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What helps you sleep?

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musiclovingmom posted 1/7/2014 09:41 AM

So, I haven't slept through the night in about 2 years. That is due largely to the fact that I've had a child who didn't sleep through the night for most of those two years (my boys are 2 and 9 months) However, my baby has been sleeping through the night for a couple of months and I still wake up 3-4 times every night. It takes me an hour or longer to fall asleep (even using meditations directly designed to put you to sleep) and when I wake up, it takes me that long to fall back asleep. About one night a week, I am so exhausted that I finally sleep and only wake up once or twice. I've taken OTC and prescription sleep aids before, but they always leave me groggy and hungover feeling the next day. Any ideas? Suggestions? Things that have worked for you?

Newlease posted 1/7/2014 10:08 AM

I ran on 4 to 6 hours of sleep the whole time I was raising my family. I finally gave in and started taking Ambien several years ago. I didn't have any side affects like some people experience. I was on it for a couple of years and then weaned myself off. Now I sleep like a baby but my children are grown and out of the house.

Hang in there!


tushnurse posted 1/7/2014 10:18 AM

There are a few things that have helped me sleep over the years, and I do have sleep issues. Light sleeper, had trouble falling asleep and trouble staying asleep.

I am now 43, and have to say it took until about 2 years ago to really get to a point where I sleep well.

1. I have a very strict bedtime routine, that I try not to waiver on, this starts an hour before I go to bed, includes getting my clothes together for the next day (so I am not thinking about what will I wear to work). Packing my lunch (again so I don't wonder what I will eat). washing my face/brushing my teeth, then getting into bed where I watch the news through the weather. Turn off the TV and read. I do not have a set time that I read, but try to be lights out no later than 10:30 because I get up before 6am.

2. White noise machine. I actually use an app on my phone now, but have used machines, and of course box fans. This keeps my tinnitus (ear ringing) under control, and allows me to sleep through the quieter noises. By the time my kids were your kids ages, they could cry loud enough to wake me with the white noise.

3. NO caffeine after 11am. Seriously. I used to drink soda and tea until the evening, and found that on the days I didn't have it after lunch time I slept better, and have found that if I am done consuming my caffeine for the day by 11am, it makes a difference.

4. NO NAPPING - This was a big change for me as well when the kids were small if I was home I would take one. It made me restless and sleep poorly at night. It makes me sad that I can't do this anymore, but is well worth having the good sleep at night.

5. Some sort of physical exercise daily or every other day. Even with your current level of exhaustion, the type of tired you get from using a treadmill, exercise bike, or elliptical is different, and eliminates all the nervous energy.

6. I do on occasion use meds to help me sleep. For years I took Benadryl due to allergies, it helped if I took it at bedtime, prevented sinus infections for me. It did not leave me hung over.
I was also on a low dose of Elavil/Amitriptyline for years for migraines, this helped with sleep too. After the A I found sleep was even more difficult because I would literally wake up and start evaluating my life, my decisions, his behavior all of it. The trick was to not wake up. Ativan is now my go to for this issue. I don't take it daily, but I do take it 1-2 times a week. It is the bomb. It allows me to fall asleep more easily, and sleep through without multiple wake ups, and even if I do wake up, I am able to fall asleep fairly easily. The other bonus is the dose is so small, that I don't get a hangover.

When talking with sleep specialists, the recommend good sleep hygiene, using your bed for sleep and sex only, I include reading before falling asleep, because if I read in the living room, I would find 6 things to do on my way to bed, and be fully awake again by the time I got there, cause that's how I roll.
Having a set bedtime, even on weekends until you build good routines and habits.
White noise.
No naps.
Having a set get up time, again even on weekends until you have a routine established.
No extra stuff in bed with you, so just the 1-2 pillows you sleep with and your covers.
NO co sleeping with kids or pets.
No stimulation 2-3 hours prior to bed
NO food 2-3 hours prior to bed.
If you lay in bed more than 15 minutes without falling asleep, get up and start your bedtime routine over. This resets your body and helps your mind to calm.
Some people swear by some herbal remedies, I never found them to be helful, but I am sure folks will be along with those soon.

One last thought if you try all this and it doesn't work you should see a sleep specialist. There are Many Many people out there that don't get good rest, and wake up frequently due to sleep apnea. There are significant health issues that come from having this untreated. So a sleep specialist is a smart choice to evaluate if you possibly have it, and how best to move forward if you do, or don't. Good Luck.

forced2moveon posted 1/8/2014 18:10 PM

melatonin works wonders and with no sluggish hung-over feeling the next day!

[This message edited by forced2moveon at 6:11 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)]

somanyyears posted 1/8/2014 22:06 PM

..lorazepam 1mg.. I take only a half doctor's prescription since D-day.

..of course, a good old fashioned orgasm helps a lot!!


Audrina posted 1/8/2014 22:25 PM

Things that help:

A very dark room
No internet or Tv an hr before bed
An orgasm

itainteasy posted 1/9/2014 10:47 AM

Melatonin helps. So does Valerian Root--although some people say the valerian root gives them really weird, vivid dreams. I never experienced that.

I agree with tushnurse, having a routine really helps.

I take OTC sleep aids. I take more than the recommended dose (with my doctor's blessing), and I take it before I have dinner. This works for me, because it hits my bloodstream on an empty stomach, and I eat dinner late--around 730 or 8 pm. By 930, I'm ready to get into pajamas and go to sleep. And I sleep through the night, unless the dog wakes up and needs a potty break. Sometimes, I will have a hard time getting back to sleep after that.

I do this sunday night through thursday night. If I didn't, I would never sleep for work! Weekends, I try to go to bed around 10 or 1030 with no meds. Sometimes I fall asleep before midnight. Sometimes I don't sleep at all.

GabyBaby posted 1/9/2014 10:54 AM

I've had insomnia issues for years and between going to school and raising my family, I lived on about 4-5hrs of sleep for nearly a decade.

What works for me:
1) I go into "calm down" mode about an hour or two before bedtime. That includes having a cup of (decaf) tea, turning off electronics and simply reading or knitting quietly for a bit.

2) White noise machine. I simply cannot sleep without it.

3) Yoga/stretching, which I do shortly before tea and reading.

I tried Ambien, and although it worked, I had memory lapses and other side effects, so I had to stop taking it.
Melatonin worked for a while, but then stopped working.

RyeBread posted 1/9/2014 11:17 AM

5. Some sort of physical exercise daily or every other day. Even with your current level of exhaustion, the type of tired you get from using a treadmill, exercise bike, or elliptical is different, and eliminates all the nervous energy.

This ^^^

Even when I feel tired I still try to exercise. Strenuous exercise (the kind where you are sweating and feel exhausted afterwards) will knock you right out at night. It does for me anyway. I notice when I am in an exercise lull I don't sleep as good. I know its hard to schedule that sometimes but it works. Not to mention the positive side effects this has on your body.

shatteredheart7 posted 1/9/2014 11:30 AM

Melatonin and orgasms!

64fleet posted 1/9/2014 14:17 PM


musiclovingmom posted 1/9/2014 18:31 PM

Thanks guys. Orgasms isn't an issue, and I usually fall asleep more quickly after, but they don't keep me from waking several times throughout the night. And lately, a glass or wine or shot of whiskey actually makes me sleep worse (go figure). I think I'll try some melatonin. I plan on talking to my dr about it too at my next appointment. I've hesitated to do that because I really REALLY don't want to have to spend a night at the sleep lab (I used to work at one and just can't imagine actually tying to sleep there).

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