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Usually I sleep great, (& nothing has changed about my routine), so it freaked me out when I started ⏰ waking up so damn early. It only happens a couple times a week now, but I'm hoping it won't increase to every day! It started when I turned 60, if I recall. My neighbors are 72 & 82 years old, & they said it happens like that every day, for them. I'm against Ambien type sleep aids cause of some weird stories I've heard. Thanks, hope you guys have some tips.

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I began sleeping a whole lot less when my late wife began her 6 year journey with vascular dementia in 2008. I was her sole caregiver during that time. Our son lives in Wisconsin, we lived in Suwanee, Georgia, and that's all there was to that. I was a homebuilder and land developer, so early hours weren't new to me. What was new was finding my wife, who was a very independent and successful person, completely needy for 24/7/365. So, I would give her her sleep meds at 10PM, have a couple of hours to do laundry, clean the house, make lists for everything, review her symptoms and behaviors that day and put them in a journal for review by her doctors, organize medical supplies for the next day's use, prepare meals in advance, etc., and (hopefully) go to bed by 1AM. I slept with my left hand touching her, so that, if she moved, I would awaken instantly, which I did a lot. At 5AM, she always awoke immediately, so I gave her a bath, and fed her. By the time that she went Home, on Thanksgiving Day, 2014. My brain was hard wired so that I could function with 3 hours' sleep a day. I remarried in April, 2016. My new bride broke her hip on September 20 of this year, has developed severe emphysema, congestive heart failure, and is on in-home hospice care. For me, my abbreviated sleep habits integrate with my present situation very well. After things run their course, I do look forward to a more leisurely life that will, hopefully, bring seasons of longer sleep. I look at it as a blessing of being retired: I get to sleep when I darn well please. I agree with another respondent to your inquiry: find a productive use that you enjoy for that early AM period of wakefulness. I am typing this at 6:30AM, after staying awake all night, because my wife was having some issues. I will relax by fiddling around with my fishing gear, look into some Bible passages to come up with a sermon outline for Sunday night, eat ham and eggs and sliced tomatoes for breakfast, then sleep from 9AM until 1PM, while our daughter watches her Mom. Then, I'll prepare lunch and dinner. Weaving the unfolding new patterns of our physiology and psychology as life progresses is so much easier than the angst of fighting the natural flow.
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Melimar Dec 27, 2018
GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!
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Tiger,
Here is just a downright c r a z y. answer for you, believe it or not. It was not my idea.
But some believers think that we are awakened (2-3 a.m.) in order to pray for someone. Maybe they are far away. Who/what comes to mind when you first awake?
Pray for them, what else do you have to do at that hour anyway?
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Tiger55 Dec 23, 2018
Yes, I heard of that before, (& I have done it), it's not crazy! Lol. Thank u Sendinghelp! xo☺
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There is a lot of stuff about how we have two sleeps per night. Prayer books were published in the 1600 and 1700 hundreds for use during the waking period. If you are on a farm like us, you may notice that the animals move around and feed at about 2am as well.

I don’t worry about being awake, and I lie comfortably and tell myself the plots of books I know well. Sometimes I put on a soft and boring CD, or run through my relaxation CD in my head. ‘Lie down on a firm but comfortable surface; cover yourself with a sheet or a blanket’ - I know it off by heart. Resting is not as good as sleep, but it is a lot better than worrying about not being asleep. I am fortunate in having a spare bedroom to retreat to if I am wakeful and restless.

Many people (including me) are prone to sleep ‘habits’, so once you wake at a couple of times at a particular hour, you keep doing it. Sleep drugs are good to break the ‘habit’, but easily addictive so not good long term. Try to enjoy being comfortable - many people aren't.
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Tiger55 Dec 27, 2018
Yes, I need to chillOut, for sure! Thanks☺✌
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Our body produces Melatonin (the sleeping medicine).this is done every 45 min. ideal one should go to bed before 10 PM. lights all blue light should be off by 9 pm. there are few cells near both eyes which notice the darkness and then allow your body to produce Melatonin. If you miss this time, then you need to wait for another 45 min. At 2 am -3 am the brain starts preparing your body to wake up by asking the liver to produce glucose from glycogen. this is for every one. If you set up your room dark and close your eyes may be use white noise, then you may go back to sleep. you may have to wait till the next 45 min to get the dose of melatonin injected. It is natural. no need to get frusterated.
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Tiger55 Dec 23, 2018
Wow, that helps☺. I had a fan during the summertime, which was great 'white noise'. Will try to find a comforting sound to play. Thanks!
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I have had insomnia my whole life, now I take sleep aids a road I wish I never took.

But here is what I use to do. Get out of bed, the longer you stay in bed the more frustrated you become. I would read a book, write, clean my house, and sometimes clean a friends house when she was sleeping (she lived down the street from me), watch tv, or baked. Now, if I should wake up in the middle of the night I just spend that time with the lord because I usually fall back to sleep within an hour. Meditation works really good or it did for me at one point.
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Tiger55 Dec 27, 2018
I love that: "Spend time with the Lord"✌
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I think not being able to sleep comes from Menopause. I have nights I sleep until I wake up to go to the bathroom. I find if I have had maybe 5 hrs of sleep its harder to get back to sleep. Less, I can usually go back. Closer to sun up the less likely I will be able to go back to sleep. I usually take a couple of Advils. I have where my legs ache sometimes.
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Tiger55 Dec 25, 2018
True, & after my trip to bathroom, I look at the ⏰ clock, which then aggravates me further, lol.
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I have woke up at 2:30 to 3 am since my early 20s. I live on pretty much 3 hours of sleep a day. I have found that you can get the most accomplished in that time frame when no one else is around. Slam 2 glasses of water go to work, leave by noon, enjoy the rest of your day. On days off, go shopping at 5, avoid crowds, bake, clean. When your tired, you may sleep more but usually going back to sleep just sucks energy.
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Tiger55 Dec 25, 2018
That's a👍good idea! Thanks tacy022.
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I guess so..LOL I am only 51 and I always wake up between 3 and 5...I enjoy my morning time to have my coffee, relax, contemplate, see the sunrise, go for my morning paper, and to write letters...Yes, when I can't sleep though, and still "want to", I use two teabags of Chamomile Tea to one mug of hot water...that knocks me out for the night. Safe and soothing.
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Tiger55 Dec 27, 2018
That's awesome, to just be accepting things as they are & enjoying the moment. How the heck do you do that? Lol.😀✌🙋
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Tiger, if I find myself awake in the very wee hours of the morning, I turn on the TV and look for something boring to watch, like C-SPAN :P
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Tiger55 Dec 25, 2018
Agree☺. I will try that too, thanx.
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I sometimes go through it but not every night. I sometimes take a melatonin in the middle of the night. I also use a Mindfullness breathing meditation program prescribed by a psychiatrist for anxiety. You can find them on YouTube and just listen. There are also 30 min sessions. You should try them during the day to find the right YouTube session. Use the 2 querys of mindfulness and breathing. After playing them several times, I can focus on the basics.

IF all else fails, you might want to go to a sleep specialist. There are plenty of clinics out there
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