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Insomnia: Anyone else blessed with this wonderful gift?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was being extremely sarcastic with the word wonderful.

I go in spurts, I had about 2mos where the insomnia was awful. Then for about 2wks, I slept pretty good. Now I'm back to not sleeping. It's 5:30am and I've gotten maybe 20mins sleep

It especially bothers me because I have some physical disabilities, and when I don't sleep well, my pain level increases dramtically

Anyone else in the same boat? Any sleep tips?

I've tried everything I can think of, as well as doc prescribed sleeping pills and I tried a couple different ones. None of them worked either. I've tried everything from a soothing caffeine free tea to a sleep cd (music that is supposed to help your brain waves go to how they are when you sleep). Only thing I haven't tried is warm milk, and that one I won't try either. I don't like milk.

So yup, if there's anyone else around with this problem, maybe we can chat. Insomniacs unite
post #2 of 20
right there with you!!! To make matters worst I ran out of Ambien tonight - Since it's over 5am... I guess the hope is lost for me
post #3 of 20
I only have trouble sleeping when I change back and forth from 3rd to 1st shifts or when I am sick. I usually find that an over-the-counter sleeping pill does the trick for me so I can at least get a couple of hours of sleep. On the other hand, I find that after a couple of days without sleep, my thoughts and ideas get really entertaining.
post #4 of 20
Not unusual these days for me to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep until like 6 am... I understand that insomnia can be a symptom of menopause and I am that age... and stress, too. I DEFINITELY have that in my life.
post #5 of 20
I think I will be dead if I suffer insomnia...
post #6 of 20
I would feel physically ill if i didn't have a full nights sleep

I really feel sorry for anyone who can't sleep properly though, because the thought just makes me feel ill

Do you have a comfortable bed?, because i always say that plays a big part in how you sleep.
post #7 of 20
A routine really helps me. I get into bed at the same time every day. I read for the same amount of time. I make sure the same thoughts and words are running through my head after I turn off the light. That usually helps, although I recently started taking new medication that has thrown everything out of wack. I've found that when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep, if I go out to the couch in the living room, I can fall asleep there.

Unfortunately, that brilliant plan is now thwarted by Kitty, who runs the living room and insists that she be petted and snuggled when I stumble out at 3 am looking to sleep

I did some research awhile back, and found that cognative behavioral therapy sometimes works - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ins...atment/SL00013. Here are some of the suggestions from the article that I've found helpful:

*Get up at approximately the same time every day, even on holidays and weekends.
*Get as much natural light as possible during the day, and limit light when you want to sleep.
*Go to bed only when you think you can fall asleep. If you haven't dozed off within 20 to 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something else until you feel drowsy. Limiting the amount of time you spend in bed when you're not actually sleeping increases your desire to sleep.
*Avoid napping during the day.
*Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, especially late in the day.
*Get regular exercise. Whether exercise close to bedtime disturbs sleep remains unclear and may vary from person to person.
*Start winding down an hour or two before bedtime. Turn down the lights. Stop watching television and using the computer. Take a warm bath.
post #8 of 20
What helps for me is not even trying to go to bed until I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes open... and sometimes I can wear my brain out quickly by playing a simple online game that's very repetitive, like backgammon or solitaire. Reading in bed helps, too, especially if I make sure the light isn't quite bright enough -- it seems like the strain to read in dim light wears out my brain, too.

My best friend discovered recently (through an overnight sleep test and consultation with a couple of specialists) that he has extreme sleep apnea, which makes it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep, and also drastically reduces the benefit he draws from what sleep he does get. Since he's not overweight (often the cause of that problem), they looked for other reasons for it, and found that he's apparently had chronic swelling and irritation of the nasal passages ever since he can remember. They've got him on some allergy medicine now that seems to be helping some... but there's also a possibility that he may need surgery to clear his breathing passages more thoroughly.

Not sure if any of that could relate to your troubles, but I thought I'd mention it... apparently, insomnia can be caused by all sorts of wildly varying issues!
post #9 of 20
I have insomnia at every full moon, no way around it. Last night was no different, was up for ages trying to fall asleep.
post #10 of 20
What about a sleep clinic at your local hospital? You can be referred by your GP and you spend the night there. They wire you up to a monitor overnight to watch your sleeping pattern and behaviour during the night.

I've heard about them being able to help insomnia sufferers before. Just a suggestion for you
post #11 of 20
I am so in the same boat as you!! It wears me out even more than having an active or busy day

I've tried different meds too, as well as melatonin...none have had a major significant effect, although there are times when they work wonders...hmmmph.
post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
What helps for me is not even trying to go to bed until I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes open... and sometimes I can wear my brain out quickly by playing a simple online game that's very repetitive, like backgammon or solitaire. Reading in bed helps, too, especially if I make sure the light isn't quite bright enough -- it seems like the strain to read in dim light wears out my brain, too.

I've always had sleeping issues in the morning though. I'll frequently wake up at 5:30 or 6am and be completely unable to get back to sleep. This is really bad, since I'm an orchestral musician and I work evenings several nights a week... it's kind of a downward spiral for me, since waking up early makes me tired around the time of day that I actually have to go to work, so the caffeine intake goes up (real Kona beans... mmm...), which makes it hard to get to sleep in the first place... etcetera. Naps help, but when there is no substitute for real sleep, at night, I use over the counter sleep aids. Specifically, NyQuil... which i really do try not to make a habit of.
post #13 of 20
I get insomnia. It is a sign of the change of life. Honestly I don't mess with it and take ambian. I don't feel burned out in the morning from them either. I just get a good nights sleep.
post #14 of 20
I never had a problem sleeping before. But after my accident, i did. They had me on Seroquel to help me sleep. I havent gotten another perscription though. When i get stressed i cant get to sleep. For example, I havent slept in like 2 days, because alot has been going on in my life lately. I have been spending the last couple nights thinking. And sometimes, ill get up to pee or get a drink at like 5 am and then i cant get back to sleep.
post #15 of 20
Can you try melatonin at night? It is a supplement that is easy to find
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Personally I have tried melatonin, as well as other OTC sleeping meds, and prescription sleep meds. None of them helped.

I am nowhere near 'the change of life' (I'm 31), so that's not it.

I do not have a bedtime routine, which perhaps would help.

Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions, I'm sorry I forget who posted the link to the one article, as well as tips in their post.... that was a good post.

"Glad" to hear I'm not the only one up at weird hours...(not saying its a good thing, just its nice to not be alone in my misery LOL)
post #17 of 20
i have had insomnia for 6 years. I rarely sleep a full night without prescription medication, but i don't like to take it more then 2-3 times/week so I deal with it. I've been to every doctor and specialist known to man, eastern, western you name it, did a regimented 'sleep hygiene' for 6 mo. nada. Wish I had advice for others, other then to just learn to rest while you lie awake at night....
post #18 of 20
I have insomnia horribly...... I got in spurts but stress will bring it on big time! and I have also found I have PMS insomnia!!!! for about a week before I do NOT sleep! melatonin works but since I work from home and work nights till 1am then some mornings have to work again at 8am I cant' always get enough sleep so wake up feeling groggy. I have never tried a script type of med for fear of either having to use it all the time or just not being able to get enough sleep and being even more tired in the am.....

but if i don't take something even when I can't even keep my eyes open when I am working then I am up until 3-5am and getting up at 7:30 to work again kills me!
post #19 of 20
i had sleeping problems too and a friend told me about a deep breathing exercise she does that has helped me more than anything. when you go to bed lay down flat on your back, no pillow, with your hands at your sides or on your stomach. breathe in and out only through your nose. count either when you inhale or exhale from 1 to 10 and then start over. it has helped me sleep a lot better. i still haven't slept 6hrs straight through but i don't wake up every 30min or so either anymore
post #20 of 20
So frustrating! Here are some things I've found to be helpful:

A bedtime routine helps tremendously - winding down, lowering the lights, and avoiding stimulating activity and bright light for an hour before bedtime.

First thing in the morning try to expose yourself to bright light for a few minutes. If you can't do it with natural sunlight, even indoor lighting will help, but it needs to be bright. When I get up before dawn I stare at the bulb lights over my bathroom mirror for a minute or so. Exposing your eyes to light early in the morning helps your body produce melantonin that night to help you sleep. This all sort of goes along with keeping regular hours - it's very important in helping your body know when to sleep & when to be awake. Equally important is avoiding bright light close to bedtime or at night - if you have to get up to go to the bathroom, try to do it without turning on the lights if possible, or use a VERY dim nightlight or flashlight - you can get a red lens for the flashlight to preserve your night vision.

I take a calcium & magnesium supplement before bed. A nutritionist told me that calcium is good for helping with insomnia, and magnesium is good for tension & muscle cramps.

If you wake easily with noise as I do, sleeping with soft foam earplugs can REALLY make a difference. Cats, dogs, other people in your home, neighbors, etc. can all make little noises during the night that can disturb your sleep and make it difficult for you to get back to sleep, even if you never realize what awoke you. It takes a few nights to get used to wearing earplugs at night, but it is really worth the trouble. This above all has really helped me to fall and remain asleep at night. Putting in my earplugs also has become part of my routine that tells my brain "it's time to sleep". A white noise machine might help if your ears are too sensitive for earplugs.

Comfort is important; you need to be cool enough in summer and warm enough in winter. It's worth the expense of cooling/heating to sleep well. If pain is an issue for you, discuss it openly with your doctor and tell him or her that it is disrupting your sleep and that you need to find out about pain control options.

I hope you find your solution soon and can rest well.
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