Our Lyme Disease Story

My Insomnia Solution: Becoming a Sleep Geek

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.

40 Foods to Help You Sleep Better
Feel free to print this infographic and post it on your fridge as a quick resource! You can even keep a copy in your purse or wallet or use it when meal planning and preparing your grocery lists.

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.

Sleep Smarter by wearing Swanwick Swannies before bedtime

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.

The Result

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.

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