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Thread: Physically exhausted but mentally alert...how do you unwind?

  1. #1
    larasteele Guest

    Physically exhausted but mentally alert...how do you unwind?

    I've been home from work for an hour and a half now, and still don't feel tired.

    Correction: I'm physically exhausted but mentally still going.

    I struggle with insomnia in general, but after a week like this, the mind just doesn't want to quit.

    I've tried many strategies and techniques over the years, but am looking for some fresh ideas. How do you get your mind to unwind when you want to sleep but cannot?

  2. #2
    pasquali Guest

    How to sleep

    Larasteele:

    My dear friend, I shouldn't admit to this, but my psychiatrist approves of it nonetheless, but be aware and have a liver function (like I have) done, first. He's prescribed for me Seroquel and Lunesta. He approves of my combining either, or both, with a few beers (two). If your liver function is excellent (a simple blood test), then believe you me you will fall soundly asleep. Just don't overdo the alcohol. BTW, Seroquel gives you fantastic dreams, but one of its warnings is that significant weight gain is associated with its use, and I agree because it's a lot like smoking pot because it gives you the serious munchies. Lunesta, on the other hand, won't give you the munchies nor will you require beer with it. Please be careful as I'm only opening up to what I do. TV is a high stress business and many times I can't take my legal lunch break because broadcast TV tapes have to be made and FedEx-ed promptly. Not only that, but we're expected to be perfect (don't ask me about my supervisor's 1% rule of failure); I know stress.
    Quote Originally Posted by larasteele View Post
    I've been home from work for an hour and a half now, and still don't feel tired.

    Correction: I'm physically exhausted but mentally still going.

    I struggle with insomnia in general, but after a week like this, the mind just doesn't want to quit.

    I've tried many strategies and techniques over the years, but am looking for some fresh ideas. How do you get your mind to unwind when you want to sleep but cannot?

  3. #3
    PinkPanther_04 Guest
    I take diphenhydramine (Benadryl) when I really can't sleep. You probably shouldn't use it all the time, though.

    Other than that, reading something technical can put me out pretty quick.

  4. #4
    Starrypup Guest
    I feel the same way as you so often when I come home from the emergency room. You've been running yourself ragged for 12 hours and its hard to calm your mind enough to sleep.

    I have a pretty set routine when I get home all designed to make me ready to sleep. I keep the lights down low, do my nightly routine, get under the covers and either read a book that I'm semi-interested in or put on a TV show that I'm not interested in for background noise. I set the TV timer for 15 or 20 minutes. I try and stay away from the computer, because the display keeps you awake and reading say Ageless can easily get you riled up and thinking. This routine works for me, although there are still a few nights that I'm awake for a couple of hours... Occasionally, at those times I'll take 1/2 an ambien, but it makes me feel horrible in the morning.

    As to Pasquali's suggestion, I am surprised that there is a doctor that would endorse such a regimen. I don't really know what to say beyond that!

  5. #5
    kat7's Avatar
    kat7 is offline Senior Member
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    I have this problem routinely. As I've become older, it gets worse. I'm not that worried about things, it's just getting the mind to quiet itself.

    Combining drugs and alcohol is never a good mixture Pasquali. I don't care what your doctor says. Those are all powerful combinations that can lead to respiratory depression, not to mention addiction issues.

    As Zolie suggests, routines are good. I get in my hot tub if I can't sleep, but a warm bath accomplishes the same thing. I use lavender essential oil in a diffuser at times, or take a new combo out from Dr. Andrew Weil sold by Origins called Nite-trition. I also use a biofeedback thing on my computer from Wild Divine that is relaxing sometimes.

    Not everything works all the time. Sometimes I just accept that sleep comes when it comes.

  6. #6
    miu Guest
    For me, I would take a hot shower and then make a cup of non caffeinated tea. Then maybe watch something light and humorous on the tv. I usually have some episodes of House, MD or Ugly Betty on the DVR. I also like cuddling with my lab in bed. I like putting my ear to his chest and listening to his heartbeat and his breathing.

  7. #7
    Jody<3's Avatar
    Jody<3 is offline Registered member
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    I do that too...

    I don't do any of this (and I don't sleep well, I think I'm sleep deprived) however, it's important to keep a schedule or routine. The doctor I used to work for said you should never vary your bedtime by more than 15 or 20 minutes one way or the other, nor the time you get up. That's totally not possible for me...and that you should have a routine preparing for bed..like you know, take a shower, get a drink, read a book for 10 minutes, turn off the lights. He called it good sleep hygiene.

    I can't remember exactly what he said any more, but it was a rather short amount of time until your body adjusted to the schedule.

    I SHOULD put some of this into practice.
    What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

  8. #8
    larasteele Guest

    Thank you all for responding!

    I wanted to thank everyone for the responses. I have had problems sleeping for years; so many suggestions were things I had tried before.

    Pasquali, as to your suggestion: On the night I wrote this, I KNEW I would be needing help getting to sleep that night. I stopped and bought some beer on my way home, which has, in the past, made me sleepy at times. However, even the alcohol wasnít helping. I was thinking drunken thoughts, but I was still thinking and unable to relax, LOL.

    I also donít like the idea of mixing alcohol and drugsÖor weight gain as a side effect. In fact, I donít like drugs in generalÖI have to be really sick and unable to kick it to go to the doctor for medicine. I do appreciate the suggestion of Lunesta; however, I have tried many sleep aids in the past and they have left me feeling groggy and hung-over the next day. (Part of the reason I donít like medications.) Does Lunesta carry over into the next day like most do?

    PinkPanther: Benadryl! I have tried it, and it has workedósome of the time. However, it gives me vivid dreams and makes me groggy the next day, along with annoying dry-mouth. And that is only when it works. There are times when I tried it out of desperation, and even it was unable to make me sleep. Reading something boring sometimes helps, but mostly I lay there, read, get cross eyed with sleep; then the minute I close the book, my mind continues to work, and Iím still awake.

    Zoliepup: Reading Ageless IS part of my wind-down routine. I need quiet activities when I get home, as work is SO very noisy most days. I read online and play a game or two for about an hour; then take a bath, read, and try then try to go to sleep. SO, I do have a routine in place. Butówhen I lie in bed for more than an hour and still, havenít fallen asleep, I often get up and try other things. I leave the bed so my tossing and turning doesnít disturb my man, and try television; more time on the computer; more reading; going outside to look at stars. I have a bevy of nocturnal activities.

    kat7: Iíve tried essential oil and aromatherapy before as well. They are nice, but Iím not sure they are effective. I do like the scents though. I do know that the times I am most freaking out because I canít sleep, it is harder to get to sleep. I TRY not to force it and accept that Iíll sleep when I sleep, but itís hard. Especially when Iím staring at the clock, knowing I need to get up for work in six, four, two, etc, hours.


    Miu: I love what you said about your dog; cats are relaxing too, sort of. I like to listen to my kitties purr, but they donít like cuddling for too long.

    Jo-Admin: I work different shifts on different days, so keeping the same bed time and wake-up time does not work for my life either. Nice thought though; someday Iíll have a life I can put in order that neatly.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I really do appreciate everyoneís input. I hope I donít come across as ďMeh, tried all that, none of it works.Ē I have just been battling insomnia for so long, that there are a whole lot of things I HAVE tried before. Besides the things you all have suggested, I have meditated, written in my journal, listened to soothing music; Iíve done warm milk, chamomile tea, hot cocoa, hot toddies. LOL. Iíve tried and discarded more sleep aids than I can count. Iím hoping to find something that works consistently and is NOT a medication, but most techniques work sporadically at best.

    Thank you all for taking your time to help me out!

  9. #9
    jesique's Avatar
    jesique is offline 2 Legit 2 Quit
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    I don't know how helpful my advice will be because I've been having the same problems lately. LOL.

    If I need to sleep I try to stay away from the computer or the TV....I like to read a book. Also a hot bath helps.

    I'm a big fan of Tylenol PM....it's not as harsh as a perscription drug and it doesn't give me bad dreams or anything. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't though. But sometimes I can actually hear my mind quieting. Which is nice.

    I'll definietly be reading this thread also to see if there's anything I can do to turn my mind off at night!

    Nadine.

  10. #10
    scott2075 Guest
    Maybe heavy exercise will put you to sleep?

    OR

    You can do mind relaxation techniques. Control your breathing to a slow and steady pace and go to that happy place in your mind.

  11. #11
    Bob's babydoll's Avatar
    Bob's babydoll is offline Love is patient...
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    When I can't go to sleep, I try taking a hot shower, then I drink a mug of warm milk or decaf tea. Finally, I try to read a little bit. Chances are, my eyelids start getting heavy a few pages in.

    Sometimes, no matter what I try, I can't sleep. If that's the case, I try not to worry about it. My body goes on autopilot and I stay awake enough to get through the morning, and just take a nice nap in the afternoon.

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