For a very long time, heading off to bed felt “almost like walking the plank” to Jennifer Aniston, who sufferes from chronic insomnia.
The actress has had sleep problems, from insomnia to sleepwalking to sleep anxiety, making her dread another night of “counting cracks in the walls,” she claimed.
“I think it started somewhere in my 30s or even earlier, but you just don’t start to notice the effects of a lack of sleep when we’re younger because we’re so invincible,” Aniston says. “It began as something that I would just accept and then all of a sudden you realize the effects of your lack of sleep and how it affects your day and your work and your mind function and your physique.”
Jennifer Aniston is fighting against insomnia
Aniston would try to go to sleep and end up watching the clock, thinking about how much time was passing and how many hours of shut-eye she was missing.
“And the more I worry about it, the harder it is to fall asleep,” she says.
Jennifer was even sleepwalking at times. “I have been known to do that. I’ve been woken up by house alarms going off that I’ve set off. And I don’t think I do that anymore — that was when I was super sleep deprived,” she says, adding that “at least there’s that silver lining” to her sleep woes.
“The body is saying, ‘Now don’t go out and set the alarm off again, okay?’ “
Still, Aniston put off getting medical help, thinking her sleep problems weren’t enough of a priority. But in the last few years, she realized she needed a real fix for her insomnia.
“It became something that I really was struggling with,” she says. “It used to be the last thing on the list, but you can’t really abide by the three pillars of health — which are diet, exercise and sleep — if you can’t really exercise and you can’t really eat right if you haven’t slept well because your body clock is so completely thrown off.”