It always hits me around 2 a.m. Any tips on how to go back to sleep

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by KFld, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. KFld

    KFld New Member

    No matter how good I feel I'm doing with detatching during the day or when I go to bed at night, I wake up around 2 a.m. and everything just keeps going through my mind, over and over and over again and I can't seem to make it stop. So of course I'm exhausted again and have to go to work and try to function!! I don't want to rely on taking anything to sleep, but I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I had a horrible time battling this and still do but to a much lesser extent- once or twice a week now instead of nightly and usually I am able to go back to sleep in an hour or less. I won't give you the popular opinion but will give you what has seemed to help me most. This is based on my preference not to try medications for it and my hx of ptsd which also means sometimes I might need a little longer than most to emotionally process it all after becoming overwhelmed and over-stressed. That being said, I try to keep myself on a good (or at least reasonable) schedule for eating and so forth. I allow time for enough sleep but not too much. I try to accompllish a little something each day that moves my life an inch forward and gets my mind off the situation. Then, most importantly, I cry and think about it and go over it as I need to- and yes, that is still daily. Some might call that "dwelling on it"- all I know is stuffing it inside was getting me nowhere except sleepless nights. I have since decided this is what I need to do to work thru it since a good, understanding therapist is simply not accessible and feasible right now. I have to go to work- I'll check back in later today. ((HUGS)) PS- Serenity Prayer
  3. KFld

    KFld New Member

    That is one thing I have to get back to, the serenity prayer. Guess I kind of forgot how much that helps. I remember now that when I went through this years back I used to lay in bed and say it over and over and over when I couldn't sleep and it would replace whatever else I was going over and over and over in my mind with something positive. I will try that tonight.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    If nothing else during those stare at the dark ceiling hours, I would daydream and hope I would fall asleep then dream about the daydream. Doesn't always work, but lets me think about something other than what's worrying me.
  5. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Ambien and the Serenity Prayer.

    I had a witching hour, too - not only when Dashlet's behavior was at it's worst, but also after my house fire and even after I found out about my husband's infidelity. I didn't want to rely on medications, either, but I found that a good night's sleep helped me to be stronger during the day and, eventually, led to my being able to sleep without the help of medications. I was careful not to take them often - and I would take one at bedtime rather than when I woke up in the middle of the night.

    If I did wake up, I'd also get up and do something to try and take my mind off things ... read something boring, surf the net for silly things (NOT related to any difficult child issues ... that will just keep the wheels turning).

  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Haven't read all the answers, so sorry if I repeat something.

    I often get that when I have a lot on my mind. It was awful when Wiz was first in the psychiatric hospital and again right before and for a few months after I made him leave. I used a combination of things. A soothing evening routine - warm bath or shower, cup of Celestial Seasoning Tension Tamer Tea, often a guided meditation tape or cd to listen to (we have some that really help me get to sleep). I also kept a pad of paper and a pen or pencil right next to the bed. When I would wake up in the night I had all these thoughts and worries whirling around my brain. I would not try to not think of them. Instead I wrote them down so that I would not forget and I could then think about them the next day. That was hugely helpful because otherwise I worried I would forget whatever it was. I would restart my meditation or audiobook and then could get back to sleep.

    melatonin is also helpful. The tea I mentioned is sold at Walmart, Walgreens, anywhere that they sell tea pretty much. It is a very soothing blend of herbs that is really effective to help yourself calm. Tazo Teas also makes and excellent tea for calming yourself. It is called Calm Tea and it tastes more like health food than the Tension Tamer. It is also mroe expensive but not really outrageous. It is even more calming because the blend of herbs in it. I found out about it from a fibromyalgia group and most of us have problems with sleep and getting good sleep, plus problems with anxiety. I don't really like the taste (I do like the taste of tension tamer even with-o honey or sugar) but it isn't terrible. (I really abhor anything that tastes even remotely like health food so that is actually praise from me, lol)

    One of the great things about the Calm tea from Tazo is that you can buy it by the cup at many Starbucks. So you don't have to buy a whole box. If you like it and/or find it effective - don't buy the box at Starbucks. Their price is outrageous by the box. Many groceries carry it or you can get it online substantially cheaper. Then if you have a couple of tea bags in your purse you can just get a cup of hot water for free and use your tea bag. Altoid tins are perfect for carrying tea bags. If I drink several cups of either tea in the evening I have a much better chance of sleeping through the night (long as I don't drink more than 1 in the hour before bed, Know what I mean??)

    I hope this helps. If you don't have meditations or audiobooks, try classical music.

    If you need more help, try melatonin or even benadryl. If you take benadryl (the ingredient in tylenol pm, advil pm, and many other OTC sleep aids) it is a good idea to take a mucinex with it. The instant release generic version is fine because it lasts about as long as benadryl (4-6 hours).
  7. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Thanks everyone for all your advice. I'll have to try a few and see what works best for me. I'm hoping once he's on the suboxone tomorrow I will sleep better and can once again step back and let him make his choices whatever they may be. I have killed myself helping this week because he seems to want it, but my feeling is once he's on the suboxone if he still chooses to screw up, I'm DONE!!
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The Serenity Prayer is like counting sheep for me. Sometimes I have repeated it for hours at a time and it brings me comfort. on the other hand what has helped me the most is disconnecting my telephone at 8 each night. For years and years (you know how many years, lol) I went to bed with the anxiety that "something" would happen. Car wreck? Police? A post midnight call for a pickup? Etc. etc. Once I announced that the phone would be really helped me get through the night. I understand.
  9. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I have been turning my cell phone off at a certain hour at night because he doesn't know my house phone number. I was good with it last week and for some reason the past few nights, and maybe it's because he is getting so close to getting the treatment he wants and I can't wait until tomorrow when he calls and says he took his first suboxone, I turn it off but then keep thinking about turning it back on when I wake up at 2a.m. just to see if there are any missed messages. I'm just praying he doesn't screw up anything between now and tomorrow and I'm on pins and needles counting the hours!!

    I need to get back into my alamom mode. LOL!!

    I am going to use the serenity prayer tonight and something else I remember that used to work for me. When I was going through my divorce one of the staff members I work with performed healing touch on me and when I mentioned having trouble sleeping she told me to take deep breaths because it slows the heart rate and concentrate on every breath you take in and out and in and out. I remember now that concentrating on the breaths blocked me from concentrating on anything else.

    I'm so angry that I'm having to go through all of this again and I just don't want to, plain and simple!!! I thank god everyday that my boyfriend has been so supportive and has the attitude right now that we both need to know we did everything we could and if he screws up, it won't be because of us. I know if he does screw this up, which I'm feeling is inevitable, then I know if I can't walk away, it will start effecting our relationship. He never ever wanted kids, and he keeps saying to me, "people ask me why I didn't want kids".

    I have to keep reminding myself that I didn't make the choice to live this way, he did!! I choose a normal life and deserve to be able to sleep at night without having to worry about what the next day, or hour will bring!
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I am intriqued and more by the use of the word alamom!
    Is your son living at home?
    Surely this type of thing improves when they don't live at home anymore.
    Anyway, I try to concentrate on the notion that it does not do me or anyone any good if we both go down with the ship. True, it is hard as hxck to get into and stay into this mindset. As you know, your son's improvement is almost exclusively his own choice (s). So, what good is it when you fret, stay up at night, etc.? From experience, we know that this only makes our own lives worse. Save yourself. Do well at work and in your life. Life was meant to be enjoyed. It is bad enough that we have this nudging at our hearts. But just like our children have to make a personal choice to give up drugs, to take their medication, to do what they need to do...we have to make a personal choice to do what we need to do. It is hard....(hugs). Send good thoughts.
  11. Bean

    Bean Member

    I really don't know how I made it through some of the nights that our daughter was missing. Sleep is a very difficult thing for me. I've battled with it for a while.

    And I'm going to shoot straight: Clonazepam for me. I know it is a benzo. I know it is addictive. I am totally frustrated and disgusted that I take it, but the darn things help me. It's either that or 3 glasses of wine in the evening. Or, it is panic attacks before bed, staring at the clock at 1am, exhaustion throughout the day, and a general wearing down of my health. Nights are when I panic the most, even sleeping I'm grinding my teeth so loud my husband wakes up.

    I haven't been taking it forever. I think I gave in around Thanksgiving time when the doo hit the fan again in a major way. I needed sleep. Badly. That's all I wanted. I also started taking Sertraline (Zoloft) for depression/anxiety/PTSD, but unfortunately I still need the Clonazepam at times as well. I have to talk to my doctor about this, but right now I'm thankful for the sleep.
  12. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Alamom came from a post I made last week where I said I was trying to get back into the alanon mode and somebody commented back something like way to go alamom or something like that. I just found it catchy :)

    No he doesn't live with me. He hasn't lived with me for 6 years. He was clean for 3 or 4 of them and just recently returned to his old way of life. I'm finding that whether he lives at home or not, that when he is in crisis it still fazes me deeply. I worry about him ending up sleeping in his car in the middle of winter, or in jail, or dead just as much as when he was 18 and lived home.

    That is what I'm trying to get back to, realizing it won't do anyone any good if I go down with the ship, but I'm finding it so much easier said then done.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im on a boatload of medications and still cant sleep well. Have you tried reading something if you wake up? Maybe keep a book next to the bed with a book light so that you dont really light up the room or if you have an Ereader they come with a night mode. Just a few pages may be enough to send you back to sleep.
  14. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Reading usually does put me to sleep, so maybe I'll try it.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This doesn't work too well at the early stages of this when situational depression is abound on topof all the other emotions, but I am now working on trying to think of something I'd really enjoy to spend a little time doing, reading, eating, whatever, especially on evenings when I can sleep late the next morning- if I wake up due to stress my plan is to go ahead and get up and spend a little time doing my enjoyable thing. It's a trial run to see if it helps replace all that with something more relaxing and uplifting. Another thing I try to remind myself of is that as bad as it is now, if I'd let it go on further I know it would only have gotten worse for my difficult child and this would be even harder for me to pick up from that point than it is now. I guess I'm sort of looking at it like the point where I draw the line in the sand is where I am defining hitting bottom for the both of us and refusing for either of us to go any deeper- at least myself and my contribution to difficult child's ability to self-destruct. If he does it on his own, in spite of my efforts, I have no control over that but I can't let myself go any deeper emotionally over it- guilt, feeling I've enabled him, feeling like I've poured everything I have into a bottomless pit, etc.
  16. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Karen, I still have this problem occasionally. TV is my biggest ally on those nights. I don't turn on a light but I do turn on the tv. I look for a show that I've seen (around here there are always Law and Order reruns going through the night on one channel or another). I try really hard not to feel frustrated that I'm awake because that will get the adrenaline running. I find a show, turn the volume low, and set the sleep timer on the tv. The "white noise" is distracting enough that I don't listen to my own thoughts and it's not loud enough to get me fully involved in the show. It also helps to have a sleeping pup nearby that you can pet while you are going through this exercise.

  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I read myself to sleep every night. One thing I recall from high school - The Great Gatsby was the best cure for insomnia I ever found. It didn't matter what time I attempted to read it, I couldn't get through an entire paragraph without going to sleep. I never got past page 3.
  18. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I don't have any trouble falling asleep at all, but then wake up and can't go back to sleep. I think I did a little better last night. I did the breathing thing and saying the serenity prayer over over and I think I drifted in and out a little, rather then just being wide awake. Guess it will take a little practice.
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, it takes practice. I went out and bought new pillows that were the most comfortable I could find and that helped too. It's tough. I had been eating late at night and going thru MP at the same time so other things contribute, too- not that you are doing/going thru that but remember to look for other things that maybe could be changed around a little that would help you get back to sleep easier.
  20. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When my insomnia was at its worst, Lunesta helped me a lot (after trying and failing with Sonata, Ambien and Rozerem). I had trouble with both falling asleep AND staying asleep. I'd wake up worrying, too. Before I tried the Lunesta, one therapist suggested that when I wake up, I keep a pad and paper next to the bed and write down all the things I'm worried about.. to literally get them out of my head and onto the paper. That helped somewhat.

    I don't have a Lunesta scrip any more, but when I wake up in the middle of the night these days, I try breathing/relaxation exercises. I tell myself that I don't have to worry about this thing right *this* minute, that in *this* exact moment all is well, all is peaceful, and I can't do anything about [the things I'm worried about] at 3 am. A sort of mindfulness exercise. If that fails, I sometimes get up and either watch tv, or play a game on my computer to distract me for a bit from the worries.

    It's frustrating though. Sometimes I just want an "off" switch on my brain to stop the thoughts/worries from coming.