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How Audiobooks Helped My Insomnia


My first experience with insomnia happened four years ago, when I was on the steroid prednisolone. One of the common side effects is the inability to sleep. Until that point I had never experienced this.

It was awful. Tossing and turning in the darkness, while the hours seemed to last forever. By the time I’d managed to fall asleep it would be a light and disturbed one, frequented by sudden jolts to consciousness. Either that or I’d simply be wide awake for over half the night.

Although I’m no longer on prednisolone, this particular side effect seemed to remain long after my final dose, partly due to stress and anxiety. I thought I’d never have an easy night’s sleep again, until one day I discovered the power of audiobooks.

Late at night, and feeling desperately tired, I selected “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline on my iPod and was amazed at how quickly my body seemed to relax as I listened. Even if I couldn’t get to sleep, the simple action of listening to a great story de-stressed my body and mind to the point where the rest I was getting was as near to sleep as possible.

It was such a simple solution, but I’d never thought of it before.

It seems that everyone is eager to suggest a “magic cure” to insomnia — from leaving a window open at night to eye masks — if you mention it to them. Although this isn’t a cure, it truly helped me, and without audiobooks, I doubt I’d sleep as soundly as I do now.

Whatever the cause of your insomnia, I can’t recommend audiobooks enough – even if you can’t sleep; they may help you relax and mean the hours you spend awake aren’t wasted.

Getty image by OcusFocu