It’s funny, in the quest for sleep, for our children, that we make so much effort to provide them with safe, comfortable, quiet sleep spaces, and we do what we can, where possible to make sleep happen.
Yes, another post about sleep, but not for children, me, again.
As you may have read on the blog before, I have also struggled with sleep, and trying to get my mind and body into better habits. I currently count 3-5 hours of sleep as a good night, I am aiming to get to 7-8 hours. My own sleep habits have become so bad, and I have spent so long looking after Small Boy, now Known as Little Man, and his sleep issues, that my own sleep has become poor, and I am chronically exhausted and sometimes pretty grumpy. So my mission, since he has been sleeping better, has been to get myself back into better sleep patterns, and I have been experimenting with various things to achieve this.
I cannot take most sleep inducing medications, as they have what is known as the paradoxical effect on me, and DON’T induce sleep, in fact quite the opposite. I also don’t like the effect they have on me, in terms of feeling sleepy or dopey the next day, and some also can increase the anxiety I struggle with from time to time.
So, my quest for sleep has gone down the alternative route and I have learned something somewhat revelational. As I struggle with some mild sensory issues, similar to Little Man’s, there are certain things that over stimulate me, which means sleep is even less likely to happen, and some things that “soothe” me, helping me to settle, relax and eventually fall asleep. I have always found background noise, be it the TV, radio or even music, helpful, almost like my brain fixes on that, and I can relax. This is not conducive to a happy relationship though, as LSH does not like (understandably) the TV, radio or low level music on, in the bedroom. I know all the sleep experts say “quiet, dark room” is best for sleep, but for me, that doesn’t work. I need background noise, it seems.
I looked at getting a White Noise machine, but they are a bit pricey, and I wasn’t totally convinced it was the answer, so I downloaded an app on my trusty iPhone, and part of my Christmas present this year was a Blue tooth portable speaker and set of headphones, so I can listen to the white noise, as I settle in bed, without worrying about strangling myself….(My mother always used to tell me off for using my walk-man and headphones in bed – I think I have a paranoid fear now!)
Now, be warned, here is a less than glamorous photo of me in my going to bed head gear. No laughing. It took me some time to get a selfie that I thought wouldn’t entirely break the internet. No, it’s not at all a sexy look, but to be honest, LSH knows how sleep deprived I have been, I think he truly wouldn’t mind if I wore a pineapple on my head and a wet suit, to bed, if it meant I was getting better sleep…. 😉
So, the night-time routine, is bath, melatonin, read for a few minutes, then I slap on my eye mask, set up the white noise on the headphones, which runs for 2 hours, then I usually nod off. If I wake up, I repeat the process (if it’s four hours post my last melatonin dose, I take another 1/2 dose, this is based on medical advice) and I usually manage to go back to sleep, although this bit takes a bit longer. So far, amazingly, the white noise/melatonin combination, seem to be working. I am slowly getting more sleep. Neither are addictive in the sense that physically they are something my body relies on, but in the long term, I may have to look at trying to manage without them. But, for now, it’s working, I am feeling more human (which is helping with the other issue I am struggling with, which I will be blogging about later in the week, as a good side effect) and things are looking a bit brighter, in the Mad House. Who knew, that the noise that the TV makes when all the programmes are finished (I don’t think that happens any more, does it?) would be a solution to my sleep issues.
I think White Noise is truly Magic, so I am sharing it over on the Oliver’s Mad House, for her fabulous Magic Moments link up.