Insomnia Woes - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 06:22 PM
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^ Have you looked into turmeric? Some say it helps decrease pain from inflammation, some say it doesn't, but it has done wonders for my mom's aches and pains from a life well-lived! She now takes an ibuprofen once or twice a week as opposed to several a day. She gets her capsules at a health store. She's also started giving it to their old dog, and he's taking very little pain meds anymore and remaining comfortable.

My dad started developing sleep issues about a year after a cardiac aortic valve replacement. His doctor said that is very common. He takes a very low dose of Ambien and it is helping. I think he takes less than half the recommended dose and it helps him fall asleep and stay asleep, whereas before he was waking several times a night, often with anxiety attacks, and repeated tests and workups showed no issues with apnea, heart, etc. One day he screwed up and took a whole pill. He ended up at a friend's house in the middle of the night playing fetch with their dog in the yard.... a half dose does not cause this for him, but he is very careful to take it relatively early (just after supper) and not to take one if he needs to get up early for anything. So, yeah...use that with caution...

Most of the patients at the nursing home where I used to work had prescriptions for trazadone for sleep/anxiety. It worked less well the longer they were on it. Some had success with Valerian supplements, some did not.
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post #22 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 06:34 PM
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I have tried tumeric. It didn't help. Thanks for the suggestion.
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post #23 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 06:53 PM
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Tumeric does help with inflammation. I have also heard to much can cause Kidney stones but don't know if that is true.
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post #24 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 08:21 PM
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I used to have a terrible time sleeping, both falling asleep and staying asleep. I couldn't sleep because of so many family issues and difficulties. I had great success listening to audiobook CDs. I get them from the library. I choose something engaging, but not exciting, something like a mountain climber's adventures or a sea story. Stories about families, memoirs, and biographies are pretty good. I use it both when I can't get to sleep and when I wake up in the night. The stories distract my worrying but are not exciting enough to make me stay awake to keep listening. If someone else is sleeping next to me, I use ear buds. Sometimes, if the story is too engrossing, I turn the sound down so low that it is just a low murmur so I can't really understand the words.
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post #25 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 08:41 PM
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I read at night. It eventually helps me wind down. Except if I accidentally get a scary story out. I won't even watch scary movies. My grown kids will say, "No Mama. You shouldn't go see that one. It will keep you awake." Sad......... lol

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post #26 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 09:18 PM
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I read books, often not even a paragraph and it's laying there when I wake up.

When that doesn't work, melatonin knocks me out. Benedryl keeps me there.
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post #27 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
I used to have a terrible time sleeping, both falling asleep and staying asleep. I couldn't sleep because of so many family issues and difficulties. I had great success listening to audiobook CDs. I get them from the library. I choose something engaging, but not exciting, something like a mountain climber's adventures or a sea story. Stories about families, memoirs, and biographies are pretty good. I use it both when I can't get to sleep and when I wake up in the night. The stories distract my worrying but are not exciting enough to make me stay awake to keep listening. If someone else is sleeping next to me, I use ear buds. Sometimes, if the story is too engrossing, I turn the sound down so low that it is just a low murmur so I can't really understand the words.
We are on the same page, you said it better. i also loaded a couple of stories to my tablet if power goes out and I'm stuck staring at nothing.

And solitaire. I play that at night to. Again something distracting, but you don't really have to pay that much attention and if you miss something or mess up no big deal.
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post #28 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavigatorsMom View Post
Does anyone else here deal with insomnia?

I've had it sporadically in the past, especially recent years, but lately I've really been struggling with it. Last night I absolutely could not fall asleep until around 2 am, but then I woke up about once an hour from then until about 6. I was able to sleep from then until 8-ish. I know that part of my problem is anxiety related. Our upstairs neighbors have been very loud at night lately, and for whatever reason that noise triggers my anxiety, I end up with a racing heart, a jolt of adrenaline and then and obviously wide awake.

In the past I have used melatonin, anywhere between 3-10 mg, and that used to help. Lately I have been taking an 6 mg tablet as well as a 3 mg drinkable, and it hasn't really done much. I've also tried things like taking a warm shower before bed, not looking at my phone for at least an hour before bed, drinking bedtime tea, nothing with caffeine in the afternoon and I don't even drink caffinated coffee in the mornings anymore. I'm using a white noise app to help drown out the neighbors and for the most part that has helped me with not hearing them anymore, but it's not really helping me fall asleep. And it's not like I have lazy days, I do get a decent amount of physical exertion, either riding or working out every day.

I don't know. It's just super frustrating and I'm at a loss of what else I can do. I am going to a doctor this week and I will 100% be asking about this problem. But just thought I'd see if anyone else has any other tricks or tips I might try in the meantime.
I'm late to this; used to have this issue during stressful times in my life, and used lots of exercise after the work day to get my body in a state for sleeping. Dripping taps always woke me up, stress or not - in my case, I know now this was hypervigilance from having complex PTSD from a childhood born into a habitually violent family. My brain was therefore wired from early childhood to churn through serotonin to stop me falling asleep if there was the faintest reason there might be a threat - strange noises, general stress etc. A half-dose of SSRIs fixes that for me, but also gives me excessive interest in my armchair! Bit of a juggling act. My personal take for my particular situation is: Lots of exercise, lots of positive activities, lots of relaxation, lowest possible effective dose of SSRIs when required - although these aren't one-off medications like "drowsy antihistamines", which worked well for me as a stopgap now and again. I would nip insomnia in the bud, because once I had one night like that, my whole system got so wound up I'd have more nights like that. Conversely, one night sleeping through upped the chances of next night being good too.

Best wishes with this!


PS: Just saw @knightrider 's posts. Podcasts on my i-pod work for me too! Another mental trick that often helps me switch off is to make my brain come up with a string of things that aren't related (the next word as unrelated to the previous as possible, don't worry about the ones before that). You're basically going: "Strawberries... soldering iron... saddle blanket... door hinge... photosynthesis... concrete..." etc. Like the opposite of an association game.

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Last edited by SueC; 01-21-2019 at 11:02 PM.
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post #29 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 11:24 PM
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A PS on sleep hygiene and the pineal gland - and indoor lighting types. I write about stuff like that...



Click several times to enlarge to readable size. I can just read it without my reading glasses!
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post #30 of 36 Old 01-21-2019, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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@SilverMaple I will ask my doctor about a thyroid panel. I actually had a small cyst on my thyroid a few years back. It was totally benign and hasn't come back, but it is something to think about. I use a meditation app called Calm that works really well for me, to the point where I'm considering paying for a year's subscription. I do think my insomnia is an anxiety issue. I am not professionally diagnosed with anxiety but I am almost certain I have at least generalized if not also some amount of social anxiety. I definitely am a bit of a night owl, I was thinking about it earlier and figured my ideal time to go to sleep is somewhere between 11 and 12. I do work early on a couple days, but I think I could make it work. It seems like it would be better to get a short amount of good sleep than poor sleep for a longer amount.

@Dixiesmom that sounds nice! I don't have an electric heating pad but I do have one of those microwaveable heating pads. May try warming that up and bringing it to bed. One of my cats sleeping on me would have a similar effect I think.

@QtrBel I think my main issue is eating too late. For example I worked an evening shift today. I had a late lunch around 2 so wasn't ready for dinner before I left, and now that I'm home I've just had dinner at 9:30! Not like a huge meal but still it was a lot to eat when it's getting late. I need to be more proactive on scheduling when I eat, making myself have a small dinner before work and then maybe taking a snack to have while I'm at work. That seems like an option to help me not eat so late.

@Cedar & Salty Thank you for those handouts, they seem like really good information. I will try keeping a sleep journal. I don't nap, but something that is hard for me is not sleeping in on days off or weekends. Even after a bad night though, I typically don't let myself oversleep to compensate. If nothing else I have to be up by 9 or my cats will be very upset about not getting breakfast!

@Celeste Thank you for all of that information, Ambien sounds terrifying. I read about side effects like sleep driving happening with some sleeping medications and that really scares me since I have sleep walked without any medication use. I don't want to have to take a pill to sleep either.

@knightrider I think audiobooks would be good to try, especially if the narrator has a soothing voice. I worry that it would be hard for me to not focus and want to get too invested in the story, but definitely something to try if I can find the right book.

@lsdrider I wish I could fall asleep so easily! Maybe I'm just reading the wrong books but sometimes I end up more awake than when I started. It's happened many times where "one more chapter" turned into me finishing a book at 1 in the morning.

@SueC I try to exercise a lot as well, but I know I need to work on my relaxation. Even on a day off it's hard for me to relax because all I do is keep thinking about things I should be doing! Podcasts are a good idea, I bet there are lots of calming ones out there. I also like your word game, I will have to try that.

Anyway, it's 10:30 here and I'm not quite tired yet, so I'm going to stay up for a while longer, maybe make some tea and try to relax, and TRY not to worry about the fact that I have to get up early for work tomorrow.
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