During a long, dreary season of chronic insomnia, I also developed TMJ. (I was getting good at this stuff.) So when I was sleeping (which was rare), I was clenching my teeth, contributing to pain which also hampered sleep. But the TMJ ended up to be an unexpected benefit, for therein was the source of the solution.
I was sitting in the TMJ doctor’s office feeling groggy and gross as usual, looking out of her window at the grey, gross sky, and almost nodding off in her chair. She came in and handed me a sleep evaluation. My answers alerted her to my extreme insomniac condition. She referred me to a sleep doctor.
The sleep doctor confirmed that sleep medication in my case would not be advisable for the very reasons that I feared. Instead, he ordered a sleep analysis which would rule out sleep apnea as a cause. What a trip that was! Wired from head to toe, who can possibly sleep in that condition? I managed to sleep somehow that night, and sleep apnea was ruled out.
Next I was sent to a sleep psychologist. Little does that sleep psychologist know that he is my hero (well, I believe I have written him to tell him something to the effect). I’m almost embarrassed to admit how very simple the cure was. Painfully simple. It was a crash diet. A diet that enabled me to crash! Sleep was restored to me once again, but it wasn’t food I was depriving myself of on this prescribed diet; it was sleep. Ironic, isn’t it? Depriving yourself of sleep in order to gain sleep.
It can affect the way our mind works, our immune systems, our moods, and our blood sugar. Dr. Oz says that, “People who suffer from chronic insomnia are five times more likely to become depressed and 20 times more likely to develop panic disorder.”
Losing sleep over losing sleep? It can be a very rough, discouraging battle.
Father, I think of all the people in the world tonight who are stressed at the thought of another sleepless night. Would you cover them with a warm blanket of rest and security in You?