Cures for Insomnia

No jokes, please, even though I know I would be the first to make one usually…

I’m sleeping 3-4 hours a night. I’m either completely manic (sorry about all the retarded/obnoxious posts, everyone), or awake but semi-conscious. I’m getting really sensitive to light and sound, I feel confused a lot.

I need to sort this out. I need to not get fired for being spazzed all the time or walk in front of a bus or something.

I also feel very, very unhealthy; kind of poisoned. I cut the caffeine and sugar, no alcohol. Trying to get to the gym which is making me physically tired but not sleepy. I will probably crash at the weekend because my body has to, but then it will just start again.

Any tips? Sleeping pills and most drugs are not good for me.

I know you said no drugs, but Stilnox (Zolpidem) 10mg works wonders. It will get you back on track for sure and it’s not a heavy sedative. If I take it at 10pm I sleep soundly until 7am. I go through bouts of insomnia, just as you’ve described, and I find I get anxious around “bedtime” cause I’m so worried about not being able to sleep again. This, of course, guarantees that I don’t sleep…[/i]again[i]

becomes somewhat of a stupid cycle.[/i]

Buttercup, are you a drinker? Have you just gone on the wagon? Perhaps your body is not used to going to bed without booze flowing through the veins. I think a bottle of wine before bedtime works well.

No, I hardly ever drink.

I know how you feel. I’ll be waiting for someone to come up with good advice here as well.

Unless you know where they sell “peace of mind” over the counter or on the internet. Then I’d be set.

I’ve been suffering the same for a long time.

My dad’s home remedy is eating pickles. Well, smelling vinegar, but any time I try it, I end up eating pickles. Hasn’t helped me yet, but there you have it.

Exercise helps. I consistently sleep well after playing hockey.
Not napping helps.
My iPod helps too. Rather than lying in bed, bored, I take the iPod and listen to some relaxing music or an audio book. Often helps, but when it doesn’t, at least allows me to rest.
Recently, being ill, I’ve resorted to hot toddies, with mixed results.
Changing my position in bed has helped too. Used to be that I had to sleep on my back (old neck injury), but recently, lying on my side has made a difference.

Oh yeah… peace of mind. Ease into sleep. Spend the last hour before bed being quiet. Do things quietly. Meditate.


Here is some existing thread about sleep problems, maybe you find some helpful advise there: Sleep Problem.

The only solution I found for myself is leaving Taiwan. Seriously, as soon as I leave this island I can sleep like a baby, but here nothing works (changed bed, pillow, moved to a new place etc. …).

Here are some alternative cures that can be tried out. They have been known to work on some people but it may not work on others. These cures are safe with no side effects and there is no harm trying them out.

Aromatherapy - Some oils like lavender oil can be bought at most supermarkets and pharmacies. The oils can be put in steaming water and inhaled. This can help to relax the body, helping one to sleep better.

Massage - A massage can help to relieve tension and stress, thus allowing one to sleep better.

Herbal Cures - Some herbal treatment for insomnia include herb teas, tinctures, pillow stuffed with herbs, herbal bath and message oil made of herbs.

Sleep habits - Sleeping in a well-ventilated room that has circulating fresh air helps.

                 Use the bed only for sleep. Avoid reading, working or watching television in bed. The mind needs to associate the bed as a place for rest. 

                 Sleep and wake up at the same time everyday. The body will be able to associate a specific time of the day for sleeping, and for waking up. 

                 Avoiding naps will cause the person to be more tired at bedtime and more able to fall asleep. 

Eating Habits - Avoid eating a large, late-evening meal with heavy, fatty foods before going to bed.

                  Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. Coffee , tea, chocolate and cola drinks are all high in caffeine. Alcohol and tobacco disrupt sleep and prevent  
                  deep sleep.

                  Have a warm milk drink before going to bed. Milk products contain an amino acid precursor that that converts into a compound which boosts serotonin in
                  the brain. This does not work with cold milk though.

Physical Activity - Getting some physical exercise during the day. Even 15 minutes a day of exercise will give the body the activity and oxygen it needs to help it relax more
and sleep better.

                     Take a walk or perform mild exercise such as yoga before going to bed. 

Relaxation Techniques - Muscle-relaxation exercises and meditation may be useful.

Hope this helps.

Do something nice and forget about all the bad stuff you have done. :laughing:

Just messing with ya, your not catholic are you?

Good sex. At the very least, a good DIY orgasm.

Chamomile tea before bed.

Stilnoct, stilnox and Ambien are all the same thing, right? Indeed, they worked like a charm for me at first, and I still recommend them highly for extremely short-term use such as getting over jetlag or times of stress. However, even after a period of two weeks of semi-regular use, I found my body didn’t respond as strongly to it as it did before and that sleeping without it was slightly more difficult. I also find myself becoming goofy and confused in the period after I’ve taken the ambien but before I felt sleepy. I have talked to a friend who has had hallucinations while on ambien. All this is just FYI. I still have a stash of it and dips into it on very select occasions (it’s also expensive, on top of everything.)

I have problems getting to sleep too. My mind churns like a hamster on speed spinning its wheel. My solution, such as it is, is listening to something that is interesting enough to hold my attention but still relativelly sedate and not likely to get me more worked up. I can’t tell you how many nights in Taiwan I’ve fallen asleep to NPR’s Morning Edition.

The problem comes when I’ve listened to Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Fresh friggin’ Air and I’m still not out. Once in a while, it happens.

Then the next day when I have to get up in the morning, I am sooooo tired. And I often drowse at inconvenient and inappropriate occasions when my energy level dips in the afternoon.

Then I finally get to bed at night…and find I can’t sleep :frowning: Back to Morning Edition.

Also, I know that there are now various sleep centers in Taipei where you check in for the night and they monitor your sleep patterns to sort out why you have problems falling asleep or why your sleep is not refreshing. The waiting list is long for those centers (I guess we have an island of insomniacs), but there is an out-of-pocket center if you are not covered by the NHI or don’t want to wait.

BTW, according to the article I read (can’t find it though its on the internets somewhere…) many people reported sleeping better in the sleep center despite the strange environment and being hooked up to equipment. I wonder if it is because they have perfectly dark, quiet, distraction-free, comfortable sleep conditions which most of us do not have at home.

There it is in a nutshell. The only thing I’d add is fear of not getting to sleep. On a typical insomnia-disturbed night I would start off worrying about all the fucked up things that had happened during the day, and then after a couple of hours of that, turn my mind to worrying about the fact I was not sleeping. Next thing you know it’s 5-6am and I still hadn’t slept. Some nights I would be climbing the walls and in tears over it. Indeed, insomnia ruled my life for about 20 years, and I (no joke) chose jobs and relationships to accommodate it.

Then something really serious happened. I took on a high pressure job early last year and the insomnia went into overload. Sometimes I’d go two, three nights without sleeping. I took drugs which made me depressed and suicidal. I kicked coffee and booze; no effect. My wife was going insane, and although she would deny it, must have been wondering if she’d made the right decision to marry me (we got hitched in Feb). I was just about to throw the job in when…

I discovered meditation. It was a simple matter of checking out a couple of web sites to get some tips on technique, and off I went. A duck to water. It was a life changing experience. These days it’s a regular habit like going to the gym a couple of times a week. Three times a week when I get home from work I lie down on the floor in our living room and run through my little mind routine. Effect: it clears my head of all the shit that has happened over the day, and rids me of any fear of not sleeping. I come out the end of a session (typically half an hour) feeling like my mind has been defraged. I still occasionally get sleepless nights, but they’re not really what I’d call insomnia - the mind churning and fear of not sleeping aren’t a part of the equation.

I’ve done experiments on the effect of not meditating - typically after a week I’m beside myself with anxiety. The bare minimum I can get away with before the old habits return is two sessions a week.

Meditation is not for everyone, but it sure worked for me. In all seriousness, I now consider my insomnia is cured.

double post

If you meditate, I find it’s possible to get the old kundilini rising effect going. That isn’t so great if you want to nod off. I think meditation can work though. It helps you stay rational.

I don’t generally have that much trouble getting to sleep but I have experienced insominia. It is frustrating. I think pills can help. You need a rational mind to go to sleep and if you are over tired you can become neurotic. Massage and sex work well. Dope’s not great. I don’t think it is a good idea to just lie there past a certain point. You need to get up and have a fresh crack at it later and you need a real distraction. When you go back to bed don’t think about yourself but other people. For example try to think of the names of all the kids you were in grade 2 with and what they were like. Embrace that semi-dream state when your mind makes totally irrational jumps just prior to oblivion; don’t butt in on it, wallow in it and you’ll soon be bathing in your beauty sleep.

Writing down all of my ideas/thoughts/genius has helped with my ability to sleep a lot. I would often get stuck in bed with a racing mind and then be driven out of bed to “work” on something.

My maybe not so useful tip is get a notebook and a pencil/pen.

Sometimes I have problems like that too - the one thing that really works for me is turning off the computer and tv a minimum of one hour before I go to bed. Then I take a shower/bath, stretch every muscle in my body, and settle down on the couch with an incedibly, massively boring book (but one I still want to read) and a cup of jasmine tea. Usually after five pages, I’m ready to sleep. If I get to bed and find the sleepiness is gone, well, I go back and read some more. Works like a charm. My favorite for this purpose is Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason”…


Excellent suggestion.

Hi, thanks for all your suggestions. I’ve been following this thread. Maybe concentration is the key. My job and other projects leave me constantly thinking about 10 different things, preoccupation about my future and my family back in the UK have been going through some hard times. Being focused, alert and in the moment, what ever the moment is, has always been difficult for me.

Have to get back into meditation. Aromatherapy works for me, but I hate being touched, so massage is an ordeal, not a pleasure. Sex, well, my source is not around, without going into detail… Chamomile tea; I don’t feel it calming me down, but it tastes nice and is caffeine free, so I’ll stick with it.

I really am wary of sleeping pills, as the only self control I have is to stay away totally. And I hate doctors and hospitals to the point where I have to be half dead before I’ll cross a hospital threshold.

Feeling better, today. I got very tired and sick, yesterday, I almost fainted in the street and I started crying which seemed to bring things to a head. I slept six hours last night so my body and brain had the chance to renew a little. Tonight should be better, I hope.

THANK YOU for taking the time to write all your suggestions, I really appreciate your kindness. I feel a little better and as if I can cope with it now, whereas I was really upset and on edge when I wrote the original post. Thanks for being nice to the crazy lady.


Excellent suggestion.[/quote]

Ouch. I haven’t read much philosophy in the past. Maybe I should try?

I’m reading the Jung Chang Mao biography, right now. History books are too thought-provoking, so I try and re-read books from my childhood. Re-reading is good because you know what’s happening. I just go through the Iliad again and again.