This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Brittany Foster 2 months ago.

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  • #18948
     Brittany Foster 
    Keymaster

    Sleep is a crucial part of our mental health but it is something that I have been lacking in lately. Whether it is trouble falling asleep to begin with, or trouble STAYING asleep, it feels like my mind just can’t catch a break. I think when my body experiences a lot of trauma or physical discomfort, it really begins to rewire my thinking. When I have surgeries, I notice that it takes awhile for me to fall asleep. Even if my brain seems “shut off”, my body is still caught in a flight or fight response.

    Things I have done that help me go to sleep (but not necessarily stay asleep) are trying melatonin pills (over the counter), a relaxation tea at bedtime, reading, and meditation before bed. Unfortunately, even when I exhaust all options, my body doesn’t always cooperate and some nights I am stuck staying up even when I’m trying my best to fall asleep and when I know my body needs rest.

    Do you have troubles falling asleep or staying asleep? What usually makes it hard to sleep for you? What do you do to help with this?

  • #18952
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    Sleep is an ongoing problem for my son. It was an issue with PH and it’s an issue post-transplant. He used melatonin for a while after transplant and it helped somewhat, but eventually it seemed like it wasn’t doing anything for him. It would help him fall asleep but if something woke him up, then he couldn’t fall back to sleep again.

    Especially in the winter he likes either electric blankets or heat packs, both for pain and for helping him fall asleep. I use to have black out curtains in his room, mostly for when he had a migraine but he also found that having the room totally black in general helped him fall asleep. They are so darn heavy though and kept falling off the window. I need to find a better way to hang them.

    Personally, I like sleepy time tea. That often does the trick for me but…if I make it routine it starts to give me acid reflux.

    You have been through a lot and I imagine it will take time for your mind and body to calm itself enough to allow you proper sleep.

    • #19099
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Colleen,
      I think that it will just take some time too. It is like everything is kind of in overdrive and has been for a few months. I feel like I do have a lot more energy than before too so some of the anxiousness is just not knowing what to do with it all LOL if that makes sense. But even when I am overtired and clearly have overdone it in the day it is still hard for me to stay asleep. Something that hasn’t been helping the situation is not being able to wear my BIPAP. I wake up even more times in a night when I don’t have it on. It really made a huge difference in my sleep when I was able to wear it. I have been advised against it for a bit because of the reflux that is still really bad through the day and night and the risk of aspiration with the machine. Hoping they can get that under control soon!

  • #19038
     Jen Cueva 
    Participant

    I often have issues falling to sleep at night. Other nights I fall asleep on the couch after my night meds. I deal with trying to stay asleep mostly. When this happens, I try and write anything down I’m thinking of. I keep a journal on my nightstand.

    I’ve tried meditation, reading, and hot teas. I was prescribed a sleeping pill once but I had strange side effects, lol – I do have my Ativan that I will try after trying several other tricks.

    My daughter just brought me this Tumeric ginger, coconut beverage from Trader Joe’s, she uses it at bedtime. I added it to my frother with a little almond milk and add cinnamon on top. It’s like a steamer. The ginger helps my stomach some as well. Plus it tastes yummy!

    @colleensteele, I like warm blankets and heat pads too. The sleepy time tea is great too.

    As Colleen mentions, you’ve been through so much, I’m sure it will take some time for you to adjust and find a beneficial sleep routine for yourself. I hope that you are catching up on missed sleep.

    • #19100
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Jen,
      that recipes sounds like something I need to try! I love good natural remedies for things too. Great suggestion by your daughter. That is the one that’s a dietitian, correct? I’m sure she knows a lot of good tricks ! I also have really STRANGE side effects from sleeping pills. When I took an ambien that was prescribed to me after one of my surgeries I started thinking that the sheets were attacking me. I was calling for my mom and said “MOM THE DRESSERS ARE AFTER ME!” hahaha! everything was in a trippy color, it was the weirdest most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever experienced haha!

  • #19089
     Amy Peeples 
    Participant

    I suffer from extreme insomnia . Mine is a little different thought . I the many years I went through of misdiagnosis one thing I was diagnosed with was anxiety and they thought that was causing my SOB. So I was prescribed Xanax and I took it almost every day for probably five years . Then I abruptly stopped . I don’t think I have slept more then two hours in one night since and that was probably a year ago . Sometimes I don’t sleep at all . They say that eventually my brain with heal from the benzos but until then nothing makes me sleepy.
    I have tried bedtime teas , melatonin , Benadryl , zzzquil , night quil, etc . I think that being on my cell phone late at night is making it worse.
    I learn to deal with it though and try and not let it effect my moods .

    • #19101
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Hi Amy,
      That sounds kind of similar to me too. I have been so dependent on a ton of medication that alter sleep that my body probably is really going to have to go through an adjustment period to get it all out of my system. It’s hard because I do still take benzos and pain medication as needed so it’s not like I am stopping them completely, just not as dependent as I was on them for about 5 months. The body starts adjusting to things like that especially if you are taking them chronically. I am glad that you aren’t having a lot of effect on your mood. My mood is really something I struggle with when I don’t get a lot of sleep and it just ends up increasing my anxiety. It’s hard to find something that works.

  • #19095
     Jimi Mcintosh 
    Participant

    Sleep avoids me early to bed , early to rise. Late to bed, early to rise. I average 4.5 hours sleep per night. Tried melatonin, gained an hour, cannot take sleeping pills, leave me groggy with a dull headache. Bathes and showers, no blue screen devices within an hour of bedtime. Cannot turn my mind off, PTSD, never goes away

    • #19102
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      I know the feeling Jimi. It really is a struggle. I am also an early riser and get up about 5AM almost every morning. I feel like the early hours of the day I’m actually the most productive and seem to get more done during the beginning of the day. Do you ever try to take naps during the day or does that just throw off your sleep even more? Sometimes for me it is a double edge sword because when my body needs rest I feel like I should be honoring it, but resting during the day does sometimes make it even harder to fall asleep and stay asleep for any length of time.

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