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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2021, 10:23 Thread Starter
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How are you sleeping?

A few years ago we had a thread running regarding sleep and mainly lack of it! I know a number of you good folks also suffer as i do.

I have had chronic insomnia for years and tried everything: all the sleep hygiene techniques; all the prescription non addictive drugs; all the prescription addictive drugs that I was prepared to risk; over the counter remedies; CBT; Acupuncture; Hypnotherapy; alcohol; no alcohol; de caffeinated coffee; melatonin; anti histamines ...you name it, I have tried it and all with limited or zero results.

Recently I had a 5 month experiment with my Dr on trying various non addictive prescription drugs which act as anti histamines. I even had a couple of nurses recommend what they use to get their sleep patterns back after night shifts but they didn't work either. The Dr gave up in the end as neither of us could identify anything that would help.

Anyway, something where I am having some success now is using Sleep Reduction. In essence (and it sounds counter intuitive) I get more sleep by being in bed less, trying to sleep. By this I mean that I used to put the light out at 10.30 say and then get up at 8.00. Now I read until 11.00 and get up at 6.00. In many case I could nod back off at 6.00 but I force myself to get up thereby banking some tiredness for the next night.

In reality I now switch the light off earlier than 11 when I feel my eye lids drooping or my concentration on my kindle waning...sometimes as early as 10.15! In terms of the morning I never set an alarm so sometimes don't wake up by 6.00 and have been known to sleep as late as 6.30!!

I have found that I am now getting more sleep than I have had over the last 20 years or so plus I feel less tired during the day. I still drink de caff coffee and still take 50mg of Amitriptyline at 7.30 each night but am now getting more sleep than ever.

It might be worth considering and I'm happy to talk more about Sleep Reduction in my experience if anyone is interested.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2021, 10:51
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I have never had any problems getting off to sleep at night unless something is bothering me or I have to work something out, my problem is getting back to sleep after going to the loo, I don't take any drugs which keep me awake, but not so long ago I stopped taking any which made me drowsy as I was nodding off during the day sometimes, they were also buggering up what bit of concentration I had, maybe it's an age thing with me.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-10-2021, 18:19
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I drop off at the due time about 11.30 OK but somehow wake again around 1.30 to 2.30. Then it's a struggle to drop off again. I do find a walk round the house can put me back to sleep again but invariably I take a leek and don't really want to get into that habit.

Ray.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-10-2021, 07:46 Thread Starter
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Don't get me wrong. Some nights I struggle to get off still but they are few and far between now and usually when I too have something on my mind like Kev, churning around, I also still wake up 3-4-5 times during the night but now am finding that I can drop off easier then before and seldom lie there for hours. Prior to this, when I woke up - similar to you Ray - that was it for my nights sleep. So if that was at midnight for example, that was my lot for that night and I used to lie there for 8 hours trying not to disturb Mrs GMJ.

Fortunately I do not need to get up in the night for a pee (yet) so that helps.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-10-2021, 08:49
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I remember the thread well. I have been an insomniac for many years and, like Graham, have tried absolutely every remedy under the sun. None of them worked so I just resigned myself to being Mrs Tired and Grumpy That very fact has helped Just accept it. I read, too, about sleep reduction and I also read that humans would, naturally, only sleep for four hours before "going on patrol". This again has helped me to accept disturbed sleep.
My sleep pattern is so much better now and I put it down to the above plus one other thing. Firstly I just get up at 3am or whatever so that I can restart the "go to sleep" pattern. I come down stairs, usually take a co codamol for my sciatica, read for fifteen minutes and then to back to bed. Usually I will go back to sleep for another three or four hours which is a major achievement! I read that laying in bed "trying to sleep" is counter productive as it teaches the body and mind that it is normal to be awake in bed and you need the opposite train of thought.

The next thing that has, I am sure, had a major effect is Magnesium. I have tried it before but with no success. The difference, this time, is that my Zinc levels have, at last, climbed into the normal range. Magnesium is well recognised as a help to insomnia but I believe that, as in most things, it needs other things to be in normal range in order to be absorbed properly by the body.

Given all the stress I am under at the moment I am still sleeping better than I would have done a year or so ago.

There is a new book out on sleep which has amazing reviews. I started to read it but had to stop because it lists all the negative effects on health that lack of sleep can cause It is called "Why We Sleep" or similar.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-10-2021, 09:15
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We are just a bunch of chemicals and they need to have some sort of balance hence the requirement for a balanced diet, so look there first, there may be foods you don't care for that supply the missing link

When I was doing the self-build I would often wake at 3-4 o clock and not even bother, I'd just get up and start researching how to do things, or go on youtube and I bet in the thread I did there are some very early posts as the thoughts came rushing in.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-10-2021, 14:10
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Quite right Kev. My doctor is less than interested and just wants to medicate the end result. He denies the results on lab tests because it means he has got to delve further. I am pretty sure that thyroid is involved but, as you know, they never want to get involved in that.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-10-2021, 14:32
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My brother had sleeping problems for many years but eventually tracked his problem down to - coffee. He cut it out altogether and has not had a problem since.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-10-2021, 14:50
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I make a point of not consuming any caffeine after about 5pm. Wine yes as that runs straight through me.

Ray.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-10-2021, 15:11
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No none alcoholic drink after 4pm for me.

You need to lay down the law Pat, you have the right to proper medical care, liz got it so can you, she is much better on T3.
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