Sleep Remedies, Part I

I always had huge issues with sleep, so I want to share my experiences with sleep remedies. When I was an undergrad, falling asleep became so difficult that I decided to experiment with over-the-counter sleep medication. Two attempts at taking it cured me of the desire ever to try again.

The first time I took half a sleeping pill and got into bed, my sister was sitting in my room, chatting me with me. Suddenly, I felt that I was losing control of my limbs. “Get out of the room!” I told my sister. “I’m about to fall asleep!”

“What’s happening?” she asked.

“I took a pill! I’m about to drop off. Get out!” I yelled. What I was experiencing was so weird that I didn’t want my sister to witness it.

“Can you not do this any more?” the poor child asked me on the next day. “You really scared me.”

I decided to stop but then my insomnia got really bad. I had two midterms one day, and the night before I couldn’t get to sleep no matter what I tried. So I took another pill. It didn’t work. I took one more, but it didn’t work either. I gave up and spent the night reading.

On the next morning, I was on the bus, going to school when the pills kicked in. That was a nightmare, people. During the midterms, I could barely hold the pen in my hand. It kept falling out of my fingers. I found it extremely hard to control my limbs.

After those experiences, I never tried another sleeping pill.

(To be continued. . .)

24 thoughts on “Sleep Remedies, Part I

  1. I tried a couple of sleeping pills – the first time I tried one, I just lay awake all night, my heart beating like I’d had too much caffeine, but unable to really make myself move or be fully concious. They work well for my mom, but she has to be *in* bed before taking them, they hit her so hard and so quickly. So, if someone does want to try them, make sure you try them some night where it doesn’t matter if it backfires, tuck yourself into bed first, and don’t do it when you’re home alone.


    1. “So, if someone does want to try them, make sure you try them some night where it doesn’t matter if it backfires, tuck yourself into bed first, and don’t do it when you’re home alone.”

      – I think this sounds like nobody should take them at all.


  2. I used to work the swing shift (6 pm – 2 am) and when I went back to working a day job I had a really hard time switching back to a “normal” sleep schedule. So my doctor prescribed Lunesta for me. It worked fairly well. I only needed it for a week and I was back to normal.


  3. I don’t have sleep issues and never take these pills but am sure that if one cut out caffeine and sugar, and did yoga and exercised a lot, and had a really comfortable and peaceful place to sleep, one would not have sleep issues.

    However, I did take a sleeping pill once and I wish I knew what it was. I trusted the person who gave it to me and later (when I still remembered the name) was told it was actually a heavy tranquilizer. It was allegedly for back pain which I had out of tension, the night before the worst of my PhD exams.

    So I took it on the theory that at least I’d be rested. Woke up feeling and looking fantastic. Wrote brilliant exam, felt great, etc. I recommend this pill very highly.


    1. I did not mean to promote drugs, so I want to apologize for that. That was just my experience with sever insomnia. Now I just meditate and exercise if I’m having trouble :). Sleepytime Tea is really great as well.


    2. Yes, and I am teasing you. I see you don’t know how to take drugs. I am from the 70s so I do.

      Rule 1: If it is from a pharmaceutical company, it is strong and must be closely watched.
      Rule 2: If it is over the counter, it is weak directed to a broad spectrum. You may be tempted to take more than you should to get the effect you want. Resist.
      Rule 3: If it doesn’t feel right, quit. Now.
      Rule 4: If the first hit does not appear to work, do not take a second. It could all kick in later. You do not want to OD.

      Right now I am on coffee, an Excedrin, several vitamins and some cod liver oil. The Excedrin is because I have a headache from drinking too much coffee yesterday and as a result, staying up too late. See what I mean?


      1. Cod liver oil rules. It is especially good for high blood pressure sufferers. I need to force myself to take it.

        Excedrin’s commercials are always very disturbing. You have people caressing the pill bottle in them in very erotic ways.


  4. “Excedrin’s commercials are always very disturbing. You have people caressing the pill bottle in them in very erotic ways.”

    I don’t think I’ve seen one since the 60s or 70s when they were comedic! There were all these ridiculous situations represented and the voice would say, this is Excedrin headache #159 (or some other number – there were hundreds of situations in which Excedrin was the supposed remedy – but for me it’s, to make up for going to bed too late – said headache is pretty much gone now)!


  5. Self hypnosis works well for some people, and I highly recommend it. I used to have terrible insomnia as a preteen and I just happened to stumble upon this method.

    My way of entering self hypnosis is to imagine myself in a favorite story, and imagine the action in the story, all the way through to the end. The first month or so, sometimes I wouldn’t fall asleep at all…but by the second month, all I had to do was start at the beginning of the story and I would be asleep. Still works, 40 years later (the story I most often choose to imagine has lots of action and is exciting; my love of this particular story keeps out any intrusive anxiety or other random thoughts). I can now fall asleep anywhere, any time, and in any position as long as I am sleepy, and it takes about 5 minutes.

    There are other ways to self hypnotize; this is merely the one that works for me. You do have to work at it until you get it, which is probably why imagining myself in a story worked so well.


  6. You know what I do when I can’t sleep?
    I watch documentaries on maritime biology. Because nothing looks and sounds as boring as stupid fish in their natural environment. Also, all the soft colors, the wavy movements and the pulsing light are really relaxing.


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