The addition of some level of "white-noise" has worked for quite a few insomniacs. We used to have 2 different bus routes go right past our house, but a standard 20" box fan generated enough cover noise to help drown them out. (Not that adding more noise to combat society's excessive decibels is a "good" thing.)
You're lucky you have some level of choice. My health and chronic pain have eliminated such things. Calling what I get "sleep" is really bending the definition of the word.
I do whatever I'm trying to accomplish till I can no longer function and unconciousness claims me.... Sadly, such repreaves last a few hours at best.
Is there anything that can be done for the pain, Some pain management technice. Have you tried sleeping some place other than a bed or couch. I a have a friend who find that he sleeps well in a recliner chair He can adjust the possiton of how he sleeps sometime nearly sitting up and some times almost fully reclided
Oh yes, I've tried many many things. (This has been going on for a couple of decades now). LOL! Pardon the pun, but my condition really cramps my style; the incessant abdominal pains limit my sleeping positions.
I've seen multiple Drs & each has had their own theories as to cause. Some want to treat body, others the brain. My situation is complicated by MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) which puts considerable limits any meds used. So far, ALL of the "offically accepted" meds used to treat me have come with even worse side-effects or reactions. The last drug trial I was in, it turned out the side-effects were IDENTICAL to my symptoms!!
The only person who was able to offer me any relief or understanding was a Chiropractor. Luckily, the one I found was also a practitioner of other disciplines. Over a period of many months, he was the ONLY one dedicated enough to help me sort out the possible trigger elements & eliminate them from my diet and living area. I've tried a number of the alternative therapies and some I've incorporated into my coping regiment.
As far as external treatments - Cannabinoid therapy offers the greatest relief with the least side-effects. Unfortunately, my condition doesn't qualify under the present accepted medical guidelines.
Do you know what causes your insomnia? I used to have this issue for years, until last year I started playing music to go to bed. My issue has always been falling asleep. If you can't fall asleep, maybe experimenting with your sleeping environment may help, since your issue is getting into bad sleeping patterns. You can break a pattern or phase by changing something about how you usually sleep. Maybe sleep in a different direction on your bed (head where your feet normally are), sleep in a different room (I find that changing my location to the couch always helps), or even sounds varying from white noise to instrumental music. My choice is Chinese music. Or perhaps a different routine before bed, such as at least 30 minutes of time away from electronics before getting ready for bed. Of course this may not be your solution depending on what causes your insomnia.
But my other advice, if the medicine works, use it if you can't find another solution. Is there a reason you don't particularly like taking the medicine? Is it because you don't want to rely on medicine, or are there side effects you don't particular care for? If it is the latter, perhaps trying a different kind of medicine. An alternative could be melatonin supplements (they are over-the-counter). They certainly helped me sleep (without making me feel tired later), but it induced rather disturbing dreams for me. You may not experience this side effect though. lol
much of what you say I've done and helps, mucic that I listen to is enya. I also burn sandlewood ensence I find the scent relaxing. My cause is hormonal. Valarium is a herb and it seems to have no other effect except allow me to sleep. I only ever take it for to or three days and the my sleep cycle is again working. I have alot of friends who have become addicted to sleeping pills and though I know valarium is safe I think thier expirences have made me a little gunshy
Well I'm glad you have things you can do to help with your insomnia and it is good you at least know the cause. I am not certain of the cause to mine, but I am certain it is related to my misophonia, which explains why music helps.
At least an herb seems safer than a sleeping pill. I'm not exactly keen to the idea of taking medicine regularly either. I only took the melatonin twice and stopped because of the dreams it gave me.
I think you will be fine as long as you use the herb in moderation and small amounts. And don't make it part of a schedule, but only when needed as you already do. I don't think you will become addicted if you are careful. And if you feel you are becoming to dependent on it, or at least more than you would like to be, then you can slowly ease yourself off of it.
My insomnia never went through phases. It was just every night for several years. Well, no matter the cause, I can sleep now as long as I have my music. It all stopped when I started listening to music, along with a fan or heater to make more noise, and has only acted up once since then. It was two days in a row during this summer before school started. I think it was just the stress of school coming that caused that though. Either way, I am happy. The only issue with having insomnia for so long, is that I think my body got used to sleeping so little. So now, when I get a good amount of sleep, I feel tired. It seems that the less I sleep, the less tired I feel. The only other time I am not tired when I wake up, is if I let myself sleep until I naturally wake up, which could very well result in 12 hours of sleep.
I am lucky i can sleep until I wake up normally 6 hours a night but I do do the 12-14 hour sleeps once in a while generally after an insomiac phase. I am happy you have found a way to control your insomnia, face it the only side effect you may get from listening to music is getting a song stuck in you head, that's not too bad.
The music I listen to doesn't get stuck in my head, because it is traditional Chinese music, but I wouldn't mind if it did. It would certainly be better than having other things stuck in my head. I am happy as well. I will have to figure out how I will continue listening to music to fall asleep when I go off to college though. I can't imagine a room mate will like listening to the music, so I will see if there are headphones made for listening to music while sleeping, because normal headphones are uncomfortable.
I actually do that whenever I start going too late to bed. I avoid sleeping at all until the night of the next day. It fixes the sleep pattern rather quickly when compared to doing it the "normal" way.