100 lb. Club - Poss OT: sleeping problems




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salsa chip
01-13-2010, 10:44 AM
Hi again everyone :)

First off: thanks to all who helped me out with the pics earlier this week :) You're all marvellous!

I have an ongoing problem to do with my sleep that has sort of got worse since I began losing weight, although I don't think that is directly responsible.

Oftentimes I can't get to sleep until 2 or 3am; when it's bad I drop off at something like 4 or 5am. As a consequence I don't wake up in time to have a good, full day working. Even when I can get myself to sleep at a relatively early time, say between 10.30pm and midnight, I often don't manage to wake up and get up until gone 9am.

For a few weeks I've been trying to sort this out, but I'm at a loss. I don't know if there's any kind of connection between this and my weight loss, but I didn't really know who else to ask :o Do and of you here have some insights or tips which might help me?


nelie
01-13-2010, 10:47 AM
Are you exercising at night? What about your caffeine intake or other stimulants?

It is winter and I do have to say that I had been sleeping a lot more in the past couple months due to that but that is just me.

salsa chip
01-13-2010, 10:51 AM
Are you exercising at night? What about your caffeine intake or other stimulants?

It is winter and I do have to say that I had been sleeping a lot more in the past couple months due to that but that is just me.

I generally don't exercise at night; twice a week I have exercise classes in the evening, which finish at 8pm and 7pm respectively. Water is what I usually drink: tea (with or without milk) is an occasional thing, and coffee, whilst I love it, is very rare.

I've no idea if this is a "winter" thing for me, but I'll ask a couple of friends who might remember. Thanks for the tip :)


thistoo
01-13-2010, 10:51 AM
I have chronic insomnia, and things like Ambien have never helped. I am also a caffeine addict -- you know what a vicious cycle that can be, I'm sure. You'd think with my activity level I'd drop right off at night, but exercise never helped either.

A few months back I started taking Melatonin as sort of a desperate measure, and you know, I am shocked at how much it's helped. Not only am I sleeping through the night regularly for the first time in years, but I'm getting actual *rest* when I sleep.

I started with the recommended dose (3 mg) and it didn't do much for me, so I doubled it on a friend's recommendation and it worked like a charm. I just take two pills half an hour before bed and I'm out pretty easily and sleep through the night.

That might not be the answer for you, but it's worth considering. I buy mine from Vitacost (a website, I also buy my other supplements and protein powder from them and they're awesome) but you can usually find it in any decent health food section/supplement store.

salsa chip
01-13-2010, 10:57 AM
I have chronic insomnia, and things like Ambien have never helped. I am also a caffeine addict -- you know what a vicious cycle that can be, I'm sure. You'd think with my activity level I'd drop right off at night, but exercise never helped either.

A few months back I started taking Melatonin as sort of a desperate measure, and you know, I am shocked at how much it's helped. Not only am I sleeping through the night regularly for the first time in years, but I'm getting actual *rest* when I sleep.

I started with the recommended dose (3 mg) and it didn't do much for me, so I doubled it on a friend's recommendation and it worked like a charm. I just take two pills half an hour before bed and I'm out pretty easily and sleep through the night.

That might not be the answer for you, but it's worth considering. I buy mine from Vitacost (a website, I also buy my other supplements and protein powder from them and they're awesome) but you can usually find it in any decent health food section/supplement store.

Hi thistoo, thanks for your post. My "medicinal" situation is mainly that I'm currently on an anti-depressant. In addition to that I also have some sleeping medication which I don't take every night, but have if I need it.

The problem with that set up is that if it gets to the point - about 2am - where I do need it, then it's too late to take something which will knock me out cold for a solid 8 hours.

With all that going on, I'm not sure it'd be sensible to add melatonin to the mix, but I will ask my doctor. Thanks for the suggestion.

thistoo
01-13-2010, 11:12 AM
With all that going on, I'm not sure it'd be sensible to add melatonin to the mix, but I will ask my doctor. Thanks for the suggestion.

Oh, for sure talk to your doctor. That is never bad advice! I just go around singing the praises of Melatonin because I'm so RELIEVED to be sleeping well for the first time in years. I'm not on any prescription meds currently, however, so I don't have that concern. I will say that I deal with chronic depression as well (and stupidly refuse to medicate because antidepressants have a history of making me gain) but the Melatonin's helped with my moods some.

ChrissyBean
01-13-2010, 11:43 AM
I would second the Melatonin if your doctor gives it the green light (and s/he should. I don't think it's counterindicated at all). It really does help re-set your sleep clock.

salsa chip
01-13-2010, 12:14 PM
Thanks, I will check with my doctor and see. I've just looked up its availability here, and it seems that in small amounts I can get it without a prescription from the pharmacy. I'm generally loathe to take Yet More Pills, but if it's a hormone that needs shoring up in order to help me function better, then I'm willing to consider it.

charlottekelsey
01-13-2010, 12:16 PM
I have had this same problem and am getting over it. Are you hungry at night because of the energy deficit you created? My doctor suggested avoiding the tv, heavy evening exercise and the computer. Going to bed earlier, before your hunger increases may help. If you find that you wake up in the middle of the night several times, try drinking water and going back to bed....I personally developed such an anxiety over the fear of not getting enough sleep that my body got so used to waking up 4-6 times after finally falling asleep. I was prescribed Clonopin (.25 mg, the lowest dose) to help with the anxiety of insomnia...it definitely helped to restart my system. Every now and then I will take it if I'm wired, or a Resoril (15 mg). Sometimes, your body just needs to restart itsself for a few nights but once you know you ARE able to sleep through the night and really believe it, that works better than anything. Yoga is great as well at night. Long, hot baths, etc. good luck...i know how hard it can be.

salsa chip
01-13-2010, 12:50 PM
I have had this same problem and am getting over it. Are you hungry at night because of the energy deficit you created? My doctor suggested avoiding the tv, heavy evening exercise and the computer. Going to bed earlier, before your hunger increases may help. If you find that you wake up in the middle of the night several times, try drinking water and going back to bed....I personally developed such an anxiety over the fear of not getting enough sleep that my body got so used to waking up 4-6 times after finally falling asleep. I was prescribed Clonopin (.25 mg, the lowest dose) to help with the anxiety of insomnia...it definitely helped to restart my system. Every now and then I will take it if I'm wired, or a Resoril (15 mg). Sometimes, your body just needs to restart itsself for a few nights but once you know you ARE able to sleep through the night and really believe it, that works better than anything. Yoga is great as well at night. Long, hot baths, etc. good luck...i know how hard it can be.

Thanks so much. It really does suck, having my rhythm so completely out of whack and not being able to get anything done as a result. It's beginning to affect my mood and I'm worried that if I don't do something to actively try and counteract it I'll slip back into a depression as I was before I started taking anti-depressants. Going back there is pretty scary.

dragonwoman64
01-13-2010, 02:54 PM
this may be helpful or not, but I'll throw it out there (before I go downstairs to finish working then go to the gym)

I give myself a couple of hours before I actually go to sleep to wind down (I read, or watch tv). I actually exercise sometimes right before I go to sleep, but that doesn't seem to affect me.

chamomile tea tends to really relax me, I'll drink that in the evening (warm milk can have the same effect)

counting backwards from one hundred, when I get down to a low number, I go back and count down from 100 again (this empties my brain and lets me relax). this may sound silly, but I've done it lots of times and it has helped me.

if I really can't get to sleep, I get up and either read for a while, or do a cross word puzzle.

I've also read to keep the sleep area/bedroom, actually The Bed for sleep purposes only, i.e., don't do work while you're on the bed, or job type stuff (so many jokes that can come out of the way I put that, but I think you get my drift).

if there's something with meds or physical, of course, that's a different animal to deal with.

good luck, and happy dreaming!

PeanutsMom704
01-13-2010, 03:15 PM
you may want to google "sleep hygiene" - there is a lot of good info out there that may be able to help you improve your sleeping habits. You probably know and have tried a lot of them, but just like starting a new diet - chances are you'll look at at least some of them and think "oh, yeah, I guess I haven't actually been doing that lately...."

salsa chip
01-16-2010, 01:32 AM
Thanks all for your suggestions and comments. I thought I'd post an update :)

I decided to be strict with myself and fix an absolute waking-up time of 5.30am. This goes for weekdays and weekends. Most of my friends think this is abnormally early, but then I'm someone who likes having the whole morning with which to do stuff, and I've always had some monastic tendencies ;)

This comes with the consequence that I have to get myself to bed on time. I still don't know exactly how much sleep my body needs a night (which is ridiculous, really, I'm a fully-grown adult and should have figured this out by now, but better late than never, huh?), so if I fix one end at 5.30am, I can fiddle with the other end to see what works best.

Today is the third day of my new pattern. On Thursday it went well and I was able to function all day pretty well. Friday was not so good: I didn't get to bed at a sensible time, Wed-Thurs I didn't get a lot of sleep (because I kick-started on Thur morning), and so after waking up and turning off my various alarm clocks I promptly went back to sleep...and woke up so late I missed my appointment with my PT :(

(On the other hand, the scale said 207 yesterday, first time since somewhere in early November, and I had a rollicking time in the evening with a gf at the movies, so yesterday was not a bad day on the whole :) )

Today I woke up at 5.30 and am now (nearly two hours later) gradually getting into the swing of chores and the like. I've made my bed so the tendency to duck back under the duvet has been minimised :cool: The plan is to get to sleep at around 10.30 - 11pm tonight; I figure that if I can stick to this for a week then I'll have a better idea of how much sleep I need, and my body can have some kind of stability and constancy in how much rest it's getting.

I do appreciate all your suggestions, especially as regards the melatonin. But before I go to the doc again (she's been seeing an awful lot of me over the past few months! :barf: ) I'd like to try establishing a solid rhythm and see how my body responds to that before reaching for yet another pill to take.

No offence intended to people who for whatever reason take lots of medication, for whatever reason! Everyone's different, and I'd like just to see how much progress I can make by applying some no-nonsense common sense...if I still have problems in a month or so, I'll get my backside to the doc's - and at least then I can say I've done everything I can to solve the problem myself.

DCHound
01-16-2010, 09:43 AM
I have been on Melatonin since 1996 and I cannot sleep without it. I also take dyphenhydramine (generic benadryl) on nights when I'm having trouble staying asleep. Dyphenhydramine is the ingredient in Tylenol PM and Simply Sleep that makes you sleepy...if you buy it labelled like that it's expensive. But you can go to Costco, etc., and buy giant bottles of generic dyphenhydramine for CHEAP.

thistoo
01-16-2010, 09:56 AM
Salsa, it sounds like you've got a great plan in place! I wish you luck figuring out the right balance for you, but it sounds like you're already on your way.

My problem is *staying* asleep once I get there, so melatonin helps a lot with that. For you it might not be the right answer at all. Taking more pills is never fun, I agree, and I always avoid it if I can too.