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Wife’s not sleeping. We need help!

 
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I don't know how my advice will be received here, but these are a few things that have helped me . My partner and I have massage sessions & care sessions in the evenings. We know that going to a massage therapist would be awesome, but we would rather do it for ourselves! Sit cross legged across from each other, and massage each others shoulders & necks or feet! This will make both of you feel easier and more at peace before bed, therefor setting a good tone for the following morning.
Do it how you feel comfortable.

On the mental side of things, try to have a quiet time before bed and during that time of settling in for the night, play this music from you tube called Frequency Music. Find a good one for how you are feeling!

And no matter how bad you are in pain, try to exercise that one thing that is not in pain. PLEASE!

Spend time with each other and remember that everyone deserves a peaceful home to live in, no matter the circumstances.
 
pollinator
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Tessa Dawn Nunlist wrote:I don't know how my advice will be received here, but these are a few things that have helped me . My partner and I have massage sessions & care sessions in the evenings. We know that going to a massage therapist would be awesome, but we would rather do it for ourselves! Sit cross legged across from each other, and massage each others shoulders & necks or feet! This will make both of you feel easier and more at peace before bed, therefor setting a good tone for the following morning.
Do it how you feel comfortable.

On the mental side of things, try to have a quiet time before bed and during that time of settling in for the night, play this music from you tube called Frequency Music. Find a good one for how you are feeling!

And no matter how bad you are in pain, try to exercise that one thing that is not in pain. PLEASE!

Spend time with each other and remember that everyone deserves a peaceful home to live in, no matter the circumstances.



Theres a lot there that we should improve on. I used to massage her almost every night and she still struggled to sleep but I’ve gotten away from that lately. Ive actually gotten away from HER lately and I’m starting to wonder if the lack of attention from me is contributing to her stress levels. Its also hard to have quiet time before bed as the last hour or two of the night is usually the only time of day we can talk about much together, and a lot of what we end up talking about generates some stress: relationship issues, possible job changes, covid restrictions, conspiracies…

Its easy for me to talk about that stuff and then just go to sleep anyway, but I think she stays in an elevated stress state for a while afterwards which probably interrupts her sleep cycles.

She did just bring up frequencies yesterday, so it’s interesting that you mentioned it as well. Maybe there’s something to that!

And I agree with you about exercise, but that doesn’t help my wife. She says shes so tired of being tired that she has no energy or motivation to exercise. I understand that and cant blame her. But when I explain how junky I feel when I DONT exercise and try to get her to just get some exercise despite her being tired, she refuses. I dont know if it would help or not, but it seems worth a try to me!
 
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Brody Ekberg wrote:
Theres a lot there that we should improve on. I used to massage her almost every night and she still struggled to sleep but I’ve gotten away from that lately. Ive actually gotten away from HER lately and I’m starting to wonder if the lack of attention from me is contributing to her stress levels. Its also hard to have quiet time before bed as the last hour or two of the night is usually the only time of day we can talk about much together, and a lot of what we end up talking about generates some stress: relationship issues, possible job changes, covid restrictions, conspiracies…

Its easy for me to talk about that stuff and then just go to sleep anyway, but I think she stays in an elevated stress state for a while afterwards which probably interrupts her sleep cycles.



Talking/thinking about stressful things right before bed most DEFINITELY makes for a difficult time getting to sleep, for me. It also has a detrimental effect on my quality of sleep, and those two things leave me tired and grumpy, the next day. Knowing this is an issue for me, I've learned that if I feel my stress levels going up, right before bed, it's time to change the subject - very bluntly, if necessary. But, that's my style - I've learned to pay attention to how things affect me, and make my needs known. She may not even be aware that this could be part of her exhaustion. So, maybe you could find a way to steer your night time conversations to something more relaxing, restorative, uplifting... positive. It helps me, immensely.
 
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Although I've not tried it myself, a friend of mine uses Rescue Remedy, he says it works great and it seems to have very good reviews online.
They apparently offer two types, one formula for stress/anxiety, the other for sleep.  It's also relatively inexpensive (about $15-20)

  Rescue Remedy for sleep:  https://tinyurl.com/3sjkt6b9

  Rescue Remedy for stress/anxiety:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08H6JB5R2?linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1&tag=sofferscom1-20

...comes in drops, gummies and sprays, (some of these are alcohol-free).
They even make it for pets (my friend gave it to his cat and says it works)

Hope you find some relief.
 
gardener
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Brody Ekberg wrote:Theres a lot there that we should improve on. I used to massage her almost every night and she still struggled to sleep but I’ve gotten away from that lately. Ive actually gotten away from HER lately and I’m starting to wonder if the lack of attention from me is contributing to her stress levels. Its also hard to have quiet time before bed as the last hour or two of the night is usually the only time of day we can talk about much together, and a lot of what we end up talking about generates some stress: relationship issues, possible job changes, covid restrictions, conspiracies…

I think you're probably right about the lack of attention contributing. I know when I'm feeling disconnected from my partner, it stresses me immensely and it's hard to fall asleep next to him when I'm feeling hurt by his behavior. I second what Carla said about needing to avoid tense topics before bedtime. It really sounds like your wife is already way too activated and tends towards fight/flight/freeze. Of course, the relationship stuff is important and necessary to talk about. Perhaps you could make a point of scheduling talks about that and setting a time limit? Preferably not before bed, if at all possible. Maybe using a framework of some sort, like intentional dialogue? Having something like that can really help keep things calmer and more focused. And letting your wife know that it's okay to stop or take a break if she feels like it's getting to be too much.

On the note of nervous system activation, I'd be wary of the Wim Hof method for her. It can be quite powerful, but since it activates the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze) it might not be the best for someone who is already way too in that, as suggested by her difficulty sleeping. It doesn't sound like she can necessarily bring herself back to a state of nervous system regulation on her own right now. Gentle things that help get her into the parasympathetic state (rest and digest) seems like the way to go.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Carla Burke wrote:
Talking/thinking about stressful things right before bed most DEFINITELY makes for a difficult time getting to sleep, for me. It also has a detrimental effect on my quality of sleep, and those two things leave me tired and grumpy, the next day. Knowing this is an issue for me, I've learned that if I feel my stress levels going up, right before bed, it's time to change the subject - very bluntly, if necessary. But, that's my style - I've learned to pay attention to how things affect me, and make my needs known. She may not even be aware that this could be part of her exhaustion. So, maybe you could find a way to steer your night time conversations to something more relaxing, restorative, uplifting... positive. It helps me, immensely.



I agree 100%! But she would say that falling asleep isnt her issue, its getting back to sleep once she wakes up in the middle of the night. And unfortunately, the few hours before bed are about the only time of the day that we have to discuss anything, and we do have a lot to discuss!. But I would almost rather not talk at all than contribute to her suffering by talking!
 
pollinator
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My mom was struggling with insomnia and I got her a dodow sleep light after reading a ton of reviews. Dodow light Even after I got it I was thinking there was no way it would work, but I figured what the heck, she won't do pills. She has been using it and said it actually worked for her! She was super skeptical of it but was amazed that she just falls asleep easily with it. It works similar to meditation where it slows your breathing down while you breathe in and out to the pattern of light it emits. It is completely silent, which mom likes and it turns itself off and is small/ fits easily on her nightstand.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Denise Kersting wrote:My mom was struggling with insomnia and I got her a dodow sleep light after reading a ton of reviews. Dodow light Even after I got it I was thinking there was no way it would work, but I figured what the heck, she won't do pills. She has been using it and said it actually worked for her! She was super skeptical of it but was amazed that she just falls asleep easily with it. It works similar to meditation where it slows your breathing down while you breathe in and out to the pattern of light it emits. It is completely silent, which mom likes and it turns itself off and is small/ fits easily on her nightstand.



Thank you, I’ll run this by her!
 
Denise Kersting
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If you do want to try the light, I've seen a few on Ebay and a few of the other online resale sites for less than retail. I actually just got one including shipping for under $19 for myself.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Denise Kersting wrote:If you do want to try the light, I've seen a few on Ebay and a few of the other online resale sites for less than retail. I actually just got one including shipping for under $19 for myself.



Good thinking!
 
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Brody, maybe I missed it, but I don't think anyone has mentioned hormone testing to see if this is a contributor to your wife's condition. I have had insomnia for decades along with progressive pain from back surgery and degenerating discs in my neck along with many old injuries coming back to say Hi.

This is just my experience, but when I started taking DHEA, I started sleeping much better. Instead of always having a 2 hour wake up period in the middle of the night, or not getting to sleep until 4 am, I now wake up briefly twice a night then go right back to sleep. My chronic pain is much reduced. I also started taking pregnenolone, which is a pro-hormone that is metabolized into DHEA, estrogens, cortisol, and testosterone, so your body converts it into what's needed, which I like. I take 20 mg of pregnenolone and I noticed within two days that I was much calmer and yet more alert - like the engine inside me wasn't constantly revving up like it has been doing my whole life. One odd benefit of taking pregnenolone is that I now have nice finger nails. The low-level agitation is gone so I'm not picking at my nails anymore.

One thing that's really interesting is that I did the elimination diet last year for food sensitivities and found many that set my heart racing. Now that I'm on the DHEA and pregnenolone, I'm not nearly as sensitive to these foods.

If your wife's hormones are out of whack, which is almost guaranteed with the level of stress she's been under, it's really difficult to get a handle on anything else. I would advise seeing a doctor that will check her hormone levels and approach it from this angle.

BTW I am a trained herbalist and although both western and Chinese herbs helped, nothing seemed to fix the underlying issue, which for me seems to be low hormone levels. If you do some searching, you'll find that low hormones can cause many of the symptoms that your wife is experiencing.

The mold you mentioned definite needs to get fixed for your health as well as hers. I used to do mold assessments in a previous job so if you want more info let me know and I can give a few pointers.
 
Brody Ekberg
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[quote=Robin Katz]

Brody, maybe I missed it, but I don't think anyone has mentioned hormone testing to see if this is a contributor to your wife's condition. I have had insomnia for decades along with progressive pain from back surgery and degenerating discs in my neck along with many old injuries coming back to say Hi.

This is just my experience, but when I started taking DHEA, I started sleeping much better. Instead of always having a 2 hour wake up period in the middle of the night, or not getting to sleep until 4 am, I now wake up briefly twice a night then go right back to sleep. My chronic pain is much reduced. I also started taking pregnenolone, which is a pro-hormone that is metabolized into DHEA, estrogens, cortisol, and testosterone, so your body converts it into what's needed, which I like. I take 20 mg of pregnenolone and I noticed within two days that I was much calmer and yet more alert - like the engine inside me wasn't constantly revving up like it has been doing my whole life. One odd benefit of taking pregnenolone is that I now have nice finger nails. The low-level agitation is gone so I'm not picking at my nails anymore.

One thing that's really interesting is that I did the elimination diet last year for food sensitivities and found many that set my heart racing. Now that I'm on the DHEA and pregnenolone, I'm not nearly as sensitive to these foods.

If your wife's hormones are out of whack, which is almost guaranteed with the level of stress she's been under, it's really difficult to get a handle on anything else. I would advise seeing a doctor that will check her hormone levels and approach it from this angle.

BTW I am a trained herbalist and although both western and Chinese herbs helped, nothing seemed to fix the underlying issue, which for me seems to be low hormone levels. If you do some searching, you'll find that low hormones can cause many of the symptoms that your wife is experiencing.

The mold you mentioned definite needs to get fixed for your health as well as hers. I used to do mold assessments in a previous job so if you want more info let me know and I can give a few pointers.

[/quote]

Hi Robin, and thanks for the input!

My wife got her hormones “tested” a few years ago (i don’t remember what that entailed) and was told she had hormone levels comparable to someone going into menopause, which is pretty special considering she isnt even 30 years old yet and we’ve had no children! I don’t remember what/if she was taking anything for the hormone imbalance, but her doctor ended up needing a heart transplant and quitting his practice. She has since gotten sensitivity testing, allergy testing, done elimination diets and found a new naturopathic doctor who is quite fond of traditional Chinese medicine. Lots of things help, but like you said, nothing has been a fix.

Interesting you mentioned fingernails because hers have always been weak, brittle and grow slow. She actually rarely even has to cut them because they wear off and grow so slow.

Ill have to tell her about what you said so she can bring it up with her doctor.

Also, as far as the mold goes, you may be able to help me out with that too! What did your mold assessments consist of? Im trying to think of ways to figure out if/how much mold may be in walls without destroying the walls in the process. I considered extendable cameras like for clogged pipes. Is there some clever way to know what I’m getting into without literally cutting into a wall? I’m so worried that I’ll start destroying stuff and not even find mold where I think it is!
 
Robin Katz
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Brody,

If she's already shown abnormal hormone levels at her age, then re-testing and treatment would be first on my agenda. And in my own experience, I felt better fast. Instead of dragging myself through the day, where every task required strength of will to make it happen, I feel like a human being again. For me, the hormone drop came on slowly so I'd forgotten what it felt like to want to do things without effort. It is considered normal to have certain hormone levels drop as you get older, but stress and our good old American lifestyle can drain us quicker. Also, exposure to plasticizers and other endocrine disruptors such as certain pesticides/herbicides plays havoc with our systems.

If her nails are brittle and slow, growing, that is one of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism. Another symptom is, oddly enough, the outer third of the eyebrows thin or non-existent. Feeling cold and/or having a low body temperature is another symptom. Again, there is lots of information about this on the web. I've had my thyroid levels checked and they are "normal" yet I had nearly all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. It's really frustrating to get help when this happens. I started taking the DHEA and pregnenolone to let my body make what it needs, and even though pregnenolone doesn't make thyroid hormones, my thyroid symptoms improved dramatically. The endocrine system is very complex with some hormones affecting other hormones, etc. I started out with very low doses and am still fine tuning it. My doctor doesn't seem to be keen on doing anything other than fixing major, measurable problems like a torn hamstring, so I feel like I'm on my own with this. We live pretty far away from a city so finding a naturopath nearby hasn't worked so far. At some point I plan to make a trip to get testing done with a naturopath since I don't want to over-do anything and cause harm to myself. So far, though I feel tons better but I'm being careful.

As far as mold goes, it all comes down to how the moisture is getting into the structure. If it's due to condensation then, it can affect everything since the water will condense in any convenient cold spot. If you have mold due to water intrusion from the outside, or from a water leak, then look for water-stained surfaces. Drywall has paper coating, and when this gets wet and stays wet for a few days, mold will grow. OSB is particularly susceptible to mold since the wood is essentially pre-chewed for the mold to grow, with lots of surface area. When I would write a recommendation, it always started with stopping the source of water for the mold to grow. Unless you do this, it will be back. Then, if it's due to a specific leak/intrusion, find all the visibly damaged drywall, insulation, carpet, underlayment, etc. and remove it plus an extra 2-4 feet. Solid wood like 2x4s could be treated in place if they were still structurally sound.

Water has an amazing ability to travel along surfaces due to capillary action. Spaces between 2x4s allow it to move up the wall or along the ceiling for several feet. I've seen it go over 8 feet along a ceiling, wetting the drywall as it traveled. Also, this should be done in an area sealed from the rest of the house and under negative pressure so that removal doesn't spread spores all over the rest of the house. This is why mold remediation companies charge what they do. Also, the workers are in respirators and Tyvek suits so that they don't get sick from the mold. After the works is complete and before any drywall or flooring is put back, the air would be tested to make sure the area was clear.  I'm sure this isn't what you wanted to hear, but that's what I used to recommend 15 years ago. Things may have changed, but I doubt they've changed too much. Since I don't really know all the details of your situation this is the best I can do right now.

*Edit*: All of my experiences came from cases with extensive water/mold damage that ended up in litigation. If your water/mold damage is small, there are guidelines put out by the government on how to address this. There is a lot you can do yourself, but that would be up to you to decide how to approach this. I suggest reading the latest information before trying to remediate yourself.
 
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/  

Get a copper wire and a silver screen for a window, plug in wire to ground outside window, not above underground electric lines. Helps sleep.
 
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First I will confess to only skimming other comments, and then offer up two quick notes.   Have you read Paul's info about incandescent light and similarity to natural sunset?    And then has she tried banana tea?   Or banana peel tea, if like me, she's avoiding so many carbs/sugars?   Organic banana peel tea before bed helps me with menopausal sleep issues a LOT.   But unfortunately not seemingly consecutive /multiple nights.  

H
 
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