As I wrote my last post I wondered what other people do to help them sleep at night. For so long, since Kevin died actually (11 months ago), I have been on sleeping pills. Having a hot toddy and nodding off to sleep naturally (sort of) was kind of refreshing, not to have to take something chemical to make my mind clear when I go to bed.
I figure there are a few obvious ways to get ready to head off into slumber. For me, it doesn’t matter what I’ve tried, I find sleep elusive at the end of the day. Consequently I have been using sleeping pills literally since the beginning of April 2015, when I saw the doctor and she basically told me I looked awful. I hadn’t slept more than three or four hours a night, and prefaced my sleep with a good long bout of crying. In my defense, it does take a toll – the grief and the lack of sleep, so yes, I looked terrible. I still have dark circles under my eyes, I honestly think they are permanent now.
Enter the sleeping pill, take one and half an hour later I was asleep. Trying to get off of them is not easy. I have tried. I substituted a nice hot bath, followed by some meditation, some relaxing music – didn’t work. Tried using the Tibetan singing bowls to calm and relax me, it did while I was in that state of mind, but when my head hit the pillow the thoughts came back, the sadness. I tried working out before I went to bed, exercising to get to the point of exhaustion. I was exhausted, sure, but my mind still whirled. It always comes back to the sleeping pills. I love them, and I hate them.
Kevin would always say that sleep was overrated; the bags under his eyes were a testimony to the fact that he didn’t sleep very much. Me, I always needed my sleep, and I still do. I just don’t like the fact that I have to use a chemical inducement to enter into sleep. It can’t be good for the body. I suspect that having a shot of alcohol right before bed isn’t the answer either.
Fact is, for most things there are no answers, there’s just what works. For me, for you, for her, for him. Whatever works – within reason of course – and in moderation – of course. This is where I miss Kevin most, he’d toss reason out the window and believed ‘excess is best’, do it until you don’t want to do it anymore. For someone like me it was like living on the edge. Now that he’s gone I am firmly grounded in the middle.