Author Topic: defeating insomnia  (Read 2395 times)

Case

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defeating insomnia
« on: September 07, 2017, 01:19:03 PM »
If there is one single thing I could change in my life that would have a huge effect on my quality of life, it would be to defeat my insomina.  It developed around when I hit puberty, and I have been dealing with it ever since.  My sleep usually isn't terrible (maybe 5-6 hours on average), but I never feel full rested.  The last time I was able to sleep a straight 8 hours was... something like 8 years ago.  It's not that I don't try... my body just does not let me.  On the very rare instances I wake up feeling rested, it's like the gates of heaven have parted and angels are singing.

Where it really rears its ugly head is when I have occasional multiweek long periods of insomnia.  These happen a few times per year, last a few weeks each, and during them I average 0-2 hours sleep per night.  During these periods I have significant trouble functioning.

I have tried all sorts of things: 
-meditation (sometimes helps, calms me at least)
-sleeping pills ranging from OTC to prescription; sometimes works.  I try not to use these often... maybe average of 1-2 times per month.  If I use them frequently, the efficacy drops off significantly.
-avoiding screens and turning off bright or blue light
-going to bed early (usually not tired enough to fall asleep!)
-if I can't sleep, I"ll get up and read for a while, then try again (sometimes works, sometimes not)
-exercise (no effect, unless I am beyond exhausted; I have run marathons and had trouble sleeping the following night).
-memory foam bed so that worry less about disrupting my wife... I often end up moving to the guest bed anyways
-fans/AC to help temperature regulate (this helps, but isn't a guarantee).
-drinking alcohol before bed to help me fall asleep faster

This is a huge problem that I would invest lots of money in if convinced it could reliably work.  Certainly stress from work does not help here; my mind is always racing.  I dont think it's the only cause though; I am a terribly light sleeper.

Typically, when a bad bout of insomnia attacks, I try to approach on multiples fronts.  Disengage from electronics early in the evening, no caffeine, read a lot before bed, meditate, etc....  All of this tends to help and I eventually kick it... but it's never a guarantee.

Any suggestions?  Help!

Oh, and obviously this is part of why to FIRE.

SimpleSpartan

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 01:22:38 PM »
I struggle with this too, maybe not quite to the same level, but I feel your pain in not getting enough sleep.
Try eating as healthy as possible.
Late night sex till ya drop?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 01:24:37 PM by SimpleSpartan »

Case

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 01:29:22 PM »
I struggle with this too, maybe not quite to the same level, but I feel your pain in not getting enough sleep.
Try eating as healthy as possible.
Late night sex till ya drop?

Thanks for the suggestions.
I do eat pretty healthy, which does help (or at least doesn't hurt).

I'll check with the wife on the latter.  In the past I've found that great sex does not really impact one way or the other.  E.g. it is not a guarantee for sleeping-like-a-baby.  However, not sure that I've tested that on a multi-round marathon event.

frugaliknowit

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 01:33:56 PM »
What are your caffein consumption habits including time of day and amount?

GuitarStv

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 01:51:35 PM »
I've suffered from insomnia on and off since adolescence.  For me, what works is meeting particular needs every night (or as close to it as possible):

- Go to bed at the same time every night (and get up at the same time every morning) - This is essential.  After a couple months of following this pattern you will start to feel tired at the time you normally go to bed, and will start waking up before your alarm clock.
-   If you can't get to sleep after an hour or two, don't sweat it . . .  get up, read a book, take a crap, whatever.  DON'T fall into the trap of sleeping in and fucking up your schedule, you're going to have a tired day the next day.  By sticking to the schedule though, you have a better chance of getting good sleep the next night.
- Cool, quiet, completely dark room.  Get some blackout blinds, make sure that you're not being woken up by weird sounds (a white noise type generator can help with this if the noise is beyond your control), make sure that you aren't overheating (this is a really big one with me - interestingly enough I've found that sleeping without a pillow keeps me much more comfortably cool at night - YMMV).
- No screen time (of any kind) within an hour of bed (try something else that's relaxing . . . have a shower or a bath, do a little reading, whatever helps you calm down)
- No hard exercise within an hour of bed (I used to come home from Jiu-Jitsu practice and it would take me two or more hours to relax because I was so keyed up)
- Regular, daily exercise.  If you spend all morning sitting, all afternoon sitting, and all night sitting . . . is it any wonder that your body doesn't feel tired?  The nice ache that you get from exercise helps sleep happen.
- No caffeine of any kind after 1:00 pm.
- No liquids of any kind within two hours of bed (sucks to wake up to pee).
- No phones in the room that you sleep.



Things that suck for insomnia:
- Booze makes it easy to get to sleep, but tends to give you a shitty /non-restful sleep
- Memory foam beds are very comfy . . . but I've found that I sink into them and tend to overheat much more quickly than if sleeping on a typical firm mattress or even the floor.
- Partners.  Yeah, they're awesome in the day (and evening), but sometimes they can snore, hog the covers, toss/turn, and generally make your evening miserable.  Have a second place set up in your home where you can leave the room and sleep if they're interrupting your sleep.
- Sleeping pills.  They're almost all addictive, and none of them will work long term.  In fact, once you've developed a tolerance for them you'll find that it's even harder to get to sleep.


Insomnia gets worse the longer it goes on . . . it's like your body gets stuck in a rut that prevents normal sleep.  By the same token though, once you're on a sleep schedule that works it helps keep you sleeping properly.

marielle

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 02:02:01 PM »
This is a huge problem that I would invest lots of money in if convinced it could reliably work.  Certainly stress from work does not help here; my mind is always racing.  I dont think it's the only cause though; I am a terribly light sleeper.

Have you considered possible related disorders? General anxiety, ADHD, etc? Can't hurt to look into it. Even if it's just regular stress it could help to talk to someone about it. (I'm no expert though)
http://www.medicinenet.com/insomnia/related-conditions/index.htm

Earplugs/fully blacked out room could help with being a light sleeper.

surfhb

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2017, 02:11:32 PM »
Have you been tested for sleep apnea?    That's probably the issue.   

Do you snore?

Case

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 02:12:03 PM »
What are your caffein consumption habits including time of day and amount?

Prior to the past year, I did not drink coffee on weekdays; weekends only; 1-2 mugs in the mid/late morning.

Lately though, I have been having coffee every day in the morning.  Weekdays --> 9am, probably 2 mugs worth.  Same deal on weekends.  Sometimes I sip slowly into the early afternoon.  usually I have stopped caffeine consumption by noon.

Case

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 02:16:07 PM »
This is a huge problem that I would invest lots of money in if convinced it could reliably work.  Certainly stress from work does not help here; my mind is always racing.  I dont think it's the only cause though; I am a terribly light sleeper.

Have you considered possible related disorders? General anxiety, ADHD, etc? Can't hurt to look into it. Even if it's just regular stress it could help to talk to someone about it. (I'm no expert though)
http://www.medicinenet.com/insomnia/related-conditions/index.htm

Earplugs/fully blacked out room could help with being a light sleeper.

The two you mentioned wouldn't be all that surprising.  Maybe mild anxiety an ADHD.

Case

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2017, 02:20:07 PM »
I've suffered from insomnia on and off since adolescence.  For me, what works is meeting particular needs every night (or as close to it as possible):

- Go to bed at the same time every night (and get up at the same time every morning) - This is essential.  After a couple months of following this pattern you will start to feel tired at the time you normally go to bed, and will start waking up before your alarm clock.
-   If you can't get to sleep after an hour or two, don't sweat it . . .  get up, read a book, take a crap, whatever.  DON'T fall into the trap of sleeping in and fucking up your schedule, you're going to have a tired day the next day.  By sticking to the schedule though, you have a better chance of getting good sleep the next night.
- Cool, quiet, completely dark room.  Get some blackout blinds, make sure that you're not being woken up by weird sounds (a white noise type generator can help with this if the noise is beyond your control), make sure that you aren't overheating (this is a really big one with me - interestingly enough I've found that sleeping without a pillow keeps me much more comfortably cool at night - YMMV).
- No screen time (of any kind) within an hour of bed (try something else that's relaxing . . . have a shower or a bath, do a little reading, whatever helps you calm down)
- No hard exercise within an hour of bed (I used to come home from Jiu-Jitsu practice and it would take me two or more hours to relax because I was so keyed up)
- Regular, daily exercise.  If you spend all morning sitting, all afternoon sitting, and all night sitting . . . is it any wonder that your body doesn't feel tired?  The nice ache that you get from exercise helps sleep happen.
- No caffeine of any kind after 1:00 pm.
- No liquids of any kind within two hours of bed (sucks to wake up to pee).
- No phones in the room that you sleep.



Things that suck for insomnia:
- Booze makes it easy to get to sleep, but tends to give you a shitty /non-restful sleep
- Memory foam beds are very comfy . . . but I've found that I sink into them and tend to overheat much more quickly than if sleeping on a typical firm mattress or even the floor.
- Partners.  Yeah, they're awesome in the day (and evening), but sometimes they can snore, hog the covers, toss/turn, and generally make your evening miserable.  Have a second place set up in your home where you can leave the room and sleep if they're interrupting your sleep.
- Sleeping pills.  They're almost all addictive, and none of them will work long term.  In fact, once you've developed a tolerance for them you'll find that it's even harder to get to sleep.


Insomnia gets worse the longer it goes on . . . it's like your body gets stuck in a rut that prevents normal sleep.  By the same token though, once you're on a sleep schedule that works it helps keep you sleeping properly.

I think I have tried all of these things, but perhaps will try them again, all at once (or mostly). 

Hard for me to use blackout curtains; our bedrooms have skylights and additional windows that are tricky to black out...

We have a tempurpedic, and the heat is indeed a PITA.  On the other hand, it helps tremendously with sleeping with a partner as it dull the rolling around.  She does occasionally steal the sheets though(sorry hun, if you are reading this!  I know I do it sometimes too).

I do go to the guest bed often.... our guest bed sucks.  Maybe I will correct that.

Eventually I may consider a replacement bed.  Maybe the purple mattress, or one of these new ones that are supposed to be memory foam-like but without the heat problems.

Case

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 02:21:28 PM »
Have you been tested for sleep apnea?    That's probably the issue.   

Do you snore?

No, not tested.  My wife will say that I snore on occasion, but I think it is infrequent occasion.

big_owl

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 02:33:16 PM »
Full comprehensive sleep study, stat.  Probably tell you all you need to know. 

GuitarStv

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 02:36:25 PM »
I've suffered from insomnia on and off since adolescence.  For me, what works is meeting particular needs every night (or as close to it as possible):

- Go to bed at the same time every night (and get up at the same time every morning) - This is essential.  After a couple months of following this pattern you will start to feel tired at the time you normally go to bed, and will start waking up before your alarm clock.
-   If you can't get to sleep after an hour or two, don't sweat it . . .  get up, read a book, take a crap, whatever.  DON'T fall into the trap of sleeping in and fucking up your schedule, you're going to have a tired day the next day.  By sticking to the schedule though, you have a better chance of getting good sleep the next night.
- Cool, quiet, completely dark room.  Get some blackout blinds, make sure that you're not being woken up by weird sounds (a white noise type generator can help with this if the noise is beyond your control), make sure that you aren't overheating (this is a really big one with me - interestingly enough I've found that sleeping without a pillow keeps me much more comfortably cool at night - YMMV).
- No screen time (of any kind) within an hour of bed (try something else that's relaxing . . . have a shower or a bath, do a little reading, whatever helps you calm down)
- No hard exercise within an hour of bed (I used to come home from Jiu-Jitsu practice and it would take me two or more hours to relax because I was so keyed up)
- Regular, daily exercise.  If you spend all morning sitting, all afternoon sitting, and all night sitting . . . is it any wonder that your body doesn't feel tired?  The nice ache that you get from exercise helps sleep happen.
- No caffeine of any kind after 1:00 pm.
- No liquids of any kind within two hours of bed (sucks to wake up to pee).
- No phones in the room that you sleep.



Things that suck for insomnia:
- Booze makes it easy to get to sleep, but tends to give you a shitty /non-restful sleep
- Memory foam beds are very comfy . . . but I've found that I sink into them and tend to overheat much more quickly than if sleeping on a typical firm mattress or even the floor.
- Partners.  Yeah, they're awesome in the day (and evening), but sometimes they can snore, hog the covers, toss/turn, and generally make your evening miserable.  Have a second place set up in your home where you can leave the room and sleep if they're interrupting your sleep.
- Sleeping pills.  They're almost all addictive, and none of them will work long term.  In fact, once you've developed a tolerance for them you'll find that it's even harder to get to sleep.


Insomnia gets worse the longer it goes on . . . it's like your body gets stuck in a rut that prevents normal sleep.  By the same token though, once you're on a sleep schedule that works it helps keep you sleeping properly.

I think I have tried all of these things, but perhaps will try them again, all at once (or mostly). 

Hard for me to use blackout curtains; our bedrooms have skylights and additional windows that are tricky to black out...

We have a tempurpedic, and the heat is indeed a PITA.  On the other hand, it helps tremendously with sleeping with a partner as it dull the rolling around.  She does occasionally steal the sheets though(sorry hun, if you are reading this!  I know I do it sometimes too).

I do go to the guest bed often.... our guest bed sucks.  Maybe I will correct that.

Eventually I may consider a replacement bed.  Maybe the purple mattress, or one of these new ones that are supposed to be memory foam-like but without the heat problems.

There's no silver bullet with insomnia.  You need to do as many things as possible to create an environment where your body wants to sleep.

Do you have another room (fix potential partner related interference) that you could make completely dark (fix potential light interference), and throw a couple blankets or a mattress on the floor (fix potential overheating from mattress)?  It would be worth trying it out for a week or so.  The crucial thing is that you start developing a pattern of good sleep as soon as possible.  Once it's started, you can tweak things and add/remove things one at a time to see how it impacts your sleep until you've figured out what works best for you.

FWIW - I had insomnia for years and was tested for/did not have sleep apnea.

marty998

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 03:08:18 PM »
I wouldn't class myself as having insomnia to the point where it disrupts my life, but usually once or twice a month I'll wake up several times a night and then feel like crap in the morning. Like GuitarStv it's def not sleep apnea.

Best thing I've found to do is (1) to turn off the TV at least an hour before bed, and (2) minimise the number of stressors in my work life (a little bit harder to do).

Really difficult to put the phone down though, dimming the screen to the lowest brightness setting is my way of trying :)

LilTazzy

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2017, 03:24:46 PM »
I empathize with you. I have dealt with insomnia since law school. I went to see my doctor and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I went on medication, which caused me to gain 50+ pounds, but thankfully, my sleep is much better (15 years of meds). I am not saying that you have the issues I did, but I would suggest talking to a doctor about any underlying medical/psychological issues. I wish you the best of luck.

Chippewa

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2017, 03:29:32 PM »
Go camping for 3-5 nights. It resets your circadian rhythm. It did work for me.
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lentil

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2017, 03:48:17 PM »
In addition to other suggestions, I have a pair of sleep headphones (flat, soft little discs that sit inside a headband, so I can actually wear them comfortably while lying down), and recommend them. Finding the right thing to listen to is probably highly individual -- music, white noise, whatever. For me, it's audiobooks.

It took some trial and error to find the right books for me, and I assume finding the right sounds for you would be similar. People recommend things like classical music (which does nothing for me), or very boring books (which just frustrate me, without helping). So, experiment. There are lots of sleep sound options online too, like podcasts specifically designed to be the kind of meandering bedtime story that helps some people fall asleep, or audio files of sewing circles quietly chatting, or whatever. Once I found the right range of books for me, I found that even when I was lying awake, I was relaxing and following an interesting story instead of thinking Insomniac Thoughts of Despair. And often, I will be following the plot, and then drift off for a second, and wake up to discover that the plot has advanced by many chapters...which is relaxing too, since it lets me know I'm getting some rest. I wouldn't say this is a cure, by any stretch of the imagination, but it does help immeasurably.


Case

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2017, 04:12:21 PM »
I've suffered from insomnia on and off since adolescence.  For me, what works is meeting particular needs every night (or as close to it as possible):

- Go to bed at the same time every night (and get up at the same time every morning) - This is essential.  After a couple months of following this pattern you will start to feel tired at the time you normally go to bed, and will start waking up before your alarm clock.
-   If you can't get to sleep after an hour or two, don't sweat it . . .  get up, read a book, take a crap, whatever.  DON'T fall into the trap of sleeping in and fucking up your schedule, you're going to have a tired day the next day.  By sticking to the schedule though, you have a better chance of getting good sleep the next night.
- Cool, quiet, completely dark room.  Get some blackout blinds, make sure that you're not being woken up by weird sounds (a white noise type generator can help with this if the noise is beyond your control), make sure that you aren't overheating (this is a really big one with me - interestingly enough I've found that sleeping without a pillow keeps me much more comfortably cool at night - YMMV).
- No screen time (of any kind) within an hour of bed (try something else that's relaxing . . . have a shower or a bath, do a little reading, whatever helps you calm down)
- No hard exercise within an hour of bed (I used to come home from Jiu-Jitsu practice and it would take me two or more hours to relax because I was so keyed up)
- Regular, daily exercise.  If you spend all morning sitting, all afternoon sitting, and all night sitting . . . is it any wonder that your body doesn't feel tired?  The nice ache that you get from exercise helps sleep happen.
- No caffeine of any kind after 1:00 pm.
- No liquids of any kind within two hours of bed (sucks to wake up to pee).
- No phones in the room that you sleep.



Things that suck for insomnia:
- Booze makes it easy to get to sleep, but tends to give you a shitty /non-restful sleep
- Memory foam beds are very comfy . . . but I've found that I sink into them and tend to overheat much more quickly than if sleeping on a typical firm mattress or even the floor.
- Partners.  Yeah, they're awesome in the day (and evening), but sometimes they can snore, hog the covers, toss/turn, and generally make your evening miserable.  Have a second place set up in your home where you can leave the room and sleep if they're interrupting your sleep.
- Sleeping pills.  They're almost all addictive, and none of them will work long term.  In fact, once you've developed a tolerance for them you'll find that it's even harder to get to sleep.


Insomnia gets worse the longer it goes on . . . it's like your body gets stuck in a rut that prevents normal sleep.  By the same token though, once you're on a sleep schedule that works it helps keep you sleeping properly.

I think I have tried all of these things, but perhaps will try them again, all at once (or mostly). 

Hard for me to use blackout curtains; our bedrooms have skylights and additional windows that are tricky to black out...

We have a tempurpedic, and the heat is indeed a PITA.  On the other hand, it helps tremendously with sleeping with a partner as it dull the rolling around.  She does occasionally steal the sheets though(sorry hun, if you are reading this!  I know I do it sometimes too).

I do go to the guest bed often.... our guest bed sucks.  Maybe I will correct that.

Eventually I may consider a replacement bed.  Maybe the purple mattress, or one of these new ones that are supposed to be memory foam-like but without the heat problems.

There's no silver bullet with insomnia.  You need to do as many things as possible to create an environment where your body wants to sleep.

Do you have another room (fix potential partner related interference) that you could make completely dark (fix potential light interference), and throw a couple blankets or a mattress on the floor (fix potential overheating from mattress)?  It would be worth trying it out for a week or so.  The crucial thing is that you start developing a pattern of good sleep as soon as possible.  Once it's started, you can tweak things and add/remove things one at a time to see how it impacts your sleep until you've figured out what works best for you.

FWIW - I had insomnia for years and was tested for/did not have sleep apnea.

We have a room where I can test this out in.  I'll get working on this over the weekend.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2017, 04:21:53 PM »
I have had insomnia since infancy--literally; I did not sleep through the night until I was 4 years old. I have never been able to fall asleep easily and often lay awake for hours. Strict sleep hygiene and daily exercise helped in my teens and twenties, but I stopped being able to sleep through the night for good around age 26.  I tried yoga, natural remedies, etc., etc., etc. to no avail. I also sometimes used less approved aid (alcohol), and while it helped me not care that I was awake, it didn't help me sleep.

The only thing that has worked for me is medication. Specifically, trazodone. It is not a typical sleeping pill. It is not addictive. It was originally developed as an antidepressant, but it was impractical to use because it put people to sleep. I've used a moderate dose every night for about 20 years. It helps me sleep normally. I still have occasional nights where I don't sleep well, but not so many that my life is disrupted.

A few times I've done without the medication for some reason (concussion, forgot to bring it on an overnight trip). I didn't feel any craving for the drug, I just slept poorly those nights.

If you are willing to consider it, you can try it for a few nights and see how you feel. I use it every night, but you might just keep it for those really bad bouts.

Good luck.

mozar

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2017, 04:32:50 PM »
One trick I started with is to sit up in bed while I try to fall asleep. For me, lying down in bed would cause a panic attack. So sitting up circumvents that. I also try exercises like coming up with five words per letter of the alphabet. So a is airplane, aerator, aviation, action, agnostic, b is bear, birth, etc.
When people say get up at the same time every day it took me a long time to realize they meant weekends too. I hate not sleeping but if i sleep too late on the weekend it will really mess me up.
I went to a sleep doc and he took one look at me and said i don't have sleep apnea but he would be happy to charge me 2k for it. I didn't do.
I take over the counter sleeping pills on rotation. None one the weekend, a whole dose or half dose depending on how anxious i am about the next day.
Also consider medical Marijuana if you live in a state where you can. I can't because of my security clearance but before then i would use it and it would completely clear the anxiety.
Embracing the absurd condition of human existence while also defiantly continuing to explore and search for meaning

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2017, 05:00:06 PM »
Are your multiweek insomnia periods also accompanied by poor appetite, hyperactivity, irritability, or difficulty focusing? If so it could be hypomania.

+1 on the sleep study/ apnea testing as well

azure975

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2017, 05:28:46 PM »
Insomnia is hell. Though fortunately if I'm allowed to sleep as late as I want, my body will allow me to sleep and I feel fully rested. It's just that I tend to not get sleepy until way after "normal' hours. This is one of my major motivations to FIRE.
I did get a sleep study done and I do have sleep apnea--however, that ended up making things worse, because the CPAP machine makes it even harder to fall asleep. If you can't sleep normally, imagine trying to sleep with a device blowing air down your throat. I eventually gave up despite the health consequences because I just couldn't tolerate it. There's a new surgery out that is promising, so I would consider that after it gets more established.

surfhb

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2017, 05:40:41 PM »
Have you been tested for sleep apnea?    That's probably the issue.   

Do you snore?

No, not tested.  My wife will say that I snore on occasion, but I think it is infrequent occasion.

Go get tested...Pronto!   See a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders.


surfhb

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2017, 05:43:23 PM »
Insomnia is hell. Though fortunately if I'm allowed to sleep as late as I want, my body will allow me to sleep and I feel fully rested. It's just that I tend to not get sleepy until way after "normal' hours. This is one of my major motivations to FIRE.
I did get a sleep study done and I do have sleep apnea--however, that ended up making things worse, because the CPAP machine makes it even harder to fall asleep. If you can't sleep normally, imagine trying to sleep with a device blowing air down your throat. I eventually gave up despite the health consequences because I just couldn't tolerate it. There's a new surgery out that is promising, so I would consider that after it gets more established.

How long were you wearing it before you gave up?    It often takes a couple months. 

Changed my life.    I still remember the first time a received a good nights sleep on it.    It was like I was injected with pure adrenaline in the morning.    Now its an addiction.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:45:28 PM by surfhb »

SimpleCycle

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2017, 08:27:53 PM »
In grad school I did online CBT for insomnia and it changed my life.  The program I did is not available to individuals anymore, but similar programs are.

http://www.myshuti.com

http://www.cbtforinsomnia.com

Case

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2017, 07:12:54 AM »
I have had insomnia since infancy--literally; I did not sleep through the night until I was 4 years old. I have never been able to fall asleep easily and often lay awake for hours. Strict sleep hygiene and daily exercise helped in my teens and twenties, but I stopped being able to sleep through the night for good around age 26.  I tried yoga, natural remedies, etc., etc., etc. to no avail. I also sometimes used less approved aid (alcohol), and while it helped me not care that I was awake, it didn't help me sleep.

The only thing that has worked for me is medication. Specifically, trazodone. It is not a typical sleeping pill. It is not addictive. It was originally developed as an antidepressant, but it was impractical to use because it put people to sleep. I've used a moderate dose every night for about 20 years. It helps me sleep normally. I still have occasional nights where I don't sleep well, but not so many that my life is disrupted.

A few times I've done without the medication for some reason (concussion, forgot to bring it on an overnight trip). I didn't feel any craving for the drug, I just slept poorly those nights.

If you are willing to consider it, you can try it for a few nights and see how you feel. I use it every night, but you might just keep it for those really bad bouts.

Good luck.

Wow, that's crazy.  I'm glad you have found a drug that works.  My situation is certainly not this bad.

I try to avoid using drugs to address mine, only because I am nervous about addiction (not just physical but psychological) and because my insomnia, though problematic, is usually manageable.
I take ambien and tamezepam on infrequent occasion when I am trying to break a cycle or am desperate.

babybug

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2017, 07:24:47 AM »
I too have hellish insomnia. I take ambien, temazepam and melatonin.

But the past 3 months it's 50% better (more restful, fall asleep faster, need much less pills) since I started my health journey. 3 things helped a great deal:
- stopped using artificial sweeteners / diet soda (they're excitotoxins)
-improved diet, specifically taking a daily smoothie with berries, flaxseed, protein powder
-removed life stressors, better self care

Good luck

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spokey doke

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2017, 09:16:24 AM »
I've been through this most of my life.

Lots of good rec's above...I'll just add that alcohol is a major sleep disruptor (it inhibits glutamate, an excitatory neurostransmitter, and that makes you drowsy and may help you get to sleep, but then your body makes up for that by increasing glutamate, and you get a rebound effect (and may be wide awake at 3am)).

I too am wary of taking drugs for sleep as I am concerned about addiction too...but like one poster above, ended up with a great deal of success using a very low dose of an anti-depressant (doxepin) that has a mild sedating affect.  No addiction, and it has been around forever, and what we know about it is it's pretty benign, esp. at such low doses.

I also use earplugs and these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WCUBFRS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&th=1
“The best thing about graduating from the university was that I finally had time to sit on a log and read a good book.”
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historienne

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2017, 09:49:35 AM »
In grad school I did online CBT for insomnia and it changed my life.  The program I did is not available to individuals anymore, but similar programs are.

http://www.myshuti.com

http://www.cbtforinsomnia.com

Was coming to recommend similar.  CBT protocols for insomnia are well-validated.  They contain much of the advice given upthread.  Possibly worth finding a therapist to work through it with you (my mom did this).

Cali Nonya

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2017, 09:53:49 AM »
Just a random comment since sleep apnea was mentioned.  My SO had bad sleep apnea and the related insomnia.  He refused to try a CPAP, but I instead got one of the oral devices and it worked wonders.  (If you are in the LA area, you have heard the Dr Snore No-More commercials on the radio). 

Both my SO and I have fought insomnia time and again, but it depends on the cause for what works for treatment.  In our case it was due to random on-call work schedules, that over time can severely impact sleep patterns.  If that is the cause, the suggestions for fixed routines for sleep do really help, but it doesn't sound like the OP has shifting schedules.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 01:03:53 PM by Cali Nonya »

merlin7676

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2017, 10:10:50 AM »
I had it for years as well.   Tried the pills, the melatonin, alcohol, ect, ect.
My problem was never falling asleep but rather staying asleep.
Even now I will lay down, close my eyes, and in two or three breaths, be asleep.

However when I suffered from insomnia, I'd be up an hour later wide awake. Or I'd wake up 2 or 3 times a night and wander around my place, get on the internet, read, watch tv, ect...just could not stay asleep for more than an hour or two.

What finally stopped my insomnia was actually going to hawaii 2 years ago.  After the first 2 nights, I literally just stopped. Like cold turkey. So for the past 2 years now I sleep through the night (except I do wake up 2-4 times a night to pee and get a drink but I do go right back to sleep afterwards).

I can't say what or why it happened but I'm glad it did. I now get more sleep than I ever have before.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2017, 10:48:31 AM »
lentil, can you please tell me what those little headphones are? Listening to certain content while blocking out other ambient sounds really helps me, but the earphones I have stick out from my neck some (though they are a miracle for daytime).

lentil

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2017, 11:48:09 AM »
Quote
lentil, can you please tell me what those little headphones are? Listening to certain content while blocking out other ambient sounds really helps me, but the earphones I have stick out from my neck some (though they are a miracle for daytime).
Report to moderator   Logged

I use these: https://www.amazon.com/CozyPhones-Sleep-Headphones-Earphones-Meditation/dp/B01HYJ8Z9M/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_23_bs_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=QMDCAQNW682KK82401WM

I don't love the way the headband fits. The earpieces are removable, so in theory, I could stick them inside something that fits me better, or sew a replacement. But I'm lazy, so...

They are comfortable for sleeping most of the time. I have sensitive ears, and every so often, if I am over-heated or cranky, I still find the slight bulge mildly irritating, but I've mostly gotten used to it. I've heard you can find under-the-pillow speakers, which might be even more comfortable, but since I share a bed, I'm wary of introducing annoying sounds into the bedroom.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2017, 11:58:38 AM »
Thanks very much, lentil :)

Cwadda

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2017, 12:19:52 PM »
I'm surprised therapy hasn't been discussed more on this thread. I highly recommend it.

I'm of the opinion that therapy should come first, and medications should be a last resort. Therapy is seriously underrated. I think it might be because there's a negative stigma towards it, or that people think it's not a "real science". Therapy is practiced because it is scientifically proven to help people. It's also covered by insurance. For me, it'd still be worth it even if it wasn't covered.

GuitarStv

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2017, 12:25:34 PM »
Therapy is practiced because it is scientifically proven to help people.

While I have no opinion on the effectiveness of therapy regarding sleep disorders, I don't believe that this statement is true.

Can you provide any double blind studies that show therapy is scientifically proven to work better than placebo?

Cwadda

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2017, 12:37:19 PM »
Therapy is practiced because it is scientifically proven to help people.

While I have no opinion on the effectiveness of therapy regarding sleep disorders, I don't believe that this statement is true.

Can you provide any double blind studies that show therapy is scientifically proven to work better than placebo?
Not sure if I can pull up that specific study - double blind placebo.

Though, here are a few pieces of literature on the acceptance of psychotherapy by the scientific community. Scientifically "proven" may be a stretch, but it's accepted (and is backed by all sorts of research programs) in such a way to become an extremely relevant branch of science.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236058462_Recognition_of_Psychotherapy_Effectiveness_The_APA_Resolution
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC94870/psychotherapy%20for%20mental%20illness%20in%20europe.pdf

I also can't comment on the effectiveness of therapy on treating sleeping issues, but the OP has mentioned anxiety (and used similar language i.e. racing thoughts) which therapy is commonly used to treat. I will continue recommending it for the OP over medications. It comes with the caveat of having a solid therapist, though the rewards can be immense.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 12:41:40 PM by Cwadda »

GuitarStv

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2017, 12:45:35 PM »
Therapy is practiced because it is scientifically proven to help people.

While I have no opinion on the effectiveness of therapy regarding sleep disorders, I don't believe that this statement is true.

Can you provide any double blind studies that show therapy is scientifically proven to work better than placebo?
Not sure if I can pull up that specific study - double blind placebo.

Though, here are a few pieces of literature on the acceptance of psychotherapy by the scientific community. Scientifically "proven" may be a stretch, but it's accepted (and is backed by all sorts of research programs) in such a way to become an extremely relevant branch of science.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236058462_Recognition_of_Psychotherapy_Effectiveness_The_APA_Resolution
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC94870/psychotherapy%20for%20mental%20illness%20in%20europe.pdf

"In August 2012, the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to adopt as APA policy a Resolution on the Recognition of Psychotherapy Effectiveness." - Really?  A group of psychologists have resolved that psychology is effective?  Shocking.  :P

Xena Louise

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2017, 01:01:24 PM »
I prefer to sleep in a cold, dark room and also have a foam mattress.  The foam is comfy and great for not being bothered by DH's tossing and turning, but it does make me overheat.  Putting a thin bamboo mat between the mattress and fitted sheet lets enough air flow that I'm not overheating any more.  I also drape a dark t-shirt over my eyes for a makeshift eyemask that keeps out all light.  My mat is from the dollar store, but here's a similar one:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E5T7RTI/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I3G9JZFPC4OB80&colid=CJ2LUEGJ4QDX

koshtra

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2017, 01:05:40 PM »
https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Sleep-Medicine-Connection-Happiness/dp/0440509017 This guy knows about as much about sleep problems as is known, and the book is lively & readable.

Sleep science has been making huge progress in the last ten years.

Light and noise. Do whatever you need to do to get rid of them. Go to ridiculous extremes. Those are the first things to try. The ordinary bedroom is not nearly dark enough or quiet enough.

The other thing is, as soon as you wake up (or as soon as it's light out, whichever comes first), get out into full daylight for a few minutes. Daylight is much much brighter than the brightest interior light, and our circadian rhythms key to that first daylight exposure. The earlier and more consistent that first exposure is, the more convinced your body will be that morning is actually morning and that evening is the time to go to sleep.

Cwadda

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2017, 01:19:50 PM »
Therapy is practiced because it is scientifically proven to help people.

While I have no opinion on the effectiveness of therapy regarding sleep disorders, I don't believe that this statement is true.

Can you provide any double blind studies that show therapy is scientifically proven to work better than placebo?
Not sure if I can pull up that specific study - double blind placebo.

Though, here are a few pieces of literature on the acceptance of psychotherapy by the scientific community. Scientifically "proven" may be a stretch, but it's accepted (and is backed by all sorts of research programs) in such a way to become an extremely relevant branch of science.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236058462_Recognition_of_Psychotherapy_Effectiveness_The_APA_Resolution
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC94870/psychotherapy%20for%20mental%20illness%20in%20europe.pdf

"In August 2012, the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to adopt as APA policy a Resolution on the Recognition of Psychotherapy Effectiveness." - Really?  A group of psychologists have resolved that psychology is effective?  Shocking.  :P
If it was a hoax, then I doubt hundreds of millions of dollars would be poured into research each year. Also, we probably wouldn't have scientists dedicating their entire lives to this study.

Edit: Actually, on second thought, I don't really see the merit in your comment. Could you explain further? Isn't each branch of science made up of a group of people who study similar topics, develop conclusions, and agree with one another, making up a community? If a group of geologists go into the field to study oil reservoirs, and reach a similar conclusion, is it not credible because they're all geoscientists?

APA is made up of 117k people. How many of them are students vs. Ph.D researchers, I'm unsure.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 01:25:47 PM by Cwadda »

GuitarStv

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2017, 01:37:41 PM »
Therapy is practiced because it is scientifically proven to help people.

While I have no opinion on the effectiveness of therapy regarding sleep disorders, I don't believe that this statement is true.

Can you provide any double blind studies that show therapy is scientifically proven to work better than placebo?
Not sure if I can pull up that specific study - double blind placebo.

Though, here are a few pieces of literature on the acceptance of psychotherapy by the scientific community. Scientifically "proven" may be a stretch, but it's accepted (and is backed by all sorts of research programs) in such a way to become an extremely relevant branch of science.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236058462_Recognition_of_Psychotherapy_Effectiveness_The_APA_Resolution
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC94870/psychotherapy%20for%20mental%20illness%20in%20europe.pdf

"In August 2012, the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to adopt as APA policy a Resolution on the Recognition of Psychotherapy Effectiveness." - Really?  A group of psychologists have resolved that psychology is effective?  Shocking.  :P
If it was a hoax, then I doubt hundreds of millions of dollars would be poured into research each year. Also, we probably wouldn't have scientists dedicating their entire lives to this study.

The argument 'Well lots of people spend money on it, so it's legit' is a poor one.  That reasoning legitimizes, astrology, homeopathy, ear candling, crystal chakra healing, and all manner of quackery.  People spend lots of money on the wrong thing all the time.

We don't have scientists dedicating their lives to the study of psychotherapy right now.  We have psychologists doing that.  Scientists study natural and physical sciences.  Scientific fields have unifying theories that explain what is being observed which are only subject to change if the observations change.  Psychology's underlying theories are based upon societal whims and change as fads come and go.

If you want to discuss this further, please PM me.  I figure we've cluttered up this thread where someone is asking for help enough with these off topic ramblings.

Cwadda

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2017, 01:54:39 PM »
Therapy is practiced because it is scientifically proven to help people.

While I have no opinion on the effectiveness of therapy regarding sleep disorders, I don't believe that this statement is true.

Can you provide any double blind studies that show therapy is scientifically proven to work better than placebo?
Not sure if I can pull up that specific study - double blind placebo.

Though, here are a few pieces of literature on the acceptance of psychotherapy by the scientific community. Scientifically "proven" may be a stretch, but it's accepted (and is backed by all sorts of research programs) in such a way to become an extremely relevant branch of science.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236058462_Recognition_of_Psychotherapy_Effectiveness_The_APA_Resolution
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC94870/psychotherapy%20for%20mental%20illness%20in%20europe.pdf

"In August 2012, the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to adopt as APA policy a Resolution on the Recognition of Psychotherapy Effectiveness." - Really?  A group of psychologists have resolved that psychology is effective?  Shocking.  :P
If it was a hoax, then I doubt hundreds of millions of dollars would be poured into research each year. Also, we probably wouldn't have scientists dedicating their entire lives to this study.

The argument 'Well lots of people spend money on it, so it's legit' is a poor one.  That reasoning legitimizes, astrology, homeopathy, ear candling, crystal chakra healing, and all manner of quackery.  People spend lots of money on the wrong thing all the time.

We don't have scientists dedicating their lives to the study of psychotherapy right now.  We have psychologists doing that.  Scientists study natural and physical sciences.  Scientific fields have unifying theories that explain what is being observed which are only subject to change if the observations change.  Psychology's underlying theories are based upon societal whims and change as fads come and go.

If you want to discuss this further, please PM me.  I figure we've cluttered up this thread where someone is asking for help enough with these off topic ramblings.

Ok, so if I'm interpreting this correctly, you're saying psychology isn't a science, or is a "pseudo science" by definition. I understand now, thanks!

But back on topic, OP I would definitely recommend it. It's covered by insurance (or with minor copays), helps millions of people, and does not require alteration of your body chemistry.

milliemchi

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2017, 10:35:30 PM »

Where it really rears its ugly head is when I have occasional multiweek long periods of insomnia.  These happen a few times per year, last a few weeks each, and during them I average 0-2 hours sleep per night.  During these periods I have significant trouble functioning.
Quote
I have tried all sorts of things:  tl;dr nothing helps consistently
Quote
my mind is always racing.
Quote
All of this tends to help and I eventually kick it... but it's never a guarantee.

You got excellent advice from other posters, but just for the sake of completeness, it sounds really like hypomania. This is actually a health problem that needs to be addressed, as it could progress into things worse. Sleeping pills are a bandaid on the problem, because the are mostly habit-forming. However, there are other drugs that do not cause physical dependency, such as quetiapine, thorazine that someone mentioned, and others. You may need to take them forever, but for that see my comment below. There are also mood stabilizers that could help eliminate or reduce the number of such episodes, which you also may need to take forever, but if you stop you are just back to where you were before. If this is really hypomania, these drugs would be much more useful than sleeping pills (which you could still use occasionally).


Quote
During these periods I have significant trouble functioning.

If there is one single thing I could change in my life that would have a huge effect on my quality of life, it would be to defeat my insomina.  It developed around when I hit puberty, and I have been dealing with it ever since.  My sleep usually isn't terrible (maybe 5-6 hours on average), but I never feel full rested.  The last time I was able to sleep a straight 8 hours was... something like 8 years ago.  It's not that I don't try... my body just does not let me.  On the very rare instances I wake up feeling rested, it's like the gates of heaven have parted and angels are singing.

Reading what you write here, I have to ask why you are not taking sleeping pills (or others I mention above) more consistently? Actually, I do not have to ask, because I was in the same boat, fighting insomnia for about 30 years, and being opposed to psychotropic drugs on principle. It was foreign and scary and stigma-inducing, but when I reached the point where my job performance and functioning at home were affected, I decided to compromise my principle. I gave up my holistic non-medical approach (where nothing worked consistently for longer than a few days), took some pills, and now I sleep well, I perform better and more consistently than ever, and can plan my life more easily because I am relatively confident that on a given Tuesday three weeks from now I will be able to get up early and function well the whole day. It has made a huge difference in my life. Also, CPAP helped, but I had to solve my nasal allergies problem first.

I wish you well. The CBT approach also sounds good, since it is evidence-based, but I would check out the sleep apnea, general sleep study/disorders, and hypomania.

soccerluvof4

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2017, 09:56:03 AM »
I agree with mostly all the things GuitarSTV stated. I have suffered from Insomnia all my life but have learned to live with it, not obsess about it and feel better buy relieving that anxiety. The problem might not be as much the amount of sleep your getting as 8 hours is an average as much as why you dont feel rested.

To me the keys have proven to make sure you do go to bed the same time. I too have to have the room cool and some white noise so I set the timer on the TV and have the ceiling fan going. I fall asleep fast now but that use to not be the case because i would worry so much if I was going to sleep or not. Secondly, when you wake up don't lay there and and stress out trying to fall asleep that will again just cause anxiety and probably wont help much. I found just getting up and like others said read or I go right for a walk.

Caffeine i dont have other than my morning coffee. Anything beyond that would screw me up and a Light carb snack before bed helps. I pretty much eat yogurt every night around 7pm and go to bed at 10pm.

I try not to obsess about how i feel as I usually get 5-6 hours of sleep  and am up usually at the latest by 4am.  During the week I usually end up without trying having a power nap.

I personally would not get on the pill wagon and for sure would avoid alcohol too.

I almost forgot what I think is the most important of them all which I learned in my treatment years ago. Journal and Journal everything before you go to bed. Don't worry if you spell right or if what you write down makes sense its just to get crap out of your head.

Good luck, were all different and different things work for each of us and hope you find what works for you.

" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2017, 10:55:55 AM »
Mine has also been since puberty, with brief periods of respite now and then.

Mostly I do what soccerluv does: not sweat it, just go with it, get up and work on projects in the night.

If it becomes unbearable for me, I find a new location to sleep.
So, I switch beds with someone I know, or I travel to a family member's place and spend a few nights there.
Somehow switching locations can reset me somewhat, either in terms of actual sleep quality/amount OR in renewed psychological appreciation for my home gig.

millimchi: If you'd be willing to post -or to PM me- what med you take and at what dose, I'd appreciate hearing what's working for you personally. I know it would be different for everyone, but I prefer starting my research at a point of info that has worked for someone nice haha, and for someone that prefers holistic but will use what proves necessary.

I'm content now, but want to be prepared for my next phases in life. I see what my mom goes through and want to be on top of things.

Edge of Reason

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #46 on: September 09, 2017, 02:53:12 PM »
I agree on the sleep testing...better to rule out apnea before it becomes a bigger problem. 

Lots of other great suggestions like meditation (I love the Headspace App), dark room, sleeping mask, camping to reset your circadian (we do 2 weeks electricity free every year just before September/school/routine starts up), sleeping by oneself.... but I didn't see the one thing that helped me the most mentioned.....and that would be magnesium.

Most of the world is magnesium deficient due to stress, modern farming practices (low levels in the soil and modern farming techniques),  highly refined & processed foods, our addiction to sugar and reliance on pharmaceuticals which strip magnesium stores.  Deficiency rears its nasty head by causing problems like insomnia, anxiety, constipation, hyper excitability, muscular symptoms, fatigue, loss of appetite, apathy, confusion, irritability, poor memory, reduced ability to learn....the list goes on and on. 

There are many ways to increase your magnesium but the easiest is to take a supplement. In addition to the type of magnesium you select (the ones ending in "ate" are all great absorbable forms) take care with the dosing & work your way up.  Too much can cause other issues, such as loose bowels (and that is not a pleasant side effect). My sweet spot is 200mg of magnesium bisglycinate before bed while my daughter takes 300mg and the rest of the family can only tolerate 100mg. 

Google magnesium deficiency and see if this applies to you.   Hope you find something that works for you. 




AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #47 on: September 09, 2017, 04:15:22 PM »
Have you tried a magnesium supplement? That's what worked for me. Magnesium deficiency is really common. Google the symptoms and see if they fit for you.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #48 on: September 09, 2017, 09:59:42 PM »
Therapy is practiced because it is scientifically proven to help people.

While I have no opinion on the effectiveness of therapy regarding sleep disorders, I don't believe that this statement is true.

Can you provide any double blind studies that show therapy is scientifically proven to work better than placebo?
Not sure if I can pull up that specific study - double blind placebo.

Though, here are a few pieces of literature on the acceptance of psychotherapy by the scientific community. Scientifically "proven" may be a stretch, but it's accepted (and is backed by all sorts of research programs) in such a way to become an extremely relevant branch of science.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236058462_Recognition_of_Psychotherapy_Effectiveness_The_APA_Resolution
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC94870/psychotherapy%20for%20mental%20illness%20in%20europe.pdf

"In August 2012, the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to adopt as APA policy a Resolution on the Recognition of Psychotherapy Effectiveness." - Really?  A group of psychologists have resolved that psychology is effective?  Shocking.  :P


So I work in healthcare and therapy for insomnia (specifically cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia) is an effective treatment with a lot of research to support it. Just sat through a CME on this!

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is now recommended as a first-line treatment by several medical organizations (in addition to the American Psychological Association, already linked to)

https://www.acponline.org/acp-newsroom/acp-recommends-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-as-initial-treatment-for-chronic-insomnia
http://www.aasmnet.org/Resources/clinicalguidelines/040515.pdf

And there have been several RCTs comparing CBT-I to sleep medications and active placebos showing that it's an effective treatment.  Here are a few - you can find more by doing a quick Google Scholar search.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3218784/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20451034
https://bmcfampract.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2296-13-40
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17162986
http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/203083
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3353040/

To the OP - if you've tried a lot on your own, I recommend meeting with your PCP or seeking out a therapist who does CBT for insomnia.  CBT for insomnia is a brief treatment (about 6 sessions) and has good results.  Would totally be worth the co-pay to work with a specialist (imo).  Good luck!

blub

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Re: defeating insomnia
« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2017, 06:56:27 PM »
Magnesium supplement really helped my wife with her insomnia.