A twelve-year-old kid sits up from his bed. He pulls himself to the side and buries his head in this arms. He blinks and wipes his frustrated tears on his sleeves and looks at the clock.
He hadn't woken up yet. He'd never even gone to sleep.
He'd been just wasting the last five hours tossing and turning and throwing bedding around in a vain attempt to get comfortable. All that time his mind whirled, phrases and images and stories and colors--on and on again.
Just looping. His head ached. He'd never been more awake in his life and it was TWO O’ CLOCK in the MORNING.
He got up. He paced. He prayed. He considered waking his parents--he had many times before--but they were sound asleep.
He knew his mother really valued her sleep. She had plenty of problems obtaining it herself. Brian decided to leave her be.
I eventually did fall asleep that night, likely around three or four. That was one of many, many near-sleepless nights for me.
I thank the boon that I grew up homeschooled, because getting up at 6:00am for school the next day likely would've required me going on some kind of medication, youthful ability to kinda-sorta-function without sleep notwithstanding.
Over time I found ways to get to sleep. Combining a sound machine with peaceful music helped scramble my thoughts enough that I could fall asleep after an hour (and only spent another one tossing and turning during the night).
But it was a band-aid, not a cure. Every morning I woke up tired, and that grogginess lasted through most of the day. There was also the fact that me being able to sleep depended on a near-perfect environment--impractical in my future, when I travel abroad on a mission or move away to college where roommates won't enjoy the sound of a operatic chorus looping forever from behind a waterfall in a thunderstorm.
Enter: Lifewave's patches. Specifically the Silent Nights patch. Designed to boost internal production of melatonin, it possesses a demonstrable ability to boost sleep depth and quality.
Turns out I'm not even kind of alone in my insomnia. According to the National Institute of Health, about 30% of Americans complain of 'sleep disruption".
Lifewave had a third-party study done on the effectiveness of these patches. Out of the 25 participants, all with varying levels of insomnia, over 70% of them reported both improved ability to get to sleep, and improved quality of sleep.
I was skeptical, but 70% seemed like a pretty good success rate, so I gave it a shot. Normally I'm very aware of time passing at night. That night I closed my eyes for twenty minutes and opened them with sunlight coming through the window.
The second night wasn't quite so dramatic, I fell asleep in forty minutes, woke up once during the night, woke up with the sun again.
After the first week I was reliably falling asleep in a very normal "under thirty minutes" and sometimes in under ten. Even after forgetting the patch for a couple days I retained those numbers. I slept deeper, and slept easier!
After a while I tried sleeping with only half of my aids. Music, but no white noise, no sleep mask, no other tablets or capsules to help. Took me an hour, slept slightly less deeply, but I slept.
I no longer need an army of sound aids to keep my mind calm. My mind can do it on its own. Lifewave gave me that. I can travel anywhere I like, and with a packet of patches I'm good for any night.
I won't say Silents Nights are a miracle medicine. But I will say they've helped, and the independence from my aids is a great gift they've given me.