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Thread: Insomnia

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    Default Insomnia

    Okay, just so dolphin's thread isn't all by its lonesome and to justify hkkmr's creation of this subforum, share with me your tips for insomnia.
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Baby View Post
    Okay, just so dolphin's thread isn't all by its lonesome and to justify hkkmr's creation of this subforum, share with me your tips for insomnia.
    He needs to move my BB cream thread here

    I'm not sure if you've already run the gamut of sleep hygiene stuff. My meds have been incurring quite a portion of sleeplessness as I was telling WA. A few things that help me are keeping the window open slightly, doing my back stretches before bed, and having a fan for white noise. I'm also been taking Melatonin recently.

    There's this computer app that has your computer screen more accurately mimic the lighting changes throughout the day, it does make a little difference as I find not staring at a blue white screen helps increase the drowsiness just a lil. ;P

    http://stereopsis.com/flux/

    Hope this helps! *hug*

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    Can you piss straight, Ashton?

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    Drink 'til your sick.

    Sorry I can't give you any real advice since I haven't had problems with insomnia.
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    I'm in the throes of it right now actually. Well last night was the first night I've slept in two consecutive nights for quite some time, so it may be coming to an end. For me it's mostly a mental problem. Specifically this mental problem.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseveration

    So my tactics are mostly things that help me calm down mentally. Things like not pursuing intellectual actives shortly before bed, that helps. No scholarly journals, no 16t, no thing that really requires thought. Instead doing things like watching TV, reading a good book, watching a movie, things where my thoughts are being directed by someone or something other than myself. That helps. Vegging out stuff. Things that 'rot your brain'. Those things help usually the hour or so before sleeping.

    As for actually laying in bed Niff has recently turned me on to western Buddhist philosophy. Essentially just focus on internal bodily sensations rather than live in your head. The main thing is focus on the soles of your feet, and when your mind wanders instead of admonishing yourself just go back to focusing on the feet. Theoretically focusing in this manner on any bodily sensation rather than letting your mind go freely where it pleases could work. I tried focusing on face/mouth yesterday, that worked a bit, the rhythmic heartbeat in my face helped a lot. I caught a few hours eventually. I didn't sleep well but I did sleep so I do think he was right, and that I'm on to something.
    Easy Day

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    This is why I can't be delta, JWC3. I don't have a problems with perseverance nor persevering. I rest my case.

    Oops, I mistook it for persistence. My bad.

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    There's a real nice acupressure point on both wrists approx. where a watch face would be if you were wearing one.

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    There's also one on your face.

    Moonlight will fall
    Winter will end
    Harvest will come
    Your heart will mend

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    Thanks guys. Most of these tips are actually new to me. I downloaded that f/lux program. It took me a few minutes to get used to it when it suddenly turned my screen pinkish, but it does feel a lot easier on my eyes. I'm going to try some of the other stuff tonight.
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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    I just downloaded the flux program and now that I have it, I wonder why I never used it before. I actually get sleepy when using my laptop at night. It makes sense though since it corresponds to one's natural circadian rhythm instead of bypassing it artificially with bright lights.
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Baby View Post
    Okay, just so dolphin's thread isn't all by its lonesome and to justify hkkmr's creation of this subforum, share with me your tips for insomnia.
    I sometimes take Valerian as a sleeping aid. It's a herbal supplement that has both sedative and an anxiolytic properties. The standard dose is three 500mg capsules taken 30 minutes before going to sleep (it can cause some mild stomach irritation if taken right before you assume a vertical position). It's rather mild as sleeping aids go, but has no side effects compared to some of the over-the-counter sleeping medications like diphenhydramine and doxylamine based pills. You can even take 1-2 caps during the day if you feel too stressed over something. (pro-tip: it works like catnip for cats so if you have a feline around house give it a small dose, see what happens)

    If having restful sleep is imperative I also try to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 2 pm - caffeine takes long time to get eliminated from your body, so if you have trouble falling asleep it is generally not a good idea to consume caffeinated beverages past 1-2pm.

    Another trick I've discovered to make me feel more rested during the day and require less sleep per night was to get up ever day at exactly the same time, even on weekend days, no matter what. I discovered it when I was studying for grad school exams - I would get up at 4am every day to study for 2-3 hours in the morning, and after a couple of weeks of this not only did I feel more rested during the day, but also needed less sleep each night. A friend of mine did exactly the same thing and said that it had the same effect on him.
    Last edited by silke; 10-15-2012 at 08:48 AM.

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    Melatonin supplements supposedly help.
    And chamomile tea.
    And I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    I'd long noticed this as well, even within 2-3 days of forcing myself to wake up at the same time. It's because one's circadian rhythm cycles end up acclimating to wake-sleep at those ~times.

    Which reminds me, another thing that can help with insomnia is getting exposure to sunlight if possible—esp. when one just wakes up; bright light is one of the calibrating factors for circadian rhythms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWC3 View Post
    I'm in the throes of it right now actually. Well last night was the first night I've slept in two consecutive nights for quite some time, so it may be coming to an end. For me it's mostly a mental problem. Specifically this mental problem.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseveration
    It was interesting to read about perseveration. If am worrying about some Fi issue, it can really keep me from sleeping. The same worrisome thought keeps popping into my head, like a broken record.

    @JWC3 Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iris View Post
    It was interesting to read about perseveration. If am worrying about some Fi issue, it can really keep me from sleeping. The same worrisome thought keeps popping into my head, like a broken record.

    @JWC3 Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both?
    I didn't use to have any trouble falling asleep but recently it's sort of like a brain activity addiction. In a sense anyway. I have most trouble falling asleep but am usually able to stay asleep once I get there. The only problem arises if I wake up during the night and reach full consciousness, if that happens then the perseveration kicks back in and my brain activity keeps me from sleeping. However, once I have reached a full sleep state if I need to adjust myself during the course of the night or do some other sleep task that requires a modicum of alertness I'm cognitively slightly aware of the risk that my brain may kick all the way on and am able to fight back by consciously focusing on bodily comfort or the comfort of being asleep.

    So it takes a little bit of effort, but I can remain asleep in low alert states, the jig isn't up until my brain kicks all the way back on. Then I'm almost completely hopeless.
    Easy Day

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    Quote Originally Posted by siuntal View Post
    I sometimes take Valerian as a sleeping aid. It's a herbal supplement that has both sedative and an anxiolytic properties. The standard dose is three 500mg capsules taken 30 minutes before going to sleep (it can cause some mild stomach irritation if taken right before you assume a vertical position). It's rather mild as sleeping aids go, but has no side effects compared to some of the over-the-counter sleeping medications like diphenhydramine and doxylamine based pills. You can even take 1-2 caps during the day if you feel too stressed over something. (pro-tip: it works like catnip for cats so if you have a feline around house give it a small dose, see what happens)

    If having restful sleep is imperative I also try to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 2 pm - caffeine takes long time to get eliminated from your body, so if you have trouble falling asleep it is generally not a good idea to consume caffeinated beverages past 1-2pm.

    Another trick I've discovered to make me feel more rested during the day and require less sleep per night was to get up ever day at exactly the same time, even on weekend days, no matter what. I discovered it when I was studying for grad school exams - I would get up at 4am every day to study for 2-3 hours in the morning, and after a couple of weeks of this not only did I feel more rested during the day, but also needed less sleep each night. A friend of mine did exactly the same thing and said that it had the same effect on him.
    What time did you go to sleep usually to feel rested by 4AM?
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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    One thing I've found that really makes a difference for me is only using my bed for sleep and nothing else. Of course, this isn't very helpful for most I'm sure but I think it's interesting how our brains work by associating it with sleep. Even if I'm not tired, I can go lay in my bed and almost fall right asleep. Aside from that, there's that Phenibut craze that is goddamn amazing and the best sleep you will ever get in your entire life. If I don't take that, I take all natural sleeping pills from Walgreens. But I've found that I can't force myself to sleep...if I'm not tired, I simply do something else and don't force it. It's almost easier to sleep a few hours and pump your blood with redbull the next day than it is for me to force sleep. And oh, if you do that, you're magically tired the next day so just keep yourself up and exhaust yourself so you're able to sleep tomorrow. Damn my Si sux.

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    Wikipedia:

    Unwanted effects in some people especially at high doses (~3 mg/day or more) may include headaches, nausea, next-day grogginess, irritability, hormone fluctuations, vivid dreams, nightmares,[108] reduced blood flow and hypothermia.[109]

    Do not take more than 3mg! More is NOT better, in this case.

    I think melatonin is horrible, to be honest. For someone with a sensitized CNS like mine, it is easy for me to tell what the cumulative effects in others may become. In other words, I think that it can be disruptive to other cycles.

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    Benadryl/Unisom/Others of this class of chemicals:

    Single dosage is fine, but cumulative dosages can lead to the depletion of chemicals we need, which can lead to depression. Unfortunately, histmines are linked to chemicals we need. Also, the half-life of this set of chemical types can leave them chemicals in ones body, so taking these continuously can be detrimental.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadae2point0 View Post
    Wikipedia:

    Unwanted effects in some people especially at high doses (~3 mg/day or more) may include headaches, nausea, next-day grogginess, irritability, hormone fluctuations, vivid dreams, nightmares,[108] reduced blood flow and hypothermia.[109]

    Do not take more than 3mg! More is NOT better, in this case.

    I think melatonin is horrible, to be honest. For someone with a sensitized CNS like mine, it is easy for me to tell what the cumulative effects in others may become. In other words, I think that it can be disruptive to other cycles.
    Melatonin never worked for me. Valerian was ok but I had to take almost the entire bottle to feel mildly drowsy enough to fall asleep. But I have noticed that whenever I take any sleep aid that isn't all natural, the next day I have this very bad brain-fog / odd feeling / increased anxiety. It's like a Nyquil hangover or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jessica129 View Post
    Melatonin never worked for me. Valerian was ok but I had to take almost the entire bottle to feel mildly drowsy enough to fall asleep. But I have noticed that whenever I take any sleep aid that isn't all natural, the next day I have this very bad brain-fog / odd feeling / increased anxiety. It's like a Nyquil hangover or something.
    That class of drugs, Ethanolamines, are a subset of h1 antihistamines, that are also an anticholinergic agent, which are agents in which block the usage of attributes within the nervous system(s). This class has about an average half-life of 10 hours, which means that it does not completely clear the system within that time frame. For one 25mg pill to clear the system to about 0.1mg or 0, it would require about 80 hours total, which is why a 3 day rule exists for self-evaluation.

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    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21856129

    BACKGROUND:

    Sleep difficulties are common in schizophrenia, however these complaints are often overshadowed by more prominent clinical concerns. The point prevalence of insomnia in this population is not well documented. Poor sleep is associated with lower quality of life, impaired cognition, and weight gain.

    OBJECTIVES:

    The objectives of this study are to evaluate the prevalence of insomnia in schizophrenia and to explore the relationship of sleep to cognition, quality of life, and clinical variables.

    METHOD:

    175 outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were assessed for insomnia. Participants were evaluated for sleep difficulties, sleep patterns, body mass index, and psychiatric symptoms. Participants were also administered a brief cognitive assessment of processing speed.

    RESULTS:

    44% of the sample currently met the criteria for clinical insomnia. An additional 4% were successfully treated with medications. Insomnia was associated with depression and was an independent predictor of lower quality of life. Insomnia was also associated with high rates of night eating and patients with severe insomnia were significantly more obese. The type of antipsychotic did not account for the difference in body mass index. No difference between group means in cognition was detected, although those with severe insomnia did perform least well.

    CONCLUSION:

    Clinical insomnia in outpatients with schizophrenia is highly prevalent and has a negative impact on quality of life and psychiatric symptoms. This study offers additional support to the association between poor sleep and higher weight, as well as indicating a potential link to night eating in this population. Assessment for sleep difficulties should be a routine part of clinical care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWC3 View Post
    once I have reached a full sleep state if I need to adjust myself during the course of the night or do some other sleep task that requires a modicum of alertness I'm cognitively slightly aware of the risk that my brain may kick all the way on and am able to fight back by consciously focusing on bodily comfort or the comfort of being asleep.
    Yes! Most mornings when I wake up, I am so comfy that I don't want to move. One morning, it occurred to me that I needed to remember how cozy and relaxed I felt, and to try to recreate that mental state when I was having trouble sleeping. It has helped me alot. With regard to helping my mind calm down, I heard a suggestion that you should count your blessings from A to Z. I tried that, but it tends to wake me up, it is too interesting. So my lame but successful method is to think about relaxing spaces starting with A, like arboretum, B - bayou, C - cavern. That works most of the time for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iris View Post
    Yes! Most mornings when I wake up, I am so comfy that I don't want to move. One morning, it occurred to me that I needed to remember how cozy and relaxed I felt, and to try to recreate that mental state when I was having trouble sleeping. It has helped me alot. With regard to helping my mind calm down, I heard a suggestion that you should count your blessings from A to Z. I tried that, but it tends to wake me up, it is too interesting. So my lame but successful method is to think about relaxing spaces starting with A, like arboretum, B - bayou, C - cavern. That works most of the time for me.
    Things like counting sheep work. You're doing that exercise correctly though, the point is to sort get yourself thinking in a monotonous rhythm so thinking about boring stuff really lol
    Easy Day

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Baby View Post
    What time did you go to sleep usually to feel rested by 4AM?
    Around 9pm. The exact time I'd fall asleep didn't seem to make a difference - one day I could undersleep an hour or two, then the next day I would simply catch up by going to bed earlier.

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