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What is the best thing to do when you cannot sleep?
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What is the best thing to do when you cannot sleep?

Hey, group members (omhome,. dalubabu are u still around) just want to know what to do about insomnia and pain.  I have many, many nights when I am up till the sun comes up.  I try the breathing and visualuzation, music, and TV but t get anxious cuz I need some sleep--it's the only time I am actually  not in pain and I feel much better the next day if I sleep.

I have ambien, but it often does not work or works only a few hrs.  I start freaking out cuz of the pain and it's dark and I feel so alone, etc.

Any specific suggestions?
23 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
cindee---wow-- this is a tough one and i would betcha a bunch of us experience this too.  It's weird for me because i don't hafta do anything the next day usually. I could just put "don't disturb" up. BUT---i could be at a hotel with that sign up and still feel like i had to be functional during the "day". Such powerful conditioning (grew up in Texas in 50's). And i am trained-certified-counselor-yogi-yoga teacher-blah-blah-blah!!.  
      Cindee----do you have to be "functional" o n a regular basis? Job? Kids? Appts.?  
       For right now!   Just decide that well since it seems i will be effing awake and anxious then WHY DON'T I CINDEE DO THIS----ok cindee i know i know i know---learn spanish (first the most powerfull curse-cuss words?HA!) or memorize a poem by emily D----or burn an effigy---put it out before you fall asleep!!!-----FIND out if you can write or paint or play (drums especially if your husband is not empathetic to your situation!!HA again. Cindee----my trick is to as best i can have the attitude that "so what---i'll just sleep better whenever i get the chance. (i know cindee--blah de blah).but that's all i got right now hon.   love ya   omhome
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606340_tn?1371501412
  Hi mine is alot like omhome in that you tell yourself that its okay if you can't sleep right now. I just tell myself "Okay maybe I can't sleep but I will lay here and at least get a good rest. Then I clear my mind from the tape we usually run in our heads (daily activities, etc.) Then I work on mentally going to my "happy place" mine is effortlessly floating in a warm pool with my ears under the water so I can feel my breathing getting more shallow and I just relax like I never have, I don't have to worry about going under. and if you want you can play very gentle tapes of water sounds or whatever you like. I works for me! It takes some practice to reach that state but its fun to perfect it. Enjoy..........
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Avatar_m_tn
there is the three letter word that is the most important part of a practice---FUN!---FUN!----FUN!     Heck just chant that while smiling and !!!!.    
      The mind will be your partner if it is fun.  And you will do it if it is fun. SO pick a practice that is fun.  No frowning.     Very beautiful aheart.   omhome
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387767_tn?1345875627
Thank you both.  Om, I'm glad you're around.  Answer - no, I dont have a lot to do cuz I can't do anything. I do have to bathe and get dressed and if I have a dr. or test appt. I'm a mess, but most days I just do iittle things--lots of online stuff, try to move and get up a bit, go thru mail, dust my room a bit and get my vitamins organized but , sadly, not much.  But I don't want the pain and can cope better in day--nite is scary.  That is my worst and I need sleep too.

I do have a white noise machine and fan.

Pretty sad, huh.  I could stand not sleeping if the pain isn't so bad, but it's really hard and my hubby gets mad if tv is loud or i try to talk to him (even if he's up too).  

I pray a lot ....
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139792_tn?1299416777
I am sailing in the same boat. i am 81.For all my life i have been searching methods to get restorative sleep and to leave smoking I miserably failed in both the quests.I smoked even at the time cremation of my wife 2004.I left smoking in2005.None of the methods worked for me, I stopped smking by chance only.For sleep I take 1 mg of alprozolam and 5mg of zolpidine.This gives me 5 hours sleep.Still I am trying to find a technique to beak this habit. My search is is in yoga, meditation,acupressure imaginary and holistic therapy.I may journalise my findings,which may help others in their research.
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Avatar_m_tn
cindee----have you tried melatonin----easy to read about and easy to get with very safe results in my experience. Can't hurt-----neither can a tea by Celestial Seasonings called Sleepytime! I use two bags. Check them out. Herbs can really help sometimes.  omhome
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Avatar_m_tn
hello again cindee and a friend who suffers with sleep issues swears by her Full Spectrum Light and some you buy are the lamp and bulb (these are not the grow lights or that kind of thing) and some just buy a bulb or tube---BUT with the low light of wintertime especially many here get depressed--don't sleep---eat weird--to fill the hole left by No Light---we need it for health and SLEEP and research shows it works but people don't believe it for some stupid reason.    So get one and try it----and don't fret over price (not much) It is SLEEP---may take a few days-----OK?  Try it.    omhome
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387767_tn?1345875627
Can I take melatonin with all my other drugs (xanax, ambien, antidepressant)?

I will ask hubby about the light--he is an engineer and used to sell lights for a living - we probably have one around!  

I really think it's the pain though,but I will try anything.

Love ya ( I am still working on my meditation, more like relaxing thoughts and breathing).  My psych told me about something called SQUARE BREATHING (I don't get in to see him much but talk on phone).  He said breathe in count of four, hold count 4, let it out count four.  Have you ever heard of this?  He said do it like 7 or 8 times to keep calm and lower anxiety.
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387767_tn?1345875627
Wait a minute--I messed it up, it's supposed to be a square.  I forgot--maybe breathe in for 8?  LOL
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Avatar_m_tn
Ask your doc or psych about the melatonin or research it online------and be sure and get a new generation light there is a big difference between now and a year or two ago and they just help out your general health and strengthen your ability to deal with the pain---better health=better strength=less sensation of pain!!
     As for the breathing never strain or force anything ok? If it is difficult at all to do any of the steps especially holding it in or out then try the count at 3 or two---do that until perfectly relaxed doing it and only then increase the count. The Fourth part of the square is when you exhale then pause there too.
     Remind me why you cannot take pain medications ok.   omhome
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Avatar_m_tn
!!!!!!Just go over to pain management and ask about melatonin---several docs there answer everything!!!  om
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2183581_tn?1369941147
Could be pain issues, could be anxiety issues....  one of the thing i do is have a routine. I start by getting kids and animals off to be. The follow with steaming hot bath, as hot as i can possibly stand but i dont wash my hair. I then scrub with lanolin and lavender and other herbal mixtur, some teas and spices use as a scrub to exfoliate your skin. I then wrap in a towel and warm up my rice socks extra hot so they cool off by the time i am ready to use. I the slther up with lavender baby oil and dress. Crawl into bet and wrap my self in rice socks. I then clear my mind and turn off all electronifs.
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2183581_tn?1369941147
Could be pain issues, could be anxiety issues....  one of the thing i do is have a routine. I start by getting kids and animals off to be. The follow with steaming hot bath, as hot as i can possibly stand but i dont wash my hair. I then scrub with lanolin and lavender and other herbal mixtur, some teas and spices use as a scrub to exfoliate your skin. I then wrap in a towel and warm up my rice socks extra hot so they cool off by the time i am ready to use. I the slther up with lavender baby oil and dress. Crawl into bet and wrap my self in rice socks. I then clear my mind and turn off all electronifs.
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139792_tn?1299416777
What are rice socks?
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139792_tn?1299416777
I read your posing and came to know about rice socks. I goggled it and found all the details I would be using it for my feet. I feel sensation of tightness or  feel as  if I have put on a tight socks.Drs label it as paresthesia. Its pathology is not known.Fomentation with rice socks may help.It is not a neurological problem.
I think it is known as a potli massage.Thanks for your posting.
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139792_tn?1299416777
You may Googal anulom pranayam as well
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Avatar_m_tn
the best thing is to "don't sleep".  When ya get a chance e-mail me cindee and we will discuss it there.   It is a pretty cool little trick that you can add to your "toolkit". OK?   Omhome
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139792_tn?1299416777
When you awake at mid night or at dawn, frequency of urination increases. Thia again adds to sleeplessness. For urine frequency, drink a little quantity of water. when you urinate, wait for some more time to urinate further. This is called double evacuation. This method teaches the bladder to empty completely.Urinary problem is age related. Prostate gland enlarges or bladder is irritated. One can learn to massage prostate to avoid prostate enlargement.There are 4 types of external prostate massage. Abdominal prostate massage, peripheral anal massage, Inner thigh massage.  Perineum massage.Goodle these phrases to get the details.
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3112530_tn?1342559764
Reading some of these posts scares me. I know there can be a lot of anxiety issues associated with pain at night. That is when the mind is programed to 'relax' from distractions. For me, my anxiety issues, I create a writing story in my head while I lay down. That is to say, I am creating a story that I want to write, most times a mystery and my mind gets so wrapped up in the details, I eventually fall asleep, either from exhaustion from the story or just can't organize the factors that I am trying to create in my head. Doing this takes away any 'white noise' I continually hear around me and keeps me focused on the story. (melatonin helps on bad days) Amazing what the mind can do at night...
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Avatar_m_tn
Aheart perfectly describes my idea of a spiritual practice---"it takes some practice to reach that state but it's fun to perfect it" !! You must find a style of practice that suits You---and attracts Your mind---and is FUN.
    Madman too seems to have found his "trick" and i want to read his creation! And Motowngirl has developed a "tactile" style of routine or practice that is comforting for her. And Cindee you are doing really good just be patient hon it will just keep working better and better as you practice. Dalubaba you are looking in the right places--and you know this "intellectual" style has become your practice and suits you perfectly!
    Everybody! A little pat on the back! Yes yes yes!    Omhome
      
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3112530_tn?1342559764
At one point in my life, I wanted to be a Journalist. I had two years of classes but at the end of the classes when I approached the professor about questions that needed addressing, I was told by this 'teacher' to print the news the people want to hear, it does not necessarily have to be the truth'. That is when I backed away from Journalism and went independent. I have written many articles and proud that I can print the truth but my goal was to write my own book with the history of my life being an autobiography. My goal failed when I remembered too many things of the past that had caused me pain and I had realized this until I started writing. That was my first experience of depression and I never want to go back there again.
Now it's dreams of what I want to write. That keeps my mind going at night and adds dimension to the already intensity of what they put on TV. At least this keeps my mind going at night and I eventually never finish the story as I drift off to sleep dreaming up the next plot or character. Does wonders for me.
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387767_tn?1345875627
Thank you for all the responses.  I am having a rough time with pain in my legs and back, and that is making it really hard to get in any position that is at least tolerable.

I appreciate all your suggestions.
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139792_tn?1299416777
Yog Nidra (divine sleep) for details,Google Yog Nidra.It is for 20 or 30 minutes.If done correctly, it is as refreshing as 4hour's natural sleep-yes, 4 hours.
Stage 1 Focus on breath. just watch, do not try deep breathing just watcn natural breath.
Satge 2 scan the whole body starting from toes to top. part by part.Toes, ankle,fore leg,knee,thigh, buttocks, lower back , upper back,neck, another legs part   and then head, brows,forehead,eyes, right nostril, left nostril,upper lip, lower lip, chin, cheeks, ears.In short one has to scan every inch of the body, including genital and excretory part.(In advance work one can go inside the body scanning every organ (take the help of anatomy chart.
Stage3; You have reached alpha stage.At this stage, All positive affirmation will be accepted and implemented by subconscious mind.In this stage you are in touch with your sub-conscious mind.
Stage 4 visualize about 25 simple objects like, car, dog,cloud, sea, sun, moon,Yogi under a tree,relaxing cat, and any objects.No need to concentrate on theses objects.
stage5 Repeat your affirmation.
Stage5 Here you can draw geometrical figures  mentally like triangle , circles etc.
This completes the yog nidra. Do not sleep for some time. This is a brief account on yog nidra.CDs must be available at every place in the world. Follow the direction given in CDs.This is a well researched techniques. This can be a first step in meditation.
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