Meditation: Calm, Deep Sleep Length: 20 minutes Where: In My Bed, Los Angeles How It Felt: So Relaxing
I’m really working on sleeping naturally, you guys. I am. I have ten months of sleep assistance to get out of my system. I don’t want to renew my Ambien prescription, which I’ve been using sparingly. I don’t mind taking natural substances when needed like melatonin or CBN or THC or any number of herbal remedies, but I don’t like relying on them at all. I’ve completely stopped taking Benadryl to help with sleep, since I learned it makes restless legs worse. (I experimented- it definitely does! Wish someone had told me that years ago- oops!)
I don’t ever mind taking something when I just need some help, but I don’t like to make it a lifestyle.
It’s possible I’m extra sensitive to this because my family has a history of addiction on both sides. I’ve always been huge on moderation of any substance- I don’t say “never” (ok, like never heroin, but you know what I mean!) but I try to keep myself honest if I feel I’m leaning on any substance too much. Even something like melatonin- just because something is natural doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting your normal brain or body functions.
I’m really hoping meditation is a solid tool on this journey away from The Great Manic Episode That Was 2020. Last night, it did put me to sleep. It did relax my legs. It was glorious.
At some point, I got up to pee with a dream still fresh in my mind. Ah- dreaming! Something you get to enjoy a lot more with natural sleep! I thought, yay, I’m sleeping! I’m doing it! I wonder how long I’ve been out?
A quick glance at the clock answered my question- somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour.
To skip to the end of the story, I ended up taking something to put me back to sleep. It worked, and I slept until my cat woke me with his incredibly high-pitched yowls. It wasn’t great sleep, but it was sleep.
One thing I subscribe to as a rule is that my mental health always has to come first. It comes before any job, any plans, any person even, because I’m not helpful to anyone if I’m a wreck mentally. Plus, it’s my job to take care of me. If I prioritize that, I can do so much more for so many, and I don’t transfer responsibility for my mental state to someone else.
Sleep is a huge part of that balance. If I don’t sleep, I risk serious manic episodes or bouts of depression. I discuss my Bipolar II in my other blog, The Crazy Actor, if you want to know more, but suffice it to say it’s been a journey, and I’m always learning. I feel the same way about my mental health issues as I stated above: I prefer to stay off meds if I can help it. I am much happier handling it naturally.
So- sleep is non-negotiable.
The loop: must sleep to balance mental health, must balance mental health to sleep. Sometimes, one end of that loop needs outside assistance.
I haven’t had any amazing breakthroughs here, nor have a discovered that meditation is the key that fixes everything. I have discovered it’s one tool in my belt that can help me gradually get to where I want to go. It puts me to sleep as well as melatonin seems to, and I plan to keep experimenting to see how else it can help. I’m certain meditating daily is working to combat stress, which is another piece of the puzzle.
So, this is part of my blogging journey. I’ll keep watching my sleep patterns and see how I do. It’s a work in progress like everything in life.
Striving for progress, not perfection. We do our best, and leave the rest.
And other Pinterest quotes. 🙂