My struggle with sleep

Sleep.  Like 164 million Americans, I struggle with sleep.  There are many different types of sleep disorders.  There is insomnia, sleep walking, night terrors, sleep apnea and narcolepsy to name a few.  For me, my problem is falling asleep.  I will be exhausted, barely able to keep my eyes open yet I can’t drift off to sleep.  There is nothing more frustrating than being so unbelievably tired and not falling asleep.  I lay there, thinking about how now I only have a few hours before I have to be up, and this certainly does not help. 

This wasn’t always the case.  I used to never have a problem sleeping.  I would be tired, I would get into bed, and I’d be asleep within 10-20 minutes.  Things changed about 3 years ago.  I started a new job that was way different than I was used to.  It was a job that required new skills that I was not that comfortable with.  I started getting extremely stressed out about it.  I would have to make playlists that were perfectly timed out and I needed to know the exact beats of the songs.  This is something that was extremely challenging for me, I don’t have a musical ear.  In order for me to feel confident, I had to listen to my playlist over and over again throughout the day.  Sometimes up to 15 times a day.  While I was walking to the grocery store, while I was cooking dinner or folding laundry, I was always practicing. 

I started to realize that at night when I was trying to sleep I kept counting the beats and going over the songs in my head.  My body would basically be sleeping but my brain wouldn’t turn off.  I was so anxious about knowing my playlist that I was keeping me up at night.  I started implementing rules.  I wouldn’t listen past 5PM and I would write the stuff in my head down at night before I went to sleep.  None of this helped. 

I started to turn to other methods.  I bought over the counter drugs like Zquil, Unisom and Advil PM.  I tried sleepy tea, melatonin, valerian root, and many other herbal remedies.  Something would work for a few days but then it would stop and the frustration continued.  There were nights I would get out of bed and just down some Nyquil because I knew it would knock me out.  None of this was healthy and I had to find a different answer. 

Ultimately I decided that this job was not good for me.  It was causing me to not sleep and have other problems with stress so I had to let it go.

I thought this would be the answer, that I would magically be able to sleep again but that was not the case.  I would still hear songs in my head at night while trying to go to sleep.  I had conditioned myself to be anxious about bedtime and the troubles continued. 

Another significant thing happened in my life around this same time, I got engaged.  My life became stressful in a completely different way.  I was wedding planning and had moved in with my fiancé, the first time I had ever lived with a significant other.  These were huge changes in my life that brought their own stress and anxiety.

The problem continued and I became desperate for a solution.  I had asked my doctors about it and the advice they gave was never anything that helped.  They said if you can’t fall asleep get out of bed, go sit in a different room and read for 10 minutes and then try again.  I took up meditation which helped a little but did not alleviate the problem. 

A year and a half later and my wedding day came and went and I was praying that would be the solution, that my sleep would be fine.  On our mini-moon to Hawaii I slept amazing.  I was so exhausted from the last few weeks of planning and the emotions of the day that I could barely stay awake past 9PM.  I was so excited that I was finally over my sleep issues.  I came home and the issues came back.

Something that I had been hearing about and was curious about was CBD oil.  CBD oil is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant (yes like Marijuana).  Unlike THC, CBD has no high associated with it.  This compound has calming, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic effects.  CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality. CBD may increase over all sleep amounts, help with insomnia and reduce axiety. I decided I wanted to try this out.  I would seriously have tried anything at this point.  I did a ton of research online about different CBD oil brands.  Some were extremely expensive and some were extremely cheap.  I learned that it was important to check the extraction process, the cost, if there is 3rd party testing, and the lab results.  From many different reviews, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to try the Pure Kana CBD oil.  It was in the mid-range of cost and all the other criteria had scored well.  I ordered myself a bottle and anxiously waited.

The day I got it I was so excited to try it out!  The first two nights I used it, I slept amazing.  I fell right to sleep and woke up about 8 hours later, I was ecstatic.  Then the third night came and I found myself having trouble.

The conclusion is that CBD oil has not gotten rid of my sleep issues, but it has significantly improved them.  There are way less nights now that I have trouble falling asleep.  I still take it in combination with other supplements but on its own, it is always the thing that helps the most.  I know that my sleep issues are mostly mental and I need to work on my own anxiety and stress to completely rid the problem.  CBD oil has been a great help and has provided me with many nights of much needed rest.  It is going to continue to be my go to method for sleep going forward!