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Old 09-29-2011, 10:58 AM   #1  
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Default Cutting way down on alcohol/sleep issues

Hi all,

So for past few years I have had two glasses of red wine at night, the second one usually about half an hour before bed. I have decided that is way too much sugar right before bed, and, in fact, alcohol is probably the biggest hurdle I need to get over in order to have successful weight loss in my calorie counting regimen. I my goal is to consume 0-1 glasses, just at dinner, but for the past few days, that has left me with some sleeping issues. How do you all deal with anxious feelings/sleep issues/being able to relax without a nightcap? I have sleepy teas, mineral waters, magnesium powder for my water, calming movies to watch and books to read, and a man to rub my neck, but I was hoping you all could give me some wine alternatives and/or methods you use to get sleepy at night. Thank you in advance for you input - you guys are great!

-Jessica
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:01 AM   #2  
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Are you exercising? That will help!
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:25 AM   #3  
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I have had just the opposite effect. When I don't drink, I sleep WAY better than when I do. But, I agree, alcohol consumption is also my biggest hurdle to conquer if I am going to be successful with my weight loss long term and I have not been able to conquer it yet.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:29 AM   #4  
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I find that a hard workout does the trick for me, I sleep much better. I don't sleep well when I drink. I toss and turn.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:24 PM   #5  
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If I drink before bed my heart pounds and keeps me awake!

I think, like the others, rigorous exercise during the day works really well.

Reading doesn't make you tired and ready for bed?? It always does the trick for me.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:33 PM   #6  
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Oh, another thing sleep experts will tell you is to only sleep in your bed. You should not read in your bed, watch TV in your bed, etc. Bad is for sleeping. The room should be inviting to sleep - dark and soothing. It trains your body to want to sleep when it hits the pillow.

If you watch TV, eat, read in bed - move it to another room.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:55 PM   #7  
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I have this problem too. I do sometimes take a sleep aid (xanax) but not too often because I don't want to create a new dependency!

I have found though that the first several days without the nightcap are the hardest, but then your body starts to get used to it and sleeping becomes easier (and better!). Have some sleepy tea and read some Proust and eventually you'll get to sleep.

My suspicion is that difficulty sleeping is just one more consequence of decreasing alcohol use. Your body needs to re-adjust.

Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:39 PM   #8  
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Do you drink coffee? How late is your last cup?
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:18 PM   #9  
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Your body just needs to get used to the change. I would recommend having half a glass for dinner and maybe a glass of water? Or what ever your non-alcoholic beverage of choice is.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:46 PM   #10  
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I have not been able to fall asleep on my own since high school. I don't know why... I think it's just in my blood to be a stay up late/get up late person (my whole family is like this) - but obviously I can't just do that when I have a job/classes.
I take a melatonin at night to help me fall asleep. You can find them in the vitamin/supplements section - they come in different dosages. You could try that if you want.. and it's not like they're actual sleeping pills to become dependent on. Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:51 PM   #11  
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Melatonin is fantastic.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:59 AM   #12  
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Darkness therapy works a treat for me. It's a bit like taking melatonin, only instead of tyring to get artificial melatonin to work after it's been through the digestive system, you're getting your body to produce its own melatonin instead. The business about using a computer or TV before bed ties in here, go and google darkness therapy to find out how it works.

Valerian capsules are good too. The dosage is much higher than anything you'll get in a tea. I don't drink alcohol and never have, but as well as using it for sleep, I found valerian quite useful for jitteriness and anxiety I experienced after stopping a course of codeine last year (and thank you to the doctor who helpfully told me that oh no, codeine isn't addictive).
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:06 AM   #13  
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Exercise as others have said. A vigorous cardio workout with weights will help tire you by the end of the day.

Try Camomile tea or other herbal teas. I totally cut out alcohol because it was making me have less sleep and less deep sleep. I also felt like crap the next day and then ate like a pig because alcohol will increase your appetite , plus dehydrate you.

Take a long hot bath with lavender which is very relaxing. Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:02 PM   #14  
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Thanks so much, everyone! To answer (I hope) everything: I have only incorporated light exercise, so I should step it up to more rigorous exercise. My last cup of coffee is at about 10 or 11am, so I don't think caffine is the issue. I do enjoy sleepy tea, and I have sleepy time extra with valerian, but I will look for the capsules, since they are a higher dose. I used to use the chewable melatonin capsules from Trader Joes, and I'm not sure why I stopped, so I'll pick those up. I don't have a tv in my bedroom, but I do read in bed. I used to read this really boring world dictionary in college (not really reading for fun), to put me to sleep, and it really worked; I might pull that out. But, as you guys noted, the first few days have been rough re: getting to sleep. My body will get used to the new regimen, and I'm sure in a few weeks, I'll be used to my tea, etc., and I'll sleep better (and be a little thinner!)

Cheers, folks, and good luck!

Last edited by Jessica Committed; 10-01-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:05 PM   #15  
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Ah, and lavender! My fiance's mother bought me some lavender pillow spray! I'll be using that as well.
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