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What have you found that gets you more than a few hours of ZZZZs? My neurologist wants me to take ambien. My rheumatologist suggests muscle relaxant. And benedryl makes me wound up. I am not drinker but I am exhausted...What have you found that works? (I know turn off the computer earlier (%)...but besides that)

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Funny you asked this question. I have that same problem which kicked up another notch about a year ago. Hubby told me I had lost my mind and was having a nervous breakdown. A pill like Benadryl stopped working. I would feel so tired yet my eyes upon looking in the mirror would be so big like someone had placed sticks between the lids to keep them open. Drinking something warm did nothing and neither did bubble baths or showers. Stronger sleep aids I did not care for any longer because I have a 45-minute drive to work. Now I take one called MidNite, (white and blue package). It is found in the same section as other sleep aids and headache pills. I can take one on most days and wake feeling refreshed. I have also had to take a second one around 5 am a few times but I am still able to wake up around 9 am. I’m not hung over. I tried the 6mg melatonin and same problems – no sleep.

Benadryl sent me over the edge. I don’t know if I had been dreaming or what. But story goes hubby and I had been sitting in living room watching a movie and I had fallen asleep. He woke me up to go to bed and I immediately attached him. Diving on top and chocking him and hitting. Once he got me to snap out of the fog, I was so embarrassed. So no more Benadryl for me.
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I have used Melatonin and it usually works for me. However, I have often found that Ibuprofen p.m. will also work. However, you don't want to use this nightly. I use it about once a week. It's very difficult to find something that works and is not addictive. I found with the Ibuprofen that it's worth it to take it now and then for a good night's sleep.
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I usually fall asleep ok, but wake frequently with worries, anxiety, and sometimes scary dreams. I read or watch old movies in the middle of the night. A nice, warm, bubble bath with a favorite bath gel works wonders.
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Anyone with serious sleep problems should see a sleep specialist. Most internists and general practitioners and even many psychiatrists don't know beans about sleep problems.
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It is so hard to even do anything in the day because of no sleep at night ! I feel like the walking dead Just to make my self do anything . Its been months and months . Even when I was in the hospital in dec when they removed my thyroid the min I woke up i never would go back to sleep and they put me in the room with this woman I sat up in the bed all night because she wanted the tv off ! Sit up in the dark all night !
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Sly, try Zzzquil. Liquid form about $6.00 a bottle for the store brand. The bottle will last a couple of weeks.
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it was ambien My insurence wouldnt pay for ! That I couldnt afford and I have tried herbal teas of all kinds .. Even antidepressant couldnt knock me out .. I think I fight my sleep !
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same thing With me ! I have tried everything . I am 61 and its like I fight the sleep ! I am lucky to even get 2hours in 2 days of sleep . I even take one melatonin and selnor my dr put me on and still no sleep . tried 2 benadryl and flexerol even a stomach pill my doctor put me on a long time ago that use to work and she wrote out the new sleeping meds but I could not afford them so that was out . my insurence wouldnt pay for it . I won't sleep tonight either and last night maybe a hour .. Why cant we sleep ! ?
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ZzzQuil! Best I have found.
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I find that I need to really work on the "shutting my mind off" either with writing ideas down or meditating or praying...etc.

The last few nights have been exhausting because the night had really weird dreams too, Too much input and not enough of a solution during the day I guess.

I can fall asleep anytime during the day - all I have to do is close my eyes. But I just can't manage enough to get ahead.
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Thanks I have ended caffeine intake after Noon...did that a while ago...and have tried the tea but chamomile is not a favorite of mine ---I can stand it as sleepy time but don't find I get sleepy. But thanks
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Can I make a suggestion? Perhaps you could try some herbal tea before you go to bed at night. Some good herbs to relax you and help you sleep are Chamomile, Valerian, Skullcap, and Hops. Also, I don't know if you are a coffee or pop drinker, but you might want to limit your intake of caffeine so it doesn't keep you up at night. I know in my case I no longer drink coffee after noon.

In addition to the comments above on Ambien, my mother was prescribed Ambien a few months ago when she was in the hospital to help her sleep, and it actually had the opposite reaction in her case! In fact, she became very agitated and was ready to fight everybody!
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What you describe is the #1 symptom of adrenal fatigue...Tired during the day; up during the night. Google it and see if you have any other symptoms. I would suggest natural solutions like that ones mentioned here. Some are milder than others. Try Valerian Root before resorting to Melatonin. Melatonin will work, but it's a hormone in the body and it could effect the other hormones (they interact with each other.)
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While taking care of my mom, my mind would not shut down at night therefore I was getting no sleep. My doctor suggested a low dose of antiantiety/depression med by the name of celexa, he said it was non addictive and it did work. Be ven if I was in a sound sleep, I still heard my mom. Guess it is like a mom and her baby.
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Oh I didn't stay on topic. Sorry! But please let me know if ASMR does help.
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That's funny Glasshalful, those are some of my favorite movies lol. Especially Dante's Peak that's a CLASSIC. I love the disaster movie genre.
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bjx2010, thanks for the idea...I will look into the sounds. I know that I can fall asleep with TV on and disaster flixs like "dante's Peak, Volcano, Outbreak, etc" - Ok I am a science geek --- usually I set the sleep button for 60 minutes...but if I could just leave it one all night without it turning to some crappy shopping channel when movie is over...I might be ok. But I will look at this other video/sound stuff and see what I can do
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Dear fedupanddown: Thank you for you input. She does remember her nightmares very well and tells us about them. She sometimes gets scared because they "seem so real" she says. We've tried to get her different medicines, but she is very stubborn and always goes back to the Ambien - she says it works to get her to sleep, and thinks the nightmares are because she's getting old! Anyway, thanks for the advice, and we'll continue to try different things with her. One thing I meant to say also, is that she is in excellent health overall, it's just that she thinks she has sleep problems. If that's all she has, I guess she's fortunate for that. Thanks again.
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Dear CentralMassach1, Any drug can have different effects on elderly people. Things which word well in you 20-50 years can change with time. I've taken Ambient off and on since 1998. It worked great back then. Now it takes forever to kick in and works for about four hours. Go figure. Trazadone might be a better choice for her. Ask her doctor. As to the nightmares, does she remember them and talk about them? Perhaps long-term memories of old, awful things are coming up? I think the more she can talk about them or write them down, if possible, the less power they may have. Someone who studied dreams said nightmares are your subconscious' way of trying to get your attention. Just a thought. Good luck to all of you.
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I would also like to comment about Ambien. My MIL has taken it for about 5 years now (she is 86), and she has had nightmares (some pretty vivid and scary). She also wakes up after about 4 hours and can't get back to sleep, but she won't give it up because she says at least it helps her get to sleep. She doesn't believe that the nightmares are from the Ambien. I can't make her not take them anymore and my husband thinks as long as she is o.k., then why change it. I would not recommend giving Ambien to anyone.
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I read the daily email updates but never login. Tonight I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I am a lifelong insomniac (I am 40). However, once I took mom in my sleeplessness became a severe problem because I can never 'make up' sleep anymore on weekends. I'm also getting older and had to find a way to sleep. About 2 yrs ago I started trying ASMR vids on youtube. They have saved my life. Not every person has the receptors for it but it work for me. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response stimulates the feel good sensors in the brain. In a calming way...it makes a lot of people fall asleep like a child does...boneless and with a sense of safety. There are various sounds that people use...for me I hate the whispering sounds those aggravate me, but I love the sounds of dogs chewing bones, cats bathing themselves, artists sketching, or newspaper pages turning. I have since assembled my lwn collection of vids that I setup to autoplay each night for 4- 5 hrs at least. I calm down, my anxiety level drops and I sleep. Medicine free...I occasionally add tart cherry juice or sleepytime extra (with valerian) tea to my nighttime routine but usually the sounds are enough. I would advise against Ambien if you have to wake nightly for mom. Some may not feel it is addictive...but I have known several people who took it...they have never stopped even after years. Either way I hope you find something that works for you.
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I like ambien. Not addictive and no sleepwalking. Sometimes it takes too long to kick in and leaves a little grogginess in the morning. Try these sleeping aids: listen to NPR/read something. Anything to turn your mind away from all you have left undone and all you must do in the morning--if you are lucky enough to sleep through the night.
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Is Benadryl what they put in cold medicine?
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I do melatonin plus diphenhydramine (Benadryl). I avoid coffee after 5pm. I find that lovely 2nd glass of red wine makes me wake up at 3:30am, don't know why, but I just can't have that very lovely 2nd glass of wine ( boo hook ). I have heard that pumpkin or pumpkin extract is good for sleep, but I haven't tried it. I do also wear an eye patch thing to completely black out all light.
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I'm not a care giver any more but my sleep pattern has been awful for months ... stress and my mind going a mile a minute. I'm sleepy by 10 p.m. I find if I get the ready for bed stuff done ... wash, change, brush teeth, let the dogs out for a last pee and so on ... I might watch the beginning of the 11 p.m. news and off to bed we go.

The long harsh winter certainly hasn't helped any of us but now spring is here and I'll be outside working around the property in the fresh air. In spring, summer & fall I'm up early and drop into bed at days end, out like a light.
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My 89-year-old mom has had terrible problems with insomnia for many, many years. She tried Ambien with bad results. She is currently taking VESICare to relax the bladder and drinking a small amount of hot cocoa with Cool Whip (YUM) right before bedtime. Her overnight trips to the bathroom have gone down from 7-8 to 3-4. This regimen has worked for over a year now. She also says she gets right back to sleep after she lays back down from a bathroom trip.

My 90-year-old dad also swears by cocoa right before bedtime for good sleep as well. (I discovered hot cocoa years ago when I needed to take a quick nap after my lunch so that I could work a 3-11 shift without falling asleep.)
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I also have a pendant for him (Lifeline) so that if he falls I certainly will hear him. He has also used it when he couldn't get off the pot. That has certainly reduced my anxiety level about falling. I also really rely on the baby monitor to keep track of whether or not he is in bed ans I can ask him if he needs help. He has been having trouble getting his CPAP mask on straight if he gets up in the night.
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My doctor told me to take Melatonin, an natural OTC supplement that is not habit-forming. He also said to take it with a Tylenol. Sometimes I do and other times I just take the Melatonin. I don't take it every night, but do find that it helps me have a relaxed sleep with no foggy side effects.
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Thanks for starting this topic, and for everyone's helpful responses. I also sleep with one eye open, imagining I will catch my hubby if he starts to fall during one of his many trips to the toilet during the night. I've added practical aids like nightlights on remote switches for him to use for the journey, walkers, etc. But it's me who is anxious and cannot let go of my responsibilities, even when I've covered things as best I can.
Chocolate for dessert at night makes it worse, sadly. And Edahmen has a great suggestion, that I nap in the afternoon when my hubby does. If I put my head down, I am into a deep sleep almost at once. BUT that quiet hour or so is when I can get other things done, or just play on the computer...
Thanks everyone.
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I have found that if I am worried I might be needed during the night, I don't dare take anything that might make me foggy and miss a distress call. I do take a nighttime OTC sleep aid with benedryl and don't have any problem. Occasionally it will keep my brain awake most of the night and that's a bummer. My doctor does not believe in ambien. I also have a sound soother which helps a lot. And I do lie down while my husband has his nap so I don't get overly tired. I have found that break extremely important, even though i certainly have tons of other chores I could be doing. To be sure, nighttime is very difficult for caretakers.
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