- Sue Greenwood, 43, killed herself in woods two days before Christmas
- Her husband Dave says her insomnia meant she was often awake for days
- Mr Greenwood wants her death to raise awareness about insomnia
- He said: ‘Sue tried everything. Unfortunately she resorted to accessing sleeping tablets online and became dependent on them’
- A full inquest into her death will be held later this year
Tragedy: Insomniac Sue Greenwood, 43, was found hanged in a wooded area close to her home two days before Christmas
A teacher plagued by decades of insomnia killed herself two days before Christmas after becoming addicted to sleeping tablets she bought online, an inquest has heard.
Sue Greenwood, 43, was found hanged in a wooded area close to her home in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in the early hours of December 23.
Her heartbroken husband Dave Greenwood said his wife had suffered from insomnia deprivation throughout her adult life and would often go for days without sleep.
An inquest into to her death was opened and adjourned ahead of a full hearing, but there are believed to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.
Mr Greenwood said the couple had enjoyed a dream wedding on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar in 2011 and had battled through her problems together.
He said he wants to raise awareness about the damage insomnia and the purchase of sleeping tablets without prescription can do.
He said: ‘Sue would sometimes go several days without being able to sleep.
‘It would reach a point where she was desperately tired, but still she could not sleep.
‘If she could sleep, it was often during the day, which would cause enormous disruption to her life.
‘It was something she had suffered from since being at school and university.
‘Sue tried everything – hypnotherapy, acupuncture and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
‘Unfortunately, she resorted to accessing sleeping tablets, which should only be prescribed by GPs, online, and became dependent on them.
‘It’s totally wrong that people can get these things on the internet, but how do you stop it?
‘Ultimately, she was taking too many of them and they were making the problem worse. But she must have been desperate.
‘She was a beautiful, intelligent and driven woman and what has happened is devastating.’
Tribute: Sue’s husband Dave, pictured together on their wedding day in 2011, said his ‘beautiful and brilliant’ wife was driven to despair by her lack of sleep
Mr Greenwood, 47, said he now knows sleep deprivation affects many people in all walks of life, but there is too little publicity about possible cures.
Dependency: The 43-year-old tried everything to manage her insomnia but then resorted to sleeping pills she bought online
‘I have only found out since Sue has died that GPs often run sleep clinics, specifically for people suffering from insomnia,’ he said.
‘They might have helped. It seems insomnia is something even the medical profession seems reluctant to talk about.
‘If anything positive can come out of this, it is that more people must know about insomnia as an issue and how to access coping strategies to combat it.
‘I would urge anyone suffering from such a problem to be assertive with the medical services of getting help.
‘I would also like something to be done about the ease at which people who are desperate can get hold of prescription drugs – containing who knows what – with the click of a button on the internet.
‘In an age when you can’t even buy more than two packets of paracetamol from a supermarket without being challenged, it is wrong.’
Mrs Greenwood, 43, was found dead in the wooded area at Haslam Park in the Deane area of Bolton, Greater Manchester.
She moved to the town more than 20 years ago after qualifying as a teacher at Edge Hill University near Liverpool.
She worked at Brandwood Street and Church Road primary schools in Bolton, Claypool in Horwich. Anderton Primary School, and rose to the position of an assisted skills teacher at Manor Road Primary School in Chorley.
She had also worked as a primary education consultant in Trafford. She had no children.
A humanist service will take place at the East Lancashire Crematorium in Cemetery Road, Radcliffe, on Friday, January 16 at 1pm.