View Full Version : Dealing with insomnia due to pain and illness?

Couture TB
Apr. 22, 2010, 02:16 AM
So I have always been a light sleeper. But it seems that ever since I got sick I have horrible insomnia either due to pain or just the fact that I can't fall asleep no matter how exausted I am. Does anyone have any good ideas? The catch 22 is that if I don't sleep at night I feel sicker the next few days and then sleep for a couple days and then can't sleep at night:mad:

I have tried tons of different sleeping pills and teas. So any idea on how to not only deal with the pain but also the fact that it seems the longer I am awake no matter how hard I try if I feel even a little ill I can't sleep and then the squirrels that run around in my brain don't stop thinking about how I can't sleep and then will feel sicker? I had to cancel 3 of my lessons this week due to not only the insomnia, but the fact that it makes everything worse so I have had walking issues and can't keep my head out of the toilet:no:

Apr. 22, 2010, 02:29 AM
So I have always been a light sleeper. But it seems that ever since I got sick I have horrible insomnia either due to pain or just the fact that I can't fall asleep no matter how exausted I am. Does anyone have any good ideas?
Low dose amitriptyline (10-25mg). Also helps with chronic pain.

Couture TB
Apr. 22, 2010, 02:41 AM
Thanks I will ask my doctor about it in the morning. I am sick of not being able to sleep and that making me sicker so not able to even do the little things that I enjoy. Brushing my 2yr, giving a lesson here and there. Sleep is good. I wish I could sleep like my husband. He falls asleep fast and can sleep through anything!

Apr. 22, 2010, 03:03 AM
The catch 22 is that if I don't sleep at night I feel sicker the next few days and then sleep for a couple days and then can't sleep at night

Aye... there's the rub, 'eh?

For me, the Amytrip made me WAY too groggy in the AM.

I recently upped my Vit D to 4-5000 mg per day, and I think my sleep has been MUCH better, despite the fact that I'm currently on graveyards. Magnesium helps with sleep and relaxation.

I took a week long class for Cops & EMS dealing with the Mentally Ill. One of the classes was all about drugs--the Rx kind. Topic came up about sleep/lack thereof, which is SO common among public safety with our rotating shifts etc. The consensus among the two Psych Docs and the Pharmacist that were teaching (along with about 1/2 the class) was that Benadryl is actually the safest, non-habit forming sleep aid.

Benadryll helps me *fall* asleep, but doesnt' help me STAY asleep, unless I take too much, then I'm groggy in the AM.

AlkaSeltzer Cold & Flu works wonders *at times* for me. A little anti-inflam, a little bicarbonate, a little diphenhydramine... It's actually what I *have* to take if a cluster migraine wakes me--it's the only thing that lets me keep down the migraine meds.

I've discovered that HALF a Flexoril (my Rx is 10mg, they are safe to split) is just about right for me for a 'normal' night's sleep (8-9hrs) with no hangover. A whole one insures SLEEP of the DEAD but makes it damn hard to get up in the morning.

And this is probably HORRIBLE advice, but I've found that ONE glass of port leaves me happily sleepy... two and I'm awake 4-6 hrs later... but one healthy glass and I'm off to dreamland... :p

I have friends on graveyards who swear by Tylenol PM. I really think part of it is psychosomatic. *I* believe that half a flexoril works for me. So it does.

Melatonin works for me the first day I take it. Not after that. JUST read soemthing recently that you're only supposed to take it 2-3x/week.

Dr. had me try a couple of the other Rx sleep stuff, most left me too groggy to get up in the AM. My *issue* is non-refreshing sleep... so certainly others will have FAR better luck with the 'real' sleep aid stuff.

Dad Said Not To
Apr. 22, 2010, 07:54 AM
Same issue here. For the days when I've overdone it and know I will be hurting the next day if I don't get a good night's sleep, I take 2 Benadryl (at 25 mg each) and 3 melatonin (at 3 mg each). The Benadryl knocks me out as long as I don't miss that "Benadryl window", and the melatonin keeps me asleep. I find that when I make sure to take the melatonin and not just Benadryl, I don't get that groggy Benadryl hangover. Your dosage may vary, but for me, this mix works better than Ambien CR.
Note: don't take this combo if you don't have time to get at least 8 hours of sleep. You WILL be wiped and out of it if you don't sleep long enough on this stuff.

Apr. 22, 2010, 08:18 AM
Oh, interesting about the combo. Will try! :sleepy:

Apr. 22, 2010, 05:09 PM
Low dose amitriptyline (10-25mg). Also helps with chronic pain.

Second this. I have had the same problem, and if I got two hours of straight sleep a night, it's a good night. Have been through all of the usual sleeping meds - Ambien, Ambien CR, Sonata, Lunesta. None of them did a thing. Was put on a low dose (I believe it was 50 mg before sleep, then another 50mg if I was still awake several hours later). Worked great. Usually never needed to take the second dose.

Apr. 22, 2010, 05:17 PM
Have you tried your local sleep clinic, your local pain clinic?
They address those problems regularly and may have something that helps you, now and later, if and as your conditions change.

I guess I am one of the lucky ones, maybe have two nights a year I am not asleep before my head touches the pillow.
My problem, I can't sleep more than 5 hours, so have to go sleep late, or wake in the middle of the night, ready to go with my day.
That is ok, I get more hours out of my life than most this way.:cool:

Apr. 22, 2010, 07:56 PM
I have been an insomniac my entire life... Can remember watching the sun come up after horse shows when I was nine or so.

Currently the classic fibro mix of flexeril and activan puts and keeps me asleep for 8 hours. Good quality sleep. It sounds like maybe you need something to slow your brain down, mental activity has always been the source of my insomnia. Talk to your doctor about that.

Don't know if you are a CountingCrows fan or not but if so, whenever it's very late and I need some sympathy I listen to Frankie Miller Goes To Hollywood :lol:

Couture TB
Apr. 22, 2010, 10:34 PM
Ok trying zolpidem 10mg tonight. Guess it is the generic ambian or whatever. We shall see if it shuts my brain down and I can fall asleep. Which I hope works well since I way over did it today. I couldn't even drive myself home tonight from the stable.

Apr. 23, 2010, 11:28 AM
Insomnia is a primary symptom of depression and is successfully treated with antidepressants. Anyone with a chronic illness likely has some level of depression. Acknowledge it and get it treated. Your quality of life will improve.

Come Shine
Apr. 23, 2010, 12:32 PM
I'm also a very light sleeper on a combination of different meds. It's tough to find the right combo that helps you sleep the night without sleeping through the next day. Keeping in mind I have not been totally successful, here are some things I have tried or heard of.

Second the sleep clinic idea. Have you considered you may have sleep apnea?

Checking into the depression piece may be helpful, as well as asking about anti-anxiety strategies if your "wheels keep turning keeping you up".

I find listening to the same book on tape every night helps put me to sleep.

That's interested to read about the Melatonin b/c that's exactly the experience I had. First night was awesome but after that, nothing. I like the Benadryl but I also have Sjogren's, so have to be careful with allergy meds.

If you have pain, have you thought of a different mattress/pillow?

Also, read up on sleep hygiene to help 'train' your body to sleep.

Good luck!

ETA: The worst part about not sleeping is not having the energy to ride!

Apr. 23, 2010, 10:00 PM
Ear plugs may help a great deal if you're easily awakened. I'm a light sleeper, and if I wake up, it's very difficult to get back to sleep. The best kind I've found are some pink foam ones especially sized for ladies. I think they're called "Sleep Pretty in Pink." They stay in, and I stay snoozing despite the snoring hubby and the restless dog. I don't have the medical concerns that some of you have, but if you are looking for suggestions, this one is low cost, readily available, no doctor visit needed, and may augment some of the other therapies you are trying.

Apr. 24, 2010, 05:18 PM
Due to chronic, and now coupled with acute, pain, I have to use everything at my disposal to try to overwhelm the pain with sleepiness - not easily done some nights.

Firstly, I take my pain meds as close to bedtime as possible. Then I add a cornucopia of 'sleep aids':
- hot cup of chamomile, or SleepyTime tea
- calcium pill
- muscle relaxant
- prescription sleeping pill
and I try for a routine:
- lights out at about the same time each night
- quiet music, especially "sleep inducing" CD's,you can get them on Amazon
- switch TV to Fireplace Channel - "live" fireplace, complete with log crackling noises, set TV to "Sleep" - off in 30 minutes
- read some short threads on COTH
Repeat Routine in 30 minutes if still awake.

and avoid caffeine up to 8 hours before bedtime, it can have a rebound effect many hours after initially consumed. Be aware that some pain meds contain caffeine - I read all labels. And some prescription meds can cause insomnia - that you'll have to research and discuss with your doctor, if applicable.

My hubby is equally annoying by being able to fall asleep the second he closes his eyes. This alone can irritate me to the point of sleeplessness on a bad day! :winkgrin:

Blinkers On
Apr. 24, 2010, 07:39 PM
Insomnia is a primary symptom of depression and is successfully treated with antidepressants.

Amtriptyline is an antidepressant.
Melatonin only works for me for exactly 4 hours.
Benadryl doesn't work
Several "PM" helpers will help eventually, but I mean SEVERAL.....
It sucks

I am an insomniac for a great many reasons. I do have to take mass doses of anything to sleep a few hours here and there. Really, nothing helps even when so exhausted I can't think straight.

Recently I got tired of throwing mass quantities of meds into me and went back to a childhood "remedy" of sorts. And believe me I am a sceptical as anyone...
Warm milk and honey. .... It worked much to my suprise.

Sorry you are struggling with this. It does suck.

Apr. 24, 2010, 07:49 PM
Insomnia is not always coupled w/depression. Fact is that I sleep GREAT if I am depressed. The better I feel in general the more likely I am to be awake all night. FWIW sleeping aids have never helped me either it has always been important to actually address the thing that keeps me awake - my busy mind.

Apr. 24, 2010, 09:49 PM
I do think you should consult with a pain or sleep clinic if this is regularly interfering with your daily life.

Some things that help for me:
1) Unless I'm prepared to stay up until 2, I avoid working on the computer, watching TV, or sitting in front of bright light sources before bed.
2) If I do wake up and can't get back to sleep, I try going back to sleep someplace else. I've got a futon in my office and daybed in the living room. I'll wrap a couple of polarfleece throws around me and cuddle up.
3) If the change of venue doesn't work, I turn on the dimmest light possible and read a book. I find horse training and horse care books are pretty good insomnia reads. They aren't so exciting that I get hooked and stay up all night, but they aren't so difficult or boring that I get irritated. I get less upset if I feel like I'm making productive use of my AWOL sleep time, and getting less upset ultimately helps me get back to sleep faster.

Apr. 25, 2010, 09:44 AM
Carp is right!
Avoid bright light sources before going to bed. Including computer screens. Bright light is stimulating. Don't look directly into the lamp before turning it off. ditto the tv.

Don't eat anything prior to going to bed. But a big glass of milk can calm you and make you sleepy. Tryptophan is also in turkey!!

No alcohol before bedtime- it's actually a stimulant.

Benedryl (an antihistamine) can be used at varied doses - from 25 mg to 50 to 75 to 100mg. It's only in your system for 4-6 hrs so it wears off.

No showers/baths before bed. Even warm ones can be stimulating.

Make sure you are warm & comfortable when getting into bed. Any chill is stimulating.

And finally; it's VERY hard to sleep when you have any pain of any level. Pain is an alarm response and can keep you awake. Bedtime is the time to break out the pain meds or bigger guns ones.

For those of you with busy minds; try some mental imaging as you try to fall asleep. See yourself riding, doing something pleasurable, calming. I often try to see myself on a trailride in pretty country on a great day. Keep going back to that good thought & image.

Blinkers On
Apr. 25, 2010, 03:58 PM
My visual when my mind is busy is loping bareback through a field with the tall soon to be hay brushing against my legs. Reminds me of my childhood and a simpler time. Simple things, I suppose.

Apr. 25, 2010, 05:16 PM
Hey GQ-Boy do I know what you are going through!!! I have become the queen of no sleep and the anxiety that comes with it.

My doctor prescribed Seroquel 50 mg for the nights that I have not gotten any sleep for more than 24 hours (and yes, this happens more than I would like). The great thing about the Seroquel is that I sleep...but it is not a restful sleep but it takes the anxiety away from not having any sleep. Ambien, and other sleeping pills just do not work for me anymore. The Seroquel is my one home right now.

There is a great website that I have completely fallen in love with. Newdirectionsaromatic.coms. I have bought a fair amount of their products, especially their dead sea salts and essential oils. When I am on an insomniatic bender, I take a hot bath 2-3 hours before I want to go to sleep. I add specific essential oils such as Lavender with the dead sea salts and it helps my body calm down from the nerve pain.

I try not to drink too many liquids before heading off to bed as that will keep me awake too. I have bought some books on tape and even started reading some of my old college English Literature books as well to help calm my mind into sleep. I cannot fall asleep infront of the tv but a good book on tape, with a soothing voice, really seems to help.

The pain is another big issue and if that is a problem, then you need to get to a pain management doctor to seek help for this. I hate taking any pain medications but I do realize that having them on hand just in case I am having a bad night will help me relax. Stress from pain is almost as bad as the pain itself.

Another thing that I have looked toward for help is accupuncture and deep tissue massage. I really hate to spend the money on these things (but I will for my horse...go figure). Sometimes these treatments will get the stress out of your system and relax some of your muscles.

Good Luck!

Apr. 25, 2010, 09:33 PM
I love love love trazedone. Many people have different experiences with it but I've been on it 8+ years for lifelong insomnia and wouldn't have it any other way.

Ironically my "mystery illness" I'm dealing with right now makes it totally unnecessary but man. Trazedone. Love it.

Hampton Bay
Apr. 25, 2010, 10:04 PM
50mg is a pretty darned high dose of Elavil (amitryptaline). And not too many people tolerate it well, especially if you've had a head injury. Found this out after I had a severe allergic reaction to it, after having taken it several times, and had to be rushed to the ER, code 3 with police escort.

Seroquel made me hallucinate. I thought the Virgin Mary was in my room with me.

Also be careful with Ativan or any of those types of drugs, as they can be VERY physically addictive. And withdrawl can cause seizures, especially in people with head injuries. SO if your doctor tells you to take them like candy, best to find a new doctor :)

Dramamine and Benadryl are the only things that work for me. I have to alternate them occasionally (when one stops working I switch to the other). I also have to have my special pillow or I have an even harder time falling asleep. Also, look at the drugs you are taking. Some will hype some people up even though they really shouldn't. I have to take one of my meds by 10 am or I don't sleep that night. And supposedly it shouldn't do that.

Apr. 25, 2010, 10:41 PM
Seroquel made me hallucinate. I thought the Virgin Mary was in my room with me.

This cracked me up. I wouldn't know that was a hallucination and would think it was a miracle! Especially since one of my favorite get-to-sleep relaxers is saying the rosary... :lol:

Interesting the repetitive comments about dealing with the pain.

I finally learned when I wrecked my knee, that there is more to narcotics than just pain relief. I HEALED better when I would take the Vicodin at night. I HATED taking it, but the healing, and the cessation of pain in the morning was fairly dramatic.

Nothing useful to add, really, just that I find that interesting to tuck into the back of the mind.

Apr. 26, 2010, 01:26 AM
One thing that I have become quite cautious about is using Tylenol PM's, Benedryl, or Advil PM's. After my last round of Lyme med's, I found I was taking up to 20 pills a day (between supplements and prescription medications). I began to become very worried that I may not have a liver when everything is said and done. That is why I have started to do the holistic/natural route. I am afraid of the long term effects of some of these medications.

Apr. 26, 2010, 08:56 AM
I have Insomnia and RLS so I cant take Benadryl. I have been in several sleep studies and my sleep doc had me on ambien for a year...really helped, never felt any addiction to it. I stopped the Ambien about 6 months ago.
My Insomnia/RLS has been excruciatingly bad this last few months so I finally dragged myself to my GP.( I had to cuz its Rolex weekend:lol::lol::lol: I dont wanna be an exhausted zombie during Rolex! ) He put me on Clonidine...WOW. Its only been 3 days ...but WOW! They use it off-label for kids with Attention Deficiet. And also for RLS and Sleep Apnea. It has really quieted my mind enough to go to sleep, and so far I havent had any RLS episodes. I have actually been waking up refreshed...:eek::yes:

Apr. 26, 2010, 10:22 AM
One thing that I have become quite cautious about is using Tylenol PM's, Benedryl, or Advil PM's. After my last round of Lyme med's, I found I was taking up to 20 pills a day (between supplements and prescription medications). I began to become very worried that I may not have a liver when everything is said and done. That is why I have started to do the holistic/natural route. I am afraid of the long term effects of some of these medications.

No doubt! It makes me very anxious to hear about people using things like this as if they were harmless, day after day. They are not.

RE: Activan being addictive, yes it is. HOWEVER... Consider this... If you have a chronic illness that is not ever going to go away, taking an Activan every night is the LEAST of your medication worries. I take the lowest dose possible and have stayed on that dose for over ten years... My doctor says people are unnecessarily afraid of Activan because they are used to seeing it used as pre surgery meds (big dose, stoned person!) rather than in a very small dose.... At my age with my history having to take a pill every day that has NO side effects and is dosed so small that I am not detectibly affected... Yes, going to take that pill and get my eight hours of sleep! Yeah!

Apr. 27, 2010, 11:17 PM
I am sure you will probably still need pharmaceutical help, but have you looked into getting a different bed to sleep in? I know when I was having lots of back issues, I would constantly wake up with my back and hips bothering me, it would be harder to go to sleep, etc. I tried adding memory foam on top, which helped a little but mr. pharmgirl hated it.

Decided one day to get a Select Comfort sleep number bed, and it's been amazing! It's adjustability in firmness came in handy when I broke myself and couldn't sleep in the normal positions I like, so I could adjust how firm it was to support my body so it would be less sore. They are expensive, but I got mine on special at QVC so delivery was included and could pay for it in several monthly installments.

Couture TB
Apr. 29, 2010, 11:50 AM
I would love to get a Select number comfort bed, my husband and I looked at them, but with the $1,300 a month bills for my IV meds for the next 4 months not going to happen.

So the zolpidem 10mg is working well. I take it with benedryl, which my doctor says is ok, because of my allergies in the spring and summer. The only thing is that to fall asleep by 10pm I have to take it at 7pm, which is kinda annoying but hey I can deal.

Thanks for all the info on what works for you guys! I love this area of the forum.

Apr. 29, 2010, 07:35 PM
I've had insomnia as far back as I can remember, and it got increasingly worse in worse over the past four years.

Ambian just makes me a little goofy, Lunesta doesn't do a thing, OTC things like benadryl only knock me out for a couple of hours, several xanax will knock me out but their addictive and my history with drug abuse and such doesn't make for a good argument to use it to sleep, plus the rebound anxiety once the med wears off the next day makes me feel like I'll explode. I have used trazedone in the past but it gave me AWFUL headaches the next day.

Calcium/Magnesium is quite helpful, actually, I take it at night or mid day if I'm super anxious. Melatonin is probably one of your best bets, it's what our brain uses when we sleep anyways (to put it simply). I'm also on BusPar for anxiety (a non-benzo, so not addicting) which has actually been helping me sleep better, an anti-depressant, and two mood stabilizers, and being treated for depression didn't HELP my insomnia, in fact, a lot of these drugs will cause insomnia. I'm going off my meds one by one, and the withdrawal from the anti-depressant makes my sleeping terrible, but it's just something I've got to get through before I can start a new med.

So, IMHO, DON'T go on meds you don't need. They suck to come off of. Not saying to not treat depression, just make sure you know the full blown side effects and withdrawal symptoms before you take anything.

Glad to hear the zolpidem is working! Hopefully it'll be your ticket to a better nights sleep :)

Hunter Mom
Apr. 30, 2010, 04:17 PM
I took zolipidem, but quit when I'd had complete, apparently coherent conversatoins with DH that I couldn't remember. Once in a while Benadryl gives me a HUGE hangover, so I avoid it like the plague. I prefer the OTC medicine in Unisom, which helps sometimes.

However, there are still nights when nothing helps. I think I slept maybe 2 hours last night.

Hampton Bay
May. 2, 2010, 02:39 AM
Oh don't get me wrong, Ativan and the other benzos can be great drugs. But the physical addiction is something to be very aware of. I had a doctor tell me just to take one when I felt dizzy or to help me sleep, without warning me AT ALL about their addictive nature. The next thing I knew, I was taking 4mg of Klonipin a day. Every day. I should have been on .5 to 1 mg a day. And once you get that physically addicted to them, the withdrawl SUCKS. It's just something to keep in the back of your mind if you do need to use those drugs.

Something to watch out for with the Ambien is sleep walking, driving, eating, trying to drink cleaning chemicals, etc. A friend was on it for a while. She felt GREAT. Hubby, not so much. He was up most of the night trying to keep her from accidentally killing herself. She also put on about 60lb by eating all night while on it. As in, she would eat an entire chocolate cake and wake up with chocolate icing all over the place. It doesn't do that to many people, but it's just something to watch out for. The last straw for her and her hubby was when she thought the floor cleaner was mouth wash, so she was going to gargle with it.

Insomnia and the medications necessary to deal with it sure do suck.

Carol Ames
May. 8, 2010, 04:11 PM
my brother bought me, for my birthday, a thick liner;) of memory :cool:foam;) in addition, once I am in bed at night, I take half of a Darvocert or Vicodin; if needed an antispasmodic, and then sleep through the night!;)

Carol Ames
May. 8, 2010, 04:18 PM
Have you tried it? I used it in the nursing home/ rehab where, I was afraid to fall asleep; It did the job, I woke up fresh, rested, with no drugged feeling;since I've been on oxygen I am also more comfortable:yes:

May. 9, 2010, 01:08 PM
10 mg amitriptyline for me, too! But there's a problem at the moment. The pharmacist can't get the 10 mg size from the manufacturer, so couldn't fill my prescription on Friday. I've had two very restless nights so far, even though I took Ibuprophen before bed time. And then I have a huge nap after breakfast, and wake up stupid. It takes a good hour for me to get all circuits firing after a nap like that. But no nap is no good. I just end up angry and crying for no reason. :no:

Auventera Two
May. 9, 2010, 11:44 PM
Low dose amitriptyline (10-25mg). Also helps with chronic pain.

YES!! This stuff is amazing. I'm up to 25 mg. a night now and I feel better than I have in years. A lot of the chronic pain has diminished, I sleep very soundly and feel so much better during the day. It did take about 4 weeks before I really started to notice the changes - you have to stick with it for awhile - but this drug has given me a lot of hope. :)

May. 10, 2010, 12:38 AM
I just wanted to say that last week when I HAD to sleep, after two nights of not sleeping, and had to reverse my schedule to drive 4 hrs in the morning, I tried the Benadryll/Melatonin combo...

And for the first time EVER on a night before a trip like that... I fell asleep, and stayed asleep.

I'll be trying it again. The next night, staying in basically 5* accomodations I didn't sleep a wink... but...

It worked that one night!

Jul. 15, 2010, 11:46 PM
For insomnia related to depression - trazadone (start at a low dose like 25mg at bedtime) can be helpful too though I agree with the comments re: amitryptyline being a good option as well. Trazadone is very sedating but is an antidepressant as well. It's something that just has to be tried as some ppl will have hangover in the AM with it and some will not.

Another antidepressant with a lot of sedation is mirtazapine (remeron). It works on serotonin like other SSRI antidepressants but also blocks histamine receptors (H1 receptors) like benadryl. So it can be helpful if taken in the evening. Downside is more weight gain vs. other SSRI's (zoloft, prozac, paxil) or TCA's (amitryptyline, nortriptyline).

I have had a lot of my patients tell me that Ambien (zolpidem) did not work well to keep them asleep if they were insomniacs that not only had trouble falling asleep but staying asleep. Switching to Ambien CR (long-acting) may help but then you do risk some hangover effects. Lastly - a good handful of patients have sworn to me that Lunesta (eszopiclone) works for them better than Ambien.

I think sleep aids must be tried and failed and just because one doesn't work doesn't mean others might not succeed. It can become a battle with your insurance company though to document the "failures" so they will cover things off your formulary. A good doctor should help you do this.

I should also add that if the insomnia is truly secondary to depression many ppl will find that even with a non-sedating SSRI/TCA, after about 2 weeks of therapy their sleep habits improve. Usually that is the first positive symptom people report + improvement in appetite (less if they were hungry all the time before or more if they were loosing interest in food). Full effect on mood can take 4 weeks to kick in, but sleep habits generally improve sooner.

Jul. 16, 2010, 12:52 AM
I would love to get a Select number comfort bed, my husband and I looked at them, but with the $1,300 a month bills for my IV meds for the next 4 months not going to happen.

Have you actually slept on one of those number comfort beds? One of the hotels my mom stays at for work has them (I drive her often because she has a bad leg and can't drive herself, and the train between here and there is staffed by crazy people[1]) and I've tried them on several trips now and really not been all that impressed. My memory foam mattress is much more comfortable for me. (Actual mattress, though, not just a topper.)

I mean, I'm sure different things work for different people, since I know people who HATE memory foam, but I'd definitely try to organize some kind of nice long trial before committing to the cost of any specialty mattress.

I'm glad someone else mentioned the PM thing, also - Tylenol in particular it doesn't take much at all over a normal dose to really hammer your liver, and they're finding now that most NSAIDs (like Advil) have increased risk of cardiac events. (Like that one drug that was recalled a few years ago in a big stink? Yeah. Aspirin is apparently still okay, though.)

So I wouldn't want to be taking either of those regularly just for the sleep aid.

If your pain really is THAT bad that you can't sleep, then it's time to go to the doctor for something more effective than whatever you have now. If you're not getting quality sleep, you're probably actually functionally making your pain worse, because your body is stressed by the lack of sleep and that tends to INCREASE body-wide inflammation levels. (Note that of course I still keep crazy hours during term time at college. Do as I say, not as I do, all of that. Hah.)

If you think you might be depressed, I'd bring that up also. Sleeping issues are not necessarily due to depression, but they can be. (Note that depression does not always actually manifest as being really down and mopey and 'emo' - irrational or out-of-place anger/irritation can also be a symptom of depression. Kind of like a kid being cranky about everything, but the adult version.)

[1]- Long story.

Jul. 16, 2010, 01:01 AM
I have been a horrible sleeper ever since I had kids. But lately I have found a Webber Naturals product called Super Sleep. But it is made in Canada.

It has Melatonin, L-Theanine and 5HTP in it and no "drugs". I've improved my pre-bed routines, cut out caffein after my 4:00 pm cuppa tea, avoid anything that is hard to digest, make sure I am not thirsty, hungry, need to go to the bathroom, etc. and I honestly feel they are working. They are large chewables, something like TUMS and taste slightly sour - not too bad really. They take about 45 miutes to work, but I feel 100% better.

I think the trick is to have a proper bedtime routine, darkened room, quiet, etc.
(Not sure what to do with the snoring husband ...)

I have a great life, am quite spoiled and don't put it down to depression that I cannot sleep - I'm just basically a night owl. So far, so good. Just once I tried a prescriptin pill given to me by a girlfriend - oh my, I could hardly climb the stairs, never again....no wonder so many people die in retirement residences when there is a fire - noone can get them out they are all so drugged.

Jul. 16, 2010, 01:04 AM
Sorry - I got sidetracked and forgot to add the last comment that I'm sorry for your pain - that's got to be very sleep depriving, but have no answer there.