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Insomnia! Ugh!
Old 09-22-2015, 11:14 AM   #1
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Insomnia! Ugh!

Wondering if anyone else out there suffers or suffered from insomnia and has tried any non medical/medication remedies.

I started having severe insomnia in graduate school, I thought when I retired in June maybe it would die down.

Nope, same as usual, mind racing, can't seem to fall asleep like a normal person.

Anyone else?
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:40 AM   #2
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I don't suffer from insomnia but my yoga teacher wrote an article in July 2015 on MindBodyGreen. It was titled "The Only Yoga Pose You Need for Great Sleep". I can't say if it will help you but maybe it's worth a try? Make sure to read the disclaimer on the second page.

MindBodyGreen.com
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:44 AM   #3
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I believe there was a thread on this not too long ago--you may wish to do a search. As I neared menopause I found my sleeping patterns changed. My doctor, somewhat of a nature-path doctor, recommended magnesium and melatonin. Both really work for me! I sleep quite well now! Magnesium also greatly reduced hot flashes so that they went from frequent to nearly non-existent. I'm a believer!!
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:46 AM   #4
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Thanks to you both!
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:59 AM   #5
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There was an older thread on this subject, good thread. Good information on white noise/hypnosis.

I'm a long term insomniac and for several years was on ambien(zolpidium). Works till it doesn't any more. After several years it backfired, couldn't sleep with it, couldn't sleep without it. Not a good place, after about 3 months(of less than 3 hours sleep nightly) I'm not taking any and sleep very well. I'll take melatonin in the future or benedryl, nothing stronger. YMMV.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:00 PM   #6
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irishgal, here are a few threads on this you may find useful

What activities do you do during sleepless nights?
Insomnia Cure with 80%+ Success Rate for Me
Sleep
Exercise Improves Sleep, But Be Patient

We use a white noise machine.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishgal View Post
Wondering if anyone else out there suffers or suffered from insomnia and has tried any non medical/medication remedies.

I started having severe insomnia in graduate school, I thought when I retired in June maybe it would die down.

Nope, same as usual, mind racing, can't seem to fall asleep like a normal person.

Anyone else?
I feel your pain.Give it some time, like 6 mo or more. retiring is not a minor life event, and you may need a significant time to re-structue how you handle things in life.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
I feel your pain.Give it some time, like 6 mo or more. retiring is not a minor life event, and you may need a significant time to re-structue how you handle things in life.
Good advice. I am still getting used to the retirement thing.
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:38 PM   #9
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An hour before you want to go to sleep turn off the TV and stay off your computer and smart phone.

Read a book in bed. Turn out the light when you get sleepy.
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:50 PM   #10
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Drink a warm glass of milk, keep soft music or a fan running and fix your mind on the sounds coming just from the fan or music. It does wonders for me when I focus just on a single source of distraction like a fan or music. Couldn't tell you why it works but it does.


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Old 09-22-2015, 04:04 PM   #11
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I am not at all new age or touchy feely but I learned to relax (and sleep) on airplanes by focusing on relaxing every muscle in my body and controlling my breathing. I used to do the same thing at the dentist (though I didn't fall asleep). The point is that mediation can work if you give it a chance.

I used to never take naps but after I ER'd it is something I now do easily.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:18 PM   #12
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I was having trouble falling asleep for a year or so, when I finally found a method that works very reliably for me. I work on crossword puzzles that are at a point where I can't solve any remaining clues easily. I just churn through all the options I can think of alphabetically until I get sleepy (takes a few minutes). I sleep pretty well after that, unless I get woken up in the middle of the night. I turn down the brightness on my iPad and use a blue light filtering screen protector so that the light doesn't create sleep problems.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:23 PM   #13
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Some of us insomniacs get to sleep just fine. The problem is that a few hours later - BING - we pop up like toast, and then can't fall back asleep. On a good night this might happen after 5-6 hours, on a bad night after maybe 2.

I've tried exercise, yoga, all manner of chemicals to little avail (Ambien CR does work, but it's too easy to grow dependent on so I use it only sparingly). My great hope is that the reduced stress of ER (commencing in 3 months - yay!) will let me finally start sleeping the night through. Fingers crossed.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:24 PM   #14
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Here's what works for me to some extent. I never take any sleep medications, whether prescription or OTC, but instead I work on doing these sorts of things:

(1) Don't consume ANY caffeine whatsoever for 12 hours before you plan to sleep. And don't assume that you actually know what has caffeine and what doesn't; read and go by this list, for example:

Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more - Mayo Clinic

(2) Exercise vigorously at some point during the day, but don't exercise for several hours before bedtime.

(3) Go to bed at the same time each night, and set an alarm to awaken at the same time each morning. I know "alarm" is a dirty word for us retirees sometimes, but some of us need a very regular schedule to prevent insomnia.

(4) Do not watch any shows with killing or high tension music for several hours before bedtime. Read or watch something sweet and cute and caring, or else a slightly tedious historical documentary or biography.

(5) Follow a nearly OCD routine at bedtime. Check the thermostat, lock the doors, and such, in the same order each night. And in my case, part of this is doing one pencil-and-paper Sudoku just before lights out.

(6) Make sure you have a comfortable bed. Also I like the fan or white noise suggestions. I don't consciously do that, but I do turn down the central AC one degree before I go to bed (for comfort), so the fan is going.

Also, if you sleep 7-8 hours every night but then only sleep 6 hours one or two nights a week, and don't feel exhausted the next day, don't beat yourself up about it. You probably didn't need the sleep. Or, so I tell myself....
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:38 PM   #15
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When my mind is racing at bedtime, thinking of a relaxing activity, particularly one with visuals, works to calm my brain. An example is recalling a walk or bike ride in much detail, imagining I am redoing it.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:49 PM   #16
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These are all really great ideas everyone! I appreciate you all sharing your solutions!


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Old 09-22-2015, 04:53 PM   #17
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In the thread, "Who Gets the Money When Your Gone?", (please see post 103 and 104) MichaelB suggested that I needed a nap. At first I had some trouble getting to sleep, but then I envisioned a Viking funeral and drifted off to a deep, restful sleep. YMMV.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:56 PM   #18
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I take Ambien almost every night and have been doing so for a very long time. I cut the 10 mg pill in half with a pill cutter and that does the trick. With the pill, I often still only get about 5 hours of sleep - but that is more than enough for me to not feel tired the next day. The doctor is not concerned about me taking ambien for a long time. I have tried the over the counter options and nothing so far has worked. I will read through the links mentioned above and try some of those options.
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:47 AM   #19
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I haven't had bad insomnia for awhile. A sleepless night is often the result of a busy mind. Before going to bed, I have a ceiling fan blowing down, a portable fan blowing at me, and two air purifiers (to clean out any cat dander floating around nearby) on my sides. Usually, in my own wind tunnel, I doze off about 20 minutes after my head hits the pillow .

Helps to have your own routine each night to tell yourself it is bedtime.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:17 AM   #20
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I have occasional bouts of insomnia. There is an over the counter product called Alteril that works very well for me. It is made up of melatonin, valerian root and a couple of other things.
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