Friday, January 20, 2012

Does Anyone Have A Good Cure For Insomnia?

Or a bad cure, for that matter. I'm not fussy.

As you know, because I tell you everything, I'm weaning my way off my beloved sleeping pills, trying to use them only when I have insomnia. My insurance company, my doctor and I all think this is a good idea.

I've become very Silas Marnerish about the pills, taking pride in the not using of them. But then insomnia pops in, and I lie in bed and fantasize about taking just a little half a pill and falling asleep, and the next thing I know, twenty minutes have passed, and I give up, get out of bed, and take the darn half pill (and by golly, fall right asleep).

I know the following things about insomnia. It doesn't kill you (at least not directly). It's very boring. It's usually stress based (but not this time, since this is an extremely non-stress time in my life, except for the insomnia). It has an element (at least in my case) of self-fulling prophecy. And it's very boring (well worth mentioning again).

I have no idea how many people read this blog, or who any of you are (except for Marci), but I figure there are enough of you out there that it can't hurt to ask for insomnia (or lack thereof) advice.

So what do you suggest for warding off insomnia? I may already be trying some of your possible suggestions (going to bed at a reasonable and regular time, winding down before then, reading a little, deep breathing), but I could use some help, and who better to turn to than you?

Let me thank you in advance, and please know I'm going to read each and every one of your comments (and I hope there's at least one), and I'll try the ones that might work for my jolly sleep loving personality!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Susan:

Exercise, even if it's just walking. Get an hour in each day, and you'll be amazed how it helps with a) giving you the opportunity to solve the problems that your subconscious is holding onto and thus keeping you awake and b) actually tire the muscles and relax the nerves.

Here's hoping...
Another Susan

Anonymous said...

A couple of ideas: turn off all blue-light emitter such as the computer and TV at least 2 hours before bed, and darken your house to let your brain know it's time to sleep. Otherwise, it's in a perpetual land of the midnight sun state and never gets the corresponding long winter.
Another idea: people actually normally wake up during the night. It was only with industrialization that society started trying to sleep in one block. (Check NPR for more information on this if you're interested). People used to have a first and second sleep, and pray or meditate in the middle waking state. So if you wake up, don't worry about it. Your body is doing what it wants to do. Try to enjoy being snuggled in bed with no outside pressures.
And ditto to what Another Susan said about the exercise.
All the best!
JulieB

Lee said...

I made audio tapes of Bob Ross's "Joy of Painting"... his voice was so soothing, worked like a charm.

Lee said...

My wife says she read somewhere it's good to only use the bed for sleeping - for example, don't read in bed... use a chair. So when you do get into bed, your brain knows it's time to sleep.

Linda Jacobs said...

I know this is against all advice but I keep my iPad nearby and, when I can't sleep, I grab it and do whatever I feel like: read, play games, check blogs, surf, etc. It's good because I don't have to turn the light on. It's definitely worth the money!

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem. What I do is eat a banana and drink a few sips of milk. Then I'm out like a light. It's doctor recommended!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... a banana in the middle of the night would give me stomach trouble.

Always recommended are carbohydrates - -the milk and cookie routine. Or, water and cookie.

A nettle capsule won't cause harm, and it is a relaxant. Or, start working in theatre again. W.S.

Gillian said...

I like a cup of herbal tea (any decaf tea) before bed, and often an ibuprofen for my arthritis, which is just achy enough to distract me from sleep.

Do be sure your bedroom is actually dark, and remember it is normal to take 15-30 minutes to fall asleep.

Paige Y. said...

Susan,

I must say that the little sleeping pill is my solution (I too, cut mine in half). I never have trouble falling asleep -- it's the waking up at 2 am and not being able to go back to sleep that kills me.

Kelly said...

I have taken to drinking a cup of Sleepy Time tea made by Celestial Seasoning. It really seems to relax me. Try it, and let us know if it works for you!

Wendy said...

I keep my iPod close by and always have an audiobook downloaded. The good news is that I usually fall asleep. The bad news is that it takes me 15 minutes the next day to figure out at what point in the book I actually fell asleep at. Often times I'll find I turned off the iPod 10 chapters in after I fell asleep. Worse case scenario, I also have guided imagery downloaded onto my iPod. Hope you find a solution that works for you.

Anonymous said...

Stay off the computer 3 hours before your bedtime.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the insomnia started after the conversion to Smart Meters. There have been many health effects reported, a major one being loss of sleep.

Although this type of complaint is the stuff of snake-oil salesmen, and easy to dismiss as either a convenient scapegoat, or a touch of craziness, it is not far-fetched that increased rf exposure, and whatever else the Smart Grid technology involves would effect physiological changes.

The problem is, if that's the problem, what is the solution? A tinfoil hat? Demanding the removal of Smart Meters?

Nora Durbin said...

Oddly enough, listening to talk radio always works for me. Especially when they are talking about something that I actually want to hear. That's when I fall right back to sleep. If I don't care about what their talking about, it sometimes takes a bit longer. Listening to talk radio to fall back asleep runs in my family. My grandma did it, my mom and aunt do it. We all have our favorite people to listen to, and those we would rather not.

Anonymous said...

Okay. So, in your newest post you say you had another sleeping pill. Either you have no intention of getting off the sleeping pills, which seems to be the case, or you are hoping someone will intervene.

The sleeping pill addition is no joke. Solving the problem is not going to come from asking for input from blog readers.

If you want help for this addition, then get it. If you don't, talking about it here isn't even appropriate. I'm fed up.

Karis Jacobstein said...

When you find something that actually works, please write another post... Seriously, if being the mother of three obnoxious children with more energy that a nuclear reactor doesn't help one sleep, I don't know what would. Ambien works wonders for me...

Anonymous said...

To Karis --
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/opinions/8725/

Friendly Neighbourhood Bookseller said...

If you can't sleep, or you wake up and can't get back to sleep, get up and do something else for a while. Fretting doesn't help. I often put my MP3 player under my pillow and turn it down until it's almost a background hum, playing music I'm very familiar with. That seems to help me. Good luck.