HOW I LEARNT TO SLEEP AGAIN...
After 5 years of not sleeping well....
Hi there, lovely readers!
How are you this week? Managing to survive despite the awful weather? It might as well by Autumn, mightn’t it? But did you know that the seasons change, it can affect our sleep pattern?
Scientific research has shown that as the year leans into Autumn, sleep patterns can become unsettled and we don’t sleep as soundly as we did during the lighter, warmer months of summer.
Those of you who know me, will know that until recently I really struggled with my sleep. It started in the autumn of around 2018 when I started to wake earlier and earlier and was unable to get back to sleep.
A lot of this was hormone-related (menopause) and because I wasn’t aware that this could happen, I tried hundreds of other remedies to try and regain the sleep I had enjoyed most of my adult life.
But, not addressing the hormonal imbalance and trying to get my sleep pattern back quite early was the worst thing I could do. I know from my sleep research over many years, that sleep IS a routine that the brain needs to learn and embed, and any changes that stick around for a few weeks (or months) will override your existing sleep patterns and establish themselves as the new “normal”. So that is why it’s very difficult to change a bad sleep pattern once it’s set in.
So, this was me for not quite 5 years where I experienced all the downsides of bad sleep - tiredness, low mood, far more anxious than normal (I know - who thought bad sleep would affect your anxiety levels - but it does - massively!). And, because I wanted desperately to get back to where I was, I tried everything that crossed my radar to try and establish good sleep again.
I frantically searched online and in books for remedies, but because my bad sleep pattern had now become a locked-in habit, very little helped me. So I went on a journey over those years to try anything and everything. One of the problems was that because sleep patterns are learned habits, I had to give each remedy a good few weeks to see if they worked. Which meant the months and years rolled by without me finding my resolution….
BUT, that was until a few months ago where I brought in three things I hadn’t tried before to see if they helped. Feeling that yet again I would be wasting my time, from the first night, it helped! I’m not talking a massive sea-change (sleep doesn’t work like that) but I woke at my usual 3.00/3.30am and fell back to sleep for about an hour! Something I hadn’t done for years. Feeling it was just a blip, I used the same methods I’d employed over the following nights and very, very gradually I started to see improvements in my sleep. By around a month or two later, I was sleeping about 6 hours unbroken (I hadn’t done that in years) and, because of all the good quality sleep I was getting, I began to feel like my old self.
And almost 6 months later, I’m still sleeping well. Yes, I have the odd broken night - we all do and sleep experts will confirm that that is normal - but I don’t beat myself up and instead I look at what I did during the day/evening that might have thrown my sleep pattern off. In practically case, the following night I do my usual routine and wham, I’m back sleeping well
Now, being the writer that I am, and knowing that insomnia is a VERY common problem and how it impacts your life so dramatically, I’ve written an e-book about my story to better sleep - the remedies I tried, how they worked (most didn’t), and where I could find scientific evidence online, I’ve included that in the book. I’ve included a lot of what didn’t help me because we are all very physiologically different, what doesn’t work for one might work for another and vice versa.
You can download the book at my Etsy shop here:
I hope it helps. If you download a copy let me know what you think!
Wishing you loads and loads of nights of lovely, refreshing sleep :)
See you next issue