“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘this is going to take more than one night.” (insert sigh)
Most of us would agree, having a good night’s sleep is necessary to health and healing. For some folks though, a short series of sleepless nights becomes a chronic state of sleeplessness.
In a past newsletter, I wrote about the ‘voices in our head’. If you missed it you can check it out here. Sometimes these same voices in our wakeful hours are the same voices in our nighttime hours. Maybe we have kept the daytime voices at bay during the daylight hours by being excessively busy only to have them all shouting for attention when we are in bed, exhausted from the busy-ness of the day.
Post-Partum or Will this Baby EVER Sleep?
Flashback to my early years with my oldest son when he was just 6 months old.
He had just started to sleep through the night at 4 months old. Then came his second set of vaccines, and his first cold. The doctors were ‘kind’ enough to reassure me that this was ‘normal’. (To this day I still am of the opinion this was not normal but that is for another newsletter). There were one or two nights tops when he actually slept soundly through the night. Then after the normal cold, we both spiraled into an insanity of wakeful nights and tears. Me sitting on the basement steps, my husband trying to coax me back to bed, me refusing and wailing as loudly and tearfully as my son ‘There’s no point in going back to bed! He’s just going to wake up again!’ Lack of sleep and all sense of reality and being reasonable and sensible forgotten as I sank deeper into depression. We, babe and I, were on some kind of descent into hell.
The voices in my head at that time ran along the lines of, ‘What is wrong with him? What is wrong with me? Am I the only mother awake with a crying baby? What did other mothers do?’
This is what lack of sleep can do. In fact, part of the self-help process that summer was to visit a nun for spiritual direction who said to me, the first time I visited her (and slept for half the day at the retreat center) ‘Sleep deprivation is a form of torture in some parts of the world.’
During this time of insomnia I was this poster girl, counting on my fingers and silently in my brain over and over again:
I can laugh about it now but at the time, I was as inconsolable as my baby son. I wish I had known about homeopathy!
Caring for Others
Insomnia and lack of sleep can happen for other reasons too. Pain, caring for someone sick or infirm, business losses, worries/anxieties, menopause, frequent urination and sometimes even food/drink choices we make during the day or early evening. Some things we can change immediately, like diet with satisfying results…we sleep again! Other things are harder to change, like caring for a sick child, parent or partner. Even menopause can be a challenge although homeopathy can be a great support and gently get you back to an even keen and sweet sleep.
Pain is a tough one too. Those suffering with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and inflammation anywhere in the body can set up a habit of sleepless nights. Becoming anxious about our lack of sleep can even push us deeper into the world of insomnia…quite a vicious cycle!
What to Do?
One of the measures of a well-prescribed homeopathic remedy is that the person can sleep again. For the body to heal, we need our sleep. This is why your homeopath will often, on your follow up ask about your energy level and your quality of sleep. Depending on how sick you have been with pain or illness, how long you have been caring for someone frail or how long you have been without sleep, may determine how quickly you will see results.
In the meantime, there are some other supports that you can put in place. Such an irony that at the time you most need rest, a break, respite from cares and worries, is the time you become most resistant to asking for and receiving help. But maybe that is just my issue. I don’t think I am alone though.
Ask for help if you are in a situation where you are trying to do everything all by yourself. Reach out. Seeing a sister at the retreat centre was the best thing I ever did. Then I booked in with a psychologist as well. All helpful.
Book an appointment with your homeopath. There are 98 homeopathic remedies listed in our books for rush/flow of thoughts with sleeplessness. There are remedies that cover loss of sleep from business worries/failure (Bryonia, Cocculus are just two), ailments from night-watching or caring for others (Cocculus), Sleeplessness from long standing grief or loss (Nat mur, Ignatia). Your homeopath will find the best remedy for your situation.
Maybe even book an appointment with your doctor to rule out any physical cause for your sleepless nights. You can always refuse or accept a prescription for sleep medications but I would urge you to make an informed decision about the side effects (a disaster for me…used sleeping pills for 1 week)
Look for over-the-counter homeopathic combination formulas, which could help in the short haul. They might help, they won’t hurt but if you find you are taking them for a long stretches, you will need a consult with a homeopath who can individualize a remedy for you.
Here are some products that Renewal Homeopathy and Wellness sells:
Pascoflair: Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a sleep aid in cases of restlessness or insomnia due to mental stress.
Pasconal: Homeopathic remedy for sleep disturbances, physical and mental exhaustion, nervousness and restlessness.
Yours in health and healing and a sleep filled with peace,