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Volksrodden
Volksrodden Dork
11/17/11 7:52 a.m.

Being in college full time and working part time makes for a busy life for me. Although keeping my self busy all the time I find my self lacking one of the most sought after things one could want,...sleep. Some nights it can take up to 4 hours just to fall a sleep, this is even after a creative work-out ;) I really do not feel like abusing my liver enough to pass out, so drinking is not some thing I would not want to do. With that being said, I really do not want to take any meds for this.

What does the GRM brain trust say?

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
11/17/11 8:06 a.m.

How much coffee/caffeine (tea, cola, "energy shots", ANYTHING) are you drinking, and when?

stumpmj
stumpmj Dork
11/17/11 8:16 a.m.

Good luck. My issues seem to stem from a lack of excercise combined with being an extremely light sleeper (even if I fall asleep I don't stay asleep). Eliminate all caffeine. Try eating and try not eating before going to bed (not eating helps me). Excercise regularly a few hours before hitting the sack.

chuckles
chuckles Reader
11/17/11 8:24 a.m.

Drinking will only make it worse so you're not missing anything there. You might try melatonin which is an inexpensive nutrient, not a drug, available in health food stores.

mndsm
mndsm SuperDork
11/17/11 8:32 a.m.

Lifetime sufferer. Mines due partially to chronic pain and migraines (Im a fun one. Played kinect on Saturday and just today I'm feeling better.) I've been on sleep meds, off sleep meds, on anything else you can imagine. The only solid way I have found is to wear myself down to the point of almost dead standing, and drop a couple unisom or something.

integraguy
integraguy SuperDork
11/17/11 9:21 a.m.

Honestly? I am using one of those "PM" pain relievers to get to sleep. The downside? The one I'm using now warns it can cause liver damage and it leaves me in a stupor the next day. Sort of like it makes you sleep for 6-8 hours but leaves you tired for almost 24. So good choice not going with meds or alcohol.

IF, you are going to try eating before bed, try something like a turkey sandwich. I know there are supposed to be other foods that put you to sleep, but that's the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

Caffeine can be found in the strangest places, not just coffee or tea, but also chocolate and any sodas that use a cocoa derivation. Besure to check cans/bottles before drinking. And if you "use" caffeine, stop at least 8 hours before bedtime.

Finally, when all else fails for me, I put on music (the same exact music) every night. I think it starts your brain to stop thinking about what you have been doing all day. Volume should be loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to keep you awake or to hear it when it stops.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo SuperDork
11/17/11 9:27 a.m.

I used to have trouble getting to sleep. I actuall found that having a caffeinated drink before bed does nothing to effect me. I meditate and end up asleep. If nothing else, its relaxing.

jamscal
jamscal Dork
11/17/11 9:37 a.m.

Propofal

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 SuperDork
11/17/11 9:42 a.m.

Trouble getting to sleep? I can't imagine what that must be like. During the school year, we put the kids to bed around 8:30. There are nights when I'm in bed by 9 pm, and asleep by 9:05. Ahhhhhh!

My advice would be to have kids. If that is not convenient at this point in your life, try this:

1) No caffeine after noon. None.
2) Exercise. The benefits of an hour of vigorous exercise cannot be understated. It rocks.
3) Go easy on the alcohol. Even two beers will mess up my sleep, but you young guys can probably tolerate more, but not a lot more. Be sure there's at least a few days during the week that you drink absolutely NO alcohol.
4) Don't worry, be happy. Live a good honest life. Do right by people. Guiltless people sleep better.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy Dork
11/17/11 9:51 a.m.

Probably the biggest thing for me is psychological. I used to get pissed off when I can't sleep, which just makes it worse. Now, I either lay there and try not to think too deeply about projects, or I get up and watch an episode of Top Gear or Rockford Files on the DVR. I very seldom make it all the way through an episode, and my couch is almost as comfortable as my bed, anyway.

Xceler8x
Xceler8x SuperDork
11/17/11 10:02 a.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: Probably the biggest thing for me is psychological. I used to get pissed off when I can't sleep, which just makes it worse. Now, I either lay there and try not to think too deeply about projects, or I get up and watch an episode of Top Gear or Rockford Files on the DVR. I very seldom make it all the way through an episode, and my couch is almost as comfortable as my bed, anyway.

I second this. Getting upset about not sleeping is a vicious cycle.

If I can't sleep I get up, get over it, and then go do something else. Most times it's watching Top Gear as BBC shows don't yell at you or flip to commercials yelling at you like American TV will.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve SuperDork
11/17/11 10:11 a.m.

Long time sufferer. Routine is the best medicine. Try to go to sleep the same time every day, and set an alarm and get up the same time. Sleeping in on the weekends sounds like a great way to "recharge" (and it does) but it also messes with your rhythms.

Caffeine is a no-no, try to eliminate it as much as you can.

Be "finished" when you go to bed. If you are in the middle of a project, or worried about something being unfinished, or just watched American Horror Story, it is hard to turn it off and fall asleep. Choose a point when you will be "done" for the evening, get to it, and then stop. Feel good that you have stopped, and confident that you will continue later. It will allow you to relax and fall asleep.

Finally, light discipline. Your body knows it is time for sleep when it has been dark a while. Staying indoors with all the lights on and the TV on will fool your body. Get it dark an hour before bed. Read a boring book by candlelight and see how long you last. (I recommend anything about economics)

02Pilot
02Pilot Reader
11/17/11 10:25 a.m.

A few random things that seem to help me:

  • Hydration. I wake up in the middle of the night if I'm not sufficiently hydrated. I drink a ton of water during the day, but tend to taper off at night if I don't think about it. My well water has a lot of magnesium, which tends to promote sleep. On a related note, a glass of Gatorade around two or three hours before bed seems to help a lot as well.

  • A glass of wine and some carbs works wonders. I teach a late class this semester, and getting home at 2200 makes getting to sleep difficult sometimes. A little wine and a small dish of pasta with garlic and oil makes things much easier.

  • Turning off the TV and picking up a book makes it easier. TV just ends up keeping me attentive and at least semi-alert; reading helps to distract my mind.

  • Regular exercise. I do a fair bit of cycling as long as the weather allows. Once winter hits I just want to hibernate, but if I don't force myself out my sleep suffers. (I can't stomach indoor exercise.)

mtn
mtn SuperDork
11/17/11 10:32 a.m.

Cut out TV, Computer, cell phone, etc. 30 minutes before you go to bed (not sleep, bed). Don't do anything on your bed except for sleep and sex. No Caffeine after 10:00AM, no more than 2 cups. No more than 1-2 drinks of alcohol. Stay hydrated. Read a book.

YMMV

HiTempguy
HiTempguy SuperDork
11/17/11 12:56 p.m.

There was a HUGE thread on melatonin on our local car forum. Seems like it should be the ticket, you should definitely check it out.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
11/17/11 2:18 p.m.

My problem is my brain won't shut down. My Chiro turned me on to a homeopathic medication called Neurexan. Recommended dosage is two; I usually just take one and it does the trick. Unlike with Sominex, I don't have trouble waking up the next morning. I also imagine it won't damage my internal organs. Not sure if you can get it at health food stores or not.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
11/17/11 2:20 p.m.

Relax.

procainestart
procainestart Dork
11/17/11 2:34 p.m.
N Sperlo wrote: I meditate and end up asleep. If nothing else, its relaxing.

meditation + exercise + regular bedtime/wake-up time + no afternoon caffeine = sweet dreams

Also, google sleep hygiene.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 SuperDork
11/17/11 2:44 p.m.
ddavidv wrote: My problem is my brain won't shut down. My Chiro turned me on to a homeopathic medication called Neurexan.

Isn't that just like those crazy chiropractors to try to turn you gay!

chuckles
chuckles Reader
11/17/11 3:16 p.m.
HiTempguy wrote: There was a HUGE thread on melatonin on our local car forum. Seems like it should be the ticket, you should definitely check it out.

This may be of help to the OP because, in my experience at least, it helps me fall asleep quickly. I still wake up too frequently after about 4 hours, but if you're having trouble falling asleep, I'm pretty sure it won't hurt you. No morning effects on me. FWIW.

Volksrodden
Volksrodden Dork
11/18/11 10:39 p.m.

Thanks for all the info, definitely looking into the trucky sandwich and wine, btw it is very rare if I have more then two of any drink. I will also be looking into some medation as well.

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Reader
11/18/11 10:50 p.m.
integraguy wrote: Honestly? I am using one of those "PM" pain relievers to get to sleep. The downside? The one I'm using now warns it can cause liver damage and it leaves me in a stupor the next day. Sort of like it makes you sleep for 6-8 hours but leaves you tired for almost 24. So good choice not going with meds or alcohol. Integraguy said the above. Below is my response to that. I'm too sleepy to figure out how to format this correctly. The ingredient in th PM pain relievers that helps you sleep in diphenhydramine,name brand is Benadryl. You can take it by itself with no concerns of liver damage. Melatonin does work well for lots of folks. It & diphenhydramine are both cheap & you should be able to get both at any pharmacy.
OrangeAlpine
OrangeAlpine New Reader
11/19/11 8:16 p.m.

Benadryl is the stuff in the PM pain relievers that encourages sleep. It does not harm your body, the pain relievers do. I take two (generic) a night. Works great and does not have side effects.

Lately, I've tried "Nighty Night" tea. Also seems to work.

Bill

Ian F
Ian F SuperDork
11/19/11 9:13 p.m.

My alarm goes off at 4am and if I'm lucky I get to bed before midnight... insomnia is not a problem I have...

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
11/19/11 11:22 p.m.

Hi Sonia, I'm Mike. It's a pleasure to meet you. I should probably go to sleep now.

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