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It takes me a lot longer to fall asleep at night, why?
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It takes me a lot longer to fall asleep at night, why?

Since August I have been having to get up at 6:30am for school. I was on an antidepressant a few years back to try to control my headaches but instead I got insomnia. I was prescribed Ambien and created a bed time ritual to train my brain to go to sleep when needed. I shut off my computer, go to the bathroom to feed my cat, then get an ice pack and go to bed. This worked well and I tried to wean myself off the Ambien in hopes of being able to keep the brain training thing going. I have been off Ambien for a few months now but my sleep is crap. I have over the counter Tylenol PM in hopes of trying to sleep but nothing. Once the sun goes down I am fully awake. During the day, however, I fall asleep in less than 5 minutes and it averages about 15 minutes all the way up to an hour depending on how tired I am. So I figure if I watch the shows I was watching when I fell asleep during the day at night, maybe that will help. Nothing. I try to get 8 hours of sleep but I usually end up lying in bed tossing and turning just trying to sleep. My brain is quiet, music is playing in the background, or a show that is my 'nap time' show, but still nothing. Other than going back on Ambien and taking a partial pill every night, I have no idea what else to do. I have tried meditation, I have tried complete silence (that is the worst), I have tried sound makers, rain sounds, low music, low shows, everything I can think of. I don't drink sugar drinks, I don't drink coffee, I don't drink energy drinks. I eat at 6pm every day, I eat breakfast when I get up at 6:30, but within a few hours I'm so tired I am almost falling asleep in class. When I get home and lay down I'm out in a few minutes. No, I do not always nap. Some days I have lab so I am away most of the day and by night time I am tired, until it's bed time and then I am fully awake. Same for when I have to go to work. So the only reprieve I seem to get is that little nap in the middle of the day (no later than 3pm). I shower at about 5:30/6 so it's not close to bed time to wake me up. This is really frustrating and I'm at my wits end. Other than napping all the time and/or getting back on Ambien I have no idea what to do.
612551_tn?1247839157
It reads like you are on the right track... be very regular and get enough awake time physical activity (mental activity alone is not enough) .

It seems you have to somehow kick the nap, it may be upsetting you internal clock.

There are prescription medications that help one sleep that are not addictive like Abien - I don't' remember the name but can look it up if you get back to me.
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