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Old 11-17-2020, 11:04 AM
Status: "Breathing" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
4,255 posts, read 9,991,092 times
Reputation: 5374

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I'm not talking about having difficulty falling asleep - there are nights, like last night where my body just refused to go to sleep at all. This started about a year and a half ago. My doctor (since retired) prescribed Ambien, which works great, but I don't want to use it long term or be dependent on it.

I've tried everything - limiting or eliminating things that might affect sleep like caffeine, alcohol and sugar, but really, I can have 2 cups of coffee in the morning, 2 beers at dinner and a piece of chocolate after dinner and sleep like a baby sometimes so it doesn't make sense that it would affect me some times and not others.

I've tried most herbal/natural remedies as well as mediation or those sleep youtube videos. I try to get some exercise every day - harder now without the gym but I do take long walks and do stretching.

I'm at my wits end. At this point, I just want to know what's causing this. When I'm lying in bed not able to sleep, sometimes it feels like I'm anxious or edgy physically, but my mind is calm. I used to have middle of the night insomnia where my mind raced at night, but that went away after I retired and falling asleep was never an issue.

Also, I absolutely can't sleep during the day - even with ear plugs and blackout curtains, my body just refuses to let me sleep. Sometimes, if I'm lucky I can catch a short nap, but it doesn't really help when I've had little to no sleep the night before.

Has anyone ever experienced this and how did you cope?
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:12 AM
 
Location: planet earth
7,617 posts, read 3,177,915 times
Reputation: 16822
Edibles.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:25 AM
Status: "Breathing" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
4,255 posts, read 9,991,092 times
Reputation: 5374
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
Edibles.
Not an option legally in Texas. I have tried CBD (without THC) and it doesn’t always work.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:42 AM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
22,631 posts, read 21,684,270 times
Reputation: 40433
How old are you? I know lots of people who have had this happen as they got older. Women also get this after menopause. I have it and I know what you mean about not being able to take a nap during the day--once I am up, that's it. I am up and cannot go back to sleep no matter how exhausted I am.

I tried everything and it went on for years and years, making life very difficult. A glass of warm milk used to work but then I became allergic to milk! I was always a light sleeper, even in childhood so this could just be the way I am. Have you tried warm milk at bedtime?

Have you tried magnesium at bedtime? That is calming but do a search for the versions that work because what you buy in the drugstore is usually not effective. Magnesium glycinate or citrate are usually mentioned. An amino acid called GABA is supposed to work if your body is low in GABA but it is said to not cross the blood brain barrier, yet I have read that with some people, it does. There is also at least one company that combines the GABA with another ingredient so that it does get to the brain. I used it and it sure did work, but I was groggy all the next day.

The elderly people I have spoken with have all given up and just get a prescription for something like Xanax. It's associated with GABA. But there are loads of other things to try before you get to that point.

I'll suggest one thing that just might help and I learned about it here on CD. There are sleep meditations that you can listen to and the ones the person recommended were by someone named Jason Stephenson on You Tube. Especially if you wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep, just listen to Floating in Space or something with a waterfall or the sea--and his calming voice helping you to relax and just float away into lullaby land. Good luck. I'm sure there will be other ideas forthcoming. We have discussed this before.
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Old 11-17-2020, 12:20 PM
Status: "Breathing" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
4,255 posts, read 9,991,092 times
Reputation: 5374
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
How old are you? I know lots of people who have had this happen as they got older. Women also get this after menopause. I have it and I know what you mean about not being able to take a nap during the day--once I am up, that's it. I am up and cannot go back to sleep no matter how exhausted I am.

I tried everything and it went on for years and years, making life very difficult. A glass of warm milk used to work but then I became allergic to milk! I was always a light sleeper, even in childhood so this could just be the way I am. Have you tried warm milk at bedtime?

Have you tried magnesium at bedtime? That is calming but do a search for the versions that work because what you buy in the drugstore is usually not effective. Magnesium glycinate or citrate are usually mentioned. An amino acid called GABA is supposed to work if your body is low in GABA but it is said to not cross the blood brain barrier, yet I have read that with some people, it does. There is also at least one company that combines the GABA with another ingredient so that it does get to the brain. I used it and it sure did work, but I was groggy all the next day.

The elderly people I have spoken with have all given up and just get a prescription for something like Xanax. It's associated with GABA. But there are loads of other things to try before you get to that point.

I'll suggest one thing that just might help and I learned about it here on CD. There are sleep meditations that you can listen to and the ones the person recommended were by someone named Jason Stephenson on You Tube. Especially if you wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep, just listen to Floating in Space or something with a waterfall or the sea--and his calming voice helping you to relax and just float away into lullaby land. Good luck. I'm sure there will be other ideas forthcoming. We have discussed this before.
Thank you so much - yes I’m 63 and reading your reply made me feel better that’s it’s not all in my head!

I do take 250 mg of a high quality magnesium citrate before bed. I have tried the sleep meditation videos on you tube but since it happens intermittently I don’t always think to do it before I lie down - I’ll look for Jason Stephenson.

I have tried lots of supplements but not GABA so that’s one to try also. I really don’t want to go the route of benzodiazepines because everyone I know that’s used them says it’s hell to get off them.

I know we’ve discussed sleep problems before but I haven’t seen a thread related specifically to falling asleep. Thank you again for your input.
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Old 11-17-2020, 12:23 PM
 
2,530 posts, read 2,735,031 times
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white noise machine might be helpful.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:34 PM
 
3,066 posts, read 1,825,019 times
Reputation: 13567
Your post reminded me that I used to have trouble falling asleep. I found that the savasana yoga pose helped me get ready for sleep, and I modified the pose over time into a personal routine that now rarely fails to let me sleep right away. The routine is the key for me. If the routine varies or is interrupted, it won't work, so I concentrate on it very carefully. It's probably the concentration that does it, as I stop thinking about everything else, kind of like counting sheep, I suppose.



Maybe you can come up with a relaxing routine of your own to help you doze off.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,701 posts, read 10,536,620 times
Reputation: 11325
Melatonin really helped my sleep issues. We make less of it as we age....it's over the counter. It's known as the "sleep hormone."

I take 3 mg an hour before bedtime.

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/arti...onin-and-sleep...

Also deep breathing exercises help quiet the mind telling us we can't sleep--disrupts the anxiety.
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Old Yesterday, 05:02 AM
 
Location: northern New England
3,640 posts, read 1,728,802 times
Reputation: 13880
I second melatonin, and always have a brown noise video playing (lower pitch than white noise).
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Old Yesterday, 05:44 AM
 
55 posts, read 9,249 times
Reputation: 167
My mom has this issue now that she turned over 55, she doesn't want to use medication in case of side affects and has started a fitness program which has been very helpful. She tried everything else before and nothing seemed to help.
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