Something had to change. I couldn’t go on like this. I was so exhausted I felt like a puppet just dragging myself through the motions of the day.
The doctor who’d left me without a diagnosis had suggested I read a book about sleep. I decided to give it my all.
Earlier that year, I’d bought my mother-in-law a book for her birthday. Because of her sleep struggles, I’d searched Amazon for top-rated books on the subject. I finally decided on Sleep Smarter. With 736 ratings, and an average score of 4.7 out of 5, it seemed like the best choice. And I think it was.
When I mentioned my insomnia to my mother-in-law, she let me borrow the book. I read it carefully and completed the recommended “14-Day Sleep Makeover.” Each day for two weeks, I met suggested goals for new habits and completed the questionnaire in the back.
Applying the Sleep Smarter Strategies
For breakfast every morning, I started eating eggs, veggies, and avocado. Daily, I ate five servings or more of foods with good sleep nutrients.
Every day, I made it a point to get at least ten minutes of sunlight. I even stood or walked barefoot in our yard for at least five minutes every day to check off “grounding.”
I cut off caffeine by 2 p.m., usually earlier, or avoided it altogether. I timed my exercise to begin early in the morning or early in the evening, like 4:30 or 5:00 p.m.
For our bedroom, I scoured stores for a snake plant and put it on my nightstand. I also purchased an alarm clock, so I could keep my phone out of our bedroom overnight.
My target bedtime became 10:00 p.m. (11:00 p.m. at the absolute latest). Starting ninety minutes before that, I avoided phone, TV, and computer screens. As an extra precaution—and for those times when I cheated!—I ordered Swannies. (Swannies are glasses you wear before bedtime to block blue light.)
Shortly before bed, I took Valerian root and lowered our thermostat to sixty-eight degrees. Just before I climbed into bed, I sprayed my body with a product called Magnesium Ease. Once in bed, I practiced deep breathing exercises.
My sleep improved and so did my overall health. Through applying the principles in Sleep Smarter, I felt better. For a while. I still battled pain, fatigue, and infections, but my symptoms receded to a manageable level.
A specialist later told me the holistic changes I’d made probably made my Lyme go into remission. Eventually, though, a death in the family would bring the Lyme disease bacteria back out in force.