insomnia

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insomnia

Postby eri » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:59 pm

I have had insomnia for years and years now. In the beginning it was anxiety related & then seemed to take on a life of its own. About five years ago I was dx'd with fibromyalgia & then neuropathy a short while later. Since then, the insomnia has been worse. I have had a sleep study done a few years ago & the results were typical (from what I hear) of fibro patients. I spent most of the night in stages one & two & very little in the later stages & REM sleep. First, the sleep dr. tried to get me to go to counseling. Nevermind that I was having almost no anxiety related symptoms. So I didn't go. Then they said I had some bogus syndrome where you don't get enough sleep b/c you stay up too late. What?! Every paper I could find on this syndrome referenced teenagers or people who worked long past quitting time, neither of which applied to me (not to that extreme anyway).

Having said all that, has anyone actually tried the sleep deprivation therapy Dr. McD suggests in the newsletters? I'm wondering what I would do all night & whether it really works before i try it. I've already tried valerian, chamomile, melatonin, earplugs & eye masks. I also tried a magnesium supplement (Natural Calm). Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?
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Re: insomnia

Postby pinkrose » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:50 pm

Sorry about your insomnia, Eri. While I have not suffered on a long-term basis from insomnia, I do follow Dr. McDougall's advice in regard to limiting the time in bed and I think this helps me to sleep better. :-D

I usually do not go to bed until I am very tired and sleepy and do not sleep more than about four hours. Then I nap for an hour or two during the day. This works very well for me in terms of the quality of sleep...and I think sleeping excessively is a waste of time. :nod:
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Re: insomnia

Postby eri » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:37 pm

Thanks so much for replying pink! I guess my problem is that I'm tired all day anyway b/c of illness related fatigue. I have been trying to stay up later (until 10 or so; I can't seem to make it til 11), but it's hard b/c I'm not a night owl. Also, I find that I have a "window" of sleepiness & if I ignore it, then I can't get to sleep for a couple hours afterward. Do I exploit this & try to stay up late, or go to bed when sleepy but wake up very early? Neither option sounds appealing, but then neither is this incessant insomnia.
Last edited by eri on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: insomnia

Postby pinkrose » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:03 pm

eri wrote:Thanks so much h for replying pink! I guess my problem is that I'm tired all day anyway b/c of illness related fatigue. I have been trying to stay up later (until 10 or so; I can't seem to make it til 11), but it's hard b/c I'm not a night owl. Also, I find that I have a "window" of sleepiness & if I ignore it, then I can't get to sleep for a couple hours afterward. Do I exploit this & try to stay up late, or go to bed when sleepy but wake up very early? Neither option sounds appealing, but then neither is this incessant insomnia.


I rise early and at about the same time every day. It is usually not easy to get up and I do not know if it will ever get easy. However, after drinking some water and green tea, I start to feel quite good. I think having an empty stomach when I go to bed helps both with the sleeping and rising.

So my guess is that if would go to bed when you are sleepy and routinely get up a few (3-5?) hours later that your sleep would improve. Then you may also want to take a nap during the day and set your alarm.

Let us know how you do, Eri!

Oh...and good morning from China and good night to you if you are in the west! Pleasant dreams! :-D
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Re: insomnia

Postby eri » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:52 pm

Yeah the empty stomach does help. I will move my banana ice cream to the afternoon instead of evening.

So going to bed when sleepy is 9-10 for me. 3-5 hours later= 3 a.m. at the latest. OMG :shock: :eek: :shock: Are you kidding! What the *bleep* am I supposed to do at 3 a.m.? LOL Oh well, there is a 50% chance I'd be awake anyway.
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Re: insomnia

Postby blondie » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:30 pm

I've found that I seem to require less sleep since I began this WOE. I usually go to bed around 11:00 and wake up between 3 and 5 am.
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Re: insomnia

Postby serenity » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:07 pm

Are you still having pain?

One of the early symptoms of my hypothyroid when my meds are off is head-to-toe pain. I was complaining about not sleeping well once, and one of the nurses I work with said something about pain doing that. Until that moment, I wasn't even aware I was having pain at night. It's subtle, but it wakes me up and keeps me up. When my meds are right and the pain diminishes, suddenly I'm sleeping fine.

My point being that if the fibro and neuropathy are still causing pain, it might be the root of the problem.
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Re: insomnia

Postby bunsofaluminum » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:46 am

eri wrote:Thanks so much for replying pink! I guess my problem is that I'm tired all day anyway b/c of illness related fatigue. I have been trying to stay up later (until 10 or so; I can't seem to make it til 11), but it's hard b/c I'm not a night owl. Also, I find that I have a "window" of sleepiness & if I ignore it, then I can't get to sleep for a couple hours afterward. Do I exploit this & try to stay up late, or go to bed when sleepy but wake up very early? Neither option sounds appealing, but then neither is this incessant insomnia.


If it were me, because I'm not a night owl, either...I would go to bed when sleepy and get up early. My alarm is set for 5:00 and that's when I get up every day except when I'm sick. Then I sleep in until 6:00. I too have that window of sleepiness. You get past that initial sleepy feeling, and sort of get a second wind...but I don't have the same consequences. If I stay awake past that point, I can go to bed and sleep whenever I do.

I posted here because I had a bout with insomnia last night. I went to bed at 8:30 because I was sleepy. Woke up with night sweats at 1:15 and couldn't get back to sleep until 4:00 :shock: Yeah, it sucked. But I got up at 6 anyway and will put in a day's work.

I wish I had it like ole pinkrose! An hour or two nap in the middle of the day must be mighty nice ;-)

You should try Dr M's protocol for insomnia and see if it works for you.
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Re: insomnia

Postby eri » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:45 am

blondie, i wish! LOL

My point being that if the fibro and neuropathy are still causing pain, it might be the root of the problem.

serenity, you are right. the pain is like background noise now...still there but i try not to think about it. perhaps i'll take a half pain pill tonight.

I wish I had it like ole pinkrose! An hour or two nap in the middle of the day must be mighty nice ;-)

You should try Dr M's protocol for insomnia and see if it works for you.

yes, i think an afternoon nap sounds great. i'm so not a napper, though. i am going to try what dr. m suggests. i really hope it works.
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Re: insomnia

Postby jld » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:25 pm

I'm usually asleep by 9 every night, and up between 3 and 4 a.m. I don't exactly love it, but there are some advantages. Between 3 and 4, I just lie in bed and think about what is planned for that day. Between 4 and 4:30, I get up and work out on the elliptical. By 5:30, dh is up and getting ready for work, and some time before 6 I drive him there. When I get back around 6:20, my little guy is usually awake and wants a cuddle. Time for a shower, and then I make breakfast for all the kids. If it's quiet, I can spend a little time on the computer before really getting going around 8 or so.

This morning I was up at 2:20 when ds3 woke up, and didn't manage to get back to sleep, but I'm not too tired. This WOE really helps with what could otherwise end up in fatigue, I think.

Good luck with all of this. I just wanted you to know you're not the only one who doesn't sleep much.:)

And, btw, how is the fibromyalgia going with this diet?
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Re: insomnia

Postby eri » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:02 pm

^^thanks for asking jld! Unfortunately, the fibro hasn't improved. Perhaps I haven't been on plan long enough. Really though, I'm starting to think it's not fibro after all. Oh well.
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Re: insomnia

Postby AlwaysAgnes » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:08 pm

eri wrote:Thanks so much for replying pink! I guess my problem is that I'm tired all day anyway b/c of illness related fatigue. I have been trying to stay up later (until 10 or so; I can't seem to make it til 11), but it's hard b/c I'm not a night owl. Also, I find that I have a "window" of sleepiness & if I ignore it, then I can't get to sleep for a couple hours afterward. Do I exploit this & try to stay up late, or go to bed when sleepy but wake up very early? Neither option sounds appealing, but then neither is this incessant insomnia.



Go to bed when you're sleepy and wake up very early--with or before the sun. Definitely. There is nothing worse for your health than lack of restful sleep, not even eating lard. :lol: I don't care what anyone says. I've lived it. I rode the insomnia train, and it almost killed me. For the most part, I don't think daytime naps are a very good habit to get into for people like us. Try to push past the fatigue in the daytime as much as possible. Don't nap unless you're so exhausted you can't keep your eyes open. (I've been there, too. Most recently a couple years back--I think it was because I was menopausal and low on iron.) The best painkiller for Fibro I've found is the low fat McDougall type diet. NSAIDS will rot your gut, leading to more problems. I found that the minimum dose amitriptyline (10mg) an hour or so before bedtime got my brain (and body) into a restful sleep state. I think this is fairly common drug therapy prescribed for fibro/insomnia. It's not something I'd want to do forever, and I'm not doing it now, but if I ever find myself stuck on that insomnia train again for days and weeks at a time, and if I think it's the only way to get back on the sleepy bedtime track that will prevent a fibro flare, that's what I'll do. And I won't apologize for it. Your mileage may vary.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Who said that, Ben Franklin?

Try to get some aerobic exercise. An after dinner walk is good. It will help you sleep at night. Reduce stress. Take up yoga. :D Mind the caffeine, especially later in the day. (I found as I got older it bothers me more.)

http://fibromyalgia.ncf.ca/faqmd.htm
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/fac ... yalgia.htm
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Re: insomnia

Postby eri » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:26 pm

Thanks for your reply AA! I agree about the lack of sleep. It is enough to drive me insane. I don't nap & I also don't take NSAIDs. I was actually on McD when I was dx'd & was very strict. Ami/Elavil doesn't work for me...it left me a zombie. So much so that I had to count backwards (by 14) from when I wanted to get up in the a.m. to determine when to take the evening dose. I hope that makes sense. I do try to get a little exercise & I do need to start yoga again. It did calm me down some. Caffeine (or the lack of) doesn't seem to affect me that much, but I still don't drink it after 11 a.m.

I hate to even write all this b/c it makes me sound like I'm discounting everyone's suggestions, but almost nothing has worked for me. When things do work, the effects don't last very long. I really have nothing to lose by staying up all night, huh? *sigh*
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Re: insomnia

Postby eri » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:01 am

Update: So I tried the sleep restriction last night. I think it might actually work. I went to sleep at 11 (very sleepy) and I think I slept ok. I don't recall waking up until 4:30 to use the bathroom. I was wide awake and felt rested, but second guessed myself that it was only b/c I had to go. I laid back down, got up just after 5 & was fine. I should have gotten up then, but I didn't. When I got up at 6:30 it was too late. I felt horrible...tired, sleepy, in pain, aggrivated, brain foggy & all out of sorts. So I will keep this up & see how I do. Hopefully this will be a long-term solution. Thanks for the advice & support!
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Re: insomnia

Postby AlwaysAgnes » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:45 am

eri wrote:Update: So I tried the sleep restriction last night. I think it might actually work. I went to sleep at 11 (very sleepy) and I think I slept ok. I don't recall waking up until 4:30 to use the bathroom. I was wide awake and felt rested, but second guessed myself that it was only b/c I had to go. I laid back down, got up just after 5 & was fine. I should have gotten up then, but I didn't. When I got up at 6:30 it was too late. I felt horrible...tired, sleepy, in pain, aggrivated, brain foggy & all out of sorts. So I will keep this up & see how I do. Hopefully this will be a long-term solution. Thanks for the advice & support!



Good. I hope it works for you. What woke you at 6:30? Pain? Alarm clock?

4:30-5:00 isn't a bad time to get up, especially if you feel rested and alert. You can greet the sun! :D

http://helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm
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