My Severe Sleeping Problems Forced Me to Do Something Drastic


Pillow and BlanketsI love my bed. I do. But over the last couple months we've had a serious love-hate relationship. Between my finances, my personal life, and a very unwelcomed four-legged visitor in our apartment (Effin' New York City) -- I've had difficult time sleeping through the night, to say the least.

There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to sleep when you simply cannot. In all honesty -- if you approached me a few days ago I wouldn't have been able to tell you the last time I went through an entire evening without waking up. And not just for a few minutes, either. For an hour, at least. Sometimes two. Sometimes even longer. Laying there, tossing and turning. ANGRY. Eyes closed. Open. Closed. Open. Tear-filled. Furious for allowing these anxieties to disrupt my sleeping pattern.

Until two nights ago.

Before two nights ago, I had tried everything I could without resorting to medicine. Counting sheep (where are these sheep supposed to come from, by the way?) and thinking of all of the good things that happened to me that day -- for starters. I tried picking up a book and reading, which only made me realize how much I DON'T read anymore and my drastic need for new literature on my IKEA bookshelf. Drinking milk. Putting on an eye mask. Washing my face with warm water. Taking a full shower at 3 a.m.

I had become a mad woman. Angry at the world, unsure if I actually slept between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., confused in the haziness of my sheets and subconscious. It was affecting how I interacted with people everywhere. My coworkers, most difficultly -- the people I love, and heck I even felt bad for my Starbucks barista. I got to a point where I was so consumed with the thought of having a sleeping problem that THAT worsened my sleeping problem.

So I finally did it. I bought a sleep aid.

I opted for my local pharmacy's generic of ZzZQuil simply because it was cheaper. As much as my mom the nurse tells me it's non-habit forming (It's not, it's only 50mg of diphenhydramine) it made me concerned. A girlfriend of mine who took the sleep aid said that after doing so, she would sleep for 12 hours and wake up groggy. But at that point, I felt like I just had nothing to lose anymore.

That was Wednesday night. I woke up Thursday morning elated. I woke up Thursday morning for the first time in at least a month sleeping for the entire night. Have my other problems gone away? Well, we've called in an exterminator! And now, I can focus my well-rested energy on trying to make the others better by being a better me. How long will I take the pills? Who knows. I do know this -- my barista smiled seeing me this morning.

Have you ever delt with a sleeping problem? Did it make you as frustrated as me?


Image via michale/ Flickr


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linzemae linzemae

Try melatonin. Its a natural sleep aid

lalab... lalaboosh

I've tried OTC sleep aids, they keep me up. :/ Melatonin and cannabis are all that work for me, and even then I wake up a lot.

nonmember avatar morgani

frequently throughout the year i suffer from bouts of insomnia. nothing works for me, i've tried everything. it sucks.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

I used to take SimplySleep. Until the night I stayed awake through it- Hell On Earth!!! That anxious/crazed feeling of not being able to sleep magnified x100. I will NEVER again try a sleep aid. Never. I'll stay up 24-36 hours in a row, crash and eventually I'm back on track.

Side note. I HATE these new ads. I can't see what I'm typing past the "hi, want a boyfriend" pop up and can't close it!!!! Ugh. Hope auto correct didn't butcher this one on me!!!

nonmember avatar Kate

I can NEVER fall asleep and have been taking a generic sleep aid for years. Its just the diphenhydramine, no tylenol or ibuprofen in it. It works awesome for me and I never feel groggy in the morning. Its different for everyone...

Amy Sykes

I take Sleep Advance Gummies. They're all natural, no drugs. I've had problems sleeping for years due to anxiety.

alexa... alexandra8705

All ZZZquil is, is benadryl,  Seriously.  Read the active ingredients on the back of the label.  Save money and buy store brand bendadryl.  That's why it is non habit forrming.


MrsRo... MrsRoberts413

I have idiopathic insomnia, which is early-chilhood onset, severe inability to sleep.  Essentially, my brain lacks the ability to shut itself off into sleep mode.  If you've ever seen a documentary or news story about toddlers who only sleep for 2-3 hours a day: that's me!  Until I was 13 and they could legally medicate me, I lived on 0-3 hours of sleep a night...seriously.  My worst stint was 6 days on absolute zero in high school, while I was doing 2-a-day swim practices, choir, and AP courses.  Now, I have been on Ambien for 6 years (yes, you read that right), and I do not have adverse reactions or grow tolerant to it because my body genuinely lacks the ability to fall asleep on its own.  My father and his mother both have the condition as well.  All three of us share the opinion that it's not physical exhaustion that kills, it's the psychological exhaustion from constantly being awake.  Fortunately, with proper medication and strict routine, all of us are able to live, sleep, and function normally!  Some people with this condition are not so fortunate.

nonmember avatar sarah grace

I have the opposite condition of MrsRoberts. I have idiopathic hypersomnia, meaning I need more sleep than the average young adult, and my brain has a hard time regulating my sleep. But I have it easier than some people with my disorder: I don't sleep as deeply, and, with proper discipline, I thrive on 10 hours of sleep. But psychiatric issues also plague me and keep me from sleeping. Sooo yeah. Not fun.

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