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I am almost 48 years old and have always had some trouble sleeping.  For a while, I have been waking up around 2-3 am but was able to go back to sleep.  That's "normal" from what other women my age experience.  This past week, I've probably gotten around 15-20 hours of sleep total.  Last night I slept one hour.  My husband is concerned about me driving, our relationship is not getting any attention because I am wiped out by the time he gets home from work, and I am starting to make mistakes like keeping an oven on and constant forgetting where I put things. I need to go grocery shopping, but I don't trust myself to drive.   My brain is tired.  

 

I exercise, eat very little to no sugar (other than fruit), and do everything every book says to do for sleep.  I have an Ambien prescription that I was taking very rarely and saving for times I hadn't slept much in a few days (once a week at most).  The Ambien is no longer working even.  I can take an Ambien and still be totally awake at night.

 

I have had a lot of prolonged stress for at least two years.  It's to the point that a new diagnosis of Aspergers in my 13 year old son doesn't even phase me much outwardly.  I am willing to address things nutritionally, but for the moment, I need sleep.  

 

I am going to the doctor when I can get an appointment.  What am I looking for?  What would help?  Also, when I can address this properly, what is going on?  Adrenal fatigue?

 

Thanks.

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Ask your doctor about a different sleep med. Ambien might not be working but something else will. I've been on several and my current one is 50mg Trazodone.

 

I get in bed at the same time every night. I read my Kindle although my doctor said no screens. I take my Trazodone when I'm beginning to feel sleepy and turn out my light. I wake up around the same time every morning. I'm also not supposed to nap but sometimes I sleep for 30 minutes at lunch time.

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My dh was having pretty severe insomnia. I read about a study that showed eating two kiwi fruit an hour before bedtime helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. I went and bought some kiwi right away, dh started eating it before bedtime, and he's been sleeping great ever since. He was thrilled to find such an easy solution.

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Also, I don’t drink caffeine, I don’t eat chocolate, and am gluten free. I can’t eat dairy because it gives me eczema. I am feeling like sleep is controlling my life right now and I really need to be present because my family is pretty all consuming and always has been.

 

 

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:grouphug: I remember when I was younger that I would love it if I never had to go to sleep at night because I could write, read and do all the things! Yeah...the foolishness of youth.

I hope you get some answers so you can sleep. Given how much stress you've been under, I wonder if you are just too keyed up to sleep. Like you feel you always have to be on and you can't turn off, even when you need sleep.

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Most likely too keyed up to sleep. One night I was very aware that I had this fight or flight response going on but wasn’t thinking/worrying about anything at the time. I’m not thinking about much at night. I’m not actively worrying in my brain. Mostly I have a song going through my head. I feel like I’m on high doses of caffeine even though I stay away from it. I’m asking to be medicated at the doctors today and most likely try to figure out how to deal better with all of this nutritionally and spiritually when I’m sleeping better. Medication and me is usually not a good mix. I tend to get the side effects listed and even some not listed. I blame my red hair.

 

 

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Sympathy. Could you get a sleep study done? Of course, you have to fall asleep for it to work :-(.....

 

I agree, a trial of Trazodone may be in order. DS was on that for months until alas, it stopped working for him. Now he is using Remeron. Also lavender scent - supposed to help.

Edited by JFSinIL
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I did use Remeron for a while years and years ago. I hated it even though it helped me to sleep. I was half awake all day and easily startled. I was also on a huge dose because you were supposed to increase the dose until the side effects went away. Let’s just say that I was taking a dose that 300lb men would take. Again-redhead-it messes with medication.

 

 

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I did use Remeron for a while years and years ago. I hated it even though it helped me to sleep. I was half awake all day and easily startled. I was also on a huge dose because you were supposed to increase the dose until the side effects went away. Let’s just say that I was taking a dose that 300lb men would take. Again-redhead-it messes with medication.

 

 

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I am so sorry.  Insomnia is no joke. My best friend has had it since she was 11.  She clearly remembers when she stopped sleeping.  She is positive it was related to puberty.  My insomnia was related to menopause as yours probably is too.  Throw in extreme stress and you have a recipe for disaster.  Meds mess with me too.  What helps me sleep when I am having trouble is Ativan.  .5 to 1 mg.  It does NOTHING for my friend.  And many people can take it as a anxiety med and function during the day.  Just because Ambien isn't working doesn't mean something milder won't work.  

 

You do need relief.  It is a horrible thing to endure.  (((hugs)))0

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:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

For me, insomnia was one of the symptoms of my hypothyroidism. I finally found a doctor who would treat it properly (boatloads of natural desiccated thyroid) and now I sleep much, much better. I rarely have insomnia episodes.

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:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

For me, insomnia was one of the symptoms of my hypothyroidism. I finally found a doctor who would treat it properly (boatloads of natural desiccated thyroid) and now I sleep much, much better. I rarely have insomnia episodes.

 

 

I had a boss years ago whose thyroid went nuts and she described the insomnia as feeling like she was floating above her body in bed at night.

 

So yes, certainly worth pursuing.

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I’ve had thyroid issues since I was 15 (hyper). I have nodules that are being watched. I keep thinking it’s my thyroid and every year, tests return completely normal. If anything, I range toward the hyper side but the results are within range.

 

 

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Yes-I’m looking into treating the insomnia through anxiety medication. There has been more than one major issue our family has had to face in the past month or so. Add to that “normal†messing up my disabled son’s paperwork by the government which leans on me to fix and just our normal day to day stress and this is where I am.

 

 

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It sounds like anxiety in overdrive. I wonder if treating the anxiety might work better than just trying to treat the insomnia? Have you tried any anti anxiety medications?

 

I agree with this.  I take a low dose of an anti-anxiety med for IBS to help me sleep through nightly intestinal pain/spasms.  I have very obnoxiously vivid dreams at night, but I fall asleep and stay asleep, even when stressed (and I tend to have insomnia during stress too).

 

With multiple food restrictions, you might want to check for nutrient deficiencies as well.

 

I hear you on the "it's just one more thing after another".  It took way longer than necessary to get my health issues under control (still aren't really) because I felt like I was constantly putting out everyone else's fires.  

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I'd try to get a sleep study, including looking at any potential issues with sleep apnea.

 

Sleep apnea will cause disrupted sleep and can set up cycles of serious insomnia. Best to make sure if this is (or isn't) the problem.

 

It can be good news, as sleep apnea is treatable and can give people their lives back.

 

Best,

 

Bill

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I take Trazadone.  Usually 50mg but at times 75mg.  It works for me and Ambien did not.  Ambien would put me to sleep but I would still have early waking insomnia.  That has been my biggest issue- if I fall asleep naturally, with no medications, I wake up 4 or 5 hours later- not my usual 7 to 7.5.   Trazadone keeps me sleeping through the night.

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I suggest amber glasses be worn for the two hours prior to bedtime. You can find them online. Also, wear a sleep mask to block the light when you are sleeping. This should help correct your melatonin levels. It worked for me after maybe eight years of nightly ambien use.

Edited by Pronghorn
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First, I agree that it sounds like possible anxiety - I have Generalized Anxiety, and it messes with my sleep big time.

 

Also, could it be hormonal? I come from a line of women who've gone through menopause very very early. My mom started her trip through menopause when she was around 40 and was totally finished when she was in her late 40s. Same with my maternal Grandmother and most of my aunts.

 

I'd ask for a sleep study, full blood workup (I have chronic low B12 which ALSO jacks up my sleep if my B12 starts to drop too low), and in the meantime I would try a different sleep med. I started recently taking Zopiclone (I am in Canada so I'm not sure if that's avail. in the US) and it's been amazing. I sleep at night, but wake up easily if the kids need me or if I need to pee or hear a noise, then I'm able to just put my head on the pillow and go BACK to sleep (which was impossible for me before this med) and I wake up naturally and don't feel groggy or tired during the daytime.

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I did use Remeron for a while years and years ago. I hated it even though it helped me to sleep. I was half awake all day and easily startled. I was also on a huge dose because you were supposed to increase the dose until the side effects went away. Let’s just say that I was taking a dose that 300lb men would take. Again-redhead-it messes with medication.

 

 

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I would talk with your dr. about insomnia induced by anxiety then.  My daughter discovered that her insomnia was actually panic attacks happening in her sleep and waking her up.  She takes the meds (I don't know which one) after she's had several bad nights in a row.  She also works on dealing with her anxiety through life-style changes.

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magnesium!!!    Natural Calm, start with a 1/2 teaspoon every night in a glass of water.  Work your way up to 2 teaspoons. (work slowly as it can cause loose stools as it is a laxative)

 

I've had inability to sleep for years and years.  I went to a functional medicine doc who treated my thyroid symptoms and not my numbers, and ordered me to take Natural Calm and melatonin every night.  Within 2 weeks, I was sleeping through the night and in a month, I was actually sleepy at a normal bedtime.  Bonus was I didn't get as anxious or excited or worked up through the day!

 

Now, I take the melatonin every couple of nights as some mornings I am too groggy.  I also keep a check on my mag levels.  Your diet sounds pretty close to mine and diet just doesn't seem to add in enough mag.

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Lifelong insomniac here.  I slept every-other night when I was in grade-through-high school.  :0/   I've had the sleep study, and have not taken medication for it.  

 

I've managed to muddle through but I've gotten into the state you are in and I know you can't continue like this.  

 

A couple of things that I have been trying, and that do seem to help:

--Cut all screens off at least one and preferable two hours before bed.  If that means that everyone else watches a movie, and you go to your room and read, so be it.  But read on a e-paper or a paper book.  Not a screen.

--Get an amber-adjustment made to your computer for when you use it after 5 pm. 

--Spend some time in your past--reminiscing, reading a book you used to love, looking a pictures, doing something you did when you were younger.  

--Alcohol apparently can be a contributor to insomnia.  I am trying to move my wine to lunch, at least sometimes, and at least when I am in insomnia crisis.  

--Get up at the same time every day.  This doesn't work the first day--you are training your body on this one.  I'm working on this one.  

 

There are some good things mentioned up thread; I'm not discounting them, and there can be a crisis point where you just need to get some meds!   But after the crisis passes and the meds run out...you have to have a plan. 

 

I really feel for you.  So many days of life I have gone through in a fog.  (((YOU)))

 

 

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Lifelong insomniac here.  I slept every-other night when I was in grade-through-high school.  :0/   I've had the sleep study, and have not taken medication for it.  

 

I've managed to muddle through but I've gotten into the state you are in and I know you can't continue like this.  

 

A couple of things that I have been trying, and that do seem to help:

--Cut all screens off at least one and preferable two hours before bed.  If that means that everyone else watches a movie, and you go to your room and read, so be it.  But read on a e-paper or a paper book.  Not a screen.

--Get an amber-adjustment made to your computer for when you use it after 5 pm. 

--Spend some time in your past--reminiscing, reading a book you used to love, looking a pictures, doing something you did when you were younger.  

--Alcohol apparently can be a contributor to insomnia.  I am trying to move my wine to lunch, at least sometimes, and at least when I am in insomnia crisis.  

--Get up at the same time every day.  This doesn't work the first day--you are training your body on this one.  I'm working on this one.  

 

There are some good things mentioned up thread; I'm not discounting them, and there can be a crisis point where you just need to get some meds!   But after the crisis passes and the meds run out...you have to have a plan. 

 

I really feel for you.  So many days of life I have gone through in a fog.  (((YOU)))

I've been doing the Natural Calm Magnesium drink for a while now.

 

I cut off all screens after dinner most nights

 

I read paper books only and don't read on my Kindle at night since the screen could be a contributor.

 

I don't drink alcohol since it makes my legs twitchy at night.

 

I get up at the same time every morning.

 

I have done most everything every insomnia book tells you.  I have tried melatonin with no help.  That's what I took last night.  I slept an hour and was totally awake the rest of the night.  I even broke the 5 mg piece in half in case I woke up and needed to take the other half in the night.  I did.  Nothing.

 

I was in this place 11 years ago.  I did a sleep study and everything.  All it showed was that I was depressed.  Which of course I was--I wasn't sleeping.

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Have you checked your hormone levels? Estrogen? Adrenals?

 

I also think it sounds like you are experiencing anxiety.

 

It sounds like you are experiencing what I have been for a few years. I have mini panic attacks almost every night - can't sleep, racing heart, thoughts of doom. I've also had constant stress long term. My adrenals are shot and my body is breaking down. The stress is not going anywhere anytime soon, so I don't know how to fix this.

 

I hope you get some answers and some relief soon. Insomnia takes a such a toll!

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My first big bout with insomnia was related to thyroid issues, and I had to get that straightened out. My second one was due to sleep apnea. It got to the place where I was waking so often during the night (and even during a nap), that my anxiety over going to bed made things even worse. It took some time to get used to the CPAP, but it has made a huge positive difference for me. I fall asleep pretty quickly most of the time, and sleep much better. I've always been a light sleeper, and tend toward anxiety, so that still affects my sleep from time to time, but the CPAP is what has made the biggest difference for me. And I couldn't sleep enough at the sleep studies for them to get a good measure for the pressure, but it was enough to show them I had sleep apnea.

 

ETA: Melatonin did not help me. It made me feel draggy and in a fog, and I still didn't sleep well. Magnesium helps, but the opposite from some people--I take it in the morning rather than at night. 

Edited by Jaybee
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I've been doing the Natural Calm Magnesium drink for a while now.

 

I cut off all screens after dinner most nights

 

I read paper books only and don't read on my Kindle at night since the screen could be a contributor.

 

I don't drink alcohol since it makes my legs twitchy at night.

 

I get up at the same time every morning.

 

I have done most everything every insomnia book tells you. I have tried melatonin with no help. That's what I took last night. I slept an hour and was totally awake the rest of the night. I even broke the 5 mg piece in half in case I woke up and needed to take the other half in the night. I did. Nothing.

 

I was in this place 11 years ago. I did a sleep study and everything. All it showed was that I was depressed. Which of course I was--I wasn't sleeping.

It’s so frustrating when you are doing all the right things. You’re doing a lot more than I did. 😕.

 

I did have some treatment for generalized anxiety (neuron feedback) and that helped with the portion of my insomnia that was anxiety-induced.

 

I hope you get some sleep.

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I've been doing the Natural Calm Magnesium drink for a while now.

 

I cut off all screens after dinner most nights

 

I read paper books only and don't read on my Kindle at night since the screen could be a contributor.

 

I don't drink alcohol since it makes my legs twitchy at night.

 

I get up at the same time every morning.

 

I have done most everything every insomnia book tells you.  I have tried melatonin with no help.  That's what I took last night.  I slept an hour and was totally awake the rest of the night.  I even broke the 5 mg piece in half in case I woke up and needed to take the other half in the night.  I did.  Nothing.

 

I was in this place 11 years ago.  I did a sleep study and everything.  All it showed was that I was depressed.  Which of course I was--I wasn't sleeping.

 

 

I wouldn't waste my time and money on another sleep study then.  You need meds.  You have to sleep.  

 

My friend the life long insomniac.....came down with a rare incurable blood cancer.  It is slow moving and she has lived with it for 15 years now.......but I have always believed her insomnia contributed.

 

I hope you get some relief soon.  I really really feel for you.

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Magnesium in the morning, sunshine in the middle of the day, exercise before 4:00 pm, lavender with cedarwood in difuser, drastically reduce screens. Those things together made a huge difference for dh and me. I also learned that too much vitamin B messes up my sleep.

Edited by KeriJ
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I've been doing the Natural Calm Magnesium drink for a while now.

 

I cut off all screens after dinner most nights

 

I read paper books only and don't read on my Kindle at night since the screen could be a contributor.

 

I don't drink alcohol since it makes my legs twitchy at night.

 

I get up at the same time every morning.

 

I have done most everything every insomnia book tells you.  I have tried melatonin with no help.  That's what I took last night.  I slept an hour and was totally awake the rest of the night.  I even broke the 5 mg piece in half in case I woke up and needed to take the other half in the night.  I did.  Nothing.

 

I was in this place 11 years ago.  I did a sleep study and everything.  All it showed was that I was depressed.  Which of course I was--I wasn't sleeping.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

have you had a complete thyroid panel? That is, not just TSH but also Free T3 and Free T4? Your problems might not be thyroid-related at all, but it's easy to rule it out with those three labs. (If you only had TSH, then you still don't know what your thyroid is doing.)

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You might consider a 4 point saliva cortisol panel to check for adrenal issues. I've had trouble with insomnia for 7 years with a number of different causes at different times, and adrenal issues have been a big part. That's caused everything from difficulty falling asleep to super disturbed sleep to waking at 2 am and not being able to fall back asleep to waking around 4:30 or 5 am and not able to fall back asleep (and any combination of the above as well).

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You said you have always been hyperthyroid, but that you're within the normal range.  Honestly, I might tell your doctor that you're not sleeping and could they work to knock your thyroid down a little bit more, to the lower end of normal (or higher TSH, I guess?  I get confused).  

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You said you have always been hyperthyroid, but that you're within the normal range. Honestly, I might tell your doctor that you're not sleeping and could they work to knock your thyroid down a little bit more, to the lower end of normal (or higher TSH, I guess? I get confused).

I agree. OP I hope you speak up loudly to doctors until one listens to your concerns.

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I did get a prescription for a valium type drug since I do have restless legs which I feel have been mostly under control due to cutting out caffeine.  The doctor said a lot of the anti-depressents and anti-anxiety could make the restless legs worse.  Of course, the prescription didn't go through to the pharmacy so I have to call back :cursing: .  I also get the joy of another sleep study since the last one was over 10 years ago and they are wondering how much restless legs is contributing to this whole mess.  I started another post about thyroid levels.  

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I’ve had thyroid issues since I was 15 (hyper). I have nodules that are being watched. I keep thinking it’s my thyroid and every year, tests return completely normal. If anything, I range toward the hyper side but the results are within range.

 

 

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Never, ever let them put you off by saying that your levels are "normal" or "within range." Them's fightin' words. Millions of us have felt like carp for many, many years because our doctors would test only TSH, throw a modicum of synthetic hormone at us, and tell us our levels were "within range," even though we were walking poster children for hypo- or hyperthyroidism. You need to have not only TSH but also Free T3 and Free T4. Your levels should be optimal, not "within range." "Within range" only means that most people's levels are between *this* and *this,* not that people actually feel well if their levels are "within range."

 

If you have nodules, you have Hashimoto's.

 

Have you read through Stop the Thyroid Madness? If not, you should do it right now.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

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So, with the thyroid, I don't have any of the symptoms of hypothyroid.  I'm a fairly thin/average weight and feel hyperthyroid if anything.  I'm colder during the day (but it's winter) and usually run pretty hot at night.  I have restless legs - this morning as I was just laying there, I felt small muscles in my calves twitching.  I feel like my adrenals are pretty shot.  I have been watching the nodules for around 6 years now.  They have not grown, but haven't shrunk either.  My main issue is sleep and has been for a very long time - even before the nodules.  My levels have stayed pretty much the same over the years.  

 

I think once I can get another appointment with my regular doctor, I'll insist upon further thyroid tests.  

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