Over two years ago, I had an insight into my sleeping issues.
Sometime in the latter half of last year, I went to visit an allergist who gave me one of those skin tests where they prick your back with samples of a bunch of allergens and see how badly you react to them. Ah, torture for pay! Anyway, it turns out that I have a very, very, very severe dust mite allergy. Dust mites live all over the house, especially in environments like the bed, what with its warmth, darkness, skin flakes, and moisture (from human sweat — sorry to be gross). Also, washing your sheets in cold (without several extra rinses) or warm water will not kill most of the dust mites, and we only ever do laundry with cold water if we can help it, since it is better for the environment. I have to make a note to wash in super-hot water when we do sheets…
In retrospect, my sleep problems all make a great deal of sense. I get into bed, become exposed to dust mites, trigger my allergies, which causes my sinuses to get inflamed and clogged up, have trouble breathing, then wake myself up out of sleep.
I’ve been using my prescription nasal spray and taking generic Claritin every night now for the past several months. And I have been sleeping better than ever before in my life. I can take deep breaths, my nose is not always stuffed, and I can sleep most of the way through the night (except when I foolishly down too much coffee :D). It really feels like a miracle.
Now, if only I could keep Mobi from whimpering by the side of the bed and waking me up…