Insomnia - Adult Expert Forum
not sleeping well
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not sleeping well

I am unable to sleep more and more.  I have tried all the tried and true methods such as not drinking caffeine, trying to relax before bed, having bedroom dark, not taking naps in afternoon but it is increasing more and more.  I do not consider myself depressed or having that much stress in my life.  This is new for me and has been happening about the past month or two.  I tried not to take over the counter medications and have not seen my doctor for a while.
what causes a person to suddenly not be able to fall asleep?  Even when I am really tired and not feeling good, I am unable to fall asleep and never had problem before.  Is it psychological or can there be medical reasons why a person suddenly has problems with insomnia?  thanks
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707647_tn?1251492147
Please see my post on 12/16  in response to Medhelp member named arjunbht as to how insomnia evolves and my blog under expert activity for 12/16 for 10 key tips to sleeping better.

Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs
www.cbtforinsomnia.com
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I am unable to fall asleep about every 2-3 nights.  Sometimes resulting in me staying up all night (hard on me, 60 yrs. old, FMS,PN, restless legs usually controlled by meds and other problems).  Not taking naps (after that was suppose to be) that the insomnia is increasing more and more.  I never had trouble sleeping before except on rare occasions or during very stressful times.  I wake up very tired, and my bed is tore up from so much moving around; don't remember dreams.  I am not stressed is what I meant to say.  I have gone into VA with other complaints (hair loss, not sweating, chills or overheating, etc) and all they tell me (no tests) is common for low thyroid which I take meds.


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707647_tn?1251492147
Please see my blog on 12/31 on how you develop insomnia. Here it is again:

Insomnia is defined as insufficient, inadequate, or poor-quality sleep due to one or more of the following reasons:
• difficulty falling asleep
• difficulty staying asleep during the night
• waking up too early in the morning
• feeling overtired and unrefreshed in the morning

How did you get insomnia? It starts as short-term insomnia. Not being able to sleep for a few days or weeks is normal, especially in response to stressful life events and usually resolves within a few days or weeks. Insomnia that persists for a month or longer is termed chronic insomnia, which can affect you a few nights per week or most nights, and can occur weekly or in a cyclical fashion.

Short-term insomnia develops into chronic insomnia as a result of worrying about sleep loss, associating the bed with wakefulness, spending excessive time in bed, trying to “force” sleep, engaging in other disruptive or negative sleep behaviors such as arising at irregular times, and experiencing stress. As a result, the insomnia becomes a "learned" habit due to these behaviors.

The treatment for chronic insomnia can include the careful use of a sleep medication such as Ambien, Lunesta, or Sonata to break the insomnia cycle. These sleeping pills may temporarily improve sleep for a brief or occasional episode of insomnia. However, the use of sleep medicines is not recommended for the treatment of chronic insomnia for the following reasons:
• They are only moderately effective and lose their effectiveness with long-term use
• They have multiple side effects that can outweigh their benefits
• People can become dependent on the medication
• They do not treat the causes of insomnia
• The insomnia returns when the medications are discontinued

The recommended first line treatment for chronic insomnia is Cognitive behavioral Therapy, or CBT. CBT is based on the idea that chronic insomnia is due to the learned thoughts and behaviors described above that can be unlearned. CBT teaches poor sleepers how to:
• Modify stressful, inaccurate thoughts about sleep
• Modify disruptive or negative sleep behaviors
• Improve relaxation skills
• Improve lifestyle practices that affect sleep

A significant amount of research now suggests that CBT is more effective than sleeping pills for insomnia. Because of these findings, CBT is now recommended as the preferred first line treatment for chronic insomnia by the National Institutes of Health; in reviews in major scientific journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet; and, by Consumer Reports.

If you have a sleep center in your area, they may offer CBT. However, many sleep clinics don't offer CBT because they are directed by physicians who specialize in sleep apnea (see Dr. Park’s forum on sleep-related breathing disorders for a description of sleep apnea). For that reason, CBT is becoming increasingly available online in interactive format. You can visit my website for more information on online, interactive CBT if you cannot find a sleep clinic in your area that offers CBT.

Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs
www.cbtforinsomnia.com

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272856_tn?1253449177
I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT U HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH!
I, TOO, HAVE SUFFERED JUST LIKE YOU FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS OF MY LIFE.....AND HERE IS WHAT I HAVE LEARNED!!!
Hormones being out of whack can cause insomnia!! Is your progesterone too low? Estrogen too high?
Do you have low serotonin and low dopamine? You may need your brain chemicals re-balanced! (If you have fibromyalgia, then you DO have low serotonin and low dopamine!
When those neurotransmitters are LOW, YOU WIND UP WITH MUSCLE PAIN!)
Please go to the website: www.incrediblehorizons.com and read up on how the brain works, how the brain chemicals can become imbalanced, and how to get them re-balanced. If you have Fibromyalgia, then you FOR SURE have low dopamine and low serotonin! You have to get those brain chemicals balanced in order to be able to sleep!
I have been dealing with the SAME PROBLEM you are having for over 20 years.
DRUGS ARE NOT THE ANSWER TO FIXING THIS...THEY WILL MAKE YOUR BODY EVEN MORE TOXIC AND IMBALANCED! I skip days of sleep, too...but all of that is about to change...AND IT DID, FOR A FEW WEEKS BECAUSE OF TWO THINGS I CHANGED:
I began taking a supplement called Phosphatydol Serine.
This supplement protects the brain from Alzheimers but also lowers cortisol levels.
If your cortisol levels need lowering, and you take this supplement, you will start sleeping.
Also..do u use any artificial sweeteners (Splenda, saccharin, nutrasweet? They cause the brain to fill with neurotoxins...which excite the brain!)
I went off of artificial sweeteners for a week and suddenly began sleeping, after 20 years of terrible insomnia! I also quit using dairy foods. (When I do, I only use them as condiments and never as the main part of a meal). Dairy causes inflammation..and inflammation keeps our brains excited and "awake". I also stay away from any "white foods" as much as possible...although my blood sugar swings alot and I often go on junk food binges when this happens, due to the cravings.That, however, is about to change, too.....I ordered several supplements to get my blood sugar balanced,which I will begin using in a few days.

Let me know how you are doing..and please look into all of which I have told you.
Look at your diet.......what does it consist of?
Dr's think that sleep medicine can cure a poor diet or a hormonal imbalance created by a poor diet? Drugs cannot fix this type of problem! They will, in fact, worsen the problem.

I hope to hear from u! Let me know what u think!
Good luck!
KIM:)
P.S. Look into this book, as well "The China Study"
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534800_tn?1217170959
I for one have been in treatment for chronic insomnia and anxiety-related insomnia for almost a year now and the CBT, while its a get option to try, doesn't work for everyone. I am, as agreed by my therapist, one of the most industrious, curious and committed people she knows and all the homework, assignments, and lists/charts we do doesn't produce sleep. Why? Because I have hormones as a factor (46 years and into perimenopause) and complications with the dependency of anxiety meds due to physicians prescribing for the insomnia years ago... CBT is a wonderful alternative for some, but not the end-all for everyone.
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