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Insomnia!

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
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34
Over the past 5 or so days, I seem to be averaging about 3 good hours of sleep every night.

What are some good (legal) things you do to get some shut eye?
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
Don't merely toss and turn. Get up and do something. Mop the floor, get on Cyburbia...it is amazing the number of posts I delete in daylight that sounded so good at 3 in the morning.
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,169
Points
24
I've had sleep problems for years and can give you a lot of suggestions. Most sleep problems people have are due to anxiety and it just feeds on itself when you're frustrated that you can't fall asleep. That's what you've got to break.

Lately, I've been using Valerian every once in a while to sleep. It's a natural remedy that comes from a root and can lull you off to sleep with no drug hangover in the morning. It's not habit forming either. You can buy it at Whole Foods, 300mg of "standardized" Valerian should be good for 8 hours of sleep. Take it one hour before you want to nod off.

Ambien is a prescription sleeping pill. It's excellent, but can be habit forming.

Camomille tea before bed works for some. But, make use you don't drink to much so that you don't have to get up and pee.

Non-drug things to do are:
No caffeine in the afternoon or evening
No exercise in the late evening (but make sure you get some)
Don't eat a big meal late at night (indigestion)
Booze may make you fall asleep, but it's poor quality sleep
Turn your clock so that you can't see it
Only get into bed to sleep when you're tired
If you are stuggling and can't sleep, get up and do something boring away from the bed.
No TV or computer if you can't sleep, it's too stimulating
Only use your bed for sleeping and sex, that way your mind sees it as a relaxing place.
And sex or killing kittens before bed never hurts either :)

Good luck!
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
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29
yes i vote for the sex or killing kittens one. course my dogs snuggle me and its addictive they go to sleep and im out like a light-till the beagle snores
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
386
Points
12
I ususally work on a crossword puzzle right before I go to bed. That helps me relax, get my mind off of the day and I think it's a good vocabulary refresher.
 
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27
I have a couple different kinds of insomnia - if I'm tired, but not sleepy, I find i have to get up and do something else. I'll write a letter to my gramma or in my journal, and usually i'll bore myself to sleepiness. Sometimes a hot bath with a magazine does the trick.

If i'm sleepy, but just can't fall asleep, i'll pick four points in the room and focus on each point while counting to four. ie: look at dresser (1), look at don mattingly bobblehead (2), tv stand (3) bed post (4), and that just tires the hell out of me.
 

Queen B

Cyburbian
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3,179
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25
Benadryl doesn't make me drowsy but Chlorotrimatron(sp?) does, and they have it in inexpensive generic forms now.

Hot Bath or shower.

If some particular item is really bothering me, I get up and write about it. Once I put my thought on paper I don't seem to have the need to keep worrying about it.

If all those don't work, I just make myself stay up and no nap the next day. Then I completely crash.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
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34
Reading in bed for fifteen or twenty minutes usually helps me fall asleep quicker. Drinking a couple Guinness a couple hours before going to bed will usually help me sleep better. Too much alchohol, though, is bad. Keeping the room cool, and running a dehumidifier to take out the humidity are important to me. I can't sleep well when it is humid, and sleep better when the temperature is cold. Nothing is better than sex and a warm woman to snuggle up to. Unfortunately, I have not slept well for several nights.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
A shot of whiskey helps me with that problem. (not that I have it or do that often).
 
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5,353
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31
Reading Planning magazine should do the trick. If not, try a healthy dose of Percocet and Augmentin. It's been helping me.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,387
Points
25
There must be something in the air; I've had a similar sleep problem lately.

I solve it by watch the sad excuse for late night newscasts on the local NBC station. The reporting bores me right out!
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
On really bad nights I may take a half of tylenol pm, usually after a late meeting when I cannot get my mind to quiet down. Sex and boring yourself work wonders too. Also, I like meditation to get me more relaxed, even if it's only mindfull breathing.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
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13,853
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39
If you dont have access to decent medication try meditating (honest). You don't even have to sit up. Just lay quietly and let your mind drift. Don't focus on any thought, just let them glide by. It takes some practice, but if you're not stopping to worry or think about anything, you will fall asleep quickly.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
tv

Stay away from 3:00 AM public access tv. It can be VERY disturbing.
 

Belle

Cyburbian
Messages
142
Points
6
I second Queen B's suggestion about getting up and writing about whatever it is that is bothering you (if that's the case). Even just a few words to remind myself of some ideas/trains of thought often does the trick for me, then my mind can release it and relax.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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10,624
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34
Belle said:
I second Queen B's suggestion about getting up and writing about whatever it is that is bothering you (if that's the case). Even just a few words to remind myself of some ideas/trains of thought often does the trick for me, then my mind can release it and relax.
Why on EARTH would I want to give the government the evidence they are looking for?! ;)
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
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30
I'l trade your insomnia for my lethargy.

The past two weeks I get home and if I don't go do something right away I fall asleep and wake up around 8: 00PM, stay awake until 11: 00 then have a fight to wake up for 8: 00AM. blech
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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18,287
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44
Sorry to bring this topic up again but I'm really having problems sleeping these past few weeks. I try to stay up until 10 or 10:30 reading. But I'm waking up between 3 and 4 in the morning. I've drastically reduced alcohol consumption and stopped smoking cigars. Any other suggestions? Think I should see my doctor?
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,461
Points
44
Drink alot of coffee in the morning, work out right after work, and eat a good heavy dinner... of turkey.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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michaelskis said:
Drink alot of coffee in the morning, work out right after work, and eat a good heavy dinner... of turkey.
I've been mainlining the coffee in the morning until I get the shakes. The turkey might work; I'll give that a try.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
27,309
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63
Having suffered with sleep problems for much of my adult life I have some experience with this matter and have great empathy with you on this.

I see that folks on this forum have posted some good suggestions and maybe you have already tried some and found they work - if so, great. The sleep specialists I've spoken with sometimes disagree on certain particulars but all seem to agree on the following:
Sleep serves the brain far more than the body. The body merely requires periods of inactivity (rest) to recharge. The brain apparently only derives benefit from sleep when REM cycles occur. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycles occur while dreaming. Numerous studies have been conducted where experimental subjects have been allowed to 'sleep' for 8 hours but are woken up whenever a REM cycle starts. The resulting impairment to mental acuity is nearly as bad as the control group of subjects who did not sleep at all, so we know REM is the goal of sleep (even if you don't remember dreaming). Caffeine, alcohol, and many other medications or substances are known to impair or even prevent REM cycles from occuring, so one suffering from serious sleep deprivation would do well to avoid them completely (no coffee even while shagged out the in morning). Strenuous exercise can help induce sleep but the body's metabolic functions cannot be elevated at the time of going to bed so complete your exercise at least a couple of hours prior to hitting the hay. Digestion, obviously, can also affect the body's metabolism, so one would also do well to eat as many hours as possible prior to bedtime. Drinking fluids of any sort within three hours of bedtime is also a bad idea.
That said, even following all of the above you still might find yourself staring at the clock in the wee hours. If so, the best thing you can do is engage your mind in a mindless, repetitive activity (the whole point behind counting sheep right?). This boring activity is something that tends to vary from person to person - what works for one often does not work for another; some people swear by reading something dull but I never personally had much luck there, others swear by assigning number values to individual letters on lines of text and rearranging the letters in numerical order. The important thing is to experiment. If after trying something you find it is not working try something else. Good luck and if all else fails don't be reluctant to see a Dr. about it if you are suffering for any length of time - there could be something physically wrong such as apnea or some breathing irregularity you may not even be aware of.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
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Maister said:
Having suffered with sleep problems for much of my adult life I have some experience with this matter and have great empathy with you on this.

Maister… do you think that if you have had sleep problems most your life, you would be a good example on how to sleep.

It is like asking a Chicken for flying tips
 

biscuit

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3,904
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25
H said:
A shot of whiskey helps me with that problem. (not that I have it or do that often).
The remedy of champions! This has always worked in the rare occasions that I've had problems getting relaxed enough to fall asleep
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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michaelskis said:
Maister… do you think that if you have had sleep problems most your life, you would be a good example on how to sleep.

It is like asking a Chicken for flying tips
Perhaps I should have mentioned that I have been pretty successful getting to sleep for the last 5 yrs? ....
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
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6,655
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28
Insomnia is a recurring problem of mine. Kava kava is my usual remedy. One or two tablets relaxes me enoguh to sleep most of the time. |-)
 

JNL

Cyburbian
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2,449
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25
I'm another insomniac lately (possibly due to some meds I'm on for which this is a known side-effect). Also waking up around 3-4 most nights like you RJ. There is some good advice on here, and particularly if something is whirring round and round in my mind I've also found it helps to turn on the light and write it down. One thing I've found really important, that is much is easier said than done, is to try not to let the sleeplessness get to you. I know, it's hard to do. But lying awake in the middle of the night and stressing about not being asleep is a sure way to drive you close to insanity! So when I wake up, I just think that eventually I will get back to sleep, so I spend the time thinking about um, nice things... :-$ like an ideal holiday, and who I'd like to take with me.
 

Lee Nellis

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I have to say that I am a little shocked at the casual recommendations of drugs and alcohol, none of which address the reasons a person isn't sleeping. Aren't we planners suppose to be telling our clients how to address causes not symptoms?

My own experience suggests that eating a light early supper, working out (hard!) at some point during the day, and, if its on the agenda, sex will put you to sleep. Also no salt, no sugar, esp late in the day, and no caffiene may help.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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I'm surprized nobody mentioned cloroform :-b, not that its a sure remedy to use all the time;)

I let nature take its course, but I often find myself walking up in the middle of the night to sounds.
 

Michele Zone

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michaelskis said:
Maister… do you think that if you have had sleep problems most your life, you would be a good example on how to sleep.

It is like asking a Chicken for flying tips
Actually, asking someone who has lived with a problem like this for a long time and learned how to effectively cope with it will get you better answers than asking someone who never has trouble getting to sleep. (Duh!)

I have a long history of sleep issues. One thing that probably no one else will tell you: the brain needs to be sufficiently "tired" in order for you to sleep. Insomnia is a problem for a lot of high IQ people and "boring" activity is the exact wrong solution if that is a factor: you need to do something sufficiently mentally engaging for your mind to NEED a rest -- no different from the fact that you sleep better when your body is sufficiently worn out from exercising.

A drop in blood sugar in the middle of the night can also wake you up -- often out of a nightmare for somatopsychic reasons: the body releases adrenaline in order to access stored sugars (in the liver I think -- I wrote this paper more than 20 years ago) and if you have no knowledge of how low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) works, you interpret the release of adrenaline as a "fear" reaction. If it becomes a chronic problem, it can promote a sense of paranoia, from feeling "afraid" all the time due to hypoglycemic shakes (due to my medical disorder, I used to "pass out" a lot from extremely low blood sugar -- I know this issue inside and out). Eating sugar worsens low blood sugar because it causes a spike in blood sugar, the body then "dumps" insulin into the blood, and that is eventually followed by a steep drop in blood sugar. Avoid caffeine, sugar, alcohol, etc. Eat a healthy diet and eat something in the evening that digests slowly -- a combo of proteins and fats (like cheese) or a complex carbohydrate (like "whole grain" something or other -- NOT "white flour" ANYTHING). Eating sugar in the evening, especially on an empty stomach and not terribly long before bedtime, can easily be the sole reason one is awake at 3am.

If you have Rumpy's problem (of being bothered by noises), a white noise machine can do wonders. Both of my kids are sensitive to stuff like that and neither of them can sleep without a fan on -- year-round, regardless of the weather.

For a non-drug way to help your body straighten out its sleep cycle, take some CoQ10 about 12 hours before you would like to go to sleep. It is the co-factor for melatonin and taking it will promote the release of melatonin 12 hours later. It is also a supplement that is recommended as you get older because it is produced by a complex (17 step?) process and a bottleneck at any point will prevent its completion. So everyone eventually ends up having too little of this. While taking CoQ10 will promote the production of melatonin, taking melatonin does not promote the production of CoQ10. I have tried taking melatonin and it makes me sleep like the dead and have trouble waking up and then I feel dopey. I once gave melatonin to my insomniac teenaged son and he was dopey for 3 days and couldn't completely wake up. So we don't use melatonin around here.

I find that it is much easier on the system to take CoQ10 early in the day as a more "natural" means to reestablish healthy brain chemistry and biorhythms than to dump melatonin into the system when it is one of two factors that work hand-in-hand. Taking melatonin really only gets the brain chemistry further out of balance because taking it does not address the other half of the equation. CoQ10 has been essential to me getting my sleep issues straightened out in the aftermath of 5+ years of terrible insomnia, nearly dying, 3 years of taking "more drugs than your average rock star" and fun stuff like that. I am sleeping a LOT better and I can tell the difference when I run out of CoQ10 or forget to take it. It is not "instantaneous". It takes a few days to reestablish your brain rhythms. And, like "dieting" -- a permanent healthy change is a real cure whereas a "quick fix" can just worsen the problem (like with a crash diet).

I hope that helps.
 
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Richmond Jake

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Michele Zone said:
MZ - Where can I get this and what are the side effects?
RT - What's cloroform and what are the side effects? ;)
otterpop - What's kava kava and what are the side effects?
Maister - Thanks for the background.

And thanks to all for all the suggestions.
 

Michele Zone

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RichmondJake said:
MZ - Where can I get this and what are the side effects?
You can get it at GNC or just about anyplace they sell vitamins these days. It is a natural mental stimulant since its chemical purpose is to wake you up. If taken too late in the day, it promotes insomnia. It is really important that you take it at least 12 hours before you intend to go to sleep. It usually says "CoQ10" on the bottle but might say "Cofactor Q-10". It can be quite expensive. I usually buy it at the commissary rather than at GNC because it it is so expensive at GNC. But I only take one or two pills a day, so it isn't that expensive for the entire month when I compare it to stuff I take a lot more of that is cheaper per pill. (One of my drugs is more than a dollar a pill and my son is on the same thing. If insurance didn't cover it, it would cost about $700 per month to treat both of us. -- So I have to keep it all in perspective.)

But, I do buy a lot of stuff at GNC because of the quality of their products, which are sometimes worth the extra expense. I have had experiences where I bought a generic someplace else and it just wasn't as effective. Herbal supplements keep me breathing and out of the ER. So I often simply cough up the dough at GNC, if I can't find something as effective elsewhere for less money.
 

Rem

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Maister said:
The brain apparently only derives benefit from sleep when REM cycles occur. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycles occur while dreaming.
I don't cycle that often, but if it is going to assist a fellow Cyburbanite, I will have a crack this weekend. If I dream about cycling, will that do?
 

JNL

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Rem said:
I don't cycle that often, but if it is going to assist a fellow Cyburbanite, I will have a crack this weekend. If I dream about cycling, will that do?
LOL, funny guy :-D We need a cartoonist: caption - REM cycles on track and RichmondJake sleeps better
 

Michele Zone

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RichmondJake said:
MZ - Where can I get this and what are the side effects?
One more thing (and I think it is important that you not miss this, that is why I am doing a second reply and not merely editing the first one): CoQ10 strengthens the heart. This is good news for most people and I sent some to a friend with a weak heart for Christmas. But I do have a friend with a weird heart disorder and she won't take it because strengthening the heart could cause her to have a heart attack and have a one in four chance of dying from said attack. If you have a heart condition and want to know what specific heart condition she has, let me know (pm me if this is not something you want to be public knowledge) and I will look it up or ask her to tell me again, if I can't find it in my e-mails. You might want to check with a physician if you are the type of person who needs a heart specialist.
 

Doitnow

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There you are RichmondJAke. As usual Cyburbians a have a cure for all and loads of suggestions. Here are mine:

Work hard in the day.
Think, but Dont think too much.
Identify and Write down whats troubling. Even if you have to tear it to pieces the next morning.
NO NO for any medicatoin and Definitely YES YES for meditation/relaxation.
HAve a early dinner and relax your mind( AutoSuggestion is one way people say).
Do some light/funny/entertaining reading in bed.
Dont read planning related stuff in bed. Never.
Sex might be good but just dont want to have sex just to sleep well later( you know what I mean)
Dont even think of an afternoon nap.
Dont get used to Alcohol/Beer to feel sleepy.
TAKE A BREAK.

On a more serious note
Most sleep problems people have are due to anxiety
If its true in your case. maybe its time to do a check on where you are going and what path you are taking.
 

tsc

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Jeff said:
yes... a couple benny's will get you through the night... it is the same stuff as nytol and Tylenol pm.

I have used melatonin to some success. I have been in the same boat due to a lot of stress
 
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