How do you sleep?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I am having trouble sleeping for some time now. 2 - 3 hours a day, then working my 12 hour shift. I am so tired my eyes hurt.

    I have tried melatonin. No luck there. Dr. gave me Ambien, which will knock me out initially for two hours. Ambien no longer even knocks me out. Dr. then said take two. Well, that knocks me out for the same two hours. And a BIG drawback here is if School calls, there is no possible way I can go get him, or meet with anyone. I do not feel safe getting into a car and driving.

    Any suggestions?
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Cut ALL caffiene from your diet, whether it's tea, coffee, or cocoa/chocolate.

    No reading or watching tv in bed. Make your bedroom and bed for sleeping and sex only.

    No liquids 3-4 hours before bed.

    Wear lite, soft pjs' and use only lightweight blankets. Becoming too hot while trying to sleep is a sleep buster. Likewise, if you run cold as I do, make sure you are comfortably warm, but not overly warm. I got to bed freezin and wake in the night to shed blankets - never socks. Once I started wearing socks year round, my sleep improved. I don't know why but it has.

    If you can, take a bath before bedtime. If you haven't the time for a bath, take a shower and close your eyes as the hot water runs down your body, imagine/visualize the day running down the drain. A counselor told me this and I use it often. It helps me to imagine all the days stressors just washing away and running down the drain.

    Use the homeopathic sleep aid called "Quietude". It has helped easy child, difficult child and me many times. It's non-narcotic and you have to take one/two tabs an hour before bedtime and then another at bedtime.

    Along with melatonin, some people swear by kava kava and valerian root. You can buy the supplements or they can be found in decaf herbal teas. In fact, if you like teas, there are a variety out there that claim to help with sleep.

    Good luck.

    I slept about 2 hours last night but it was because my mind was racing with thoughts I couldn't shake.
  3. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    LOL...I don't get either!

    I am always cold. Then the hot flashes set in every hour or so.

    The shower thing sounds great, but my hair is long and it would take so long to dry it.

    I will look for other's. I do need to work on the coke/mt. dew thing.

  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My bottom half is always cold, but due to the fact that I am a 45 year old woman, my upper 'core' is always warm. So, I sleep with a heating pad down by my feet and a light t-shirt on top. This way, when I get overheated, my feet can still be warm.

    You can wear a shower cap to prevent your hair from getting soaked. They're not just for grannies anymore! My 'surrogate' son, who has very kinky hair, wheres one when he showers at our house and his hair is braided.

    STOP DRINKING MT DEW - IT HAS THE HIGHEST CAFFIENCE LEVELS! There is a guy I work with who goes through 2 cases a week. He drinks them all day long, even for breakfast.

    Oh, I forgot. If you smoke, do not smoke for at least 4 hours before bedtime.
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest three favorite things, nicotine, caffiene and chocolate.
    Wasn't aware two of those would cause sleep trouble.
  6. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Is your bedroom dark? Do you have light blocking shades on the windows? Do you go to sleep the same time each day, whether you worked or not? Or do you sleep different times when you are off work from when you do work? Do you eat before you go to sleep or do you wait till you wake up?
  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    My schedule really throws everything off. The 3 or 4 days I work, i go to bed about 2:30 - 3:30pm. I sleep about two hours and lay there. Up and down. doze in and out until about 9pm. then I get up, ready and leave. I drink coffee on the way to work. then coke, mt. dew...go home and eat...back to bed. Rarely eat more than once a day on work days and that is when I get home.
    On the last day of my work week I tend to stay up until about 6 - 7pm. then sleep until 5am and go back to a day schedule to get errands done and see the family. then I cook and eat like I should. My last day off I take a nap in the evening and start this all over again.
    My room is dark. I am afraid to keep taking ambien. Maybe I'll try a shower today and see how it goes. (been drinking juice most of tonight)
    Maybe it is all the things that I need to do on my mind. I try not to think about that.
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Kjs, I have read that shift work plays havoc with your sleep schedule, and it's even worse if you have an off-schedule some days, and then a regular schedule on other days.

    I think Jo's suggestions are all good ones. I have heard good things about Valerian.

    As for the melatonin, how much have you been taking? difficult child has terrible sleep troubles, and started out with 3 mg before bed. Nothing. Doubled the dose to 6 mg. Still nothing. When he tried 9 mg, all of a sudden it worked like a charm.

    The hot shower with shower cap works a treat, especially if you can find lavender scented body wash. Lavender is supposed to be very calming.

    A relaxation exercise that I do when I'm having trouble settling down to sleep is:
    - First I actively relax. I tense up each muscle in turn and then relax it and let the tension out. I start with my toes and work my way up to eyebrows. I then envision all of the things I have to do just flowing out of my body, through my toes, down the end of the bed and straight into my briefcase, ready to take to work the next day. Then I imagine a square of black velvet. Starting at about 2 x 2 inches, I imagine it growing and growing until it fills up all the space in my head. It's warm and soft and relaxing. By the time I get to this part, I'm asleep.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have not slept well since sometime in childhood. Not iwth anything for very long.

    I do find that if my mind is racing it helps to have a pen and paper and write down what is racing through my empty head. Then I can relax and know I won't forget anything.

    WalMart has a lavender baby was that is around $1.25 a bottle and is very soothing.

    I have taken Ambien. Taking 2 is something MY psychiatrist warned against. It does not increase the lenght of time you will stay asleep and increases the risk of getting up and doing things in your sleep - eating, talking, walking, driving, anything. This is called retrograde amnesia.

    Ambien CR is the extended release version and will do more to keep you asleep, if you tolerate regular ambien. Lunesta is supposed to have a lower risk of sleep-activities. It can make you wake up with a really nasty taste in your mouth.

    Remeron and elavil are older drugs used for sleep. If ambien is not something you can take, maybe one of these will work. Personally, if I take 1/2 of a 25 mg elavil I will fall asleep in a couple of hours. To wake up another 2-3 hours or 20 hours. I oculd never get the dose adjusted to give predictable results. Remeron just knocked me out and kept me out - and when I woke up I was groggy groggy groggy.

    I hope you can cut down on the mt dew and nicotine, at least until you get this straightened out.

  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    *Be careful with rasing doses of melatonin - our pediatrician said that it can raise protien levels in your urine and my friend confirmed it. He was taking melatonin for about 6 months and happened to go for his physical and his DR made him discontinue because the melatonin was causing increased protien in his urine.

    I don't know all the ins and outs of this, but it's worth asking your dr about before raising your dose.
  11. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I have tried Ambien CR. didn't get the initial knock out effect, and I was still up in 2 - 3 hours.

    didn't get to try the shower thing. When I got home from work my 25 yr. old son was playing PS2. The driveway was full of snow. I walked in one door out the other and snow blowed the drive and sidewalk. Then, just as I was trying to doze off, neighbor called. They put down their dog. he was 13. Has been just a part of the family for 13 years. Big chocolate lab. I was his regular sitter. It was time. But I will miss him. After that phone call, that did me in for sleep.
    I will try every one of the suggestions. Drinking Juice again tonight. Plan on shower tomorrow. Have lavender lotion. Thank you guys.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    How do I sleep?

    With a 38, a 137 lb. bulldog - locked windows, with holly bushes and cacti under them - a biker on the couch in the den with a pump action shot gun - triple deadbolts and outside motion detectors a domestic abuse alarm, a pit bull, a cat with attitude. I've got a black belt in the closet, I'm 240 lbs, soaking wet and I've got PMS. Then I take a Flexerill and go to sleep.

  13. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Oh STar* you beat me to the punch... you silly little thing... there you go again you wordsmith...

    I take Trazadone... I have insomnia something FIERCE... oh and that thing called Mania... so I don't know if this medication is right fer you. I know it is a dangerous medication, not to be played around with. I had to cross my heart and promise I was not suicidal...
    Ambian for me was like taking tic-tacs... I take Trazadone about 2 hours before I want to sleep... I also try to stretch... when I am on a good cycle I do yoga or go for a walk... tea... earlier.

    Sorry I hate not sleeping....
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

    No- TOTO - I'm serious - that's how I sleep -

    (not how I roll though) - I roll large and funny. :tongue:
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I like the room very cold with a super heavy blanket. This has got to be very uneconomical to do here in the south...but it works out well for me. I also keep the room dark. If I still can't sleep, I might take 1 mg of melatonin, perhaps with warm milk. This does it for me.
  16. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    In my newspaper "The Illinois Nurse" for this quarter, they had an article about "surviving shift work" It was reprinted from The Center for American Nurses"

    They said-
    for your bedroom- use room darkening shades to cover all windows, decrease room temperature, consider earplugs, and eye shades, put "do not disturb" signs on bedroom door and door to house, and create guidelines for your family to eliminate interruptions to sleep, and- unplug telephone.

    Food and exercise- avod caffeine for 5 hours prior to sleeping, also- soda pop, chocolate, energy drinks, tea and gums.
    Eat nutritous foods dureing work shift to help avoid large fluctuations in blood sugar.
    do not eat a heavy meal before bed. Avoid alcohol before bed. Do not exercise before sleeping.
    It also says wear wrap around sunglasses on your drive home from work if you are going to go to sleep when you get home.
    It helps to stay to the same sleep-wake hours on days of and holidays.

    If your income is critical to the family, then consideration in your family should be given to your hours- and your sleep is every bit as important as anyone elses. How would your husband feel to have to wake at say 2 or 3 AM to deal with anything?
  17. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    They give a website here, too- I believe there is an article related to shift work.
    I sympathize, I worked 2nd and or 3rd shift for 25 years. I slept 2-3 hours max most of that time. (depended heavily on hypomania) The cumulative effects of continued sleep deprivation can be devastating, and can lead to many many chronic and acute health problems.

    If you are working nites and then on days off trying to function in daytime hours, your poor body is probably VERY confused.
  18. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    How do I sleep?

    Why, hanging upside down with my wings wrapped around me (according to my kids!).

    I don't. I sleep about 3 - 4 hrs. a night. After about a month, I crash and burn for about 8 hours and then the cycle starts again!