Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 6:46 pm Post subject: Lack of sleep... are pills a good idea?
I often have trouble sleeping. I think it's more psychological than mental... because I'm at university, I'm constantly aware of people moving around in the rooms next to me or in the corridor. I often sleep for a couple of hours at a time, waking up, and I've been having strange, disturbing and occasionally frightening dreams for years.
Several people have suggested some kind of sleeping pill in the past, but I'm a bit wary. Would it affect my general health, or my sleepiness during the day? Am I likely to then not wake up and miss the important seminars and lectures I have in the morning?
At the moment, the best ways I've found to get a good night's sleep are to drink alcohol before bed or to sleep with another person with me, but these aren't always feasible.
Also, if you think there's a better way of getting to sleep than taking something, I would love suggestions. It feels like I've tried everything that I can think of.
Joined: Apr 24, 2011 Posts: 1983 Location: Twilight Zone
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:12 pm Post subject: Sleep problems
There are several things to try before going with pills.
- White sound provided by a fan or tuning the radio to static, or a white sound machine. This will help to mute much of the noises going on, that you have no control over. It helps me.
- Drink a warm liquid before turning in, but not too much, as you don't want to wake up too soon, to take a bathroom break. Look into herbal teas that help make you drowsy without doping you up. The health food store can help you with that.
- Listen to quiet music for a short time after getting into bed.
- If you are not allergic to it, try spraying lavender on your pillow. This is supposed to be mildly tranquilising and calming, but won't dope you up.
- Make sure you are not too cold or too hot.
- Many of us on the spectrum have trouble sleeping without something weighted covering us. I prefer at least a sheet even in warm weather, unless it gets really hot and humid. Besides the sense of security/comfort, it also makes it a little harder for skeeters to get at me.
- Get a doctor to prescribe an overnight stay in a sleep clinic, so you can be tested for sleep apnea. That may be making it harder for you to fall deeply asleep, and thus more likely to wake when noises occur. If you have sleep apnea there are ways to treat that.
Drugs should really be a last resort, because of the side effects, including daytime grogginess. Also, they are not a good idea to take if you have sleep apnea, as they can make it harder for you to come up for air when your air way is blocked by the collapsing back palate. So try my other suggestions first, and if they don't help, check for sleep apnea, before trying drugs.
Joined: Mar 23, 2009 Posts: 4456 Location: The shooting range
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:40 pm Post subject:
Relying solely on pills for sleep is not advisable if there is anything else you can do to help compliment it. Many sleep pills and antipsychotics will leave you full-blown passed out and hung over in the morning if you are sensitive to them. A doctor that really knows their old medicines and off label uses should be able to find you something that lets you doze off and wake up normally... without having to balance yourself against the wall to stagger to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
My psychiatrist gives me a blood pressure med to help me sleep (my blood pressure was normal before I started it) and it works pretty good most of the time. Avoid the temptation to rely on night time otc pain or flu meds. That only works for a short time and stopping makes your sleep worse than when you started! _________________ "Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars."
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
You could try taking Melatonin - it's not a medication; it's a chemical your own body produces. If your body doesn't produce enough of it at night, then it may cause you to have sleeping difficulties.
Melatonin did a great job of giving me restful sleep at night, but for some reason I had a lot of side effects (daytime fatigue, nausea the first time I took it, irritability and most frighteningly, heart palpitations) and so I stopped taking it.
Try listening to this using headphones for a few minutes. It will help you get to sleep and reduce the amount of sleep needed. I usually sleep for about 10 hours at night and still feel somewhat tired during the day without this frequency. After listening to this frequency for about 5 minutes I get to sleep easier, feel completely rejuvenated after only 6 hours of sleep, and feel less tired during the day. A few days ago I went to bed at 11:00 PM and woke up automatically at 5:00 AM feeling great and that almost never happens. I've been using this frequency every night for about a week now because it's been benefiting me. This frequency will cause your brain to generate theta waves which are usually only generated in the brains of adults during sleep. It's estimated that listening to this frequency for 30 minutes will reduce the amount of sleep needed by up to 4 hours, but I wouldn't use it that much because actual sleep is necessary for your health. There are no known negative side affects of most binaural beats including this one, though the media has compared them to illegal narcotics. If there are any negative side affects, I think it's pretty safe to assume that there are less negative side affects than would be caused by taking sleeping pills.
The enzyme that breaks done alcohol is an endogenous stimulate. You'll have to sleep longer than normal when you use it.
Anyways, you can try a go to sleep routine, herbs or drugs. At least these are the ones I'll tell you about. For all of them you should take melatonin, as us aspies have less melatonin which is needed for sleep.
1. A routine: 1hr before sleep don't: drink water if possible, don't watch TV/computer, and don't do any stimulating activities.
2. Valerian: mild but works, try tripling the lowest dose on the container + 1g st. johns wort. That'll make you feel something! Don't maintain that though, lower it to your preference.
Kava: this is like herbal alcohol. Most kava-heads prefer a mild experience though. It will give vivid dreams. It is quite cost effective compared to the others prices. Many venders suck, but I recommend bula-kava-house and Hawaiian kava house. I use this 3 days a week, and can say this is my favorite herb right now!
also all news about how kava is dangerous is sh** from when extracts were made from the leaves.
Cannabis: Well you can try MJ or CBD hemp flowers extract(legal as a foodbase). CBD is quite straight forward, any ditchweed indica cannabis plant you happen to find will be perfect (sadly your going to have wild-craft this). Any indica dominant MJ will knock you out. Many relaxing herbs elevate Melatonin, so if you choose herbs you won't need to take it.
That's all, unless you want me to give some of the rarer ones
3. drugs: don't. Any pure drug is potentially dangerous. They are outrageously expensive, unless you get wholesale.
You can probably tell what my special interest is now
I've tried music and white noise, and pink noise, and it doesn't really work that well. At home I have the radio on when I sleep (the sounds of voices helps) but I don't have a radio here, and I can't get it on my computer because it switches itself off after a while of no activity.
I know the conditions that help me sleep best... warm but not too warm because I do need my duvet all the time. I like the feeling of somebody holding me while I sleep, but as I said, I can't have that all the time.
Okay, so it seems that drugs in themselves are bad. But some kind of herbal remedy... might be good? Do they actually work? I'm often sceptical as to their actual effects.
First time was an Ambien given while I was in the hospital. Hatred how groggy I was for hours after waking up.
Second time, two years later, doctor said to try Sominex. That was a night from hell. it reacted badly with my blood pressure medication... My head kept trying to go to sleep while my heart raced at a hundred miles an hour, jerking me back awake every 30 seconds in convulsions. I spent over seven hours in that hell.
I've been an on-and-off-again insomnia sufferer for years.
Exercise, good diet, watch my intake of caffeine and sugar, meditation, fresh air, warm shower, sex/masturbation, read a chapter of a good book, ambient white noise, don't look at the clock... these are a few tactics that work well for me.
I've tried all the herbal teas and tinctures, and some of them really do work. However, they each have slightly different effects and side effects, and some of them can have dangerous interactions with other drugs (for example passionflower with MAO's or kava-kava with alcohol) or if you are sick or pregnant. A few of the popular sleep aids include: chamomile, passonflower, skullcap, valerian, catnip. Some of therm give me CRAZY dreams, so there's that to watch out for! A good introduction is a sleepytime or bedtime tea from tea companies like yogi tea, traditional medicinals, etc. which will give you a very low dose of several herbs in mixture. Once you find a combination that works, it is more cost-effective to buy the herb(s) in bulk and brew loose tea and/or make tincture.
In my case, about 18 months ago my doctor diagnosed me with an allergy to wheat. Removing gluten from my diet has been the single biggest factor in improving the quality and quantity of my sleep. Therefore I advise you to get regular medical checkups and mention your concerns, so that your doctor can rule out an underlying physical/medical cause to your sleep disturbance.
When I get up in the middle of the night, I go to the bathroom, pray, drink milk or water, and try to go back to sleep. Lately, I've been waking up at 3:30 AM or at 5:30 AM and I go to bed around 9:30 or 10:00 PM. Either way, I tend to fall back asleep for a short period of time. _________________ Joshua
We all deal with problems and strife, but it's how we deal with them that makes all the difference in the world.
Joined: Nov 12, 2011 Posts: 6783 Location: Living in Faulkner's nightmare
Posted: Thu May 10, 2012 10:45 pm Post subject:
While booze can help you sleep, the quality of sleep isn't anywhere near as good as regular sleep or sleep with pills. For occasional insomnia I've found that the OTC pills work just fine. They don't effect your general health at all. Here, we have diphenhydramine (benadryl) and doxylamine (unisom). Both are antihistamine both will make you sleepy. I take twice the dose on the package though, because they won't get me to sleep otherwise, and that's safe to do with these.
Also, you could try weed. If it doesn't give you anxiety, like it does me, a couple of bong hits should help you fall asleep just fine. _________________ Frances