Kerri King wrote:I would honestly suggest trying cbd in a pen. It has been a miracle for my husband.
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.
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.
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.
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. :-)
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.
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....)
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 :)
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 _____...."
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.
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.
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
Cutting inflammatory foods out of her diet completely
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.