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Old 04-27-2014, 09:20 AM
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,028,761 times
Reputation: 1046


Originally Posted by LivingDeadGirl View Post
But fyi folks, the sleep doc said that for we old folks, it is typical to have some issues because when we age, our sleep just "falls apart".
That is reassuring, actually. :-)

All my life I was able to sleep for 7 hours straight through with no problem. Falling asleep usually no problem unless something obvious like stress or being "overtired", but that was only occasionally. Reading (anything) has always put me to sleep in 20 minutes or less. I've always snored, btw. ;-)

Fast forward to mid-2012 when I was diagnosed with kidney stones. One of the things the urologist said I "had to do" was to drink at least 2.5 liters of water a day from now on, spacing it out so that it covers 24 hours and makes it NECESSARY to get up at least once during the night for a bathroom visit. Supposedly the kidneys need to continually flush themselves out. The result was that I'd wake up between 3 and 3:30 am for the necessary trip. This went on for about 6 months. I hated it because half the time I couldn't get back to sleep, or it would take 2 hours to do so and then I'd wake up at 9 am feeling like something the cat dragged in, lol.

Fast forward again to late 2012 when I began getting hit with a cascade of weird issues one after the other, including muscle pain, IBS, chronic headaches, back pain, tinnitus, to name a few. This misery went on for over a year and during that time I was lucky if I got 2 hours of sleep a night: couldn't fall asleep because of stress and discomfort, couldn't stay asleep. I gave up the water-drinking regimen and no longer drink anything after 8pm, but it's taken a year and a half to slowly work myself up to sleeping a few more hours. Due to the back problems I must sleep on my back and use only one pillow. I can fall asleep just fine now, like I used to (assuming I stick to my normal schedule or am not stressed out) but I wake up like clockwork after only 5 1/2 hours. Sometimes I can doze off into a short semi-sleep but I don't zonk out completely by any means.

I have tried everything short of sleep meds (which I won't take) including the "sleep restriction method" which is supposedly so effective. Nope. It's based on the premise that if you wake up during the night before your "target" number of hours, and stay awake for more than 15 mins, you have to get up out of bed and do something else, such as reading or getting a snack, "until you start to feel sleepy again". Problem is, once I get out of bed I'm wide awake and unlikely to feel sleepy again until the late afternoon or early evening, LOL. (also, how are you supposed to know whether you're been awake more than 15 mins unless you keep checking the clock, which is something you're NOT supposed to do??!?)

I know it'd be a waste of time to do a sleep study because I've never been able to fall asleep OR stay asleep normally in unfamiliar surroundings. If the study is supposed to measure a person's "normal sleep patterns" it would fail miserably with me! So the results would not reflect what happens to me in at-home sleep at all. I still have the tinnitus and back issues so those continue to work against getting back to what USED TO be a normal number of sleep hours. Hopefully the back issues will eventually get better but the tinnitus is permanent; ironically it's at its least annoying in the morning, LOL.

Last edited by Never2L8; 04-27-2014 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:51 AM
Location: North Monterey County
3,197 posts, read 2,863,927 times
Reputation: 4897
Menopause was when my sleep issues started (age 45 surgical menopause).

I needed more sleep as I age - so adjusting my bedtime back an hour to 9PM gave me more hours to sleep.

REGULAR EXERCISE - was key - and not less than 3 hours before bedtime.

I did experience more sleep with better vitamins - whether the magnesium was key - I don't know. But I switched from the Centrum for women over 50 to Centrum Silver and have noticed a difference.

Knowing how to completely relax - without benefit of alcohol - was also key. We have a hottub. Nothing more wonderful than tubbing and then slipping between the sheets. I get great sleep when I do this.

Alcohol (beer specifically) hinders sleep. Initially I will fall - and will wake up a couple of hours later. Can't drink wine (hives) - so no issues there.

Spouse snores like a freight train so we have separate rooms.

7 month old golden retriever, however, awakens at 4AM for potty call. THIS is going to kill me.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:15 AM
Location: Orlando
2,008 posts, read 2,645,775 times
Reputation: 7681
I don't usually have a problem falling asleep, but sometimes I have a problem staying asleep.

So now if I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get right back to sleep, I get up, make a cup of Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra tea, and work on a crossword puzzle while I drink the tea. Then I go back to bed and usually have little difficulty falling back to sleep.

This tea, according to the package, has chamomile, tilia estrella, and valerian, along with some spearmint, lemongrass, hawthorn, and orange blossoms.

Yes, I am aware that some of these ingredients can cause problems for some people. But I don't drink the tea that often, and it works for me without apparent side effects. Everyone's body chemistry is different.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:13 AM
1,107 posts, read 1,879,426 times
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Originally Posted by silibran View Post
Yeah, I guess. If you go for a sleep study you will definitely come out with a Cpap. I'm not saying some of us might not need a C pap, but I really, really don't want one. My sleep probs are a nuisance at worst. I went through much worse during perimenopause. I do much better now than then. So, I think I don't need a sleep study, and I would be really upset if I had to deal with a C pap. By they way, my oxygenation rate is good, so I doubt I have an actual sleep disorder.

That would be clue to needing a C pap, if my info is correct. If you are having probs sleeping and there isn't much oxygen in your blood, you might need a sleep study.

Thankfully, I don't. I just have trouble getting to sleep sometimes.
I used to think the above bolded statement also, but I learned that 1) you are more likely to have a problem with sleep if you have a sleep study, so the likelihood of needing a cpap is going to be greater in that group 2) all people who have sleep disorders are not necessarily treated with cpap. It depends on what is wrong.

Also, there is alot of misinformation out there about cpap. It's nothing like it used to be. In fact, my ex-husband had a cpap when they first came out, and I have one now, and they are like apples and oranges. Mine is quiet, very small mask with only nose pillows, and a ton of adjustments I can make to my liking. No big deal at all.

So, if anyone finds that a cpap or a sleep study is recommended, I urge you to keep an open mind.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:24 PM
Location: North Carolina
1,764 posts, read 2,336,179 times
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Melatonin is naturally occuring in the body. My pediatrician told me to give it to my child who would not sleep. It usually doesn't cause stomach upset or grogginess the next day.


I have insomnia due to chronic pain. I sustained an injury about four years ago and not my knee is completely deterioriated. I take a muscle relaxer to fall asleep but usually wake up around 3 or 4 am. I'm exhausted all the time.

I hope you two are able to find something helpful for him. Lack of restorative sleep causes havoc in day-to-day life.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:44 PM
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,592 posts, read 12,350,882 times
Reputation: 15499
Originally Posted by mlb View Post

... I needed more sleep as I age - so adjusting my bedtime back an hour to 9PM gave me more hours to sleep ...

... Spouse snores like a freight train so we have separate rooms.

I find that I require less sleep as I age; 10 or 15 years ago I needed a full 8 to 8 1/2 hours in order to feel fully rested and refreshed but now I wake up automatically feeling fine after 6 1/2 or 7 hours.

If your spouse snores loudly a sleep study is in order! It just might be a sign of OSA - Obstructive Sleep Apnea!
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:51 PM
Location: Florida (SW)
39,346 posts, read 18,837,745 times
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I am 73 yo and have been taking Tylenol or Advil PM for about 25 years now....with it I get a good night of restful sleep (8 hrs)...without it I am wide awake after about 4 or 5 hours and toss and turn for the rest of the night. My MD said...he couldn't see any reason not to take it....(being aware of not using it in combination with other meds containing Tylenol.

I recently tried to use a sleep aid made of serotonin and chamomile etc. It did nothing and I gave it a good try of about a month or more.
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