I can’t sleep. Can anyone offer some help?

#41

Tonight I am having insomnia. I get this maybe once or twice a month, sometimes more, where I just cannot sleep. I’ve been lying awake for about three and a half hours. I’ve fixed the temperature in my room (turned on AC in case it was too hot), my blood sugar is fine, I’m not hungry or thirsty, all other factors are fine. I just can’t sleep. Not tired at all. And the most annoying thing is that I know that I’ll be tired tomorrow, and even more so tomorrow night if I also can’t sleep. I have a presentation on Saturday and really do not want to go into that minus two nights sleep. These are the most annoying nights of all for me.

Hopefully I can go to sleep in half an hour or so and maybe catch four or so hours of sleep before I have to get up. That’s at least better than nothing. But at the moment, I am just not tired at all. Reminds me of when my thyroid was high. Hopefully that is not the case, but who knows. So annoying.

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#42

Have you tried herbal remedies. I take passion flower for nights that I am unable to fall asleep. It is in a capsule form. I also try to pay attention to my breathing. That usually works. Good luck.

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#43

Wow, Jen. Are you hyperthyroid, too? I didn’t know. I tried lullaby’s once. I found that this music, when one cant sleep, sends one into a rage. Not helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y8CdZqEjvY

#44

I’ve had Graves’ disease for three years. Currently it’s been in remission (off medications) since November. But my endocrinologist has told me to let him know if I develop symptoms of hyperthyroidism, and I’m getting my TSH checked every three months. So there’s an not-insignificant risk it could come back at any time, and nights like last night when I’m just not tired I start wondering about such things.

I ended up getting to sleep eventually, only to wake up twice with my eyes incredibly irritated and streaming tears into my pillow. This has been happening a lot lately and for the life of me I can’t figure out the cause. Putting in artificial tear drops sometimes helps, but last night I’d put them in before bed in hopes of preventing the eye thing, and put them in again after waking up, and still woke up again. I will ask my ophthalmologist about this when I see him in a couple weeks. I had similar irritated eye issues when my thyroid was high, too, if I recall. If it’s mot one thing waking me up it’s another!

So I’ll go off today functioning on about two hours of sleep. I’m surprisingly not tired, although I do have a headache and am stuffed up. Maybe I’m coming down with a cold, or allergies are acting up. Hopefully I get more sleep tonight, because tomorrow is an early morning (and probably late bed time since I have to make some final preparations for this presentation).

#45

I’m going to try avoiding Ambien tonight as I THINK that it may be causing me some mental confusion and memory issues (STML). I hope I’ll be able to sleep more than a few hours w/o it. It gets really old not being able to sleep for more than a few hours,every night, for years on end. oh, BTW, I’ve been using Ambien for a couple of months–sometimes 5 mg and other nights, 10 mg.

#46

Hello my dear. I am not on here too often but your story just caught my eye and I had to pipe up and say hello, and your not alone. Even when nights are the longest! I am 74 end of March and by the way please call me Albert or Albie. Old friends on here know me!
Like you for some other strange reason sleep started to avoid me around 3 years ago. I used to wonder why my wife spent to many-every night in her reclining chair and I alone in our room night after night. When we sold our mule stable here in Malaga foot hills we moved to a nice town 2.000 feet lower down and just 5 minutes by car from the sea. It was lovely for a while as I adjusted to life without animals. Anyway lets cut this short- In 2016 I started to have trouble sleeping and the doctor gave me one type of sleeping tablet after the other. Nothing has changed the root cause and my doc, says at my age I should just make the best of things and I started a regime that enabled me to develop a 2 stage system of sleep. I starte in bed as I always did and after 3 to 6 hours transfer to my very own recliner. I can get enough sleep in this way and I never thought I would!
Changing my mind set, enabled me to move on and be happy again. Its ironic but after a kidney transplant my wife now sleeps 10 hours a night in her own bed. Still we have our own rooms so we or I do not disturb the other. Now I dont worry and dont whine on about how tired I am and frustrate myself and those I love.
I dont know what your solution is or will be but I hope you find your answer and would just ask you to consider looking at the way you view where and how you sleep!
Albert. Malaga. Spain.
ps. I’m using a Spanish keyboard and punctuation is all wrong!

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#47

Nice to meet you Albie. I am so glad that you have found a sleep routine that works for you. Sometimes I move to the couch, so that I can read and hopefully get back to sleep or even fall asleep at all. It doesn’t usually help me. I actually got a full 8 hrs last night and the night before. I often don’t sleep well the week before and during a full moon. I imagine that is why I was able to sleep the last two nights since the moon is waning again. Hopefully this ability to sleep will last for awhile.

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#48

I’m REALLY interested in what you think the ambien does to you, Dave44. I’m so afraid of because of all the stories.

#49

I take 2 capsules of Glycine, 1 Magnesium, 1 5HTP. I get 5:30-6 hours of solid sleep.

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#50

After two short night’s of sleep, I got a full 7:44 of sleep last night; my goal is 7:30. I climbed into bed last night an hour earlier than normal and read a book. I ended up waking up within minutes of the time I woke up the previous two mornings. This means that I can get a full night’s sleep if I’m willing to go to sleep earlier than normal.

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#51

Terry, I would want to see is this happens again when you retire earlier than normal.

#52

I’ll let you know. Going to bed at 8:30 pm just doesn’t seem natural. But I feel so much better today, it’s worth repeating the effort.

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#53

Hi, Marilyn! 70 year old here. I was having sleep issues ~8-9 years ago after some medical issues. My neurologist ordered a sleep study that revealed “restless legs”! (The tech doing the test said the EEG/EMG readings “looked like you were tap-dancing!”). I was prescribed Baclofen, a non-sedating muscle relaxant which I’ve taken since—trials with a lower dose show I still need it.

I can’t predict your results, but sleep studies are worth the time!

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#54

Perhaps you are getting more sleep than you think but they are called micro-sleeps. U fortunately it means you don’t get the deep restful sleep you need. I would advise a night or two in a sleep lab where they hook you up to a monitor. The experts can then probably help you to achieve proper sleep patterns by changing something or maybe even self hypnosis.

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#55

Have you tried a weighed blanket? I’ve been doing lots of research on them lately, wondering what the big deal is, and they sound exactly like what we need to sleep better. My husband and I rely on melatonin supplements, Benadryl, and/or Theraflu, and still suffer crappy sleep. We’ve been trying to wean off the drugs, too. Haven’t bought a weighed blanket yet, though. I’m afraid to buy too much into a fad, but all my research has been favorable. Am thinking about getting one on Amazon so I can return it if I don’t like it.

Basically, they stimulate deep touch responses, which promote relaxation and better sleep. They naturally stimulate various hormones and neurotransmitters, like serotonin, melatonin, and oxytocin… And reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

You have to be the sort of person who responds well to touch, though. Like, if you hate massages and hugs, it’s probably not a good solution for you. If you are a tactile person, you want one that’s roughly 10% your body weight, glass bead filling is preferable to cheap plastic, and look for a duvet-style one with a washable cover because washing machines/dryers don’t handle the heavy-filled part well

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#56

Thanks Robyn. I have seen those on-line, and it sure might be something to try. Please let me know if you try one.
I do like touch, so I don’t think that would be a problem.

I tried Benadryl but they have absolutely no effect on me. My neighbor swears by them for helping him sleep, but I guess they make others nervous. It is like taking nothing for me.

I have stuck to melatonin the past few nights and I have slept well. It will work for awhile and then I will have problems again.

Maybe I will go ahead an order the blanket from Amazon and see how I like it. Thanks for the suggestion and the info.

#57

This is the biggest thing I’ve found to help me. I find the more consistent I can keep my bedtime and nightly routine, the more consistently I can sleep and wake up in the morning. I go to bed by 9:00 and am able to consistnetly get pretty good sleep compared to when I go to bed later. The disadvantage is that, since I get home from work around 6:00 or sometimes 7:00, it often means I don’t have much time in the evening beyond just eating dinner and doing chores. And it’s sometimes embarrassing to tell people I have to go to bed so early when they want to call me in the evening or something, but on the other hand, I get up at 6:00 in the morning, which is earlier than most.

The past few nights I didn’t sleep well, one night because of insomnia and the other because I had to get up extra early to get to a conference. During the afternoon of the conference I was struggling to stay awake during the presentations. It was a bit shocking for me to realize that how I felt that afternoon is how I used to feel every day for years while I had untreated sleep apnea. That is the first time I’ve felt so tired since starting treatment.

My body only lets me go a night or two without good sleep before it crashes. So last night I got eight hours and 52 minutes of sleep and I also had an hour and a half nap this morning. Hopefully tonight my sleep schedule will be back on track.

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#58

I went to bed an hour earlier than usual last night but then woke up 45 minutes earlier than usual. I got about 6:30 of sleep. I’m going to keep trying this tactic and maybe I can make it a habit.

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#59

Hi Marilyn! I don’t comment often, but had to write in to commiserate with a fellow insomniac. Ugh. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I’ve had sleep issues all of my (almost) 50 years and have found no easy solutions. You’re doing and exploring everything the right way.

A few thoughts/learnings from my time being desperately tired and seeking something… anything… to help get to sleep (and get back to sleep!).

  1. Sleep hygiene works. Sounds like you’re doing all the right things in getting to bed at a consistent time, putting technology away at least an hour before bedtime, reading before bed… the only things I might add would be adding a sound machine (like the sound of rain?) if white noise would be at all helpful and adding a consistent bedtime meditation practice. I have done a 15 minute meditation via Headspace on my phone each night for over a year and a half and I think it’s incredibly calming each night. (It’s also been helpful in other areas of my life.)

2). Melatonin works… up to a point. My sense (and this is only my sense!) is that your body gets used to the extra dose that you introduce and the effectiveness of it wears away. I try to only use melatonin a couple of times a week. Ambien, for me, is also magical, BUT will rebound easily and result in nights upon nights of insomnia. I limit myself to 1-2 nights (not concurrently) of it at most each week.

3). Other supplements: I take magnesium nightly; supposedly this helps with insomnia? Others recommend a bath with Epsom salts? Possibly worth trying. I also have chronic migraines so take other nightly medications that may help with sleep - would be happy to discuss over PM.

4). Other medications you may want to discuss with your dr… other family members have suffered from insomnia and have tried other medications. This is really a bear to deal with and when it gets to the point that your ability to function through the day is hit, you need to talk with your physician. Friends/family have tried a number of other things, but common suggestions to begin with have included Benadryl or Tylenol PM, which I know that you have tried, but you might want to ask about increasing your dosage (I am a small person who requires the dosage of a 240 lb man! It’s crazy!). Also, other friends have been on a nightly dose of Trazodone for a number of months and experienced no side effects and it was easy to come off of.

Anyway. I am so, so sorry you are going through this. Of course I don’t know exactly what you’re feeling, but I’ve been there with not being able to sleep and not being able to get back to sleep. So incredibly frustrating and exhausting and you feel like it’s never going to end. I hope you can find some relief soon. Please feel free to send me a private message. xo - Jessica

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#60

Thanks Jessica for the lovely message. I have tried listening to rain, and or meditative music but it ends up irritating me.I can hear the ocean from my bed and try to concentrate on listening to it. I also listened to a meditative tape that was somewhat helpful. A friend suggested listing 10 things that I was happy about that day. I never thought this would work, but that and melatonin has given me 3 nights of good long sleep. I don’t even get to all 10 things. I have tried different mind exercises over the years and they never work, but this one is.

My sleep is usually worse the week before the full moon. I might try taking Ambien or Trazadone during that time. To some the pull of the moon having an effect might sound silly, but I know that it affects me. It could be because it is so much lighter out.

So sorry that you get migraines. I used to but found that switching from a low carb diet eliminated them. I haven’t had one in 2 1/2 yrs.

Again, thanks so much for sharing what works for you.

Marilyn