I was first prescribed sleeping pills about a year ago, along side with a lot of other drugs. But the sleeping pills were definitely the most “fun” ones. I never used to have any trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep for that matter. I was the master of falling off to sleep anywhere, anytime. In the car, on the plane, on the floor, at the beach… the list could go on and on. Once I even fell asleep while sitting on the stairs at my house back in Estonia.
The beginning of my sleeping pill journey was quite un-eventful, I would take my pill at a reasonable time and take my ass to bed. But it didn’t take me long until I figured out that if you take your sleeping pill or take 1 or 2 too many and force yourself to stay awake you get blessed with some wicked hallucinations, sometimes funny, sometimes scary. But I didn’t really mind, I found all of this rather amusing and fun. Seeing and hearing things that weren’t really there.
And some of my best pieces of writing were done while being drugged out of my mind. But aside from the fact that I milked my sleeping pills to the best of my ability and squeezed out some pretty decent pieces of writing. There were obviously more cons than pros to taking sleeping pills. Some of the side effects of being headaches, nausea, sleep waking and amnesia (memory loss).
Being recently taken off the sleeping pills, I have obviously relapsed into being a bigger insomniac than ever before. But apparently this is normal and temporary (hopefully)! I’ve also tried natural medications and herbal extracts, such as valerian root extract. But I haven’t had much luck with those, possibly because I’ve been on some hardcore sleeping pills before that, so the herbal stuff really doesn’t cut it for me.
So rather than trying to find another substance, I’m being left to my own devices to figure out how to get a decent amount of sleep. Anyway here are some of my tips or my “routine” for getting a better good night’s sleep.
THE RIGHT PLAYLIST
While I don’t like to listen to music while actually falling asleep, I find it quite relaxing to listen to some soothing tunes before bed. Acoustic or classical music is what usually works best for me. I’ve also become quite fond of the Sleep to Dream playlist on Spotify.
DIM THE LIGHTS
What has helped me is to turn off all the lights except one, an hour or 2 before my actual bed time. Usually for me that light tends to be either the bedside table light or my fairy lights, anything small and with a limited amount of light will do as long most of your room stays dim.
A new rule that I’ve made for myself and that I’m trying so incredibly hard to follow is the no electronics for an hour before bedtime rule. And if I’m really honest, it’s harder to follow than it should be. First world problems I guess…
So what do I do for an hour before bed when I cut myself off all electronics? Well usually clear my head, make a cup of tea, burn some candles, organise stuff, write, journal, draw or read. And by read I mean that I read a REAL BOOK, that old thing made out of paper, with actual covers and pages. Not one of those kindle or e-reader bullshit things.