
I have tried several different types of sleep aids including prescriptions, over the counter pills, and even liquor. For many years I had a small drink of a favorite alcohol, such as rum, on going to bed. That seemed to work best.
Lately I discussed this with my doctor who gave me a sleep aid, clonazepam. This is not really a sleeping pill. It is supposed to relax you and make you drowsy. Falling asleep is still up to me. I took this pill for several years and found that it caused excess saliva which created much distress. It was embarrassing in public and at night made my pillows wet.
Finally my doctor gave me a sample pill called Roserem. This, too, is not a sleeping pill as such, but a relaxing aid. However I experienced waking up many times all during the night. It can also cause a very upsetting action in which you get out of bed without being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. I had this happen. The morning after I took the pill I came into my den to log on to my computer. I glanced to the left of my desk and my extension phone was missing. I searched high and low without finding it and was expecting to have to purchase a new one. Later in the day I took a waste basket outside to empty it and saw my phone on the pavement. I haven’t taken a second Roserem pill since.
I am weaning myself away from the clonazepam because I hate the drooling. I purchased an over the counter sleep aid, Unisom, to help me get to sleep. It doesn’t work any better, but with a small drink of rum I go bye-bye. However, you would not believe the dreams! They cover every imaginable activity I have ever experienced as well as some I’ve never encountered. And they go on all night long. I wake up a couple of times during the night but usually can go back to sleep most of the time. One night last week I woke at 2am and was not able to get back to sleep. Finally, at 5am I got up and stayed up the rest of the day. Didn’t even get a nap.
Several years ago I made a short trip to Illinois to visit my grandson and his girl friend. My daughter was with me and we spent the 2 nights we were there in the friend’s guest bedroom. I had conferred with my former doctor before the trip and he gave me a prescription for 2 pills of Ambien. I took one as I crawled into bed and within 5 minutes I was out. I had no dreams and no sensation of time having passed when I woke. It was wonderful. When I tried to get a full prescription for the Ambien I was not able to. The company was having some problem with the drug and it wasn’t available. I still haven’t been able to get it.
I’m sure others have similar problems and hope that they have found help in some form. I would love to hear of success.