Insomniac
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Thread: Insomniac

  1. #1
    Registered User HandyMom's Avatar
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    Default Insomniac

    That is what I am becoming. One day I stayed up all night and the next day. I thought I would be very tired and ready to go to sleep before midnight and I was SOOOO tired I kept rubbing my eyes and yawning but I only slept 5 hours, had nightmares and felt worn out and tired the entire day after. Still can't fall asleep the following night. My mind will not "shut up" and it's like chattering in my head until dawn and THEN I am so exhausted I fall asleep and sleep half the day away.

    I tried counting from 100 backwards and that did not help. I don't use any caffeine or any stimulants of any kind like that and I've tried taking my meds at different times but nothing seems to help! I keep staying up later and later and now I am up all night.

    Any ideas?

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    Registered User Inkstain82's Avatar
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    Longtime insomnia fighter here. I go through these awful spells every few months.

    In your situation, there's two things I can recommend:

    1) Pick a day where you can afford to be tired and *don't* catch up during the day. Let yourself be completely exhausted going into the night.

    2) Don't stay in bed when you can't sleep. Get up and move around a little, but don't let your mind associate "bed" with "lying awake."

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    Registered User Surilda's Avatar
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    HandyMom,
    I don't have any advice for you but I wanted you to know that
    you are not alone.

    I also could not sleep earlier because of the mind chattering.
    I've been cleaning, reading here, and just took a cake out of the oven.

    I am about ready to try again. Hope you were able to finally
    fall asleep!

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    Registered User ravenmaniac's Avatar
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    I have never suffered from insomnia, but how awful. My heart goes out to you. I hope you find something that works and you can get back to a regular sleep pattern soon.

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    Registered User vickilynn's Avatar
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    My daughter uses melonia (not sure of the spelling) a natural herb in pill form and it helps her relax and sleep.

    I have RA and restful sleep is a necessity so I'm on ambien. By all means try the natural rememdies first, then go to the doctor. Make sure everything is ok.

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    I would get a checkup with a doctor. Take all your meds to make sure they are not causing it. It could be a medical problem. Maybe they can do blood work to make sure everything is ok. I was having some really bad insomnia, decided to double up on my multi-vitamins. And yes it did help. I did not take the 2 multi-vitamins for a long period of time.

    Also, try to make sure you get outside during the day for some sunshine, fresh air and exercise.

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    Registered User Minner77's Avatar
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    I'm another chronic insomniac (and, like ravenmaniac, I suffer from incessant migraines). I finally caved in and started taking meds (currently Trazadone, the only one of many I've tried that works for me). I also like chamomile tea to help me relax; I have a cup almost every night, and often don't have to take any Trazadone.

    I've read an awful lot about the subject -- as I'm sure you have -- and can recommend the "sleep hygiene" approach: set a regular bedtime, have a set bedtime routine that will prepare you in the same way each night for sleep, keep the room dark and slightly cool, don't lie awake forever in your bed or you'll come to associate it with wakefulness vs. sleep.

    On those nights when even the Trazadone doesn't work, I just get up and go to the couch, watch inane TV (I consider it white noise), pray, and hope for the best. Although... watching TV probably isn't the best, since it can be stimulating and because it provides a light source that has a, well, stimulating effect on the brain (sorry, wish I could remember the science). I do this when I KNOW I won't be sleeping; as a chronic sufferer yourself, you unfortunately must know what I mean.

    When I was single, I used to flip around in the bed -- put my feet at the pillow and head at the bottom of the bed. This used to work, for some strange reason. I also loved to listen to the nature sounds CDs: rain, waves lapping, that sort of thing. DH hates it, so I only do it now when I go to bed a lot earlier than he or when he's out of town.

    Let us know what finally works for you. In the meantime, best of luck (and I mean that sincerely; not sleeping stinks!).

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    Registered User KeithBC's Avatar
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    I used to have insomnia. With me (and with many people, I think), it was a sign of stress. So one thing to do, long term, is to examine what is causing you stress, and try to reduce it.

    I found it very helpful to have a firm routine. No staying up late, no sleeping in late on weekends. I started going to bed at the same time (10:30) every evening. I used the alarm clock every morning (06:00), even on weekends. Basically, I trained my body to know that a certain time was bedtime and a certain time was wake-up time. Once my body was well-trained, I could tolerate the occasional exception, but not often.

    Cut down on caffeine and related substances. I found that I cannot drink coffee or tea after noon. Chocolate, which is related to caffeine, doesn't affect me the same way that tea or coffee do (though your mileage may vary), so I am okay with small amounts of chocolate until supper time, but not later.

    Sugar, though unrelated to the caffeine family, is also a powerful stimulant. You might want to cut down on your use of sugar and sweet foods, especially late in the day.

    I also regulated my evening activities. I am a computer nerd, and I enjoy writing programs for fun. However, I learned that I cannot do computer work after 9:30 at night. If I break that rule, I get a "second wind" that is great for my software productivity, but totally prevents sleep for hours. Similarly, I avoid doing things that will get me worked up. Writing that irate letter to the editor is best done in the morning, not the evening.

    Sometimes, the best treatment for insomnia is acceptance. You know how, after a couple of sleepless nights, you start to worry about getting enough sleep? Talk about a vicious circle! Occasionally, I have to realize that I'm not going to sleep any time soon and that's just the way it is.

    One factor that still causes me occasional sleeplessness is that I am a volunteer firefighter. When my fire department pager goes off in the middle of the night, I get an instant hit of adrenalin that would revive a dead rhinoceros. I know now that, once I return from the call, there is no way that I will sleep for the next two hours - that's how long it takes my body to burn off adrenalin. So, I don't worry about it, and, when the adrenalin is all metabolized, I eventually get back to sleep.

    Minner77 just reminded me of another factor: temperature. My body responds strongly to changes in temperature. If the temperature is dropping, I fall asleep more easily. If it is rising, I wake up more easily. I like to sleep with the window open for that reason, though DW doesn't like it so much. If I am having trouble falling asleep, throwing off the blanket usually helps a lot.

    I hope some of these ideas will be helpful for you.

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    Registered User MTS04's Avatar
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    I did a few sleep studies from Insomnia (longest awake time was nearly 4 days)

    Your body temperature drops at night so make sure you aren't too bundled up.
    If you can't sleep, try to meditate. This takes a bit of practice.
    Close your eyes, focus on a simple thought and then try to focus on nothing and let your MIND relax. Usually this will let your body relax as well.
    20 minutes of meditation can feel like 2 hours of sleep and can help break that frantic awake cycle.

    I hope this helps.

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    Registered User Imarachne's Avatar
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    I don't have trouble sleeping at all and I hope you will find a solution. Being tired and not getting rest can't be a good thing--hope you get some relief !

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    For the mental chatter, try this - Pick a time of day or evening when you can sit quietly alone and undisturbed for one half to one hour. Pick up a notebook and a pen and start writing. Write anything that is in your head - stream of consciousness thoughts. If you have a song stuck in your head, start writing down the lyrics. If you can't think of anything to write, then write "I can't think of anything to write". Write it again until the next thought, whatever it is, no matter how small, comes along and write it down. "My nose itches". Write it down. If you have something you're worried about, write it down. Whatever you're thinking, no matter how stupid or small just write it down. Write at least a page. More is better if you can. If you get on a roll, go with it and keep writing.

    DO NOT read it back to yourself.

    DO NOT share it with anyone. Its mostly just stupid mind chatter - usually extremely boring junk. You are mentally 'taking out the trash' - so you don't want to take it back or give it to someone else.

    DO IT EVERY DAY - it is an exercise in brain drain. It's taking all the useless chatter out of your head, and putting it on paper so it doesn't rattle around in your brain anymore.

    Seriously - do this daily and you will notice a difference mentally - and hopefully it will help you get some sleep!!

    I used to use this method as an exercise for a different purpose but it is beneficial for many things.

    Good luck and I hope you get some sleep soon!

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