Bedtime Rituals

Everyone has their own rituals in their lives.  I don’t have that many, but I do have a bedtime ritual that has helped with my insomnia and helps me sleep through the night more peacefully without taking the Ambien that was prescribed to me.
I started my bedtime rituals after experiencing blackouts while taking Ambien.  I have a history of sleep walking and sleep talking prior to starting Ambien, but using the drug really took things to a new level.  I experienced many episodes of talking on the phone and doing things around the house with no memory of the event, but the worst incident occured in August 2009. 
Before going to bed that night I was thinking about what I needed to pickup at Walmart the next day.  Sometime around 2:00 AM, I got out of bed, got dressed and drove to Walmart.  I spent approximately an hour shopping and spent $300.  I have no memory of doing this.  My first memories were of arriving home and unloading the bags from the car.  My husband was less than pleased as the dogs had alerted him to my strange behavior.
Now I have a routine that helps me go to sleep and sleep through the night without using the Ambien.
First I cool my room to 65 degrees.  Now I couldn’t afford to cool the whole house to that temperature in South Texas so we installed a seperate window unit for the bedroom.  Next I use aromatherapy fragrance oils in an electric burner.  I use either Eucalyptus or Lavender Chamomile because these scents are said to be relaxing.  I then spray my pillows with a linen spray.  For this I use either Lavender or Warm Milk & Honey scented sprays.  To top off the aromatherapy I use a Lavavender body lotion and body mist. 
If I have alot of stuff swiming around in my head, I’ll also use a few sprays of Bach Original Flower Essences, Rescue Sleep, Natural Sleep Aid.  It is a homeopathic spray that you spray in your mouth like Binaca.  It helps me quiet the thoughts in my head and is safe so if I need a couple more sprays an hour later, it’s not a problem. 
It may seem like a really involved process, but it actually only takes 5 minutes after I brush my teeth and I’m snuggled into bed.

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