"I'd had problems with sleep since I was about four years old. It would take me, on average, over an hour a night to fall asleep. As soon as I would lie in bed for over two hours, tossing and turning. I had tried different medications to help me sleep, but I always would wake up with a ‘hangover' effect - I would be more tired than if I had just tried to fall asleep on my own. I am a Registered Nurse, so others depend on me for their safety and well-being. I couldn't afford to be sleepy while I was working.
I was skeptical of the study at first, but the need for sleep was stronger than my skepticism. I was attracted by the fact that no medications were involved. As I had said before, medication did help me sleep, but I was so drowsy the next morning I was almost better off tossing and turning, waiting to fall asleep.
As part of the study, prior to using the DAVID, I had to keep track of my ‘normal' sleep habits for two weeks. The results were typical-on average, it would take me an hour or more each night to fall asleep. The day I took the DAVID home, I tried it on different programs prior to bedtime to acquaint myself with the sensation of the lights and noises. When I used the machine the first night, I fell asleep in 40 minutes! For me, that was nearly a record. I had programmed the machine for a 20 minute program, and was still awake after the program stopped, but when I took the headphones and glasses off and just rested, my mind didn't start racing! I just rested quietly, and fell asleep on my own 20 minutes later.
After that first night, I began falling asleep even more quickly. I was regularly falling asleep in 20 minutes or less. I would program the machine for a 30 minute program, but I would rarely be awake when the program ended. I would just wake up in the middle of the night, take off the glasses and headphones, and go back to sleep. Even if I woke up in the middle of the night to answer the phone or to use the washroom, I would fall right back to sleep again. I noticed my moods improving-I have had trouble with clinical depression for about five years, and my concentration was enhanced. For the first time that I could remember, I would wake up in the morning and feel rested.
As part of my work, I can be out of town for three or four days a week, and stay overnight in hotel rooms. Normally, I would need at least two hours to fall asleep in a strange bed. With the DAVID, I would still fall asleep in an average of 20-30 minutes. The DAVID traveled with me throughout the province and to British Columbia while I was on the study. Only once, in all the nights I spent in strange beds (approximately 15-20 nights during the study), did I have trouble falling asleep.
When I stopped using the DAVID and had to go back to sleeping ‘on my own' to complete the study, I was hopeful that my brain had been ‘programmed' to just fall asleep, without any of the problems I had before. Unfortunately, that was not the case. My old sleep patterns returned, and my mind was racing again. The only way to avoid having trouble falling asleep was to stay up until late at night, and wear myself out. Then, I could fall asleep in under an hour. I started having concentration problems again, and my mood became more depressed and irritable. By the time the end of the study had come, I was feeling desperate. I needed my sleep. The only option I felt I had was to buy a machine for my own use. So, as soon as I had completed the study, I purchased my own DAVID machine to use at home. Every night since I purchased the machine, I have fallen asleep in under half an hour. To me, it is nothing short of a miracle.
I don't just use the DAVID for sleep. I have also found various programs helpful for relaxation, or to help me focus on a busy day. Once, when I was traveling with my work, another staff member developed a migraine headache. Normally, she suffers with these headaches for days at a time. I let her try the DAVID while she rested, and when the program was finished, her headache had substantially decreased in magnitude. She no longer felt nauseous, and was able to work that afternoon. The next day, the headache was gone.
I'm glad I overcame my skepticism and tried the DAVID study. I no longer dread the end of the day and the prospect of having to try to fall asleep. I just get into bed, turn on the DAVID and get comfortable. Sleep comes on it's own."
- Collette Smith