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Wife’s not sleeping. We need help!

 
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Kerri King wrote:I would honestly suggest trying cbd in a pen. It has been a miracle for my husband.



She has a pen but most of what she can find around here is high THC content stuff. Its hard to find high CBD anything in dispensaries around here.
 
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I have trouble getting to sleep and I wake up easily and can't get back to sleep. I had to develop a sleep routine.  But first, don't offer the suggestions to your wife. Have her read this and the other posts even if you have to print them out and hand them to her.  People care enough to try and help.  She should know we are trying to help even if it sounds like something crazy to try.  

Have you tried the lidocane patches.  The salon pas ones have 4 percent lidocane in them almost as strong as the ones the hospital gave my husband when he broke 8 bones.  You put them on and they last for hours, so putting them on a couple hours before bad is not a bad idea. If you think they might come off from tossing and turning, then use some medical tape and tape them on. I have used them several times when I hurt my neck. Works great. I have used them on my knee and hip to when I hurt them. My husband has used them for his broken bones. He had four or five of them on at once at the hospital. The nurse told us we could use them at home and not worry.  All my husband used was ibuprofen and the lidocane patches he would not use anything stronger.  

I take a melatonin supplement with L-theanine in it. It is timed release melatonin.  My husband will wake up in the middle of the night if he doesn't take a timed release melatonin.  You can get L-theanine as a separate supplement if you can't find it in a combo with melatonin.  GABA and 5 HTP can help to.    

Some people are deficient in B vitamins and putting them on a B vitamin supplement can help them sleep.  

I drink a cup of chamomile, hibiscus tea about an hour before bedtime and it helps me relax and fall asleep.  I take my melatonin/theanine at the same time.

You can get topical magnesium oils that you can gently rub into tight areas and sore areas. They work pretty good.

I also use a massage oil with arnica, peppermint, and lavendar essential oils.  It works too but if you use it, you won't get the lidocane patch to stick

The getting in a sleep schedule is helpful, too no phone and what not but probably not going to get her to do it. Goodluck with it.  You can change the settings on your phone and computer so it is not as bright and so it doesn't emit as much blue light and puts out more red and yellow light.  You can even get programs and apps that do this automatically based on the time of the day.

And now I will tell you about my friend.  She couldn't sleep.  She cried because she wanted to sleep.  Back story on her. When she was young, she slept all the time and would fall asleep during conversations. (I didn't know her then) so she tried amphetamines. She did a lot of those and apparently meth amphetamine. She said that back in her day, they made the meth from pharmaceutical grade ingredients not like the crap people make today with drain cleaner.  (her words not mine) THen she found she couldn't sleep. She got prescriptions for AMbien.  She used it for a long time. She would have those walking not awake things like trying to make cinnamon toast in the toaster with the sugar and cinnamon on the bread and then putting it in the toaster. She starting getting forgetful. She finally stopped taking the ambien.  She said the ambien just made her forget that she couldn't sleep

She went with me on a long endurance ride and camped in a tent for over  15 nights. She got up early and went to bed after sitting by a campfire watching the sunset.  She started sleeping.  She was so happy that when she got home after we finished the ride. She bought a tent and camped out in it at night so she could sleep.  She did that for a long time even far into the winter if it wasn't really really cold.  She said it was the only way she could sleep. Sometimes when she would come and visit me she would sleep outside on my deck because this was the way she could get sleep. I know, sounds strange, but whatever works.  

I think that by sleeping outside she reset her circadian system.  Seeing the sun come up and getting the bright light exposure in the morning then the waning light as the sun set with the red and yellow light of the campfire really helped her.  Your wife doesn't need to sleep outside in a tent to try it. She should get up early expose herself to the bright light in the morning and during the day if she isn't already doing that and then try perhaps watching sunsets and keeping indoor light to a low yellow and changing the phone settings and computer so it is yellow and warm instead of blue and harsh might help a lot.  You could even sit around a fire ring or fire pit in your backyard for a bit after sunset.  It is very relaxing.  

ANyhow, I hope something helps.  Others have offered some great suggestions too.
Bonnie
 
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Brody- talking about the mushrooms and the tea, etc. Something I've tried in my house when the husband or kid could use something- I just make it and hand it to them, with a "I made this for you, would you like a cup of tea/cool ice tea/etc." (not 'would you like to try this mint tea that might help your headache' but just make the tea). Almost never does anyone refuse. You don't have to explain unless they ask, probably if they need it right then they don`t want to hear the explanation right then. Maybe later.
And be prepared for her to say no, or even take a sip and say, thanks, but I can't drink this. It happens sometimes, nothing personal. You tried. (also better to not hover and ask how it tastes, how she feels, etc! Just give the gift and let her accept it as she will.)
But I notice when I make something with love and put it in their hands, they are more likely to accept it (and then do it themselves, later) than if I say to my daughter, you know, you've been complaining about your sore throat for a week and the ginger is sitting right there on the counter, why don't you make a cup of tea? (which practically ensures she will not make the ginger tea....)
 
Brody Ekberg
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Rio Rose wrote:Forgive me if I am approaching a complex problem with an oversimple suggestion that has likely been tried. It's been such a profound tool to wellbeing in my life and chronic pain issues (as well as sleep and mood) I felt it couldn't hurt to put in another vote. It's hot water immersion, the good old hot bath. In a big enough tub to float if possible, long enough to really get all muscles relaxed, (for me it's at least 15 minutes, 30 or more is better) every evening before bed.

We have a big outdoor wood-fired tub at our place. It takes a bit of effort to get it to temp, but for me it's the difference between functioning the next day, or not. Showers aren't long enough. Heat pads only work on a small spot and can't achieve body-wide relaxation. I don't believe saunas work as well either-the ability to float and take pressure off your skeleton leads to a more fully relaxed state.

So long as there are no other contra-indications to heat exposure of this sort for your wife, a soaking routine might help some, if not a lot. It might help you both! And you don't need a pharmaceutical company to get access to hot water, tubs can be made of lots of things. My two cents. Good luck to you both, hope things get better soon.



That is a good idea and one that I dont think was mentioned. She’s always cold and will often take showers just to warm up. And her normal showers are hot enough to make me squirm, feels like my skin is peeling off.

You sound like you would enjoy a floatation tank. They’re big enough to spread out in and the water is so full of epsom salts that you cant help but float. The water isn’t hot though, its body temp so that you hopefully cant feel it.
 
Brody Ekberg
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B Callender wrote:As a female currently going through the same thing the number one things that help is a hotel or a trip somewhere. Going somewhere getting out of the bedroom you never sleep in really helps me.

Camping also great for when I can't sleep especially when it's warm. Going on atleast a week long trip to get her out of her head could help, either alone or with you. This helps me.

Make her some Valerian tea and tell her if she really wants to fucking sleep she needs to drink it. Make it for her somewhat strong and stick the cup in her face.

You can empathize till the cows come home but having a backbone helps with with an irritable woman or atleast it helps me😁. This is also coming from a woman who grew up with a depressed mother and the best things that helped her in her darker times was a kick in the arse.



She likes to travel and still usually sleeps bad whether in a hotel or at someones house. The only time she can ever remember sleeping well for an extended period of time was our weeklong honeymoon in Jamaica. She slept great that whole time. Possibly due to absolutely zero responsibilities and zero stress. Not sure what else was the big difference.

Also, I wish I could just “kick her in the arse” to get her to snap to it, because thats my instinct and what works best for me. Unfortunately, it usually backfires with her. She usually either ends up literally wanting to fight me or crying because of my “insensitivity”. So, I definitely think a more careful and empathetic approach is best when working with her, as much as it frustrates me and despite the fact that it’s by far the slowest and least efficient way to make a change!
 
Brody Ekberg
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Angela Margaret wrote:Eating before bed can actually be very beneficial because it can lower cortisol. Night wakings can be from the liver running out of glucose. Honey & salt before bed can help her stay asleep. I usually drink a glass of raw milk with honey before bed & sleep so well.

Also, she probably needs trauma therapy(somatic trauma if you can find one)... this specific type of therapy can help with the physical as well as the mental.



Interesting. That seems so counterintuitive to me. I mean, we eat for energy. So eating before bed seems like filling a tank of gas before you put a vehicle away for winter, or like turning the oven on and then leaving the house.

I dont doubt that it might work for you and some others, as everyone is different. Maybe it would work for her too, but she would need to use a milk alternative due to casein sensitivity.

I still feel like intermittent fasting is the way to go. Dont eat anything for a couple hours before bed and, after an adjustment period, people tend to sleep great, feel rested, lose weight and can push breakfast off later in the morning. I know personally that if I eat before bed i sleep hot and uncomfortable and wake up tired and hungry. Then I end up eating all day and a cycle starts up.
 
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I require a 3 daycamping trip 2-3 times a year to reset my sleep schedule. Preferably back country, or at least walk in so I am not disturbed by other people. The first night or two I don't sleep well, the third night I sleep hard, and I sleep hard and on a normal sleep wake cycle from then on. When I find my sleep cycle getting irregular, I know it's time for another trip.  I bring a single head lamp, friends use head lamps and tend to have a fire going, and that's about it. No battery pack, so I can't use my phone, preferably no cell service. The longer I go without that, the worse I sleep and I can get down to only sleeping 2-4 hours a night.  A few weeks at my dad's house (middle of no where, dark house, no street lights, dark sky zone, no cell service, and, until recently, no internet) also works, but camping is better. I also tend to dream more, or at least, remember a few dreams, shortly after a trip.

I did a sleep study once, and it was pretty useless, but showed I wasn't entering into REM sleep properly. That was at one of my worst periods, and I wonder if it's due to circadian rhythm disruptions.

Anyway - if I were you, I'd book a nice, low stress vacation somewhere out of cell phone range :)
 
Brody Ekberg
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shauna carr wrote:
So the question I'd ask is this: is there anything you do, or can do, to help her with some of her tasks during the day, when she's struggling like this? Wasn't sure if there was something you are already helping out with, or can help out with.

For example, what does she do to support the household? Does she cook? Laundry? Garden? Take care of finances? Clean the house, feed animals, repair things, etc...?

Just asking things like, "hey, I can make dinner tonight so you can relax a bit. would that work for you?" means SO much. It shows that you care.

Your wife has pain. Pain is the reason your wife cannot sleep.

And all these other suggestions are...well, they actually relate to one of the flaws in that nail in the head video that's been discussed already. The man in the video can see what's wrong, but the wife needs more emotional support, or to vent, etc.... And many on here have suggested that your wife doesn't want you to solve the problem, they want to be listened to.

There is one problem with this assumption, though (in the video as well). This presumes you know better than your wife what the problem is. Like, it feels like you are seeing nails in your wife - TV time, too much stress, screen time before bed, etc... - and keep trying to find ways to encourage her to take them out.

Your wife keeps saying that it might help, but the pain is the biggest issue (if i'm reading things right - I tried to read all the responses). Which means...it may not be a case of 'it's not about the nail' because she doesn't feel listened to but more a case of 'it's not about the nail' because there's a huge wound in back of your wife's head - the pain - that is much more of an issue than a few measly nails. And taking out the nails won't make much of a difference until the wound is triaged, basically. And on top of that, trying to take out these nails is using up a lot of energy that your wife doesn't have, so that's a lot of effort for very little in return.

Your wife does seem depressed and overwhelmed, which yeah, that'll mess up the mind some and does make you worry that she's not seeing things realistically. However, she is a fully grown adult who is also the one living in her body, and dealing with the pain and crushing fatigue, and trying to tell you what problem needs to be dealt with first (the pain) because it is the reason for the other major problem (the lack of sleep). Ignoring her because you think she must be wrong, because it doesn't match up with what you experience in your body, or what you think she should be experiencing in her body, is going to make it hard to support her.

Which actually applies to the concept of 'leading by example,' too.  I say this with all the care in the world: please don't do that. If you want to do things to improve your life, that's great. If you feel like it's hypocritical to make suggestions that you aren't already following, that's also a great reason to alter your behavior. But if you are choosing to do things in the hopes that she will see what you do, and see something in it that she should emulate? Yeah...that just makes it feel like you aren't listening and are trying to find a roundabout way to give her the same suggestions that you were already giving her.

I don't know in your and your wife's situation, but for mine: not a single thing my husband suggested ended up helping until I dealt with the pain. And some actively made it worse - like yoga and chiropractics. Both of these can cause a lot of problems if there are spinal injuries in the mix.

For me, lowering inflammation was a huge positive for lowering the pain, but avoiding anti-inflammatory foods didn't do enough to even notice. I had other issues that were causing increased inflammation that impacted the pain. First, I found out I have an auto-immune disease (celiac disease). Much more common in women. Fatigue, inflammation, and depression are some of the most common earlier symptoms of the majority of these diseases, so they can be hard to diagnose

All auto-immune disorders can cause widespread inflammation in the body, so any chronic pain is typically much worse. When I got this, and got treatment, pain AND depression were better, because inflammation was causing them both (check out inflammation and impact on depression - it can cause depression that cannot be treated by something simple like behavior modification).

But figuring out that I had a food intolerance that ramped up my inflammation helped even more. Had to do an elimination diet for that, because it ended up being a chemical sensitivity and there are no accurate tests for that (the current test for sulfites, the one I had problems with, has about a 50/50 accuracy, so...not much help).

And also, I am really sorry if this comes across harsh. I am truly not trying to be so. This is an emotional subject for me that caused a lot of pain between me and my husband, especially when I felt that no matter what I said about my experience, what he focused on what what he 'thought' my experience was vs. what I was saying it was.

I just hope that you and your wife can avoid that and have a much better outcome and that you and she can find some peace and harmony and get some sleep. :-)



Shauna, first of all, thank you. This was very informative and nice to hear from another person who is/was in such a similar situation. And no, this didn’t come across harsh. I really like getting honest input from people and I’m not one of the thin skinned, easily offended people that we are being plagued with in this day and age. Im also very glad that you’ve gotten your level of pain down and sleep better now. There is hope!

You asked if there’s anything I can do to help her out that I’m not already doing… Shes been pretty useless as far as house work goes for the last several months. She was working almost full time and coaching volleyball after work. That meant being gone at least 10 hours a day, every day, which wouldn’t be an issue if I didn’t also work full time. Thankfully she quit her job and volleyball is almost over. She’s looking forward to having time to dedicate to her own health and well-being, shes just not in that routine yet. She’s working on it though.

Usually, she does almost all the laundry, general household cleaning and a lot of the dishes. We used to split dishes and cooking but I’ve been doing all the cooking lately, so she gets dishes. I do all house repairs, most cooking, some dishes, work full time and do everything outside including chickens and gardens. I’m spread extremely thin and can’t fit much more in during the day. Things are changing now though as winter approaches and will have much less to do outside. I’m going to start stretching more and offer to massage her more frequently like I used to. I definitely cant do all the dishes and laundry though, so hopefully she can manage that throughout the day.

You said that pain is her main issue and that I keep pointing to the “nails in her head” and trying to get her to pull them out. You also said that most of what your husband suggested to you didn’t help in the long run. This implies that you tried those things. That’s all I want is for her to try. If she tried everything I’m suggesting and none of it helped, then I would be more willing to spend another couple grand on another bed, which she really thinks will help. The thing is, shes stuck in the cycle of nit having enough energy to try anything and so not standing a chance getting out of the pain. You cant have a bad situation, do nothing to fix it and then complain when it doesn’t get any better. That’s insanity (or depression and sleep deprivation)! Her lack or doing anything about it also makes me question whether or not she really wants it to change. I mean I know some twisted people like attention, even at their own expense, and I dont think thats her.  But if you dont like where you’re standing, walk somewhere else. If a rope is holding you back, gnaw through the damn thing!

I do agree though that all of the things I suggested to her are probably adequate for a “normal” person with a sleep struggle. But shes got past injuries and her neck is not “normal”. So, obviously maybe something more dramatic needs to be done like therapy, myofacial release, pain meds, acupuncture…

I also see what you’re saying about the “lead by example” approach and agree that it likely would backfire with her. But, the way I see it is that its all a matter of attitude. If my attitude is like a sneaky teacher thinking  “I’m going to stretch and then massage her, maybe she will learn from me, start stretching and take care of herself.” She will likely not even notice, or worse, get upset because she knows my game. But if my attitude is honest and selfish like “I’m going to stretch because my body is tense and I’m going to massage her because I’m sore and know how good it would feel if I got massaged” she will be much more receptive and appreciative of it.

As for the inflammation: this is a huge factor for her. She has dairy and gluten sensitivities and is also sensitive to some other random fruits and whatnot. She’s usually dairy and gluten free, but not strict. And that lack of being strict has a big effect for days. She’s well aware of that and keeps telling me she doesn’t want to commit to anything yet. I don’t understand why not, we’ve been here before. We did a liquid fast for a month, a full body cleanse/detox and complete diet overhaul years ago. I think what she has to come to grips with is sacrifice. To be strict with a diet requires sacrificing time, money, effort and either sacrificing activities or dealing with participating in those activities but in a different way. She doesn’t want to sacrifice. But she also doesn’t want to continue feeling this way, so something has to give.

Also, sugar causes inflammation, bad posture inflames joints, stress causes inflammation… these are all factors for her. Eating sweets before bed, especially if dairy is involved, is a recipe for disaster for her. She knows that and needs to sacrifice that in order to feel better. Also, tv isnt the only problem with “watching tv”. How many people actually sit upright, attentive and aware and watch tv at night? From my experience, people slump like an old banana and stare mindlessly at the tv until they fall asleep. Thats what she does, but shes also on her phone, so her whole body is slumped like a banana and her head is tilted down staring at her phone. Its the worst possible posture she could have before bed, but she thinks it relaxes her…
I think a few diet and lifestyle changes would dramatically cut her inflammation down. Plus, with her quitting her job and volleyball ending soon, most of her current stressors will be gone and that should help as well. And as she has less stress and more time, she plans to get on track with her diet, get more exercise and make some actual changes.

I think one other thing we struggle with is that I tend to be the kind of person to dive into things or quit things cold turkey. Shes a tip toer and prefers slow progress. So I tend to want her to make changes and stop suffering asap. She tends to want to change slowly and I’m not sure if she realizes that will mean she suffers longer.




 
Brody Ekberg
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Bonnie Johnson wrote:I have trouble getting to sleep and I wake up easily and can't get back to sleep. I had to develop a sleep routine.  But first, don't offer the suggestions to your wife. Have her read this and the other posts even if you have to print them out and hand them to her.  People care enough to try and help.  She should know we are trying to help even if it sounds like something crazy to try.  

Have you tried the lidocane patches.  The salon pas ones have 4 percent lidocane in them almost as strong as the ones the hospital gave my husband when he broke 8 bones.  You put them on and they last for hours, so putting them on a couple hours before bad is not a bad idea. If you think they might come off from tossing and turning, then use some medical tape and tape them on. I have used them several times when I hurt my neck. Works great. I have used them on my knee and hip to when I hurt them. My husband has used them for his broken bones. He had four or five of them on at once at the hospital. The nurse told us we could use them at home and not worry.  All my husband used was ibuprofen and the lidocane patches he would not use anything stronger.  

I take a melatonin supplement with L-theanine in it. It is timed release melatonin.  My husband will wake up in the middle of the night if he doesn't take a timed release melatonin.  You can get L-theanine as a separate supplement if you can't find it in a combo with melatonin.  GABA and 5 HTP can help to.    

Some people are deficient in B vitamins and putting them on a B vitamin supplement can help them sleep.  

I drink a cup of chamomile, hibiscus tea about an hour before bedtime and it helps me relax and fall asleep.  I take my melatonin/theanine at the same time.

You can get topical magnesium oils that you can gently rub into tight areas and sore areas. They work pretty good.

I also use a massage oil with arnica, peppermint, and lavendar essential oils.  It works too but if you use it, you won't get the lidocane patch to stick

The getting in a sleep schedule is helpful, too no phone and what not but probably not going to get her to do it. Goodluck with it.  You can change the settings on your phone and computer so it is not as bright and so it doesn't emit as much blue light and puts out more red and yellow light.  You can even get programs and apps that do this automatically based on the time of the day.

And now I will tell you about my friend.  She couldn't sleep.  She cried because she wanted to sleep.  Back story on her. When she was young, she slept all the time and would fall asleep during conversations. (I didn't know her then) so she tried amphetamines. She did a lot of those and apparently meth amphetamine. She said that back in her day, they made the meth from pharmaceutical grade ingredients not like the crap people make today with drain cleaner.  (her words not mine) THen she found she couldn't sleep. She got prescriptions for AMbien.  She used it for a long time. She would have those walking not awake things like trying to make cinnamon toast in the toaster with the sugar and cinnamon on the bread and then putting it in the toaster. She starting getting forgetful. She finally stopped taking the ambien.  She said the ambien just made her forget that she couldn't sleep

She went with me on a long endurance ride and camped in a tent for over  15 nights. She got up early and went to bed after sitting by a campfire watching the sunset.  She started sleeping.  She was so happy that when she got home after we finished the ride. She bought a tent and camped out in it at night so she could sleep.  She did that for a long time even far into the winter if it wasn't really really cold.  She said it was the only way she could sleep. Sometimes when she would come and visit me she would sleep outside on my deck because this was the way she could get sleep. I know, sounds strange, but whatever works.  

I think that by sleeping outside she reset her circadian system.  Seeing the sun come up and getting the bright light exposure in the morning then the waning light as the sun set with the red and yellow light of the campfire really helped her.  Your wife doesn't need to sleep outside in a tent to try it. She should get up early expose herself to the bright light in the morning and during the day if she isn't already doing that and then try perhaps watching sunsets and keeping indoor light to a low yellow and changing the phone settings and computer so it is yellow and warm instead of blue and harsh might help a lot.  You could even sit around a fire ring or fire pit in your backyard for a bit after sunset.  It is very relaxing.  

ANyhow, I hope something helps.  Others have offered some great suggestions too.
Bonnie



She used to have a lidocaine lotion but I think its gone. She does have arnica lotion and that helps.

She also may be deficient in b vitamins among other vitamins. She was on a vitamin schedule but has gotten off of that, and her diet protocol over the last several months. Probably has to do with the issues at hand!

Your friend’s story is interesting! I fully believe humans are designed to wake up at dawn with the rest of the world and go to sleep shortly after dusk, like most of the world. The whole idea of staying up late to watch tv and then sleeping in in the mornings is totally absurd to me (and apparently the entire natural world)! Im sure a regular sleep routine would help her. My wife has years worth of irregular sleep, late night food and tv, sleeping in, and caffeine fueled days under her belt and undoing all that damage will certainly take more time. She was making good progress in the past and just got too busy this summer. Shes not the only one!
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:Brody- talking about the mushrooms and the tea, etc. Something I've tried in my house when the husband or kid could use something- I just make it and hand it to them, with a "I made this for you, would you like a cup of tea/cool ice tea/etc." (not 'would you like to try this mint tea that might help your headache' but just make the tea). Almost never does anyone refuse. You don't have to explain unless they ask, probably if they need it right then they don`t want to hear the explanation right then. Maybe later.
And be prepared for her to say no, or even take a sip and say, thanks, but I can't drink this. It happens sometimes, nothing personal. You tried. (also better to not hover and ask how it tastes, how she feels, etc! Just give the gift and let her accept it as she will.)
But I notice when I make something with love and put it in their hands, they are more likely to accept it (and then do it themselves, later) than if I say to my daughter, you know, you've been complaining about your sore throat for a week and the ginger is sitting right there on the counter, why don't you make a cup of tea? (which practically ensures she will not make the ginger tea....)



I think you’re right about this and honestly, I wish you weren’t! Its so damn frustrating for me to function that way. I know whats good for me, I enjoy feeling well, so I do whats good for me to feel well. Its simple, its efficient and I dont need much help. I have such a hard time when people are too concerned with enjoyment, fun and flavors to actually do anything good for themselves. Not to say healthy cant taste good or be fun, but those are bonuses not the main point.

But then again, I do think you’re right and I need to get over my obsession with efficiency and utility. Maybe if I take the time to really enjoy everything and stop just doing what needs to be done because it needs to be done, that it will look more enticing to her!
 
Brody Ekberg
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Catie George wrote:I require a 3 daycamping trip 2-3 times a year to reset my sleep schedule. Preferably back country, or at least walk in so I am not disturbed by other people. The first night or two I don't sleep well, the third night I sleep hard, and I sleep hard and on a normal sleep wake cycle from then on. When I find my sleep cycle getting irregular, I know it's time for another trip.  I bring a single head lamp, friends use head lamps and tend to have a fire going, and that's about it. No battery pack, so I can't use my phone, preferably no cell service. The longer I go without that, the worse I sleep and I can get down to only sleeping 2-4 hours a night.  A few weeks at my dad's house (middle of no where, dark house, no street lights, dark sky zone, no cell service, and, until recently, no internet) also works, but camping is better. I also tend to dream more, or at least, remember a few dreams, shortly after a trip.

I did a sleep study once, and it was pretty useless, but showed I wasn't entering into REM sleep properly. That was at one of my worst periods, and I wonder if it's due to circadian rhythm disruptions.

Anyway - if I were you, I'd book a nice, low stress vacation somewhere out of cell phone range :)



See, all of what you just said makes total sense to me except for needing a camping trip to get to that point. Dont get me wrong, I love camping and wish our daily life looked more like that. But we dont need to hike into the woods to make those things happen. We can wake up with the sun and animals and go to sleep after dark right at home. We can get fresh air all day at home. We can see the stars right at home. We can stop using the damn phones, tvs and artificial lights after dark at home. We can go without social media and social stressors at home. We can even sit around a fire or cook over a fire at home. But we usually dont. Why live a problematic lifestyle until you need to escape to a campsite in order to bring the balance back when just not getting so out of balance is al option?

Im not criticizing you or your method because I’m glad it works and think it could even help my wife. And im all about natural sleep cycles, being in nature and camping. It just seems so illogical and inconvenient to rely on that when more lifestyle changes at home could bring about similar results.
 
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Personally, I am convinced my body is designed for a 30hr day! Several times a month I will pull an all nighter" either with no sleep for 48 hrs or a just a brief 2hr nap mid morning for a couple of hours.

Once or twice a month I will crash early (8-10pm) and sleep until 12-2pm the next day, then the cycle starts all over again, and within days I am back to 4-5 am and still awake.

I am also one with food sensitivities. Interestingly, it seems these often cause either a complete abhorrence of the item or a borderline addiction. I fully get that milk protein, wheat and anything with amines in it will negatively impact me. I fully understand that if I have bacon, chocolate or nuts in combination (over the course of a day) that I will likely trigger a migraine. YET, at times the desire is SOOO strong that I tell myself all sorts of stories to justify consuming things I KNOW will have negative consequences.

Completely illogical, you bet, which is why I compare it to addiction. When the body craves something so desperately, AND you are hurting and exhausted, sometimes the voice in your head says "what the he'll, it's not like I feel good ANYWAY!".

To be clear, I am generally known for being a very logical person - so this is not a "normal" thought process for me.

Just thought this might help explain, and lessen your frustration when you see your wife engaging in head shakingly silly (to you) actions or behaviors. Sometimes that brief, momentary, distraction/ingestion of a "known" bad thing is simply "worth it" at that time - regardless to how insane it seems.

When you live with chronic pain/insomnia, sometimes you are literally living minute to minute, hour to hour. To even THINK of next week, or next month (or repercussions) is just TOO much...sometimes the desperate need for momentary pleasure (eating inappropriately) or numbness (screens and TV) overrides good judgment, knowledge and logic.

It is also why we react so negatively when our spouse puts on their "Captain Obvious" persona, and tries to "educate" us - we know full well we are being potentially stupid, and to be frank, IF we really cared, at that moment, we would NOT be engaging in such costly behaviors. At that moment, we are seeking just a tiny bit of respite, for just a tiny window of time, and damn the cost/repercussions/consequences. Yes, it is dumb, and self destructive, but at least for me, at that point and time, "frankly, my dear, I simply don't give a _____...."

Always remember, the only person you can change is yourself, and your reactions. BUT when you change, YOUR changes will often SPARK change in another.  

Hopefully this will help you feel less frustrated.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:

…this might help explain, and lessen your frustration when you see your wife engaging in head shakingly silly (to you) actions or behaviors. Sometimes that brief, momentary, distraction/ingestion of a "known" bad thing is simply "worth it" at that time - regardless to how insane it seems.

When you live with chronic pain/insomnia, sometimes you are literally living minute to minute, hour to hour. To even THINK of next week, or next month (or repercussions) is just TOO much...sometimes the desperate need for momentary pleasure (eating inappropriately) or numbness (screens and TV) overrides good judgment, knowledge and logic.

It is also why we react so negatively when our spouse puts on their "Captain Obvious" persona, and tries to "educate" us - we know full well we are being potentially stupid, and to be frank, IF we really cared, at that moment, we would NOT be engaging in such costly behaviors. At that moment, we are seeking just a tiny bit of respite, for just a tiny window of time, and damn the cost/repercussions/consequences. Yes, it is dumb, and self destructive, but at least for me, at that point and time, "frankly, my dear, I simply don't give a _____...."



This is definitely true for my wife as well. When she’s struggling to make it through the day, any little thing that gives her some enjoyment, pleasure or relief means a lot to her. I totally understand that and understand how bad she must feel to be in that state of mine.

But unfortunately, those “comforting” things often are a lie. Comfort often makes us uncomfortable! We reach for “comfort” food and end up feeling fat and bloated, or overeating because the stuff is addicting. We slump on the “comfortable” couch or recliner and end up with back issues from horrible posture. We reach for alcohol to “comfort“ our emotions and end up numb, dehydrated and hung over. We turn on the tv to “comfort” ourselves and stay up too late staring at bright lights emanating from a plastic box fueled by burning coal. Seems to me like this idea of comfort is a damn scam! But regardless, I do understand the idea behind it and why little things like that do seem to make all the difference when you’re  just trying to get through the day. Its a nasty cycle!
 
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There is a lot of advice in this thread so my take is just a tiny perspective but, I have had no curvature in my neck for more than 20 years thanks to getting thrown from horses repeatedly as a kid. I've been to many different chiropractors, they all work but eventually it stops helping until I discovered NUCCA chiropractors. For the first time my neck stays put! I suffer from Lyme disease and fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue so I have trouble sleeping but to have my neck stay in makes a world of difference.  
 
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So sorry for your troubles. I have infrequent sleeping issues due to a childhood spinal injury caused (and then mistreated) by a car accident. If there is one thing a lifetime of pain has taught me, it is that focusing on the pain makes it worse. Recommended this Solfeggio site on here recently. Here it is again, below. So helpful to watch/listen to this free You Tube video a half hour before bedtime and first thing in the morning.

My husband fell off a ladder two years ago and it was a year and a half until he had the pain managed and then cured. Watching him go through the pain and ensuing anger at himself and then me made me realize that the caregiver really has to step back at some point and let the other person partly walk through this themselves. Otherwise it just becomes a circle of angst they get caught up in and they fail to work on the problem themselves. They begin to rely too much--and project anger--on doctors, drugs and caregivers when they should be listening to their own body and taking more initiative themselves. Harsh...but true in many cases.

Also, and this is going to sound Super Weird, but my body is very sensitive to all things, all pain and especially natural issues. Check EVERYWHERE in your house for any kind of mold at all. Bathrooms and kitchen are first place to look. Do an incredibly deep dig in places you might not think or one of the orange molds (kind of invisible in showers, bath rims, etc.), or black mold. Easy for it to hide up under the bottom rim of the toilet bowl.

In me, and many others, mold can lock up your body and create pain, headaches, stomach issues, etc. If you already have pain, it will dramatically increase it. Eliminate ALL mold and mildew. Around windows, laundry area; never let wet towels sit around in kitchen and bath. I'm very sensitive to food molding and keep a constant eye on any old leftovers in the fridge. Ditto on dirty dishes. Nothing sits in my sink or the dishwasher unwashed for more than an hour. Don't load the dishwasher from breakfast dishes and continue to load all day. Even with the best of rinsing, unwashed dishes (even in a closed dishwasher) will start to rot and give off a moldy effect that locks my spine up in deep pain in just two hours.  Do shorter, smaller runs or handwash.

I know it sounds crazy, but keeping all mold and mildew at bay is one of my primary pain relievers. Including valerian, cbd, willow bark extract (Now brand makes a good capsule/amazon--willow bark is the original ingredient used long ago in aspirin, but, obviously natural), and watching the Solfeggio calming nature videos. Best of luck and be sure to check out the mold factor. I think most humans have an allergy to mold.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+nature+healing+society+music&&view=detail&mid=FBAAB56DCDDE33401031FBAAB56DCDDE33401031&&FORM=VDRVSR

 
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I feel for your wife.  There was a time about 20 years ago that I moved from Phoenix AZ (USA) to job in the *sunny* southern coast of Dorset (England).  After a few months I started having more and more trouble sleeping until I was only sleeping on average about 20 minutes/day.  I ended up coming back to the States and when I finally got checked into a sleep clinic they went through all the same as have been discussed above.  The one thing that they suggested that cured me in about a week is related to "the sun" suggestions above is sitting in front of a full spectrum light for 20 minutes every morning.  The prescription medical lights that do this are a bit *EXPENSIVE* (read several thousand dollars).  I checked around and discovered that the incandescent light bulb "Relieve" is a full spectrum light (and cost a couple $/bulb at the time.  I set up a clip utility light on the edge of the computer table (shining up into my face).  This simulates morning sunlight.  Anyway, after a few days I started feeling a weird pressure in my head and then after 4 days or so there was a weird *pop* and it felt like someone poured cool water down my spine.  That night I went to bed and slept exactly 4 hours -- waking refreshed, and every morning after that the same...  If my sleep starts getting off, I just turn the light back on and it has always helped.  I should note that I have always slept 4 hours a night, as long as I am not sick with something, and I absolutely need 3.  So your mileage might vary.  Anyway, insomnia is one of the symptoms of what the call Light Effective Disorder.  Also, while I have not been tested for the Short Sleep Gene (https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2019/08/415261/after-10-year-search-scientists-find-second-short-sleep-gene) I and most of my immediate family have similar sleep patterns and always have.  So do not fall into the trap of people making you feel bad for not sleep enough, but I hope that she finds what she needs to sleep as much as she needs.

Something else to try... get some moldable silicon swimmer ear plugs (last I looked available at most pharmacies).  I knew a woman who was hypersensitive to sound, and he husband snored just enough to constantly wake her up.  the ear plugs did the trick.  It also might not be you snoring, it could be the house creaking, the light from a fire alarm in the bedroom (that actually wakes my wife up, so I used black electrical tape to tape over the green indicator lights, or pin up a face towel on the ceiling between her and the alarm -- so she does not see it through her eyelids in the middle of the night).  

Anyway, try setting up some audio/visual recording device for a few nights and see if there is anything that it picks up.  Also video you and your wife to see if one of you have restless leg or something similar.  If you find anything take it into a doctor that specializes in sleep disorders for a consult.  As a side not, I used to "bounce" in bed when I was in pain and wake my wife up.  We ended up getting two beds we put side by side so if I bounce the motion is not communicated to her side of the bed.  I will also note that the majority of the pain was from an old shoulder injury, and once it got to the point where I was going to have someone rebreak the bones that were not set properly I asked a chiropractor for recommendations for people she would trust to rebreak and reset bones... Anyway, during the discussion she tool a careful look at my shoulder and told me it was dislocated, and popped it back into place.  90+% of my chronic pain disappeared overnight.  I had lived with a dislocated shoulder for 26 years...  I am SO glad I had her take a look at it.  Life is SO much better.

Again, I feel for you both and wish your wife blissful hours of uninterrupted sleep.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Gina Jeffries wrote:There is a lot of advice in this thread so my take is just a tiny perspective but, I have had no curvature in my neck for more than 20 years thanks to getting thrown from horses repeatedly as a kid. I've been to many different chiropractors, they all work but eventually it stops helping until I discovered NUCCA chiropractors. For the first time my neck stays put! I suffer from Lyme disease and fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue so I have trouble sleeping but to have my neck stay in makes a world of difference.  



Im glad you found some relief! I’ve never heard of NUCCA before and will look into it. Thanks!
 
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Molly Gordon wrote:So sorry for your troubles. I have infrequent sleeping issues due to a childhood spinal injury caused (and then mistreated) by a car accident. If there is one thing a lifetime of pain has taught me, it is that focusing on the pain makes it worse. Recommended this Solfeggio site on here recently. Here it is again, below. So helpful to watch/listen to this free You Tube video a half hour before bedtime and first thing in the morning.

My husband fell off a ladder two years ago and it was a year and a half until he had the pain managed and then cured. Watching him go through the pain and ensuing anger at himself and then me made me realize that the caregiver really has to step back at some point and let the other person partly walk through this themselves. Otherwise it just becomes a circle of angst they get caught up in and they fail to work on the problem themselves. They begin to rely too much--and project anger--on doctors, drugs and caregivers when they should be listening to their own body and taking more initiative themselves. Harsh...but true in many cases.

Also, and this is going to sound Super Weird, but my body is very sensitive to all things, all pain and especially natural issues. Check EVERYWHERE in your house for any kind of mold at all. Bathrooms and kitchen are first place to look. Do an incredibly deep dig in places you might not think or one of the orange molds (kind of invisible in showers, bath rims, etc.), or black mold. Easy for it to hide up under the bottom rim of the toilet bowl.

In me, and many others, mold can lock up your body and create pain, headaches, stomach issues, etc. If you already have pain, it will dramatically increase it. Eliminate ALL mold and mildew. Around windows, laundry area; never let wet towels sit around in kitchen and bath. I'm very sensitive to food molding and keep a constant eye on any old leftovers in the fridge. Ditto on dirty dishes. Nothing sits in my sink or the dishwasher unwashed for more than an hour. Don't load the dishwasher from breakfast dishes and continue to load all day. Even with the best of rinsing, unwashed dishes (even in a closed dishwasher) will start to rot and give off a moldy effect that locks my spine up in deep pain in just two hours.  Do shorter, smaller runs or handwash.

I know it sounds crazy, but keeping all mold and mildew at bay is one of my primary pain relievers. Including valerian, cbd, willow bark extract (Now brand makes a good capsule/amazon--willow bark is the original ingredient used long ago in aspirin, but, obviously natural), and watching the Solfeggio calming nature videos. Best of luck and be sure to check out the mold factor. I think most humans have an allergy to mold.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+nature+healing+society+music&&view=detail&mid=FBAAB56DCDDE33401031FBAAB56DCDDE33401031&&FORM=VDRVSR



Thanks for this! I’ll definitely send the video link to my wife.

What you said about mold has already crossed my mind. My wife is also a very sensitive person. Emotionally and physically. And since she has been so busy the last few months and not sleeping for several weeks now, I’ve had the pleasure of trying to do almost everything inside and outside of the house while working full time. We dont have a dishwasher, and we eat real food so generate dishes all day every day. We really should wash them daily but it often goes a day or two before we make time for it and by then, the sink and several feet of counter space are full of dirty dishes. I also need to clean our drains as they smell like dirt. Probably bacteria in them. We also have old windows and a dark mold/mildew on the caulking around a lot of them. I could try to remove the old caulking and replace it now since new windows isnt happening this year. We also have a nice bunch of dark (maybe black) mold in our basement thats been there for a year now. We’ve started the cleanup but I keep putting it off for rainy weather or winter as i have a lot of outside work to do while I still can. And on top of all that, I’m 99.9% sure our bedroom wall has a shitbunch of mold in it. I dont know for sure, but the roof was leaking there when we bought the house and even though we got a new roof and replaced the damaged decking, we did nothing about the wall. It looks fine inside, but there was dirty drip marks on the siding outside and its the northwest corner of our house so, no sun whatsoever. No chance of that drying out. Our bedroom tends to have a pool room sort of smell if we dont have any windows open, so thats probably an issue as well. Unfortunately, we won’t be tearing into the wall until next year so for now, it will have to wait.
 
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Brody, the picture you painted of mold in your house sounds really bad. I hear that you've got tons on your plate, but I would strongly suggest at least taking steps to curb the mold growth, preferably remove it. That stuff can take a serious toll on your health and could be greatly contributing to your wife's troubles. I have lived in many moldy rentals and had to move because I was always exhausted, all my muscles hurt, I developed cystic acne, felt crazy depressed and always had digestive and respiratory issues. All of which got better after moving out, though it took some time and a lot of work to recover.

I'm not sure how you could mitigate the situation in the wall, but I'd definitely at least get a dehumidifier going to check the mold. It won't kill it, but if you can get it below 50% humidity, that'd help stop active growth at least.

I'd also consider taking steps to support both of y'all's immune and respiratory systems. I'm under the weather presently, so sorry I don't have more solid suggestions on how to do that or deal with the mold. I hope you can get that cleared up so you can both stay healthy and hopefully your wife will feel better!
 
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Brody Ekberg wrote:Good morning fellow permies!

My wife has been sleeping bad for years. Particularly bad these last few months. According to her, she knows there are a lot of things she can do to help herself but she’s “too exhausted to try any more”. She crawls out of bed in tears almost every morning. She mopes around for hours because shes so exhausted and frustrated that she doesn’t care to do anything. I cant even talk to her about it most of the time because she’s so irritable and aggressive that conversation is impossible. I like to help and fix things and seeing her this miserable is very hard for me. But whenever I try to give advice she barks at me telling me I dont know how she feels and don’t know what she’s going through. And whenever I dont give advice I feel like I’m useless and not helpful in anyway.

A bit of her background: shes had whiplash twice and doesnt have much curvature in her neck. She’s been to many chiropractors and most dont help with her neck pain. She’s got about 20 different kinds of pillows and swaps them several times a night to try to get comfortable. We’ve spent over $6,000 on beds in the last 5 years or so and whether she sleeps on an ultrasoft, a medium firm or our hard couch, she’s uncomfortable. She usually falls alseep well but wakes up easily, usually in the middle of the night and then tosses and turns for hours trying to get comfortable. She refuses to nap because its “a waste of time” and she doesn’t want to waste her days when she’s already wasted her nights. I get it but cant reason with her because I think she will attack me.

Ive told her that I think all of the following things could help:

Not eating less than 2 hours before bed

Not watching tv or using her phone less than 2 hours before bed

Not smoking cannabis less than 2 hours before bed

Stretching regularly

Cutting inflammatory foods out of her diet completely

Daily meditation

Valerian

Myofacial release

She just says she knows these things can help but doesn’t have the will or energy to change more or try anything new. Shes just trying to survive. To get through the day. She says she wakes up wanting to burn the house down and cant live like this much longer. I dont know what to do or how to handle this. She wants to buy a different bed… again. I feel like her body and mind need help and another new bed or more pillows will not change that. But then I’m the bad guy for “not supporting her” or “not comforting her”. Shes stuck in a rut, wont let me pull her out and we’re both in need of help.

Does anyone have advice for either of us? Either advice for me to deal with her mess or advice for her to get herself out her mess since she wont take my advice. Any help is appreciated!



Sounds like textbook major depressive disorder, I have it too so I can relate to your wife's struggles. I think in severe cases the only thing that can truly help is psychiatric care and medication, although there are some natural remedies that work in milder cases and I mention those at the bottom of this post. If your wife is like me and nothing else works(sounds like it) then medication might be the only thing that can really help. Don't get me wrong I am all for natural solutions but sometimes you are dealing with something so bad that there are no effective natural remedies for it.. Sadly the first thing doctors give to you when you are depressed are SSRIs and they are often too weak for severe depression and will rarely help with symptoms like lack of energy, and when one SSRI doesn't work they will keep giving you yet more SSRIs and other ineffective drugs. It's very important to find a good psychiatrist that knows a lot about the different medication types and don't just mindlessly keep prescribing SSRI after SSRI and antipsychotics when the previous drugs don't work like the lazy ones tend to do.

And major depression is definitely not a weak character issue.. for some of us it is 100% genetic with a family history of depression and is just like having any other brain disorder like epilepsy and it's not any less of someone's fault like with those who have undoubtable mental illnesses like schizophrenia/psychosis, and depression also exists on a spectrum with some people being so depressed they become psychotic or go into a catatonic stupor, stop responding to speech or develop a form of pseudo-dementia. I believe in God but just like he won't heal someone's epilepsy or type 1 diabetes he won't heal genuine, severe depression if you have it. You might simply have to put some faith into other people and medical science for that.

I really recommend reading Dr. Ken Gillman's writings on depression, treatments of depression and criticism of the commonly used ineffective modern depression treatments etc, this is a good introduction: https://psychotropical.com/depression-what-is-it-why-drug-treatment/ If you read everything he has to say you will be much better prepared to face psychiatrists and be able to stop seeing the shitty ones that only offer ineffective treatments.

I don't think there's much the natural world can offer for depression treatment unfortunately. But coffee, kratom and opium would be among the most effective natural remedies(opium was the most common depression treatment until the 1950s), of course opium is off the table due to its illegality - I am just saying what the oldest thousand-year-old remedy for depression used to be and what the natural world in theory could offer(yes, it's also quite addictive). I personally really like caffeine and kratom. I know cannabis helps some but it's not at all as broad spectrum "anti mental illness" and definitely not as energizing as kratom. If I would have to recommend something that is not a pharmaceutical that helps depression and lack of energy and pain I would put kratom as #1 by far.
 
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I have severe insomnia. I need to use a CPAP even though mine has been recalled so I'm waiting for a new one. I take Trazadone, I sometimes take Xanax (it's for my anxiety panic attacks, but it helps if I really can't sleep), Even with the CPAP I wake up several times during the night. I also have nightmares, but they have lessened since I had EMDR therapy for trauma. I also can not have a clock on my side of the bed. I am what I call a clock checker. I wake up thinking I must have slept for hours, no maybe 20 minutes. I fall back to sleep thinking again for hours, nope only 3 minutes. The trazodone is a big help. I also take a muscle relaxer a night now too. I also just got a pacemaker because not only do I have AFib, but my heart was pausing, so it's like a bunch of mini heart attacks. It's no wonder I have trouble sleeping. Please have her see a medical doctor. Sometimes western meds are the only thing that will help.
 
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OH.MY.GOODNESS... That lineup of mold you have described is unbelievable. Unbelievable both of you don't have more health issues. Forget everything else you have going on and fix/clean everything you can at once. GUARANTEED that is her health issue. Yes, she may be depressed but mold is classic for that and a myriad of other maladies. Find one room you can de-mold the fastest and make it her "clean" room she can live and sleep in. Also buy an air cleaner for the room and tuck towels, etc. under the door at night. I'm positive, through personal mold experience, if you fix all your mold issues she will be healthy.
 
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I am so sorry - what a rough situation!
There are a lot of good suggestions here, all with the issue that she needs to actually do them.
Have you tried asking (when she is feeling calm) what she wants to try and then making it as easy as possible? For example, if she wants to try valerian, buy nighty night tea, brew her a cup just after dinner, and put it in her hand. If she wants to try melatonin, take out the pills each night and hand them to her with a glass of water. If she wants to try yoga, set up a video each night to guide her through it. But it has to be what she wants to try, not what you suggest.
Note:  valerian is amazing for many, but for certain people it is actually stimulating. Go figure. So if she tries it and it makes her restless, don’t take any more. Hops and California poppy are also options. Good in tincture form. But again, see what she wants to try, and support that protocol.
 
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I'm going to post this because I just left the same link in another thread about fasting and then I saw this thread which seems like it could be helpful here.
I did not read most of the other comments.

Here is a "sleep cocktail" I've been taking for a couple of months.    https://brainflow.co/index.php/2021/08/14/dr-andrew-hubermans-sleep-cocktail/
Here's what's in it.
Magnesium Threonate – Doublewood Magnesium Threonate – 300-400mg
Theanine – Suntheanine – 200-400mg
Apigenin – Swanson Apigenin – 50mg

I could not find the Apigenin, so I only take the first two about a half an hour before bed.  It works wonders and helps me to sleep well, and deeply.  I also have my Alexa speaker play BROWN noise on loop all night.  Brown noise is like white noise but for some reason I prefer it of the two.  

Best of luck to those who suffer from it.  

 
Brody Ekberg
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Heather Sharpe wrote:Brody, the picture you painted of mold in your house sounds really bad. I hear that you've got tons on your plate, but I would strongly suggest at least taking steps to curb the mold growth, preferably remove it. That stuff can take a serious toll on your health and could be greatly contributing to your wife's troubles. I have lived in many moldy rentals and had to move because I was always exhausted, all my muscles hurt, I developed cystic acne, felt crazy depressed and always had digestive and respiratory issues. All of which got better after moving out, though it took some time and a lot of work to recover.

I'm not sure how you could mitigate the situation in the wall, but I'd definitely at least get a dehumidifier going to check the mold. It won't kill it, but if you can get it below 50% humidity, that'd help stop active growth at least.

I'd also consider taking steps to support both of y'all's immune and respiratory systems. I'm under the weather presently, so sorry I don't have more solid suggestions on how to do that or deal with the mold. I hope you can get that cleared up so you can both stay healthy and hopefully your wife will feel better!



I agree 100%. We will get the basement mold cleaned up within the next few weeks and either replace the moldy window caulking or just put plastic over the windows soon as well. We have a salt lamp and diffuser to run in the bedroom for now and can always sleep in the spare room too. I just am not tearing into an outside wall this time of the year. It shouldn’t be actively growing but I’m sure theres mold in there somewhere.

And I try to modulate my immune system daily anyway. My wife definitely would benefit from stepping her game up a bit though. She’s been struggling lately and not following her diet or supplement routine like she used to.
 
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Anton Jacobski Hedman wrote:

I don't think there's much the natural world can offer for depression treatment unfortunately. But coffee, kratom and opium would be among the most effective natural remedies(opium was the most common depression treatment until the 1950s), of course opium is off the table due to its illegality - I am just saying what the oldest thousand-year-old remedy for depression used to be and what the natural world in theory could offer(yes, it's also quite addictive). I personally really like caffeine and kratom. I know cannabis helps some but it's not at all as broad spectrum "anti mental illness" and definitely not as energizing as kratom. If I would have to recommend something that is not a pharmaceutical that helps depression and lack of energy and pain I would put kratom as #1 by far.



Im in no way opposed to her using kratom, or another substance if management is what needs to be done. And I’ll support her in whatever she chooses. But I’m certainly not going to recommend any substances until she has tried everything in her own power to change the situation. Like following her dietary recommendations, taking her supplements, stretching, working on her posture… if she does what she can and its not good enough, th en I’ll probably recommend she looks to an outside source.
 
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Josephine Howland wrote:I have severe insomnia. I need to use a CPAP even though mine has been recalled so I'm waiting for a new one. I take Trazadone, I sometimes take Xanax (it's for my anxiety panic attacks, but it helps if I really can't sleep), Even with the CPAP I wake up several times during the night. I also have nightmares, but they have lessened since I had EMDR therapy for trauma. I also can not have a clock on my side of the bed. I am what I call a clock checker. I wake up thinking I must have slept for hours, no maybe 20 minutes. I fall back to sleep thinking again for hours, nope only 3 minutes. The trazodone is a big help. I also take a muscle relaxer a night now too. I also just got a pacemaker because not only do I have AFib, but my heart was pausing, so it's like a bunch of mini heart attacks. It's no wonder I have trouble sleeping. Please have her see a medical doctor. Sometimes western meds are the only thing that will help.



My wife is a “clock checker” too. She actually just told me she wants to keep track of how many times she wakes up during the night so people understand. I told her nobody is doubting her…

She is seeing a doctor now, and hopefully regularly.
 
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Lina Joana wrote:I am so sorry - what a rough situation!
There are a lot of good suggestions here, all with the issue that she needs to actually do them.
Have you tried asking (when she is feeling calm) what she wants to try and then making it as easy as possible? For example, if she wants to try valerian, buy nighty night tea, brew her a cup just after dinner, and put it in her hand. If she wants to try melatonin, take out the pills each night and hand them to her with a glass of water. If she wants to try yoga, set up a video each night to guide her through it. But it has to be what she wants to try, not what you suggest.
Note:  valerian is amazing for many, but for certain people it is actually stimulating. Go figure. So if she tries it and it makes her restless, don’t take any more. Hops and California poppy are also options. Good in tincture form. But again, see what she wants to try, and support that protocol.



Shes tried valerian capsules several times now and hasn’t noticed any effects good or bad. I think she will try a few more nights and then switch to St Johns Wort if the Valerian isn’t helping.

 
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Molly Gordon wrote:OH.MY.GOODNESS... That lineup of mold you have described is unbelievable. Unbelievable both of you don't have more health issues. Forget everything else you have going on and fix/clean everything you can at once. GUARANTEED that is her health issue. Yes, she may be depressed but mold is classic for that and a myriad of other maladies. Find one room you can de-mold the fastest and make it her "clean" room she can live and sleep in. Also buy an air cleaner for the room and tuck towels, etc. under the door at night. I'm positive, through personal mold experience, if you fix all your mold issues she will be healthy.



I think the main issues are the basement and our bedroom. We can clean the basement in a day if we just focus on it (trying to get ready for winter outside first). The bedroom will have to wait for next year but can sleep in the spare room if need be. Ill clean up the mold around the windows soon too. Probably should buy an air cleaner/purifier like you said.
 
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This sounds a bit like fibromyalgia - I dated someone with that condition for a while and it sounds very similar. It's been described as a constant, low-grade panic attack that spirals and causes more of itself, so all the advice about making her feel safe/relaxed apply. If it is fibro there's a test that can be performed, palpation along certain pressure points feels awful to anyone with fibro.

If it is fibro, there's a weird thing I found in the course of trying to help my partner - a lot of fibro is caused by body toxicity/allergy, particularly heavy metal toxicity. Some people have become symptom-free by detoxification, lemon juice, cilantro, magnesium and chlorella being the main ingredients. Good luck!
 
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Christopher Henrickson wrote:This sounds a bit like fibromyalgia - I dated someone with that condition for a while and it sounds very similar. It's been described as a constant, low-grade panic attack that spirals and causes more of itself, so all the advice about making her feel safe/relaxed apply. If it is fibro there's a test that can be performed, palpation along certain pressure points feels awful to anyone with fibro.

If it is fibro, there's a weird thing I found in the course of trying to help my partner - a lot of fibro is caused by body toxicity/allergy, particularly heavy metal toxicity. Some people have become symptom-free by detoxification, lemon juice, cilantro, magnesium and chlorella being the main ingredients. Good luck!



This is something I haven’t looked into at all. Thanks for this, I’ll do some reading!
 
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MOLD: check to see if your home insurance covers mold removal, many policies do.

If it is as bad as it sounds this may NOT be a DIY (do it yourself) job. BUT hiring on, short term)  with a mold removal company will get you the training and expertise to safely do it yourself.

At the very least, proper air filtration (sealed unit, NOT a paper mask), negative pressure system in each room you work in (to prevent spreading spores elsewhere). Be very sure you follow appropriate collection, containment, disposal and cleaning methods. It is not as simple as wiping areas down with a diluted bleach solution (as many on line 'fixes' will erroneously suggest).
 
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Found this video just now and thought of you and your wife. There is lots of great info about how sleep cycles work and how to work with them to get better rest. She also has excellent videos about helping loved ones with depression as well as getting through it oneself.

Hope you both are doing well, getting good rest and staying healthy!
 
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:MOLD: check to see if your home insurance covers mold removal, many policies do.

If it is as bad as it sounds this may NOT be a DIY (do it yourself) job. BUT hiring on, short term)  with a mold removal company will get you the training and expertise to safely do it yourself.

At the very least, proper air filtration (sealed unit, NOT a paper mask), negative pressure system in each room you work in (to prevent spreading spores elsewhere). Be very sure you follow appropriate collection, containment, disposal and cleaning methods. It is not as simple as wiping areas down with a diluted bleach solution (as many on line 'fixes' will erroneously suggest).

 
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I don't know if this will help her at all, but what works for me (my brain tends to go into overdrive when I stop "doing" things, I suspect this is part of adhd).  I also am prone to migraines, but I've cut them down to rare with this combination of stuff.  I also have some level of back and neck pain after a car accident, however on a day to day basis it's mostly under control at this point.

First: we have smart lights that change "scenes" to dimmer and warmer settings 1-2 hrs before we usually go to bed.  I also use this dimming as a cue to take my "cocktail" of supplements.
Second: supplements primarily to reduce migraines "breaking through" - these are: melatonin+5HTP, daily multivitamin, vitamin D, magnesium, CoQ10, and claritin. The melatonin, magnesium, and claritin all tend to make me a little drowsy.
Third: skincare routine before bed keeps me in a "bedtime routine," even if it's just a couple layers of moisturizer, psychologically it's a cue to my brain.  
 
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If she is in pain, that may be the reason she is not sleeping. But, I have had issues with sleeping my whole life and recently I have found a book to be of help. It's called "The Power of When" by Michael Breus.  He states that there are different "chronotypes" meaning the how your biological clock works.  I am a "dolphin" as it turns out.  If you don't want to buy the book or if your library doesn't have it, there is a lot of information (you can find your chronotype by taking a quiz and recommendations for it) on this website:   https://thepowerofwhen.com
By following his recommendations for my chronotype I am sleeping uninterrupted for the first time in years.  I don't sleep 8 hours, but then, as a "dolphin" I'm not wired to do that.  
 
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Norma Tucker wrote:If she is in pain, that may be the reason she is not sleeping. But, I have had issues with sleeping my whole life and recently I have found a book to be of help. It's called "The Power of When" by Michael Breus.  He states that there are different "chronotypes" meaning the how your biological clock works.  I am a "dolphin" as it turns out.  If you don't want to buy the book or if your library doesn't have it, there is a lot of information (you can find your chronotype by taking a quiz and recommendations for it) on this website:   https://thepowerofwhen.com
By following his recommendations for my chronotype I am sleeping uninterrupted for the first time in years.  I don't sleep 8 hours, but then, as a "dolphin" I'm not wired to do that.  



You know, I wasnt aware of that specific book but I am aware of “segmented sleep” and the fact that throughout most humans history, we didn’t just lay down and get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. But when I try to explain that to my wife she wont have it. She’s very adamant about trying to force herself to get a solid nights sleep instead of accepting maybe a short sleep and a nap or two. Or going to bed early and waking up early. Or just journaling or doing some mundane task when she wakes up in the middle of the night. She isnt working so, besides stubbornness, she doesn’t have a good reason not to try these things. I just cant convince her. And trying to convince an insomniac of anything is borderline dangerous!
 
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I didn't see anyone else mentioning this (if they did, I'm sorry for repeating), but I would recommend some Wim Hof breathing exercises. It's been super helpful for me in a lot of areas. Here's an easy starter one.
Just make sure you're sitting or lying down, and also make sure that you release your air, don't push it out on the exhale.
 
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A Lund wrote:I didn't see anyone else mentioning this (if they did, I'm sorry for repeating), but I would recommend some Wim Hof breathing exercises. It's been super helpful for me in a lot of areas. Here's an easy starter one. Just make sure you're sitting or lying down, and also make sure that you release your air, don't push it out on the exhale.



I dont think anyone has mentioned that but thanks! I gave it a try and it was interesting. I have to say, i feel like either his second counting or mine was off. I really didn’t think that i could hold my breath for a full minute. These sort of exercises are probably really great in times like these with covid going around. Lung health is very important!
 
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