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My Grandmother just had a recent stay in the hospital. It has been almost 3 weeks since then and she is having trouble falling asleep at night. She is getting scared to go to bed. Before the hospital stay she would go to bed a 8pm wake up at 12am (to check her blood sugar), then go back to bed and sleep till 6am. Now she can not not go to sleep till 12am or later and still wakes up at 6am and is unable to go back to sleep. She is tired all day but is unable to sleep. She has glaucoma and most over the counter sleep meds say not to take if you have that. We are at a loss. We want to take to her doctor but all the meds I've read about say not to take if you need to wake up at night. She needs to be able to wake up if her blood sugar falls. Also they say they could cause sleep walking which would be very scary for her since she can not walk on her own. Does anyone have any sugestions. Thank you

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The trauma of the hospitalization likely caused this. Being hospitalized often causes problems for elders that are tough to beat. Still, her doctor may have a solution. Don't rule out medications just from what you've read. See the doctor and maybe she'll get some help. The more she is afraid to sleep, the worse it will get. Good luck,
Carol
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You are right, it is not a good idea to give the elderly sleep aides. It could cause them to fall when getting up to use the toilet. Have you tried a nice cup of herbal tea at bed time and some quiet, relaxing music. Rubbing lotion on arm, legs, hands and feet is also very relaxing. Does she drink anything caffeinated during the day? If so, switch to decaffeinated. Hope this is helpful.
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Thank you both. She only has 1 cup of coffee in the morning that's 1/2 decaf and actually cut out all chocolate as well. I will def talk to her doctor. We've tried the warm milk. I'll suggest to her the herbal teas. Thank you
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For the elderly, I think it often takes 5 days in a hospital to resolve the accute problem, and then 5 months at home to recover from the hospitalization. :(

Hospitals can be scary places at night. Maybe along with the lotion rub you can offer some nightly reassurances. "Isn't it nice to be back home in your own bed? It will be safe and quiet all night. No one is going to come in and disturb you until you are ready to wake up. We're just down the hall if you need us, but you will be nice and cozy in your own bed." etc.

Talking to the doctor is important. If her doctor is not a geriatrician, specifically ask about her age. "Has this drug been tested for the elderly?" or "Have you had experience with other elderly patients on this particular drug?" I don't think that finding a drug that can help is out of the question -- it just needs to be done carefully.

You cut out all chocolate? :( Did that help? Does grandmother really love chocolate? If so, that is a deprivation more severe than non-chocolate-lovers can imagine. She might be in chocolate withdrawal! OK, I'm kidding a little, but sometimes we set up a deprivation for their own good and then continue with it even if it fails to help. If her inability to fall asleep is related to anxiety and has nothing to do with caffeine, then that solution is not going to work and she is giving up a pleasure for no purpose.

It is good of you to be so concerned with your grandmother's well being. I hope you find something that works.
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My grandmother use to drink a warm glass of milk when she couldn't sleep, but I think she also had something else in there, like some whiskey. But I would try giving your grandmother just plain warm milk. I don't let her drink anything caffine at night it will keep her awake. Maybe try a pillow speaker that plays soft music, I use it when I can't sleep. Talk to her doctor and ask him what can be done about her problem, that's usually the best thing to do.
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GH:

Last time I was hospitalized, I could only get 2-3 hours sleep a day; between 2-5:30 am. When I wasn't a pin cushion (draw blood, blood sugar, blood gas) or a guinea pig for medical students, I kept track of the food cart that kept missing my room. My sleeping pattern got so out of whack I'd ask for a sleep aid that didn't arrive until midnight and would kick in around daybreak. The 6am shift would nag me for being up all night. "Try to get some sleep, Mr. Viera. ... Otherwise you won't get better." ... No s__t Sherlock! Every time my beauty sleep was denied I'd get so upset it took a while to calm down. So I watched TV or did crosswords; lots of them. One day a chaplain woke me up; then a group of musicians bringing some cheer. I said no, but they sang and played the guitar and accordion anyway. ... Security was called, and I was dubbed the Monster Patient after that. I was so traumatized my body clock went back to normal 2 weeks after discharge.

As Carol suggested, don't rule out meds and see the doctor. In the meantime, see if you can get her to spill. A little venting might be relaxing enough to catch 40 winks. Good luck.
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Thanks and I've tried discussing with her that the amount of caff in chocolate wasn't going to affect her if she only eats a little bit durring the day. But she still refuses. Thank you all and it makes a lot of sense and I will be talking to her doctor.
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