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Natural Sleep Aids

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've been trying to get off of my sleeping pills I take everyday since they don't seem to be working that well anymore. I've tried a few natural sleep aids such as Valerian and Melatonin. Valerian doesn't help much at all and Melatonin does work and does help put me to sleep, but I find I have horrible nightmares every time after I take it. Rescue Remedy is relaxing but doesn't really put me to sleep for long. Anyone know of anything else natural that may help?
post #2 of 23
Melatonin is what my doctor recommends. Have you tried the Melatonin Plus?
post #3 of 23
I was taking Ambien, but had some serious issues when taking it (doing things that I had no memory of doing, like shopping online and making phone calls to my sister in San Diego!) I decided that my credit card couldn't tolerate it any longer and quit taking that stuff!!! When I have problems going to sleep, I take Sleep MD, which I buy at Walmart or Wallgreen's. It contains Valerian and Melatonin. It always seems to work for me. It doesn't make me feel hung over or groggy in the morning, even if I only sleep 4 or 5 hours. I highly recommend trying it!
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
I was taking Ambien, but had some serious issues when taking it (doing things that I had no memory of doing, like shopping online and making phone calls to my sister in San Diego!) I decided that my credit card couldn't tolerate it any longer and quit taking that stuff!!! When I have problems going to sleep, I take Sleep MD, which I buy at Walmart or Wallgreen's. It contains Valerian and Melatonin. It always seems to work for me. It doesn't make me feel hung over or groggy in the morning, even if I only sleep 4 or 5 hours. I highly recommend trying it!

Sleep MD sounds really good, I'll definitley be picking some up on my next trip to WalMart! Thanks!
post #5 of 23
What is the underlying cause that's making it hard for you to sleep?
It might help to find out if anything is causing the problem instead of just masking it.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
What is the underlying cause that's making it hard for you to sleep?
It might help to find out if anything is causing the problem instead of just masking it.
I've had this problem for a very long time, basically it comes from worrying too much and not being able to shut off my active mind. I've been on sleep medication for a very long time and now I'm exploring alternatives as better options in hope that they will work better. I believe it's a problem I'll have for the rest of my life.

I do try to exercise almost daily and also read before bedtime and that sometimes helps and relaxes me enough for me to get a good night's sleep and sometimes it doesn't. I try to keep myself active, again it doesn't always help though. I really love to sleep too.
post #7 of 23
I've used a sleep aid now and then. I can't recall what the name is but I have also bought it at Walmart. I'm sure they're all similar in some way.

Sometimes when I can't sleep, I have seen myself take a couple of gravol. That normally knocks me out for the count. I've only done this a handful of times. When you can't sleep...you try whatever helps and I know I can't take gravol during the day because I get sleepy.

My doctor has advised eating a banana before bed. Some people think that's crazy but apparently it works because a few people have said it does.

Good luck and hope you have a good night sleep tonight.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whisker's mom View Post
I've used a sleep aid now and then. I can't recall what the name is but I have also bought it at Walmart. I'm sure they're all similar in some way.

Sometimes when I can't sleep, I have seen myself take a couple of gravol. That normally knocks me out for the count. I've only done this a handful of times. When you can't sleep...you try whatever helps and I know I can't take gravol during the day because I get sleepy.

My doctor has advised eating a banana before bed. Some people think that's crazy but apparently it works because a few people have said it does.

Good luck and hope you have a good night sleep tonight.
Thanks, I do too! It doesn't help either when a furkid named Sash likes to take full advantage when mommy isn't sleeping well and see's it as an excellent time to get more food.
post #9 of 23
See how it goes with the Walmart supplement, but there is a prescription version of melatonin out - it's called Rozerem. It's simply more targeted than the melatonin in its natural state - maybe that would make a difference with the dreaming? You would have to see a doc to get a prescription though.

I'm sorry the valerian doesn't work - it supposedly works on different receptors than the melatonin - and the ones that help keep you asleep, as opposed to the melatonin which helps get you to sleep.

Laurie
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzie View Post
Melatonin is what my doctor recommends. Have you tried the Melatonin Plus?
I have also used this and have had some good results with it. I have to watch because sleeping pills leave me really groggy and I can not fuction the next day if I take them.
post #11 of 23
Oh - also eating carbs (not drinking warm milk) WITHOUT fat (so not like a piece of toast with butter or cereal with milk) before bedtime supposedly helps make you drowsy.

Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Laurie
post #12 of 23
A cup of herbal tea works for me ... Melatonin can in many cause nightmares the reason is unknown.... a chemical way is benadryl it is the active ingrediant in MOST pm pain releivers and OTC sleep aid s ...
post #13 of 23
A friend always swore by a couple of spoonfuls of oats in milk, heat it, then drink it. So it's obviously a lot more liquid than oatmeal, but there's just enough oats to make you sleepy.
post #14 of 23
The couple of times a month I need help, I use kava kava. It can cause some vivid dreams at first but I don't mind them.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Oh - also eating carbs (not drinking warm milk) WITHOUT fat (so not like a piece of toast with butter or cereal with milk) before bedtime supposedly helps make you drowsy.

Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Laurie
That's so true about the carbs, I was just saying to Will the other day that after I have pasta for dinner I do seem to feel so tired naturally afterwards. I don't eat meat either so I do eat a lot of carbs.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
post #16 of 23
i use a combination... 6 mg melatonin + 100 mg 5-L-HTP. this helps me to feel drowsy, which is what i have difficulty with. once i'm asleep, i stay that way - i just need help getting there!
post #17 of 23
Last night I tried a Unisom. I felt really drowsy within an hour, fell asleep, and woke up again 1 1/2 hours later, and barely slept from then until about 8am when I finaly fell asleep for another hour.
post #18 of 23
No one has mentioned the #1 natural remedy for sleep.... sex!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11326819/

And the nice thing is you don't even need a partner
post #19 of 23
Linda, I can't believe you said that!

Lisalee, if you've been using sleep medicine for a long time, you may be having a rebound effect -- maybe you just need time for your body to adjust to not having those drugs anymore. Meanwhile...

Some things that have helped me get to sleep:

1. Do some hard physical work earlier in the day -- it wears you out so thoroughly that your mind can't keep you awake.

2. Read in bed with dim light -- it makes both your eyes and your mind tired.

3. Keep a fan or white-noise machine running through the night -- it smoothes over all the little nighttime noises.

4. a. Be sure to eat dinner at least three or four hours before bedtime -- so you won't get heartburn or be disturbed by too much digestive activity, but also...

4. b. Have a tiny bit of something just before lying down -- a couple of crackers with a little cheddar cheese works for me.

5. Sometimes cuddling a hot-water bottle wrapped in something soft can be very soothing -- or better yet, cuddle a kitty!

And finally, my favorite:

6. When your mind just runs away with you and you can't control your train of thought (and I surely do know how that is), close your eyes and mentally tell yourself a story. You can envision it happening, like a movie in your head... but even more effective (for me) is mentally typing it, writing it like a novel, watching the words appear on the page. This is hard mental work, and it wears your mind out very quickly. I've never gotten beyond a couple of paragraphs!
post #20 of 23
my mom always reads her Bible. she says one of 2 things will happen: either she'll be edified, or Satan will make her sleepy
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Linda, I can't believe you said that!
hehe, I'm a nurse, so I'm used to saying things like that
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Linda, I can't believe you said that!

Lisalee, if you've been using sleep medicine for a long time, you may be having a rebound effect -- maybe you just need time for your body to adjust to not having those drugs anymore. Meanwhile...

Some things that have helped me get to sleep:

1. Do some hard physical work earlier in the day -- it wears you out so thoroughly that your mind can't keep you awake.

2. Read in bed with dim light -- it makes both your eyes and your mind tired.

3. Keep a fan or white-noise machine running through the night -- it smoothes over all the little nighttime noises.

4. a. Be sure to eat dinner at least three or four hours before bedtime -- so you won't get heartburn or be disturbed by too much digestive activity, but also...

4. b. Have a tiny bit of something just before lying down -- a couple of crackers with a little cheddar cheese works for me.

5. Sometimes cuddling a hot-water bottle wrapped in something soft can be very soothing -- or better yet, cuddle a kitty!

And finally, my favorite:

6. When your mind just runs away with you and you can't control your train of thought (and I surely do know how that is), close your eyes and mentally tell yourself a story. You can envision it happening, like a movie in your head... but even more effective (for me) is mentally typing it, writing it like a novel, watching the words appear on the page. This is hard mental work, and it wears your mind out very quickly. I've never gotten beyond a couple of paragraphs!
Thank you for all the tips! I do always have backround noise, either my air-purifier or a fan, otherwise I would never get any sleep with Will's snoring! That's another thing that keeps me up and drives me crazy. So, some nights I go out and lay on the sofa for a while or I make him go out there because when ever I try to lay out in the living room I wake up to Sash screaming at the bedroom door! Luckily, Will leaves for work very early so I still get a few more hours to sleep in peace and quiet.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
6. When your mind just runs away with you and you can't control your train of thought (and I surely do know how that is), close your eyes and mentally tell yourself a story. You can envision it happening, like a movie in your head... but even more effective (for me) is mentally typing it, writing it like a novel, watching the words appear on the page. This is hard mental work, and it wears your mind out very quickly. I've never gotten beyond a couple of paragraphs!
I have the same problem, and sometimes it works if I start thinking about different songs, trying to remember the lyrics.

The best thing that puts me to sleep is when DH puts a tv show like The Universe, where it's just basically someone talking. Puts me right out.
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