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Thread: Has Anyone Conquered Insomnia? page 9

  1. #81
    Urban Forager's Avatar
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    I think I've conquered insomnia. It used to be if I woke in the night (which was often) I would have a really hard time going back to sleep. For me magnesium made all the difference. One thing I noticed was that if I eat an earlier or a lighter dinner and stay up a little later I get hungry and will have to eat before I go to bed. I've found having something with fat helps me sleep, like warm coconut milk or cream. If I go to bed hungry I will wake in the night and have to eat something, but then I go right back to sleep. My husband and I are amazed that I am sleeping so well I never thought I would become a good sleeper.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euphoric View Post
    Ouch. Well, the only thing left that comes to mind at the moment... I recall reading about a group of Taoists who made it a habit to go to bed when they weren't tired, often napping throughout the day. Surely they used some kind of relaxation and / or meditation methods to get down to that, but perhaps you could try? The idea behind it, supposedly, was that they were priming themselves to go to bed when they felt like it, so they never had to go to bed when they were tired, because they never were.
    Much better night last night, no real idea why. And sometimes meditation or positive self-talk DOES work for me. Just telling myself how comfortable my bed is, and that I feel just like a kid, and it works. And sometimes not.<G>
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    Kate

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  3. #83
    Kate Ruckman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Forager View Post
    I think I've conquered insomnia. It used to be if I woke in the night (which was often) I would have a really hard time going back to sleep. For me magnesium made all the difference. One thing I noticed was that if I eat an earlier or a lighter dinner and stay up a little later I get hungry and will have to eat before I go to bed. I've found having something with fat helps me sleep, like warm coconut milk or cream. If I go to bed hungry I will wake in the night and have to eat something, but then I go right back to sleep. My husband and I are amazed that I am sleeping so well I never thought I would become a good sleeper.
    Oh that's nice! I don't get hungry often, and normally fast between dinner and almost noon the next day 'cause I'm just not hungry. Warm milk HAS helped me in the past, maybe I need to buy some!
    Best--
    Kate

    Still Craving Pterodactyl--my Primal Blueprint blog

    70 is the new 50--without the hot flashes!

    Goals: Feel good, be stronger, and hopefully kick that arthritis in the backside! Oh, yeah, and losing more weight would be okay, too.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    In our search to figure out what the heck is going on with my husband (and occasionally me), one of the things that's been on the radar is histamine intolerance. One of the symptoms (among many others, especially low blood pressure) is sleep disturbance. If you've got trouble sleeping AND you have some of the other symptoms, this could be something to check out.

    Histamine intolerance
    Interesting! I wonder if that's why Benadryl, an antihistamine, helps. Neither of us have low blood pressure, though...mine's back to normal, J's is borderline high.
    Best--
    Kate

    Still Craving Pterodactyl--my Primal Blueprint blog

    70 is the new 50--without the hot flashes!

    Goals: Feel good, be stronger, and hopefully kick that arthritis in the backside! Oh, yeah, and losing more weight would be okay, too.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kate Ruckman View Post
    Interesting! I wonder if that's why Benadryl, an antihistamine, helps. Neither of us have low blood pressure, though...mine's back to normal, J's is borderline high.
    Didn't notice til now that this thread got bumped back up to the top again! I am better than I was when I originally started it, although I honestly am not sure exactly why. It is still a mystery to me why my sleep went from mediocre to horrible when I switched to a paleo diet. The biggest changes were dropping all grains and industrial oils, which of course also meant dropping nearly all processed foods. Did this mean that I filled in with foods that tended to be higher in histamines? It is a possibility. The main thing that prevented me from doing a conclusive N=1 experiment is the fact that there is no definitive "high histamine foods" list. I started compiling a list and soon added nearly every fruit, vegetable, nut, meat and dairy item to the list - - they are all listed on one "high histamine" list or another!

    I tried every conceivable combination of melatonin, benadryl, unisom, magnesium, and an assortment of herbs, and it did nothing at all during the worst of my insomnia (nor did any combination of actions like hot bath, warm milk, no tv, blackout curtains, etc.). I finally went to a naturopath who gave me serenagen and magnesium glycinate (instead of the Natural Calm type), which I took with a benadryl (did not work without). I also dropped my hormonal birth control. I would say that took me from 1/8-1/4 normal up to about 1/2, but I can't say exactly which helped the most. Overall though, better, but still not good enough! So I've been going to a regular primary care doctor who has run every test under the sun. The only thing he's seeing is slightly elevated liver function levels. And he did give me a prescription for ambien 5mg to try out, because he thought the long-term bendryl use could be leaving me under a constant groggy bendryl haze - - like maybe it's not all the way out of your system after 8-10 hours. The prescription says take 1-2 but I've only been taking 1, and I do feel a little better yet ... like maybe up to 3/4 tank? But still not 100%, still often waking up, and still having to take pills to sleep. I'm not happy about taking a prescription pill like Ambien, even a small dose, but sleep deprivation for long enough will make you pretty desperate!!
    Last edited by KimInGA; 10-19-2012 at 10:49 AM.

  6. #86
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    Ugh, Ambien. I have horrible anxiety getting to sleep and tried Ambien. Once. That was all it took. I got trapped in a miserable nightmare dreamscape. I did find that Ativan worked better - it's an anxiolytic, so works for calming my brain and body down a little. Most sleep-aids just force sleep, which usually leaves me wide-awake at 3am. But ... I don't like taking prescription drugs so only took Ativan for a month, many years ago. Now, I rely on thinking really pleasant thoughts and making my bed as comfy as possible. I would also highly recommend one of those full-body pillows. They are so awesome and help with me getting back to sleep when I wake up in the early am hours.

  7. #87
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    I was having some success with 5-HTP and GABBA, but I would some trouble going back to sleeep if woken in the middle of the night. I also tried melatonin. It did make me sleepy, but it also made me feel kind of paranoid, and I kept thinking someone was in the apartment every time I started to drift off, so I stopped taking it. I still often take GABBA before bed.

    Then I became a single mom of a 2 year old and a 4 year old. Single motherhood cures insomnia. It's a miracle.
    Last edited by Periwinkle; 10-19-2012 at 12:31 PM. Reason: typo
    It's just another day in paradise
    As you stumble to your bed
    You'd give anything to silence
    Those voices ringing in your head
    You thought you could find happiness
    Just over that green hill
    You thought you would be satisfied
    But you never will-
    Learn to be still
    -The Eagles

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kate Ruckman View Post
    Much better night last night, no real idea why. And sometimes meditation or positive self-talk DOES work for me. Just telling myself how comfortable my bed is, and that I feel just like a kid, and it works. And sometimes not.<G>
    I can't find the video right now, but an Esther/Abraham Hicks video I once saw suggested that before you do anything, to think about it going well. So, for example, when you wake up, think of how great a day you are going to have (nothing specific, just stick to emotion). When you get ready for work, think of how wonderful your commute will be, etc... So, in this case, do the same prior to bed, think about how restful you'll feel, how much energy you'll have waking up, etc...

    See if it works for you, doesn't work for everyone, but hey, worth a shot?

  9. #89
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    Kim, I was listening to a Chris Kresser podcast recently regarding sleep. He seemed to suggest that for many, the original cause of insomnia gets corrected early on, yet the problem persists. He attributed this to sleep anxiety.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickh View Post
    Kim, I was listening to a Chris Kresser podcast recently regarding sleep. He seemed to suggest that for many, the original cause of insomnia gets corrected early on, yet the problem persists. He attributed this to sleep anxiety.
    To a degree I can see this. I know that I can keep myself awake if I think hard enough, so I can easily imagine people getting into a terrible endless loop of being so anxious about not falling asleep that they can't fall asleep. On the other hand, insomnia can definitely have a physical cause. Imagine that someone hooked you up to an IV of straight caffeine and then told you to go to sleep. That is exactly what it felt like for me. My body was extremely tired, but it felt like a chemical stimulant was coursing through every vein. Cortisol disregulation seems likely (not reversed, but rather high ALL the time), although that's a symptom and still leaves the underlying case TBD. Who knows. Still a work in progress. I'm doing better but still getting only 6 hours during the week, maybe 7 hours on the weekend, and always feeling like I really needed more. Annoying!

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