Can't sleep without waking up in the middle of the night, my brain just will not stop thinking!!!

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My mom has been in a nursing home since March, but she still has episodes (usually low blood sugar) where she is transferred to the hospital and back again, and I still visit her every other day or so to be sure she's being treated right, etc. so I am always worrying about her. My sister (who has never helped me care for our mom anyways) is going through a rough patch right now - she is out of a job and has recently been diagnosed with MS. I worry about her. I have been job searching and had my first interview last week (in yeeeeears!) so I am excited, yet nervous about that...so I worry about that. I've put on quite a bit of weight since caring for my mom that doesn't want to budge, and menopause has kicked in full force. It seems like I can keep things "at bay" during the day, but at night...different story. I feel as though I am reaching my breaking point - always worrying about others & not taking care of myself. I wake up in the middle of the night and all of the above just starts rolling around in my head - I literally lay there awake for hours telling my brain to shut the hell up so I can go back to sleep. Then scenarios start forming (what if mom dies...what will I do...how much money do i have to work with...what if my sister can't ever get a job & they lose their house....) just over and over again. I KNOW I can't control any of the above, and I KNOW that worrying about it isn't going to change anything, but my brain just won't STOP!!! I hate to think of taking sleeping pills, but I'm getting to the point of wanting to try something to help quiet down the brain at night. Anyone have similar issues?? What did you do???

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You and I could be twins! I go to sleep about 11 or 12pm and around 2 am I am waking up and awake for hours, about the time I fall asleep it is time to get up and start my day with Mom!

You are right that worrying does not help a thing. What have you ever changed from worrying over anything? You don't need to worry, you need solutions. Many times we know what the solutions could be but they are not always what we want them to be. It is like praying to God for help, but telling him exactly what you want him to do, that isn't how it works, he has a Master Plan for all of us in my mind.

Personally I have tired a few things and I use them in combination when I need them. I see a therapist once a week for a "tune up" and "gripe session." Many times they have input that we just have never thought of and it can be so helpful. There are times that we really need to vent and doing it with a therapist is the best place to do it.

Many years ago when I would have trouble sleeping my Mom would tell me to pray and pray hard because the devil didn't want you praying and he would make sure you fell asleep! That may not be too far off as I normally do fall asleep when praying. I pray for God's guidance and to give me peace and calmness when taking care of my Mom. etc. I put phrases on my wall like "All things are possible with God and Give Thank for Unseen Blessings Already on Their Way!" I need to see some of those phrases from time to time.

I have some tapes made by a psychiatrist many years ago that have really worked for me at different times. One of them is on sleep and the music is soft and it tells you to think about your body and relaxing it, beginning at your feet and you think about each part of your body as you work up and relaxing that part of your body. It honestly works and I am asleep before the tape ends.

Being on the computer or watching TV before bed is one of the worst things to do. I understand the light from them keeps you from falling asleep. You should read a book that is not exciting. If it is a book you LOVE you will want to keep reading but if it is a bit boring you will fall asleep easier.

Taking a bath in the evening can make you feel wonderful! When you are clean a refreshed you sleep better. Also make sure your room is cool, if your room is too hot you cannot sleep as well as you can when your room is cool...71 is good for me.

I have been going nuts lately with so many different projects that I need to accomplish around the house and I need to have our house tented for termites and I just could not sleep for more than 2 hours and I was up. I began cleaning off my desk and I ran across a "To Do List" form that I had made up ....at some time in the past. I copied it off and sat down and began putting everything down on my list, which quickly became 4 lists of this to do around the house, things to do to tent the house, things to take out of the house, things to take to the hotel.....lists were flying!!!!! The thing is I had soooo much relief after I did that. I was able to lay down and sleep and when I thought about it, my brain was trying to remember everything and juggle it constantly so I would not forget anything. When I wrote it down on paper my mind was now FREE.... it no longer had to juggle 40 different items...THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE BLESSING AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO TRY IT BECAUSE IT WORKS BETTER THAN MOST ANYTHING ELSE!

I have also taken medication, I took Xanax for anxiety and Ativan for sleeping when I needed it. I too now purchased a bottle of ZzzQuil that seems to help. Lastly sex is great for relaxing and going to sleep.

Worrying is not productive for any of us. I remember learning it from my mother and it never solved her problems or mine.

God Bless You!
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I am so sorry, purplesushi. I know your mother had so many problems, but it is still sad that she is gone. You have been the best daughter she could have hoped for. ((((purplesushi))))
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Saying prayers for you, your family and your Mom tonight. So sorry.
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Oh Purple, so sorry to hear. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!
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Thank you all for your suggestions and commiseration. My Mom passed away yesterday morning - not totally unexpectedly - but all of the crying all day long helped me have a good night's sleep last night...maybe that's what I've needed all along...a good, cathartic cry.
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Thank-you for the information on the benadryl....going to ask my allergist about that.
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To add to my previous thoughts, now that I had a nap...
I was told by my doctor that it is dangerous not to sleep for several nights in a row, both mentally and physically. I am in menopause and this has been going on a long time. Doc said that if it gets to be 4-5 nights in a row, just take the darn Ambien ( I am resistant to doing this) and get some shut eye for a night. My reaction to the drugs has been less than stellar. Ambien makes me feel crappy for half the next day and several of the OTC things gave me wild hallucination type dreams .Zzzzzquil was horrible for me with weird weird scary dreams. I did best with Tylenol PM, BUT it is an antichologenic (sp) drug mixed in. Diphenhydramine (the same as Benadryl) is the active ingredient in these OTC medicines. The doctor explained that these are a poor choice for people in the late 50's on as they can cause cognitive issues, that may not reverse...and we all know how important that is. They are also not so good if you suffer from constipation and in fact remove water from your body. This insomnia really puts us between a rock and a hard place and as women in the menopausal years it is darn near impossible . I see as I age further it IS getting better, but it has been a very difficult thing for seven plus years. Good luck!
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Purplesushi...just wanted to add to my previous post feel for you....my Mom is in a NH too and presently in the hospital after having a mild stroke......Mom already has Alzheimers and now having difficulty with the right side of her body....... I'm struggling with sleep the last few nights and even having trouble staying focused during the days. Doing more knitting lately and taking walks, whatever helps me relax. Stressful situations get mind a racing.
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Know that feeling well...racing mind and can't sleep. For me getting up and taking a hot shower in the middle of the night has helped. On occassion also take a lorazapam or a benedryl(have allergies anyways and at night works well and feel good in the morning...rested and allergy relief as well). My insomnia and racing brain was at it's worst during menopause, has improved over time.
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Oh, that's right, Jinx! I remember seeing a commercial now, when they came out with that product.

Well, seems like there is quite a few people in this world with insomnia... otherwise who are they making all this stuff for, lol? Good luck everyone with getting your proper and required amount of zzz's, I know it sure makes a big difference for me in how I feel during my days!
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