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Old 04-24-2014, 09:58 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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In general. I mean insomnia, snoring, problems sleeping with spouse, restless legs and all the rest of the things that can interfere with a good night's sleep as you get older. I mean in your 60s, 70s, and beyond.

I remember my former fil had to sleep with some sort of wedge shaped pillow for some reason. I know several couples who need separate rooms due to the snoring but of course, that can affect younger people too. Then there are all the problems like waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep. That not only disrupts sleep for the individual but also for the spouse who usually gets woken up by the light going on and the person getting out of bed. Then we have the people who have the nightly trips to the bathroom.

In particular, dh is having a bout of insomnia lately. His doctor gave him Remeron, which made him throw up. He took it the next night with food, did not throw up, but slept all night and all the next day. When he finally did wake up he was dizzy and zombie-like. So the doctor put him on Ambien which made him throw up. The next day he threw up all day and finally fell asleep in the afternoon for a while. Now he swears he will never take any prescription for sleep ever again. Both have been tiny doses so apparently he just can't take these medications. Can we discuss sleep issues? I know about the stereotype of the elders who are up at the crack of dawn and take naps in the afternoon--I've never known any and that's not dh and it's not me. What about the people who cannot sleep and can't be up and at 'em at anywhere near sunrise? Anyone else out there?
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay Burbs
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Sometimes an older person may benefit more by taking a stimulant in the am then a sleep aid at night. The stimulant taken in the morning can help an older person be more active during the day so they can sleep better at night. For people who are not physically active a stimulant will help keep them more awake, less likely to doze off and may lead to better sleep at night. People with blood pressure issues may not be able to take stimulants.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:52 PM
 
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Forget those Rx pills, they are bad and for the elderly impair cognitive functioning. Have dh take magnesium, it's safe and he will sleep like a baby. Also cheap and drug companies don't make anything so you won't see it advertised. Trust me on this one.

Help Me Sleep: Magnesium Is the Secret for Sleep Problems | Marek Doyle

Last edited by Jardinbelle; 04-24-2014 at 10:56 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:03 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jardinbelle View Post
Forget those Rx pills, they are bad and for the elderly impair cognitive functioning. Have dh take magnesium, it's safe and he will sleep like a baby. Also cheap and drug companies don't make anything so you won't see it advertised. Trust me on this one.

Help Me Sleep: Magnesium Is the Secret for Sleep Problems | Marek Doyle
Thank you. Yes, he does take magnesium. It helps some but not enough. He is saying now that a homeopathic remedy he was taking helped him much more than the prescriptions. (I think it contains magnesium and a few other things). I never realized that the elderly had such a totally different reaction to prescription medication.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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You can buy Melatonin to help fall asleep. I am not sure how long one could take it, but it would be safe to take for a couple of months, I think. Read the label and start with the lowest available dose. Melatonin in an OTC med.

Something that I do when I can't sleep is place a heating pad under my shoulders. It seems to me that sometimes when I cannot sleep, my shoulders won't loosen up enough to truly relax. The heat from the heating pad seems to relax those muscles.

Another thing to try in the middle of the night is to gently warm a glass of milk and drink it. I'd use the micro to warm it. You can also look into Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea. A cup of that before bed might be nice.

Sometimes people use the antihistamine to get to sleep, but in my experience, the stuff wears off in the middle of the night, and then I can't get back to sleep after that. I'd skip those for sleep probs.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
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I was taught this progressive relaxation technique in high school and it has served me well. I don't use a cd, I just go through the steps in my head.
Relaxation Techniques | University of Maryland Medical Center

I have occasionally taken Benadryl at night and that works too, but leaves me a little groggy in the am.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jardinbelle View Post
Forget those Rx pills, they are bad and for the elderly impair cognitive functioning. Have dh take magnesium, it's safe and he will sleep like a baby.
Even if they don't initially cause unpleasant side effects (and it's likely they will), they'll either lose effectiveness or over the long term impair both cognition and bodily functions like balance. If used, they should be basically like band-aids, occasionally and for only a short time. Sleep meds are not like anti-depressants in that they take awhile to kick in and must be used regularly to maintain effectiveness. Quite the opposite.

Even before I retired, I had both the "can't go to sleep because my mind is racing" and "wake up at 2 am, can't go back to sleep, my mind is racing" syndromes. I never take any prescription or otc sleep meds, I arise at a respectably early hour, eat lightly, take magnesium, have ample physical activity, etc. However I did all those while I still had sleep problems.

Now I don't. Golden ticket for me seems to be the structured spiritual and meditation discipline I started in summer 2012. Long story short, I learned how to quiet those racing thoughts. Improved sleep was a genuine surprise and a golden side effect; it certainly wasn't a goal. I was seeking answers and peace in general. I do my long study and meditation in the morning, do a few brief (5-10 min) meditations throughout the day but none at night. When I go to bed, I can read a few pages from a dull book (not a spiritual one, currently reading Lauren Bacall's autobiography), start nodding off, turn out the light, say a few silent words of prayer, then I'm out for several hours.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:26 PM
 
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Medical Marijuana, Indica, NOT Sativa. Edibles, not smoke.

Eat it about an hour before bedtime, go to bed, wake up 8 hrs later, Not stoned.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,001,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jardinbelle View Post
Forget those Rx pills, they are bad and for the elderly impair cognitive functioning. Have dh take magnesium, it's safe and he will sleep like a baby. Also cheap and drug companies don't make anything so you won't see it advertised. Trust me on this one.

Help Me Sleep: Magnesium Is the Secret for Sleep Problems | Marek Doyle
Yes, I was just about to post the same thing. Magnesium an hour or two before bedtime calms me down and is a muscle and mind relaxant. Right before sleep I also take one melatonin pill, I've always done well with it and it's not addictive.
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders...tonin-overview
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
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I've had insomnia since my 30's - I prefer natural supplements to RX meds. I don't take all of these all the time- but I've had good luck with melatonin in small doses- 1 mg or less, magnesium, valerian, and 5-HTP. Sometimes 2 Advil or an Aleve also do the trick. You have to experiment to see which ones work best but overall they're not too expensive to try.
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