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New here - sleep problems for 12 years

Post: #1
03-20-2014, 05:04 PM
member1843 Offline
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New here - sleep problems for 12 years

Hi, my problems started about 12 years ago, during a time of family stress after which we had an extremely stressful 10 years (including the menopause for me). These bad times are now over, but it has left me with difficulty staying asleep all night.

I usually fall asleep OK, & it's getting earlier & earlier (I'm sometimes fast asleep at 8.00 pm) I go to bed, sleep for a couple of hours & always wake up about midnight needing the loo, after which it's really pot luck whether I go back off or not. I'm sometimes awake nearly all night - if I can go back off, I often wake a couple of hours later & it's still only 3.00 am.

I can't taking any sort of sleeping tablets (herbal or prescription as they trigger a migraine in me) and after anything at all which might help. I've tried melatonin which did nothing for me.

At the moment I take 5 HTP, calcium & magnesium at bedtime plus 2 Holy Basil capsules (supposed to reduce night time cortisol levels. I also have a lettuce sandwhich & a small glass of milk at bedtime. I think these all help a bit, but not as much as I would like.



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Post: #2
03-21-2014, 07:31 PM
member63247 Offline
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New here - sleep problems for 12 years

Welcome,

You did not mention whether you exercise at all. Myself and others that I have talked to find that an afternoon walk or using the treadmill somewhere around 6:30-7:30 is a good way to prevent getting tired so early whiling making you more tired at 10:00 or so. It also helps to avoid the bladder alarm going off too early. My experience is also that a snack of cheese is helpful for pulling  fluids into the stomach a bit so that the bladder is not as full.



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Post: #3
03-24-2014, 05:40 AM
member36203 Offline
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RE: New here - sleep problems for 12 years

Digesting food is an energy intensive task. If at all possible, do not eat anything within a couple of hours before going to bed. Also, avoid the small glass of milk. If you are waking in the middle of the night because you need to relieve yourself, try not to be processing fluids right before bed.

As you say that you are able to fall asleep initially, something is triggering you to wake up in the night. Try deliberately staying awake for a couple more hours in the evening. Going to be at 8:00 and waking at 3:00 is actually enough sleep for some people. It could be that your hours are just a little out of whack.



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Post: #4
04-02-2014, 08:52 PM
member36292 Offline
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RE: New here - sleep problems for 12 years

I know you mention you cannot take any herbal supplements, but chamomile tea has a calming effect and isn't known to trigger migraines. I know liquids can be problematic because of having to get up and pee, but I find a small cup of tea isn't too disruptive.

I'm also a yoga enthusiast. There are a lot of yoga routines specially designed to help people sleep. If you just search, yoga for sleep you can find a lot of free exercises and poses that can help. You can also explore mindfulness strategies for sleep as well. A lot of those exercerises come with audio to help guide you through the process. As cliche as it sounds, picturing yourself on a beach or any place that is peaceful to you, can really help relax your body.

I know this isn't going to be a solution for every household, but I pretty much only use my bedroom for sleeping. I keep it very tidy and don't have a lot of clutter or distractions. I got rid of the television in my room and stopped using my laptop in bed. I also bought a foam topper from Costco that tremendously improved my comfort level.

On the nights I really struggle, I even sleep with ear plugs in to avoid hearing any little sound that might affect my sleep.



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Post: #5
07-16-2014, 03:14 AM
member57554 Offline
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RE: New here - sleep problems for 12 years

I think in your case not sleeping through the night has become a habit. I think it might help to do more physical activity. Also try doing word puzzles online before bed, this helps exhaust me mentally and helps me sleep. Also if you wake up try some warm milk and maybe a piece of toast. It's like when we were a baby, the warm milk puts you back to sleep.



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Post: #6
08-22-2016, 05:43 AM
member91657 Offline
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RE: New here - sleep problems for 12 years

​Hey there,

I had something similar - after a series of stressful life events, I couldn't sleep. Once those situations resolved, my sleep issues still didn't resolve.


The reason your sleeping habits haven't returned is likely because of sleep anxiety, which I have discussed in greater detail here.
You have actually conditioned your brain to become anxious at the thought of sleep, essentially.

There are many things that can help you sleep:

1. Address negative sleep thoughts (eg., things like "I know I won't sleep tonight" or "If I wake up in the middle of night, I’ll never get back to sleep"). Give yourself time to write down worries for the day, but move on after that.

2. Next, come up with some positive sleep thoughts and constantly tell them to yourself:

I have slept before, and I’ll sleep again.

If I don’t sleep as much as I’d like, that’s ok. I’ve survived before.

When I sleep, I feel rested and ready for the day.

3. Also, reinforce that your bed is for sleep and sex only. If you can't sleep, get out of bed (which I have detailed here)

4. The final component is to have the same sleep and wake times every day. This is to train your body to know when it is time for sleep.




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Post: #7
01-25-2017, 09:39 AM
member5124 Offline
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RE: New here - sleep problems for 12 years

Many of them can't sleep normally like others. They need some activities to get to sleep. I used to watch TV for getting sleep. After some days, I can't sleep even after watching TV. Then I used ear plugs for sleeping. It changes every time for sleeping.



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