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1:00 AM

 

When I stopped the Ambien three weeks ago I took Tylenol PM to ease back into normal sleep.

When I stopped the Tylenol PM I slept on my own. I fell asleep well but I woke up regularly during the night.

Over the last week, the tables turned. I no longer fell asleep quickly but, excluding occasional pet disturbances, I slept well. The hours wasted away and so did my chances at a full night’s slumber.

I tried Lavender Epsom Salt baths, they calmed me down but didn’t lull me to sleep. I tried sleep sprays. I tried chamomile-infused hand creams. Nothing worked.

 

1:15 AM

 

I turn off half my lights one hour before I lay down. I lower the brightness and volume on my computer. I brush my teeth and complete my evening skincare routine half an hour before I lay down. I turn off my laptop and I read until I feel drowsy.

Drowsy but awake.

 

1:20 AM

 

I carry my stress in my jaw and clench it without realizing. I only notice when it feels sore. Years ago, I ground my teeth and tightened my jaw and neck. After years of practice, I broke the habit.

It is back.

I wake up in the middle of the night sore. I clench my jaw in my sleep? On top of not falling asleep, I am also not getting a good night’s rest.

I did not realize I was “stressed”. If I were to write down everything in my day I do not think I would come up with anything “stressful”. Things are going well right now, mundane, but well. Maybe that’s it? I don’t do mundane. I get bored quickly and look for a change!

Even as I write this post, I clench my jaw. I do not realize I am doing it so I cannot stop it. Even when I am aware and actively relax the muscles they bounce right back. This was a huge problem for me when I was a kid because it resulted in pain and other dental issues but I do not remember how to break this habit.

 

1:30 AM

 

I tried deep meditation and yoga before bed but all the bad thoughts I suppress, surface. I’ve tried laying there and hoping sleep comes to me. It turns into me checking the clock every hour and thinking “if I fall asleep now, I have X hours left to sleep…”

 

1:45 AM

 

Medications do not work neither do natural remedies like warm milk. I am hesitant to re-start Ambien because I experience weird side-effects with it (next day grogginess is not one, surprisingly!)

 

2:00 AM

 

What do you think: Is there something I have not tried that might help? Do you have any good stress-relievers you swear by?

 

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

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