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sleep - do you get enough?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by mac, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Absolutely nothing to do with afterlife issues!

    We're often told by medical advisers that we need to get enough sound sleep for the sake of our overall health.

    Do you feel you get enough sleep? Is it good sleep? If not do you feel it affects you adversely? Do you need to take OTC or Rx sleep-aids to help you sleep, either occasionally or regularly?

    Please add your thoughts and ideas.
  2. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    I very rarely get enough sleep; it's been that way since my husband died. I probably wasn't getting enough sleep before he died, either, but then it was a matter of staying up too late reading or being online, as well as having to get up early for work. At least the sleep I did get was reasonably good sleep.

    Every night since he died 5 years ago, I have to take two Benadryl in order to get to sleep. The few times I tried to do without it, I didn't fall asleep until 3 or 4 am, and then slept off-and-on, fitfully, until 6 or 7 am, then just got up. On very bad nights, when I'm even sadder and/or angrier than usual, or when I'm having a panic attack, I take a Lunesta (sleeping pill, prescribed to me) in order to fall asleep.

    None of which guarantees good sleep, though. Sometimes, like last night, I have nightmares about my husband being gone.

    The lack of good sleep definitely affects me adversely. It's one of the reasons why I've gained weight (along with eating badly and not exercising), it doesn't help with my blood pressure, and it contributes to the "fuzziness" of my brain that has been evident since my husband's death. My intelligence has been sort of blunted since he died, similar to "pregnancy brain"; I have read about it, and evidently this is not uncommon in situations of extreme and/or prolonged grief. I assume my intelligence must still be there, but I am unable to access it to the degree I once could, and I find it very difficult to focus now for any length of time (which is not a problem I had previously).
  3. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    That's really sad, bb. :(
  4. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    Thank you mac; it really is. In addition for mourning for my husband, I also mourn for myself, for having lost who I was.
  5. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    It's been reported recently that old folk - like me - need enough hours sound sleep to help maintain health but perversely it seems that old folk generally sleep less well anyway as they get older. One of the many crap changes that aging brings!

    My sleep pattern can be disrupted by trivial issues and I routinely wake frequently, sometimes unable to get back to sleep for some time. I can't properly remember how things used to be - another old-age issue! - so I don't know if sleep disruption is different fromwhen I was young or just that I'm reacting differently to it.

    I irregularly take a half tablet of WalMart sleep aid - diphehydramine hydrochloride, an anti-histamine, I think, found in common cold rememdies. That a fourth of the recommended adult dose so I'm not worried I'll become a junkie at this stage but I do wonder what will happen in the next few years as I hit mid 70s.
  6. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    That's so sad too, bb.....
  7. ravensgate

    ravensgate Active Member

    I feel I get enough sleep. I average 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, with the rare bathroom call, lol. Never needed - as far as I can remember - more than 5 hours' sleep. Something else I still enjoy in my old age is the ability to wake up without an alarm clock... I just wake up.
  8. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    5 hours of uninterrupted sleep? If only!

    On rare nights I get that but most nights it's at least one, and often more, bathroom calls - it's a man's thing! Enlarged prostate because of my age and trying to keep well hydrated - as doctors say seniors should - leaves me needing a pee or just wondering if I do - same outcome, I get out of bed to be sure.

    Women get a better deal, one of the few times that's the case.
  9. ravensgate

    ravensgate Active Member

    Mac, in my experience and generally speaking, each gender ends up with some plumbing problem, lol . Prostate for males, prolapses in females, lol. Prolapses usually cause incontinence, and roughly 80% suffering from this disorder are women. Unfortunately, most women wait over 5 years to seek treatment (while the problem worsens). Regarding the nightly trips to the bathroom, corn silk has made a tremendous, positive difference! I surely rely on it ;)
  10. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Agree that on the woman/man bladder issues - my wife's already had more-than-her-fair-share of that, here in AZ and at home in the UK.

    I've never heard of corn silk as a medical treatment! I've just looked this up online....

    Have you got any suggestions for buggered fat pads in my feet, metatarsalgia and plantar fasciitis both threatening my running?
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  11. ravensgate

    ravensgate Active Member

    You may not like to read this, but if you like running/jogging, you're going to make your metatarsalgia worse. Usually, but not always, regular exercise practices such running turn out to be the culprits. However, you first need to find out the cause of it. Once one knows the etiology of the condition, then various treatment options may be considered . Do you know how/why you developed it? You might have a thinning of the "fat pads" (it happens as we grow "wiser", :D), which will make the condition more painful . Have you considered orthotic devices to redistribute the weight placed on the area? Do you wear tight fitting shoes? If the pain persists, you may want to ask your doctor to check your uric acid, assess for neuromas and arthritis. See if an inti-inflammatory may be used (I have no idea what your past/present medical status is). I personally like turmeric (curcumin, to be precise), an excellent inflammatory that works just as well as ibuprofen without the possible side effects. However, remember that curcumin will need to be taken on a regular basis and may take up to a week to exert its anti-inflammatory effect (needs to reach therapeutic levels in your system).
    Ahhh, mac, oh the joys of growing old! I think the ancient Romans had it right.... old age itself is a disease! :eek:
  12. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I don't like it but I'd already reached similar conclusions to your suggestions - my running days are coming to an end, feet worn out by hammering the unforgiving roads.... I use prescribed custom-made orthotics for my old-age, well-(ab)used feet. The GP and podiatrist have checked out all the stuff I'd already checked out for myself and reached the same diagnosis - my feet are buggered! Ibuprofen kills my gut but mostly I don't get that much pain - it's just very uncomfortable, tingling metatarsals and heel tenderness that I work on, mostly successfully.

    Time I retired from road running and took up an old-fart sport such as golf. :D Gettin' old sucks ass!
    ravensgate likes this.
  13. Nirvana

    Nirvana Member

    Not anymore
  14. brexit

    brexit New Member

    I have struggled with sever insomnia for the past year and a half. I am finally starting to get a little bit of sleep. I’m *not* a doctor, but after seeing a handful of sleep specialists, holistic doctors, energy healers, been prescribed multiple sleeping pills, and tried the whole gamut of natural remedies, I can let you know the steps I’ve taken that have proven helpful.
    1. Therapy. I’ve been to both a mindfulness-based therapist and EMDR therapist.
    2. Daily meditation (2 times a day, if possible). This process can take about 8 weeks of solid work before you start seeing results. My schedule includes 10–20 mins right when I wake up, and 10–20 mins after dinner (a few hours before bed!)
    3. Stick to a consistent sleep and wake schedule. This kind of sucks, especially if you’re a night owl such as myself. However, getting in bed before or around 10 pm is optimal! You’re body runs in cycles, called your circadian rhythm, and between the hours of 10pm-2am, your body begins its physical repair cycle. From 2am-6am, your psychological repair cycle begins and ends. So start getting in bed around 9:30 every night, if possible.
    4. Turn down the lights a couple hours before bed. Dim your lights around your house, if possible. This helps to signal to your brain that you’re getting ready for bed. Yes, this includes your laptop/cell phone etc. etc.!
    5. Limit exercise, caffeine, and alcohol use a few hours before bed. Exercise and obviously, caffeine, can energize you. Alcohol makes it difficult for your body to enter deep sleep. So cut back on these. If possible, work out in the morning or afternoon! This will help you get out of your head and into your body, energize your mind and body before or during work, and help to lower your stress levels and cortisol levels.
    6. A new mattress (here is a review https://sleepissimple.com/folding-mattress/) Believe me, the right mattress is numer one step that can significantly improve the quality of your sleep—as well as your wellbeing while you’re awake.
    7. Treat yourself! If possible, get massages, take a nice bath before bed, do some light stretching in the dark, masturbate, listen to soothing music, etc. etc. Take care of yourself, cause if you’re not getting enough sleep your body needs some extra attention and love! :)
    There are other things to this list - it’s pretty basic - but truly try to stick with them. I know it can be overwhelming to see this list and put it all into action. Start small. The top three things I’d start with would be daily meditation, sticking to a consistent sleep/wake schedule, and exercising in the morning or afternoon. Oh, and limiting caffeine!

    Best of luck to you!!
  15. Amore

    Amore Member

    Ha! I wish! I have 25 hour/day cycles (yes that's a thing). Every day my sleep moves forward by about an hour. If I go to bed at set time I will simply not sleep. When my brain decides it's time to sleep it doesn't matter if the moon is up or the sun shines. That means the times I sleep move around the days, sometimes I sleep at night, sometimes I go to bed when the sun comes up, sometimes after noon, sometimes early evening, etc. It's not an easy sleep disorder to have. My whole life gets scheduled around it. I have tried everything to regulate it to no avail.

    Regarding sleep quality, the two things that I believe help me sleep deeper and with fewer interruptions are magnesium supplements and valerian.

    My mother is addicted to sleeping pills so I'm staying far away from them! She can't sleep at all without them and when she takes them she is drowsy during the day too. Terrible addiction.
  16. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member


    Have you considered or tried Benadryl? If you were to take one or two Benadryl about an hour before you wanted to fall asleep, it would help. I don't know if it would work for you as a permanent or long-term solution, and I think it may be possible to become addicted to them, but if you don't have an addiction problem generally (and/or any other health issues which could make Benadryl contraindicated for you) then it might be something for you to consider.
    Amore likes this.
  17. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    The BBC has been running a series of programs online about sleep disorders. I listened to just one which happened to feature your condition and the problems that its sufferers face in their daily lives.

    Is this it? https://sleepfoundation.org/non-24/content/facts-prevalence
  18. Amore

    Amore Member

    Thank you bluebird. It's an antihistamine, right? I have never used it but I will consider it for days where I have to be somewhere at a certain time but my sleep cycle is not 'cooperating'.

    @mac, yes that is how my sleep cycle is. Moves forward every day by about an hour, even if I had enough sunlight during the day.
  19. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    Exactly. I used to take it for spring/summer allergies (and still do, occasionally), but mostly I use it to get to sleep at night. I have taken two Benadryl virtually every night since my husband died five years ago. On really bad nights I take a (prescribed) sleeping pill instead, but if I don't take something then I will not sleep. I've told my doctor I take the two Benadryl each night, and it didn't concern him. You might want to check with your doctor before you start taking it, just to make sure there's no health reason why you shouldn't take it, but if s/he says its ok then it might be a good option for you, especially if you want to avoid sleeping pills. For me, it does make me sleepy, but sort of gradually -- it doesn't knock me right out the way the sleeping pill does.
    Amore likes this.
  20. Bill Z

    Bill Z Active Member

    Because of depression I picked up kava kava yesterday. It had pretty fast effects. Overall calmness and not the crushing depression also I slept great after.
    I tried it once before and didn't feel much but this time was very helpful.
    Amore likes this.

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