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Thread: Can't sleep

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    350

    Can't sleep

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    I have been having this problem for a few months now and on/off for the last five years.

    It used to be that I'd wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep the 6-24 hours before I get my period.

    Now that I'm 49, my body is maybe in peri-menopause maybe? Anyway I wake up every 2 hours, ofcourse the minute I'm awake I have to pee. Then I can't get back to sleep. This happens 2-3 days in a row. On the 3rd or 4th day I'm just exhausted and I sleep better for 1-2 nights and then we are back to the same sleepless routine.

    I've tried all the suggestions/ready all the articles: No caffeine, increasing my magnesium, not eating anything heavy late at night or excersizing late, reducing water intake so I don't have to pee. Making my bedroom truly a bedrom. Yoga. Consistenly watching and writing down my food intake, watching my food intake closely. Getting up and sleeping in another room, etc. I've read every single peice of literature and tried everything that I can think of.

    The herb Valerian does help, but it only helps me slightly. I've been using the Valerian for about 2 months now.

    It is hard to get up and exercise if you didn't get any sleep, the only time I have to exercise is in the mornings. On the weekends, if I don't sleep well I still go on a bike ride, but when I get home I'm ready for a nap.


    Suggestions are welcome no matter how silly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    I have to take Trazadone. Ambien made me a zombie, melatonin did nothing, Lunesta I woke up. I also get relief from having my room very cool. Maybe because I have always liked to burrow down in the covers. I also like using lavender scents in my bedroom. I started having insomnia after my Nanny died in 2009. I thought with my depression under control it would subside but it hasn't.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia's Blue Ridge
    Posts
    500
    I'm about three years older than you are and suspect that you might be right about the perimenopause, at least in part. I'll be 53 this month and went into full-on menopause about 18 months ago. Having trouble sleeping is, according to my gyno, a pretty typical side effect of perimenopause (and onward into menopause, bleagh.) So is "brain fog"---the inability to concentrate as well as you used to. Not to mention simply not having quite as much natural get-up-n'-go. (Can't wait for the post-meno zest!! )

    Have you tried melatonin yet? I use it occasionally when I think I'm likely to have a restless night. The only side effect that I'm not crazy about is a slight groggy feeling in the morning. But that might just be me; YMMV!

    A little lavender on your pillow might help too. The scent has a relaxing effect.

    I'm wondering if you have any aches or pains that are waking you up? I've found that since about age 45 I've had a heckuvatime getting really comfortable at night. I did the usual: changed mattresses, pillows, etc., in search of relief. I also started sleeping with a pillow between my knees, which helped some, but didn't solve the problem. I finally recognized that I was often waking up because I was in pain, particularly if lying on my side. (My favorite sleeping position.) In my case, it was a deep burning achiness that at first I couldn't identify. After digging around online here on TE and elsewhere, I finally realized that the source of the pain appeared to be mainly tight IT bands, with tight quads and hamstrings thrown in.

    I started doing pigeon pose and other IT band "stretches" religiously (including foam roller stretches) and within a month a pain that had been keeping me awake every night for MONTHS on end virtually disappeared. I'm sleeping better now than I have in probably five or six years. (Not perfectly, mind you, but MUCH better.)

    I'm sure other TE'ers will have plenty of insights to share! Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Abq, NM
    Posts
    309
    I'm 48, and have the exact symptoms you do. I'm just putting up with it. Books on tape, organizing the office at 2 a.m., etc. I'm lucky my job is flexible, and I don't mind riding in the dark evening or morning hours. I'm not fighting this.
    Yet.
    I am reminded that there is no word for menopause in over half of the known languages.
    Lookit, grasshopper....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,213
    From my grandmother:

    Velma's Law: If you can't stay awake, go to bed; if you can't sleep, get up.


    When I'm breaking Velma's Law, I lie in bed and listen to the BBC World Service. It's not as sweet and boring as it used to be when they'd play Big Ben clanging out the hours and present hours long documentaries on efforts to build tunnels to save frogs from the dangers of motorways, but its still usually more subdued (boring) than modern US radio. If it doesn't put me back to sleep, at least it is interesting.
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Are you getting enough natural light during the daytime? That will play havoc with my sleep cycles if I don't. Full spectrum bulbs help a lot if you have to work somewhere without a window.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,144
    I occasionally have sleep issues, but since I've been in menopause (that's when you actually have not have a period for a year), it has been better. I've always been a light sleeper, though. What really helped me is a new sleep schedule because of my daytime schedule. I go to bed later and sleep just a little later. I've had years of getting up at 4:30-5:00 AM. Now I sleep until 6 or 6:30, unless i naturally wake up earlier, which does happen when the sun comes up early.
    And most of sleep issues had to do with stress.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,828
    I suffered from insomnia for years and finally learned to accept that if I couldn't sleep, there was no sense fighting it so I would get up and do something non stimulating and repetitive, dusting, folding laundry, cleaning cupboards,reading and or hot milk with sage (soporific) and honey. Now I have found trazadone which helps to shut up the mind monkies, and if worse comes to worse, I take an,a, one advil liquigel which lets me sleep and takes care of any aches and pains.

    That and two hours of vigorous exercise seem to help more than melatonin ever did. Vitamin C is also supposed to be a soporific, but I have grown to love hot mile with sage and honey.

    Good luck with finding a solution. I know it ain't fun.
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
    Trek Pilot 5.2- " Bebe"


    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    pacific northwest
    Posts
    250
    I'm sorry you can't sleep,insomnia sucks. I see an accupuncturist and she has given me a few formulas that worked. I like the chinese herbs because they don't make me wake up groggy. I would love to tell you what they are but I can't pronounce them. I do seem to sleep better on the days I ride or swim. Good luck
    I like bikes, sometimes more than my husband

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    Isn't perimenopause FUN?!?!?

    I don't fight the waking up much, and just assume I'm going to be awake at least once a night with a hot flash and probably a time or two just waking up for no reason.

    My iPod is loaded with some very boring economics texts and essays set for white text on black background so I don't get too much light. Read in the dark until I fall asleep again. At least my body gets a rest even if my brain is hungry for the thrill of economics...

    If you are waking to pee every 2 hours, that's a bladder training issue you might want to nip in the bud before it becomes a habit. Do NOT limit your fluids, that will force your kidneys to produce concentrated acidic urine which irritates the lining of the bladder and makes you urgently need to pee. Keep track of your daytime bathroom trips: if your bladder flips schedule and only pees a couple times during the day and then goes every 2 hours during the night, then you really might want to contact a urologist to help you flip it back.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,828
    knotted yet,

    post menopausal but going through it again because of tamoxifen (chemo for breast cancer) causing estrogen withdrawal. I love books on tape on my ipod. Granted it may take me a month to get through a long book, but I plug in one earphone when I get into bed and turn it off and back on as I drift in and out of sleep. Nice white noise and something more soothing about words than music, and I usually drift off withing 5-10 minutes which means that during the day I need to rewind or go back to about 10 minutes later than when I started the night before.

    Whatever it takes.
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
    Trek Pilot 5.2- " Bebe"


    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    20

    Light

    I had to cover my clocks to block any light in my room. My doctor said any light source can mess with your chemical balance. Street light, clock, night light, etc. If you can't avoid it, try a mask.
    Veronika

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    583
    Artificial sweeteners, (NutraSweet & Spenda types), and/or too many carbs interfere with my sleep. It's easy to avoid the artificial sweeteners in homemade, organic, food but it's hidden in tons of conventional foods & medications.

    Food dyes can also cause sleeping problems. I sometimes take 1/2 benadryl when I have trouble sleeping. I rinse the pink coating off of the pill before I cut it in 1/2 to get rid of the dye & any artificial sweetener. Amazingly, it's twice as effective without the coating.
    Last edited by Artista; 04-07-2011 at 05:45 AM.
    LORI
    Pivot Mach 4 / WTB
    Updated Vintage Terry Symmetry / Bontrager InForm RL WSD

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    I have found that I need to have 3 hours between bike and sleep - or I don't (sleep, that is). I also have to eat something before bed, or I wake up starving at 1am and can't get back to sleep until I eat - but I do have issues with blood sugar.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    you'd be surprised at how much you can do when you are sleep deprived. I know it's hard to get rolling, but once you get on your bike, or on your walk or whatever, you will feel better.

    And the nights after you have exercised you will sleep better!
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

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