From an Insomnia patient:
"Insomnia kind of crept up on me. I'd always been a night owl, even when I was younger, then my police career was mostly carried out at night, which suited me fine. But working days as an administrator, it became more important to wake up on time than before, and sleep started to be work.
Then, an injury prevented sleep at all, until my doctor prescribed a pill to help. Suddenly, it was 4 years later, and I thought, "Hey, should I still be on this pill?"
When I discovered how nervous I felt about going off the pill, I knew it was the right decision. I might have a problem with sleep, but feeling that dependence on a pill was a bigger problem, to my thinking.
It was time to get back to "real" sleep, and ditch the pills.
My therapist eased me into the process with a lot of data gathering and discussion. I really needed that. I never felt rushed or pressured. I'd read a lot of material about "better sleeping", of course, patterns, low stress, etc., but it hadn't worked for me yet. Having a therapist help me through this process caused me to be a LOT more rigorous and truthful with myself about my habits. I felt like I was taking forever, but she said I wasn't. When the time came, it was me who made the decision. Fine. Time to get it over and done. Nothing much going this week, so a day or two of crappy sleep isn't going to hurt me.
Tonight's the night. No more pills.
Sure, there was tossing and turning the first couple of nights, but by the third night I went down almost immediately, and by the fourth night, I didn't even think about it! Just lay down and "boom!" Sleep. Real sleep.
That felt great.
It was kind of weird to start having dreams again. It had been so long that I'd forgotten that I normally remembered my dreams every single night. On the pills, I'd only remember a dream occasionally.
Several months ago I had a stroke. For several days, the pain was so intense I couldn't sleep. Eventually, they controlled the pain and yep, put me on the pills again.
This time, I didn't take forever. I was still into the solid sleep routines I'd learned, and I knew from previous experience that it could be done, so once I was out of the hospital and healing, "boom" again! No pills. Every night now I sleep the exact amount of time I need, and wake up without an alarm clock, right on time. No fear. No fatigue. No pills.”