I have suffered from insomnia on and off since I was about 13. When I was a teenager I hardly slept. I would be awake until at least three, then get up for school the next day. At the weekend I wouldn’t sleep in but be awake and watch tv in bed. Same during the holidays really. I would always be awake when my dad came home from the pub and I would pretend to be asleep but I never was.


I shared a room with my sister all through my teenage years, and she’s three years younger than me, so I could stay up and read in my room because I would keep her awake. And my sister had her own sleeping problems as a kid (not unlike my nephew’s at the moment).

When I was older it got worse so I started to try different medications for it.

I started with Herbel Nytol and have tried everything over the counter at one time or another, including two lots of anti-histimines. None of them work any more. I got some Zopiclone from my doctor and that really hit the spot. For a few years on and off. It gave me nightmares though, and at the end of my attempt I had nightmares and no sleep.

I started at the pharmacy and we sell Sominex, which is a sedating antihistamine called Promethazine Hydrochloride (not one of the ones I’d already taken for hayfever/sleeping problems). That seems to be working at the moment, enough that half a tablet – 10mg – does the job. The full dose knocks me for six until about two in the afternoon.

I love that feeling, love actually getting a full night’s sleep. Even with the weird dreams that I have regularly.

Not much else works right now – not when it’s really bad. When the Promethazine Hydrochloride stops working (and I’m sure it will), I’ll have to try something else. I’ll probably have to go back to the doctors but I’m not sure what will be next.

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