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Monday, June 17, 2013

169

The Secret to Health Is Sleeping Through Everything

Think you do just fine on five or six hours of shut-eye? Chances are, you are among the many millions who unwittingly shortchange themselves on sleep.

Here is one of those internet stories that you start reading, with genuine curiosity, hoping to learn more about your own sleeping issues and how you can be a better, healthier person from here on out. "I am among the many millions who unwittingly shortchange themselves on sleep!" you think, brightly. "This is just the thing for me." And then, right off the bat, it gets bleak:

Failing to get enough sleep night after night can compromise your health and may even shorten your life.

and suddenly bleaker:

Several studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain.

...and bleaker:

In addition, metabolism slows when one’s circadian rhythm and sleep are disrupted

yep, bleaker:

The body’s ability to process glucose is also adversely affected

bleaker, still:

The risks of cardiovascular diseases and stroke are higher

and somehow even bleaker:

The risk of cancer may also be elevated in people who fail to get enough sleep.

And then, suddenly, the article is over, and all you have really been reminded of is that you have a new thing to keep you awake at night. Happy Monday. I'm going to go drink more water.



169 Comments / Post A Comment

fondue with cheddar

Fuck, I suspected all this was true but my insomniac self was afraid to research it.

fipkiyet

My roomate's mother earned $19329 last week. she is making an income on the computer and moved in a $321200 home ======wep6.com=====

MmeLibrarian

Speaking as someone with a toddler (read: in the throes of a homegrown sleep deprivation study with a population of three), the contrast in mood/sense of well-being/coping abilities between the days when we sleep well and the days we sleep poorly is *incredible*. Reading this reaffirms my commitment to our decision to sleep train the hell out of my kid. It's an incredible amount of work, given our miserable little sleeper, but it's apparently medically necessary. So onward.

iceberg

@MmeLibrarian TELL ME ABOUT IT. I am pretty much a caffeine-fueled asshole.

Heat Signature

@MmeLibrarian Both of my kids are/were terrible sleepers as babies, but my five year-old grew out of that stage by the time he was about three. My nine month-old, on the other hand, continues to not only wake up a few times each night but ALSO does not nap well during the day. It's a winning combination.

gv
gv

I love that weight gain is considered bleaker than a shortened life span.

frigwiggin

@gv Yeah, I'm not super cool with that.

packedsuitcase

@frigwiggin Glad I wasn't the only one who thought that. Between 5 extra lbs and 5 fewer years, I'd be pretty worried about one and not so much about the other (hell, between 50 extra lbs and 5 fewer years I'd still only be worried about losing 5 years).

steponitvelma

@gv I guess I just assumed it was listed in the order it appeared in the original article? It was more the piling on of bleakness, rather than increasing degrees of bleakness.

frigwiggin

@steponitvelma Some folks don't see weight gain as bleak or a bad thing, though. I'm happy that The Hairpin mostly doesn't promote or engage in fat-shaming and fat-negative talk (quite the opposite at times), which is why it's so jarring when it does happen, as in this post or in that weird hot-dog essay.

steponitvelma

@frigwiggin That's a really fair point. Although I will say I'd rather gain weight because I ate a ton of hot dogs rather than because I got too little sleep. But still, good point, weight gain doesn't necessarily equal bad.

KeLynn

@steponitvelma Same - I didn't think it was supposed to be in order of awfulness, just that every little detail piled up made the whole thing bleaker.

meaux

@packedsuitcase. See, I'd rather have a shorter life span because the only thing bleaker than a "lack of sleep will kill you article" is a "your now-longer life span means you can never retire" article. Outliving my money is a BIG fear of mine. So I'm staying up late tonight, yo.

milenakent

It's about time we hear real music again...@n

Mark Foster

@frigwiggin ...Yes, me too! Champion sleeper. My main recommendation is...develop an underactive thyroid? Yup, that's done the trick for me pretty well.reverse your diabetes today pdf

Linette

I would like to be the first to endorse therapy as a method for getting over your sleep issues, whatever they are.

Used to be a Grade A insomniac who would lie there at night panicking about everything I was doing wrong until 5 am, or sleep in sporadic bursts that didn't feel like sleep, just worrying and tiny breaks between worrying to realize, oh, I'm awake again.

Now I sleep so hard I cannot be waken by anything short of a bird trying to dive-bomb my window.

Don't ask me how I know that.

fondue with cheddar

@Linette I'm so glad you found something that works for you! I don't stay awake worrying, for me it's more sensory. I have a hard time getting comfortable and relaxing because every little sound/movement/tickle bugs the hell out of me.

Linette

@fondue with cheddar See, I had that TOO. I had all the things. I mean, obviously this is what worked for me, may not work for other people, All the Caveats, but I recommend giving it a whirl even if it seems like totally normal sleep issues.

I slept last night with the swamp cooler on and the window open to car traffic half a block away and my boyfriend's arm slung over me, and trust me, this would have been unicorn levels of never-gonna-happen for me not two years ago.

ach_so

@fondue with cheddar That could be anxiety-related as well.

grizzle_bees

@Linette I never thought of using therapy for sleep issues (everything else though, check!). I am seethingly envious of my boyfriend's ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat, anytime, any place, under any circumstances. In order to nap, I have to take a Benadryl, pull all the shades, put a pillow over my head, and repeat to myself in my head "Okay. Relax. Let go. You're tired. You're going to sleep now."

AND IT NEVER, EVER WORKS.

Linette

@shart_attack You know, it wasn't so much that I was specifically trying to solve my sleep issues, but I found the better my mental health was, the more my sleep issues dissipated. Sleep's one of those crappy things that the more you focus on it, the less it works. It's like a reverse The Secret. The Insult.

fondue with cheddar

@rosinator I see how it could be for some people, but in my case I think it's just that I'm hypersensitive to sensory stimuli. Sleep is just the time where my hypersensitivity presents more of a problem. Sometimes I wish I could sleep in a sensory deprivation tank. ;)

klemay

@Linette I tried going to therapy for sleep issues, and then the therapist prescribed me Ambien. That created a whole host of new, interesting sleep issues! I started shopping online in my sleep.

whizz_dumb

I just really like being awake, and it's killing me. Suicide by consciousness.

garli

I am a black belt champion olympic level sleeper. I wish I could figure out how to teach other people how to sleep as well and make millions.

fondue with cheddar

@garli WHEN YOU DO TEACH MEEEEE

heroicdestinysquad

@garli Same here. And my boyfriend is an A+++++ insomniac. Every once in a while he'll ask me what my sleep tricks are and all I can say is, "ummm...well closing my eyes helps, have you tried that?" and then he gets very sad.

stonefruit

@garli Oh my gosh, me too! ... Although in my case it's a direct result of the SSRI family of drugs. I would medal in sleeping if it were an Olympic event.

whizz_dumb

@heroicdestinysquad "and then he gets very sad" made me laugh. I am a bad person.

fondue with cheddar

@heroicdestinysquad I ask my boyfriend that all the time and he has no idea what to tell me, either You know that "falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow" thing? That happened to me once. I have no idea what it feels like to wake up "refreshed." It sounds amazing.

@stonefruit SSRIs help you sleep?!

par_parenthese

@garli My mom's whole side of the family is like this. One of our family stories is about the time one of my cousins got home from a night out (not even a little drunk), couldn't be arsed to go to her bedroom on the second floor, and so just flopped down, shod and fully-clothed, on the bottom three stairs and proceeded to get her full eight hours.

I, on the other hand, require an absurdly specific scenario to sleep well, and even then, the vibrate setting on my phone wakes me up 100% of the time. (I CAN almost always get back to sleep if I wake up though, which is good.)

stonefruit

@fondue with cheddar Oh mama, do they ever. (I take them for panic disorder --> they slow me down and allow me to sleep well.)

garli

@all Since I have no idea how to teach any of you I propose a slumber party. I have been known to take great naps in weird spots too.
1. Disneyland on a bench.
2. The warped tour, in a planter. (Stone cold sober)
3. On a train with broken ac when it was 110+ (F)*

*My best friend who was on the train with me is still pissed that I "left her alone" to sweat it out. 10 years ago.

Amardine

@garli Yes, me too! Champion sleeper. My main recommendation is...develop an underactive thyroid? Yup, that's done the trick for me pretty well.

fondue with cheddar

@stonefruit I have a problem with depression and not panic, so I'm already kind of slow. And yet still can't sleep. I startle easily in reaction to sudden noises, but other than that it's not a problem.

@par_parenthese You're lucky. I have trouble both falling asleep and staying asleep. If I wake up in the middle of the night, any of the following things will keep me from falling back asleep: opening my eyes, moving or my partner moving, talking or being talked to, touching or being touched, noise, sunlight (if it's early on a summer morning). If I wake up and have to pee I will usually hold it because it's less difficult to fall asleep with a full bladder than it is to fall asleep after getting up to pee.

fondue with cheddar

@garli YOU ARE A SLEEP JEDI

Apocalypstick

@fondue with cheddar Beware: it's more like they make you unconscious. If there was a fire or something you'd be screwed.

iceberg

@fondue with cheddar I have the brain-won't-slow-down problem with trying to get to sleep, but once asleep am very hard to wake. Mr. Iceberg snores on head-to-pillow contact but is apparently woken up by every single tiny noise and/or movement. Bizarre. Also my favorite BB at night is the Quiet One because she falls asleep in about 2 seconds and proceeds to snore like a chainsaw alllll night long.

garli

@Amardine Maybe I have an under-active thyroid? But I imagine that I would have noticed that in some other way.

@fondue with cheddar AWESOME.I shall build a lightsaber in my sleep and kick it with Yoda.

[sic]

@garli Once, I fell off the top bunk in a sleeper compartment on a Russian train. Didn't wake up.

It's quite handy, really: depression makes me sleepy, and so do antidepressants. Migraines? Sleepy. Migraine medication? SleepiER!

Sleep is my destiny.

fondue with cheddar

@Apocalypstick Hm...that's not good because my boyfriend is a pretty sound sleeper so he would not make a good backup (I'm his backup). We have entire conversations while he's still asleep.

@iceberg My dude is similar except instead of noises it's worrying. But he falls asleep right away, too. Many a bedtime conversation has ended in me saying, "I can't believe you're asleep already."

@[sic] Lots of things make me tired, but nothing makes me sleepy.

honey cowl

@garli SOULMATE! I fell asleep on the floor of a tiny hipster concert venue in high school! While the horrible hipster "emo" music was playing!

garli

@honey cowl Long distance high 5!

@Apocalypstick I slept through every middle of the night fire alarm in college dorms unless some one shook me awake. Dito all night time earthquakes. In a natural disaster the required being awake to save yourself, I'd die instantly. I guess there's worse ways to go?

KeLynn

@garli - I slept straight through the house next door getting bulldozed down. If there is ever a life-threatening disaster, I'm as good as dead!

rajvansh

Hair Building Fiber oil™ 2400 - Hair Loss Solution-For Men & Women‎ Original Hair Building Fiber Rs2400 As Seen On TV. Pay Cash On Delivery.

queenofbithynia

oh my god, fuck you, New York Times, fuck you to hell. Yes, I am cheating myself of sleep because I require me to wake up at a time that gets me to work at 9:30 a.m., when I then require myself to stay there for nine hours, and then I do it again the next day and the next one, or I will fire me.

this is like, are you cheating yourself of wealth and prosperity by paying yourself less than you're worth for the job you do? Yes, New York Times. Yes. It was me. I did that.

sorry I am only mad cause I haven't slept in 33 years.

Amphora

@queenofbithynia Yeah, what is this "unwittingly"? I KNOW when I don't get enough sleep and I HATE EVERYTHING until I can lie down again.

par_parenthese

@Amphora Right? "Unwittingly." Yes, NYT, I completely did not realize that I didn't go to sleep until 1:30 this morning! THAT must be why I couldn't drag my ass out of bed today!

causedbycomma

@queenofbithynia OH GOD This is so timely considering I only got 3 hours of sleep last night due to a deal closing. And it was TOTALLY the fault of the lazy-ass lawyers on the other side of the deal. THEY ARE KILLING ME. LITERALLY.

Briony Fields

@queenofbithynia YES. I have a job with really weird shifts, which means I leave the house at 6:30 several days a week, and work until 9pm others. Sometimes these happen on the same day. Therefore, I sleep 5 hours one night, and ten hours the next. Trust me, I have tried, regulating my schedule in this industry is not possible. The only solution is to quit, and as my visa is tied to my job, that also means a move to another continent. Which is not possible at the moment. So suck it, NYT.

I recently took a massive paycut to cut down some hours so I can actually BE RESTED. I will now live paycheck to paycheck which I don't like, but seriously. I'm tired.

Faintly Macabre

@Briony Fields That happened to me when I was a teaching assistant. Three days a week, I had to leave by 7:30AM (not as bad, but I have trouble going to bed before 2AM). On one of those days, because of tutoring far away, I never got home before 8:30PM, and then had to get up at 7 the next day and do work-babysit-practice until 11PM. Other days, I didn't work at all and spent half the day in bed. Better than consistently little sleep, but so unhealthy and so much dread of those two terrible days.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Sometimes I think if I could pick a superpower other than flying (duh), it would be the ability to fall asleep whenever, wherever. Also, I think our culture has an interesting relationship with sleep and wakefulness, as illustrated by the items the young man in line behind me at the grocery store was purchasing: several energy drinks and a box of ZZZquil sleep aid.

elissa_what?

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Or the ability to freeze time for everyone else while I catch up on my sleep! Sleep-related fantasies...

Hilarious about the guy at the supermarket. I've done the same, but with melatonin pills and coffee.

stonefruit

Okay, but they will pry my Saturday afternoon naps from my cold, dead hands. Sunday afternoon naps, too, come to think of it.

noodge

...and I had just managed to calm some of my anxiety about not getting enough sleep - trying to balance school with work with social life with the things I love to do. I figured "hey, it's ok - you don't NEED to get a full 7-8 hours of sleep"

Thanks.

fondue with cheddar

@noodge I read somewhere many years ago that Thomas Jefferson got a mere four hours of sleep a night.

[sic]

@fondue with cheddar Then again, so did Margaret Thatcher.

noodge

@[sic]

i totally heard THREE EVIL CHORDS in my head when I read your reply.

queenofbithynia

also you know what would be great would be an all-sleep dedicated blog. As the Wirecutter is to whatever the Wirecutter writes about, so would this be to sleepy pill reviews and thread counts and buckwheat hull pillows and foam technology. you could call it "death's brother" or something. All I want to read about is mattresses, all day long. I just bought a mattress and I still only want to read about them, forever.

elissa_what?

@queenofbithynia That would be awesome! And I love your title suggestion. I just received for my birthday a water-based therapeutic pillow, and I need a dedicated place to go to sing its praises...

queenofbithynia

@elissa_what? water pillow!!!! I did not know they had those but I want one. Meanwhile I am interested in inventing a sort of scuba helmet so that a person could sleep completely underwater without drowning.

(it would look just like the dream helm in Sandman, obviously. also it would double as burglar protection because if you broke into someone's home to harm them and you saw a person floating in a large human-tank, sleeping peacefully, wearing that thing, you would run away. obviously. this is a multi-purpose invention.)

laurel

@queenofbithynia I love it. In keeping with the pointy theme of the Awl sites:

The Sheep's Horn
The Feather Quill
The Crescent Moon (no, Balk would balk)

apples and oranges

@queenofbithynia Can you elaborate on your mattress buying experience? Or places to read about mattresses! I'm trying to find one and I don't really know what I'm doing.

elissa_what?

@queenofbithynia YES. It is the Mediflow Waterbase pillow and it's amazing. You can adjust the support by adding or taking out water. I get terrible knots in my neck, and while it doesn't get rid of them it makes it a lot easier for me to find a comfy position to fall asleep.

I want to sleep underwater! Or in space! No stress on my muscles, please!

Apocalypstick

@elissa_what? Does it sloosh?

iceberg

@elissa_what? I want to see a zero-g sleep experiment!

elissa_what?

@Apocalypstick No, you push all the air out of it before sealing it. There's also a padding on the side where you lay your head, so the water is not the main thing you feel. It's also much heavier than a normal pillow, which I like because it stays put through the night.

My parents had a waterbed when I was growing up (pretty much the grooviest thing they ever did) and I fondly remember that slooshing!

RK Fire

@queenofbithynia OMG, "Death's Brother", I am dying here from giggles..

downwiththeship

@elissa_what? aren't you afraid it'll... like... pop? in the night? and then your bed would be a lake :(

elissa_what?

@downwiththeship I only filled it halfway because I like medium support; I don't think it's really filled enough to pop. Also it seems really well constructed. I was worried it would leak the first night, but I've been using it for ten days now and no leaks!

Aaaand now I sound like some kind of menstrual product commercial.

queenofbithynia

@kangerine Well, first I tried to look up online how to buy a mattress by Googling exactly that, and was unable to cope with the information and the prices and had a little mental breakdown.

Then I went to my local Mattress Discounters, which you may look up (the one in DC on Capitol Hill) on Yelp if you want to see an amazing collection of exclusively one-star reviews. They were all true and I learned how to yell at a mattress salesman (the only mattresses under $600 were in twin-size only, leaned against the wall in the far back so you could not even feel them let alone lie on them. & when I asked about them, he struck an attitude and said they were no good and would not last more than a year and were only purchased for guest rooms, everybody knew that. since I have been sleeping on an even cheaper one, the only one I ever owned, for the last 9 years, my mattress poverty was offended. he was a terrible man.

anyway then I fell into an insomnia panic and bought the very cheapest memory foam mattress that Amazon Prime had to offer -- the Lucid by LinenSpa (or the LinenSpa by Lucid?) It had uniformly good reviews all except for the one that says it collapses after 4 months -- I have had it for three weeks so we will see. Many people complain about a chemical smell but it was not bad at all, only I have had many more and more vivid dreams since it arrived, perhaps toluene (sp) induced? If so I count that as a plus. I was always pro-firmness and pro-springiness and anti-foam, but my back is all broken and knotted now and my collapsed and painful old spring mattress was putting me off, so I gave memory foam a shot. So far I like it.

& in my preliminary searches I found a site called sleeplikethedead.com which is full of fascinating reviews of products I cannot afford, that might help you some.

Heat Signature

@queenofbithynia Buckwheat hull pillows! I have one and I love it. Although, I have to admit I'm intrigued by the idea of a water pillow.

Apocalypstick

@queenofbithynia Memory foam toppers are also a pretty good substitute for a full foam mattress <3

lasso tabasco

Yes, yes, yes. I'm normally really good at going to bed at a decent hour and sleeping through the night, but lately I just cannot go to bed. I want to read one more chapter! I want to stay up and chat with my roommate for one more hour! I spent all day at my office, I want to do MY stuff! All night long.

anachronistique

@lasso tabasco UGH this is my problem, I recently struck up an internet friendship with someone who shares almost all of my fannish interests and we have great conversations.... but she lives on the West Coast and I keep looking up and going OH SHIT IT'S AFTER MIDNIGHT because she is still chugging away when it's way past my bedtime.

TIMEZONES!!!

fondue with cheddar

From the things they mentioned, I have a problem with most of them:
• memory? yes.
• learning? yes.
• creativity? hell yes.
• productivity? yes.
• emotional stability? oh yeah.
• physical health? yes.
• heart? TBD
• lungs? No, I think they're okay.
• kidneys? I had a kidney infection a couple years ago, else okay.
• appetite? yes.
• metabolism? fuck yes.
• weight control? another fuck yes.
• immune function? yes, and getting worse all the time.
• disease resistance? see above, I guess?
• sensitivity to pain? yes.
• reaction time? maybe?
• mood? fuck yes.
• brain function? yes.
• depression? oh holy hell yes.
• substance abuse? potentially, yes...which is why I stay away from that shit.

Does the possibility that many of these could be improved by somehow figuring out how to make my body sleep well make me feel better? I'm not sure.

causedbycomma

@fondue with cheddar Yeah, I think this article is aimed at a very small subset of people who don't sleep even though they are able to, and have the time to. For the rest of us it is just designed to make us feel bad (and of course to generate page views).

fondue with cheddar

@causedbycomma It said it was the first of two. I'm hoping the next one will be aimed at people who don't choose not to sleep.

elissa_what?

For me, procrastination is the biggest enemy of good sleeping habits. Like, I had all weekend to do a few important things and of course I didn't really get started until 10:00 last night, so I was up half of the night and then had to get up early this morning to finish. And it took me forever to fall asleep at 3:00 am because my brain was still racing from trying to get all this work done, so of course I had one of those stress dreams where you have to go back to high school to finish one credit they forgot to make you do and you can't even remember your locker combination.

And I drank a whole pot of coffee this morning so now I'm about to crash and start the whole cycle again... :-(

par_parenthese

@elissa_what? Oh meeeeee toooooo on this one. It's like my body has a daily productivity (I say "productivity" but basically anything other than reading the entire internet counts as productivity) quota, and if I don't get through it before 11, then by george, I will begin being productive AT 11.

elissa_what?

@par_parenthese I think the fact that my favorite websites stop updating around 10:00 is actually a pretty big factor here...

Blushingflwr

@par_parenthese Part of my problem is that my body's ideal sleep schedule is midnight to 8:00 AM. But that is not the ideal schedule for my daily life at present. So I am fighting my self. And then I get home, and I'm sleepy at 7:30, so I think "I'll just read one chapter/watch one episode" but then it is 11:45 and I wide awake. And then of course I go out on a Saturday night, stay up till 2 and fuck the whole thing up.

laurel

Fuck off, NYT. The only thing keeping my insomnia from ruining my life is that I don't worry about it any more. I just treat it like more reading time. Or baking time.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@laurel Sooooooo can I come over and read on the couch while you bake? Because then for me it could be eating-fresh-made-baked-goods time as well.

laurel

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

baking : insomnia : : pie and coffee : breakfast in bed

karenb

i have recently started two-phase sleeping, like a pilgrim. not intentionally, but i almost always sleep from 11-3, and then again from 4-7 (or whenever i wake up/my alarm goes off). it used to really bother me that i was awake in the middle of the night for no reason, but now i just hang out on the couch and read with the cats. they love it, anyway.

par_parenthese

@karenb A friend of mine is obsessed with two-phase sleeping! He's convinced that we need to re-structure our whole society around two-phase sleeping + siestas.

aphrabean

@karenb This sort of naturally happens for me & I do not love it. Maybe I should just embrace it?

karenb

@aphrabean i originally didn't love it, but i found that stressing out about how i was awake made it much harder to get back to sleep, and so did just lying there, staring at the ceiling. (or being angry at my snoring partner, how dare he be asleep when i wasn't!) so now i get up, read a few chapters of a book, go the the bathroom, and head back to bed to try again. some warm milk in there (YMMV) doesn't hurt, either.

karenb

@par_parenthese i would love a siesta. 3pm is totally my crash time, which i avert with tea at lunch, but if i could avoid the caffeine, that would be better. (no carbs at lunch helps, though).

royaljunk

@karenb yes to two-phase sleeping! Lately if I'm not going out in the evening I've been taking crash naps right after work, say 5-7, then having dinner (it helps if dinner is leftovers or takeout so I'm not eating at 9 PM) and doing whatever until bedtime. I feel SO MUCH BETTER.

fondue with cheddar

Can we talk about sleeping pills? I need a solution because my dude is vehemently against sleeping in separate beds/rooms (not that that would completely solve the problem, but it helps). I would need to take something at least five nights a week, but I'm scared of side effects and dependence and withdrawal. Tell me about your experiences!

lemonadefish

@fondue with cheddar two benadryl and a shot of tequila works wonders... I haven't had much luck with any actual sleeping pills. But you need to take it about 9.5-10 hours before you have to be awake again (or at least I do).

Briony Fields

@fondue with cheddar What about sleeping with separate covers? This is necessary for me if I want to sleep in the same bed with my dude. I am an island when I sleep, sharing covers is the devil. Ok, you have probably tried that.
I took some pill that doubles as an antidepressant. It put me the fuck to sleep but I feel really weird/off the next day. It was...trimi something....ah sorry! I don't have the packet anymore. I also sleep verrrrry well after any amount of lorazepam, but that's addictive, apparently. You need higher and higher doses for it to be effective if you take it regularly, and I need it to work when I have panic attacks, so I avoid that route.

fondue with cheddar

@lemonadefish I don't think Benadryl makes me sleepy, just dopey (NyQuil keeps me awake all night). But doesn't alcohol affect sleep quality?

@Briony Fields I've thought about separate covers, but it would only solve a tiny portion of the problem, and it actually might create a new problem in its stead (one thing that drives me up the wall is bunched and wrinkled blankets on my feet, which are hard to avoid when it's not stretched across the whole bed.

I could use an antidepressant, but feeling off the next day is not good. I feel off already! ;)

karenb

@Briony Fields yes! my partner and i are both burrito-sleepers, so sharing covers is not a thing we can do - separate duvets, with covers, so you can wash them whenever and don't need sheets. i required the duvet covers to match, but inside they are our own preference, too, which is good, since he is a furnace and i am chilly.
@fondue with cheddar - i pop an over-the-counter sleeping pill if i am still awake over 30 mins after i try to sleep, it's basically a benadryl, most of the OTC sleep aids are antihistamines, i've found. gravol/dramamine should work, too, and not last long enough to make it hard to wake up in the morning.

RNL
RNL

@Briony Fields Was it trazodone? I took that for a bit.

Zopiclone (I don't know it's US name) is like the Cadillac of sleeping pills, but it's also addictive. The good ones are. (Some people also find it leaves a metallic taste in their mouths).

I take melatonin from time to time, and that helps, and Tylenol pm. I think you're not supposed to take either regularly, so I like to mix it up.

Good luck!

grizzle_bees

@fondue with cheddar My shrink prescribed Vistaril to me, which is essentially a super-potent version of Benadryl. I take it on an as-need basis and always have a great night's sleep with only the tiniest bit of grogginess in the morning, if I give myself at least 8 hours to sleep it off. And it helps with my seasonal allergies, too.

damselfish

@fondue with cheddar Have you tried melatonin? I take 1 mg on the nights I know I'm not going to get sleep before 4 (something about 4 am is the magical hour?) - about an hour before I want to sleep. No one warned me of the side effect: melatonin is the hormone your body makes to be more sensitive to the sun. Right. I knew that. Didn't realize that sensitive to the night/day cycle also meant the morning. Not only does it put my ass to bed, but at a certain brightness sneaking past my shades I'm up like somebody tossed me out of bed.

I hate waking up at the crack of dawn but damn does melatonin make me perky!

Caitlin Podiak

@fondue with cheddar I'm 99.999999% certain that cannabis is less toxic than all of these options except perhaps melatonin. Smoking will help you fall asleep but not necessarily stay asleep for longer than a few hours, but an edible or tincture made from a pure indica strain will almost definitely do the trick.

mlle.gateau

@damselfish I have also had great luck with melatonin. Apparently it's also a hormone that is associated with reduced stress, so I find it's kind of double-whammy because my sleep issues are associated with hormone changes and anxiety, so it reduces my stress level as well.

Beyond this, having a bed time routine also helps, and I avoid computers/TV for about an hour before bed. I've also for years stopped doing anything but sleep in bed. I may read, but I only read books I've read before so the suspense won't keep me going.

fondue with cheddar

@everyone I have seasonal allergies too, so I'll consider the antihistamine route (the only thing I ever take is generic Claritin specifically because it doesn't make me drowsy. I haven't taken Benadryl in a long time, and I don't remember if it makes me sleep or just makes me groggy and awake the way NyQuil does.

I've heard a lot about melatonin but I understand it's only safe for short-term use, which is why I haven't tried it. I would need to take something every day, or at least any time I have to wake up early, which is most days.

@Caitlin Podiak Cannabis has never helped me sleep in the past, but I haven't tried edibles so maybe that would be better. They legalized medical marijuana in my state but I'm not sure how to go about getting it. I feel like flat-out asking my doctor will make him suspicious of my intentions, especially since I've told him I smoke occasionally. Sativas are great for my depression.

klemay

@fondue with cheddar I mentioned upthread that I was prescribed Ambien by a therapist and it honestly just made things worse. I would fall asleep, but then I would do weird things in my sleep (like shop online?? and try to cook??) and then I would feel EXHAUSTED and loopy for like, four hours after waking up. I stopped taking the Ambien after like, 5 days.

fondue with cheddar

@klemay Yeah, my sister-in-law also had weird issues with Ambien which made her stop taking it. We just had a discussion about sleep meds the night before this post went up (weird!), but she doesn't have to take it every night so she doesn't have to worry about tolerance or addiction.

Caitlin Podiak

@fondue with cheddar I'm not sure how it works in different states, but here in California people typically go to specific doctors who are sympathetic and supportive of medical cannabis, since most primary care doctors aren't comfortable putting their names on the line by writing recommendations.

fondue with cheddar

@Caitlin Podiak Understood. But how does one find such doctors? Is it just word of mouth? I'm not sure who to ask, because I the only person I know who has a medical marijuana card lives out of state and she grows it herself anyway.

Caitlin Podiak

@fondue with cheddar Well, here they advertise as offering medical cannabis evaluations, so it's easy to look them up on Yelp or whatever. In states that are less blase about it they might stay more under the radar...I would guess word of mouth and/or online reviews.

fondue with cheddar

@Caitlin Podiak Wow, there's a medical marijuana page on the NJ Department of Health web site where not only can you find a doctor, but there's information on how to qualify. Unfortunately, their list of approved medical conditions is very limited and I don't qualify.

Caitlin Podiak

@fondue with cheddar Sorry to hear that. :(

But I think I read recently that NJ might be working on liberalizing or expanding their cannabis laws, so maybe sometime in the future you will qualify. (Or you could just move from NJ to California! I did, and it worked out great for me!)

fondue with cheddar

@Caitlin Podiak That sounds promising! I'll keep my ear to the ground.

Actually, my boyfriend went to college in Colorado and really wants to move back there. And now you don't even have to have a medical reason there! He's got kids though, so I don't see any major move happening for at least a couple more years.

Ping

@fondue with cheddar I have suffered from all kinds of sleep problems, including tossing-and-turning insomnia and falling asleep but not feeling refreshed, for about 15 years. Here is what works best for me. First, I take Ambien every night. (Am I "dependent" on it? Yes. I do not sleep without it, but that was my situation well before I got the prescription.). I set it in a little dish so that I can take it after relaxing in bed for a while -- it doesn't work if I take it when I am too wound up, and it's better to wait and then sleep ok than to jump the gun. Second, if that hasn't worked after a sufficiently long window, I take some Tylenol PMs. Third, if I can tell the night is still going to suck, I accept it, based on my experience that I am still pretty high-functioning and will get through it. As will you.

Ping

@Ping BTW, I have never had the weird night-eating or night-shopping side effects sometimes reported with Ambien. My doctor says that long-term use can cause memory loss . . . but so can long-term sleep deprivation.

fondue with cheddar

@Ping Good to know that someone isn't getting the weird side effects. I definitely suffer from memory loss, so that might be a wash.

I haven't tried Tylenol PM (I pretty much never take medication, so even common stuff like that isn't on my radar), but that sounds like a good option. Thanks!

Ruchi Sharma@facebook

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Ruchi Sharma@facebook

No addiction powder  is an ayurvedic  solution for any kind of drug  addiction be it alcohol, ciggrate, drugs tobacco  etc. no addiction is 100 % safe herbal  product that help addicts to quit anyharmful substances addiction. According to the cancer  research institute people who abuse substances such as drugs, smoking,  alcohol, and tobacco  are  30% more vulenrable to life taking deseases. E.g, Cigarette smoking can lead to lung cancer, lever cirrhosis is mainly casued my ALCOHOLISM,  Drugs can lead to brain damage, and Tobaaco cause mouth cancer. 

No Addiction is 100% safe guaranteed result orinated with no side effects treatment for addicts to these substances.

Briony Fields

The best cure for my insomnia was leaving my abusive partner. I slept for dayzzzz after not sleeping a wink for months. Bliss. Second best cure was therapy. I still have a few emerg sleeping pills on hand but honestly, I only take a quarter of the pill and just knowing that I have taken it (even if it's not enough to be effective) is enough that I can relax and sleep. Wtf, brain.

iceberg

@Briony Fields I'm glad you're out. (hugs)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Briony Fields Sometimes when I can't sleep, just knowing there's a Xanax in the bedside table drawer in case things get too nuts is enough to relax me into snoozetown.

Briony Fields

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Isn't it magical? You don't even need to ingest the drugs, they work just by being in the proximity! God bless pharmaceuticals.

RNL
RNL

The worst thing is that sleep begets sleep. I just finished two weeks from hell, and was lying awake Friday night while my boyfriend happily snoozed FREAKING OUT that I would never sleep again. Only after a few days am I able to actually sleep a full night.

Verity

God, I love sleep. It is the best thing. (I used to have insomnia a lot but it's so much better now, although I'll never understand how some people can just fall asleep as soon as the go to bed. It takes me about an hour.)

Ruchi Sharma@facebook

No addiction powder  is an ayurvedic  solution for any kind of drug  addiction be it alcohol, ciggrate, drugs tobacco  etc. no addiction is 100 % safe herbal  product that help addicts to quit anyharmful substances addiction. According to the cancer  research institute people who abuse substances such as drugs, smoking,  alcohol, and tobacco  are  30% more vulenrable to life taking deseases. E.g, Cigarette smoking can lead to lung cancer, lever cirrhosis is mainly casued my ALCOHOLISM,  Drugs can lead to brain damage, and Tobaaco cause mouth cancer. 

No Addiction is 100% safe guaranteed result orinated with no side effects treatment for addicts to these substances.

Diana

Yo, I'd like to chime in for a moment for all the 'Pinners out there with crippling, life-ruining insomnia that is not in any way tied to psychological or mental states or conditions. When I was staying awake for three days at a time twice a week, when I was hallucinating and losing my memory and completely ruining my life, I cannot tell you how profoundly unhelpful it was to have doctors tell me it was 'too much stress' (YA THINK) or worse yet, some kind of higher-level anxiety. I've been unable to sleep properly literally my entire life - my memories from ages 5-7 all involve watching the sun rise. Unless you're suggesting that 6 year old me had a crippling existential anxiety, shut the fuck up. I had such a terrible fear of sleep aids because I knew people who abused them, and I was afraid of being waved off by suspicious medical professionals. Well you know what? My brain is just fucked up, nobody knows why and it doesn't matter, because taking Ambien for the first time was a goddamn miracle. Now I can sleep more than twice week and I'm a functioning human being. For all the ladies out there who can't sleep, for the love of god, there IS help out there. We live in an age of miracles.

Briony Fields

@Diana I'm glad you're finally getting some sleep!

I was exactly like you as a child, up all night, slept terribly as a teenager, insomnia through my twenties, etc. Two years ago I was suffering from serious insomnia, like not sleeping for days on end, and after months of trying everything possible I went to see my doctor. And her response? "You should cut out coffee. Do you play sports? You'll sleep if you exercise." Like, I've agonized over this problem for years and you're suggesting the absolute most basic steps? OF FUCKING COURSE I EXERCISE AND DON'T DRINK COFFEE! Argh! I mean, I understand why doctors are hesitant to prescribe meds but fuck, what an awful dismissive feeling that was.

Here's to getting good rest!

par_parenthese

@Briony Fields Dude, that is the worst when health professionals assume you're totally incompetent. I understand that they have to check their little boxes, but if they would at least acknowledge it, like, "OK, since this has been going on so long, I'm going to assume that you've done all the normal things like cutting out caffeine and exercising and eating well and having good sleep practices. Right? OK. Let's run through the second tier possibilities really quickly -- anxiety? stress? depression? do you feel safe at home? etc. -- and then we can discuss how we can address this together."

fondue with cheddar

@Diana My dad has chronic sleep problems and headaches, and he's generally very healthy. He's got a very good doctor who figured out that he had a cyst on his brain stem that is not cancerous or lethal, but affects his melatonin production or receptors (I forget which).

I have switched to this doctor because he actually listens and cares and tries to figure out what is wrong instead of just treating the symptoms (or dismissing them outright).

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Miss Maszkerádi

I have the worst sleep habits. Especially right now that I'm in the vacation lull between the end of the semester and the start of summer courses/work/stuff, I'm pretty solidly on a 3AM-11AM sleep schedule. I hate it but I cannot get out of it, advice would be welcome.......

Basically I feel like I would be a generally happier and more productive human if I were a morning person, but every fiber of my being cries out in horror when I try to make it happen.

ETA: Also, does the "Get more exercise to develop better sleep patterns" thing backfire for anyone else? The more exercise I get, the more energy I have, and on days when I go to the gym I'm more likely to be all wound up and pumped and then look at the clock and whoops, 3 AM.

carrie80

@Miss Maszkerádi I think it depends on how intense the exercise is and when you do it? I feel energised after a run, but it doesn't last that long. And a short yoga session can definitely help me wind down.

I'm an indifferent but not bad sleeper. I have to sleep with an eye mask and have a problem with the "just one more webpage/TV program/chapter" thing, but that's mostly it.

Justine Larbalestier wrote a couple of years ago about how she cured her own insomnia with an incredibly strict routine.
http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2008/02/27/insomnia/

Megasus

I sleep a lot, and I'm pretty fat, so. I am definitely not a person who can function on only 5-6 houts anyway. MAYBE MY 8-9 HOURS IS ACTUALLY A NORMAL PERSON'S 5-6!? :O

rajvansh

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Ruchi Sharma@facebook

No addiction powder  is an ayurvedic  solution for any kind of drug  addiction be it alcohol, ciggrate, drugs tobacco  etc. no addiction is 100 % safe herbal  product that help addicts to quit anyharmful substances addiction. According to the cancer  research institute people who abuse substances such as drugs, smoking,  alcohol, and tobacco  are  30% more vulenrable to life taking deseases. E.g, Cigarette smoking can lead to lung cancer, lever cirrhosis is mainly casued my ALCOHOLISM,  Drugs can lead to brain damage, and Tobaaco cause mouth cancer. 

No Addiction is 100% safe guaranteed result orinated with no side effects treatment for addicts to these substances.

Ruchi Sharma@facebook

No addiction powder  is an ayurvedic  solution for any kind of drug  addiction be it alcohol, ciggrate, drugs tobacco  etc. no addiction is 100 % safe herbal  product that help addicts to quit anyharmful substances addiction. According to the cancer  research institute people who abuse substances such as drugs, smoking,  alcohol, and tobacco  are  30% more vulenrable to life taking deseases. E.g, Cigarette smoking can lead to lung cancer, lever cirrhosis is mainly casued my ALCOHOLISM,  Drugs can lead to brain damage, and Tobaaco cause mouth cancer. 

No Addiction is 100% safe guaranteed result orinated with no side effects treatment for addicts to these substances.

Ruchi Sharma@facebook

No addiction powder  is an ayurvedic  solution for any kind of drug  addiction be it alcohol, ciggrate, drugs tobacco  etc. no addiction is 100 % safe herbal  product that help addicts to quit anyharmful substances addiction. According to the cancer  research institute people who abuse substances such as drugs, smoking,  alcohol, and tobacco  are  30% more vulenrable to life taking deseases. E.g, Cigarette smoking can lead to lung cancer, lever cirrhosis is mainly casued my ALCOHOLISM,  Drugs can lead to brain damage, and Tobaaco cause mouth cancer. 

No Addiction is 100% safe guaranteed result orinated with no side effects treatment for addicts to these substances.

Ruchi Sharma@facebook

No addiction powder  is an ayurvedic  solution for any kind of drug  addiction be it alcohol, ciggrate, drugs tobacco  etc. no addiction is 100 % safe herbal  product that help addicts to quit anyharmful substances addiction. According to the cancer  research institute people who abuse substances such as drugs, smoking,  alcohol, and tobacco  are  30% more vulenrable to life taking deseases. E.g, Cigarette smoking can lead to lung cancer, lever cirrhosis is mainly casued my ALCOHOLISM,  Drugs can lead to brain damage, and Tobaaco cause mouth cancer. 

No Addiction is 100% safe guaranteed result orinated with no side effects treatment for addicts to these substances.

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