My Painting “Insomnia” is of the back of my office.
I saw a post on FB yesterday from a friend of one of my daughters who had admitted that he felt he was becoming an insomniac. My heart bled for this young man who works a great job, is a wonderful human being and who has always been there through my daughter’s ups and downs in life. He is truly one of her best friends.
But it got me thinking back how when I was the mother of four kids and worked a job and had to take care of a house and needed more sleep than I EVER got… That was when I was an insomniac. And I can tell you that The Walking Dead was around way before the Zombie Apocalypse was popular!
Between the ages of 27 and 42 I swear I never slept.
I would read a book, get drowsy, brush my teeth, did the regular bathroom stuff, never drank caffeine after 5 p.m. and would hit the sack at 11 p.m. I would start to drift off and then, all of a sudden, would wake up as if someone had shot me full of adrenaline. Then I would start to feel like you did when you get out of a swimming pool and you started to dry off. You know…. Like when all the little hairs on your body start to dry out and stand up and it feels like little ants are crawling here and there on you! So I would scratch here and there and this would seem to never cease. Of course my husband was fast asleep a Nano-second after he hit the pillow. (Refer to my blog about that a few blogs ago.) This scratching thing would go on for hours until I was so extremely exhausted that my skull felt hollow. I was pretty difficult to describe these feelings to anyone. Out of frustration I would get up, walk the 23 stairs to the first floor in the dark and sit with the TV on without any other lights. I would never ever turn on the lights for fear of waking someone up. About 5:00 a.m. I would crawl back upstairs, get into bed, and collapse into sleep, only to have the alarm go off at 6:30!
Four kids to get ready for school and I had a walloping 1.5 hours under my belt!
And this went on for years.
I was good at hiding the black rings under my eyes with makeup and literally kept going by drinking a lot of caffeine coffee.
Since I worked as an art director in the days when we actually sat at a drafting board, my back was always a mess from spending hours leaning over it. I regularly went to a chiropractor that would help with what we called “drafting board back,” and on one particular day there just happened to be a naturopathic doc in the office. We discussed my symptoms with the insomnia and he told me that I was classically deficient in Magnesium and gave me a bottle to try. What he didn’t tell me was how much of it I should take. So after a few weeks of taking what was described on the label and nothing was happening, I abandoned this notion as quack medicine and continued to be miserable.
A few years later, I realized that I had to lose some weight and went on the Atkins Diet. (Yes, I lost weight and got kidney stones from that!) But there was one paragraph in the Atkins book that caught my eye. It was about Magnesium. It basically described my crazy symptoms and said the same thing the naturopath said except they explained how to use it.
You see, you have to start with 100 mg for a few nights and you add 100 mg every night until you sleep! It wasn’t until I took 1000 mg of the stuff that I found it worked! As a matter of fact, it worked like a miracle! Here was this cheap, readily available mineral that could be bought at any grocery store, that made me drop off into la-la land just by eating it!
Now mind you… 1000 mg of Magnesium would through any normal person into dysentery! So if you are an insomniac like I was and you want to try this, up the dosage gradually. When I finally finished with the menopause thing I didn’t have to take it any more. But I thought sharing this with some of you younger moms who might be suffering from the hell of insomnia might just help.
Good night all…..ZZZZZZZZ!