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I can't sleep!

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courageous posted 7/30/2014 22:39 PM

I'm laying here in bed for the lasr 2hours. I took ambien over an hour ago. I just can't sleep! I don't have the energy to do much but I have enough energy that I cannot relax.

I can't seem to ever get enough sleep. When I'm not taking ambien (which I do not take very often) I'm taking melatonin. I have heard of people dying from lack of sleep. When I do go to sleep it's never a deep sleep. I have blackout drapes and a white noise machine .. And the slightest light disturbs me or the little bit of extra or different noise wakes me up. I wasn't like this as a child but it seems it started getting worse when I hit my 20s.

It feels like it's getting worse. Is it possible that stress can cause a person to go into survival mode? Would survival mode cause a person to be so hyper-vigilant? And could work stress and being a parent cause such high stress?

fireproof posted 7/30/2014 22:43 PM

Walking - physical exercise not running around meeting people's needs is key.

Also doing small things for yourself. Ideal coffee or shampoo etc. Naturally you will relax.

It might be a side effect of something else you are eating or taking. Keep note of any days you sleep better.

Try to picture something relaxing and 2 hours before bedtime stop all electronics.

I hope you get some sleep.

IrishGirlVA posted 7/31/2014 07:51 AM

I have the same problem but I have no advice because I still haven't been able to master the art of a restful sleep. I do take an over the counter sleep med (just a simple Walgreens brand) that helps me go to sleep but staying asleep is another problem. I can't take Ambien because I'm one of those that will get up in the middle of the night, cook Raman noodles and not remember doing it in the morning.

It's a vicious cycle because when you can't sleep you just spend hours wondering why you can't sleep and you can never let your mind relax.

I hope you break out of this cycle soon. I know how frustrating it is!

FaithFool posted 7/31/2014 08:44 AM

I'm a light sleeper too, so I feel your pain, although I have mastered the art and can now get restful sleep. It took me about three years after my life blew up, but I got there...

Long term use of melatonin makes it ineffective, apparently, so you should only take it occasionally if you really need it.

Review your caffeine and alcohol intake. I can't have tea or coffee after 5:00 pm, and more than a small dose of alcohol before bedtime isn't a great idea.

Hot baths, mint tea, meditation, 20 minutes of gentle stretching / yoga if you can manage it.

Find a really positive and interesting book to read a few pages of (not a potboiler you can't put down!), before dropping off.

Ambient light from modems, clock radios, devices... I got rid of the clock radio and use my ipad (with the wifi turned off) to wake me with soothing music. I can't glance at the clock without raising the cover, which I don't do if I wake up.

Becoming aware of what time it is while you're awake in the night only makes it worse.

If you sleep with your phone, shut it off or turn off the thingie that makes it talk to the internet. Wifi disrupts brain waves.

[This message edited by FaithFool at 8:45 AM, July 31st (Thursday)]

Kalleigh posted 7/31/2014 09:33 AM

one word Nyquil

tushnurse posted 7/31/2014 18:39 PM

I have had serious issues with getting good restful sleep. It has gotten much worse as I have gotten older and dealt with all the shit that being an adult brings.

I have clean sleep habits including the things you are doing a bedtime routine, quiet time, and set bedtimes, no naps, no caffiene after midday. Any one of these things gets out of whack u don't sleep.
I started Ativan when dday occurred and find it to be the best sleep medicine out there. No hangover, very small dose and only when needed. I have tried multiple sleep meds and refuse ambien, and lunes a. I've seen the crazy shit it does to people I was unable to give up that control.

I would urge you to ha e a sleep study to be absolutely sure you don't have a true sleep disorder. The other thing I ha e learned to do is not flip out when I can't sleep. Ok so I might be tired the next day but it's not gonna kill me and it's probably going to be a good sleep night the next night.

I also only lay in bed for 30 minutes if I can't sleep. Then I get up and start my routine over after doing something that is non taxing and requires no real thought. Like folding a load of wash.

Good luck and keep trying different things. I figure if I can get 5 solid others every 3rd day I'm good.

Lionne posted 7/31/2014 21:53 PM

Is it possible you are VERY EARLY premenopausal? That is when I started having those problems.

I'm with Tushie. I get 90 lowest dose ativan and it lasts me more than a year. Just knowing I have it if I can't turn my brain off is useful.

Your comment about stress is probably right on. You very well may be hypervigilent. Some other things that have helped me are "hypnotherapy" apps or downloads that I listen to as a fall asleep. After using them for a few weeks, it takes less time for them to work.

Finally, as a migraineur, sleep is VERY important. My headache doc has me on a pill that is actually an older, drowsy producing antihistamine called prolactin. It works in the brain to regulate the amount of a brain chemical called serotonin. Idk anything else except it helps me sleep.
Finally, any otc sleep meds, including Nyquil, have an ingredient the same as or similar to the chemical in Benedryl. I think that can be ha it forming to some degree, but it does work for most people.

Good luck.

itainteasy posted 8/1/2014 11:03 AM

I have insomnia also. I have a hard time falling asleep, and then I have hard time STAYING asleep.

I'm also one of those who got up, walked around, cooked while on Ambien.

So...it's OTC unisom for me. I take 3 of the gel tabs, right before I eat my dinner. (we usually eat somewhere between 730-8 pm) By 930, I'm ready to lie down.

To help me stay asleep---I sleep with a mask over my eyes, to keep ANY and ALL light out. I also have ear plugs to keep the noise down. I can handle the noise from a fan, but I can't handle the noise of my partner snoring. The earplugs help tremendously with that.

I also turn the ringer off my cell phone--it's silent, not even on vibrate, because that sound will wake me.


The weird part of my insomnia is this: On friday night and Saturday night I can fall asleep naturally, on my own, just fine, and I normally sleep right through the night. Sunday night through Thursday night---I can't. I am too afraid that I'll miss my alarm and be late for work. So if I don't take the sleep aids/use my mask/earplugs I will wake up every hour on the hour to look at the clock.

It's not fun when you can't sleep.
Everything is affected by that.

hurtbs posted 8/1/2014 12:30 PM

Have you gotten a sleep study? If not, speak to your doctor and ask for one.

courageous posted 8/1/2014 22:18 PM

I sometimes do crazy things on Ambien also. I check my phone and ipad in the morning afterwards to make sure I didn't do anything or talk to anyone in my "drugged" state. Apparently I have had some interesting conversations.


Long term use of melatonin makes it ineffective, apparently, so you should only take it occasionally if you really need it.

I have been taking melatonin almost every night. Does this mean that I might have messed up my sleep cycles?

I would urge you to have a sleep study to be absolutely sure you don't have a true sleep disorder. The other thing I have learned to do is not flip out when I can't sleep. Ok so I might be tired the next day but it's not gonna kill me and it's probably going to be a good sleep night the next night.

I have had a sleep study done once about 13 years ago. I no longer have that doctor and my records are lost. I was diagnosed with restless limb syndrome. I'm not taking anything for it.

Is it possible you are VERY EARLY premenopausal? That is when I started having those problems.

If I am then I have been having symptoms since I was 20.

Is there any other prescription medicine other than
Ambien that works really well? I think I have been so sleep deprived that I'm having a hard time remembering words and how to spell some of them.

Jrazz posted 8/1/2014 22:44 PM

Sometimes doctors will prescribe Ativan or Xanax for sleep disorders, but you have to be pretty careful taking those. I'm sorry you're having trouble sleeping. I used to have to have perfect dark and quiet to sleep. Having a baby cured me of that.

Sending sleepytime thoughts. (((courageous)))

LosferWords posted 8/1/2014 23:58 PM

I'm still struggling a bit with my insomnia.

One of the things that has been helping me is "pre-planning" the time before I go to bed. All chores are out of the way. Son is tucked quietly asleep. I'm going to sit in my chair and read for a bit. I'm going to avoid things that require human interaction (that's a big one for me, as I am a very strong introvert, but I also emotionally need human interaction).

I think I have the most success when I just kind of "let go" at the end of the night. That's my time to sleep.

I'm still working on this, myself. Best of luck to you, courageous. I hope you find some sort of solution that helps you sleep better at night.

Amazonia posted 8/2/2014 00:09 AM

I read on pinterest today that spending one week camping in the woods without electricity/electronics/"screen time" will reset your sleep cycle completely. So there's that.

[This message edited by Amazonia at 12:09 AM, August 2nd (Saturday)]

Lucky2HaveMe posted 8/2/2014 07:24 AM

I take Tylenol PM every night. It helps me stay asleep through H's snoring... most of the time.

I have found that reading really helps me sleep! I take the TPM 30 mins before I really want to go to bed. Then I read. I can actually feel myself nodding off and almost dropping my kindle. Then I close it up and close my eyes. Has really helped.

FaithFool posted 8/2/2014 10:54 AM

Tylenol is really hard on the liver FYI. I wouldn't take it daily...

Lucky2HaveMe posted 8/2/2014 18:39 PM

It equals 2 Tylenol/day. Between my shoulder & my back I have enough pain that I need to take something. So I take anti-inflammatory (script) during the day and the tylenol pm at night. Dr is aware. Thanks for the concern though!

itainteasy posted 8/4/2014 09:50 AM

Lunesta was a prescription aid that helped me sleep.

Side effects for me were intense cotton mouth, and feeling like the hangey down thing in your throat (uvula?) was laying on my esphogus. Made me constantly want to clear my throat.

But I DID sleep.

I stopped taking it because $60 a month for it was getting to be too much.

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