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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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Purplesushi, I get it. It's 3:00 a.m, and here I sit on the computer, wide awake. I can't shut my mind down. I have too many worries at the moment, too much stress... I'm going to take some good advice I got and see if I can't get something for my nerves, so that I can sleep better. I seem to sleep in snatches. Once I'm up, there's no laying back down, because my mind is just in turmoil. I'm exactly where you are, dealing with the exact same thing, right now. To say it sucks is a vast understatement. I need my sleep, I WANT my sleep...but.... yeah....

I don't care, I want some good drugs, anything to stop this shit. It's like my mind is on fast forward...

I think this is just pure stress, and I intend to talk to the doc about it next time I go in, and that'll be sometime next month. I might have to get in much earlier then that, but yeah, see your doctor, tell him what's going on, if you stay in that state of mind too long. I feel I've had just about enough myself... Time to call in the big guns...

Stay strong! You're not flopping around all night alone... *hugs*
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Zzquil is the new sister to Nyquil and Dayquil, the cold medicines. ZZZ = sleep, get it? Zzquil has the antihistamine in OTC sleep aids. I haven't tried it yet, but I love how Nyquil helps me sleep when I have a cold.
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Hmm. Just a couple of thoughts to add...

"Zzzquil" I assume writer meant Nyquil. And if taking a swig helps get you off to sleep each night, more power to you. Habitual use is linked to depression, last time I checked.

Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata: have taken all of these, though not in years and take none currently. I would think that anyone wanting to take a sleep aid/med would want to try a couple different ones, and maybe try cutting pills in half to minimize next-day hangover effect.

Melatonin, tried it for some time, never thought it did a damn thing.

And THEN, out of the blue, doc gives me unrequested, unexpected Rx for Klonopin about 2 weeks ago. Now this stuff is the charm! For me, anyway. Its an anti-seizure/anti-anxiety med, and seems to help the mind just stop whirring away. If you have OCD tendencies along with your worry/insomnia, I highly suggest you try. I have a whole new appreciation for meds... here I thought it was all a bunch of hit-and-miss and maybe it helped, maybe it didn't... Klonopin is my new bff.

Ok, thought I'd throw this out there. Hope everyone finds whatever it is that sends you to dream land consistently. On that note, g'night.
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purplesushi, I do this all the time. I am so bad about rumination. My brain never shuts off. "They" say it is a female thing. Our brains go all the time. Men are luckier. Their brains go into idle much faster. I've heard that when a man tells you that he's not thinking about anything, believe him. We women have a hard time accepting how men's brains work, because ours can be like a hamster in a wheel.

There are a few things I've found that help -- no more than one beer before bed. If I have two I will surely wake up in the middle of the night. If the hamster in my head is running, I turn over to the other side. I don't know why this works, but sometimes when I turn over I will forget what I was even thinking about. Must be a blood flow thing with me. Maybe it will work with you. Sometimes it helps me if I have hold a soft blanket or shirt in my hands, like Linus's security blanket. That can be very comforting.

I don't take any drugs ever, because I am afraid I would start to depend on them. One thing I don't like is I am terrible to let the hamster start running, thinking stressful things first thing in the morning. It makes me tired right away. I am trying to stop myself by saying good things in my head. (Maybe I should listen to Joel Osteen in the morning.)
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sunflo whats zzzquill is it an over the counter drug or herbal? must investigate that be great to take something that isnt addictive. We have kalms here but they didnt work for me, I also tried chamomile tea relaxes you but felt like my head had a bag of frogs in it the next morning! anywhoo off to bed look at the time lucky my mum gets up late!
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PS i put on alot of weight too stress makes you fat! I am now on a diet and motivated for the first time in years WHY because on top of everything thats going on my weight was depressing me also I was comfort eating mainly crap and sweet stuff of course. I am taking chromium brilliant for sugar cravings and I got my bike out today and it felt great ok i couldnt breathe but hey its a start. Dont worry about your weight too much though we can take on so much thats its mental overload just take one day at a time. I was always a very laid back person I never thought I would be close to losing it but thats what caring for my mum with no support drove me to NOW its about me and my mental health. Hug!
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Hi was in same place about two months ago I was literally cracking up my doc gave me stilnoct BUT there have been some negative reports about them BUT im sleeping i pop and drop next thing I know my cats tapping my face with his paw!!

I will say though take sunflos advice first! My doc wants me off these soon but not until a solution for my mum is sorted.

What ive HAD to learn is that you cannot fix everyone! You have to TRY to stop worrying about the what ifs you will go mad. I have stepped back a bit and basically surrender to and say this to yourself everyday "If something happens it happens I cannot control everything and everyone" my support group say that i could go to the shop and my mum may be dead when I get back we cannot live in fear all the time it nearly drove me to a breakdown. like you what if? now im preparing myself for the worst and will deal with it all when it happens. Your mum is safe. you have a job interview. your sister will be ok and get the help she needs. you need to think about you and try and get some sleep. I would try anything first as drugs to sleep was not what i wanted and can be addictive but I know I will be ok once mums sorted and I will stop worrying so much.
Its very hard what works for me may not work for you. But just dont go down the drug route unless absolutely nescessary i got into such a state after a breakin that I had no choice I think I would have coped had it not have been for this breakin just so much stress and worry my doc had to calm me down.
I hope you get some sleep tonight!!
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Well, lots of good advice. You have tons going on right now including some exciting things like a job interview.

Try these tips:
Limit caffeine after lunch.
Have a routine and stick to it especially for next several weeks while you calm your mind.
Limit exercise after dinner.
Don't eat dinner to close to bedtime
Limit alcohol intake. It doesn't lend to a sound restful sleep although you think it does because you are relaxed...
Try an evening routine, warm bath, shower, read a book.
Leave your cell phone, computer, OFF and in another room no beeping at nighttime!!!
Keep room dark, turn thermostat down to 68...we sleep better in cold.
Write all your worries, to do list, thoughts in a journal before bedtime
Swig of ZZZ-Quil vs prescription sleep aid. My husband can't sleep and he just started taking this a few weeks ago and swears by it ( my niece recommended) and he can never sleep the whole night. He wakes up rested and not groggy.

Good luck.
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Worries are actually the working of the mind, reacting to situations, trying to find solutions.But we forget that mere worrying about doesn't solve the problems.Especially at that particular time of night.Instead of lying down trying to sleep fighting the thoughts, get up and write down 2, 3 options or backup plans for the most important worries.Having a few alternatives will bring some calm to the mind eventually.You are able to manage daytime better, since you have some work for your mind for other things.Put it through some positive work and then see.Finally you have to realize that things out of our control don't deserve to be worried about.My two pence...!
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Hey Purple we could stay up and chat some night! LOL, I have had horrible and I mean really horrible insomnia for 7 years now. Since right before the big change. I am told it is meno related. I have tried everything from Ambien to herbs to exercise to plain old just staying up til I am ready to go to sleep for real. Nothing works for very long BUT as time has gone by it is getting better to the point where I do sleep at least nights 5 hours. To cope, I find taking a SHORT nap helps get me through the rest of the day. Try not to be so hard on yourself, you have an huge amount on your plate! I try to have one thing to think about that makes me happy that I try to turn my thoughts to when I am lying in the dark. For me it is meal planning as cooking is my passion or occasionally I buy a lotto ticket and plot what I would do if I won, lol! Best two bucks I ever spent. Good luck and this too shall pass...eventually!
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You have a TON of stuff going on in your life, so don't beat yourself up that you're unable to turn it off at night. My recommendation would be to find a good, caring therapist who can help you put your fears/worries in perspective (particularly about your mom) and teach you tools to deal with them that will help you relax at night and get the sleep and rest that you deserve.

I also use something called an EmWave, a little gadget that helps me relax and reduce stress. Kind of like biofeedback. You can google it to find out what it is. I do that before I go to bed (and also in the morning) and it's been wonderful. It's kind of like meditation, which would also be useful. You could also try over-the-counter melatonin, but it never worked for me.
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What a good description of what goes on in my brain when I don't take my alprazolam before I go to bed. I take 2 mg.--1 mg. at 7:30 and 1 at 8:30. Without it, my brain just won't shut up. I tried something like Ambian, but the first night I took it, someone took the ketchup out of the fridge and put it on the counter. I hate ketchup! Someone also slept in the guest bedroom, but when I woke up, I was in my own bed...doctor won't let me have Ambian or that med with the butterfly advertisement. Alprazolam works for me! Sweet dreams tonight, everyone!
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I have this really good plan that I almost never try, but I'll just throw it out, in case it helps.

What if, an hour or half hour before bed time, you make a list, actually on paper, of all the things you have to worry about. Spend a few minutes thinking about the next step, if there is one, on each problem. Then say, "OK, God, will You hold onto these overnight while I sleep?" Or tell yourself that they are written down, so you don't have to keep them in your mind. If you start worrying, remind yourself that it's on the list, and it will still be there tomorrow.

I think you have to give the worrying a chance to happen, but it's better to do it when you're awake, and can control it and maybe even get useful ideas.

I'm definitely going to ask for some Ambian. Five hours sounds perfect.
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Thanks Captain...I've heard of Ambian...I might check into it & talk to my doctor. Gotta do something. I've never been one to really have anxiety issues before - guess it's one of the lovely side effects of caregiving? :/
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my brain shifts from trikebuilding to stonework back to trikebuilding when i lie down. the federal govt keeps bitching about ambian but for me the drug is perfect. it wears off in about 5 hours so theres no morning hangover. i think just a bunch of non driving toads keep blaming ambian for their motor car mayhem. good luck with the potential employment and your family issues sushi..
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