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- March 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm #8783
I just joined the insomnia land community. After years and years of not getting a good night's sleep, I'm looking forward to being a part of a supportive community of people with similar sleep issues and getting new information that might help me sleep better.March 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm #14939
Hi welcome! It would help if you could give some more detail about your insomnia problem. For example, I don't have a problem falling asleep, but getting back to sleep when I wake up during the night. So is your problem falling asleep, getting back to sleep, or both? Have you tried any sleeping pills or other strategies to help your sleep? What has your experience been? People may be able to give you feedback and suggestions after they have a better understanding of your sleep problem and how you have tried to deal with it.March 25, 2014 at 4:36 pm #14940
My problem is falling a sleep and turning off the thoughts.
I have tryed many of the drugs that were very good for a while and now have been trying Magnesium, Valerian root and many different suppliments as well as following tips of not watching TV or being on the computor or eating late and reading be fore bed. Still no sleep. This is my last hope to find a solution. I am 50 years old and am a runner was running 40 to 50 miles a week an now with so little sleep have not been able to run much with out the sleep I need to recover. I will try anything at this point.March 26, 2014 at 5:35 pm #14941
Like many of us, you have tried a lot of things and nothing seems to really work. How much sleep have you actually been getting? For example, I only got 2 1/2 hours last night, but got 5 hours and 4 1/2 hours the two previous nights. So my sleep is eratic; I have nights when I get little sleep, which creates a “sleep deficit” so that I then get nights with 4 to 5 hours sleep. Is your sleep pattern like that, or is it different? You indicate you run a lot, so I am surprised you have such trouble sleeping, since people who are athletic are supposed to have less problems with insomnia. I try to walk a lot. Right now I am trying yoga to help with sleep, but it is too early to see if it really helps.March 26, 2014 at 6:44 pm #14942
My sleep pattern is very simular to yours. It is when I go two days in row with out any that make me not alble to funtion although 2 to 4 hours is my normal with one or sometimes two days with no sleep each week.March 27, 2014 at 7:17 pm #14943
I don't have nights with no sleep; my “bad nights” are usually 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Unlike you, my problem is not falling asleep but trying to get back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night. You appear to exercise a lot and practice good “sleep hygiene”. i assume you keep regular sleep hours and sleep only within those hours in a dark cool room. Also that you don't live with someone who is difficult to sleep with (snoring a lot and moving a lot in bed during sleep). You might look into foods that help sleep. I snack on plain Greek yogurt, dried tart cherries, kiwi fruit and almonds 1 to 2 hours before going to bed. How much this helps me I don't know, but I normally fall asleep within 5 to 10 minutes. You say “thoughts” keep you awake. You need to try to think of things that divert your mind, like lists of things or pleasant experiences from childhood, such as vacations, different friends you had, different grades you were in, etc. This assumes of course, that you had a relatively pleasant childhood. The key thing is to think of mundane, pleasant things that move you way from anxiety creating thoughts that keep you awake. Like you I keep searching for different things to try to help with sleep. The last few nights I've tried something called Badger Sleep Balm, which I got at Whole Foods for $10. It smells of lavender and bergamot, which is supposed to help relax you and help you sleep. You rub it on your face right before going to bed. It is probably a waste of money but I'm desperate. One other thing is that Merck is supposed to release a sleeping pill called suvorexant sometime this year, which unlike other sleeping pills works as an orexin receptor antagonist. So it may provide some relief if you have already tried sleeping pills, but the big question is how long is it effective; I don't know the answer to that question. I hope this helps you, because nights when you can't sleep at all are awful.March 28, 2014 at 1:58 pm #14944
My sleep problems started about 20 years ago. I would have no trouble falling asleep. In fact, I would read in bed and fall asleep during the first paragraph or I'd fall asleep on the sofa if I was watching a movie, but I would wake up at 2 AM every night and be awake for 3 hours. Back then, my kids were all in school so I would have to get up around 6 AM. About 5 years ago, the cycle changed. Now I have trouble falling asleep – too much “mental chatter” – and I wake up constantly throughout the night. Sometimes I go back to sleep quickly but some nights I feel like I am awake pretty much the whole night. Even if I fall back to sleep quickly, I don't feel like I'm getting any quality sleep. I wake up so tired everyday. The thoughts that keep me awake are not necessarily anxiety creating thoughts (although sometimes they are), they are mostly just chatter or songs stuck in my head even if I haven't heard the song in months. My brain just won't shut down. The only real sleep medication I've tried is Ambien which helps a lot. If I take Ambien, I usually sleep for 4 or 5 straight hours. I'll wake up a few more times, but go right back to sleep. I just don't want to have to rely on drugs or alcohol to sleep – I drink wine almost every night with dinner, which is another reason I don't want to take drugs. I know the theory that the wine is messing up my sleep cycle, but unfortunately it seems to be the only thing giving me a sleep cycle at all. If I don't drink wine or take Ambien I lay awake for hours, once I do fall asleep, I wake up constantly. Even when I take Ambien (5mg), I wake up feeling tired. I went to a doctor about a year ago who specializes in holistic treatments. He concluded after his examination that I hadn't gotten quality sleep in years and that I was exhausted and my body was running on empty which is why I was having other health problems. He gave me a slew of holistic sleep remedies, but they don't seem to help much. I also went to some yoga for sleep classes recently, but I haven't really incorporated them into my night time routine yet. Hopefully they will help. I am open to any and all suggestions.March 28, 2014 at 5:11 pm #14945
Thanks for sharing. How often do you take the Ambien? Sounds like several times a week. I take 6.25 mg if I can't get back to sleep and get 2 to 3 hours additional sleep. However, I limit use to 3 or 4 times a month since I don't want to be too dependent on the pill.Some nights, like last night (I only got 3 hours sleep) I don't use it even though I would really like the additional sleep. Some other nights I get 4 to 5 hours sleep on my own and I'm OK. Depending on how frequently you take the Ambien you may be dependent on it to an extent, so that you have difficulty sleeping without it. So you would need to gradually ease off the Ambien, but that is easier said than done. I would like to not use the Ambien at all, but some nights I feel I really need it to get more than 2-3 hours sleep. Maybe someone who has been able to get off sleeping pills who reads this may be able to advise you how they did it. Have you tried cognitive behavioral therapy? It helped me somewhat but I still have an insomnia problem.March 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm #14946
I generally use Ambien only 2-3 times per month when I really feel like I need a good night's sleep. I did take it for 10 days straight because 2 doctors suggested that as a way of resetting my brain to sleep when I go to bed. It didn't work and I haven't taken it since. That was a few weeks ago. I don't think I'm dependent on it because I use it very infrequently. I have not tried cognitive behavioral therapy, but I will look into it. I am hoping that some of the holistic supplements start working. I haven't taken them consistently so maybe they will start to work if I use them regularly along with the yoga and Sleep Tracks.March 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm #14947
So you use Ambien like I do, about 3 times a month. I agree that using it like that probably doesn't make you dependent, although I would like to not use it at all. However, when it looks like a real “bad night” sleepwise I take it to get 2-3 hours of extra sleep. I tried sleeptracks but it didn't really do anything for me. I was never a great sleeper but my insomnia problem really manifested itself about 10 months ago while you have had to deal with it for 20 years. So you have had more experience with it than I have. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves keeping set times to go to bed and wake up, using the bed only for sleep (and sex), sleeping only within the “sleep period”, good “sleep hygiene” in general, getting up and doing something if you wake up during the night and can't sleep that tires you, etc. I think it helped me go to sleep quickly, but I have yet to find an activity in the middle of the night that tires me enough that I can get back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night. Please let us know if any of your holistic supplements really work (e.g., really increase your sleep time).March 29, 2014 at 5:34 pm #14948
I also took Ambien only as a last resort, because I was concerned about getting dependent. Maybe once a week or when I had back to back nights with no sleep. Now after 5 years of taken it (12.5 MG Ambein) it has no effect anymore. I resently tryed it again after 8 month adsence, still no help. Last week being desperate I got presrcibed Rozerem, $16 a pill at Walmart it to had no effect. I am getting in bed early and trying to stay as still as possible to allow my body to recover that way. It has been weeks now since I have had the deep rim sleep and I am willing to try anything.
I went to a sleep clinic 18 years ago and they gave me Ambien which was wonderful while it worked. I have tryed to the Cognitive Sounds (not Martins). I have managed to keep running just enough to maintain my fitness level. I found this forum serching for anything else to try. Falling asleep is my problem. I don't drink and last night I had 2 glasses of wine. It did help relax me and that was all. It has never been this bad in the 20 years I have had sleep issues.March 30, 2014 at 3:47 pm #14949
JArgo and Dawne, you both seem to have problems turning off the thoughts and getting to sleep. I seem to be able to turn off the thoughts and fall asleep fairly quickly initially, although getting back to sleep after waking up during the night is often a problem. I try to work myself into such a state of tiredness before going to bed that I can fall asleep quickly, so the key for me is to go to bed at a regular time and being tired when I hit the bed. If you are not tired you will likely just lie there in bed. I don't know if either of you have medical or psychological issues that impact your sleep. The one problem I have is that sometimes when I wake up during the night I find that one or both nostrils are stuffed up; it is not easy in the middle of the night to “unstuff” them, so that is one reason I have difficulty getting back to sleep (I have a humidifier and rub Vicks Vaporub on my chest before going to bed which helps somewhat). JArgo you indicated that after 5 years the Ambien stopped working, even though you only used it once a week. Don't know how long you have used it Dawne. I've only used it (6.25 mg) about 3 times a month to get 2-3 hours of additional sleep when I wake up during the night for about 9 months. While the tolerance point varies for each individual with sleeping medication at some point Ambien tends to lose effectiveness; I guess you can only hope it will last for several years, even when used sparingly, based on JArgo's experience. I'm trying Yoga now, two classes a week, but so far can't say it has had much effect – but too early to say. Hope you guys find something to help you.