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Dear_one
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20 Aug 2020, 2:22 pm

Around age 20, I always tried to finish a project in one go, because I knew that if I slept on it, I'd come back with more energy and ideas, and really go over my estimates. Consequently, I slept three or four times a week, but a 15 hour stretch was not unusual.
Now, I'm pretty well stuck on having to sleep twice a day. Before artificial light, it was not unusual for people to stay up for a few hours around midnight, feeding the fire, talking, and doing any chores that didn't need much light. I lived with a wood stove for a while, and then discovered the 24-7 novelty of the 'net, and the fun of observing the dark sky here.



Pieplup
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20 Aug 2020, 4:37 pm

eyelessshiver wrote:
Pieplup wrote:
firebyrd516 wrote:
I think that probably my biggest adversary is sleep. I have struggled with it my entire life. I have trouble falling asleep, as well as waking up in the morning (I am the worst at getting out of bed, but that’s another topic). I also frequently wake up during the night. I seem to have increased anxiety at night when everything is quiet and it’s just me and my brain.

Do you struggle with sleep? Do you take prescription medication for sleep? Do you take supplements for sleep? What other tricks do you use? Share what works best for you.

As far as medications and supplements, I have tried benzodiazepines, trazodone, melatonin, Benadryl, magnesium, tryptophan, and on a few occasions I’ve even tried to drink alcohol (I hate alcohol so much).

I’ve also tried different mattresses, keeping my room colder, keeping my room darker, white noise, weighted blankets, weighted eye masks, meditation, breathing exercises, headphones with guided hypnosis and ASMR... you name it. I’ve had mixed results and most of the time, if something works well, I seem to get used to it and revert back to insomnia.
i'd say my biggest problem is motor skills. however i've struggled with sleep for years. Sleep medication helps but sometimes i'm still forced to stay up for days at a time because it won't work. (I take hydroxyzine and clonidine) I don't think i can fall asleep naturally. I rarely ever feel sleepy and when I do it's usually only for a few minutes. I met this one guy on irc, Who's developed a tolerance to all the sleep medication from what he told me and just can't sleep. Said he's been up for a week. just be glad you aren't that guy. If you are concerned about it talk to your doctor.


Did you or this guy try Quetiapine? Probably not, because it's an antipsychotic, and they don't usually prescribe it for sleep these days, but it will make you sleep. There are other antipsychotics that are even more sedating, but have worse side effects as well. The starting (lowest) dose is 25mg, and that will get most people sleeping (who haven't been on it before). Doses go up into the hundreds and even up to 1000 in extreme cases. You don't really develop a tolerance, either (though you may need more if your symptoms get worse). I was on 200-300mg several years ago (can't remember which), and had a friend with bad insomnia...I gave him one of my tablets, and told him to cut it in half. He took the whole thing and slept for like 15 hours. That stuff will knock you out.

I don't think so. I don't remember said dude's name. I'm kind of between doctors atm.


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I am pieplup i have level 3 autism and a number of severe mental illnesses. I am rarely active on here anymore.
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Tufted Titmouse
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21 Aug 2020, 8:54 pm

My sleep cycle is absolutely terrible and the most disabling part of having Aspergers for me. I experience both insomnia and hypersomnia, essentially both not being able to fall asleep or wake up once I do. I've studied it extensively due to this and have come up with a few things.

The trouble our brains seem to have is flipping the switch between asleep and awake. In that process, we can get stuck in between and never fully wake up or in some cases never fully go to sleep.

I find that I get stuck in REM for hours on end drifting in and out of vague not fully achieved consciousness making it a battle every morning when I try to wake up. I've found that meditating before I go to bed by focusing on the time and pressing need to be awake at that time actually helps me do just that in the morning. Somehow I'm making my intentions clear to my body (I also have like fifty alarms going off). During the day I actually take stimulants to help stay awake and for ADHD, but in the mornings it really helps make that crossover from sleep to wake. Often times if I don't take it, I'm at risk for sitting back down and passing out again.

As for falling asleep, I don't take any medications because they put my ability to wake up at risk. Instead, I've put in place a couple of things during the day that make it easier. Basically, when it comes to me falling asleep or waking up I treat my brain like a child that needs to be trained to function. So I have a strict routine at night designed to help in every way it can. I never drink caffeine or sugar past six, I shower every night before bed, and make sure I've done enough during the day to make it feel like the days over. I take magnesium on a regular basis as well. I think that one little thing isn't going to help insomnia but if you find a thousand of them tailored specifically to your own struggles then it might make just enough of a difference that it's a little easier.



Dear_one
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22 Aug 2020, 4:19 am

"The trouble our brains seem to have is flipping the switch between asleep and awake. In that process, we can get stuck in between and never fully wake up or in some cases never fully go to sleep. "

Thanks. I've had some big troubles in that department, and didn't know that they were AS-related. One of the amusing side effects is that sometimes when falling asleep, I notice the moment when my hearing shuts off. The trouble is, I expect a switch to produce a small electronic pop, and the brain just goes quiet. The strangeness startles me back awake, sometimes for several cycles.



Sweetleaf
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22 Aug 2020, 4:27 am

I only sleep because I have to, because if you go too long without sleep it causes insanity and more. But sleeping is not my favorite thing half the time I wake up from crappy dreams and uhh realistically I'd like to function on as little sleep as possible. Because sleep is a good time for your mind to f*ck with you. LIke there have been mornings I plan to sleep in but I end up having a bunch of weird dreams so then I just want to get up and smoke a bowl(of weed) and get that crap out of my head. And at that point may as well stay up and have your morning coffee or tea(coffee seems most common but the acidity of coffee bothers my stomach so I usually go for tea also I think tea tastes better than coffee), because who wants to go back to bed after that. Problem is sometimes I do go back to bed and just have more weird dreams and just feel like yeah I should have just got up the first time I woke up.


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22 Aug 2020, 6:49 am

Longstanding poor sleeper here. Couldn't tell you how I slept as a teen, I simply don't remember. Generally getting off to sleep is OK, but I wake easily and then find it hard to get back to sleep as I can feel pretty wired and can't switch off mentally. It can be a horrible vicious cycle. My body, lower back in particular, tends to feel completely wrecked from a bad night's sleep. My sleep hygiene could be better, of course.

Yoga before bed does help me feel a little more relaxed.

Post-sleep I no longer check my phone/computer first thing. I do a few stretches and like that I've implemented this change.

Lots of data on poor sleep in the ASD community, so no surprise it's an issue for people.


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BenderRodriguez
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22 Aug 2020, 7:51 am

Life-long insomniac here - I'm an extreme probably, but nothing worked for me. Medication was a disaster, particularly barbiturates and benzos (paradoxical and side effects).

I think I've tried every herb, tea, old-wives remedy, sex, alcohol, pot, CBD, kratom and a variety of supplements. No opium (yet) :mrgreen:

It's not unusual for me to stay awake for 24-36 before I get some sleep and I never know how much I'll get. But I do get a lot of extra time 8)


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auntblabby
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22 Aug 2020, 7:58 am

my biorhythms go around the clock every 3 weeks or so. that means i won't get up and go to sleep at the same time more than twice per month, tops. when i must try to sleep outside of my biorhythmic time slot, it's useless, i just toss and turn, the only way around that is by taking a doxylamine tablet and also a melatonin. that result in me getting to sleep and oversleeping and being groggy as hell all the next day. ambien didn't do a daggone thing for me. neither did pot. can't have alky, it just comes right back up if i try. but if i follow my natural biorhythms, i fall asleep within 5 minutes in general. now STAYING asleep is another matter, my bladder awakens me about every 2 hours. but at this point i'm thankful my kidneys still seem to work. :mrgreen:



Dear_one
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22 Aug 2020, 10:04 am

Have any of my fellow sufferers survived a hospital stay? How? Even as an outpatient, staff ignored my sleep disorder, setting appointment times that ruined my general health and left me untreated in the end.



BenderRodriguez
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22 Aug 2020, 10:16 am

The only time I've stayed in the hospital was for a broken ankle they had to fix with a bunch of surgical screws. After the operation, I was drugged up to my eyeballs and since after waking up I refused anything stronger than over-the-counter pain-killers, I was in so much pain that I couldn't get any sleep anyway and I was barely aware of my surroundings.

But I get what you're saying, it's outrageous that the medical profession is still so ignorant and dismissive of sleep disorders. One even had the cheek to tell me "it won't kill you" when even I know chronic insomniacs have a much higher risk for suicide, various mental disorders and even accidents :evil:


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BenderRodriguez
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22 Aug 2020, 10:20 am

Oh, and it's also the reason I never went to a sleep clinic. I can't begin to imagine being able to sleep in a strange bed, without my routines and comforts.


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eyelessshiver
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23 Aug 2020, 12:49 pm

I think if I try to come down further on my Quetiapine dose, I could get by with less sleep. My goal is to be off of it completely or at the lowest dose. I decreased my dose by more than half a few months ago anyway. I calculated that I'm likely missing out on at least 4 years of my life, If I continue to sleep 10 hours a night instead of the usual 8 indefinitely.



Dear_one
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23 Aug 2020, 8:37 pm

After a major sleep problem began, for over a decade I defined enough sleep by not feeling sleepy when driving. Eventually, I realized that it took another hour or so to feel rested enough to feel happy and flexible enough to handle changes in plans - ie: live a healthy life.
I had a friend who was a chronic insomniac. He died young, just before I had a chance to suggest how to improve his dreams.