Living with someone who has to take a myriad of pills to keep them on an even keel for a number of reasons means that I am very aware of dependency, the side-effects and the reason for taking them in the first place. But for a while now I have been worried about my sleep pattern. I am a light sleeper and my husband is a deep sleeper, to the extent that he snores really loud. I was experiencing a maximum of four hours broken sleep a night and it got to the stage where I was delirious through lack of sleep, I was snapping at everyone and was resentful if they were enjoying a lie-in at weekend.
One trip to the doctors resulted in me chatting about relaxation techniques (tried and tested with a big fat fail as a result) and not much more. I'm convinced my medical history and erratic sleep patterns are related to my weight gain too but no-one seems to be able to advise anything other than 'getting in the zone' and 'dieting'. Another trip to the doctors lead me to mentioning the fact that I don't take HRT at the moment following a hysterectomy when I was 31 years old. One quick prescription later and a suggestion of some mild over-the-counter sleeping tablets and it's a bit of a revelation, to say the least. A minimum of six hours sleep a night, no fuzzy head when I wake up, oodles of energy and the knowledge that the same will happen tonight and tomorrow is a breakthrough. The best three months in recent times.
But now, I'm starting to recongise the signs of addiction. I'm constantly clock-watching on the approach to bed time so that I can take the wonder tablets. I panic when I'm getting down to the last couple in the blister pack and the few nights that I've actually made a conscious effort not to take the 'sleeper' I've hardly slept. I've woken at the slightest sound and I've even decamped to the sofa downstairs away from the snoring of my bed mate. And then the vicious cycle of irritability starts again.
I'm scared of not taking the tablets now. Is it psychological? Is this a form of addiction? How do I break the pattern that is already forming?