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r ranson
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Those of you with insomnia, or maybe a restless night or two, at what point in the night do you give up and start your day?  Do you have a specific time or feeling that you go by?

What do you do when the rest of the household is asleep?  Is it mellow time, productive time, crafting time, or maybe something else? 
 
John Weiland
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Seems a rather common concept that insomnia increases with age and I've spoken with work colleagues who attest to this.  Some will get up at 3 am and do baking, laundry, bill-paying, etc.  Each seems to have a specific pattern.  My own is pretty predictable and is worse in the spring and in the fall.  But irrespective of season, I'm usually hit by it at 4 am.  At times, I've used the opportunity to compose overdue EMail correspondences that I just save to a flash drive for sending later (no wifi in the house).  But for me, the best use of that time is the activity that I've been neglecting the most:  Meditation.  I've read that between 3 am and 'regular' awakening time is a pretty good period for meditation and I was doing it pretty faithfully at one time.  But then I go through periods where I sleep through to sunrise and get off of that schedule.  Meditation does not disturb the rest of the house and can be considered quality and quantity time serving to nourish one the same way good, healthy food does.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I've been tackling this recently, as I often have a hard time falling back asleep after I put my toddler back to bed. Being awake at night is nothing new to me, but being awake in the MIDDLE of the night is. When I was younger, I would spend 2+hours every night wide-awake, just trying to fall asleep (once I was out, I'd stay out, unlike now), and back then it didn't matter whether or not I slept--I was always energetic. Now, if I don't get that sleep, I'm a zombie: living in a brain fog, unable to remember what I need to do, tired, and cranky. So, sleep is my main priority.

Since I know how much I need the rest/sleep, I usually lie in bed for about 30 minutes-1 hour. Then, I go and eat something with simple sugars (like dried fruit) in hopes of causing a glycogen crash (I recall reading somewhere that sometimes insomnia is caused by being glycogen depleted, which stresses the body and makes it hard to fall back asleep. I'll try to find the study tomorrow). Usually at about 2 hours after I was awakened, my blood sugar crashes and I can conk back out. During the time that I'm awake, though, I usually just take it easy and do something mindless, reading a book or checking facebook or paying bills. I try to make sure I don't get riled up or intellectually stimulated. The brainless activities are also relaxing for me, and the time awake ends up being "me-time" of which there is little to be had while parenting small kids!  I also make sure that my computer screen is tinted to sleepy colors (I installed F.lux https://justgetflux.com on my computer, and that really seems to help a lot). If the sun is up, I'll actually wear sunglasses to keep my circadian rhythm thinking it's night time. I also use black out curtains, as I've found that those really help.

If my body didn't desperately need more sleep, I'd probably get in the habit of happily knitting and sewing and planning my garden and other fun, useful, quiet things (so as not to wake up the rest of the family).
 
Travis Johnson
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First of all, for those that suffer along with me on this; I deeply empathize with anyone who battle this. In one word; it SUCKS.

I made a hard and fast rule that I WILL NOT GET OUT OF BED BEFORE 1 AM...never. But after that, if I wake up, I just start my day. Most of what I do is planning, budget making and getting farm paperwork in order.

Lately my insomnia has been from stress dreams. I chose to help a non profit organization out, and while it has been really fun and blissful at times, it has been very stressful too. I am clearing land for them and its in the worst possible spot, on the edge of a mountainside and very dangerous work with heavy equipment. I have lost count of the number of times I have nearly toppled down the mountainside, but I don't dare let any others do it for fear they actually would go over. So lately its a real double-edged sword...dangerous spot with that spot causing me little sleep on massive equipment in dangerous areas! I can't wait until this is all over!

 
Craig Dobbson
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These are the things I find to be useful in getting back to sleep.

1: Stretching out a little bit seems to get the blood flowing and can loosen up tight muscles.  I'll usually do some basic leg and back stretches for a few minutes while doing some slow deep breathing.  I keep the lights off during this time.  Light is one of my main enemies to falling back asleep in good order.  Once I'm stretched out and calmed down, I go back to bed and try to get more rest. 

2. Listening to audio books or podcasts that I've already heard a million times usually works too.  Ideally this can be done with earbuds so as not to be too disruptive to the rest of the sleeping household.  I turn the volume down as low as I can without straining to hear it.  Because it's something I've heard before I'm not really paying attention to the details of what's being said.  I'm just hearing something familiar which is calming and then somewhere in the timeline I just doze off.  Again... no light.  Sometimes I'll listen to a historical documentary on YT.  In that case I turn the monitor off.  Light, especially from the blue end of the spectrum (very common in digital devices) is a natural trigger for waking up.  If I'm trying to go back to sleep... NO LIGHT

3. It's also useful for me to remember that just because I'm not sleeping, doesn't mean I'm not getting some rest.  Rather than stress out over it, which is not restful or going to aid in getting back to  sleep, I try to amuse myself with more fun thoughts like " If I won the lottery tomorrow, what would be the first step towards completing my homestead?"  I can run down that bunny trail forever.  I usually fall asleep before I've even finished choosing which earth mover I'd buy/rent to do the earthworks

4. Midnight snacks!  yay!  Sometimes it's useful to make a snack and just chill out for an hour or so before trying to go back to sleep.  I like something with fat and protein.  No sugar/carbs.  The other night I had a couple eggs and a few slices of my homemade lonzino (dry cured pork loin).  Let that settle in my stomach for an hour and then... ZZZZzzzzzz

5. Just give up on sleep.  Sometimes it's just not gonna happen so I'll stay up and try to catch up on some other tasks like general organizing of stuff in the "junk drawer". 

I don't like to let a  clock dictate when I should do things.   I do what I feel like, when I feel like it.  Sometimes breakfast is at 7am and sometimes its at 10am.  Sometimes I sleep 4 hours and other times I'll sleep 10 hours straight.  Strict time schedules can be stressful, which can lead to insomnia.... and then it's just a cycle of trouble. 

Of course there are herbal teas and tinctures of various types that claim to promote sleep or aid in calming nerves.  I avoid that kind of thing because quality, dosage, effectiveness and dependency are all concerns of mine that have never really been alleviated.  I've tried these things in the past and have never found something to be reliable enough to continue buying/making it. Your results may vary.


I hope that some of that helps some of you get some sleep. 
Best wishes
 
r ranson
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5. Just give up on sleep.  Sometimes it's just not gonna happen so I'll stay up and try to catch up on some other tasks like general organizing of stuff in the "junk drawer". 


That's what I do most of the time.

I finally realized that I could spend my night stressing out about how I 'should' sleep or I could spend my night not stressing out.  It was an article in the BBC like this one that helped me understand that 8 hours sleep might be unnatural and not what my body wants after all. 

If I can get one solid 4-hour block of sleep in a night (which seems to be my sleep cycle), then I'm set.  If I wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, it damages my day more than zero sleep.

Taking the clock out of the room and turning off the electronics at the power bar helps my sleep be more restful.  If I'm awake and start to feel restless, I get up and make some tea and check the time.  If it's after 4am, I make coffee and start my day.  If it's before 11pm, then I have a nightcap which seems to help.

When I can't sleep, I read a bit, then failing that, I do some crafting (weaving, spinning) or if it's summer and the moon is bright, I'll do some gardening.   I tried doing actual chores, but that just woke me up more as it shows my body that it's time to start the day.


Of course there are herbal teas and tinctures of various types that claim to promote sleep or aid in calming nerves.  I avoid that kind of thing because quality, dosage, effectiveness and dependency are all concerns of mine that have never really been alleviated.  I've tried these things in the past and have never found something to be reliable enough to continue buying/making it. Your results may vary. 


Me too.  Either I take the supplement and it makes me hyper alert and manic or I take it and it makes me sleep walk (not a good thing), or it does nothing at all. 

Maybe I'm getting to the place where I need to try something to help sleep.
I've been thinking of trying a tea that I could grow myself.  I don't know what sort of plants would help.  It's not the mind that needs resting, that's plenty calm at night, it's just the darn on/off switch seems to be broken. 
 
Casie Becker
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Insomnia runs rampant in my family, though I seldom suffer it myself. Something that I stumbled across years ago was a list of foods that contain high amounts of the nutrients your body uses to make melatonin. The only item that stuck with me from that list was cherries.

Maybe, for those of you who can't take supplements, this kind of food list could help. Actually, here's a link to an article http://naturalsociety.com/8-foods-naturally-increase-melatonin-sleep/ Nice thing is that it covers a lot of food groups, so there's a good chance that even people with allergies might find something edible on that list.
 
K Putnam
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I have been sleeping on the floor the last month and it has largely put my insomnia at bay.  The first few nights were uncomfortable, then my body started to say 'HEY, BEDTIME."   I think there are two components.  The first is that I really felt my ribcage expand and become more comfortable, so I think I have less subtle physical discomfort keeping me awake.  Second, I am finding the floor very, well, "grounding."  And, once I wake up, I no longer really want to be on the floor, so I am getting out of bed more readily. 

But, as for what I do when during the periods I cannot get back to sleep:  there's something about the voices at 3:00am that tell me I am a terrible failure of a human being, which is what is usually keeping me awake.   At 10:00pm or 6:00am, I am a hard-working, caring person, so those voices at 3:00 need to be drowned out.  I'll put on an audiobook with a sleep timer and give my brain something else to focus on.    Or I'll read my backlit kindle. I do not turn on any lights.  If I *really* cannot sleep, I will light candles and do whatever I am going to do by candlelight.  No need to be hitting the brain with artificial light at 3:00 am.  I keep candles and a lighter handy and will let my brain slowly shift from candlelight to daylight.  I find that transition into the rest of the day much easier after a sleepless night. And, this time of year,  it is starting to get dark enough that I do this on normal mornings as well.  The dark becomes oppressive but lighting candles seems to help the mind slowly come into focus as opposed to getting hit in the face by a light bulb.
 
r ranson
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3am and I was awake again.  2 hours sleep!  I really need 4 hours sleep or more.

At least it was productive insomnia.  I got 4 days worth of weaving done today... But still.

Nearly 11 PM now.  Feels like another awake night.

Time to make a change in my life as being sleep deprived is starting to show.

Going to grow some teas, but what would help? 
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[Thumbnail for 1477978135234-883927704.jpg]
Insomniac weaving
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, herbalist, guru nor any form of  professional healer/advisor, nor do I play one on tv. I have read that many herbs and natural remedies are, in some cases, as strong as prescribed drugs. Seek professional advice before using herbal teas or supplements, especially if you are on prescribed medications or suffer from serious diagnosed illness. Do not mix herbal teas, tinctures or supplements with alcohol or recreational drug use. Do not drive after using any of the herbs in the list here, as they do have sedating effects and may decrease reaction time. Now...

I have used several kinds of herbs, in several forms, through the years in order to get a decent night's sleep. There are many herbs out there that can help calm the mind, relax tense muscles, ease pain, etc in order to help you sleep. I'm sure they can have different effects on people depending on the amount of herb used, how often it is used, the quality of the herbs, age of the herbs and the size and gender of the person using the products. You may need to research and try out several to find what works for you.

Lemonbalm - makes a lovely, soothing tea. I find it works better in a mix with other herbs, rather than by itself. By itself is delicious though. The plant can get out of hand, much the same way mint does, may need to establish some borders.

Chamomile - probably my personal favorite, as a tea and a beautiful flower. It also is reported to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and may help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Sounds like a great health booster.

Lavender - great as a tea but even the fragrance is supposed to help you relax and sleep. Stacked functions!

Valerian root - I've used Valerian root tincture quite a bit, but I must mix it in a bit of water, hold my nose, drink it quickly and chase it with more water, then brush my teeth. But it works.

Kava kava - another tincture, that is slightly easier on the taste buds than Valerian. I used to have what I referred to as my kava kava / java java ritual. That's kava kava at bedtime and 2 cups of coffee in the morning to get me going. Caution: I have read that long term use of kava kava may cause liver damage.

Passionflower - haven't tried this one yet. Having recently discovered passiflora incarnata growing on my property, I may have to make some tea and try it.


R. your weaving is lovely! At least you have something to show for those hours.

Who else out there has tried nature's way to get some zzz's?


 
Bryant RedHawk
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I've had insomnia almost all my life. When I was younger every known "cure" was tried by my parents and all failed to help with the problem.

By 16 I had resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to go through the cycles, which might last two weeks and sometimes three weeks.
I did get a lot done but the costs were steep since I ended a cycle with almost no ability to concentrate on anything.
Even the meditation style I had been taught didn't seem to allow my mind to stay in a still state once I ended the meditation time. 

I was 19 when I made friends with a Chinese gentleman who taught me a different style of meditation, and how to set a regimen that would help me break the sleepless cycles.

Now I do not go to bed unless I am ready to sleep, There is no reading in bed, watching TV in bed, bed is for sleeping.
I meditate every day, twice a day, this allows me to adjust my mind to stop and that is one of the key things for those of us that have insomnia.
I stop my mind, empty it of thoughts, for that is a key for me (and my wife) if we lay down to sleep and the mind doesn't shut off, then there is no hope of sleep.

I also don't just lay in bed, if I am still awake after 15 minutes I get up and go do something or I go meditate, usually after around 30 minutes to an hour I will feel drowsy and I go back to bed.
On occasions when this fails, I just start writing until I my body feels like it can stop the mind from working overtime.

The real trick is to set yourself up so the mind and body slow down and eliminate the outside stimuli that don't let you get into sleep mode.
Having a set routine helps a lot and not trying to force the issue but rather starting over, can help too.

Reddhawk
 
Craig Dobbson
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I've read on many tea blends including Kava that they should not be used if you consume alcohol regularly.  I have some experience with this phenomena.  For a while I was drinking Kava tea during the day to help chill out.  It worked quite well and I was satisfied with the flavor and the results.  I was maybe drinking 2 cups a day for about a month.  At the time I had very young kids and so alcohol consumption wasn't really a part of my life.  However, I was invited out for a "guy's night out" at a local bar and decided to have a couple beers.  I mean a couple.  Like 2. TWO!  Just a couple pints of a local IPA ( I like a nice IPA) over a couple hours with the guys.  All in all, a good time out.
I was home and in bed by midnight, feeling fine. By 2 am I was puking like NEVER before.  I was dying of thirst and so violently ill that I thought I might just rather give up on life.  I was chugging liters of water, gatorade and juice, only to be heaving back into a bucket five minutes later.  What was strange is that I never lost the overwhelming urge to ingest water.  Even knowing that I'd just be yaking it back up in five minutes didn't deter me.  Mind you, I was at this point, too weak to get off the couch.  My very industrious wife brought me a five gallon bucket and I just went through the motions for the next few hours.  3.5 gallons in total took the round trip to my stomach and back, before it all stopped.  I've never felt that shitty in my whole life. 
In the search to find out what happened I stumbled upon some info about certain herbal blends that can have that effect. Many of the labels on teas, have a warning about alcohol consumption.  I was under the assumption that it meant not to drink the two together or in significant quantities.  Turns out that you can drink tea on thursday and drink beer on saturday and have a pretty shitty sunday. I stopped drinking those teas immediately.

Obviously this is just my account and it could be a one-off.  But throwing up like that was both epic and exhausting.  Not something I want to do again.   

Your mileage may vary
 
Gail Moore
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(Autistic brain does not do spelling and grammar well, so please be patientaa0

I've dealt with insomnia at different point in my life. some were very exhausting.

In the past few months I found this wonderful set numeric codes for health, called
The DIvine Healing COdes, which were compiled by an Anesthesiologist who is a
Practitioner of Reiki.THere are 34 pages to the pdf of codes...
her website is reikidoc.something...

You can do a search for The Divine Healing Codes and How to Use Them pdf and can get the pdf

I'll share the codes for sleep and insomnia, and then share how to use them


10 42 7896 To enhance sleep quality

11 21 495 for insomnia that is of long-standing

56 17 112 for insomnia that is situational due to noise, heat, travel, etc


BE SURE AND MAKE THE SPACES IN BETWEEN THE NUMBERS!
You use the Healing Codes, by 'writing them onto your body with a finger, pen, healing stone, marker, etc.
then you write the code in the air above your body, within your auric field.


IT IS YOUR INTENTION AND YOUR HEART which empower these codes.
SOMEtimes i just write them on top of my shirt sleeve or pant leg/
just realize that folks who can't move can use these, too, by envisioning them or speaking them. WHATEVER WORKS to get them into your
field.

I usually say it aloud as i write. for insatnce: "One  Zero SPace, four two space seven eight nine six: and say THANK YOU! AND YES!

These codes do seem to help me.

AND there are many great codes in this pdf for all manner of health conditions


hope these help someone!
 
Tobias Ber
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r ranson,
that looks beautifull.

we like to have some tea with lavender and valerian. some red wine might help, too.

for me there s a point, when i must sleep. if i stay awake too long, then i wont find good sleep. often it s around 23/11pm.

wim hof method might help. it s breathing and applications of cold water. i find, then breathing will induce deep relaxation. the method is said to influence hormones, including these that regulate sleep.
there are videos on youtube, if one is interested, i could find and post the links of a few.


bryant, would you share, which method of meditation you like best, or what works for you and why?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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My favorite method is based in what the Shaolin practice (this is what sensi taught me) except that I do not sit cross legged (knees won't allow me to do that anymore) I sit with one foot against the opposite knee.
Back is straight and arms relaxed in my lap but not touching each other. Breathing for the first five minutes is slow, deliberate and as deep as possible, this purges all old air from your lungs.
After that five minutes of purging the lungs you use the same slow deliberate pace but only as deep as you normally breathe, at this time you purposefully empty the mind.
This is the conscious mind, the subconscious will slowly come into focus as you get better at this type of meditation.
You will know when you have emptied your mind because sounds will start to fade from the front of your consciousness, you will still be aware of them but they will be far in the back ground.
Some times, colors will appear as small balls far off, when this happens they usually get larger (closer) the more empty your mind becomes.
When one of these colors get close enough (signifying that you have emptied your conscious mind) it will engulf your being, you will be inside the color, this is when the subconscious will begin to show itself to you.

I have found that the more I practice this the faster I can get to the desired empty conscious mind state.
Many times, during the phase where I am engulfed within a color, I fall asleep (so it seems), this is when the sub-conscious takes the front seat in my meditation.

Coming out of this state of being is pretty quick, your conscious mind will come back to the front and you will be aware of all around you again.

Redhawk
 
Dylan Mulder
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I get both insomnia and sleep paralysis, and have had to develop a self treatment regimen out of necessity. Everyone elses suggestions have been spot on.

I've found that, to sleep & sleep well, both the mind & the body must be comfortable. If the mind is comfortable and ready to sleep, but the body isn't, the body will move ('tossing & turning') excessively during sleep - leaving you feeling sore upon awakening. If the body is comfortable, but the mind isn't, the mind will experience fitful & vivid dreams that leave you feeling as if you haven't slept at all. I've found that when I can't sleep at all, there is discomfort either mentally or bodily - and if I can identify & resovle it, that it greatly increases my chances of falling back asleep.

To make the mind comfortable, I use meditation, everyday before bed. To make the body comfortable, I use progressive muscle relaxation, everyday before bed. The daily routine seems to help me prepare for sleep.

Here are some other tips,

1) Make sure you're warm enough. If the body gets cold when asleep, it will move to generate heat/friction, leaving one feeling drained upon awakening.

2) While herbs can reliably make one drowsy, I've found that they take hours to take effect. SO, if it's a restless night, consuming the herb will make one drowsy just in time for...sunrise. Wonderful! I'll take the herb before sleep, AFTER a previous sleepless night, to ensure a greater chance of sleep on that night. Specifically, I use lemon balm as a tisane - it's such an effective sedative for me that it's unsafe to operate machinery!

3) It's easy to get mad and frustrated when unable to sleep and trying to sleep! This creates a feedback loop of not sleeping, getting madder, and...not sleeping. I've adopted the attitude that If I can sleep, then that's great. If I can't sleep, then that's fine too - I'll just do something productive with that time instead. That leaves me feeling good, which is better than mad.

4) Undiagnosed sleep apnea can interrupt sleep. If you have reoccuring dreams in which you are drowning in water/suffocating, you may actually be choking in real life. If you experience convulsions while asleep or awake suddenly with breathing difficulties, then this is also a big heads up!

5) This last tip is just for sleep paralysis. Visualization excersises and practicing lucid dreaming have helped me immensely. Becoming familiar with the sleep process has helped me identify when an episode is occuring and to achieve a state of calm. Lucid dreaming has helped me learn to take control of the hallucinations. Visualization exercises are also a very good way to relax and comfort the mind.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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R, I feel for you! My waking at night has been attempting to get worse with age (and hormones!), though I think I've learned a few things that seem to help.

Luckily for me, I'm not usually awake more than a half hour or an hour, so most of the time, I try to wait it out in bed. I don't generally do beautiful weaving or productive things in the middle of the night!

Passionflower tincture - tried this some and it works some of the time - like Dylan said, take early, quite a while before bedtime.

Bach flower remedy - this has seemed to help.

Nightcap (alcohol of any kind) - you'd think it would help, but I think I heard studies show it might make for worse sleep. It definitely slows me down in the morning and I think the quality of my sleep suffers. I have a friend who stopped consuming alcohol for 30 days and her sleep improved dramatically.

Hormones - this is HUGE for me. I'm peri-menopausal and if I get hot flashes, they usually happen at night (3 a.m. or 4 a.m.). Hot flashes are a miserable way to wake up. Even really mild hot flashes without being drenched in sweat, just all of a sudden the covers feel too hot at night, wake me. Supposedly, hops and other estrogen acting herbs (skullcap is another often used for sleep aid though might act like estrogen; don't even get me started on milk thistle!) are said to reduce hot flashes, but anything mildly estrogenic increases my hot flashes. Gah. Herbs can influence our bodies in dramatic ways - some wanted, some unwanted.

The best hormone support I've had is the more adaptogenic, balancing effect of seed cycling. We need a thread on permies about that. (I've wanted to start one and I keep running out of time.) It's been awesome at reducing my hot flashes, evening out mood swings, and even keeping my cycle fairly regular even as I think my cycling days are winding down. Seed cycling is eating 2 tablespoons of ground, fresh/raw seeds each day, in this pattern:
Cycle days 1-14 (where menses starts on day 1) - estrogen balancing with flax and pumpkin seeds
Cycle says 15-28 - progesterone balancing with sesame and sunflower seeds.

Even women who aren't currently having an actual menses can experiment with the moon cycle to find a good timing for their seed cycling.

Lots of good stress tips in this thread. If I've had a really productive day, where I've worked HARD, whether mentally or physically, I sleep better. It's not just from being tired out, but hugely from the satisfaction (some times relief) of knowing I did all I could do for the day.

Screen and electronics - such good tips on that too! I keep my smartphone in my bedroom, since it's left on for emergencies, but I no longer plug it in at my bedside. It's plugged in across the room. I used to look at my smartphone when I woke at night, (with the excuse that I was checking the clock because without my glasses it's hard to see the alarm clock on the other side of the bed) and even with the blue light filter, I would stay awake longer, than I do now with no screen to look at when I wake at night. That has helped a lot!

Are you taking B vitamin supplements? This might be an obvious one, but take them in the morning, with breakfast, not at night! They are super energizing and can create vivid dreams.

Another obvious one: no caffeine after 11 a.m. or noon. Some times I forget and keep my green tea flowing too far past morning. That does not help. Paul can't have chocolate after mid afternoon, otherwise the stimulants in the chocolate (is it the theobromine more than caffeine?) can keep him up.

Magnesium - I keep hearing how many of us are lacking magnesium, and how that can affect sleep. I've gotten up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, then slid into an epsom salt bath and fell asleep in the tub. Though other times when I've taken an epsom salt bath before bed, it hasn't seemed to make much of a difference. Maybe it's a quality or consistency thing. I think nuts are a good source of magnesium, and I think some times eating nuts might be more effective for me than the epsom salt baths.

I'm not quite ready to sleep yet, so here's what I'm doing: posting on permies! I get too tired to have a clear head for my accounting work when it's in the late or wee hours. Here's hoping you get some good rest, soon, R!



 
r ranson
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Posting on permies for relaxation.  Love it.

I've been trying to turn off all the screens at sunset, but sometimes I turn one back on in the night to see what is going on here. 

Last night, I wove 4 dish towels.  They look great.  But facing the day with less than 4 hours sleep is rough.  It wasn't until 1 am i was tired enough to go to bed, then fully awake at 3.  At least I got something done.



Not last night's, but the same design.

The thing is, my insomnia isn't stress caused.  The doctor tried to explain it once with big long words but all I managed to understand is that my physical off switch is broken and sometimes it gets stuck on.  My mind can rest, but my body has trouble.  Anyone else have insomnia like this?  The mind is quiet or daydreaming about the latest doctor who episode, but the body feels alert and itching to get stuff done.  I think that is why weaving has been so good lately, it lets the mind meditate and the body act.

I am keen to try the seed thing.  It's funny, but those are the foods I crave at those parts of my cycle. 

Turning off the machine now.  I think I may possibly be tired enough to sleep tonight. If not, I have enough yarn for four more towels.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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my physical off switch is broken and sometimes it gets stuck on


This is what most insomniacs have, dysfunctional disconnect, you will need to teach your subconscious, which can be done with meditations.
Once your body and mind reconnect you will find it much easier to go to sleep, this takes some time to accomplish but it can be done.

Redhawk
 
r ranson
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:
my physical off switch is broken and sometimes it gets stuck on


This is what most insomniacs have, dysfunctional disconnect, you will need to teach your subconscious, which can be done with meditations.
Once your body and mind reconnect you will find it much easier to go to sleep, this takes some time to accomplish but it can be done.

Redhawk


I've tried meditation and biofeedback.  I know these work wonders for most people and they do help me for pain control and general wellbeing.  But they do nothing to help me sleep.  It's easy to relax my mind and make it blank, but it doesn't create sleep.

It's not so much a disconnect between the mind and body, there's a chemical that my body doesn't make.  This chemical is supposed to tell me to sleep.  One treatment is to take a pill each morning.  This pill has the building blocks of the sleep chemical and the body converts it during the day into the missing chemical.  The results are intermittent. 

Supposedly, I can go to the sleep centre and get all the medical tests to find out exactly why this is, but the idea of attempting to sleep in a laboratory is really stressful and the end result is a pile of pills.  I don't want to chemical myself to sleep.  I don't think a solid 8-hour sleep is really necessary and I don't like the idea of forcing myself to comply with modern views of time and perfection.  Everyone's different and I don't like being crammed into a cookie cutter system of healthcare.   

With other health problems, I've managed to heal a lot by altering diet and environment. I'm thinking it's time to do some research and experimenting to see if I can do the same here. 

I'm curious about seed cycling mentioned above.  I understand that the physical sleep problem is linked with the system that produces and/or uses hormones in the body.  I also know I'm very sensitive to estrogen and pseudo-estrogens.  This might be a good starting place.


As for last night, I got my four hours so I'm happy and energised.  I also had an overwhelming need to re-read a Murakami book about the end of the world so that was fun. 
 
John Weiland
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@R Ranson: " I don't think a solid 8-hour sleep is really necessary and I don't like the idea of forcing myself to comply with modern views of time and perfection.  Everyone's different and I don't like being crammed into a cookie cutter system of healthcare. "

Yeah, agreed on this.  And it's not just a trivial cookie-cutter system---if the system is generally set up so that one's means of survival at that point in their life is dependent upon going to, being at, and returning from a job that consumes at least 10 hours of their day, then impromptu sleep episodes will not be easy to come by. 

FWIW, meditation has helped me as well in this regard and during fitful sleep periods, I find it helpful simply to prop the self up against the headboard with pillows in a nearly upright position, close eyes, and begin meditative breathing.  Often this will conk me out within ~15 min.  But also to note the following:

"In a review of human sleep across cultures, Worthman [22] noted that, ‘Human nights are filled with activity and signifi-cance, and nowhere do people typically sleep from evening to dawn’ (p. 301). Similarly, reflecting on his study of the Piraha˜ hunter-gatherers in South America, Everett (66) noted, ‘Piraha˜s take naps (fifteen minutes to two hours at the extremes) during the day and night. There is loud talking in the village all night long’ (p. 79). Similar patterns appeared to occur in European and equatorial societies prior to the advent of cheap and effective lighting, with a historical analysis documenting extensive use of the concept of ‘first sleep’ and ‘second sleep’, consistent with a biphasic sleep pattern that differs radically from what we consider ‘normal’ in Western societies today [64, 67]. Flexibility can also occur in the context of daytime sleep, i.e. the occurrence of napping or siestas. For example, Pennsylvanian Old Order Amish, a conservative Christian sect that avoids modern electrical conveniences, have been characterized as ‘common’ nap-takers, with 58% of the population recording a nap a least once per week [68].

Counter to these findings and suggestions, however, a recent study of sleep in three hunter-gatherer populations [69] interpreted their actigraphy data as indicating consolidated sleep at night and with little napping during the day, and thus arguing against the flexibility of sleep. This presents a challenge, and calls for better methods of assessing sleep phasing using actigraphy, including through use of new algorithms, validation with reported episodes of sleep and wakefulness, and development of new methods to better assess sleep without reliance on actigraphy. It should be noted, however, that this study also revealed considerable heterogeneity in sleep onset time (but less in awakening), consistent with flexibility in the timing of sleep."-- Nunn, Samson, and Krystal;  Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health [2016] pp. 227–243.
 
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