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Perimenopause 3am insomnia


Barb_
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My whole life I've been the type to fall asleep when I hit the pillow and stay that way until I wake up. For the past couple of years, I've been waking around 3-3:30am. Not every day thank goodness, but it's a cycle. If I try to go back to sleep I'm restless and feel wide awake. But if I try to get up and move around my brain is foggy until around 5:30 or 6.

 

Any ideas if how to relax back into sleep? I take melatonin most nights. I've noticed if I drink a glass of wine too late it can disrupt my sleep so I try to have it earlier while making/eating dinner. Progesterone cream used to help if I used it every day but I've noticed nothing is working anymore.

 

It's part hormones, part stress I'm pretty sure.

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I think it's pretty typical.  What helps me is to not waste much time lying in bed, because something about lying in bed in the middle of the night suddenly makes every problem feel insurmountable, and then there's no sleeping for sure!  If I'm not back asleep in 10 minutes, I get up, maybe make myself some warm milk, and read a book or go on my computer for a bit while tucked under a blanket on the living room couch (nothing that takes too much brain power though).

 

Doing that calms the part of my brain that was keeping me awake, and usually within the hour I'm ready to go back to sleep again quite easily.

 

It happens to me in cycles too.  I'll go a month or two sleeping great and then suddenly I'll have a week when this happens.

 

 

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try splitting your melatonin in half and leaving half on the nightstand - when you wake up, take the 2nd half 

magnesium at bed time 

 

do you take an essential fatty acid supplement? I think that supplementing Omega 3 has been shown to help as well. 

if it's stressy type stuff, l-theanine at bedtime can also help. 

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Wow I don't know whether to feel relieved I'm not the only one or discouraged for all of us.

 

I'm afraid to get up because the dog will start whining in her kennel and she'll wake the downstairs sleeping people. I usually get on my phone and post here or look at cute animal photos on Reddit :D

 

I found the thread about the poor girl with anxiety attacks and racing heart and picked up some advice there too. I have to take kids to CC and pick up my van from the shop. I'll come back later.

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It happens to me regularly too.  Recently I have also noticed I am hot when I wake up.  I usually go to the kitchen and just check fb or read a bit and then go back to bed.  Normally I can fall back to sleep within 30 min (which is my normal amount of time to fall asleep).  There are days though that nothing helps but luckily those have been the exception and not the rule.

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This is going to sound weird but I was suffering from this and awake for 1-3 hours almost every night. I started taking a generic womens century vitamin with iron. I started as my iron was borderline low.

 

Totally unexpected after about a week of starting it I slept through the night....then the next night....and the next. Not sure if it was the iron or b vitamins or magnesium or ??? But now I sleep through the night 6 out of 7 nights and even if I do wake up I generally fall asleep quickly again.

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My husband, in his late 50s, woke around 3-4 almost every night for years even after taking extended-release melatonin and then a non extended dose when he woke. Melatonin was not really working for him nor is it ideal for the long term.

 

I've recently been reading about sound therapy and how it affects brain waves and the rest of the body and stumbled across an article about an 8-minute song called 'Weightless' by Marconi Union (on YouTube and iTunes). My husband stopped the melatonin and just listened to the song right before bedtime and it did the trick. Now he sleeps from about 10-6 and rarely wakes in the middle of the night.

 

We are going to begin playing pink noise, which is also beneficial, the whole night as well.

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(((((((((((Barb))))))))))))

 

((((((((((every cute little adorable fortysomething female on the face of the planet))))))))

 

Two years post, I just get up and do my work or else yell at the cat for scratching at my door and making me need to deal with the fact that "time to wake up" came after actually falling asleep that particular night.

 

IIRC, it was a lot more complicated than that during peri and I spent my own share of time on the couch in my bathrobe crying because I couldn't do things I knew I needed to do.

 

I want to tell all y'all that it DOES get better, but it's happening soooooo sssssslllllllloooooowwwwwlllllyyyyyy that I'm afraid all the peri mood mind stuff is going to come back and make a liar out of me.

 

It isn't very reassuring to hear someone say hey, cheer up, all the insomnia and anxiety is going to make it easier to deal with an itchy butt and having your vagina shrivel up and your sex drive disappear, now is it?

 

There are people on the Hive who claim to have had easy menopauses. I don't remember who they are or I'm probably punch them in the face or report them as trolls or astroturfers and completely ruin their reputations just for spite.

 

Hopefully one of them will come along with some good advice if I STFU and go "independent" my kid, lol.

 

ETA: I can't stand having grey hairs poking out of my bellybutton and I always grab the tweezers and yell "EEEEYEEEEEEW!!!!!!" whenever I see them even though I know by now that it doesn't even hurt to pluck them because they grew from my cat's follicles, not my own, and I'm just not accustomed to basic care and feeding of a Plus Sized gal's bellybutton yet.

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No clue whether it's peri for me or not, but I've just been planning for insomnia so I'm ready for it. I'm sick right now, and I ended up pulling an all-nighter. I set up my computer in the kitchen, make a cup of decaf, and write. Sometimes I'm able to go back to sleep around five. Sometimes not.

I've recently taken to painting, so I might start working on drawing or painting when I can't sleep. 

Melatonin helps sometimes. Wild, wild dreams for me at the dose that helps, though. 

 

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This has happened to me with increasing regularity (I'm almost 50), and as I indicated above, alcohol (especially wine) exacerbates it. 

 

But I believe that lying in bed allows the body to rest, even if the mind refuses to, so I stay in bed.  One thing I enjoy doing while lying there is puzzling math problems.  I find that I approach them a different way in the dark without paper and pencil.  Another thing I do is to watch the phosphenes (random colors produced by the visual system when the eyes are closed) that I normally filter out.  

 

 

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This is going to sound weird but I was suffering from this and awake for 1-3 hours almost every night. I started taking a generic womens century vitamin with iron. I started as my iron was borderline low.

 

Totally unexpected after about a week of starting it I slept through the night....then the next night....and the next. Not sure if it was the iron or b vitamins or magnesium or ??? But now I sleep through the night 6 out of 7 nights and even if I do wake up I generally fall asleep quickly again.

You may be on to something here. I used to stay awake late (sometimes until 2:00 AM), wake up again at 3:30 AM and be unable to fall back asleep and then take a nap out of exhaustion in the afternoon and then, still be tired. I thought that I might go nuts or worse still collapse out of exhaustion. I have super high stress as well. Taking multivitamins did not affect me much (also, I had been off supplements for a year before this). A week ago, I started taking Floradix (iron supplement) again. On the 3rd night, I fell asleep at 11:00 PM and stayed asleep for 7 hours which was a record for me considering the past few months of no sleep. The number of hours that I am sleeping is gradually increasing. I think that I was anaemic (related to heavy periods) and the Floradix helped improve my iron levels rapidly. I am going to get my ferritin levels checked.

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No clue whether it's peri for me or not, but I've just been planning for insomnia so I'm ready for it. I'm sick right now, and I ended up pulling an all-nighter. I set up my computer in the kitchen, make a cup of decaf, and write. Sometimes I'm able to go back to sleep around five. Sometimes not.

I've recently taken to painting, so I might start working on drawing or painting when I can't sleep. 

Melatonin helps sometimes. Wild, wild dreams for me at the dose that helps, though

 

 

Just a heads up and PSA: I can't personally take Melatonin. My wild, wild dream was my first husband kicking in my door and trying to cut my head off with a butcher knife "because you're only going to die anyway". Since he was a 300 lb biker dude and I was a Troubled Teenager and the dream was very kinesthetic, I mean, I can still remember the feel of the butcher knife and how it felt to be struggling hopelessly with my little less than fully grown body because I still believed that I had something valuable to offer the world.

 

Maybe an extreme case or maybe I'm an idiot for overreacting to one bad dream. Another boardie from another interest in another era claims that her ex-h had a psychotic break from that stuff so it has always just squicked me out too much to give it another try.

 

YMMV and I sure hope it does!!!!!!!

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Just a heads up and PSA: I can't personally take Melatonin. My wild, wild dream was my first husband kicking in my door and trying to cut my head off with a butcher knife "because you're only going to die anyway". Since he was a 300 lb biker dude and I was a Troubled Teenager and the dream was very kinesthetic, I mean, I can still remember the feel of the butcher knife and how it felt to be struggling hopelessly with my little less than fully grown body because I still believed that I had something valuable to offer the world.

 

Maybe an extreme case or maybe I'm an idiot for overreacting to one bad dream. Another boardie from another interest in another era claims that her ex-h had a psychotic break from that stuff so it has always just squicked me out too much to give it another try.

 

YMMV and I sure hope it does!!!!!!!

Yeah, it messes with me, too. So far nothing I haven't been able to deal with. But I've always struggled with sleeping, and I've always been prone to vivid dreams. These are just much, much more so! So yeah--it can really do strange things to your dreams.

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My husband, in his late 50s, woke around 3-4 almost every night for years even after taking extended-release melatonin and then a non extended dose when he woke. Melatonin was not really working for him nor is it ideal for the long term.

 

I've recently been reading about sound therapy and how it affects brain waves and the rest of the body and stumbled across an article about an 8-minute song called 'Weightless' by Marconi Union (on YouTube and iTunes). My husband stopped the melatonin and just listened to the song right before bedtime and it did the trick. Now he sleeps from about 10-6 and rarely wakes in the middle of the night.

 

We are going to begin playing pink noise, which is also beneficial, the whole night as well.

Did you mention this in the other thread? The Marconi song was one of the things I put on my list to try. I have a ceiling fan running in my room and that helps me to fall asleep, but it doesn't keep me asleep. Is there a reason pink noise is better?

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I'm in menopause and I wake around 3:30am every morning no matter what time I go to bed. It's so frustrating! I've been taking magnesium before bed and it seems to help me fall back asleep.

How much? Maybe I need to pop a couple before bed.

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I've been taking melatonin on and off for the last decade and it has always worked well for me. My dreams are fine and I'm never groggy in the morning. I did read somewhere, maybe on the other thread, that too much melatonin can wake you up when it suddenly wears off, so I'm going to try taking just 1mg instead of 3 and if that doesn't work, I'll try a 3mg time release. I can't seem to find a time release that is any less potent.

 

I also read that if you wake up with more than three hours left to sleep you can break a tiny piece off a chewable (like maybe 1/2 a mg) and it should wear off before morning.

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try splitting your melatonin in half and leaving half on the nightstand - when you wake up, take the 2nd half

 

magnesium at bed time

 

do you take an essential fatty acid supplement? I think that supplementing Omega 3 has been shown to help as well.

 

if it's stressy type stuff, l-theanine at bedtime can also help.

Yeah I do. That's a smart idea about breaking it in half. Somehow I missed this post when I read through the first time

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I'm in this club too and most of the advice above is what I do. Alcohol makes it worse as does PMS. SWB posted about this a year or so ago, there was a lot of advice in that thread.

That's right! I remember that. Does anyone have a link? I dread trying to use the search feature but I will if I have to lol

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(((((((((((Barb))))))))))))

 

((((((((((every cute little adorable fortysomething female on the face of the planet))))))))

 

Two years post, I just get up and do my work or else yell at the cat for scratching at my door and making me need to deal with the fact that "time to wake up" came after actually falling asleep that particular night.

 

IIRC, it was a lot more complicated than that during peri and I spent my own share of time on the couch in my bathrobe crying because I couldn't do things I knew I needed to do.

 

I want to tell all y'all that it DOES get better, but it's happening soooooo sssssslllllllloooooowwwwwlllllyyyyyy that I'm afraid all the peri mood mind stuff is going to come back and make a liar out of me.

 

It isn't very reassuring to hear someone say hey, cheer up, all the insomnia and anxiety is going to make it easier to deal with an itchy butt and having your vagina shrivel up and your sex drive disappear, now is it?

 

There are people on the Hive who claim to have had easy menopauses. I don't remember who they are or I'm probably punch them in the face or report them as trolls or astroturfers and completely ruin their reputations just for spite.

 

Hopefully one of them will come along with some good advice if I STFU and go "independent" my kid, lol.

:lol: :lol: I am dying. Printing this off to read at 3am. Maybe insomnia won't feel so bad after all.

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I meditate for half an hour then fall back asleep.

I am so bad at meditation. It's not for lack of practice. My brain goes SQUIRREL every five seconds. I used to use the breathe app and that helped me focus but they ticked me off when they went with a subscription model. I'd bought a bunch of their packages and then suddenly they were locked and I was getting a nag screen to subscribe.

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Did you mention this in the other thread? The Marconi song was one of the things I put on my list to try. I have a ceiling fan running in my room and that helps me to fall asleep, but it doesn't keep me asleep. Is there a reason pink noise is better?

 

Here are the different sounds and a written explanation of their differences in the description.

 

 

I'm not sure if a ceiling fan would be white or pink noise but you could try to find something on YouTube to see if that helps. I haven't tried pink noise just yet because we're still running our AC at night. When I do, I'm going to try something from YouTube that I can play on my portable Bose speaker thingamajig.

 

An article from Prevention.

 

https://www.prevention.com/health/sleep-energy/how-pink-noise-makes-better-sleep

 

Here's an article about pink noise, deep sleep and memory.

 

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2017/april/pink-noise-sound-enhance-deep-sleep-memory/

 

If you're going to try this, it's important to keep the sound less than 60 db which is about the level of conversation you'd hear in a restaurant. 50 db is about the level of conversation in your home.

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There are people on the Hive who claim to have had easy menopauses. I don't remember who they are or I'm probably punch them in the face or report them as trolls or astroturfers and completely ruin their reputations just for spite.

 

tiptoes in. 

whispers: 

 

I'm 50. still not done yet but other than adenomyosis and some periods that just hang around for.ever., it's been a breeze 

 

Sleeping is my one superpower.  If I wake up, I just say "go back to sleep" do my countdown breathing and I'm out again. 

 

I'm not crowing about this because I keep thinking that it might change and maybe I've just not reached the point of sleep misery, but so far, no hot flashes, no sleep disturbances, no mental fog, nothing. 

 

:leaving:

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tiptoes in. 

whispers: 

 

I'm 50. still not done yet but other than adenomyosis and some periods that just hang around for.ever., it's been a breeze 

 

Sleeping is my one superpower.  If I wake up, I just say "go back to sleep" do my countdown breathing and I'm out again. 

 

I'm not crowing about this because I keep thinking that it might change and maybe I've just not reached the point of sleep misery, but so far, no hot flashes, no sleep disturbances, no mental fog, nothing. 

 

:leaving:

 

 

Hot Flashes are a post thang, hornblower. They start out cute because they remind you that you aren't going crazy and this really is a normal, natural bodily function and then they.....

 

 

Well, I think mine are finally mostly over. I am 52. I lied when I said I hadn't had a period in two years because I don't like arithmetic and didn't feel like counting the months. Besides, I didn't want to bring you down if it's really closer to three years and I have made peace with the brain fog.

 

I use dictionaries and a search engine a lot and I double check a lot of factoids but I still edit my posts carefully because sometimes my fingers type the antonym of the word I was really trying to say.

 

My best friend from my 30s has Early Onset Alzheimer's so tragedy may or may not be my superpower.

 

What's it like having an easy menopause? Do you actually care about throwing away sanitary supplies? Do you want to have a party?

 

I used all cloth and used to love my diva cup. I have no memory at all of what happened to them. My adult son and housemate was out of town for awhile and I need to buy a box of tampons for lady visitors when he gets home but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do so.

 

I also have an irrational revulsion towards teenaged girls and am incredibly grateful that I didn't have any during the worst of the peri mood mind no, you are not going crazy stuff.

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I never had a single night sweat, but I had terrible insomnia. Terrible.

 

A casual friend -- who is into this kind of thing -- suggested drinking a lemon balm tea. (I'm not into herbs and stuff, but I was desperate.)

 

It. works.

 

The tea is safe, in fact they give it to infants and the elderly w/ dementia (it helps them around 5 p.m. called Sundowner's Syndrome).

 

I found loose tea at a local health food store. I don't think I could find it at Whole Foods, but this was four years ago.

 

Also, there are so many really awesome podcasts out there. I'd load a good one onto your device, drink a cup of tea, and listen to the podcast as you fall asleep. If I wake up at 3 a.m., I listen to my podcast again and fall asleep right away.

 

It's not the podcast -- it's the lemon balm.

 

I hope you'll try it.

 

Alley

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I never had a single night sweat, but I had terrible insomnia. Terrible.

 

A casual friend -- who is into this kind of thing -- suggested drinking a lemon balm tea. (I'm not into herbs and stuff, but I was desperate.)

 

It. works.

 

The tea is safe, in fact they give it to infants and the elderly w/ dementia (it helps them around 5 p.m. called Sundowner's Syndrome).

 

I found loose tea at a local health food store. I don't think I could find it at Whole Foods, but this was four years ago.

 

Also, there are so many really awesome podcasts out there. I'd load a good one onto your device, drink a cup of tea, and listen to the podcast as you fall asleep. If I wake up at 3 a.m., I listen to my podcast again and fall asleep right away.

 

It's not the podcast -- it's the lemon balm.

 

I hope you'll try it.

 

Alley

I shall. I'm willing to try anything. Also I need a replacement for my glass of wine :)

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tiptoes in. 

whispers: 

 

I'm 50. still not done yet but other than adenomyosis and some periods that just hang around for.ever., it's been a breeze 

 

Sleeping is my one superpower.  If I wake up, I just say "go back to sleep" do my countdown breathing and I'm out again. 

 

I'm not crowing about this because I keep thinking that it might change and maybe I've just not reached the point of sleep misery, but so far, no hot flashes, no sleep disturbances, no mental fog, nothing. 

 

:leaving:

 

 

Hot Flashes are a post thang, hornblower. They start out cute because they remind you that you aren't going crazy and this really is a normal, natural bodily function and then they.....

 

 

Well, I think mine are finally mostly over. I am 52.

 

FWIW -- My hot flashes and insomnia didn't start until around 52  From late 40's until the hot flashes started my internal thermostat went up steadily. I went from cold all the time to comfortable most of the time to "is it hot in here or is it just me" to full force hot flashes.

 

Now at soon-to-be-55 I think they're about gone. Maybe. I hope.

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Oh jeez you guys I'm freaking out reading all this lol. I had a baby after 40 and breastfed for a year which keeps hormone levels weird, and now almost two years later I still haven't bounced back like I expected and I've been worrying that it's thrown me into perimenopause. The biggest change is my hair which used to be amazing and one of my best features is all weird and dry like straw. Different than it's ever been in my life. And a couple of times I've felt like I have a fever but when I take my temp it's normal and the whole thing will last about half a day. I've thought maybe those were hot flashes. I'm also way grumpier now and I can't get to sleep until really late at night. Does this sound like perimen? Or is this just what it's like after you have a baby in your 40s?

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How much exercise do you get?

I find regular sweating, elevated heart rate exercise helps (helps, I haven't found anything that solves this problem.

 

For me, alcohol is more of a sleep disruptor. Yes, I fall asleep faster, but I also wake. And if I do mostly sleep I don't feel rested.

 

When I wake at night I don't get up because the dog will get up and them my ds who has disabilities will get up. So, I try practicing various relaxation techniques I learned in yoga class 26 years ago (that simpler time without kids when I could take yoga). Things like gradually tightening and releasing each muscle (in groups, not whole body) to make yourself aware of relaxing. And breathing--feeling yourself following your breath fully in and out and being conscious not to think about more than breathing. Sounds a little silly I guess, but it helps me.

 

If you look at this board in the middle of the night you will see it is still moving, just a bit slowly and it's not just people halfway around the world posting. That doesn't help you sleep, but shows you, you definitely are not alone.

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Oh jeez you guys I'm freaking out reading all this lol. I had a baby after 40 and breastfed for a year which keeps hormone levels weird, and now almost two years later I still haven't bounced back like I expected and I've been worrying that it's thrown me into perimenopause. The biggest change is my hair which used to be amazing and one of my best features is all weird and dry like straw. Different than it's ever been in my life. And a couple of times I've felt like I have a fever but when I take my temp it's normal and the whole thing will last about half a day. I've thought maybe those were hot flashes. I'm also way grumpier now and I can't get to sleep until really late at night. Does this sound like perimen? Or is this just what it's like after you have a baby in your 40s?

 

It could be peri, but it would probably also be a good idea to get your thyroid tested. A LOT of the stuff I was blaming on peri was really due to hypothyroidism. And it's not uncommon for a woman's thyroid to struggle after a pregnancy. My hair changed just like you describe. It's still dry now (which probably is due to age/menopause) but it's not the weird straw like dry that it was before I started levothyroxine.

 

A hot flash doesn't really feel like a fever. It's more like opening a very hot oven door and having rather intense heat come over you suddenly. My gynecologist asked me one time if I'd ever had a hot flash. I said "I'm not sure. I stay a lot warmer than I used to, but I don't think I've had a hot flash yet." He and the nurse looked at each other and both said almost simultaneously "Oh, you'll know when it happens." They were right. :lol:

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My Dr. said it is absolutely menopause related!  It will get better, eventually.  I am still waiting!

 

 I normally experience 5 - 7 days of this nonsense monthly or every 6 weeks.

 

Her recommendations were:  (however, she also said, it just is what it is ... there is no real 'cure' but a few things may help)

 

  • Take a tiny does of melatonin (less than 1mcg)
  • Cut back on carbs - they cause insulin spikes/drops
  • Exercise
  • Magnesium
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Happy to report 8 hours and 15 minutes of solid sleep :) First time in weeks I've made it all the way through. I usually wake up at least three or four times for short periods and lately it's been every night from 3-4:30.

 

I moved my vitamins to right before bedtime so my omega 3 and magnesium are in my system when I fall asleep and I cut my melatonin down to 1.5mg. I had Marconi all cued up but then forgot about it.

 

I just put all of your lovely suggestions into a note on my phone so I can refer back to them when I fall back into bad habits and mess my sleep up again.

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