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Archive for March 14th, 2008

CandleIn my last couple of posts, I have been talking about the joys of having my own room. Even though I am married, hub and I have our own rooms. I moved into the guest bedroom and then turned it into my own space, not because of marital issues but because of insomnia. Hub snores, and that noise coupled with the presence of another body in the room caused me to struggle with insomnia for over a decade.

When I shared a room with hub, I would go to bed earlier than he did. I did not have much trouble falling asleep initially. However, after he joined me, I would awaken repeatedly throughout the night, every night. I stayed dog-tired during the day because of his. Now that I have my own room, I generally sleep well. However, moving into my own room was only the first step.

I keep a strong scent of vanilla in my room. I do this by burning a vanilla-scented candle for about 30 minutes before I go to bed each night. I generally do yoga and meditation during this time, but I will burn the candle even if I do not do these activities just to help reduce my hypervigilance. According to The Smell Report, the scent of vanilla calms the startle reflex in both people and animals. I have found this to be true for me.

The reason I started doing yoga and meditation before bedtime was to help with my insomnia, and that has been very effective. Doing both activities before bedtime calms my mind and body. The deep breathing is wonderful preparation for sleeping. In most cases, I have no insomnia issues if I do yoga before going to bed.

Having a lock on my bedroom door is also helpful. I do not lock it often because I want my son to be able to reach me if he needs me during the night. However, if I am dealing with flashbacks or have a nightmare, locking the door helps calm my anxiety and enables me to fall back to sleep faster.

Running an air purifier really helps me to stay asleep because it masks the sounds of the night. Even very light “settling” sounds will jolt me awake, so having the white noise from the air purifier helps to mask those noises. I run a humidifier during the winter for the same purpose.

Do you have any tips for how to fight insomnia after child abuse?

Related topic:

How to Cure Insomnia After Child Abuse

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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