Sleep Hygiene Didn’t Work. For Ten Years.
I’m Sarah and I am a recovering insomniac, having battled with insomnia for about 10 years. It started not long after I had been diagnosed with a big cell tumour (benign) on my foot, and manifested as a single disturbed night’s sleep: waking at 3 or 4 in the morning and not being able to return to sleep. At the time, I was working in London in a stressful job, counting the calories and engaging in extreme forms of exercise to keep the weight down. Looking back, from the advantage point of knowing what I know now, the clues, as to what was causing the insomnia, were glaringly obvious.
Sleep Hygiene Didn’t Work
My insomnia started to get worse; I was going whole nights without sleeping (sometimes sequentially) and still managing to do a full day’s work. But then as a freelancer, being paid only when a day’s work was concluded, I pretty much had little choice but to go to work. Working or exercising to exhaustion, I thought, would be the cure, I was wrong. Diet then? Thinking sugar was the problem, I changed my diet cutting out carbs. I became a sleep hygiene ninja – lavender oil, warm baths, darkened rooms, blackout blinds, cool room, woollen bedding and a (very) expensive mattress – I tried them all. Meditation, mindful breathing, counting sheep, swapping spin classes for yoga asanas, homeopathy, hypnotherapy and counselling. Nothing worked. I would still be awake counting the chimes of my neighbour’s clock or waiting for the engine roar of the red-eye flight into the local airport (they finish at 2am and start at 4.30 am by the way). I dreaded going anywhere new: I didn’t sleep on holidays much either. I was miserable. No wonder sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.
So I turned to the doctor for help and was prescribed the usual sleeping tablets. Around about this time, newspapers were reporting that sleeping tablets were linked to dementia(Sophie can tell you why that is and why it’s not the tablet’s fault entirely) so I tried the herbal variety first. I soon switched to the full on chemical variety but could easily override them too. I was desperate.
A Diet Change Got Me Back to Sleep
And stuck. No one or no thing could help. I ran out of ideas. Something that was natural, that I could do easily until now (I once fell asleep inside a London rave club I was that good at sleeping), was now proving frustratingly and depressingly difficult. A move into our own house, a job-loss and the pressure of a mortgage later found me on the very edge of my wits’ end. And wide-awake. Still.
And then my health started to decline: eye problems, fibroids, persistent colds, unexplained lumps, rosacea, hair falling out, constipation, depression and anxiety. I arrived in Sophie’s consulting room, not for sleep, but because I was, quite simply, broken.
I chanced across Sophie by accident, and serendipitously, after over-hearing a conversation about her on a commuter train back from London. Our appointment, two weeks later, started with a coffee (I had had two hours’ sleep the night before) and her first words to me were ‘we need to get you sleeping before we can get you back to health’.
And she did.
Quite simply, Sophie and her herbal know-how and her medicinal background got me back to sleep. She had managed to do, very quickly, what I (and countless other remedies and medical doctors/consultants) had not. Turns out that the secret to sleep begins in the body, not the head. All the things I had avoided – salt, calories, carbs – are all key to a good night’s sleep. I now know that what I do during the day, determines how I sleep at night. So, finally, I am done counting sheep.
If you can’t sleep we developed a nighttime drink (our beauty sleep SOS) for you– the prototype was a key element in getting my sleep back. What makes our product different is that, unlike other approaches which address either the sleep OR the stress elements of insomnia, our drink tackles both. The herbs are there to induce sleep. The amino acids and nutrients are there to take down the flight or fight stress hormones. The added beauty of this product is that you can use it when you need to because it is health supportive and non-addictive.
You can purchase our beautiful bedtime beverage here. Sleep well!
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Main title cartoon by Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed