Insomnia Essentials When You’re Literally Stuck in Bed


Over the last eight years I’ve developed a bad case of insomnia, and lately it’s worse because my arms are weaker and adjusting myself in bed is more difficult.  Definitely not fun. And when I get in bed, I’m there until someone comes in the morning to get me back out.

It all started because of a big move. I moved downtown where it’s inevitably louder on a daily basis. 30% of time there’s construction going on right outside your window, car alarms, and people yelling at one another on the sidewalk.  Quietness is definitely not an attribute to use when talking about my neighborhood.

I quickly discovered of course that getting solid interrupted sleep when you live in the city takes some getting used to, or if you’re like me, you never get used to it and find a few essential items help you fall asleep instead.  And I’m not talking about Ambien either.  While I still rarely get 8 hours of sleep, I can still get great sleep, but only if I have my must-haves.

If you’re suffering from insomnia and have a disability, check out my must-have items to help me fall asleep.

Silk eye mask

An eye mask is a huge must, but not all eye masks are created equal.  Fabric is key when choosing an eye mask. Silk eye masks are smooth and great for the skin because they won’t anger your pores.  Avoid terrycloth eye masks because they can be too itchy. Also, I sleep on my back every night because of limited mobility, and the one bonus of this position is that I can “wear” my eye mask by setting it on my face, nixing the strap  Having an eye mask strap on all night can give many people, including me, a wicked headache.

Ear plugs

Ear plugs are another must for beating insomnia. While some people like to hear white noise or even a television when trying to fall asleep, I like to hear absolutely nothing, and that means no sirens, no late night bar stranglers, nothing but perfect quietness.  My fingers are paralyzed however and the average pair of ear plugs won’t work for me. What I found on Amazon.com however was a pair of ear plugs made for swimming that have tiny quarter inch nubs on each end, making them perfect for grabbing with my thumb and forefinger; the two fingers I can still sort-of use.

Melatonin

This is a natural supplement, mimicking a chemical found in the brain that helps us feel sleepy.  About a year ago I bought a bottle of melatonin and have been taking it since.  I love how I can pop a pill that’s not a crazy drug and get sleepy. But please, be wary of how much you take each night.  3 to 5 mg is just enough. Try taking anything more and it may help you fall sleep, but you may develop some mouth sores in the process. Stick to the lower doses and see how your body responds.

Take your sleepy meds at night

Another smart thing you can do to make yourself tired is to take any medicines that you take on a daily basis that cause sleepiness right before going to bed.  This can be one of the best ways to get sleep without having to resort to stronger drugs.  I take 20 mg of Baclofen and 5 mg of Oxybutynin and I make sure I take them at night. Holy cow do these medicines help me get sleepy.

There you have it – how a quad falls asleep when battling insomnia, and I can’t forgot one more thing that helps me fall asleep: House Hunters International.  There’s something awesome about watching people move overseas into beautiful homes that makes me want to fall asleep and dream.

Do you experience insomnia?  How you fall asleep?

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