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Old 06-05-2003, 01:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
Sleep help.

Lord help me if this is a repost.

I can't sleep. My Circadean (?) clock is awry. I don't want to try alcohol and I don't want to try OTC sleep medication. Does anyone have any practical techniques I can try to get to sleep? Tips or pointers?

Your help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2003, 04:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Speaking from experience, if this is something that's been going on a while, talk to your doctor about it. You could have a sleep disorder, that will really mess you up over time. In any case, it can't hurt!
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Old 06-05-2003, 04:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
I had difficulty myself,

Try to get to bed consistently at one time.
Do something that you know tends to make you drowsy, read a particular topic, not something totally interesting.
Eat something insubstantial (like milk or a piece of bread), this will draw your energies to your digestive system.
Reduce stress
Exercise vigorously some time before hand.
Take a nice, hot shower or bath.
Lay down, and be still, do something quiet.

I got a special foam mattress covering, like the ones in the back stores,
they work but they are expensive ($200)
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Old 06-05-2003, 06:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
KeyserSoze's Avatar
Location: Lost Angeles
I usually eat a bowl of cereal and that seems to do the trick
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Old 06-05-2003, 09:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
Location: The Kitchen
When I started working an overnight shift, I had a lot of trouble getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep a night (well, day really) until I started going to the gym for an hour or so after work. Try a long walk, jog, bike ride. If you're trying to get to sleep during the day, try to keep your room as dark as possible.
James Bond movies work well for me too, I don't think I've ever managed to stay awake through a whole one, but that's just me.
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Old 06-05-2003, 09:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
Location: Chicagoland
I have chronic sleep probs., and it does help to exercise regularly-but not close to bedtime. I've been told to quit *trying* to go to sleep after 20 minutes, and as has been mentioned here, do something unstimulating. NO computer time, no television.

When I first get to bed, I try to clear my mind. No running thru everything I did that day or what I'll do the next. I usually focus on my breathing and every time my mind wanders, I try to bring it back to focused, controlled breathing, even using the word *breathe* in my mind, to keep me focused.

If I have sex before bed, it guarantees that I won't be sleeping soon, so I don't even try, rather I get up after spouse has gone to dreamland and do something quiet, boring, etc.

If you have insurance, consulting with your doc and asking about having a sleep study done, wouldn't be a bad idea. My sleep study showed that I have no physiological reason for my sleeplessness.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
Eccentric insomniac
Slims's Avatar
Location: North Carolina
Lots of excercise and sex. It also helps if you force yourself to get up early in the morning so you are completely exhausted by the time you want to fall asleep.
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." - Winston Churchill

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible." Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
Location: Canada
Drinking a small glass of warm milk has helped me on several occasions.

Also, whenever I lay down to sleep, I make up situations in my mind, and I almost become dream like (therefore tired). I mean make up situations such as "what would happen if I was involved in a bank robbery (what would i do, not do, etc)" or "If everyone on Earth except for a few people died on Earth, what would i do to survive, etc (this usually involves stealing a Ferrari and going real fast down a highway ).

This is a good way to keep the mind active while making the body tired. Also a good start in learning how to lucid dream...
Legalize it.
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Old 06-05-2003, 02:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
Location: St. Louis, MO
Actually, I read somewhere that Ice Cream really works... don't recall the reason why off-hand, but if I remember correctly its because it cools you down and relaxes you, and also fills you up, and its easier to sleep with food in the belly.
Always remember that you are unique... just like everyone else!
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Old 06-05-2003, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
Fledgling Dead Head
krwlz's Avatar
Location: Clarkson U.
Listen to some music fairly quietly, so that if you really try you can hear the lyrics, but normaly can't. Just the background noise, and the rythmic beat help. If gotton so I can't sleep without music generaly.
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Old 06-05-2003, 05:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
Psychopathic Akimbo Action Pirate
Location: ...between Christ and Belial.
All of the above solutions are painful, so try this first --

Sleep Deprivation

If you have trouble sleeping one night and you need to get on a schedule, just don't sleep that night. You'll go through one day totally exhausted, but then you can go to bed a couple hours early the next night.

Important: Don't sleep for more than 10 hours, especially after doing this sleep deprivation thing. Your body doesn't need more than 10 hours, and you will keep your body clock screwed up if you sleep more than 10.
On the outside I'm jazz, but my soul is rock and roll.

Sleep is a waste of time. Join the Insomniac Club.
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Old 06-05-2003, 06:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
Sleep Deprivation

Have you recently had a child? If so you may have to be sleep deprived for the next several years. Fyi.
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Old 06-06-2003, 05:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
*chuckle* Thanks for the info, cakehole. And thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I'd tried a lot of things, and last night I finally broke down and bought some mild sleeping pills. Took one at nine after having eaten a whole lot of fried chicken, and I was out by 9:30. Woke up at 7 this morning, rested and ready.
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Old 06-07-2003, 06:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
I am having good success with ambien. This is a prescription drug that only a doctor can prescribe,
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Old 06-07-2003, 07:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
Psychopathic Akimbo Action Pirate
Location: ...between Christ and Belial.
Shameless Plug -

Join the Insomniac Club

On the outside I'm jazz, but my soul is rock and roll.

Sleep is a waste of time. Join the Insomniac Club.
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Old 06-07-2003, 09:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
Know Where!
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i was just at GNC today there are many *natural* sleep aid that are inexpensive.

i am testing them now, all of them have been proven effective, although they are not approved by the FDA.
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
i've been having trouble sleeping lately too, and i've started going for long walks about 20 mins before i go to bed.

i walk about 7 km's every night along the same route and it seems to be helping. it serves two purposes, physically tires me out and gives me a chance to clear my head (getting over a girl right now that's killing my sleep habits!)

it's been working so far and i'm feeling better for it, so give it a whirl and see if it helps.

here's to hoping and if not go to Dr. and get some meds...no shame in getting help if you need it.
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
Well, I'm still spending most nights awake, but that's mostly because I'm busy talking to Jinya. I'm sure that once we get together, I'll be too worn out to stay awake. That's what she promises, at least.

I'm still not sure how to clear my mind once I actually get into bed. I've got to find some good meditation techniques or something.
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:43 AM   #19 (permalink)
Flavour of the Weak
Location: Canada
Try to stay away from the computer before going to bed. Try to spend some time outside if you can. When I can't fall asleep, I just go for a walk and then everything is alright
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Old 06-12-2003, 08:49 AM   #20 (permalink)
Location: Canada
Try to develop a routine for the half hour or so before you go to bed. Brush your teeth, glass of warm milk, whatever, always in the same order, and as close as possible to the same time. After a couple weeks your body learns that sleep soon follows these things, when they are done in that order at that time. It knows that you're going to go to bed soon so it begins preparing for sleep half an hour before you even climb into bed. Stick to the routine as strictly as possible. If you have a late night out, return to the routine the next night.

Like someone else mentioned, it's important not to run over what you did that day or what you may be doing tomorrow. Often you'll think of something you forgot to do, or need to do urgently, and you'll get worried about remembering to do it and will be nervous as you're trying to fall asleep. The computer is also bad
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Old 06-14-2003, 04:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
I'm a night owl and prefer to spend my evenings awake. Unfortunately work has to be done in the morning so I have to go to bed early. Do I ever get to bed early? Hell NO! Do I try? Yes.

Whenever I have problems falling asleep I start reading and that always makes my eyes really tired and I can zap out rather quickly. Warm milk and cocoa also are good ways for me to fall asleep. It's not always a good thing to have caffeine before bed so stay away from that, get plenty of exercise during the day and good things to eat.
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Old 06-15-2003, 06:17 AM   #22 (permalink)
Put some New Age music on the stereo at low volume. Use the bedroom for sleep & sex only.
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Old 06-15-2003, 12:37 PM   #23 (permalink)
Location: Houston, Texas
There is a very mild sleeping pill, that doesn't stay in the system long...Sonata. Maybe this would help re-set your clock.

By the way, do you drink a lot of soft drinks or iced tea after 4:00 in the afternoon? I'm thinking....caffeine.
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Old 06-15-2003, 04:02 PM   #24 (permalink)
My future is coming on
lurkette's Avatar
Moderator Emeritus
Location: east of the sun and west of the moon
I heard a sleep specialist on the radio the other day and he said that what works for many people to reset their circadian rhythms is taking a very very hot bath/shower (hot enough to make you sweat for a while after ou get out) about 3 hours before you want to fall asleep. You raise your core temp, and when your temperature starts to fall in a few hours it mimics the normal circadian temperature drop that happens before sleep for most people. But you have to do it far enough in advance of when you want to sleep or your temp will still be up - so don't take a shower at 9:30 if you want to get to sleep at 11:00.

Other things that have worked for me are valerian root (pills, NOT tea- the stuff smells bad but is a good sedative/muscle relaxant/anti-anxiety medication. Meditation has also worked, as have progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

None of this is as fun as sex, though
"If ten million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."

- Anatole France
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Old 06-17-2003, 10:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
Location: San Diego
I have been going through the same thing lately. Here is what I have learned. Alcohol is not the answer, it just gets you addicted. Don't take naps...little cat naps keep you up longer and make it harder to fall asleep. I sit at the computer every night until I get way too tired. And then I only let myself stay asleep for no more the 9 hrs. I hope this advice helps you out.
If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is....
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Old 06-18-2003, 07:43 PM   #26 (permalink)
Inspired by the mind's eye.
mirevolver's Avatar
Location: Between the darkness and the light.
Warm milk and sex. But if the sex isn't available then just the warm milk will do.

When you heat up the milk, it releases a chemical called melitonin(sp?). It's a mild seditative.
Aside from my great plans to become the future dictator of the moon, I have little interest in political discussions.
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Old 06-19-2003, 05:17 AM   #27 (permalink)
I had the same problem that led me to a sleep clinic. They told me to avoid hot showers before bed, contrary to popular opinion, hot showers raise your core temperature and that is contrary to what you want for sleep. Remember how sleeping is much better in a cool room? Your body likes to cool during sleep. Also, try a simple bowl of cheerios, honey and milk.
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Old 06-19-2003, 01:01 PM   #28 (permalink)
I had a bad episode once. It got so bad that I was worrying about not being able to sleep. and that worry became a pounding in my chest that became a self fulfilling prophecy. urgh...
slept like 3 hours in 4 days. and nothing really worked, until i got so tired that i fell asleep... then that fear went away

But for milder episodes, try,
a) Benadryl, the one that makes you drowsy. My doc told me to try that as an alternative to real sleeping pills.
b)cereal or something that'll give you a sugar high (and that sugar low). hopefully you'll fall asleep during the sugar low.
c)count sheep? heh...
d) don't try to force yourself to sleep. If you can't fall asleep after an hour or so, wake up, read a book (better yet.. read a scientific journal), jerk off...etc... then go back to bed when you feel drowsy again.
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Old 06-22-2003, 12:37 PM   #29 (permalink)
d00d...When I can't sleep I always use the following formula:
Nyquil + 1 hour = Sleepy time
Now I wouldn't do this if you need to wake up within say 6-9 hours...you may oversleep...start off with a little bit and go up...we used this on my nephew when we are at the cabin and since the dust and trees and stuff makes his allergies act up he has trouble sleeping so we gave him about half of the reccomended amount of dosage for his age and he was asleep past noon...I think he woke up at like 1 or 2 PM...LOL...that stuff can be STRONG for some and not as strong for others...but beware...to some people it has been known to be adictive...that's all I can say about sleeping problems...THANX
C'YA ?:-D
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Old 06-28-2003, 04:28 AM   #30 (permalink)
Location: Australia, Perth
I like to have some peppermint tea half an hour before bed. Also reading a book is always helpful. Although i am not sure how well it works for females but sex or masturbating seems to always work for me
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Old 06-30-2003, 09:11 AM   #31 (permalink)
Boy am I horny today
absorbentishe's Avatar
Location: T O L E D O, Toledo!!
I used to use Melatonin, just a half dose at a time, and that would work like a charm, but I'm in the Insomniac club now, and have seen the light.

Tylenol PM if you have a headace, or not works pretty good. But sleep is for mortals...
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Old 07-01-2003, 10:46 AM   #32 (permalink)
Location: Colorado, U.S.A. (mile high)
smoke a joint and have a bottle of wine... (OK, half a joint and one glass of wine.)

May the Force be with you...
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Old 07-02-2003, 12:43 AM   #33 (permalink)
don't ignore this-->
bermuDa's Avatar
Location: CA
smokin bud can make you sleepy, but when you wake up you'll probably feel pretty groggy, not so great for when you have to get up and go to work.

if your circadian rhythm is off, it means you're body wants to sleep at an unusual time... if your having trouble getting sleep altogether, it could be a sleeping disorder. I second rogue's suggestion of a foam mattress top. I just got a true sleeper (www.truesleeper.com, visco-elastic foam developed by NASA, same stuff in the expensive tempur-pedic mattresses) The thing is truly amazing! It's so comfortable I can fall asleep just about anytime. $200 for a queen size 2" thick pad and my futon turned into a cloud.

or have some sex.. that should put you out pretty quick
I am the very model of a moderator gentleman.
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Old 07-02-2003, 12:55 AM   #34 (permalink)
Eccentric insomniac
Slims's Avatar
Location: North Carolina
I once read that you can readjust your body clock about one hour per day.

So there is no real quick fix (as I am finding out). I tried staying up all night so I would sleep all night tonight, but, well, I am awake anyway now.

For me I think the best practical soution is to just get up a little bit earlier each day. I never seem to be able to get to sleep early unless I am already tired.

Good Luck!
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." - Winston Churchill

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible." Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence
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Old 07-02-2003, 05:35 AM   #35 (permalink)
cheese's Avatar
Location: In your bath tub with all your other rubber toys
in my experiance sex dosent work...i end up letting her fall asleep and then i jump on the computer.

try this, no caffeen, or somkes (or any stimulant ) after 6pm, as americans we LIVE off of stimulants. i garuntee you will sleep like a baby if you are a regular soda coffee drinker
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Old 07-04-2003, 07:06 PM   #36 (permalink)
Location: IL
A good technique I use is to wake up at the same time every morning. Even if your still tired. Go take a shower or cup of coffee to wake up. After a few days youll adjust and be able to go to sleep and you will also wake up more refreshed.
It may not work for everyone but that is how I cured my sleeping problem.
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