My personal journey with insomnia.
The feeling of being tired but unable to fall asleep is a stressful feeling that I know pretty well. This is a feeling of needing rest, needing a way to let go, the feeling of your energy leaving your body every second of the day. Not being able to focus on what you are doing, not having the energy to do the things you want to do, accompanied with headaches and dizziness. Insomnia feels like you are suffocating with a plastic bag over your head, not allowing you to breathe or rest. This is my journey of insomnia.
How light or dark should my room be?
Throughout my research on how to improve my sleeping habits, I noticed that a lot of information focuses on lighting, about how a person needs to have a dark environment to be able to fall asleep, and how light can affect a person’s sleeping cycle. Contrary to expectations, when one is truly tired, I happened to notice that in my case, light doesn’t change the outcome of the quality of my sleep. People can be in the darkest room, but still be unable to sleep, while others can sleep while the sun is hitting them straight on the face.
Everyone is different, and as time goes by, sleeping habits change. I used to love to take a nap at 4–5 pm because the sun used to warm my body and I would feel comfortable. I would wake up at 6 pm when the sun did not feel as warm, feeling refreshed and ready to keep doing whatever I needed to do. Now, I’m unable to do so because I would disrupt my sleeping schedule and this would cause me to be unable to rest well later at night.
What about the temperature?
Usually, for a person to be able to fall asleep, they prefer the temperature to be cold. In all the information that I researched, I found that a person is more likely to sleep better in a cold environment than a warm one. Some blogs even mentioned that nightmares could be a result of sleeping in a warm environment. When it comes to temperature, I would say that you should experiment on your own. Don't listen to what others say about it. Some might be able to sleep in a cold room and feel hot, others could sleep in a warm room and feel cold. As body types are different, the optimal temperature for sleep changes for each individual. I try to keep my room warm but not hot, which allows me to not feel cold but also fall asleep without feeling cold or warm. Find what works best for you because it is you who will be sleeping, not others.
An important issue of sleep is the use of the right tools for a better rest. The more comfortable you are in your bed, the easier it will be to fall asleep, but it also means the increase of difficulty in the long run when you are unable to fall asleep. A person needs to find the right type of pillows, the right type of mattress, and comfortable bedsheets to make the ultimate bed for the best rest possible. While this will help you make the best tool to fall asleep in comfort, other tools such as melatonin gummies, sleeping drops, drowsy sleep medication, and exercise will help you get tired and ready to sleep.
It’s an experiment
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep. While others find it easier to fall asleep, insomniacs have to tackle sleep as another job. Maintaining punctual bedtimes, experimenting to see what works or not, and analyzing the results that would increase the efficiency of sleep. What worked so far for me was the consistent warm room, letting go of anything that worries me before bedtime, and a little exercise before going to bed to exhaust my body. Those tactics have increased the frequency of days when I fall asleep. I will not guarantee they will work for you too, but I would recommend for you to experiment and find out what will help you fall asleep.
|Ayavitl Acalli Gonzalez Navarro, who goes by Acalli, was born in Mexico and moved with his family to Singapore when he was 12. He is currently a student and International Peer Mentor at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.|
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