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firebyrd516
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18 Aug 2020, 1:26 pm

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.


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ToughDiamond
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18 Aug 2020, 7:39 pm

I have the occasional problem with falling asleep, though not very often. Best fix I know for it is to do physical exercise. Sometimes I just accept that I'm simply not tired enough to sleep (who says we have to go to sleep at x time and get up at y time anyway?), in which case I just get up and carry on with waking life till I start feeling tired. I tried alcohol once or twice, and it kind of worked but I woke up with a hangover, so I abandoned that idea. I'm wary of medication so I'd only use that as a last resort - I gather even when it "works," it doesn't give the right kind of sleep. Another thing I'd do if I were experiencing a run of several nights of trouble sleeping would be to make sure my hours of waking were long and active. And I'd try to wind down any "brainy" activities that require intense thought, and to do artistic or easy stuff - that's supposed to help the mind to sleep. I've heard that the colours of light we're exposed to can affect sleep - they say blue light keeps us awake and red light sends us to sleep.

I sometimes have trouble getting up in the mornings. For that, I try to give myself a soft start, just sitting up in bed and having a drink that's reasonably high in caffeine, and mess about on my computer for a while, then just gradually get moving. I set up the breakfast things to make it very easy to get my first meal of the day, and generally set up everything I can so that it's not a great challenge when I get up feeling groggy. Getting plenty of oxygen is probably a good idea too. Again, I'd question the idea that a person should get up at a particular time according to a prescribed schedule, but it's harder to rebel against that because of jobs, school, college, and other appointments. These days such things are rare to nonexistent, and I've found I go to bed and get up quite late. I don't like myself for being that way, but I don't understand why that's so, because it really doesn't matter what time I get up, usually.

When I was a child I would usually get out of bed very quickly and easily, but after being at the secondary school for a while I noticed I was starting to feel groggy in the mornings. I've always regretted that, but I don't suppose it'll ever go back to the way it was.



PoseyBuster88
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18 Aug 2020, 11:24 pm

If it's racing thoughts keeping me up, I find making lists before bed helps. Like to do lists, Christmas gift idea lists, whatever it is I am worried I will forget. I also set reminders for the next day if the issue is worrying I will forget to do something.

Also having a consistent "going to bed soon" routine and making things as consistent as possible in my room - same pillows in the same places, same blanket, same background noise playing, etc.

And exercise helps, especially if you tend to feel too wiggly or antsy to be still in bed.


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18 Aug 2020, 11:33 pm

My sleep cycle is awful! I'm either tossing and turning unable to go under all night, or sleeping like a rock for 10 hours and unable to rouse myself. If I don't get enough sleep, I am a zombie who can't manage basic tasks. Sleeping drugs throw me for such a loop that I can't use them---one in particular, trazodone, had me out for days. One of the few good things about SSI is I can sleep until I am sharp enough to do stuff.


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Last edited by Romofan on 19 Aug 2020, 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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18 Aug 2020, 11:54 pm

I go to bed between 21:30-22:00 and rise around 06:30. It's the same everyday, including weekends and holidays. I used to take sleeping meds, but recently stopped as I found I could keep my routine without it. Sometimes I take a nap after lunch, but not so often these days.

My non-ASD wife has a harder time than me. At night she's thinking about all the things that happened during the day/will happen next day, whereas I have more of a "screw everything" mentality and just sleep.



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19 Aug 2020, 1:59 am

I'll pay $20 an hour for 8 hours of solid sleep.
I had too much coffee today. :bounce:



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19 Aug 2020, 2:02 am

I struggle to get 8 hours sleep in two days, let alone every day.


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jimmy m
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19 Aug 2020, 8:20 am

A couple of other things to try, is avoid drinking caffeine (coffee/sodas) a couple hours prior to bedtime. My wife switched to decaf coffee at night to avoid insomnia.

Also a warm bath or shower before bedtime may help.

I personally use a heated water-bed for the past 45 years and sleep very well. I'm normally out like a light in 5 minutes.


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19 Aug 2020, 8:50 am

I take Mirtazapine and Quetiapine(Seroquel) for sleep.

Doctor's won't likely prescribe Seroquel or any antipsychotic's for sleep anymore.Amitriptyline(I hope I spelled that right)is a good sleep option.


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Steve1963
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19 Aug 2020, 8:54 am

For me, Seroquel was of the DEVIL. Worst thing I ever took!

Have you tried CBD oil or vaping marijuana? I used to sleep like a baby back when I was a pot smoker.



firebyrd516
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19 Aug 2020, 11:53 am

vermontsavant wrote:
I take Mirtazapine and Quetiapine(Seroquel) for sleep.

Doctor's won't likely prescribe Seroquel or any antipsychotic's for sleep anymore.Amitriptyline(I hope I spelled that right)is a good sleep option.


I can’t believe I forgot to mention Seroquel. It always put me to sleep quickly. The problem was that it made me feel horribly hungover every morning.


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eyelessshiver
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19 Aug 2020, 12:42 pm

I also take Quetiapine (Seroquel), prescribed for paranoia and psychosis, but has the added benefit of helping with sleep, which has also been an issue. Dose started at 50mg and went as high as 800mg (400mg morning and night), now has been at 150mg nightly for a while. The only way I can make Seroquel work is by sleeping longer; 10 or so hours and I feel well-rested in the morning. If I wake up after 8, even 9 hours, usually I will feel a bit groggy, with some kind of weird head-tingly thing. The trick is I need to sleep off the effects of the drug fully, which takes time. Also I wake up several times in the night, at least 5 (but generally I'm only up for a minute to use bathroom, and then right back to sleep)...I think just a result of vivid dreams, being a light sleeper, and having a sensitive bladder.

Before being given any prescription drugs, I used to take Benadryl for sleep (diphenhydramine, an antihistamine that makes you tired), which helped. This and other OTC sleep aids (also antihistamines) can work, but I don't really recommend them. Melatonin didn't do much for me when things got bad but it can help with minor cases. My experience with Benadryl was that it worked for a while, but I think it was concealing the issue, because it meant I didn't have to talk to a doctor or psychiatrist about my sleep and other issues (such as paranoia and substance use). Also, sometimes it didn't work that well. There was even a period when I got really desperate and took like 5-10 in a night and it still didn't work. I ended up with psychosis by using this approach, because the Benadryl just couldn't put me down, as my symptoms of mania and hallucinations etc got worse and worse.

So for me Quetiapine is a working, long-term option I have been using for 8 years or so. It's strong enough that even if I hit a really bad night (stuff really bothering me that would normally cripple my sleep), I can take a bit of extra Quetiapine and get me to sleep mostly fine. I've thought about gradually coming off of it altogether, and it's theoretically possible, but I also wonder if I'd just run into sleep issues and have to go back on it (and I'd have to deal with some sleeplessness anyway for a while, which can be really unpleasant). I haven't had any truly awful sleepless nights since I've been on it. At worst I'll get a somewhat compromised night of sleep (the grogginess doesn't always wear off, especially if I have to take extra), but usually I can still function the next day. It's part of my prescription to take extra PRN, so I have plenty stored up as well. I'm actually thankful it exists, because my brain just doesn't seem to want to calm down like everyone else's.

When I was younger I had some bad sleep problems...but also had periods when I slept well. Probably the worst was age 13-15ish, I just couldn't seem to get to sleep any earlier than 1 (usually it was later), and I'd have to wake up at like 7 for school. I think partly I was in the habit of staying up late on the computer, and had trouble kicking that habit, but I wouldn't feel tired until very late anyway. I remember being in bed for hours tossing and turning, waiting to fall asleep. Sometimes I'd sleep just a few hours. I would be very tired at school, almost like a zombie. That was a hard time for me.



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20 Aug 2020, 3:22 am

When I first had bad sleep problems, a friend advised me that overall, pills had not been worth it for her, so I only used them in emergencies. The trouble with the herbal remedies, white noise, etc. is that I also tried them in emergencies, when they were inadequate, so now they remind me of the sleepless nights - they have acquired a negative placebo effect. Taking them when I expect to sleep anyway would probably be a good idea, without expecting major effects.
I re-organized my life so that I could have a nap whenever possible, and recovered slowly, although accidental interruptions would sometimes throw me off for weeks.
We are advised that screen time is an enemy of repose, and I find that even if I'm not sleepy, it helps to get into bed and read a book with no suspense. This works better if I'm maintaining a daily schedule. That is easily thrown off by a burst of creative work, but I can control my meal times, and keeping those fairly constant helps the sleep schedule too.



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20 Aug 2020, 6:12 am

I generally have no trouble falling asleep but I often wake up several times a night due to something bad happening in a dream.

I seem to start dreaming immediately on going to sleep and often wake up suddenly after just a couple of minutes in response to something in a dream. When this happens it feels as though I have been dreaming for hours even though a check of the clock shows it's only been a couple of minutes.

My dreams are full of threatening and menacing imagery. I think I'd really like to stop dreaming altogether. Despite that though I feel like I get enough sleep overall even though some nights are considerably less restful than others. I never have trouble waking in the morning. I always wake early, typically 0400-0500, and am immediately fully alert.


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20 Aug 2020, 10:36 am

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.


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eyelessshiver
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20 Aug 2020, 12:00 pm

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.