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The Insomnia Diary: Travel and the Tyranny of Sleep


It was our fifth night away from home. This summer it was steamy hot in Connecticut, it felt more like the bayou than the east coast. I feared I was not going to sleep at all that night.

I’d been awake since I put my head on the pillow, and as I listened to the silence of the dead of night, I let my thoughts flow in and out, trying to manage my anxiety. Usually, the thought of having to move amongst other humans after a night of no sleep put me into a state of panic. This time, however, I had my secret weapon.

My BFF lives in a small coastal Connecticut town, one that you see in National Lampoon movies or movies like Amityville Horror. Steeped in history, her little corner of the world is a piece of ancient America, the home of Swamp Yankees and Pilgrims, of the Pecquot and Narrangansett tribes.

But my home it was not. My bed it was not. And it was so hot that the locals swore they could see wisteria starting to grow in their backyards.  Coupled with my usual sleeping problems, which are always worse while travelling, it was the perfect storm for a totally sleepless night. I was going down the rabbit hole.

Adieu, sleeping pills

Before leaving on vacation I had decided that, for this trip, I was going to go “au naturel” and ditch the dreaded sleeping pills. I usually travel with sleeping pills as I’m a total insomniac while away from my own lair, where I habitually use cannabis to help me sleep. Typically, by the 5thor 6thnight away from home, and without cannabis or sleeping pills to ease my slumber, I would start to experience totally sleepless nights, so I knew I had a few days to figure out some local solutions on this trip.

I had done some research prior to going down to the United States and had discovered that CBD oil (or cannabidiol) is legal in New York State and Connecticut and had heard it’s a great, natural solution for insomniacs and people with anxiety. So I set about to find me some.

Bonjour CBD


Cloud 99 Vapes, New York City

On our 2ndor 3rdday of the vacation, we headed down to New York. We did some touristy things and then headed down to the Lower East Side to Cloud 99 Vapes.  The friendly staff explained to me that I could get CBD but not THC (as it’s illegal) so they recommended I purchase the “pen battery” and a cartridge of pure CBD. It wasn’t cheap, but I really wanted to see if it would help me sleep.  I was also curious to try CBD, having heard so much about its medicinal benefits.

A revelation

We gave it our first try after everyone was in bed, outside on the patio. The mosquitoes swarmed around our ankles, eager to secure human prey on a sultry summer evening. From the first puff I felt a sense of living in the moment, of feeling my anxieties and worries slip away. As I sipped my chamomile tea I felt happy and focused, but not high in any way – and worse, still not sleepy. But at least I feel good, I thought to myself. Really good.

My BFF had been looking for a way to kick a nasty cigarette habit that had insidiously wrapped its evil tentacles around her soul. That night she gave CBD vape a try and was immediately as pleased as I was with the result. She decided at that moment to give up cigarettes in favour of a CBD vape and to my knowledge has kicked the habit for good.

Sleep, alas, never really did creep its way into my bedchamber during that trip. Whether it was the heat, hormones, different bed, too much light or a combination of all of these things, I will never know. What I do know is that while I may have slept very little towards the end of the 10-day vacation, I was still in a happy mood, which was remarkable enough for me to gain a deep appreciation of CBD. I’m eagerly looking forward to more research on cannabis so we can understand more about this ancient and powerful plant.

Leslie Andrachuk

As a bilingual pioneer in global digital publishing and marketing, Leslie is happiest when creating new things and inspiring her teams. She is passionate about changing biases that hold women back from realizing their true power and is grateful that at this point in her career she has the skills to make real change.

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