Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yoga, or what to do when insomnia hits at 5 am

I have these nice little blue pills now. I think I've mentioned them before. They help me sleep. I used to think that a good active day, eating well, maybe a warm bath and a glass of milk at bed would give anyone a good night's sleep. No more. Sometimes, like when you're on chemotherapy, you might need some pharmaceutical help.

Now the problem I've noticed with my little blue pills is that of "dose escalation," or, "Why doesn't one pill help me sleep as long as it used to?" First time I took half a pill of zopiclone I was out like a light for 8 hours. Now I need a full pill, and that will only do me for 6-7 hours. Yesterday I got up at 4 am, staring at the ceiling, after only 5 hours of sleep. Took another 1/2 pill and was out again until 9. I needed that.

But this is how people get addicted to sedatives. The drug info from the pharmacist warns of "rebound insomnia" when you go off of zopiclone, in other words, when you stop taking it (as surely you must) you can't sleep for a few nights afterward. Not looking forward to that. But in the meantime, I'll enjoy my sleep. I need it.

Which brings me to this morning, 5 am. I went to sleep last night at 9, so wasn't upset when I woke up after 8 hours. I got up, as I have been most mornings recently, in the darkness, and quietly did a half hour of yoga in the livingroom. I talk a lot about strength and fitness, but I've always felt that something was lacking. A good morning stretch, a little meditative insight, sure helps too. Gets me ready for the day.

Images from yogatherapycenter.org and ashtangayoga.info

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