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Sleep hygiene tips? Please share!

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Ocean, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm having an awful time getting sleep. Takes hours to fall asleep and then usually I wake up at least once and take an hour or hours to fall back asleep. I keep hearing from those who've improved how much getting good sleep played a role and I can see it in myself too how much it affects how I'm feeling. My sleep has been better before so I have some hope that I can at least get back to that. The sicker I am the worse my sleep is but to get better I need better sleep, a vicious cycle! I've tried plenty of meds and for now I want to just see if people have any non-medication tips for getting okay sleep. Is it even possible for those who have severe sleep disturbance with CFS/ME to improve their sleep without meds? If you've had a luck please share. I know many have had luck with meds but in this thread I'm hoping for non-medication tips please. Thank you! And good sleep to all :)

    ETA: Even when I'm asleep my sleep quality is poor. I am having very vivid dreams and nightmares and feel like I'm half awake much of the time I'm sleeping. But I'll take the poor quality sleep over no sleep. I want to be able to fall asleep quicker. Three hours or more after getting in bed is just ridiculous. And I want to be able to sleep longer. Better would be nice too but for now I just need more sleep and not to be laying in bed for so long miserably not falling asleep!


    EYATO (Edited yet again to add): I may try some of these tips. http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Sleep_is_vital_for_good_health_-_especially_in_CFS

    I still need to read through it all but some good ideas in there. But does any of this stuff work for anyone? I hate to find that the only thing that's helped people is meds, because that has just not been right for me.
  2. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I worked best for me when I realised that for peak physical functioning (and at my best that is still cr*p) I needed to sleep between 3am and 10am. A little more before or after that on either side but these were the hours when the best quality sleep was achieved.

    Don't know if this is of any use to you.
  3. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    Thnks ukxmrv, I usually don't fall asleep till 3 am or sometimes 5 or 6 am, so I guess I get my best, and only, sleep then too. Unfortunately I also usually wake up mid sleep and am awake for a couple hours before getting a bit more sleep in and then finally waking up, I think this results in not feeling as well the next day than if I slept through the night. I don't like going to sleep in the early morning though and am desperate to change that. I've always been a night person but this is something else entirely!
  4. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Getting the right hormones were the biggest help. 5htp also.
  5. penny

    penny Senior Member

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    Non-medication stuff wasnt nearly enough for me to even call my sleep 'decent', but I do think there are things that are necessary even with meds. So for me: earplugs, exiling the sweet but restless kitties, black out blinds/curtains, an eye mask sometimes (when we have to open the windows) and a warm Epsom salt bath. Also probably magnesium tablets and when it's not hot out, fleece socks or a heat source at my feet (my feet get painfully cold).

    Good luck.
  6. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Oh, I take Magnesium powder twice a day also.
  7. glenp

    glenp "and this too shall pass"

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    Improved

    My sleep has improved, I have cut back from 1 zopiclone to a half. I put a program on the computer that adjusts the light to the time of day as I thought maybe the brightness affects sleep at night. I stopped watching TV in bed at night. I go to bed at the same time - midnight. It takes me until 1:30 to fall asleep and I was waking up at 4 (4 hours after zopiclone) but am now sleeping through and getting about 6 hours sleep. Before I was waking up at 4 am and having to lay and doze for hours, allowing myself from midnight till noon but am now usually sitting up in bed at 9. I was taking melatonin 3 hours before bedtime which helped but it made my OI worse so stopped that.

    glen
  8. caledonia

    caledonia

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    A sleep study was really helpful for me. They discovered periodic limb movement disorder (basically twitching feet). This would wake me up several times an hour. I greatly increased my magnesium and that helped tremendously.

    As far as fallling asleep in the middle of the night and sleeping til noon. This can be due to higher cortisol at night due to adrenal fatigue. You can try Seriphos to lower cortisol.

    Other things to try - neurotransmitters - melatonin and 5htp for serotonin. (don't take 5htp if you're also taking an ssri antidepressant.)

    You can tested for all of these things - a sleep study, ASI cortisol saliva test, Doctors Data neurotransmitter test - or just start experimenting with supplements

    As far as sleep hygiene, a sleep mask is useful for daytime sleeping. I use earplugs all the time too. Pretty much can't sleep without them.

    If I can't fall asleep after 2 hours, I get up. (the recommendation is one hour for normals). The idea is that if you keep laying there worrying about sleep, you'll start to associate bed with laying there worrying about sleep instead of actually sleeping.

    I also use a wedge pillow for nighttime acid reflux - the symptom is waking up with my heart beating fast and pounding, no burning sensation. This could also be a symptom of sleep apnea, but we narrowed it down to reflux with a sleep study. I sleep on a wedge pillow to help the reflux.
  9. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Ocean, i followed all of the advice from Dr Myhills sleep leaflet that you linked to above and it worked for me. It did however take quite a long time to get my sleep better. My main problem was constant waking and a lack of deep sleep with horrible nightmares and vivid dreams.

    Im now sleeping about 7 -8 hours a night -id like 9-10 but no matter how tired i am i still wake up early and cant get back to sleep. I also still have very vivid dreams but when i first started sleeping through the night again it was amazing!
    Ive never taken sleep meds and the things that helped me the most where: Having a snack before bed (to control night time hypoglycaemia) plus one next to the bed if you need it, Magnesium supplement, meditation every day and then using the techniques to get off to sleep, sleep dream and my last helper was a tip from a friend -for frequent waking to get back to sleep quickly i dont let myself open my eyes but straight away focus on the drem i was just having -amazingly it works and i get back to sleep quickly, eventually i stopped waking up so much.
    Good luck with all the sleep stuff, it can be done!
    Justy x
  10. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    Thanks for the ideas everyone. I'm continuing with my magnesium and calcium, though I'm not seeing any benefit yet. I've become immune to all the pills that used to work for me, it's odd. Maybe it is a cortisol issue. I will ask the endocronologist when I go next month. So far medication isn't helping and neither is any sleep hygeine I'm trying. I'll keep at it and try some of Dr. Myhill's tips. I do some of the stuff mentioned above already, like ear plugs and things like that. It's starting to drive me crazy!

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