Hugs to everyone in this forum. It is strangely comforting to know that I am not alone in my sleep issues. Now I know I have buddies to help me through middle-of-the night posts.
I echo a lot of sentiments on this thread - I believe that my sleep deprivation is directly related to weight gain. When I am tired, I tend to exhibit unhealthy coping mechanisms to function throughout the day. My coping skills are underdeveloped due to the lack of sleep, so I don't have a "buffer" for stress, really. I turn to food to keep me going throughout the day - sometimes it is for comfort because my body is so exhausted, but other times I use food to help me stay alert. That and diet mt. dew.
My insomnia has neurological/psychological causes. I have an incredible amount of anxiety, as well as ADD. My mind races at night, and I always think of a million things I should be doing. Just when I am trying to fall asleep, a thought jolts me awake. I find that it helps if I have my phone by my bed - if I have a really pressing thought, I just text myself. It is very difficult for me to wind down mentally. My body is exhausted, but it's hard for my brain to activate the "turn-off" switch.
My DH has sleep issues, too....but his are physiological (physical) in origin. He has restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder. So he twitches, moves, and talks at random times throughout the night. This exacerbates my anxiety 10-fold since I never know when he is going to blurt out some random sleep-talk or twitch his arms/legs. He does take medication for it (Mirapex) but only takes 1/3 dose since it makes him groggy in the a.m. I occasionally take benadryl at night. It helps me GET to sleep, not STAY asleep. It still makes me feel like a zombie in the a.m. and takes several hours to wear off. I've tried RX sleep aids, and anti-anxiety meds (benzos) but they make me feel really sleepy during the day. I know each person's insomnia journey/sleep hygiene are very individualized, but I'd just like to share my story.
I'm concerned because if I don't change the "roots" of my weight problems (being stressed out and tired all the time due to lack of sleep) how am I going to change the behaviors? It's like a endless cycle.