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Forums / Staying well / SLEEP

Topic: SLEEP

  1. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    13 May 2016

    Hi All,

    In the past there may have been threads on sleep and how to improve our quality of sleep.

    I am starting this thread up and hope to include past thread titles.

    For some of us sleep is a real issue, the more we can learn about it the better informed we will be.

    Funny stories on weird places you have fallen asleep are welcome as well.

    For me, I had just moved house and was very busy getting everything organised. Friends invited me to the drag races. I was so tired and exhausted that I sat down, leant against the fence right near the starting line and fell asleep for most of the evening.

    Hope to read some of your stories and tips.

    Cheerio for now, from Mrs. Dools

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    13 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    Good one Mrs Dools.

    I am really struggling from lack of sleep. Some nights I just dont get any sleep at all. Other nights I may get an hour or so early on, then nothing. Other nights I kind of just doze and then count down each hour as it passes, without any sleep. In the end it is almost a relief when the sun comes up and I can get up, knowing that I have again been defeated by lack of sleep. I just feel so tired and worn out during the day. It is affecting my work and home life. So ........... anything that you have found helpful, I am willing to try.

    My GP has recently asked me to fill in a sleep diary and to go back to see him again to discuss. I have completed the diary, but not been back to discuss with the GP yet, but will do so soon. I really dont know what good it will do though. Has anyone else out there done this, and if so, what came of it for you? Helpful or not?

    I will follow this thread with much interest ...... eagerly awaiting your tips.

    Sherie xx

    1 person found this helpful
  3. geoff
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    geoff avatar
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    13 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof
    dear Mrs. Dools, yes a good post to start as of course all of us are totally different.
    I am one of the lucky ones, as I can sleep anywhere, on the loo and have been caught out when we were at a restaurant with friends.
    When my twin and I were young we would be playing outside, kicking the footy or doing something at the park right opposite our house and in a dead end street, where Mum would come out after lunch and blow a scout whistle calling my name as I had to go inside and have a sleep, no one else had to go inside just me, because she always said I get crotchety when I'm tired.
    Now a days not much has changed these days, because of the heavy dose of anti-epiletic medication I have to take, but I have always been an early riser. Geoff. x
  4. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    13 May 2016 in reply to geoff

    Hi All,

    Obey your body clock


    The body’s alternating sleep-wake cycle is controlled by an internal ‘clock’ within the brain. Most bodily processes (such as temperature and brain states) are synchronised to this 24-hour physiological clock. Getting a good sleep means working with your body clock, not against it. Suggestions include:
    • Get up at the same time every day. Soon this strict routine will help to ‘set’ your body clock and you’ll find yourself getting sleepy at about the same time every night.
    • Don’t ignore tiredness. Go to bed when your body tells you it’s ready.
    • Don’t go to bed if you don’t feel tired. You will only reinforce bad habits such as lying awake.
    • Get enough early morning sunshine. Exposure to light during early waking hours helps to set your body clock.

    I copied and pasted this from one of 1,870,000 results regarding Sleep Hygiene that I found on Google.

    These are suggestions made by one person/organisation. Your Dr. psychologist or therapist may suggest other ideas around this section of sleep problems.

    Of course for some people it will be difficult or impossible to keep set times for getting up each day. Guess we all have to work out what works best.

    Like I mentioned, this is one small snippet of advice from so many entries on Google.

    If any of you have any advice, I am sure we will all be thankful.

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools.

    4 people found this helpful
  5. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    13 May 2016 in reply to Missing user

    Hi Sherie,

    Regarding your Dr. asking you to fill in the sleep diary, I presume it is so the Dr. can see if there is a pattern or not to your sleep problems. Apparently there are all different types of sleep.

    If the Dr. can work out a time when you are having difficulty sleeping, then he/she may be able to come up with solutions to help you.

    I do suggest you return to your Dr to discuss this and ask what information he/she can gain from your sleep diary.

    Wishing you a better night's sleep!

    As I mentioned above, that is just the first bit of information regarding sleep.

    Cheers from Mrs. Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    13 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    Just had another thought regarding sleeping.

    Did anyone have parents or siblings who used to read them stories before they went to bed?

    Maybe listening to talking books might help some people, or have someone read you a story. My sister gets her daughter to read her stories when she can not get to sleep and it works for her. My sister is about 45 years old.

    Years ago I would listen to a cassette with meditation on it and that would send me to sleep. Only problem was, that with the old cassette player, when the cassette stopped, the machine would make a loud "Click" sound and I would be awake again. Ha. Ha.

    The sound of someone talking rather than singing has a soothing effect on some people. How many of you have trouble staying awake during a boring meeting or at Church during a sermon?

    Something to think about!

  7. Dwwmills
    Dwwmills avatar
    142 posts
    13 May 2016 in reply to Missing user

    Hi Sherie.



    Lack of sleep makes things very hard to deal with. There are
    sleep clinics and doctors who deal with sleep disorders. I have been to one
    myself and found them very helpful. There are lots of different reasons people
    have trouble either going to sleep staying asleep or feeling like that had
    enough rest even if they have slept. A sleep diary is the initial tool they use
    to give them an idea of what might be going on with your sleep. I had to fill
    one out before my 1st appointment. It tracks things like what time
    you go to sleep, how much sleep you get, how often you wake up, whether you get
    up and wander around, when you eat, caffeine intake, alcohol, medication and
    many other things.



    They will chase up whether your sleep cycles are out,
    whether you have some underlying physiological problem, review any medication
    you’re on and many other things. They are very thorough and because they
    specialise in sleep they are also very good at getting to the bottom of
    whatever problem you may have. Some hospitals and universities sometimes have
    sleep clinics attached to them and there are also private sleep clinics as
    well. Your doctor should know of any in your particular area.



    You don’t need to have a major sleep disorder to attend a
    sleep clinic. They will treat anyone who is having any levy level of difficulty
    with their sleep.



    Good luck

    Dean

    3 people found this helpful
  8. Elizabeth CP
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    13 May 2016 in reply to Dwwmills

    One thing I've found helps is to do something relaxing before going to bed or sleep. In my case I read for a short while in bed before turning off the light. This helps to calm my mind. I do it in bed as this avoids having to disturb myself getting up to get to bed if I read elsewhere. I try to switch off the laptop etc at least 1 hr before bedtime as the light apparently interferes with the production of melatonin which is needed for sleep. I notice if I try to sleep after being very busy I struggle so wind down time is essential.

    When you are in pain, too hot, uncomfortable or upset sleep becomes impossible.

  9. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    13 May 2016 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Mrs Dools, thankyou for the info on sleep diary. Certainly at the moment my sleep diary looks really bad. )-:

    Thanks Elizabeth, I must try to get into reading again. Something I used to love doing, but havent done much of for years.

    Dean, thanks for the details on sleep clinics. I will follow up with my GP when I see him, and see what he has to say on the matter.

    Certainly if this lack of sleep continues, I definitely need to do something.

    Sherie xx

  10. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    14 May 2016 in reply to Missing user

    Here is another snippet from the internet.

    Improve your sleeping environment


    Good sleep is more likely if your bedroom feels restful and comfortable. Suggestions include:
    • Invest in a mattress that is neither too hard nor too soft.
    • Make sure the room is at the right temperature.
    • Ensure the room is dark enough.
    • If you can’t control noise (such as barking dogs or loud neighbours), buy a pair of earplugs.
    • Use your bedroom only for sleeping and intimacy. If you treat your bed like a second lounge room – for watching television or talking to friends on the phone, for example – your mind will associate your bedroom with activity.
    2 people found this helpful
  11. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    14 May 2016 in reply to Dwwmills

    Hi Dean,

    Thanks so much for the information you have shared. Do you have any tips for helping people to sleep better? I do realise there are so many reasons that sleep alludes people. As you mentioned the sleep clinics can certainly help work out what the difficulties are.

    My husband has created a situation where he can not fall asleep unless he is watching the t.v. This means when we are on holidays I have to endure the t.v. going while I am trying to get to sleep. He starts to snore, so I turn the t.v. off only for him to wake up again and tell me he was watching it! Ha. Ha.

    Can anyone else relate to that?

    Thanks again for the info. It will benefit us all.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    14 May 2016 in reply to Missing user

    Hi Sherie and Elizabeth,

    I guess we could fill a few pages with reasons why people don't sleep well, so hopefully we will also come up with ways that help us to sleep!

    Regarding pain and not sleeping, there are pain clinics as well to help assist people deal with their pain. Don't know much about them though.

    Cheers ladies, sweet dreams! From Mrs. Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Dwwmills
    Dwwmills avatar
    142 posts
    15 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Doolhof.



    As I said before there are lots of reasons why people have
    trouble sleeping. Certain health problems can make it difficult to sleep. The
    sleep clinic do blood tests to determine whether these were a problem before
    they started treating anything else.



    As a general rule of thumb though waking up at the same time
    each day and being exposed to light at this time can help. My daughter had a
    sleep phase shift which meant she wanted to go to sleep later at night than
    most people. They treated this by progressively having her get up earlier and
    earlier and reading in front of a specific wavelength and intensity of light for
    a couple of weeks. We had had trouble getting her to go to sleep at night but
    after this treatment it reset her sleep patterns so that she felt like going to
    sleep in a normal time. But this only works if you have a sleep phase problem.
    Surprisingly though, waking up an hour later on weekends can shift your sleep
    patterns 2 to 3 hours later for the entire week.



    Having a lower level of light a couple of hours before you
    go to sleep can help. Restrict alcohol and caffeine intake later in the day.



    One of the things they check in people if they snore is
    something called sleep apnoea. This is a condition where the soft palate closes
    over in the throat and people stop breathing. It disrupts sleep as they have to
    wake up to breathe again and some people do this several times an hour. It’s
    not something that they are necessarily aware of but they get very poor quality
    sleep

  14. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    16 May 2016 in reply to Dwwmills

    Hi Dean,

    Thanks for adding more to this post! My husband was diagnosed as having sleep apnoea, was given a machine to try and then refused to use it.

    We now have separate bedrooms as he snores as loud as a freight train sounds rumbling down the track. I've never slept well, so moving to a different room helps a little.

    I'm having a sinus operation in July which will also correct a twisted section in my nose. I'm hoping that will help me breathe a lot better at night.

    Once that has healed, I might enquire about the sleep clinic. I had not realised they conducted such an intense investigation!

    Thanks again for the info. I do recall hearing something about the light wavelengths as well. Great info!

    Cheers from Mrs. Dools

  15. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    16 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    Here is the next instalment off Google:

  16. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    16 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    ARRRG. Bother! I will try again:

    Think I need some more decent sleep. Ha. Ha.

    Avoid drugs


    Some people resort to medications or ‘social drugs’ in the mistaken belief that sleep will be more likely. Common pitfalls include:
    • Cigarettes – many smokers claim that cigarettes help them relax, yet nicotine is a stimulant. The side effects, including accelerated heart rate and increased blood pressure, are likely to keep you awake for longer.
    • Alcohol – alcohol is a depressant drug, which means it slows the workings of the nervous system. Drinking before bed may help you doze off but, since alcohol disturbs the rhythm of sleep patterns, you won’t feel refreshed in the morning. Other drawbacks include waking frequently to go to the toilet and hangovers.
    • Sleeping pills – drawbacks include daytime sleepiness, failure to address the causes of sleeping problems, and the ‘rebound’ effect – after a stint of using sleeping pills, falling asleep without them tends to be even harder. These drugs should only be used as a temporary last resort and under strict medical advice.
    • To this I could add drinking coffee and binge eating chocolates. Although they are not drug - drugs, they still can have a mild effect like a feel good drug to some people but don't help you sleep.
    • Some people believe in a cup of warm milk before bed with a biscuit.
    1 person found this helpful
  17. Brent01
    Brent01 avatar
    18 posts
    17 May 2016
    Hey everyone with just being diagnosed with depression and anxiety etc,i struggle to sleep but when i do i wake up at different times and my stomach instantly starts turning at the thought of going to work has anyone else had this it worrys me quite alot
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  18. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    18 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    Relax your mind


    Insomnia is often caused by worrying. Suggestions include:

    If you are a chronic bedtime worrier, try scheduling a half hour of ‘worry time’ well before bed. Once you retire, remind yourself that you’ve already done your worrying for the day.

    Try relaxation exercises. You could consciously relax every part of your body, starting with your toes and working up to your scalp. Or you could think of a restful scene, concentrate on the rhythmic rise and fall of your breathing, or focus on a mantra (repeating a word or phrase constantly).

  19. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    18 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    General suggestions


    Other lifestyle adjustments that may help improve your sleep include:

    Exercise every day, but not close to bedtime and try not to overheat yourself – your body needs time to wind down.

    Try not to engage in mentally stimulating activities close to bedtime. Use the last hour or so before sleep to relax your mind.

    Don’t take afternoon naps.

    Avoid caffeinated drinks (like tea, coffee, cola or chocolate) close to bedtime. Instead, have a warm, milky drink, since milk contains a sleep-enhancing amino acid.

    Take a warm bath.

    Turn your alarm clock to the wall. Watching the minutes tick by is a sure way to keep yourself awake.

    If you can’t fall asleep within a reasonable amount of time, get out of bed and do something else for half an hour or so, such as reading a book.

    If you have tried and failed to improve your sleep, you may like to consider professional help. See your doctor for information and referral.

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    18 May 2016 in reply to Brent01

    Hi Brent,

    Thanks so much for sharing your story here as well.

    For all of you reading this, Brent has a thread called "Problems sleeping with depression" you might like to check out some of the helpful information and suggestions that have been shared on that thread.

    Hi again Brent, some of the suggestions in the information I have posted from the internet might help you. There are some helpful ideas under GENERAL SUGGESTIONS.

    Would it help you to have a worry time and hour or so before bed. You could write down all that is troubling you and work out if those thoughts will actually eventuate.

    When you wake up in the night, you can remind yourself you have already dealt with those issues.

    Could you read a book for half an hour to help your mind think of something else, count sheep or sing a song in your head, anything to distract your mind.

    It takes a while to get into the habit of doing this.

    I also try to do something pleasant in the mornings as a ritual for "happiness at the start of the day" before I go to work. It might be to do some stretches, play with the cat, go for a walk, feed the chooks, do a Sudoku puzzle. It helps me to look forward to the morning.

    I then think of something enjoyable I would like to do when I get home. I work for the elderly in their homes, so my days are never the same. Sometimes I will have a couple of hours to spare between clients, but don't really have the option of going home, so I try to use that time productively as well.

    Even if it is just sitting in the sun in a park enjoying the sound of the birds.

    This is quite a long post already! Would you like to share what it is about work that has you feeling this way? Maybe if we help you work that out as well, you might feel better about work. Or maybe not, but at least you will have had a chat about it!

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

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  21. blondguy
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    18 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    Hello Mrs Dools

    What a terrific and necessary topic Nice1

    ElizabethCP and yourself have mentioned turning off Laptops and having a television in the bedroom. So true!

    • Cellphones....Overstimulate brain activity before bed. Even better...turn them off to avoid any new calls
    • PC's Tablets ipads...Same as cellphones...Give your brain a break and turn off at least 30mins before bed
    • Loungeroom TV...Best to avoid fast paced movies or 'heavy' programs before bed..Give your Brain a Break

    Great Thread Mrs Dools :-)

    Kind Thoughts

    Paul

  22. Elizabeth CP
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    18 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    I read a book about sleep some time ago which I thought had some good ideas. Points it made were:

    The worst thing we can do is worry about not sleeping as that stops us falling to sleep

    Relaxation is almost as beneficial as sleep so trying to relax at bedtime rather than trying to sleep helps as it stops you worrying about not sleeping. Often this will lead to you falling to sleep bt if you don't the time is still allowing the body chance to rest effectively.

    One suggestion that I found helpful (unfortunately I stopped doing it & need to get back into it) Once in bed find a particularly pleasant image of somewhere you went in the past. This should be a place associated with nice relaxing memories rather than somewhere overly exciting. Imagine yourself back in this place & then notice all the details about it including pleasant feelings. The idea is that the process of imagining you are back in this pleasant place helps block all the other thoughts or worries which stop us sleeping. The book recommended sticking to the same place each night so over time thinking about this place becomes a trigger to relaxing & sleep. I haven't described the process as well as the book which I don't have but it is worth trying out.

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  23. Brent01
    Brent01 avatar
    18 posts
    18 May 2016
    Its not just work i wake up in the middle of night instantly my brain worries which makes my stomach turn,and i just think 5o myself i dont have the motivation to do anything even house chores its so hard to even get the energy for
  24. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    19 May 2016 in reply to Brent01

    Hi Brent,

    My Dr. suggested to me that when I can't sleep, to get up for a while and do something relaxing but not too stimulating.

    To write down what was hassling me, then to return to bed thinking of something pleasant.

    I know that is not always easy to do! I awoke at about 3.00 a.m. this morning more out of pain in my back then any worries. Then my brain started to think about my back and my pain. What if the pain gets worse? What if I aggravate my back at work today? What if I can't get any more sleep, then my back will just be so tense? So on and so on!

    Then I decided enough was enough. I wanted to rest and relax even if I didn't get back to sleep. So I concentrated on my breathing and took long deep breaths. My mind raced away again so in my head I was counting my breath in and my breath out.

    I dozed on and off and felt more relaxed when I did decide to get.

    Finding motivation to do things can be difficult also. Can you try to just tackle one job at time?

    I will get up in the morning and think okay I need to feed the cat, the chooks, the fish, wash the dishes I didn't do last night, water some pot plants, do some washing, sort out my paper work on the table, do my exercises, go for a walk... before I go to work. Trying to put all of that in one mouthful is just far too much to swallow!

    Instead I prioritise what I need to do. Feeding the creatures and myself is a good place to start. I will try on thing at a time, concentrate on that activity then move on to something else if I have the time.

    Believe me this doesn't always work! Ha. Ha. My husband hiding in the office while I am racing about like a scolded cat is proof of that. Ha. Ha.

    We all have good days and others where we really struggle.

    Hope sharing this helps.

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    19 May 2016 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Elizabeth, Paul and Everyone,

    Thanks for sharing your information. Elizabeth, what you were writing about sounds a little like Visualisation. I was taught this to help me with my depression and Borderline Personality Disorder.

    If anyone is interested in this, I am sure you will find loads of information and ideas on the internet.

    When I was taught the Visualisation, the person talked me thorough relaxing the body, then to imagine a safe place to be. It could well have been a happy place from the past or whatever came to mind.

    Beaches and the sea are always my peaceful place, so I naturally thought my mind would take me to a beach. I was surprised to find my mind taking me on a journey through green lush bushland to the base of a small waterfall with a pond of warm water where I could swim and then lay on a large rock, full of the sun's warmth.

    I'd like to suggest people check out visualisation and see where your mind leads you. If at first you take a journey down a dark path, add some light and peace and look around the corner so to speak for somewhere better.

    Happy Visualising people!

    Cheers, Mrs. Dools

  26. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    19 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    Okay, just one more from me...and I will try to keep it short!

    Just acknowledging the information on SLEEP HYGIENE that I have posted here was from the internet and presented by the Better Health Channel, Victorian Government by their Health and Treatment team.

    There are also titles like Sleep Education on the net also.

    One sight I looked at earlier is called Twelve tips to improve your sleep. People might like to check that one out too!

    Bye. Told you I would try to keep it short! Ha. Ha.

  27. blondguy
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    22 May 2016 in reply to Doolhof

    Hello Mrs Dools

    I have had a few queries on sleep...so I thought I would resurrect your thread. I use a small calmative before bed and to me its Gold. Its not a sleeping pill but an anti-anxiety controlled med.

    Sometimes we need crutches not only to walk...but to sleep:-)

    Kind Thoughts

    Paul

  28. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    22 May 2016

    I have been having a lot of difficulty with sleep of late. Some nights I have been getting no sleep at all, other nights a may get occasional snatches of sleep for an hour here or there. Other nights I have been lying awake all night and then finally get to sleep around 5am in the morning, only to have to get up 2 hours later.

    When I saw my GP last week he decided to put me on medication which is used for ptsd-related nightmares and sleep disturbances. I do have ptsd, and went through a difficult period in February and March, and my sleep since then just never seemed to recover. Some EMDR treatment I have been having over the past 6 weeks has probably also contributed to the sleep problems. And although I am not having nightmares as much now, the GP says that I may not always even be aware of it.

    So, after having used this new medication for the past 3 nights, I have to say that I am most definitely getting improved sleep. So fingers crossed that I can finally get some decent sleep again ......... I will keep you posted.

    Sherie xx

  29. Betty B
    Betty B avatar
    1 posts
    22 May 2016

    Hello everyone,

    I am new here, im not sure where i should be posting my introduction! I am also a little bit techno challenged! Im posting here as its discussing sleep. Mmm since an operation at the end of March ive had strange symptoms, mainly popping muscles, nerves feel like they are quivering, and a flutterin low in belly. At night i wake on and off and im trembling, i tell myself i am safe and calm, sometimes this works, and trembling eases. I use medication for nerve pain, and have started taking small dose of an anti-anxiety medication. My symptoms started two nights after surgery, no Dr is able to explain to me whats wrong with me. I am now anxious about how im feeling. Sleeping without these awful feelings is getting harder as time goes on. Any tips or advice from anyone would be gratefully received! Thanx in advance!

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
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    Doolhof avatar
    8756 posts
    23 May 2016 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Paul,

    I am certainly no expert on sleep, just trying to find out solutions and information for myself and others having trouble with sleep.

    I've asked my Dr. on numerous occasions for sleeping medication, even if it is just half a dozen tablets to help my body get used to sleeping again, but he has always said No.

    It is great if these anti-anxiety pills are helping you. My Dr. is doing what is best for me and probably thinks I take enough medication with my depression and also my back problem. He has to make sure they balance each other out and don't interact too much.

    Having a crutch is good!

    I've been off line for a few days thanks to a technical hitch...me! I don't do technology too well!

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

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