I've been dealing with this since I was a very young child.
Anyone else deal with this?
I am very interested in hearing from anyone who has had any measure of success in combating this.
I've done lunesta, ambian and I'm now on trazadone.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
I am fortunate in that I only need 5 to 5.5 hours of sleep, but even getting that amount is difficult.
Me: FBS (no longer betrayed nor a spouse)-62
D-day: 2007 (two years before finding SI)
S: 6/2010; D: 3/2011
Do you have clean sleep habits?
This really can be essential in having good sleep.
A set bedtime, and a set routine at bedtime. No social media in bed.
Reading at bedtime is allowed, but make sure your brightness on any e reader you may be using is turned down. At their full brightness they actually stimulate your brain to keep you awake.
Sleep for no more than 10 hours at any night, have a set bedtime and a set get up time, stick to this even on the weekends until you get your clock reset can take a month or two.
No Napping, no cat napping while watching TV, no real naps either.
Have white noise in your bedroom, a fan, a phone app, a noise machine, something to help buffer your brain. This helps to block out noise, and your brain will relate it sleep, and help induce sleep when you hear it.
Make sure you have good pillows, good sheets, and a nice cool bedroom that is dark.
Lastly if you lay in bed for more than 30 minutes awake, if trying to go to sleep, or waking up in the middle of the night, get up do some mundane activity, (I do laundry), then go back to bed, and follow your normal routine.
Eliminate Caffeine after 1pm.
Add in melatonin.
If all this doesn't work, and you are still having issues, then it may be time to try a sleep aid. OTC stuff is usually Benadryl, or Benadryl with either Tylenol or ibuprofen.
There are a multitude of Rx meds, true sleep meds like Lunesta and Ambien, older sleep meds like Restoril, and Low dose antidepressants like Elavil, and Trazadone. Lastly there are benzodiazepines, which are not truly sleep meds, but can work really well with little to no hangover, the risk is they can be addictive.
Being aware of the addictive nature of Benzo's I have taken them for years, if I go 2 nights without good sleep then I take one. It is a small dose, and just enough to quiet my mind, and has little to no hangover for me.
I have tried Trazadone, with no real help, and some unpleasant side effects, I did take Elavil for years for Migraines, and that did help improve sleep but not always.
Each of us is different and has different brain chemistry, and reasons why we can't sleep.
As we get older the need for 8 hours diminishes as well, as long as you feel rested it's not a problem. But if you are exhausted it is.
I would also recommend talking to your Dr about a sleep study too. We are finding that the "classic" sleep apneic person, isn't the only ones with sleep apnea. If you have elevated blood pressure, and are not obese, I recommend one. I have a patient that is actually in great shape, and had BP that was resistant to a bunch of meds, sent him for a sleep study, and Ta Da, yup sleep apnea, severe. Loves his machine, and is now off all meds for BP. I also have a young man who is "obese" by medical standards, but is built like a wrester, and had very similar issues, now resolved.
I think I'll start working with the "clean sleep habits", and go from there.
Thank you also to Kelany and Sad in AZ for responding.
[This message edited by LosferWords at 8:30 AM, May 5th (Monday)]
I'm thinking this might be a symptom of recently cutting way back on my alcohol and nicotine intake.
So inhale and count to maybe four or five, whatever's comfortable, then exhale slowly and count to six or seven, more if you can. I don't know if you've ever meditated or learned the mouth position for the type of meditation that I learned, but that really helps me too! I open my mouth just a teensy bit and stick my tongue on the back of my top teeth.
I have trouble shutting my brain off, so it really helps to have something to concentrate on like the counting and the mouth position. If my thoughts wander I just direct them back to that.
Guided mediation is also really nice...relaxing music with a soothing voiceover...
I take a 1/4 melatonin tablet (more than that & I'll get psychedelic dreams or may not be able to sleep at all).
Benedryl. It's good stuff.
I think the guided meditation might be something worth looking into.
I've cut most of the caffeine out of my diet.
Benedryl has some pretty bizarre effects on me as well.
The night before last was good. I was able to crash by around midnight. Last night I think I fell asleep around 3:30, which is pretty rough when my alarm goes off at 6:00.
I really appreciate all of the suggestions. Something is bound to work eventually. The collective knowledge here at SI never ceases to amaze me.
[This message edited by sharim at 11:58 PM, May 7th (Wednesday)]
I've only been using it for a few nights, but I usually fall asleep before the 10 minutes are up.
I have a hard time falling asleep, and staying asleep.
I have tried prescription sleep aids (and had wacky side effects with ambien--and lunesta made me feel like my uvula was collapsing on my esophagus).
Currently I take a double dose of the generic version of Unisom.
I take it before dinner (and I usually eat dinner around 730 pm), and by 9 or 930 I'm ready to sleep. Sometimes I still wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to get back to sleep. That's when I start watching the clock and saying "well if I fall asleep right NOW I will get 4 hrs of sleep." and on and on until the alarm goes off.
No caffeine after noon.
Liquid melatonin so I can have a tiny dose if I wake at 2 or 3am and I'm not groggy in the am.
David Sedaris audiobooks. His voice is both soothing and entertaining. I have listened to each of his books 10,000 x. Puts me right out.
I have a cousin who has found a lot of relief from insomnia by visiting a hypnotist that helped her with some self hypnosis techniques. I think this is probably similar to guided meditation. It helps her turn off that inner TV you describe.
I have a really difficult time falling back to sleep if I wake up for any reason. The harder I try the more frustrated I get, so now I just get up and do something for a while, like read on the couch or fold laundry.
I used to be able to drink coffee all day and didn't have much difficulty getting to sleep, but as I've gotten older my tolerance has lessened. At this point I don't drink any caffeine after twelve. That was a real revelation for me, I used to drink coffee after dinner and not notice a thing.
Hope you find something that helps!