If you’re currently taking medication for sleep or anxiety: I urge you to be gentle and respectful of your body and nervous system. Please avoid doing anything radical, like stopping your medication cold turkey. While your ultimate goal might be to sleep well without medication, I recommend that you complete this program first, and then work with your doctor to wean yourself gently. You may feel confident to begin the weaning process straight after completing the seven-night guide, or you might find it beneficial to continue with the medication for a longer period. This is a very individual thing. Here are some helpful tips to help you with the weaning process from my experience with clients:
Work with a supportive doctor to wean yourself off gradually. The kinds of techniques used in this program have been clinically studied—but not all doctors have heard of or accepted this way of addressing sleeping issues. If your doctor is unsupportive of the shift you want to make, I highly recommend finding a doctor who whole-heartedly supports your ability to sleep well naturally. There are now many doctors who successfully integrate natural medicine into their practice. Ask your friends for recommendations, or phone around and keep trying until you find someone you feel comfortable with and able to trust. This will make a world of difference.
Be realistic about the impact the medication is having. How much sleep are you gaining from taking them? What are the side effects?
Many of my clients have continued taking medication despite the fact that they don’t get a great night’s sleep on it and they have to deal with negative side effects. When you acknowledge/get real the impact your medication is having, it will be easier to make a clear decision to give them up—or not.
Relax about taking medication as you move through this program. As you apply the knowledge and skills in this program and establish supportive habits, you will feel more and more relaxed and confident when the time comes to wean off medication. Applying these things to your life will be helpful whether you are taking medication or not.
Keep your usual dosage of medication on your bedside table and give yourself the option of taking it if need be. This will help you relax, which will help you fall asleep. This one tip has helped many of my clients to successfully wean off medication.
Consider getting blood tests done for nutritional deficiencies. Some minerals, such as magnesium can have an impact on your ability to sleep well.