Last reply 11 months ago
Sleepless in KC, USA

I am ready to pull my hair out! (What I have left). I just can’t sleep. I’m taking benadryl, but it does nothing! My sleep hygiene is poor – but when you need all sorts of devices to help with strange symptoms, have to pee constantly, and have pets that need something constantly (a diabetic, Cushings dog, and a puppy) – sleeping can be elusive! But those interruptions aren’t what keep me from ever falling asleep in the first place! They only explain my poor habits.

I just wonder what keeps my body and brain on “go” for so many days – then I’ll have a night when I’ll sleep an hour or two at a time, (a victory) and feel groggy. I’m exhausted, but not sleepy and relaxed. It’s literally driving me mad! This week, I’ve only slept enough to add up to one nights sleep. That can’t be good! I feel absolutely awful in every way! Help!!!

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annie13
11 months ago

Hi @bok2bjan
you poor thing, that sounds awful. You’re right, not getting enough sleep is not good. We need sleep to allow our bodies heal. I’m not sure if I can offer you any groundbreaking advice here, but have you tried mindfulness meditation to try slow down and relax your mind. It really helps me relax when my mind is running non-stop. Again, sorry I can’t help more. Hopefully others have some more useful suggestions! Fingers crossed you can get some zzzzz’s


nicecupoftea
11 months ago

Hi @bok2bjan it sounds like this is a regular issue for you rather than just once in a while, is that the case? I have had periods of just not being able to fall asleep as well and it is just horrible 🙁 I am sure you will already know a lot of what I am going to say so I apologise if I give you nothing new but this is from my own experience following poor sleep hygiene, immense ongoing stress, and periods of insomnia. To have the best chance of being able to sleep better…

Maintaining a reasonably constant routine is really important, go to bed and get up at the same time every day – that is going to be really hard until you get into a rhythm but I don’t know any good way around it I’m afraid, you will feel really tired until it settles. It can help to make a little ritual that you do every evening and morning (like hot milky drink or mindfulness which, unless you already do it, can take a while to get into as well). Don’t use bed for anything other than sleep or other nocturnal activity. Don’t use a screen for an hour before bed because the blue light inhibits your melatonin production, do something relaxing for that hour – listen to a story, read (if on a device, use one without a back light), washing up, whatever it is that lowers your cortisol levels, if you really can’t do without the screen at least use a red filter. Sleep also depends on what has happened and what you have eaten in the day – spend some time in the sun in the day (helps with melatonin regulation), don’t eat right before bedtime, no caffeine for 4 hours before bedtime, keep your bedroom relatively cool.

Production of melatonin (the thing that makes us fall asleep) and cortisol (the thing that makes us wakeful) control our sleeping patterns and depend on light exposure and excitation activity (doing stuff, eating, stress). Reducing stress, particularly lingering stresses in the evening, is really important. If you feel like your brain just won’t switch off it may be that you are continuing to stress over things while you are trying to relax, that would mean your cortisol levels are still high in the evening and then you just will not be able to sleep, what do you do to put your worries aside in the evening?

It is the cumulative effect of all of these things put together that impacts on the ability to fall asleep, and they will all take a little while to take effect because it will take a while for your body to acclimatise to the new routine.

As for the bladder issue – again, apologies if you have already tried everything, but I am aware of medication and self-catherisation that might help this? Someone else will know more about that than me!

I hope you are able to sleep better! xx


stumbler
11 months ago

@bok2bjan , this article goes into sleep issues, so might offer something useful:-

https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/sleep


simone2
11 months ago

Hi, I take cannabis high in CBD at night to help me sleep and for pain.


potter
11 months ago

I went through a period like that, I bought a sound machine and would try to clear my head and just listen to the white noise until I fell asleep. The first one I bought was a under the pillow type so it wouldn’t bother my husband. I didn’t last very long so when I was shopping for a new one my husband told me to buy the regular night stand type the white noise helps him sleep. We make sure we take it on vacation now. I bought some 5mg Melatonin but never got around to using it. On Dr. Oz they said not to use higher than 5mg of Melatonin and only use it for 2 week periods. Hope this helps. Potter ( Wichita, KS)


merfield
11 months ago

I was told by 2 different doctors to try a couple of Phenegen tablets (anti allergy tablets ). It works !! For me anyway. Trouble is you get in a pattern of not sleeping, then you dread going to bed. Vicicious circle. I consciously relax muscles too. I’m sooooo sorry you’re having this problem so I hope you find some help on shift….xx


bok2bjan
11 months ago

Thanks so much for the replies. Last night, well, morning – I finally fell asleep at 4:30am! That is just absurd! I did sleep off and on till 8:30 or so – but that’s just not enough! I’m not stressed about anything – well, except my miserable body. I have sensations in my torso, arms, and at times legs, that is a type of rls. If I don’t have something that vibrates on me (or under me) I literally can’t stand it. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Pain meds work, but I just don’t want to go back on those – took myself off around 6 months ago. I took them for my spinal stenosis, but they just don’t work for chronic pain.

My hips and back hurt, my leg feels like a swollen 500lb albatros, and when this is going on, my blood pressure and heart rate are up – but it’s not from stress – it’s something physical – like a “biorhythm” thing? I can’t begin to relax at that point! I do take benadryl, (@merfield) but my body laughs at benadryl!

I do need to try the ether scheduled sleep patterns – it’s just really messed up the last several months. I’d say I’ve been a bad sleeper for many years – but I haven’t been just lying in bed awake and miserable all night – often ALL NIGHT! @stumbler, I’ll look at that article – thanks. @annie13 – I definitely want to get my sleep hygiene back in shape. And @potter – I do love the white noise – got that going on, lol! And I have to have a fan going – for that reason. Plus I tend to get hot – even though my home is frigid in winter!

@simone2 – I would do that – but I had a poor response when I tried it about a year ago. @nicecupoftea – what a nice idea (your user name) – many of your suggestions are things that I need to work on. Yes, I know those things – but it does get hard to get back into healthy patterns. I think especially when living alone. So I do appreciate your advice. I’m very thankful you guys chimed in. It’s around midnight and I am doing this! Hmmm. And my hand went numb. So I’ll stop my chatter. Thank you all!!! I’ll let you know when this improves – thinking positive!


bok2bjan
11 months ago

Announcement, lol. I got several hours of sleep last night! It may have been in several short segments – but I’m so thankful! I can’t imagine sleeping 8 hours through the night – sounds amazingly awesome! Sleep is incredible 😆

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