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Insomnia, Post #3 - Laura Wise

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May 13th, 2015


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09:15 am - Insomnia, Post #3
Last night I couldn't sleep.

Part of the problem was my allergies, which meant that lying down made the sinus pressure and drainage worse, made my throat feel too small for the air I needed. Part of it was that last Diet Coke drunk too late yesterday afternoon. Part of it was just me.

I haven't found a good way to get through insomnia. Do I get up and read until I'm tired? (Except that I already AM tired, I can feel it weighing me down.) Do I try to treat the allergies further? Do I lie there listening to the house creak, to Master Danger turning around in his crate in the next room, to distant traffic and what might be gunfire in my small town?

Do you have insomnia? If so, what do you do for it?

Cheers and sleep in the right amounts for all....

(28 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:May 13th, 2015 01:55 pm (UTC)
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Insomnia is the bane of my life. My mother, sister, and younger son are the same, so suspect it's genetic. My mother just didn't bother to sleep, and the rest of us are always working on remedies.

What is working right now:

1. No alcohol, coffee, caffeinated drinks, sugar, heavy eating in general. Strangely, I can now tolerate a cup of white tea drunk early in the morning, though.

2. Waking early (thanks to the Problem Cat, I have no choice about this. Sun up, I'm up).

3. Going to bed at roughly the same time, and killing all electronics a hour before I plan to sleep. I've always been addicted to reading myself to sleep. The Kindle Paperwhite doesn't seem to bother me a lot but I try to use real books at night when possible. I do watch TV in bed, which is suppose to be a no-no, but always turn it off and then read.

4. Exercise.

5. Zyrtec every night, 10 mg Melatonin, and a herbal capsule with valerian and other goodies (Sound Sleep made by Gaia).

Now if I do all that, and there hasn't been anything even mildly exciting during the evening, I might get to sleep. If that fails:

1. Either Sonata or Rozerem.

2. Turn on light and read until the pill kicks in.

3. If none of that works, call it a night and eat breakfast very early, and hope for a nap between 7 and 8 (but I don't usually have to show up anywhere).

The worst part for me is that I really have a hard time sleeping the night before traveling, especially if I have to get up early. Not so bad if it's plane travel, but really a problem if I have to drive. That's what leads to the Sonata. It's short-acting, so if I take it by 2 AM, I can get four hours of sleep by 6 AM. Not ideal, but I don't fall asleep on the road, that way.

Good luck!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2015 02:16 pm (UTC)
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This is so so helpful. I am now realizing that I had a glass and a half of wine with dinner last night, so... yeah. I'm going to be v.v. unhappy if I have to give up wine entirely.

Melatonin will definitely be purchased this afternoon.

Blessings and thanks -- and good sleep for all! Happy Tuesday!
[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:May 13th, 2015 02:18 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I manage the no alcohol part only when I'm in weight loss or maintenance mode. And maybe one glass won't bother you. I think that really varies from person to person.

Melatonin also brings interesting dreams....I use 10 mg, but you could probably start lower.

Enjoy!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2015 02:21 pm (UTC)
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I have insomnia anyway, but now that I track back, more than a half-glass of wine does mess with my sleep even more. That gets worse the older I get.

La la, all part of the process. ;)
[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:May 13th, 2015 02:25 pm (UTC)
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Reading the message below, just mentioning that insomnia for me does not mean anxiety. I'm not necessarily fretting, stewing, ruminating. I'm just not asleep. I sometimes set myself a memory task, like various trips or people, and can lie there for hours calmly and peacefully and wakefully reminiscing.

Some people think it really helps to meditate before going to bed, and to do some forward bends, esp. legs-up-the-wall. I don't do that right now, but may try if other stuff stops working. I like to meditate in the morning.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2015 02:40 pm (UTC)
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My insomnia of the past few months is usually not anxiety-related either -- but it used to be!

I am not crazy about meditating at night, and legs-up-the-wall actually energizes me, so that's out. ;)
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From:cindergal
Date:May 14th, 2015 01:23 am (UTC)
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You just need to start drinking earlier. ;-)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 14th, 2015 12:40 pm (UTC)
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Hee -- that's already true! I used to be able to have a glass of wine late at night, but that has messed with my sleep for ten years or so. Unless I'm on vacation, I'm a late-afternoon/dinnertime wine drinker now.
[User Picture]
From:tx_cronopio
Date:May 13th, 2015 02:00 pm (UTC)
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I found spoken word recordings do the trick...either the BBC on the radio, or an audiobook. And if it doesn't work, at least you're hearing something of interest! But it does keep my mind from hopping on the anxiety hamster wheel.

Best wishes! I had insomnia for over ten years. It sucks.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2015 02:19 pm (UTC)
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I've thought about listening to music, but the spoken-word stuff might be better. Thank you!

I know exactly what you mean about the anxiety hamster wheel.

Cheers for your day, Cronopio.
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From:paratti
Date:May 13th, 2015 02:33 pm (UTC)
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((Hugs))
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From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2015 02:40 pm (UTC)
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Hugs hugs! Also, I know it's the time of the Flower Show -- hope you have pollen-free air.
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From:kathyh
Date:May 13th, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC)
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I don't really suffer from insomnia so I'm probably not qualified to comment but I definitely second the recommendation for audiobooks or the radio. I listen to an audiobook for about half an hour before I go to sleep and find that really works to send me to sleep, sometimes a bit too soon :) I've just had a lovely time listening to "Sylvester" by Georgette Heyer, which has been an excellent way of revisiting it in a different form.

When I really can't go to sleep it usually turns out that I've had sugar too late at night. Sometimes just getting up and walking round the house helps as it breaks the sleeplessness cycle.

Best of luck in finding something that works for you.
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From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2015 06:28 pm (UTC)
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The audiobooks might be the way to go for me; it struck me that I find the books too soothing to play in the car, so... :)

Yes, sugar is a problem for me too. I will think about this more.

Hugs and thanks, K!
From:gwynnega
Date:May 13th, 2015 04:27 pm (UTC)
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Sometimes if I have insomnia, TV will lull me to sleep. (Generally what works best is something with plenty of commercials!) If all else fails, a Benadryl will knock me out.
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From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC)
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TV usually doesn't work for me, because the flickering light does bother me a bit when I'm tired, and I can get too invested in a show. I found it easier to sleep on Monday nights when I began watching Sleepy Hollow on Hulu on Tuesdays. ;)

Hugs hugs!
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From:anne_d
Date:May 13th, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
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I also have sleep problems, so I sympathize.

I stop drinking leaded tea by lunchtime, and on my doctor's suggestion, I take a small dose of something with benadryl (Advil or Tylenol PM) an hour before bedtime. I also read someplace that reading an eBook in bed can interfere with your sleep. Something about the light of the reader, I think.

Sit up and read for a bit? That might also give your poor head a chance to drain. I hope you can get a proper rest tonight. Hugs!
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From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2015 06:31 pm (UTC)
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I think I'm also going to have to stop drinking caffeine by lunchtime. Blast. ;)

Hugs and better sleep for you, too.
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From:anne_d
Date:May 13th, 2015 06:40 pm (UTC)
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There are some decent decaf teas out there - Twinings decaf Chai, English and Irish Breakfasts and Earl and Lady Greys are all good. I hope you can find something you like for evening imbibing.
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From:stateless82
Date:May 14th, 2015 12:03 am (UTC)
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It doesn't happen often, but when I can't sleep I'll bring my pillow out to couch, turn on some middle of the night rerun and if I leave my glasses off I'll usually fall asleep.

My more usual problem is letting myself fall asleep- I just really want to be awake. All the time.
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From:laurawise
Date:May 14th, 2015 12:41 pm (UTC)
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That used to be my habit too! (This was especially true when I had the Small Black Dog of Chaos, who slept on my bed.) It doesn't work now for some reason.

Hugs hugs, and sleep when you need it. :)
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From:cindergal
Date:May 14th, 2015 01:27 am (UTC)
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I rarely have a problem falling asleep, but sometimes I wake up in the wee hours, and it's usually an anxiety thing. TV does help me at those times (because a creaking house at 3 a.m. produces even more anxiety), but it sounds like the audiobooks might be something worth trying for you.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 14th, 2015 12:42 pm (UTC)
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I have a fair number of friends who do the wake-up-in-the-night thing; it's been hormonal with them. Both kinds of insomnia are No Fun! [hugs]
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From:desdemonaspace
Date:May 14th, 2015 01:51 am (UTC)
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I swear by hot milk. You can microwave it or heat in a saucepan, until JUST under boiling, and add a tablespoon of honey and a dash of nutmeg, if you like. I drink mine plain - it works in about half an hour. I also do a soft of self-hypnosis thing, with so-so results. I could email the script to you, if you want. You could LJ-message me.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 14th, 2015 12:43 pm (UTC)
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I might try the milk! The idea of adding honey and nutmeg is really appealing. :)

Hugs and thanks to you! Happy day, too!
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From:claudia_yvr
Date:May 15th, 2015 09:40 pm (UTC)
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I don't often suffer from insomnia unless I'm stressed, so when that happens I write down everything that's bothering me, no matter how trivial, as well as all the best and worst scenarios for each worry. Once I get that out of my head, I find I can relax a bit more and it's very enlightening years later to look at old lists of worries that turned out to be completely groundless or unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

That said, I no longer drink coffee after lunch and I very rarely drink alcohol anymore, because I do find it affects my sleep. I read an article about treating insomnia recently, and what appealed to me is that it seemed easy to do though I haven't had the need to try it yet. Harvard-trained Dr Andrew Weil claims his 4-7-8 breathing technique that claims to help you nod off in 60 SECONDS without medication. Worth a try, I say!

::hugs, hugs::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 17th, 2015 11:55 am (UTC)
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I wish I could do breathing exercises to help! Part of my problem is that my allergies are affecting my breathing (yoga's difficult to do now with a constantly stuffy nose). But I'll try to modify that exercise.

Hugs hugs! Joy to you!
[User Picture]
From:claudia_yvr
Date:May 17th, 2015 06:34 pm (UTC)
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The other exercise I heard about is to -- in bed, with lights off and eyes closed -- draw figure eights on the ceiling with your eyes. The concept is that the exercise takes enough mental alertness to distract you from whatever might be weighing on your mind or from physical discomfort (such as being congested), but easy enough to do that it doesn't keep you up. Maybe that might work for you?

::hugs, hugs::

Edited at 2015-05-17 06:36 pm (UTC)

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