Author Topic: Sleep Help Thread  (Read 13026 times)

d3nni5

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2014, 06:28:18 AM »


I didn't read every post here, but did browse through.   Sounds like folks are on the right track with suggesting sleep studies and apnea related issues.    Do you have any allergy issues?   For me, dust mites were getting me, causing all sorts of issues with my sleep.   This will be coupled with the typical "allergy symptoms" like sneezing, runny nose, shortness of breath, etc, etc.... I take a Melatonin and Benadryl before bed every night.   That along w/ my allergy medicine seems to do the trick on that front.

But there is one other thing....STRESS!    Your mind is racing for a reason, trust me, I'm the same way lately.   I sleep, but don't feel rested.   I think about work constantly.   No drug or device is going to get that solved.   You will have to deal w/ the stress factors directly and let your mind as well as body get some needed rest.

Offline SusanG

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2014, 11:43:49 AM »
Thought I should mention another treatment for sleep apnea for those who can't or won't use a CPAP machine  - a dental appliance worn during sleep:

http://www.aadsm.org/oralappliances.aspx

I looked into these for my husband, who may have sleep apnea but really resists the idea of the CPAP machine; a friend at work had one fitted after she had difficulties sleeping with the CPAP, and loves it.  I asked my dentist about the appliance, and he said it's important to get fitted by a dentist who specializes in them.  The web site above has a "Find a Dentist" link, as well as lots more info about sleep apnea and dental appliances.

Another thought, about using melatonin - apparently people are very different with respect to what dose works for them ... For some people a very low dose (1 mg or less) suffices, others need a higher dose.  It also comes in sublingual tablets for quicker action to help fall asleep, and time release, to help stay asleep.  So, to find an effective dose you may have to try several potencies and/or types (sublingual, time release, regular) to find the right one.  Couple of links:

http://sleepdisorders.about.com/od/sleepdisorderstreatment/a/How-To-Take-Melatonin.htm
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/melatonin-1017.html


Offline Black November

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2014, 12:26:22 PM »
Magnesium vitamin supplement pills - I don't remeber the brand, but 2 magnesium pills works like a natural soma.

Lemon Balm Medicinal Tea - You can grow it, or buy it, but it is much stronger than chamomile tea

Offline Spadalach

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2014, 05:52:29 PM »
What has helped, a little, is that I reduce my caffeine intake to zero after 2:00pm. That gives me 6-7 hours before I go to bed to be caffeine free.

I used to drink coffee throughout the day -- 8 or 9 cups was no big deal.  It was so routine that I didn't notice any real effect to it unless I skipped it -- then I'd get headaches for sure.  A few months ago my wife and I made some big dietary changes, one of which was replacing regular coffee with decaf or green tea (and that just 1 cup in the morning).  There was an adjustment period, but now I don't notice any less energy in the morning, so I don't really miss it.

But here's the big thing I DO notice.  Every once in a while I will have a couple cups of regular when I'm up particularly early.  Now, after 2 cups, I can feel it down to my fingertips -- a shaky shivery jittery feeling and a sort of hyper nervousness in my core.  That long story's all to say that caffeine is powerful stuff and if it affects me that much now that I'm aware of it happening, how much was it really doing to me back when I was drinking it all day?

So it might help your sleep to cut the caffeine back even further, maybe to 10:00, or maybe try cutting it out altogether (which will suck for 2 weeks, but might be worth trying).

Some other supplements to consider are L-Tyrosine and GABA.

Offline chickchoc

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2014, 09:40:32 AM »
I tried the Neuro Sleep drink and found it somewhat effective, but I got better results with taking a couple of magnesium supplements daily, then polishing off a Neuro Sleep while reading in bed.  Works for me.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2014, 07:39:19 AM »
Taking 400-500mg of magnesium right before I try to sleep is a huge help to me.  If I forget, it takes longer to fall asleep and I will most likely wake up after about 4 hours.

Any kind of alcohol will make me sleep like crap, so that's out for me.

I have used 5-HTP for other things, but I can't take it in the evening because it makes me dream so vividly that it wakes me up.  Not bad dreams, just Technicolor THX Spielberg production dreams.

Offline jaseemtp

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2014, 12:12:55 PM »
As some one who is a shift worker I have played hell with the sleep for the 16 years I have been a paramedic.  Some things that I have found that work is
1. benadryl about an hour before bed time. 
2. Stop taking naps during the day.
3. Increase my physical activity from 3 days a week to dang near every day.
4.  Some special attention from the wife also helps. ;D

I would have to say that the best thing was to stop taking naps during the day.  I work 24 hour shifts, 24 on 48 off.  We sleep when ever we can at work because you just never know what the night will be like.  But on my days off I would be all out of whack.  So now I just try to not take the much desired day time nap and if I do I try to limit it to just 30 minutes.

Offline Perfesser

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2014, 12:38:15 PM »
Audiobooks- helps my brain "turn off".
Melatonin 1 hr before sleep and a blackened room in daytime helps when I work nights.

Offline urwhatueat

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2014, 06:23:27 PM »
Teddy covered the basics of “Sleep Hygiene”… block out light and noise, no TV in the bedroom, ect

For people who carry a lot of stress. It can be helpful to put it down.  Literally put the activities of the day down on paper so that they are out of your head.  Some find writing in a journal for 10 minutes before bed to help them sleep.  I will occasionally do this but not on paper.  I imagine a chalk board on which I write the bullet points of the day.  Then I imagine erasing the board and go to sleep.

It is helpful to have a set ritual every night for the 10-15 minutes before going to bed.  Something like:
•   Let the dog out and put him to bed
•   Brush teeth
•   Get a glass of water
•   Touch the horn of the magical unicorn that farts gold coins
•   Turn out the light
•   Flip your pillow over
•   Sleep

There are actions we subconsciously perform when we are tired or when we are sleeping.  Performing them consciously can lead us to sleep. 
•   Making the motions and sounds of a big yawn
•   “Fighting” to close your eyes… as if you are so tired it is hard to keep them open
•   Rapid Eye Movements behind closed eyes.  Your eyes dart left and right quickly when you dream.  Doing this as you are falling asleep can lead to sleep and dreaming.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2014, 12:19:34 PM »
Audiobooks- helps my brain "turn off"...
Bedtime stories work for me.

I use the Nero Wolfe mysteries.

Offline RootStrike

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2014, 11:53:59 AM »
These are great, informative posts on this thread. I'd like to chime in as well, as I seem to have more troubles with sleep compared to back in school.

1. Regular routine.
I have been starting this, it is HARD because I usually have to get up at 05:30 and it is dark and cold. In the past I used to stay up very late, watch a movie, type on forums (ha!) , etc... I have read several books about sleep, including "Sleep, It Does a Family Good", "Power Sleep", and others. When your body is used to "awake time" and "sleep time" I am noticing it helps. Otherwise, it's like you are traveling to a different time zone.

2. Sleep environment.
My wife tends to be a restless sleeper; sometimes a random arm or leg is on me, or she talks in her sleep, or once she yanked my pillow away. Then the dog likes to sleep in the bed, and she will walk around or squish into you - disaster for a light sleeper. I have changed to sleeping separately on work days, and it has helped.

Along with bed comfort, I echo the advice about DARK, quiet (use a fan, Dohm sound machine, etc. to drown out noise), cover any led's or clocks, etc. Also be sure you are cool but not too cold. In the hot summer, I can't sleep well upstairs when it's hot.

Ear plugs help too, as does quiet/calm music sometimes (as the posts above mentioned)

3. Transition to bedtime.

I have noticed you NEED 'wind down' time. Turn down the lights (bright light impairs melatonin secretion). Use a program like F.lux for computer screens (it changes color temp to reddish), as blue wavelength light also stops melatonin production.

Reading a little or just focusing on breathing a bit; Dimmer lights help, and also just sitting on the floor to breathe and stretch, +/- some relaxing music. For some, taking a bath/shower at night helps (my grandma does that, she said).

4. Exercise.
I always can add some more exercise. I forget that I can simply walk some more too in addition to weights/cardio/kung fu work. Be careful about not working out hard too close to bed, you won't sleep well. Exercise also helps to 'de-stress' the pressure of the day.

5. Decreasing caffeine / not drinking too late:
Dr. James Maas, author of "Power Sleep" recommends to have no caffeine after 6 p.m. Everyone is different, your body will metabolize it faster or slower, etc. For me, I have stopped drinking coffee or pop at least 4 hrs. before bed and it has helped me. I bet a longer span would work even better.

6. Meds/supplements/etc.

Okay, this could be big alone, but here's what I've tried.

a. No prescription meds yet. I know things can be addicting and I'm trying to avoid that. But I have talked to co-workers and relatives who were helped very much by once in a while use of a benzodiazepine (Xanax, Ativan, etc.) or Ambien/Lunesta, etc.

b. Hormones: lowered testosterone can impair sleep, mood, fat burning, etc. and is a possibility. Same goes with estrogen & progesterone, imbalances can make you either tired or wired. Blood work can be a way to check this.

c. Melatonin: I have tried many variants. I have read that your body typically makes 0.3 mg naturally. Melatonin can make me really hung over, so I only take sparingly. Some companies make 1 mg SL tabs to dissolve on your tongue. I just found one called "MidNite" that is 1.5 mg melatonin quick-dissolve tab. I can use 1/2 to 1 tab. I have noticed less AM hangover. Melatonin is best to only 'reset' schedules vs. taking it every single night.

Of note, tart cherry juice contains a decent amount of melatonin naturally...

d. Minerals: I am sensitive to Magnesium, via trial and error. It is relaxing to blood vessels, the CNS, heart, etc. If I take more than 150 mg of MgCitrate or MgGlycinate I will be hung over. The opposer, so to say, is Calcium. Too much calcium late in the day will make your heart beat stronger and amp you up more, so for me I take a small dose only at breakfast and lunch.

If you are Mg-deficient, though, perhaps 300 mg or more could help, often dramatically. You have to see what you need. Under the "magnesium" section is a supplement called ZMA. 2 caps of that knock me out, but I feel like a zombie the next day.

e. Benadryl (diphenhydramine): some co-workers take this, 50 mg, but I only tried once; my mouth and eyes had all the moisture sucked out, and I was HUNG OVER in the morning. Not for me. Doxylamine is another OTC sedative  (Unisom), I haven't tried it.

f. Chamomile caps/tea: I found capsules at Vitacost's website (450 mg). It is a calming agent, you can also get it in tea form and also the "sleepy time tea" to help wind down. I try 1-2 caps in evening sometimes.

g. Valerian: I try this on and off. It is a sedative compound, and is believed to also affect GABA receptors in your brain. It smells TERRIBLE (stinky feet?) but it has helped me sleep PRN. I like Nature's Way Valerian standardized (0.8% valerenic acid), the purple bottle top, 1-2 caps about an hour before bed. The stink is worth it to sleep.

h. L-Theanine: this stimulates alpha waves, to make you calm. It made me feel snowed. For sleep I'd actually want delta waves. But in many examples, calming is a good way to wind down to sleep.

i. GABA: I have tried 250 - 500 mg 30-60 minutes before bed. If you read about GABA, supposedly it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier. But if you take too much, it will mellow you out and it made for some morning fog over time. FYI, usually benzos (Xanax, Ativan, etc.) work on enhancing your brain's GABA actions to calm your mind. I had to stop using it because it made me "too mellow" all day and I felt like blah.

j. 5-HTP: a precursor to serotonin. I tried a couple times, woke up with a big headache and fog. Gong...

Good grief. Reading all that could be a sleep inducer...

As you can see, sleep is part mental, part physical, part nutritional, part hormonal, part habitual.

SUMMARY: my favorite helps I am using currently:
1. At least 1 hr. time to wind down at night, dimmer lights, decrease noise. Stretch, breathe, pray.
2. Quiet, dark, cool , undisturbed sleep environment sleeping alone.
3. Supplements: Mg Citrate +/- Valerian cap (or 2 Valerian if racing mind) or else I'll try 1-2 Chamomile caps. If I've stayed up too late over the weekend, I may change to or add MidNite tab, 1/2 - 1 tab.

4. In the morning, get into bright light (to stop melatonin secretion), take Tyrosine 500 mg and Vit.B12 500 mcg, and some coffee or pop.

** NOTE: If you try different things, be sure to keep a log book, with dates; record how you slept, fell asleep, woke up, etc. That way it is easier to remember 'what works for you'.  Also - I HIGHLY recommend the 2 sleep books I mentioned above, so you can learn more about how to sleep better. Many apologies for the long post.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2014, 07:31:26 PM »
...cover any led's or clocks, etc.

That would keep me up all night.  One of my quirks is that I MUST know what time it is or I go nuts.

I have noticed you NEED 'wind down' time. Turn down the lights (bright light impairs melatonin secretion). Use a program like F.lux for computer screens (it changes color temp to reddish), as blue wavelength light also stops melatonin production.

Definitely agree with this one.  Jay knows I go upstairs about an hour before I plan on being asleep, and I spend the time reading.  Makes a huge difference.

5. Decreasing caffeine / not drinking too late:[/b]
Dr. James Maas, author of "Power Sleep" recommends to have no caffeine after 6 p.m. Everyone is different, your body will metabolize it faster or slower, etc. For me, I have stopped drinking coffee or pop at least 4 hrs. before bed and it has helped me. I bet a longer span would work even better.

Me too.  I can't have any caffeine after about noon or maybe 2:00.  But I'm fairly sensitive to it.  For some reason, I seem to become less sensitive with age, though.  Odd.

The other thing I've noticed is that a lot of people take their multivitamin before they go to bed, not knowing they're amping up their system right before they try to go to sleep.  I take any supplements (except magnesium) with my lunch.  That way I'm taking them with some fat (so the fat soluble ones work better) but not disrupting my sleep.

Offline RootStrike

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2014, 11:33:30 AM »
That [covering the clock display] would keep me up all night.  One of my quirks is that I MUST know what time it is or I go nuts.

Ha ha, I tell my wife about covering the clock display, she says, "Oh, that doesn't help/won't affect me..." Then she proceeds to tell me, in detail, how long she hasn't been sleeping or what time she woke up. So her mind obsesses over the time.

I just always set at least 2 alarms so if I miss the first one I have a backup. Not looking at the clock makes me less stressed.

But I have other quirks too of course...

I should have added that getting a massage is also a great way to wind down and sleep - but I'm not sure most people (me either) have a masseuse around...

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2014, 05:41:59 PM »
I should have added that getting a massage is also a great way to wind down and sleep - but I'm not sure most people (me either) have a masseuse around...

When Jay and I went on our first date (eHarmony) he told me that he had two things going for him - he was really good at giving massages and he had a credit line at the local jeweler.  I never really cared about the credit line, but he's one of very few men that can actually give an amazing massage with expecting... um, a reward.

Offline westloveyou

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2019, 03:43:28 AM »
I also struggled with sleep for a long time, and still do occasionally. I have tried melatonin, trazodone (an anti-depressant), chamomile tea, as well as a host of other techniques.

Melatonin - Can get me to sleep if I'm tired enough, but won't keep me asleep. I rarely use it anymore

Trazodone - Prescription drug, used when I was a teenager. Got me to and kept me asleep well enough, but made me horribly groggy for hours after I woke up. I don't think I refilled the prescription even once.

Here's what I've found has worked the best for me. Most of these things are those stupid tips and tricks you find in magazines or that your doctor may tell you. For me, a lot of them actually work.

Establishing a regular routine - Going to sleep and waking up at about the same time each day, even on weekends, has made a huge difference for me. Work/home life may not make this possible for some, but it's a good goal to strive for.

"Winding down" before bed - Personally, I cannot: play video games, read an intense book, go out to a movie/event, or even socialize with friends for a couple of hours before going to bed. Anything that is mentally stimulating and gets my brain going has to be done during the day or within a few hours after getting home from work. Then I naturally progress to a more calm state, and from there to tired enough to sleep. Took me a long time to figure this one out, and everyone has different "triggers" that will get their brain going.

Warm tea/drinks - This one only works if I'm already kind of tired but need a little extra push. It doesn't even have to be a commonly accepted sleep aid like chamomile. As long as it's warm and doesn't have caffeine, it'll put me into a doze.

Power napping - I didn't believe in this until I got good at it. Napping for 20-30 minutes when the urge hits makes me feel so much better during the day and jumpstarts my brain enough so that I can tire it out long before bed time.

I can't power nap in a bed. It has to be in a place that's moderately comfortable and somewhat horizontal, but just uncomfortable enough to prevent me from dropping into a deep snooze (my recliner sofa is a good option, though I've used the floor to great success as well). It's more of a heavy doze than anything; usually I'm still vaguely aware of noises/activity in my vicinity, but it fades to more of a drone than an interruption. I actually get better results if the TV or radio is on quietly versus if it's totally quiet.

Physical activity during the day - I also didn't believe in this one until I had a physically demanding job for an extended period of time. That was the best year I ever slept. My new position is not nearly as physical, so I try to incorporate more movement at home. Exercising too close to bedtime will have the opposite effect, so I try to do physically demanding chores during the day or soon after getting home from work.

I still wake up 2-3 times each night, and by the time my alarm goes off I'm usually almost fully awake anyway. I do notice that I sleep deeper and longer than I ever did in high school or college and wake up feeling much better. I also believe stress had a major role in my sleep troubles, but minimizing that is so individualized for everyone that I didn't want to get too deep into it. Try to identify your own stressors and see if you can minimize their affect on your brain around bed time. If I've learned anything it's that treating sleep problems is just as much an art as a science. It requires careful self-observation and willingness to try creative solutions.

Yes, these are good tips i will try, i always get up very early, only sleep for 3-4 hours every night, and can not sleep again then. I think this will be a improve my problems, will try.

Offline Gamer

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Re: Sleep Help Thread
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2019, 07:28:54 PM »
Just a thought but if anybody sleeps with a radiator on, try turning it off, as personally I sleep much better in a cold bedroom..:)