My Name is Matthew, and I am a soldier. I have an interesting view that I share from time to time with the folks I encounter as I walk the road. Some of those people have encouraged me to seek out ways to help others or simply share my views or ideas with more people. I will blog on many subjects, from things that piss me off on a daily basis to more important issues such as dealing with chronic depression and the struggles that ensue as a result. I will be taking bits and pieces from emails and rants that I have verbalized as well, so if you see something we have talked about please, smile and nod...Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


         Okay, here I go again. I'm writing this post because I have some advice to share that helped me out in a HUGE way. I had problems with nightmares for a long time. If I wasn't having one just about every night it was almost cause for celebration. I would have nightmares from Iraq, or Afghanistan. I would have nightmares brought on by stress. I would have nightmares about being out of control or being chased. I got to the point where I was taking prescription sleep aids to help me fall and stay asleep. My work schedule doesn't help much because every so often I pull a 24 hour shift and end up sleeping all the next day. Then after that I would go back to working a normal schedule. This was really disrupting my sleep.

          I was advised by my therapist to put a pad of paper and a pen by my bed and start tracking my sleep patterns. Then my therapist gave me a note pad to do it with. I think for me, actually putting the note pad by the bed with the pen, knowing that if I woke up in the middle of the night I would have to write the nightmare out, actually helped me realize how trivial it was. For me, I quickly realized that the nightmares were ruining what could otherwise be very good restful sleep. Ever since the day I put that pad of paper by the bed, I haven't had a nightmare. I've woken up a time or two since then, a little sweaty and not sure why, but the nightmares have stopped for the most part.

         Now, I have tried many things and at one point I prayed the rosary every night as I was falling asleep. Being from a Catholic family, I learned how at a young age. It didn't take long before I was saying it again from memory. I was in Afghanistan when I started this again. At one point I was frustrated because I was having trouble remembering which prayers go at what day and what time of year. The anxiety of not remembering how to pray the rosary right was eating at me. Yes I know how silly that sounds. I asked my ex Wife who asked a priest for clarification and I was told that I can just pray "Hail Mary" and "Our Father" prayers on the beads and if that helped me to sleep that would be just fine.

          I think that if you have some method for counting sheep or saying prayers or taking a mental walk down the beach as you are falling asleep, it will help. Keeping your room free of TVs and Computers and music producing boxes will help as well. My room is dark, and simply furnished. Everything in there is made for quiet and comfort. There is a bedside table with my note pad and a pen and a lamp. On the other side of the bed is my spare reading glasses and some novels that I read at night, although never in bed. I read in the living room on my couch. I put the book by the bed so I don't lose it. Glasses stay with the book. There are dozens of ways to help you sleep, so please, don't give up hope if you suffer from nightmares. There is always something new out there that can help.

Good Luck and thanks for reading!


  1. Good advice you gave about the nightmares, plus also proper sleep hygiene, i.e., no TV, computers in bedroom, don't read in bed, that sort of thing. Glad you aren't having any more nightmares too!


    1. Thanks for the comment. Sleep hygiene is very important for people with anxiety and depression. Regular sleep keeps you happy!

  2. I've been trying to fall asleep less with the TV which is a LONGtime habit of mine! These are all good tips. Thanks for sharing! (Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!)

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it! Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you found it useful.