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Old 12-19-2009, 07:37 PM   #21
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I forgot to mention caffeine, although others did. At one point, I couldn't sleep if I had had coffee after dinner. Then lunch, then pushed back even further. Then I started having trouble with one cup of coffee even at breakfast. Right now I am on half decaf, half coffee, one cup at breakfast. I will probably switch to pure decaf, one cup at breakfast pretty soon.

Wouldn't you know it - - just as I *finally* have arrived at a point in life at which I could afford fancy coffees (which I love)! And nothing better than midnight cafe au lait and beignets. But if I indulge, I might not sleep for a couple of nights.
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I am not sure what it's like for other women, but sex doesn't really induce sleep for me.
I suppose that falling asleep right after sex is stereotypical for men, even if many women do not have that experience. So perhaps that would help sleepless men.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:35 PM   #22
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I keep hearing this...I hope it's not true for everyone, because if it is, I'm doomed...doomed I tell ya.

You can still have nightly sex you just need a lot more partners !
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #23
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I find I can get along with about 6 to 7 hours sleep a night. Of course the extra 3 hours during the day at work helps a whole lot .
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:58 PM   #24
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I am sorry to hear that you are having sleep problems. I have also reached the age where I can not drink caffeine within 4-5 hrs of going to sleep. When I am stressed about things, I also have problems going to sleep and keep waking up. When I keep reviewing things in my mind that I have to do and worry about forgetting things, I will get up and make a list and then go to sleep. If I am stressed due to being upset, then I will either get up and read for awhile or else pray myself to sleep. I hope that God understands about all the times I have fallen asleep while talking to him, or else I am in trouble.

Put me in the category of a female that can fall asleep pretty quickly after sex. After I am through in the bathroom, I want to cuddle for a few minutes and then go right to sleep.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:03 PM   #25
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I just read something that said we sleep our best when the room is 60-68 degrees and that people with higher core temperatures have a harder time getting to sleep and staying asleep.

Turn off the heat and open the windows!
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:09 PM   #26
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You can still have nightly sex you just need a lot more partners !
Nah...I swing with a multitude of partners only on the dance floor. Besides, I don't have enough towels...
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:21 PM   #27
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I just read something that said we sleep our best when the room is 60-68 degrees and that people with higher core temperatures have a harder time getting to sleep and staying asleep.

Turn off the heat and open the windows!
Oh, yeah...that's me! I like it very cool (almost cold) when I go to bed. So I normally have the window open...especially in the winter...and have a fan near the foot of the bed blowing on me. And the most I ever cover with is a sheet...no blanket or quilt for me! I very seldom, if ever, get cold.....as an example, my normal attire for being outside in winter is a regular pullover sweatshirt....if it's really cold (10° or below) I'll wear a nylon wind-breaker over that.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:48 PM   #28
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I have a tendency to sleep hot too. We have a dual control electric blanket..thank heavens. I leave my side turned off and DH cranks it up on his side. Last year we bought a Tempur-Pedic mattress and it soaked up the heat from my body making me way too hot to sleep. So, I put a towel under the fitted sheet and I sleep blissfully now...as long as DH is not snoring...

Oh yeah...the ceiling fan and small fan on my nightstand are always on.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:13 PM   #29
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Along with caffeine, I've heard cutting back on alcohol can also help solve sleep issues--from webmd.com:

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Alcohol often is thought of as a sedative or calming drug. While alcohol may induce sleep, the quality of sleep is often fragmented during the second half of the sleep period. Alcohol increases the number of times you awaken in the later half of the night when the alcohol's relaxing effect wears off. It prevents you from getting the deep sleep and REM sleep you need because alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep.
With continued consumption just before bedtime, alcohol's sleep-inducing effect may decrease as its disruptive effects continue or increase. The sleep disruption resulting from alcohol use may lead to daytime fatigue and sleepiness. The elderly are at particular risk for alcohol-related sleep disorders because they achieve higher levels of alcohol in the blood and brain than do younger adults after consuming an equivalent dose. Bedtime alcohol consumption among older adults may lead to unsteadiness if walking is attempted during the night, with increased risk of falls and injuries.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:55 AM   #30
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If I have more than one alcoholic beverage at dinner, I do not sleep as well at night. I also sleep better in a cool room so my thermostat is programmed to go down to 60 in the early evening. Cotton sheets(not flannel) are also more comfortable for me, as is 100 percent cotton sleepwear. I keep the bedroom very dark. Getting some fresh air everyday is probably the most sleep enhancing thing I can do. I do not drink coffee late in the day. If I order coffee after dinner, it is decaf. I also try to eat dinner on the early side and not go to bed with a full stomach. If I am a little peckish at bedtime, I have a cup of yogurt or a piece of toast or a handful of crackers. I try hard not to think about things that bother me before bed...like Scarlett O'Hara I resolve to "think about those things tomorrow". My little pug does snore, but he sleeps down at my feet so I find it not too disturbing.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:22 AM   #31
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A couple of years ago, we discussed my cure for difficulty sleeping at night:

Better Sleep With Earplugs
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:42 AM   #32
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Interesting how variable the sleep patterns are when there is no external schedule to drive the hours. I've been wondering how I will settle in when I join ER in 2 weeks. Sounds like there is no reason to worry about it when I don't sleep very well.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:31 AM   #33
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Any wine, beer, anything like that at night--and just one, too--and I do the same thing: wake up at 2 am and just rest in bed not able to really sleep. One little bit of overheating too in the room and no sleep. Now the sex thing...I hit the sack pretty well if I do that. Must have too much testosterone in me..ha!
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:31 AM   #34
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Some things that have worked for me in the past:
  1. Progressive muscle relaxation technique (google it)
  2. Deep breathing practice while imagining in detail the path a particle of air takes from your nose to your lungs and back out again
  3. Distraction techniques - ABC mental game - think of a word that starts with the letter of the alphabet, starting with "A". Focus on a theme like, fruits/veggies, positive attributes of yourself or a loved one, geographic places in the world, etc.
Children's benydral (liquid) also is helpful, as you can take as small amount as you need to, and it gets into your system fast. I know you asked for non-medication techniques, but sometimes you get desperate.

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:35 AM   #35
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Interesting how variable the sleep patterns are when there is no external schedule to drive the hours. I've been wondering how I will settle in when I join ER in 2 weeks. Sounds like there is no reason to worry about it when I don't sleep very well.
Tesaje, I am so excited for you about your upcoming retirement!! One of the most wonderful things to me about the first month of ER was sleeping in as much as I wanted. I felt like I was in sleep deficit prior to retirement. I don't think I sleep too much now (for example, yesterday I napped for about an hour and last night I slept for about 7 hours), but just awakening naturally seems to have an incredibly restorative and rejuvenating effect for me.
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I keep the bedroom very dark.
After retirement, one day I was thinking about how frightened I was as a little child without a nightlight. It occurred to me that at 61, after all these years of sleeping in a completely dark room, there is no reason to sleep in a completely dark room unless I want to. I don't like awakening in the middle of the night in a completely dark room because I find it to be disorienting. So, I have been leaving my dressing room light on really low (it is on a dimmer). I love it.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:25 AM   #36
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I've always been fascinated by sleep. And I've been disappointed as I age that I sleep less well. So I decided to give Zeo a try. It's a device that monitors your sleep. I've only been using it for about a week, but it's really interesting to review last night's sleep -- time to go to sleep, time spent awake, time in deep sleep, light sleep and REM sleep.

I don't know if it will actually help me sleep better, but it is a bit reassuring that apparently my sleep patterns are pretty typical for someone my age.

I haven't decided if I'll keep it after the 30 day trial.

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Old 12-20-2009, 10:55 AM   #37
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Same boat here. I've worked hard on this issue, and have read about four books. Here are some things I've learned:

The best book was The Insomnia Answer. It suggests you use a sleep log like this (click twice to be able to read it):

SleepLog.jpg

to help you identify which type of insomnia you have. The primary tool that the book has you use is this: You restrict your sleep for a while -- that is you go to bed later or get up earlier, and thus train your body to sleep more efficiently. It's as if your body says "Well, I'm only getting x hours in bed, so I better sleep the entire time."

That book also explains how when problems with sleep begin, there are certain behaviors that reinforce the problem (e.g. long naps or drugs).

For me, exercise or mental effort does not guarantee a good night's sleep, despite what some books say.

The solution of getting up if you are awake for 20 minutes doesn't work if the temperature of the house is around 60 degrees.

Some books say naps are good, others bad.

Some books say that although we get less sleep as we age, it doesn't mean that we need less sleep.

I've tried some things that seem to work great, but then lose their effectiveness (such as a baby aspirin before retiring).

I found that napping has no clearcut effect on my quality of nighttime sleeping:

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...1&d=1216478040

-----------

I'd really like to solve this, because when I'm awake at night, I'm very uncomfortable -- it might be that restless legs thing.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:12 AM   #38
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I too have noticed the wine effect. One time I was at a banquet and had two glasses of wine. They came around with the (Starbucks) coffee and it smelled so good that I had two cups. Big mistake! The wine put me to sleep, but 90 minutes later I sprang awake and was so wired that I couldn't get a wink for the rest of the night and nodded off several times during the conference the next day!

Steroids are known to be associated with euphoria. Maybe you are so full of the joys of life that you are too excited to sleep!

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In my case, if I drink wine with dinner, I'll sleep like a baby til about 2ish a.m., and that's it for the night. A co-worker shared that she has the same experience; we're calling it the wine effect. If you normally have wine with dinner, try skipping it a couple of nights and see if you can stay asleep longer. Also, various medications will disrupt my sleep pattern. Right now, I have to take steroid tablets for 5 days in a row for pleurisy, and I would swear these darn pills are keeping me awake even though I take them in the morning. Review your medications and see if sleep interuption is indicated with use.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:18 AM   #39
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The sound of aircraft engines makes me sleepy. I've been on more than one flight where I fell asleep prior to takeoff and wasn't awakened until the wheels touched the runway on landing. And on a couple of these flights I was a passenger...
Whereas I, on the other hand, am a white knuckle flyer and any tendency to nap is immediately interrupted by a change in the engine noise (is that the wing falling off?) or turbulence, which makes me quite anxious. I know perfectly well I'm being irrational, but I keep visualizing the plane going "splat".

I don't want to hijack the thread. Now back to sleep! ZZZZZZZZ
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:35 PM   #40
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Thanks for all the great ideas. I see that many others have some difficulty getting enough sleep.

Ha
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