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 Post subject: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:54 am 
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Every once in a while I get stuck in this sleep pattern where I wake up in the very early morning and can't fall back asleep for several hours. It's been happening all week, and it's getting old. I'm either sleeping later than I'd like to, or feeling unrested as a result. I've been trying to stay up a little later so I'll stay asleep until it's time to wake up, but that doesn't seem to be helping. My body seems to think that about 3 or 4 am is a good time to wake up and feel wide awake for a couple hours! I either lie in bed wishing I would fall back asleep, or give up and get up and read for a while. Does anyone have any advice on how to break out of this pattern?

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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Dimming or turning off all artificial lights and electronic screens half an hour before sleep is supposed to help. I'd also recommend not eating or exercising too soon before bedtime and reducing caffeine (if you drink much). Going to bed at exactly the same time every night should help too.

If you're already more or less doing these things, you might consider taking melatonin or ZMA (a zinc/magnesium/B-6 supplement like this one - http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/catalog/shop_ ... ee_Listing) as both help with seratonin production and can lead to deeper sleep.

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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:50 pm 
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In the insomnia thread I have a link about sleep hygiene. It never worked for me, but it might work for you?
Simple things like vegimator suggested. No exercising at night, no caffeine after noon, etc.
Maybe it will help? Or, there are a bunch of other ideas in the insomnia thread of things we've tried.

Here it is: http://www.umm.edu/sleep/sleep_hyg.htm

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Hmm, I snack late at night, and go to bed at very different times from one night to another. I guess I can try changing those habits, at least until I'm back to sleeping through the night. I do use caffeine, but only in the morning. I'd be sitting in the dark for a half hour before bed if I turned off all artificial lights! But I usually read by one reading light directed on my book with the rest of the living room dark, or by the light of my bed side lamp which isn't too bright. Thanks for the advice vegimator.

Oh, I didn't realize there was an insomnia thread. I'll check it out. Thanks Meggs.

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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Rhizopus Oligosporus wrote:
Oh, I didn't realize there was an insomnia thread. I'll check it out. Thanks Meggs.

I would welcome you to the insomnia thread, but I hate that anyone needs to go there.
Insomnia sucks. I've just come to a certain level of acceptance with mine, though. Yours sounds like it might be fixable, though, since you said it comes and goes- I have hope for you!


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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:14 pm 
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Rhizopus Oligosporus wrote:
Every once in a while I get stuck in this sleep pattern where I wake up in the very early morning and can't fall back asleep for several hours. It's been happening all week, and it's getting old. I'm either sleeping later than I'd like to, or feeling unrested as a result. I've been trying to stay up a little later so I'll stay asleep until it's time to wake up, but that doesn't seem to be helping. My body seems to think that about 3 or 4 am is a good time to wake up and feel wide awake for a couple hours! I either lie in bed wishing I would fall back asleep, or give up and get up and read for a while. Does anyone have any advice on how to break out of this pattern?


This started happening to me when I turned 30 and I suspect its hormonal. I tried melatonin to "reset my clock" on a suggestion, but it didnt work. It may not hurt to try?

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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Rhizopus Oligosporus wrote:
Hmm, I snack late at night, and go to bed at very different times from one night to another.


What are you snacking on at night? This may be a small contributor to the problem, but I once had a nutritionist tell me that if I ate only carbohydrates (like a piece of cake or chocolate) late at night, my blood sugar would crash while I was sleeping. And that the crash could potentially wake me up. I used to wake up in the middle of the night hungry.


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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Maybe throwing pills at it isn't a good call but when my sleep schedule gets forked up I'll go with Ambien or melatonin.

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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:50 pm 
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I too have used melatonin and yes it worked but if you are prone to vivid dreams/nightmares it may exacerbate them.

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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:38 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
What are you snacking on at night? This may be a small contributor to the problem, but I once had a nutritionist tell me that if I ate only carbohydrates (like a piece of cake or chocolate) late at night, my blood sugar would crash while I was sleeping. And that the crash could potentially wake me up. I used to wake up in the middle of the night hungry.

Different things, but I guess it does tend toward carbs and sugary stuff. But I wasn't waking up hungry. Just awake. Last night I woke up a few times, but fell right back asleep, (although had some really weird dreams) so maybe I'm heading back to normal. Thanks everyone for all your advice. I've never taken any sort of sleep aid, and find the idea sort of scary, so I'd rather not try it unless my problem starts getting worse instead of better.

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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:45 pm 
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I wouldn't put melatonin in the same category as Ambien.

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 Post subject: Re: breaking a sleep pattern
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:01 pm 
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maygles wrote:
I wouldn't put melatonin in the same category as Ambien.


Well, no I guess not, but whatever works for you.

I tend to switch them up myself so I don't get too used to any one thing.

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