Sleep problems

grandmapooOctober 4, 2006

I'm a 52 yr old woman and started having sleep problems about a yr ago. I have both problems of not being able to fall asleep and also waking in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep. Mr Dr. gave me some tips on sleep and a sample of a sleep aid a few months ago.

Lately my sleep patterns have improved somewhat, but now it seems that, even after 7 or 8 hrs of sleep, I just want to sleep more. I have slept 10 hrs recently and still felt groggy and tired and felt like I could sleep all day long.

Is this normal after a prolonged period of sleep deprivation? I've always heard you can't "catch up" on missed sleep and wonder what's going on in my body.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

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Vickey__MN

You may want to see a sleep specialist, you may have some sleep apnea going on. If you are not getting into a deep REM sleep (because the sleep apnea is pulling you out of it, maybe not enough to fully awaken you always, or that is why you awaken at night also), it won't matter how much sleep you're getting, it won't be restful.

Vickey-MN

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 1:46PM
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grandmapoo

Thanks Vickey.
Husband says I don't snore, just lightly sometimes. However, I do wake up quiet often during the night because I have RA and hot flashes due to menopause.

It just seems wrong that I can't feel good after I do get a good nights sleep.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 9:38AM
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zoezoe

OMG, you are me. I will 52 yrs. old next week and I can't sleep either. Takes on average 2/3 hours to fall asleep and I constantly wake during what is left of the night. I have tried virtually everything from over-the-counter sleep aids to prescription ones, with no avail.

I quit drinking coffee (which was one of my few pleasures) just to see if that would make any difference -- No, it did not. On a few occassions, I would chug a bottle of beer in a matter of minutes (I don't normally drink) with the hopes that would somehow help -- Once it did, but I woke up with a headache, so I have given up that practice.

There are a lot of things worse than sitting in your bed at 3:00 a.m. staring out the window -- however, when your in this situation, it doesn't feel like it.

I just don't feel any relief from this major problem will be coming anytime soon. It's driving me NUTS!!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 8:58PM
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mfkeary

I'm 34 years old and I used to have that problem too -not being able to stay asleep all night long. I would wake up in the middle of the night and staring at the ceiling for 2 to 3 hours !!! still the sun comes up, but my problem was that I was depressed and I wasn't exercising enough (doing moderate to hard physical exercises to the point you get real tired) were what was missing. I started to see a therapist (who advices me to take some natural sleeping pills -not to get addicted to) and register myself to a health club (Jazzercise). It all made a difference. So I'd advice to try exercising, and no you're never too old to exercise. And exercise can be as simple as walking, but walk a nice good distance. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 1:36PM
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grandmapoo

I'm sorry it took me this long to get back to this thread.

zoezoe, lol with the chugging the beer! And yes, we sound a lot alike, especially with the coffee. I've quit smoking, and drinking years ago and my coffee is the only thing I refuse to let go. I actually did quit for two days before, which didn't do anything but make me angry! Now I drink half caff.

mfkeary, I agree, exercise is key to sleeping better. That is the ONLY thing that I've found that helps me fall asleep quickly. But I have to truly exert my muscles, like digging in the garden with a shovel for a couple of hours, which in turn leaves my joints sore, which in turn makes me wake up in the night trying to find a comfortable position, and so it goes...

I guess I should try to find that happy medium in my exercise.

In the meantime, I've been trying different natural sleep aids with a little success.
I've tried over the counter melatonin, which seems to help with the waking up part, but I've not increased the dose like I should. (I'm very wary of putting pills in my body.)

Also, I've noticed that after waking up around 2 or 3 a.m. a warm cup of milk helps me fall back asleep (sometimes).

What's really strange is that that it rained for three days and I slept unusually well for those three nights and I felt GREAT! Then when the sun came out, that night I didn't sleep. Now I believe the "decreasing melatonin with age" theory might be the culprit.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 9:33AM
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jenn

Keeping the room on the cool side (or as few blankets as absolutely needed) has helped me the most.

That, and significantly reducing caffeine and trying to eat a balanced healthy diet and include regular exercise (taking a daily walk, nothing strenuous).

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 2:54PM
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venus_2006

There's lots of information out there about sleep and sleeping

Here is a link that might be useful: Sleep: Natures Gift of Health

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 9:42AM
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jenn

I think the type of exercise mfkeary was referring to isn't intense physical gardening (though that can help all kinds of other things), but rather aerobic exercise such as a brisk walk. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking every day has been shown to do wonders in so many areas. And, unless you are terribly out of shape and haven't done anything but sit on the sofa for the past 30 years, walking won't leave you sore like intense gardening will. Just 30 minutes is all it takes! Not a stroll around the block, but 30 minutes of a pace fast enough to raise your heart rate and cause you to breathe deeply -- not too much, you should be able to say a few words without gasping.

Exercise is the magic bullet.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 12:45PM
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jenme

I have a sleep disorder called CENTRAL apnea, the one that everyone is familiar with is obstructive apnea. The brain doesn't get enough oxygen, just slightly less than normal, when I sleep. I get periods of insomnia also and then sleep more than normal. It's balanced out some now that I take meds at night to be asleep and something in the day to keep me awake. When I tried to fight it and wasn't treated after the insomnia nights or night when I just didn't get enough Oxygen I would be so sleepy I would fall asleep ANYWHERE, if I was standing up. It's not narcolepsy but the results are the same.

The reason I am telling you this is I know A LOT about sleep. First thing I would do if I were you is make sure you get up at the SAME time each day even if you have a night that you stay up late or don't sleep well. It is also best to go to sleep at the same too, eventually maybe you will. You can take a SHORT nap in the early afternoon, but not more than an hour. This will be very hard to do but if you stick with it for a week you should start to see a difference. Also NO ALCOHOL, it just makes you fall asleep quick but when your blood sugar crashes a few hours later your awake again.
No caffeine, chocolate etc, after 2pm.

Exercise is important because it increase the "good" chemicals in our brains. Don't do it in the evening though.

NO WATCHING TV in bed, it is for sleeping. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep within an hour then don't stay in bed, get up and read something BORING, not your favorite book. Also the old warm cup of milk can really help because of the chemicals in it that help relax us.

Another trick I learned is turn the clock so you can't see it all the time, I found myself clock watching and thinking about how I had to get up in the morning. This is common with insomnia patients.

Try to deep breathing and relaxing exercise EVERY NIGHT before you go to bed, there are lots of tapes and books out about these. You need to clear your mind so you don't keep thinking about things.

All else fails, Ambien CR is my friend! It doesn't work for me all of the time, but that may be because I suffer from chronic pain also. Of course you may need to see a sleep specialist and have a sleep study done to see whats really going on. I don't snore, but the oxygen isn't processed right, your spouse could never tell you this.Plus some apneas are mild, or you may not stay in REM long enough.

Sorry to go on so long, I just feel for you.
Good luck to all the sleepless out there, Hope these ideas help.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 6:01PM
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