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Old 03-18-2006, 07:57 PM   #1
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Sleep disorder relief anyone?

For years, I've been suffering with insomnia and anxiety. I hate it that my body can never relax-unfortunately I got this trait from my mom. I've been on Ativan and have been put on antidepressants that made me feel horrible, i.e. more anxious and nervous than before with lots of pain all over my body. Eek! That PA nearly killed me. I'm not depressed, at least I don't think I am. I just happen to be a worrier. Blah! Horrible feeling. Seems that now that I'm getting older, this condition has worsen. I'm on my third cold since the beginning of March. I got me some Tila and Chamomile herb teas to see if that will help. I've stayed active exercising with the kids but that does not even help. Argh! Any suggestions from you all? I would like to handle this in a more natural way instead of taking medication. If anyone has some solution or suggestions to this, would you please post here? Thanks.

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Old 03-18-2006, 08:10 PM   #2
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I deal with anxiety too and I know all too well how debilitating insomnia can be! For me, the only thing that helped the most was medication. I was wary about taking it, but after trying many different homeopathic/natural remedies I got fed up and caved. My doctor suggested Seroquel in a very low dose. It is an anti-psychotic, but is used in very low doses for anxiety related insomnia. It has helped me so much. I don't even need it every night, but it is there for when I do. It lets me sleep through the night and I don't wake up feeling groggy or strange like some other sleeping aids can do. Also, it is non-habit forming which is why doctors prefer to prescribe it to regular sleep meds.

Anyhow, some natural methods that may work for you could be white noise (like a CD of ocean waves or rain), elliminating caffiene, 5-HTP OR kava kava supplements (available at health food stores), catnip or mint tea (very calming)

But if all else fails, there is nothing wrong with getting some help from the doctor if you need it.
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:19 PM   #3
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Wow, I too suffer with anxiety and panic attacks, no depression that I know of. I have not been prescribed medications yet, but I have an appointment coming up next month to see what to do about it. I actually had to go to the ER today because I couldnt control my PA, so I was given ativan thank god. I'd be happy if they could prescribe that long term, but they wont.

So I have to see my new doctor and figure out what to do. I have been wanting to bring this topic up, but was certain it was just me that had this disorder. Thanks Dina and grumblebee

What bothers me about pa's is the heart rate!
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:23 PM   #4
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Dina, I have always had terrible anxiety attacks, and after my daughter died, they got so bad I couldn't even leave the house. I've been on Paxil for quite a while, and it is a God-send for me. Atavan is generic Valium...you don't need that stuff.
You mentioned the heart rate...there were times I was sure I was having a heart attack. That is very scary. But you can overcome this, and don't be afraid to ask you DR for Paxil.
Your body is a perfect machine, but it needs the right fuel. The fact that it runs at all on the garbage we put into it is a testimony to it's resiliance.
It will help if you rid your body of caffiene and sugar. Cut out the sodas. Limit your potatoes, processed meats, beef and pork, and eat lots of fish. The good fats in the fish act as an anti-depressant.
Go big on green leafy vegies. Drink lots of liquids, as they help flush all the poisons out of your system.

Your mental state has a lot to do with the way you feel. Nobody knows that better than me. Try to find a project or hobby that takes your mind off yourself. Try doing something nice for someone who is worse off than you. Feel free to call on friends when you need a helping hand, That's what they are there for.
If you don't start feeling better soon, find someone you can talk too...your clergyman...a counselor with the human services in your area...or PM me. Never feel that you are alone.
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:32 PM   #5
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Very good advice Constance. I didnt know ativan was generic valium. To add to what you have said, it's best to go to bed at regular times, get yourself to wind down before bed by showering or reading, or whatever makes you sleepy, and try to sleep for at least 7 hours if possible. I do understand that insomniacs dont sleep in regular patterns. Im lucky if I get six hours uninterrupted sleep. A non addictive sleeping aid might be a good idea as grumblebee suggested, assuming your dont drink alcohol before using it.
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
Dina, I have always had terrible anxiety attacks, and after my daughter died, they got so bad I couldn't even leave the house. I've been on Paxil for quite a while, and it is a God-send for me. Atavan is generic Valium...you don't need that stuff.
You mentioned the heart rate...there were times I was sure I was having a heart attack. That is very scary. But you can overcome this, and don't be afraid to ask you DR for Paxil.
Your body is a perfect machine, but it needs the right fuel. The fact that it runs at all on the garbage we put into it is a testimony to it's resiliance.
It will help if you rid your body of caffiene and sugar. Cut out the sodas. Limit your potatoes, processed meats, beef and pork, and eat lots of fish. The good fats in the fish act as an anti-depressant.
Go big on green leafy vegies. Drink lots of liquids, as they help flush all the poisons out of your system.

Your mental state has a lot to do with the way you feel. Nobody knows that better than me. Try to find a project or hobby that takes your mind off yourself. Try doing something nice for someone who is worse off than you. Feel free to call on friends when you need a helping hand, That's what they are there for.
If you don't start feeling better soon, find someone you can talk too...your clergyman...a counselor with the human services in your area...or PM me. Never feel that you are alone.
onnie, Ativan is the trade name for Lorazapam, Alprazalam is the generic of Vallium..These meds can help a little, but, after taking them for a while people develop a dependancy on theem and they become so use to them that the dosage has to be upped. I too have trouble sleeping, mainly because of kidney damage..I've been like this for yeas and now tha I have to be up and at em with the 4 kids, it's hard some days..Were it me and I didn't know what or was'nt sure what was causing this, I'd have a complete check up..Many times when stumped a doctor wil just hand you PA as the cause..find out and make sure, then weigh the options before taking any of these meds. The paxil although given a bad time, has been a God send to man of our patients..I'm gald you found something that helps you...So many don't get any help and it's an awful thing.

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Old 03-18-2006, 09:01 PM   #7
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Hi Dina,
everyone has given good advice. Were I you, I get a full check up and not just accept the PA diagnosis..Sleep aids such as otc benedryl 25 mg will hael a little, but your body soon gets use to it and you would have to increase the dose..So, as others have said, try to set a regular pattern for yourself, find something you love doing reading, sewing, sitting in the dark with soothing hot tea, listening to calming music..I go to bed with a radio that makes many different sounds, night time with crickets, wind, ocean, and my favorite it the soft murmur of rain falling..Also, as you can see, there are several of us in your shoes..Anytime you need to talk, cry, holler, I'm here and so are they..Lean on us a little, that's why we've answered you post..My dh always tells patients who bring in a RX for any of the meds like vallium,ativan,Ambien, to first go to bed, if after 30 min. you cannot sleep then tak a tablet..These will help but try not to take them every night, your body builds up a tolerancy to them and then the dosage must be upped..I myself don't use them, I'm a nut about having to depend on meds, it drives me to distraction, as I have enough of them to take as it is..Remember,we're her if you need us.
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:08 PM   #8
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It's me again.

Here are some sleeping aids that help me.

Take a long hot bath, if you like that. I like a brandy before I go to bed, but if you're not a drinker, don't start now. Camomile tea is also nice.

I like to sleep with a fan going...it drowns out a lot of the background noise. Make sure you are really comfortable...there's no reason why you can't have more than one pillow. It also helps to keep your room cool.

That being said, it's really all about the breathing and mind set.

Conciously monitor your breathing, taking long, slow deep breaths. Concentrate on you body, starting with your toes, and let each part relax on it's on as you move your way up.
Dont forget the breathing. Find a place where you would like to go.
I often think of a tropical beach and a warm ocean, where I am just floating, and letting the waves rock my body to sleep.
At other times, I'm in a forest, sleeping under an ancient tree that stretches it roots down the bluff and into the stream below. The moss is thick and green, and feels like velvet against my skin.

You will be all right. PM me if you need help. Been there, done that.
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:09 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your responses. I don't feel so alone anymore knowing I'm not the only one with this condition. Constance and Kadesma: thank you for offering your support; I will PM you soon.

As I mentioned before, I got put on Trazodone yesterday by the PA which only caused me worse side effects. The only good thing about yesterday's dr's visit was that I got negative results on all the tests done on me a few months ago (Pap-smear, arthritis, blood tests, urine sample, and EKG). Thankfully, everything was normal. I just don't understand the anxiety I go through. I go to bed thinking about all the things that have to be done and problems that arise at times. But I will begin finding something soothing and take more chamomile and kava tea through out the day. I just took two cups of both teas and began feeling a bit better. I also did a lot of gardening today and just being outdoors helped me keep my mind off of things and worrying again. I really don't have too much caffeine except for my one cup of coffee in the morning. I drink about 8 - 12 ounce cups of water throughout the day. I do eat lots of beef and not enough fish, so I will keep that in mind and begin eating more fish. I eat lots of green leafy vegetables and absolutely love sweets (sugar-I know it's not a good thing). I will work on the diet and caffeine intake.

I will call the doctor on Monday and ask for Paxil and let her know what the Trazodone did to me. Thank you all so much. Hugs to you all,
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:55 AM   #10
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Thunder, Streams, Whales singing, and pleasant background music all help me sleep. Aroma Scents I have been told work too. I do the music thing and it works wonders for me. Also a warming a glass of milk and drinking it before bed helps me too. Bless You and I hope something here helps you. I use to have problems with this too. Really Bad as a teenager.
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:21 PM   #11
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Dina, you are on the right track and I sure hope you find the relief you need. Exercise and eating right is the best start. Learning how to breathe and allow your mind to stop running a million miles an hour is hard to do. There are self meditation tapes that might help, and yoga will help you learn to relax too. (I know, I know, you are sick of hearing about how much yoga helps EVERYTHING! LOL )

I read once that listening to non verbal music for 20 minutes a day stimulates alpha waves in your brain and helps to calm you. So maybe one of those classical music CDs with some nature sounds in it would help?

I'll reiterate too what everyone else has said, if the all natural route isn't working for you then get some help from your Dr. Its important to your health to be well rested. Especially when you have a little guy running around the house.
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Old 03-19-2006, 04:38 PM   #12
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Have any of you tried the opposite theory for insomnia? Many people feel like they "have" to go to bed at a "certain" time. Why? Because they "have" to get up at a certain time. Right there you've put stress on yourself. Next time you can't sleep....get up. Stay up until you get tired....(all day the next day if it's required)...and then sleep. The first night you might only get a "couple" hours...but the next night you will find you are much closer to wanting to go to bed on time. Too many times we are too ridgid in our thinking. We are too "planned". Our body may not be ready for what our mind tells it that it has to do. For me this works. Thankfully...I rarely have a problem....but when I do...I get up and get busy. The next night I am ready for bed. Hope this works for someone!
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Old 03-19-2006, 06:06 PM   #13
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I first went on wellbutrin to help me cut back with my smoking when I realized I probably needed it the first place for mild depression I always suffered with panic attacks but for years I could control it.But one summer day it got so bad I couldnt stop hyperventilating I was even hyperventilating in my sleep,I never could sleep either.So the doctor put me on Paxil and I love it no more PA and I sleep like a baby I also take about a 1/4 of a sublingual Melatonin every night which is about 3/4 mg.WOW!I sleep soo good never felt so relaxed in my life I almost dont want get up in the morning.And I rarely ever need a nap in the day.Down or up side however you want to look at it is the crazy vivid dreams I have.Oh ya! paxil also does wonders for PMS.
I think the trick for going on these meds is to start with tiny doses and build your way up.
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Old 03-20-2006, 05:57 AM   #14
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I slept my first 8 hour night in ages last night. I wouldn't suggest this every day, but dgd,dgs and I took a hike on a trail near the beach. It was very breezy, walking in sand part of the time, oyster shells part of the time and thru the woods also. I was quite tired when we finished and a little worried we wouldn't get out by sunset, when the gates are locked. We saw armadillas and heard something we didn't know what it was. We also saw all kinds of itsy bitsy fish. I didn't take any medication for sleep, but I was very refreshed when I awoke. - must be the air and the walk. Yesterday was suppose to be my one day off from exercise, but I suppose it was worth it.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:54 AM   #15
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Ive had anxiety attacks and insomnia, and 'restless mind' syndrome ever since my son's accident. If I'm not already nodding off when the lights go out, my little mind just starts churning; lots of memory recall around his time in the hospital and rehab, or other scary events. Been told it's a type of post-traumatic stress disorder. Whatever.

I find that if I get comfy in bed and read til my eyes won't stay open, I can usually drift off without all the 'wandering'. If I do start, I make an effort to think 'good' things; or even go over an exercise routine in my head, think about a walk on the beach, or the garden, or whatever puts a sleepy little smile on my face.

Licia, your walk sounded wonderful! I notice that when I'm exhausted from a physical workout, my sleep is much better. I did about 6 hours yesterday in garden, and slept right through my alarm this morning!

Another thing I've found is not to get into a 'battle' with your insomnia - the lying down, turning out the light, and saying, 'all right, sleep, ***it!' - only creates more tension and starts the ball rolling!

Meditation works - or prayer - or whatever your belief system is. Realizing that you can't 'fix' everything you worry about, and letting go of what you can't help goes a long way.

As others have said, you're not alone!
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:32 AM   #16
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I firmly am in the camp of not fighting it. The more you worry about not getting enough sleep, the worse the problem becomes. Of course that is "easier said than done", especially now that I don't work (nothing worse than drifting off to sleep knowing the alarm clock is going off in a few minutes). My answer to the alone-in-the-middle of the night heebie jeebies is reading, reading reading. I may at times get on the computer, but I generally avoid that because I think it makes the problem worse. Never turn on the TV. I read because I can fall asleep doing that (and, gee, I wonder why my glasses are always warped). I have never asked for Rx sleep aids because the one time I was put on them (the doctor insisted because I was having surgery) when I went off I didn't sleep for ages. As it is, one or two nights a week I get a good nights sleep. The rest of the time I just live with it. My librarians know me well. It's amazing how much you can read if you only sleep a few hours a night!

Try to remind yourself that nothing will be as bad in the light of day as it seems at 3 a.m.
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:44 AM   #17
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You've received some wonderful advice and you have an awesome support group here. I really have no advice to offer that hasn't been already given. I do hope you find the right combination to give you relief. Your in my prayers.
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:35 PM   #18
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Thank you all once again. Things are a bit better. The kava tea and meds are helping. Just wish I didn't have to get hooked on meds for this. It could also be psychological knowing that the meds will help me sleep and am becoming dependent on them...something I surely don't want to do. I finally said to myself F--- it! and move on with what doesn't get accomplished today. I have to think of my health and my family before anything else so now I'm just doing whatever I can and taking it one day at a time. I wish I wasn't such a perfectionist!
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:56 PM   #19
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Dina ,I say do what ever it takes to feel better I did and I dont care if Im on meds my life is great because of them
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