Sleep is ever illusive when living with a sleep disorder

Sarah Fulton, sports editor

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I stare frustrated at my alarm clock as it slowly ticks down the minutes until morning. Once again, despite three Melatonin and two over-the-counter sleep medications, my Chronic Insomnia has gotten the best of me. It is painful to think how many times over the past three years I have spend the night crying because I am completely exhausted but simply cannot fall asleep.

As lonely as the world can seem late at night, I know I am not alone. Apart from the teens who simply stay up all night for the heck of it, there are those who, like me, have legitimate and serious sleep disorders. Problems like Chronic Insomina and Sleep Apnea are illnesses that can bleed into all parts of a person life. Being too exhuasted to come to school, acting irritable towards friends and family and even weight gain can be side effects.

Even with symptons it can be hard to realize that you have a legitimate problem at first. A person seeks desperately to place blame on something, anything that they can fix or take away to help them sleep immediately. It took me until the end of my freshman year, an entire year after I started having sleep issues, to realize that I had a problem that was larger than too much homework or caffeine.

I learned that the only thing I could blame was my genetics and brain chemistry, things completely out of my control. It seemed hopeless to be only able to target the source with hard core prescription sleeping pills that have been known to be addictive, until I started to learn the small things a person can change. Creating a bedtime routine that tells to your body it is time to sleep. Eliminating all distractions while you are trying to sleep. That means turning your cell phone on silent and turning off the T.V. Limiting or completely stopping caffeine consumption helps stop the overstimulation the brain is receiving.

It is almost impossible to describe how frustrating it can be to hardly sleep night after night. Frustration that can lead to anger and make logical steps hard to come by. If you have a sleeping disorder or think you have, do not waste your tears on it. Find what works for you and realize that sometimes you are not going to have a good night’s sleep, but it is not the end of the world.

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