Giving in to Insomnia: How to Cure the Curse

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My insomnia was back. Picking what was supposed to a peaceful, sleep-filled week full of therapies and growth to make her appearance. With three nights of shitty sleep under my belt,  I was too tired to grow any direction but horizontal and  even in that direction, I wasn’t catching any z’s. I had no luck trying to figure out how to cure insomnia. A found a lot of tips but nothing worked.

The week had finally arrived. I was staying at Rancho la Puerto, a fitness and wellness spa. My husband and I were crazy excited to indulge in this delicious experience. Rancho la Puerto is the first wellness spas in the country combining exercise, education, spa treatments and healthy meals in a one-week retreat. It created the modern template for many holistic retreats.

There was nothing uneasy or stressful about this place. I was eating well, excersizing, not drinking and staying busy during the day. There was no TV, little screen time and hours of tranquility. I have had mild insomnia much of my adult life so I knew what was happening that first night I couldn’t sleep.

My insomnia was habitually three to five nights in a row occuring every few weeks. I was familiar with this pattern. Over the past decade, the frequency has increased and decreased with life’s ups and downs but this week was such an up, I could not believe it was happening.

Battling Insomnia

Insomnia is evil. If you’ve had it, you get it. If you haven’t then the pain is almost undescribable. It doesn’t matter how tired you are. You can be completely delirious and in the best possible sleeping conditions, but if this is one of them days, it ain’t happening. Eye mask, ear plugs, and lavender oil? Nothing. Cell phone on airplane mode, no phone, no screen time an hour before bed and a melatonin for good luck. Still nothing. After a few in-somatic nights, you take it to the next level with rigorous workouts to tire the body in the morning, throw in a few meditations, perhaps some classical music and a xanax. If you have the same insomatic witch in your bed as me, she still ain’t leaving.

When insomnia wants to have you, she will. As a self-improvement junkie, I tried all the tricks. I’m sure if you are having a few occasional toss and turns, some lavender oil may treat you nicely but true insomnia has no avengers.

So what do you do? You have to keep trying to sleep, right? You can’t just let it have you.

Actually, you can. And you must.

If I have learned anything from my bout of insomnia it is to let it be. Let it have you. If you can’t sleep, fine. Be awake. Get over trying to control your sleep. Sleep is one thing we cannot control.

We can encourage or deter it, but we cannot control it. The very thought of trying to control sleep can keep it from grasp. The more you reach for it, the further it gets. It’s only by submission that you can truly pause and fade away.