Insomnia

It’s hard to describe to someone who doesn’t experience insomnia, quite how debilitating it can be. At my worst I went 6 weeks without sleeping. I felt completely detached from reality, I started to hallucinate, I was so exhausted my resting heart rate was 150 bpm, I couldn’t think clearly. I had numerous panic attacks a day, it caused a complete breakdown. This was, of course, a very severe form of insomnia but the frustration and fear you feel when you can’t sleep can be overwhelming. 24 hours is a long time when you don’t get a break from your own thoughts or chance to recharge your batteries.

*What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning. It’s a common problem thought to regularly affect around one in every three people in the UK. I’ve suffered with insomnia for all my adult life so I am very familiar with the symptoms.

If you have insomnia, you may:

  • Find it difficult to fall asleep
  • Lie awake for long periods at night
  • Wake up several times during the night
  • Wake up early in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep
  • Not feel refreshed when you get up
  • Find it hard to nap during the day, despite feeling tired
  • Feel tired and irritable during the day and have difficulty concentrating

Insomnia can be caused by many things including: pain, stress and anxiety, muscle spasms, overactive brain, environmental condition like noise, heat, cold or light, certain medication, lifestyle factors like shift work, alcohol or caffeine consumption, being over tired and wired, or just plain anger and frustration. Some of these we have control over, some we don’t. Firstly, make positive changes to the factors you can control.

Good sleep habits for beating insomnia.

Good sleep habits, also called sleep hygiene, can help you get a good night’s sleep and beat insomnia. Here are some tips:

  • Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. *Try not to take naps during the day because naps may make you less sleepy at night.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol late in the day. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and can keep you from falling asleep. Alcohol can cause waking in the night and interferes with sleep quality.
  • Take regular exercise. Try not to exercise close to bedtime because it may stimulate you and make it hard to fall asleep. Experts suggest not exercising within four hours of going to bed.
  • Do not eat a heavy meal late in the day. A light snack before bedtime, however, may help you sleep.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable. Be sure that it is dark, quiet and not too warm or too cold. If light is a problem, try a sleeping mask. If noise is a problem, try earplugs, a fan or a “white noise” machine to cover up the sounds.
  • Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep. Read a book, listen to music or have a bath.
  • Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep or sex.
  • If you cannot fall asleep and do not feel drowsy, get up and read or do something that is not overly stimulating until you feel sleepy.
  • If you find yourself lying awake worrying about things, try making a to-do list before you go to bed. This may help you to not focus on those worries overnight.

I’m sure if you have suffered from insomnia for a long period of time you have already tried all of the above. These tips helped me but definitely haven’t cured my insomnia.

I find, although some of my insomnia is caused by pain and being over tired, the biggest aggravating factors are: anxiety, my over active brain, and the anger and frustration of not being able to sleep. Mindfulness meditation definitely helps calm my anxiety, but to be able to sleep you need to let you mind wander. If you want to learn more about Mindfulness meditation please read this post https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1518681691583918&id=1506608209457933

Often when my mind wanders it finds itself at a painful memory or a regret, or it remembers a whole list of things I should have done or need to do. Given the opportunity, my brain will run through everything I’ve said that day that could have upset someone, or everything I wish I had done differently. My brain will start to ask me stupid, irrelevant questions like ‘Can you cry underwater?’, ‘If I wanted to read every book ever written, how long would it take?’,‘Why do we dream?’ or ‘What is consciousness?’ and I find myself reaching for Google at 2am.

Sleep Exercise. How I calm my over active and anxious mind.

I find by focusing my mind on something that is very familiar but not threatening, and then letting my mind wander and explore that ‘something’, I have the best chance of falling asleep. Let me try to explain..

Focus on a film you have watched so many times that you know all the words, something friendly, so not a horror film. My favourite is Dirty Dancing but I also use Juno and Breakfast Club. Start by focusing on one line from the film… “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” Think about the scene around the line, take in the colours, the music, the characters. Now move onto another line….”Quite a little joiner aren’t we?” and another…. “Spaghetti arms” Again think about the scene, the emotions, the clothes, the colours… “I’m doing all this to save your ass, and all I wanna do is drop you on it”…. What happens next in the film? And another line….”I carried a watermelon?” By now my brain has started to wander and is remembering scenes and lines without trying. I’m relaxed and instead of worrying about not sleeping, I’m remembering and walking around the scenes in a film that are so familiar, they are like an old friend. As my mind continues to wander, I’m in a safe place rather than memories from my own past, which could be painful, and I start to drift off to sleep.

When I haven’t fallen asleep within an hour of going to bed, the doubts start creeping in, will this be another long, sleepless night? And with these doubts come anger at the thought of another night of torment. By focusing on a film (as above) rather than entertaining these negative thoughts you will have a better chance at falling asleep.

How I combat the negative thoughts.

My biggest problems occur when I have one sleepless night. One sleepless night often leads to many sleepless nights. It’s like I lose confidence in my ability to sleep. I couldn’t sleep last night, so why should tonight be any different? Once these negative thoughts occur it’s hard to shake them. This is how I deal with them, this is my thought process. A few hours calm rest is almost as good as a few hours sleep, and it’s a lot better than a few hours getting frustrated, angry and anxious about not be able to sleep. So I tell myself ‘if all you manage tonight is a few hours calm rest, then that is ok’ By taking the pressure off myself to sleep I often find I drift off within a few minutes, or at the very least I stay calm. I also keep a voice recorder by my bed and record anything that is troubling me or keeping me from switching off. By recording my thoughts I find I am able to let them go and concentrate on relaxing.

Sleep aids. What I’ve found effective.

No matter how much meditation or distraction I practice, I am still unable to sleep without something to relax and sedate me. For years that was sleeping tablets but thankfully I’ve managed to wean myself off them with the help of CBD. I now take CBD oil, CBG isolate (another cannabinoid like CBD) and drink hemp tea. All of these I find relaxing and mildly sedating. This mild sedation is enough for me to sleep. For more information about the CBD products I find effective please read this post.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1594800033972083&id=1506608209457933

Do you suffer with Insomnia? What helps you sleep?

#ajourneythroughthefog
#Insomnia
#CBD

What can CBD treat? Success Stories


While conducting my survey I came across some positive and inspiring CBD success stories, which I would like to share with you. If you would like to read more about the survey, please click on this link: https://m.facebook.com/story.php…

The following are comments taken from the survey:

“(I have) Osteoarthritis, low mood, poor sleep. The inflammation, stiffness & pain gone. Sleep brilliantly and much more chilled & happy. 12 year old dog with arthritis now like a pup. Both of us take no pharma meds now”

“(CBD has helped) Low mood, depression, less anxious, pain in joints from menopause, deeper sleep. Knee pain. Got my sense of humour back!”

“I have chronic migraine (constant migraine with about 2 acute attacks a week) and Constant daily headache. CBD has eliminated the constant nausea, reduced the amount of constant head pain and I’ve only had one acute attack in about 5 weeks and that was triggered by an occipital nerve block injection which also caused stiff neck and the CBD balm got rid of the stiff neck”

“Our 15 yr. old very large dog, with severe arthritis in his back legs is now actually running! stiff legged but still running and a much happier chappy”

“I have a rare autoimmune that causes inflammation to blood vessels. CBDA has controlled the IBS and gut inflammation, reduced the number of bursting blood vessels I get, soft tissue ulcers, joint pain. I’m less tired and sleep better with the CBD element”

“I have anxiety and insomnia. I can now function with the help of CBD for my anxiety and have not have an attack since starting taking 1 drop 2 times a day (with no intention of upping the dose). I have found that I can manage to live my life ‘normally’ and leave the house on my own when it is not for work. My insomnia has not been helped at all”

“arthritis from 6 yrs old, 2 failed operation on hips and shoulders, subluxations due to eds, rheumatoid arthritis coming in hands, acid reflux, restless legs, pain and insomnia…. terrible side effects to meds that didn’t work so turned to alcohol as well….. of all meds, no longer suffer restless legs, insomnia 80% better now just have a bad night now and then, quality of life improved, less pain, more mobility”

“I have fibromyalgia, bpd (borderline personality disorder) AD (adjustment disorder) DD (dissociative disorder) cbd gives me a new life it’s still difficult as I take no other medication but I highly recommend it for pain but especially for mental health it helps calm any ‘bad’ thoughts, still can’t communicate face to face but that’s socially awkward 😂 or just don’t like people lmao”

“Taking it for chronic vestibular migraine. It has helped but as a bonus, it has also helped with psoriasis, arthritis and menopausal hot flushes”

“ME: Chronic pain and spasm / inflammation in my neck / shoulders (caused by bulging discs and nerve impingements). I’m now virtually pain free. Also helps with my ADD and with anxiety.
MUM: Osteoarthritis in her knees. She is seeing a big reduction in pain over time.”

“My dog has epilepsy, and CBD 100% controls his fits. I also know a human who is using it for the same reason, and with success.”

“Diabetes-A1C is now normal. Inflammation in my knee causing much pain is gone. All around aches are gone. Not as stiff or sore. Anxiety is so much better! And an all around better feeling of wellness. What it did not help is stomach issues like reflux or heartburn (though they are better than before just not much difference) And my gray hair? Ya, it’s STILL gray!!! ;)”

“Our 15 year old son has Aspergers, PDA and severe anxiety. The effect of CBD on him was immediate. The first time he used it was when we traveled to the east coast last summer and normally a trip like that would cause him anxiety such that he would need to stop and urinate every 20-30 minutes along the journey. On that occasion, we didn’t stop once and he was able to go to the beach immediately on arrival, where he normally would take a day or 2 to recover after the journey before venturing out. We try and get him to use it everyday (but aren’t always successful) and it has made life a lot less stressful for him and us as a consequence.”

“My 13 yr old daughter using CBD to treat bad joint pain from EDS. She has brain fog, fatigue also. Her joint pain is 90% decreased.”

“Chronic lumbar/lower half pain & arthritis . Cbd takes the edge of the pains & lifts mood. Never 100% pain free, but most days the cbd knocks it down a few levels to a manageable degree”

“I suffer from PTSD, bad anxiety and depression. I use cbd 500 oil. One drop twice daily. Life changing ! 😊
My 11yr dog cried and yelled getting in the car. He is running around like he was 5 🐕.”

“I have Fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. My husband has degeneration of shoulder joints due a new replacement right shoulder very soon. We both have benefited and no longer take opiate pain killers. Not a cure but life is so much better😁

“I’ve recently started using CBD oil as I’ve got Parkinsons and it’s been absolutely amazing it’s helping my anxiety my cramps my sleep relaxation and my movements/mobility and I’ve only been taking it a week!! So happy I started using it I’m sure it has many more benefits yet to come…! I also use the CBD balm for aching/painful joints…”

“I have severe CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, IBS, anxiety and panic attacks, migraines, depression and insomnia. CBD has successfully lowered my pain and anxiety levels, helped my insomnia, fatigue and reduced my IBS symptoms. CBD allows me to manage my symptoms more effectively than any prescription medication I’ve tried. I can finally see a future for myself.”

Thank you to everyone that contributed and for giving me permission to publish your comments. It was so uplifting hearing all of your success stories.

Has this inspired you to try CBD?

#ajourneythroughthefog
#CBD

What can CBD treat?

I have been taking CBD for over a year now and have found it effective for a lot of my health conditions and symptoms. However, it’s not a miracle cure and there are some symptoms it hasn’t helped. I was interested to find out if other people had had similar experiences, so I conducted a survey. If you are new to CBD you might benefit from reading this post first: https://m.facebook.com/story.php…

In the survey, I asked what conditions the participants suffered from, what symptoms were improved by CBD and what symptoms had no improvement.

Results

The following is a list of the results. (I’ve listed them in order of prevalence rather than alphabetically)

Effective:

Anxiety (16)
Chronic pain (15)
Fatigue (9)
Fibromyalgia pain (9)
Insomnia (8)
Joint pain (8)
Depression (6)
Arthritis (5)
Brain fog (4)
Low mood (4)
Osteoarthritis (4)
Epilepsy (3)
IBS (3)
ME/CFS (3)
Muscle pain (3)
Headaches (2)
Nausea (2)
Migraines (2)
Muscle Spasms (2)
Restless legs syndrome (2)
Sciatica (2)
ADD
Asperger’s
Balance issues/vertigo
Borderline personality disorder
COPD
Diabetes
Dystonia
EDS
FND
Hip Dysplasia (pain)
Menopausal hot flushes
MS
Nasal tumours
Nerve inflammation/compression in spine
Pancreatitis
Parkinson’s
PDA
Polymyalgia
Psoriasis
PTSD
Reduced mood swings
Stiffness
Ulcers

Slight improvement:

Fibromyalgia Flare pain (2)
Migraines (2)
Dysautonomia
Nausea
Nerve pain

No Improvement:

Insomnia (3)
Tinnitus (3)
Migraines (2)
Nerve Pain (2)
Social anxiety (2)
Acid Reflux
Anxiety
Depression
Intrusive thoughts
Kidney stone pain
Phobias
PMT
Vertigo

Conclusion

It’s encouraging to see how many conditions can be effectively treated with CBD. As you can see, there are some conditions on more than one list, which just goes to show how individual we are. However, there are a few that appear more often in the ‘no improvement’ or ‘slight improvement’ list, which may suggest CBD is not as effective for these conditions (Tinnitus, migraines, nerve pain, Fibromyalgia Flare pain and social anxiety) This could also be explained by saying the participant hasn’t yet found a CBD product with the right levels of cannabinoids and terpenes, or the right dose to be effective.

There are a handful of conditions which appear numerous times on the ‘effective’ list. (Anxiety, Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia pain, Fatigue, Joint pain, Insomnia) It could just be because these conditions are more common, but it’s encouraging to see how effective CBD can be for treating conditions that many of us suffer from, and for which conventional medicine can sometimes be ineffective.

Please note this is not a complete list of all the conditions CBD can treat, just the ones reported by the participants of my survey.

While conducting my survey I came across some positive and inspiring success stories, which I would like to share with you. Please click on the link to read these inspiring stories:https://m.facebook.com/story.php…

What are your experiences with CBD? What are you successfully treating and what symptoms has CBD not been as effective for?

#ajourneythroughthefog
#CBD

You don’t need to spend a fortune to feel the benefits of CBD


I recently conducted a survey asking regular CBD users, ‘How many mg of CBD do you take a day?’

The results are in and they may surprise some people.

Results:

0-10mg       16        32%
11-20mg     20        40%
21-30mg       8        16%
31-40mg       1          2%
41-50mg       1         2%
51-60mg       2        4%
61-80mg       0        0%
81mg+             2        4%

Conclusion:

Almost a third (32%) of people who responded, take 10mg or less a day, and nearly three quarters (72%) take 20mg or less a day. This shows, you don’t always have to spend a lot of money, taking large doses, to feel the benefits from CBD.

It’s also why a ‘low and slow’ approach to introducing CBD is often recommended. By starting with a low dose, and slowly increasing it until you reach an optimum level, you minimizes any unwanted side effects but you could also save yourself money. And stronger isn’t necessarily better. I’ve spoken to many people taking high doses of CBD who found that, after experimenting with their dose, they experienced the same level of relief from a much lower dose.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with taking high doses of CBD. What I am saying is, don’t assume you need to take a high dose, experiment, why pay more than you need to?

**Please note: there are some conditions, like epilepsy, that require higher doses**