Getting fed up of insomnia 'episodes'.

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miserylovescompany
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27 Aug 2010, 6:05 am

Ok so I'm not one of those people with a persistant BAD sleeping problem, but I do have a problem nevertheless.

My problem comes in 'episodes' rather than all the time, I can be fine for weeks then all of a sudden, for one week I will not get to sleep, no matter what I do. During this time I will become very angry, irritable and tired, but still unable to sleep at all. I try everything from no coffee, no computer after 7pm to going to bed at set times each night, nothing works. If I say go to bed at 10pm, all that means is one heck of a boring, uncomfortable night awake, that's about it.

I am not depressed, I have just got married and my life is ok, I have little to be depressed about!

So far doctors have been unhelpful, continuing to offer me SSRI medication, which I refused to take as 1 I am not depressed, and 2 I had a bad reaction to it in the past. I do not want to take anything long term for a short term problem. The side effects of these drugs simply outweigh any benefits in my case. I think they should only be prescribed for depression, where other treatments have failed, not for a miriad of 'off lable' uses such as my poor sleep episodes! But I'm not getting inte that debate here.

I just want to know what to do, as this is effecting portions of my life, my relationship with my husband suffers once I get to the point where I start getting paranoid and seeing things because I've not slept in 6 nights. I can't even take a nap during this time, I just don't sleep.

I've tried the 'over the counter' sleeping aids and the various herbal ones, some make me feel sick, others make me feel more awake like 10 cups of expresso!

I have a theory that this is connected somehow to my menstrual cycles, but I've given up trying to convince doctors of that. I just wondered if it might be worth asking my doctor for a short course of sleeping meds to see if that breaks these cycles. I certainly wouldn't like to take these all the time, but perhaps occasionaly they might help break the 'episodes'.

How would I go about asking for these without looking like a scumbag druggie, which is often the view of UK GP's upon anyone asking about painkillers or sleeping meds. I am not a junkie, nor do I want to get high, I just want to SLEEP :(



Last edited by miserylovescompany on 27 Aug 2010, 6:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

miserylovescompany
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27 Aug 2010, 6:07 am

sorry, didn't mean to post this one, silly laptop.



OddFiction
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27 Aug 2010, 6:24 am

I'd say you're probably right about the menstrual cycle bit if you're noticing a co-relation. Your body is likely much more sensitive to minute sounds or touches (this includes fabric, or even the pressure of the bed holding you up, etc) and menstrual cycles do involve horemone level changes. Don't discount other possibilities of course, but again if you are noticing the link, you're probably right.

Try sleeping on a different surface - pull out the old foldup couch. Try a sleeping bag and blow up matress. The couch. Different blankets. Different laundry soaps (might be the fabric softener smell that's invigorating)?

I recently discovered that my sleeping troubles are sometimes duee to the open window - not even a breeze coming through it, but the seep of temperature change did it. Has also been my choice of sleeping apparel. A change in toothpaste. In eating habits - are you eating more oat cereals and milk instead of mcdonalds or eggs just before sleeping issues?

Are you distracting yourself wiith electronics? Tv can put all sorts of confusions into the mind and keep it spinning, preventing sleep. I've sometimes had to turn off the fuse box so the inaudible (but present!) buzz of electricity stops circling thru the walls.

Does it come just before or just after bills are due? Could be anxiety. Start paying bills early - or setting the envelloppes and cheques aside in their "to be mailed" spot.

Strange as it may sound, try dumping the laundry hamper into your bed / onto the couch when you try to sleep. The lumps and bumps can be a comforting presence and weight. (I do this when everything else has failed). I think it has something to do with remindiing our bodies of the teddybears that gave us comfort as children.



miserylovescompany
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27 Aug 2010, 6:29 am

OddFiction wrote:
I'd say you're probably right about the menstrual cycle bit if you're noticing a co-relation. Your body is likely much more sensitive to minute sounds or touches (this includes fabric, or even the pressure of the bed holding you up, etc) and menstrual cycles do involve horemone level changes. Don't discount other possibilities of course, but again if you are noticing the link, you're probably right.

Try sleeping on a different surface - pull out the old foldup couch. Try a sleeping bag and blow up matress. The couch. Different blankets. Different laundry soaps (might be the fabric softener smell that's invigorating)?

I recently discovered that my sleeping troubles are sometimes duee to the open window - not even a breeze coming through it, but the seep of temperature change did it. Has also been my choice of sleeping apparel. A change in toothpaste. In eating habits - are you eating more oat cereals and milk instead of mcdonalds or eggs just before sleeping issues?

Are you distracting yourself wiith electronics? Tv can put all sorts of confusions into the mind and keep it spinning, preventing sleep. I've sometimes had to turn off the fuse box so the inaudible (but present!) buzz of electricity stops circling thru the walls.

Does it come just before or just after bills are due? Could be anxiety. Start paying bills early - or setting the envelloppes and cheques aside in their "to be mailed" spot.

Strange as it may sound, try dumping the laundry hamper into your bed / onto the couch when you try to sleep. The lumps and bumps can be a comforting presence and weight. (I do this when everything else has failed). I think it has something to do with remindiing our bodies of the teddybears that gave us comfort as children.


I think I've tried sleeping everywhere in my house par the rat cage! lol I don't much fancy sleeping in there :P

I just lay awake in a different place, doesn't change much sadly. I'm really considering a doctor's visit dispite me being pretty anti medication, desperate times call for desperate measures sometimes sadly.

I do all the right food related stuff, no large meals just before bed, no diary or eggs etc, not that I eat much of that stuff anyway. I don't touch fast foods either.



OddFiction
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27 Aug 2010, 8:52 am

noseplugs.
earplugs.
eye-mask.



CockneyRebel
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27 Aug 2010, 11:48 am

I have those episodes, as well. I just stay in bed, just to know that I have the self discipline.


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StuartN
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27 Aug 2010, 1:03 pm

miserylovescompany wrote:
How would I go about asking for these without looking like a scumbag druggie, which is often the view of UK GP's upon anyone asking about painkillers or sleeping meds. I am not a junkie, nor do I want to get high, I just want to SLEEP :(


You do not actually state that you are experiencing any negative effects - maybe you just don't need the sleep and do need some routine and some activities to fill the time? Routine ("sleep hygiene") is the single most important factor in getting good sleep - only go to bed when you are ready to sleep (or for sex) and never lie in bed reading, thinking and waiting to sleep. Do your night-time reading, music listening or whatever makes you sleepy somewhere else, and go to bed when suitably relaxed.

I used sleeping pills for quite a long time, when I was depressed, and never felt that I was treated as a drug-seeker. They can be good to get to sleep, or good to stay asleep or even both (depending on your personal reaction to the drugs), but don't work well for everyone. Also, medicated sleep is not restful sleep.

In severe cases of disruptive insomnia, some combination of pre-sleep benzodiazepams, anti-histamines, anti-psychotics and sleep medications will put a rhinoceros into a regular sleep pattern. Then you gradually withdraw the components as natural rhythm takes over. Obviously, regular toileting is also vital - empty bladder before bed and use prune juice or fibre supplements to make sure you are comfortable while in bed.



miserylovescompany
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27 Aug 2010, 2:17 pm

StuartN wrote:
miserylovescompany wrote:
How would I go about asking for these without looking like a scumbag druggie, which is often the view of UK GP's upon anyone asking about painkillers or sleeping meds. I am not a junkie, nor do I want to get high, I just want to SLEEP :(


You do not actually state that you are experiencing any negative effects - maybe you just don't need the sleep and do need some routine and some activities to fill the time? Routine ("sleep hygiene") is the single most important factor in getting good sleep - only go to bed when you are ready to sleep (or for sex) and never lie in bed reading, thinking and waiting to sleep. Do your night-time reading, music listening or whatever makes you sleepy somewhere else, and go to bed when suitably relaxed.

I used sleeping pills for quite a long time, when I was depressed, and never felt that I was treated as a drug-seeker. They can be good to get to sleep, or good to stay asleep or even both (depending on your personal reaction to the drugs), but don't work well for everyone. Also, medicated sleep is not restful sleep.

In severe cases of disruptive insomnia, some combination of pre-sleep benzodiazepams, anti-histamines, anti-psychotics and sleep medications will put a rhinoceros into a regular sleep pattern. Then you gradually withdraw the components as natural rhythm takes over. Obviously, regular toileting is also vital - empty bladder before bed and use prune juice or fibre supplements to make sure you are comfortable while in bed.


When I get like this I can't function at all, small things become impossible. Take today, I had to clean out the rat cage and do some basic cleaning stuff, nothing unusual. However I landed up putting the dirty rat bedding back into the cage and was about to put the clean stuff in the trash, there's no thought process, it's like I'm asleep doing stuff.



StuartN
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27 Aug 2010, 5:35 pm

miserylovescompany wrote:
When I get like this I can't function at all, small things become impossible. Take today, I had to clean out the rat cage and do some basic cleaning stuff, nothing unusual. However I landed up putting the dirty rat bedding back into the cage and was about to put the clean stuff in the trash, there's no thought process, it's like I'm asleep doing stuff.


It sounds like drugs will help. There is a whole cocktail of possibilities, with antihistamines to promote drowsiness and antipsychotics to reduce agitation and racing thoughts. But (as above) routine is the key.