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to sleep...perchance...and NOT dream?

 
gardener
Posts: 950
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
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I don't sleep since starting menopause (over now but still can't sleep).  I have tried every remedy but as soon as I fall asleep I wake up suddenly and then can't get back off.  I am now resistant to prescription meds too.  I put on headphones, lie very still and listen to Audible books.  No light to contend with.  (Pick comfy headphones - splash out.) I listen to something light and preferably something to which I am familiar so I don't have to concentrate.  I either fall asleep dreaming about the book (pick a nice one to avoid the dreams), or I stay awake until 4 or 5 in the morning and enjoy a good book!  Win win.  The secret is to decide that it doesn't matter.  Then it doesn't.  (I used to get up but I would be wiped the next day.)
 
Posts: 35
Location: Aurora, Colorado
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One more quick thing to add to this looooong and helpful conversation...try listening to a book with earphones (the flatter the better so that you can lay down your head). You can download free public domain works at librivox.org to an MP3 player and listen with the volume turned down low. If you miss some of the content when you doze off, you can always dial back and pick it up later. Victorian novels seem to do the trick for me, but everyone's different. Some of the volunteer readers' voices are more soothing than others. You can check them out before downloading.
 
Posts: 90
Location: Cape Town
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Have you tested your progesterone levels? Progesterone, otherwise known as the sleep hormone, decreases with menopause.  I take one drop of chasteberry tincture at night and sleep like a baby.  You should be taking some oestrogen supplement too, red clover tea has been recommended already, it works well for me. You get this in combination tablets but  pays to try many brands because quality varies widely.
You can never go wrong with yoga and meditation.
You should at least go see a therapist about those consistent nightmares. Sounds like your subconscious is trying to tell you something.
 
pollinator
Posts: 326
Location: Western MA, zone 6b
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I feel you with the menopause sleeplessness.   It's terrible.   I'll be good and tired and feel oh so sleepy and so glad to go to bed then..   AWAKE.   Hopelessly awake.  Nothing helps.   It's regularly 2-3 nights a week now with zero sleep.   Thankfully hot flashes and night sweats have subsided to maybe once a day after 5 long years.   I've tried many of the things you suggested and then some, with not much luck.  Yoga, hypnosis, guided meditation, getting rid of caffeine,  Benadryl, melatonin..   I'm fairly drug resistant my entire life to begin with, but seem to be even more so now.    Let's hope this is a phase that will pass sooner than later.   I'll be following along here with interest for new things to try!
 
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Google" Medical Medium and Insomnia" You will probably want to read his book Liver Rescue. If you research him your life will never be the same and you will probably uncover a medical condition you were heading towards; not that insomnia isn't a hell of a condition.  I wish you the best and I feel for you!   Susan Brylski
 
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I struggled with no sleep for years. I’m not sure what will help you but some liver/gallbladder  cleansing helped. I kept my gallbladder and I’m careful with the diet. I drink a lot of water early in the day. Any supplements also early in the day. I don’t eat late in the day. Boring books before bed. Write any to do lists early in the evening. Trick your brain into having stuff that keeps you awake done with. If it’s in paper it’s done? Journal? It could was hormonal. Magnesium helps unless it makes lots of bathroom trips.. I’m a red head so maybe I react to herbs and drugs differently than most people. I try to avoid drugs etc.
 
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Location: Prescott, Az
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You mention that you are menopausal.  I know there has been some controversy over hormone replacement, however, as you near menopause your progesterone levels begin to fall way before you estrogen levels.  When the two become imbalanced you become estrogen dominant which cause anxiety, night sweats more than simply hot flashes, and inability to sleep.  Using a bio identical, not synthetic, progesterone supplement helps to rebalance the estrogens and progesterone and has a calming effect so promotes sleep and reduces anxiety.  The simplest way to try it is with an over the counter bioidentical progesterone cream that you apply to you skin in very small amounts.
Really helped me when I was diagnosed by a MD/Homeopath with adrenal fatigue induced Perimenopause.  Within a few weeks I was sleeping better and having less anxiety.  
 
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I am also struggling with menopause and I was having a terrible time sleeping.  Tried red clover and it seemed to be helping for hot flushes and lack of sleep but for some reason I just started feeling unwell so I had to stop taking it. Things that have helped me noticeably are magnesium and a soy supplement called Menosupport complex by A. Vogel.. it has helped to control my hot flushes alot, I still get some but along with magnesium I'm sleeping better. I was resorting to taking Tylenol pm for awhile but now I don't have too. Everyone is different and what works for some doesn't work for others... soy is controversial but in Asian cultures there is no word for menopause.  Fermented and organic soy I think is important. In the supplement I take it says the soy is glycine max (L) extract and it has hibiscus flower and magnesium  but I take additional magnesium as this doesn't provide enough.  
Also changing my diet to keto for awhile helped to reset my blood sugar issues and got rid of sugar craving and helped my digestive.  I'm not 9n keto anymore as I didn't feel well so a more balanced diet works better for me but I feel it had a good purpose in my life for giving me a bit of a reset. I hope you find a bit of help here among all of the advice being given and that you are able to get sleep! Menopause has been the worst thing but I tell you I feel like this is helping me above anything else!
 
pollinator
Posts: 732
Location: Iron River MI zone 3b
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I have not read through all of this thread, but will leave my tidbits just in case anyone finds them helpful.

I sleep like a mummy almost every night (dont hate me!) but my wife usually sleeps horribly, to the point that bedtime actually stresses her out. So, I’ve done a fair bit of reading on the subject.

Here’s a list of tips I recommend for sleeping issues:

1. Try to stick to a regular bedtime
2. Dont eat anything the last couple hours before sleeping
3. No technology the last hour or 2 before bed (tv, computer, phone, tablet...)
4. No caffeine in the evenings
5. No marijuana or alcohol right before bed
6. Dim some lights or turn some off in the house during the last couple hours before bed
7. Keep the bedroom cool

If all these things are still failing you, I would also add to look towards your mental stress levels, diet and hormones. And as others have mentioned, segmented sleep or sleeping less than 8 hours at night and then taking long naps during the day can be quite normal and functional for some people, if their situation permits.

And one last thing: heres a fantastic episode of the Joe Rogan Experience all about sleep. Highly recommend this one even if you normally sleep well, as its full of important information.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pwaWilO_Pig
 
Posts: 1
Location: Austin, United States
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Helloo!

I few things not mentioned:

lemon balm
lemon verbena
magnolia bark

Happy sleepin
 
Heather Staas
pollinator
Posts: 326
Location: Western MA, zone 6b
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OK..  this week I started trying banana peel tea.   I had the BEST two nights of sleep I've had in ages.  Felt sleepy,  no trouble getting to sleep,  slept well.  That was the first two nights when I was using small thai bananas I bought at a specialty mart.     Last night I used an organic regular banana from the big grocery.   Not the same results.   Maybe the first two nights were a fluke.   Maybe the type of banana matters.   Maybe I was more stressed last night.. I don't know, but I'm going to try the thai banana peel again tonight.    You can use the whole banana but I avoid the carbs/sugar so just the peel for me.  
 
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5. No marijuana or alcohol right before bed



Your mileage may vary on marijuana. It is a major part of my [state-licensed] treatment for anxiety disorder and OCD, and I have found that it helps quiet my mind for sleep in a really great way, and also relaxes my muscles such that a congenital back problem I have is manageable. It took me quite a while to figure out what sorts of strains do what and why, and how my body reacts to it. (I was not a marijuana user and had negative experiences with it until I started learning about it from a medical POV, a little over 1 year ago)

There are definitely various studies out there saying that ultimately it makes for a lower quality of sleep because it mucks with REM cycle length, and saying that ceasing it causes sleep disruption/withdrawal (but so does stopping literally any sleep aid?). But if the options are "8 hours of less than perfect sleep" or "little or no sleep due to racing thoughts or body pain," or even "8 hours of Klonipin-coma from which I awake exhausted," I'll keep taking a few tokes of marijuana before bed!
 
Brody Ekberg
pollinator
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Juniper Oliphant wrote:

5. No marijuana or alcohol right before bed



Your mileage may vary on marijuana. It is a major part of my [state-licensed] treatment for anxiety disorder and OCD, and I have found that it helps quiet my mind for sleep in a really great way, and also relaxes my muscles such that a congenital back problem I have is manageable. It took me quite a while to figure out what sorts of strains do what and why, and how my body reacts to it. (I was not a marijuana user and had negative experiences with it until I started learning about it from a medical POV, a little over 1 year ago)

There are definitely various studies out there saying that ultimately it makes for a lower quality of sleep because it mucks with REM cycle length, and saying that ceasing it causes sleep disruption/withdrawal (but so does stopping literally any sleep aid?). But if the options are "8 hours of less than perfect sleep" or "little or no sleep due to racing thoughts or body pain," or even "8 hours of Klonipin-coma from which I awake exhausted," I'll keep taking a few tokes of marijuana before bed!



I totally understand and agree.

My personal experience has been that partaking a couple hours before bed has little to no effect on sleep but an hour or less before bed and I have absolutely no dreams and wake up feeling very tired.
 
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