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Prop Master
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Discussion Starter #1
Every ounce and a while i suffer from insomnia. where it takes me forever to fall asleep no matter how tired i am. doctor says it's stress but i don't know what from. i have a good life with a loving wife and 4 great kids, sure money is a little tight but who doesn't have that problem these day's. Sorry if i'm not making sense this is day 3 with 45 min. of sleep, total time. if anyone knows of something i can do without taking drugs to go to sleep please let me know, I'm tired.:(
 

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I have insomnia too, though not as bad as you. What helps me is either reading right before bed (that always makes my eyes sleepy), or working out prior to going to bed (makes my body tired). I know you said no drugs, but Zzzquil works wonders! Hope you find something that works soon!
 

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What Hump?
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Why do you not want to take drugs?

I have terrible insomnia every once in a while. It lasts for days. It compounds upon itself as you lay there, worrying about not being ready for the next day...the worry keeps you awake even more.

The best non-drug approach I'v found is to breath deeply, and synchronize a thinking game to my breathing.
On the in breath, think of a letter of the alphabet, start with "A" and go in order.
On the out breath, think of a word from a specific category that starts with that letter:
Boys names
Girls names
Animals
Horror movie titles
Etc.

Keeping the brain busy like that keeps it from drifting and worrying and eventually gets you to sleep.

In the end, though, Ambien kicks butt.
 

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Yes, and I'm sorry you are part of the insomniac club. It stifles my ability to feel joy in life. I've been battling it for 24 years now. What started it was a split shift at work, working nights 4 days a week, then having to be up early the next two days. Then we had our first major loss in the family and I no longer could sleep. I had trouble falling to sleep, and then I'd be up just a few hours later at 3 a.m. That time to me was like 'the darkest hour of the soul'. I felt so alone with my thoughts, nobody else awake, when all I wanted to do was sleep. One night without sleep, I cope, I am fine. But after two nights, I become mentally unhinged, have trouble coping, and also very accident prone.

After all these years of trying everything you can research, I have to admit what helps turn of the 'mind chatter' (like you said, nothing really wrong going on in life, but the mind filled with thoughts and you wish you could just find the 'off' button) was a prescriptive anti-anxiety med. Melatonin gives me nightmares, and a bad hangover feeling that might be linked to hydration. I did find other supplements that help. Magnesium/calcium, valerian root, and GABA.

Wishing you all good sleep!
 

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I almost never get to bed as early as I would like to.(which might help me to fall asleep?
Sometimes late in the afternoon I have to lay down for maybe from 5 to 35 minutes, then I usually feel ready to go again. doing whatever I need to do.
I do have to have some little dream to make my night worth it. I don't know how that really works?
My Wife told me some DJ many years ago made a contest for himself to not sleep at all for many days and nights in a row. He accomplished the number of days and nights that he had wanted to do.. then he died. The lack of rest killed him they said,
 

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My Son's Friend..

The Brother of my Son's Army buddy was working at least two jobs all the time, running his Wife's Day Care business doing something all the time, work-related, and dropped dead at 31.
 

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Prop Master
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Discussion Starter #12
My insomnia all started about 10 years ago. I was a very young father and had to work 2 full time jobs just to survive. I worked as a dock laborer at a warehouse during the day and machinist apprentice at night. I would start my first job at 6 am and get off at 430 pm go home and eat and had to start my second job at 8 pm and get off at 330 am. i did this for 5 years. during all this i eventually got hooked on crystal meth to stay awake, and sure it kept me awake but i was spending more money on drugs than supporting my family. eventually i lost both jobs, my family, and everything i worked so hard for. i became a full time junkie shooting meth and black tar, became a criminal to support my habit and i ended up where all people living that life end up, in prison. During my stay i had a long time to reflect and when i got out my wife told me " you need to choose right now, either your family or your drugs". i chose my family and have been clean ever since but from that point on i have been suffering from insomnia.

I tell you this so maybe you guy's might have some knowledge of what causes my insomnia and maybe it can be corrected.
 

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Undertaker
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Insomnia came with my job but after I retired the insomnia still stayed. Try sex.....hot bath and a glass of wine, then take a sleeping pill. You can mix the first three items in any order and it still works fine. Please note I said glass not bottle of wine, a bottle tends to mess up the other items.
 

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Prop Master
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Discussion Starter #14
Insomnia came with my job but after I retired the insomnia still stayed. Try sex.....hot bath and a glass of wine, then take a sleeping pill. You can mix the first three items in any order and it still works fine. Please note I said glass not bottle of wine, a bottle tends to mess up the other items.

I like those options, i'll see if the wife is into it.
 

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Big props to you for turning your life around, thenightmarefamily!

When I really need to wind down and I remember, I do the kind of breathing exercises Abunai described. I inhale slowly and count, hold a second, then exhale slowly for the same count or more. Kinda like when you are counting after lightning to listing for the thunder. Inhale while counting, One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, four-one thousand. The key word is slow. Not deep. Inhaling fast and deep just makes me dizzy!

I sometimes picture the colors of the rainbow. So on an inhale, for each count I'm thinking of an object that is red. Then when I exhale, I envision myself blowing a red balloon away into the heavens with my breath. Or you can breathe as you focus on parts of your body, starting with your head. As you inhale, picture any tension or pain or weariness as red lights. As you exhale, imagine your breath blowing those spots into a cool and relaxed blue, turning them off, relaxing them.

Also apparently our body temperatures dip as we cycle into sleep. So if you take a hot shower or bath, you could read a bath as your body cools down.

For me, I have to shut off any glowing screens (tv, computer) no later than 9:30 if I want to be falling asleep by 11. Working the night shift really screwed up my natural rhythms, and I can understand how working two jobs would really throw your body out of whack!
 

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You can try choosing a color, then slowly going through every word that has that color in its name. Then switch to every thing you can think of that is that color. Doesn't always work, but often I find it bores my brain to sleep.
 

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Prop Master
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Discussion Starter #18
Well it's been a while, but my insomnia is back. I was sleeping good for a while but recently it's nearly impossible for me to sleep at night, but as soon as i see the sun in the morning i want to go crash. Maybe i'm a vampire or something LOL. and unlike some comments on here earlier, i don't like my insomnia, i have a day job that i have wake up for at 3:30 am for, so you can imagine how tired i am at 6:00 am when the sun comes up LOL.
 

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I think it's telling that your last bout of insomnia was 6 months ago judging from the post dates.

And, since you seem to get tired, just at the wrong time, I might suggest your circadian rhythm is just messed up.

The 3:30 am wakeup time likely means you are attempting to go to bed at a time the sun is still up?

Personally, I'm up at 4 AM whether I like it or not. Something about waking up at 4 every day for the first 16 years of my life means my body doesn't need an alarm clock anymore. I generally get 6 hours of sleep on a good night.

That said, I also experience bouts of insomnia. My 'crash time' is usually around 10 AM though, not sunup.

Anyway, what I find interesting in the timing is that you seem to be experiencing your sleep disruption on the 2 times of year there is the greatest noticeable change in the sun's cycle. Summer and Winter, we have big stretches of more or less similar days, but spring and fall we get vastly altering sunup/down times.

It can mess with your cycle.


So, several things to attempt to reset your rhythm.

First of all: BLACKOUT CURTAINS!

Oh, lord, these are a lifechanger. I like to be in bed around 9:30, attempting to get to sleep around 10 for my 6 hours. However, in the summer months that 9:30 bedtime means it's still light.

NOTHING INTERRUPTS YOUR CYCLE MORE THAN LIGHT.

So, create your sleeping area with blackout curtains. NO light from windows, TV, Phone, etc. For us, that means shutting doors and blocking out our window.

Second: Create a calming routine. Minimum of 30 minutes before bed, put everything down. *TV, book, phone, games etc*. Do something relaxing that isn't going to get your mind going. This actuall can be books/tv/games - PROVIDED they are ones you aren't invested in. That thriller murder mystery you can't stop watching/reading needs to be put down. The evening news/paper or something you barely pay attention to is fine.

Third: Prepare your morning. This can be part of step 2, but lay everything out so you're not worried about tomorrow.

If those don't work, try suppliments or such things.


One thing I do that is not suggested by the experts but really helps me is to completely ruin my rhythm on weekends. I get practically no sleep on fridays. On purpose. Get off work, be up working on a project till midnight or later, whenever I actually feel tired. I know full well I'll be up at 4, Saturday maybe nap if I feel like it in the afternoon, and be up as late as I feel at night again. By the time sunday night rolls around I'm ready for bed again, and the week usually proceeds normally. I sometimes have trouble thursday night, looking forward to all the things I'm planning to get done the next weekend, but the rest of the week tends to go nicely.
 

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To me,it's all "relative". I used to be yanked out of bed during the nastiest nights of the Northern Illinois Winters to go out in that cold, blowing snow to an ice cold truck, drive through a blizzard to fix old, junk oil furnaces with questionable parts... I have so nice now,of someone or something happens to wake me from a sound sleep, I just go back to sleep.
I put in long hours almost every day and night working on the house and yard(s), then I'm open from 7 to 12 midnight AND Sat. & Sun, afternoons for house tours and I have missed Very FEW nights or days doing this schedule for the last 28 years.
I don't think of laying down to go to sleep until I am so tired I can't walk,wake up feeling pretty good for someone my age. Start all over again!
If I have trouble getting to sleep I get up and go back to doing something here,because there is always something to be done!
Yes, by the way,this small home town of mine is so quiet sometimes I would swear that you could hear a pin drop from four blocks away! So when something happens of those odd, possibly supernatural types of things, it Does Get Out Attention rather quickly!
 
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