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Julie Julie

Julie

Julie has struggled with insomnia for over 20 years, and her lifestyle, working as a teacher and owner of a German pretzel bakery, has made it challenging for her to focus on sleep.

Julie

You’re Not Alone

For others struggling with insomnia, it’s important for them to know that they aren’t alone in this. It’s such an isolating thing because it’s happening at night, and well, everyone around you is asleep. There are so many people with insomnia, and just talking about it with someone can be helpful. I would start up a conversation about sleep with your friends and family, your doctor, too. Talking about it and making a plan of improvement with my husband was useful. It became more of a team effort, and less something that was this “problem” of mine. Now we have lots of normal conversations about sleep (and about not sleeping), and I think it’s helped him become more of an ally. Another thing is to pay attention to your sleep patterns. I think having a wearable device that tracks your sleep is useful. I can easily get an idea of what my sleep schedule is looking like.

People with insomnia should make sure they have a good sleeping environment. For me, that means a quiet space, where I don’t do anything but sleep. No working in bed. My bedroom is pretty well-organized and easy on the eyes. I keep the lights turned low, the temperature is cool, and there is white noise to mask other sounds. Even making sure you have a comfortable mattress can make a big difference. Finally, if you’re a workaholic like me, give yourself permission to stop working. Give yourself permission to sleep, and rationalize it — if you don’t sleep, you are going to be even less productive tomorrow. So put everything out of your head. Push aside the spinning wheels of ideas and focus on meditation and your breathing.

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