Bulldozer remedy for health #4 is exercise and rest. Today I want to focus on the rest portion of this remedy. Rest includes relaxation and sleep. So more specifically, I will focus on the sleep portion of rest.
When I decided to take back my health, I realized that my sleep had been a problem for a long time. I was told at some point in my illness that I had severe sleep apnea, and they put me on a C-pap machine. My sleep improved on the machine, but I still had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I wanted to fix these problems, as good rest is essential to health. Once I had weaned off of the pharmaceutical drugs, began exercising, and losing weight, my rest pattern improved some. Exercising on a regular basis naturally improves rest and sleep at night. Also, I was no longer waking up screaming in pain like I did on the pharmaceutical drugs. I still needed the C-pap though, as without it I would wake myself up snoring or gasping for air. I also still had trouble falling asleep. I didn’t want to take any sleep pharmaceuticals, as I did not feel that the benefit to taking them outweighed the risk.
I decided to investigate use of melatonin to help me fall asleep. Melatonin is a natural hormone in the body, made by our body’s pineal gland. This gland is located in the middle of the brain. The pineal gland is active in darkness and that is when melatonin is produced. I read that as we get older, the body often does not produce enough at night to help us fall asleep. So it made sense to me that taking some might help me. The fact that it naturally occurs in the body was attractive to me. When I investigated what amount to use, I realized it is considered an “dietary supplement”. This means it is not regulated by the FDA, and so they don’t really give a suggested dosage for one to take. I started with 1 mg., and settled on 2.5 mgs., through trial and error. I started taking it about an hour and a half before bed. This allowed me to drift off to sleep most of the time, an hour or two after I took it. People have told me that they tried melatonin and it caused some nightmares. I will say that when I tried going up to 3 mg, I did have some bad dreams, so I cut it back a little. Everyone’s body is different, and this may or may not work for you. You have to go through your own trial and error process if you choose to try melatonin.
In addition to the melatonin, I realized I had to make some other changes. I realized that I had to set up my environment and prepare myself for sleep. Even if I didn’t feel tired, I started setting the stage for sleep. I would get all ready, shut the lights, and lie in bed trying to clear my mind. I began to use meditations to bring my body and mind into a state of rest. Sometimes I would sit while doing this, sometimes I would lie on the bed and do it. If I chose to meditate sitting up, I would be sure to lie down immediately afterward to capitalize on the relaxed body and mind clearing. These things helped significantly. It kind of reminded me of when I was a child, and my mother would respond to my protests about going to bed like this, “Wendy, you need to rest. If you can’t fall asleep, just lie there and let your body rest”. It was good advice. Sometimes it is a matter of retraining ourselves to better habits, like this one of getting enough rest.
The last component for me that really helped with sleep especially if I was in pain or anxious, is cannabis. I used, and still use, cannabis for pain and inflammation, and to treat the symptoms of anxiety and mild depression. There are certain strains that carry the CBD’s to help with these things, and I keep them on hand especially for nights that I have pain or anxiety that wasn’t ameliorated by my usual cannabis and herbal usage.
It is vitally important to one’s health, to obtain enough rest on a regular basis. If you feel you are not obtaining adequate rest, do some investigating into what might work for you. For me it is regular exercise, melatonin, meditation, and cannabis. I am still using the C-pap, but hope to participate in a new sleep study soon to see if I can come off of it. It doesn’t seem like I need it anymore, but I want to be sure that is true.
There are many options out there to choose from to improve sleep. They are worth investigating fully, especially before you consider pharmaceutical intervention. Pharmaceutical interventions for sleep often come with numerous worrisome side effects. If you choose to go this route despite the numerous other options available, please read all labels and ask your Doctor questions about side effects and drug interactions. As always, we recommend that pharmaceutical use should come with an analysis first as to whether the benefit to you outweighs the risk.
Take back your health America!
Wendy Love Edge
Use Meditation to relax you and start to prepare for sleep.
Here is a meditation from our soundcloud, and some meditation tips from Note Louis:
Bulldozer Health Inc. does not dispense medical advice.