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Every night, pretty much.

 I have reams of text to share if you would like some suggestions from experts. It’s not helping me, but hey, maybe it will work for you.

I already had insomnia (PTSD) before Covid. Feels like everyone I’ve talked to about this in the last six weeks is going through the same thing.

Unfortunately I think the pandemic is going to be here for a minute.

Anyone want to share what they’re doing to try & beat this?

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I've had insomnia for as long as I can remember.  I have to take sleep aids to get anything more than a couple/few hours of sleep, if I can sleep at all.  There's been many nights where I didn't sleep at all so I have become kind of used to having that no sleep haze the next day and can function fine, even though I'm pretty miserable feeling.  I'm concerned about becoming addicted to sleeping pills, so I only take over the counter sleep aids (like Aleve PM without the Aleve) and Melatonin.  Melotonin is hit or miss for me.  Sometimes it's great and helps me fall asleep and other nights I'm up all night after I take it.  For many years sleep aids were the only way I could fall asleep at all.

The Covid pandemic has actually given me an opportunity to stop taking these sleep aids, which is something I've wanted to do but obviously the trade off is I wouldn't get any sleep.  Unfortunately I lost my job, and combined with the stay at home request, I no longer have any particular time I need to wake up so I stopped taking the pills.  It's been about a month and a half without taking them now and the most sleep I have gotten at one time is maybe 3 hours.  There's also been plenty of nights where I don't sleep and maybe get an hour nap here and there, which I obviously wouldn't be able to do if I'm at work, so the insomnia is still there.  Once I get a job and have to go to an office again, I'll probably go back to taking sleep aids.  It's been the only way I can get something like 5 hours of sleep and get up by 7am so I can get to work.  I'm really hoping that this pandemic has caused companies to embrace working from home more.  If I can remove my commute from my day, I would be able to get more sleep and might not have to use sleep aids. 

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Posted (edited)

I was thinking of posting about this in one of the virus related threads, so I’m glad you created a separate thread. I’ve been getting terrible sleep for the past two months. I don’t think I’ve had one night where I’ve slept more than four hours straight. I usually fall back to sleep pretty quickly, but I usually wake up 2-3 times during the night. I recently started taking CBD. It hasn’t had any effect on sleep positively or negatively. It has done wonders for my joint pain, so I’m going to continue to take it in hopes it starts to help with sleep and anxiety. My wife and I are both still working through all of this, but her schedule has totally changed since we have kids. I work 7:30-5:00 and she works evenings now. Not sure if that is a factor. 

I’d like to cut down on my drinking. I’ve always drank. I’m not necessarily drinking more or less during this. I usually have 2-3 beers a day between getting home and before I go to bed. I usually drink more if I’m off the next day. I know drinking can have a negative effect on sleep, but that’s never been an issue for me before this. Thanks again for the thread. 

Edited by Man In The Box
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3 hours ago, BobbyLayne said:

Every night, pretty much.

 I have reams of text to share if you would like some suggestions from experts. It’s not helping me, but hey, maybe it will work for you.

I already had insomnia (PTSD) before Covid. Feels like everyone I’ve talked to about this in the last six weeks is going through the same thing.

Unfortunately I think the pandemic is going to be here for a minute.

Anyone want to share what they’re doing to try & beat this?

I’ve battled insomnia for many years.  At the beginning of the quarantine—it got really bad. I couldn’t sleep at all.  I found that limiting how much I watched the news helps a lot. I don’t watch the news for more than 30 minutes a day.  I walk small laps in  my backyard for a couple hours a day to get some vitamin D as well as to get some exercise.  I found that between reducing my anxiety by limiting my exposure to the news and by exercising and getting myself tired to where my body needs to shut down—-it helped a ton.   I also stopped eating anything less than 2 hours before I sleep. Apparently your body trying to digest food in a horizontal position can wreak havoc on your sleep as it basically causes heartburn and discomfort that you are unaware of while you attempt to sleep.  I’d say that i’m experiencing 60-70% less insomnia now . Hopefully some of these ideas helps you out. 

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It is worse for sure.

I did have a big problem with insomnia but through breathing exercises, melatonin, medical marijuana, working through issues it had gotten better. I do feel like I have slipped as I am waking up during the night again and having a hard time falling asleep. I chalk it up to stress of no paycheck and everything that comes with that. My wife is not what I would call supportive during these times. I am also drinking a lot more now and that is not conducive to good sleep.

I suspect I will be able to get back to the patterns I had developed once I go back to work. 

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Limit caffeine and alcohol, especially before bed. Limit fluid intake in general before bed. Exercise. No daytime napping. Stop using screens at least an hour before planned bedtime. Have a regular bedtime and wake time. Bed is for sleeping and sex only. Space meals from bedtime so that you’re not inducing reflux. If in bed and not asleep after 20 mins, get out of bed and go read a book in a quiet room before trying again.

If you have untreated depression/anxiety/PTSD, talk to your PCP about counseling and/or pharmacotherapy.

Do you snore or are you overweight or being treated for high blood pressure - go here. If you score 3 or greater talk to your PCP about a sleep study.

If doing the above and no luck, try sleep restriction therapy to improve your sleep efficiency.

If all of the above fails, it might be reasonable to try a sleep aid, at the lowest dose and frequency needed. Drawbacks and side effects include dependence, dry mouth, confusion, urinary retention, and increased risk of dementia. I personally would want a sleep study (to definitively rule out obstructive sleep apnea and uncover other possible sleep disorders) before trying one of these because of the risks with long term use.

 

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Posted (edited)

stress dreams has been my problem lately. i'm old & worn out enough that insomnia isn't the struggle it once was (and it was enough at one time to influence even the kind of work i chose), but being the dog at the door against contagion for two 95yos has apparently seeped far enough into my processes to become a dream issue. i've had more nightmares in the last 2 months than the last 20 years. as with everything else, my key is to not take them personally. i break the cycle by getting out of bed (i've no mate to disturb) and dealing with it on my feet instead of in my bed. a glass of something, a step outside, a funny youtube vid  gets my piece of mind back.

i agree w @prosopis on the breathing (Andrew Weil's 4-7-8 is my preferred, tho that really drives bedmates nutz) and i wish i had pot for sleep even tho its no longer a problem, even moreso if stress is a factor. at the very least, it breaks that chain between one's day and one's dropping off. GL -

Edited by wikkidpissah
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What works for me. Mostly stuff you have probably read already but anyways: 

Get exercise in the day. No TV in the bedroom. Get into bed when I’m ready to sleep, have already done everything I do before (brush / floss teeth, wash face, etc). Read a book. That usually knocks me out in 5 minutes.

I have a script for some generic Ambien product that also puts me down. Use this mostly for when traveling and moving more than a few times zones. Try to not take it more than a few times a week.

Not sleeping well is the suck. 

 

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I have had it for as long as I can remember. Some weeks it gets worse than others. I know mine is a combo of too much drinking--both beer and Diet Pepsi and stress. Lately it has been me worrying about prepping my house for this virus and trying to stay one step ahead of the game. 

The only way I can guarantee five hours of sleep is to stay up late and exhaust myself because I know my body will wake me up at 6:00 no matter what. The worst nights are the ones where you go to bed at like 10:30 and you wake up and go "Wow, that was a good five hours of sleep!!!"  The clock reads 11:20. :wall:

I won't take any sleep aids because I can't risk my body not waking up if I am having a hypoglycemic attack. I am a very lucky diabetic that my body will wake me when my blood sugar is going low--some aren't so lucky. Dead in Bed is a real thing for Type One Diabetics. It kills many, many young diabetics each year. I have personally known a few who have passed. I can't imagine my wife or one of my kids coming down in the morning and finding me dead. 

I have an app on my phone for relaxation that I need to use more. I need to get more exercise. 

Some nights I hate going to bed because I know how futile it will be. 

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13 minutes ago, The General said:

What works for me. Mostly stuff you have probably read already but anyways: 

Get exercise in the day. No TV in the bedroom. Get into bed when I’m ready to sleep, have already done everything I do before (brush / floss teeth, wash face, etc). Read a book. That usually knocks me out in 5 minutes.

I have a script for some generic Ambien product that also puts me down. Use this mostly for when traveling and moving more than a few times zones. Try to not take it more than a few times a week.

Not sleeping well is the suck. 

 

Indeed. Really impacts your quality of life in several areas.

I have a low dose antihistamine (Benadryl?) but didn’t do much in the couple of times I tried it. Am leary about trying a stronger sleep aid as people tell me 1) leaves you groggy in the morning, and 2) it can be hard to wean yourself off it.

:shrug:

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2 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

Indeed. Really impacts your quality of life in several areas.

I have a low dose antihistamine (Benadryl?) but didn’t do much in the couple of times I tried it. Am leary about trying a stronger sleep aid as people tell me 1) leaves you groggy in the morning, and 2) it can be hard to wean yourself off it.

:shrug:

Ambien/depression a muy malo combination. Rewires one's reactive hierarachy and destroys filing mechanisms so important to growth past pain. I wont counsel/lifecoach anyone using it

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

Ambien/depression a muy malo combination. Rewires one's reactive hierarachy and destroys filing mechanisms so important to growth past pain. I wont counsel/lifecoach anyone using it

Yeah that’s the thing being on an SSRI. I don’t want my whole life to be better living through chemistry.

Meeting with a sleep doc next week, might do a sleep study. It’s possible I have sleep apnea contributing to my sleep patterns.

Edited by BobbyLayne

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1 hour ago, BobbyLayne said:

Indeed. Really impacts your quality of life in several areas.

I have a low dose antihistamine (Benadryl?) but didn’t do much in the couple of times I tried it. Am leary about trying a stronger sleep aid as people tell me 1) leaves you groggy in the morning, and 2) it can be hard to wean yourself off it.

:shrug:

The one I use is called Zoplidem and I haven’t had any of the crazy side effects that you hear about. 

I try not to take it more than a couple consecutive days and also very careful to take it about 15 minutes before going to bed when I know I am only going to be off computer, TV off, and focused on going to bed. It feels like there’s a drowsy sweet spot with it that you need to be ready to sleep in that is about 15 - 45 mins after taking.

Personally haven’t had any issues either not taking it or when I’m out and haven’t had time to get refills. 

Having cleared my mind (no tv and no internet is what I mean here) and reading a book usually do the trick for me and are I think the most useful tool I have for getting past this.

This pill is kind of the big gun I use. 

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Also a life long insomniac. My name on another forum is Insomnian. If GERD is an issue then don't eat near sleep time. If not consider this article (and the supporting nih/pubmed links). It has helped me. So has prescription weed, if you are in one of those states. I joke about how much I have been using in isolation, but really it's just a pinner when I start feeling my head get heavy around midnight. The increase in appetite sends me to the fridge for something like cereal, celery and pb, maybe some jerky and sugar free anti-energy/relaxation beverage. I might eat some leftovers. I respond like the info in the first link. Sleep faster, better, longer.

I agree with everything in D House's post but the eating close to bed thing (gassy bellies excluded). I'm sure different people respond differently. It also destroys my morning appetite allowing me to intermittent fast  for a long time every day. I just wanted to highlight wikkid wishing he had pot and my experience with a bedtime snack working. 

As almost everyone dealing with this has advised, for me exercise is the most important. Days I labor hard or get plenty of exercise are nights I crash for 5-6 hours.

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4 hours ago, D_House said:

Limit caffeine and alcohol, especially before bed. Limit fluid intake in general before bed. Exercise. No daytime napping. Stop using screens at least an hour before planned bedtime. Have a regular bedtime and wake time. Bed is for sleeping and sex only. Space meals from bedtime so that you’re not inducing reflux. 

Good info here.

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Normally I find myself taking https://www.midnitesleep.com/ a few times a week as I have a heck of a time falling asleep... :yawn: 

I have spring and fall allergies so currently am taking Zrytec, which has the same effect.. Both have me out within 30 minutes of taking them.

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I have no problem falling asleep. It's staying asleep that's the tough part.

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5 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

I have no problem falling asleep. It's staying asleep that's the tough part.

My brother texted me the other day & asked how much I had slept.

”8 hours”

 

I didn’t bother breaking it down:

11pm-2am, 4-7, Noon-1, 5-6pm.

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I gave in 10 years ago.  Just way too much going on my head.  I've done melatonin, calm app, read before bed, I exercise, etc.  None of it keeps me asleep if I get there.  I get anxious thinking about not being able to go asleep.  So I take Temezepam.  More from the anti-anxiety med family.  I sleep like a freakin' rock now.  Down for the count with no obvious side affects (I'm not drowsy, no Ambien stories, etc).  I get a solid 7-8 hours.  Not sure of the long term affects but not getting good sleep was destroying me.

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I bought a smart watch so I could track my sleep pattern for my yearly physical as I almost always feel drained...

My average came out to be about 7 hours.. Almost every night there is a 30 to 45 minute "awake" pattern.

Average deep sleep was barely over an hour... on those rare nights where deep sleep was over 2 hours I felt great the next day..

If only I could figure out how to get 2 hours or more of deep sleep every night. :kicksrock:

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Posted (edited)

These are suggestions from a long time Night Owl. 

-You need to step away from most electronics at a certain time of night, no TV, no social media, etc...those things are filled with ideas and stories and whatnot, clouds your head.

-I find music, whatever comforts you or if you are lucky that you enjoy classical as an example, can be very soothing or relaxing at times but I know people who like to fall asleep to GnR as well. 

-Exercise or a schedule of regular activity...example would be a calm 30 minute walk at night just to clear your head, you might find you enjoy evening activity and if you can do something a little more vigorous, can sometimes use up this bottled energy keeping you up. 

-Try to explore why you cannot lay down and fall asleep? I find stimulants don't always work like some folks can light a J and fall asleep, I actually am more likely to stay awake thru it. Alcohol doesn't work very well either. 

-Xanax will knock you out completely IMO, but sometimes you wake up and you don't remember and it can highly toxic and lethal mixed with alcohol, seriously it's not something you should mix or fool around with even though I know people do.  

-Red Wine I find a better option to other forms of alcohol and less likely to fly off the handle, usually just makes me happy and silly and sleepy eventually. 

Good Luck and would like to see what you try and if anything works. All drugs or prescriptions will alter your personality and likely impact your performance in bed which makes you take additional drugs to counter the one that you take to help you sleep...it goes on and on. 

-Finally...seriously...look at what you are EATING!!! Food and when you eat has a major impact on sleep cycles. 

And I take no prescription medication of any kind

Edited by Ministry of Pain

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Probably would seem like a strange option, but do any of you insomniacs get soothed/sleepy when listening to certain ambient sounds, like rain, crickets or waves?

If so, you could probably get....

  1. One of these or these
  2. Use an mp3 like this or this

Tracks like these claim to use subliminal suggestions given to you under "cover" of the ambient sounds which you are not consciously aware of. They apparently help? :shrug:

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I had lower level anxiety and correlated sleep issues.  Dr prescribed trazadone, worked great, I took it for about six months, from my reading and my experience it is fairly benign in terms of side effects.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, djmich said:

I had lower level anxiety and correlated sleep issues.  Dr prescribed trazadone, worked great, I took it for about six months, from my reading and my experience it is fairly benign in terms of side effects.

Trazadone knocks me the #### out if I need to get to sleep. 

Edit: I do get some weird, vivid dreams once in a while from it, though. 

Edited by Super King

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I wish I had some good advice. Nothing has worked long term for me.

Eat healthy

Exercise

Don't post at 3AM

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