a reply to: penroc3
I think it's good that you're making an effort to look into this so you can try to address it.
I'm going to lean towards The GUT on this one though, and that's just because of my personal experience.
The older I get, the more I realize everything effects my sleep. I've tried the gambit on sleep aids, and any time I take something, I do my best to
try natural first. Melatonin was highly recommended to me, and while it would help me fall asleep, it would invoke the most immersive and intense
dreams, and I would more often than not wake up more stressed than rested trying to separate what is real and what is not. I am a vivid dreamer as it
is, so anything that exacerbates that usually makes me feel less rested.
Unfortunately it seemed that alcohol by surface value was the only thing that helped me fall asleep and stay asleep. So about an hour or two before
bed I'd have a few night caps. After a while I noticed my sleep wasn't real, and I wasn't at 100%, even if I didn't catch a buzz before going to
I've experienced sleep paralysis, and it's truly one of the most terrifying things I've ever been through. But the explanation of what it is allowed
me to practice some introspection on why it was happening to me.
Sleep paralysis, from what I've gathered, is when you're in R.E.M. sleep. This sleep cycle is only supposed to happen in short duration about once an
hour. At this stage your mind dreams in real time, so to combat your body thinking it is real, your body paralyzes itself for that period of sleep. If
it fails, that's where you can see sleep walking, and if it fails to release paralysis and you wake in the middle, sleep paralysis.
I've rooted all my sleep problems down to two things, external substances (this isn't just drugs, even spicy food or dark chocolate can have a
noticeable, but not dire impact on my sleep if consumed shortly before slumber), and the big one, stress.
After learning all of this, I try to limit consumption of agitators a vast majority of my nights. I've also tried finding natural outlets for my
stress like being active, or challenging my mind. I've found the more I limit external agents, and address my stress in healthy ways, my sleeping
problems have subsided for the most part, and I feel incredibly rested.
The caveat of all this is we are all different, so there is nothing in this realm that is one size fits all... Except one thing from my reading. With
sleep, it only gets worse before it gets better when we try to change our habits and routines. After I changed my routine to something I deemed
healthier, I was waking up in the middle of the night every few hours, sometimes anxious and mind racing for about a week and a half.
Either way, best of luck my friend. I know how sleep can make us feel hostage in our own body and mind when it's not functioning properly. Keep an
open mind and if you decide to try something out, stick with it for a few weeks to give it a chance.