This is a quick post in praise of sleep! I have had three nights of sleep in a row!!! For the first time in several years. And, here is what finally helped me: MELATONIN! There are going to be a lot of people out there who will say, “I told you so!” And it’s true that several friends have been telling me for years to try Melatonin,but it never worked for me before. Here’s the secret: I wasn’t taking a big enough dose!!! I should have known! I tried Melatonin several times in the past, but it never kept me asleep, and I usually ended up with a headache. The other night I was just desperate enough (after about a week of restless nights with 3-4 hours of sleep each night) to try doubling the dose from 3 mg to 6 mg, and, low and behold, it worked! I slept through the night!!!!!
So, apologies to everyone who recommended this wonderful solution in the past. And apologies to all my friends who have been trying to help me over the years. I love Melatonin! But keep checking back! I’ll let you know if it continues to work over a long period of time. IBad news: on the bottle, it says not to keep taking Melatonin over a long period of time or it could have bad side effects! Help!! What do I do now? I guess I just bet caught up on my sleep and then have a few more rough nights. In the meantime, how about sending in your favorite sleep remedies? I know some people have submitted them before, but I could use help, especially since any kind of real drugs hasn’t worked for me in the past!
As I’ve written before on this blog, I have had trouble sleeping since my children were little–when I went on permanent night watch. Sometimes, things get better–like when I first got on my CPAP machine for sleep apnea or when SleepAID (a form of benadryl) worked for a while.
But sometimes, things get worse.
About a month ago, I started taking Ambien, after weeks and weeks of nights with no sleep. My brain was so foggy at the time that I didn’t read anything about the drug–or even talk to friends about their experiences with it. I just filled the prescription I’d been carrying around in my purse for months–the prescription given to me by my sleep doctor after a visit where I told him I was starting to fall asleep over my computer at work. I just read the instructions on the bottle and jumped in: “Take one tablet before bed.”
I’ll keep this story short, since my purpose is to put my experience out there, in case anyone else might be having the same thing happening to them. I’ll summarize by saying that I started having things happen to me that I worried about a little but didn’t associate with the drug. I was under a huge amount of stress, so why wouldn’t I be having chest pains? Why wouldn’t I be feeling a little depressed when things in my life were not going quite the way I wanted them to? And I have a lot on my mind, so maybe it was totally normal for me to be forgetting things more than usual.
Then the symptoms started getting worse. My memory began to feel like a big, heavy cloud over my head. I was having trouble remembering people’s names, and I stayed in a panicky state at work, afraid I was going to forget something critical. I started worrying that I might have early-stage Alzheimers. The chest pains were more frequent. Then, to top things off, the depression started taking over.
And I don’t mess around with depression. Been there. Done that. Never going there again.
But this depression didn’t feel like a normal one. It felt a little bit like part of that big cloud that was hanging over my head had taken residence in my heart.
I started thinking maybe there might be a connection with my sleep medicine. Maybe I should cut back on it for a night.
Then that night, at 3 a.m., when I woke up, startled from sleep by who knows what, I got up and tried working in my puzzle book. That’s when I received a message from someone (God? The Devil?) through the puzzle I was working in my puzzle book!
What can I say: it was a bad night!
And then, the next day, my niece, who is living with us right now, Googled Ambien.
Here’s what she found: potential side effects include memory loss, chest pains, depression, and, sometimes, mild hallucinations.
Hello and welcome to this week’s “Sadhvi Sez” here at oops50!
I am going to let you all in on my private arsenal of sleep aids that help me get the sleep I need. I find it quite interesting that almost everyone I talk to these days tells me that they are having a hard time sleeping – men, women, teenagers. Even my dog, Bello, recently told me that he wakes up all the time during the night and can’t get back to sleep! I flip through the 358 channels on TV and there seem to be a lot of commercials for drugs that make you fall asleep…have you noticed that too?
If the big pharmaceutical companies are spending money on these TV ads, then what my belly is telling me must be true: there are a LOT of people who cannot sleep! I have nights when I cannot sleep too, and if I go without sound sleep for too many nights, I feel like I am about to go insane during daylight hours. I never had this until I started menopause about a year ago. This could be why.
Or it could be something an astrologer friend of mine who is not wacky told me. He said that a new “portal” had opened and it was streaming energy in from another galaxy and this energy was hitting everyone’s nervous system in a big way. That could do it.
Or maybe we really ARE all connected and those people who are getting their adrenals short-circuited with the double and triple shots of Starbucks are creating a rippling effect? On my last road trip, I noticed that there are hundreds of energy drinks on the shelves of gas stations everywhere. The best according to my 16 year old nephew is one called “Java Monster”. I tried it and I must say that I got the biggest rush since, well, let’s just say that this stuff ROCKS!
I don’t do HRT or Prozac or anything else (YET!)
So what to do when sleep just does not come???
Being the scientific type, I tried things at the health food store and online out of desperation, and here are a few of my favorite things:
Sleep’n Restore: This contains melatonin and valerian and some other stuff. I order it online and it works. www.natrol.com
Rescue Sleep: This is a Bach Flower Remedy that “…calms your restless mind providing natural relief of occasional sleeplessness caused by stress and repetitive thoughts”. www.rescuesleep.com
Coffea Cruda: Since I do drink coffee, this is a homeopathic formula that does the trick every time. I don’t know if it would work as well if one does not drink coffee. www.borionusa.com
And lastly, if I know I need to sleep deeply because I have not slept well for a few nights, I make an herbal tea that just about knocks me out.
Fidnemed Nighttime: The tea I like the best is from Mountain Rose Herbs called “Fidnemed Nighttime”. This is what they say about the tea, “Fidnemed means a sacred and quiet forest grove. Relax, and enjoy some of this full flavored infusion blend after a hectic day. We almost called this ‘Sleep on Rocks’ because it works so well.” It has interesting ingredients like lemon balm, skullcap, hibiscus and hops, valerian root, passionflower, and lavender flowers, all organic. In my opinion, Mountain Rose Herbs make the best tea blends. www.mountainroseherbs.com
If you are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, you might want to give these a try and let me know if they help.
And may your efforts lead you to peaceful dreams, really and truly.