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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.
     
    Monika likes this.
  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 ageing 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 from when 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 remedies. 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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  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 Guest

    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 Active 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

    Amore,

    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 Active 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.
  21. genewardsmith

    genewardsmith Active Member

    Long-term use of Diphenhydramine is sometimes a problem. A safer thing to try first is a one milligram tablet of Melatonin.
     
    Amore and Cute Bear like this.
  22. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I didn't know about the potential issues but as an occasional user I'm not concerned. For anyone wondering whether to try it for occasional sleeping difficulties, I find one quarter or one half the recommended 2 tablet dose works fine for me - a half of one 25mg tablet or just the whole tablet, depending on how tired I already am.

    It slows my bowel action (often a blessing!) and sometimes leaves me a little drowsy for a time after I wake up but it's well worth it for me. Long-term I'd probably be less keen, even if there were no problems, as it's still a drug and many/most have some side-effects.
     
  23. ravensgate

    ravensgate Active Member

    Mac, Diphen. is a good one to try and probably one of the safest for older people (not calling you "old" , mac ;)). Research, however, seems to indicate that long-term use of anticholinergics may increase the risk of dementia. Benadryl is both an antihistamine and an anticholinergic. As you know, Benedryl is often used for symptomatic relief of allergies. Long-term use, however, could cause a rebound effect. For example, have you ever overused nasal spray only to discover that your nose remains stuffy even after using the nasal spray? That's the effect I'm talking about. Best to alternate sleep aids, in my opinion and experience; for example, using a blend of warm milk, chamomile and valerian. I would stay away from damiana; though it is thought to help induce sleep, it can also produce very vivid dreams. Its sale is not permitted in Louisiana. When/if these aids stop working, perhaps try diffusing essential oils of valerian root, blue tansy, ylang ylang, Roman chamomile (best if you combine these oils). Light exercise also helps a lot of people; vigorous exercise will have the opposite effect. For many, a 1 -2 oz. piece of cheese also helps as it tends to slow down the dawn effect.
     
  24. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Diphen? That's diphenhydramine hydrochloride, the active ingredient of the Walmart brand sleep aid I've been speaking about. ;) It looks like Benadryl contains the same active ingredient although there may be something else - I haven't looked closely. I'm not fanatically against drugs but even the apparently least-harmful are likely to have unwanted actions as well as their useful one.

    I use more diphenhydramine HCl than when I was less old - I'm comfortable with being called old! :D - and have only done so since I've been over this side of the pond where they're easily available OTC. Even then it's maybe one half-tablet a week on average so any rebound effect is probably negligible and that's far less an issue than my often-fragmented sleep, something that's become worse as I've grown older.

    Even then I'm well aware there are far more things that seniors suffer from routinely and pretty widespread and I ain't gonna worry about my 'drug habit'! Maybe I'll try something different if there's a dire need one day but even so-called natural aids may contain potentially harful chemicals and caution is needed ingesting anything. A while back so-called essential oils were fashionable until the risks emerged when some folk accidentally over-used, or misused them.

    Life ain't risk free! :D
     
    ravensgate likes this.
  25. ravensgate

    ravensgate Active Member

    Mac, that's right, "diphen." is diphenhydramine hydrochloride; too lazy to type it in its entirety, lol.
    "Benadryl" is the name brand of diphenhydramine hydrochloride, just like Xanax is for alprazolam, "Lopressor" (medication for hypertension) is the brand name for metoprolol tartrate, and Toprol (also for hypertension) is for metoprolol succinate. Toprol is the extended release form. Consumers generally know medications by their brand name (Benadryl, Ativan, Keflex, Lopressor, Biaxin, etc. etc.). There were times when I'd confirm with a patient, "So, we have you on buspirone and cefuroxime..." and they would quickly correct me, "No, no, I take Ceftin..."; they knew their drugs by brand name. Personally, I have a problem with that, but.... that's another topic :rolleyes:
    Reading your post, I believe you have nothing to worry when it comes to developing a drug habit or rebound effects. You hardly take any, and good for you ;)
    I've been preaching for decades about the risks of "natural aids" and essential oils. That is why I must pipe-up when I read erroneous, misguided posts, offering drugs without knowing the entire medical history, dispensing medical advice by lay persons. I think it's ok to say, "this is what worked for me", but it's never ok in my book to say, "Take this and this and this.." I remember a patient whose INR was too high; she eventually said she was using a lot of peppermint essential oil on her feet and legs! Unfortunately, there are too many self-professed aromatherapists, and alternative medicine practitioners who lack the proper education and credentials, not to mention those who think that if one teaspoon will help them, 5 teaspoons will work even better!

    P.S. Just out of curiosity, mac... are you saying that Benadryl is not an OTC med in the UK? It is sold in the UK as Nytol, correct? Is Nytol prescription then? Thanks.
     
  26. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Thanks for the heads-up, ravensgate. I won't say I never use a brand name if referring to a drug but I try hard not to but folk don't necessarily recognise generic names so sometimes I have to for them.

    I don't know the answer to your question about Benadryl as I haven't needed to look for it back home. I buy what I can here in the USA where availability is so much easier in Walmart and prices are likely to be much less than in the UK. I find it so aggravating that in the UK we can buy, for example, acetaminophen/paracetamol only in packs of 8 x 500mg (similarly for ibuprofen) with the accompanying higher unit price compared with a pack of 500 from Walmart. And there's the inconvenience of faffing about buying a few packs at a time with questions from pharmacy staff if we get them there instead of off the main shelves.

    Yes I know paracetamol can be dangerous but jeez so is booze and fags and I can buy booze by the gallon and fags in their hundreds without a single question! (I don't smoke by the way but you get the point) Is it me getting even more cranky as I get older or is it natural to feel resentful of being treated as if I am at the lowest common denominator of understanding? I actually DO resent being questioned and inconvenienced because others don't read instructions and don't take responsibility for their own care. Don't get me started! :mad: :D
     
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  27. ravensgate

    ravensgate Active Member

    Not sure if it's universal or dependent on individual wiring, but the older I grow the less patience I have, mac! Most times I'm able to hold my tongue and (usually) decide to simply walk away, but sometimes..... :eek::eek:
     
    pandora97 likes this.
  28. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I do understand.... ;) I'm somewhere in between what I used to be and what I am hoping to become - work in progress towards becoming a more-tolerant, less-irascible, less-cranky, more-understanding 'mac'.

    I THINK I see in myself some early signs of progress. I KNOW for sure I don't blow up like I once used to so that's gotta be progress, hasn't it? ;):confused:

    But (as you say about yourself) sometimes..... :eek::eek: LOL!!
     
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  29. Amore

    Amore Active Member

    What is INR? All I can come up with "Indian Rupee" :D but I doubt that increases with peppermint oil on the legs!
     
  30. pandora97

    pandora97 Active Member

    Ditto
     

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