New version of Toledo Talk

    July 17, 2007

Anybody ever have problems sleeping? - Some nights, (last night for one) I can just lay and stare all night long at the ceiling for no reason.

Anybody ever have that happen? I mean, I didnt eat supper excessively late, I'd done about an hour of CV excercise earlier in the evening, so the endorphins should have helped me drift off, I had no big 'issues' that I was worrying about that would keep me up, the only caffeine I had yesterday was a glass of iced tea with dinner... - I just couldnt sleep.

Any advice? Anyone ever use any over the counter sleep aids that they prefer over any other type?

Im just dragging today!

posted by billy to health at 8:34 A.M. EST     (33 Comments)

Comments ...

Billy, i have this problem often. I just use the generic "nite-time" sleep aid or tylenol pm if theres pain involved. Just make sure you have at least 6-7 hours to sleep so you dont get a "hangover" from it. They work well for me.
posted by tm at 08:41 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Tylenol PM does the trick for me/
posted by OhioKat at 08:58 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Been having that problem for a month now. Went to bed around 11:30 fell asleep about 2, and dragging today.

Are you sensitive to heat? It's been warmer than normal lately and some people can't sleep when it's hot.

Usually I find the best way to go to sleep is to read. It's calming. Usually watching TV is bad because it can get you hyper if it's something you enjoy, and will push you to stay up to finish.

Good luck today!

posted by jshriver at 09:41 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

On another note a 2-3 shots of whiskey ought to do the trick ;)
posted by jshriver at 09:45 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Im a freak, but the older I get, the whiskey actually keeps me up!! It's the wierdest thing you've ever heard of!!

back when I was young, I worked full time midnites and took a full load of night classes at bgsu.

I'd get off work at 6am, and could get in a good sleep and get up in time to do my homework if I went to bed 'right then'. Problem is, I couldnt walk in the door, shower, and go right to sleep - that and it was daytime, with sunlight and kids playing in the neighborhood...

I invested in some room darkening shades, a fan to provide white noise, and some high grade 'herb, and I slept like a baby and woke up refreshed and alert - a actually made the deans list twice during those couple years..

I'd do it to this day, but now they randomly make me pee in a bottle...

Im tellin ya, legalize the stuff!!

posted by billy at 09:58 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

For most folks, the older you get, the worse your sleep quality gets.

I've had sleep issues for 4-5 years. I've run the gamut of sleep aids. Tylenol PM worked for awhile, then lost its effectiveness. Switched to 1/2 tab of Unisom, that worked o.k., but my doctor ordered me to stay off that because of the side effects.

He then wrote me a prescrip for Ambien, which I haven't had to use yet (going on three weeks).

The worse nights for me are when I know I have to get up earlier than usual for a meeting, appointment, etc. and if I don't fall asleep by a certain hour the panic sets in and clock-watching starts. Once you get to that point where your brain won't shut down, you're screwed and you're walking through the next day in a haze.

Probably happens to me 25-30 times a year.

Don't do the alcohol 'treatment', LOL, odds are it will just keep you awake.

posted by McCaskey at 10:17 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Usually I find the best way to go to sleep is to read. It's calming. Usually watching TV is bad because it can get you hyper if it's something you enjoy, and will push you to stay up to finish.

Now thats the complete opposite for me 8-)

Im a freak, but the older I get, the whiskey actually keeps me up!! It's the wierdest thing you've ever heard of!!

Its not that wierd, many people don't realize just how much sugar is in whiskey. However my 86 year old diabetic (for 25 years) grandmother has a shot or 2 every night.

posted by tm at 10:17 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #


First don't treat the problem yourself. Ask your doctor for help. St. Lukes and the Medical College of Ohio both have sleep disorder clinics.

posted by bill at 10:38 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

My daughter has battled insomnia for about two years. It can be ugly when you are chronically sleep deprived. She finally went her to doc. He referred her to a sleep specialist. She is currently on a two drug regimen and finally getting some sleep. She resisted taking "anything" for far too long. If it doesnt resolve itself there is a lot of help avilable. Me - On nights where the day has been ugly I have two shots of Cask & Cream over ice at bedtime. I could sleep through a train wreck.
posted by holland at 12:37 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Cask & Cream

What is that?

Personally i prefer Knobs creek. very smooth and very strong 8-)

posted by tm at 01:15 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Trouble sleeping? Hell, I have trouble staying awake ;)

Try working-out hard if you can. Wear your ass out like you did as a kid and sleep like one. Too me physical activity is my sedative.

Sleep doctors say that alcohol as a sleep agent is a myth. A little may help calm you but, contrary to popular belief too much is hindrance to sleep. It may knock you out but it only allows 3-3.5 hours of sleep. Plus, it makes you pee.

posted by Offshore at 01:24 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Billy, the fact of the matter is if you're only having trouble getting to sleep a handful of times or less in the course of a year, you probably don't even need medication or see a doctor. It's just the everyday stress life lays on us all.

More than that, you may have an issue with insomnia/anxiety/or, worst-care scenario, depression (this doesn't sound like you).

posted by McCaskey at 01:38 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Rent a Maryl Streep movie, that should bore you to sleep. :-)
posted by JeepMaker at 01:49 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

bill - I think a little insomnia is not a reason to seek out sleep disorder clinics. That seems very extreme, because sleep disorder clinics tend to be more for people with chronic problems, or sleep apnea. Everybody in the world has insomnia now & then - it's not something you need to rush to a clinic or doctor for. So I respectfully disagree that billy should not try to do this himself & to call his doctor. His last resort should be prescribed sleeping meds. There are many good, over the counter sleeping meds he could try first. My daughter has struggled for years with extreme insomnia (partly because she keeps odd hours sometimes) & our doctor prescribed Ambian. She hated it - said it made her feel stoned, and didn't help her sleep much (which astounded me). I have a bottle of Xanax always on hand, because we never take it, so a monthly prescription can last 6 or more months easy. Nice to have on hand for nights you can't sleep (take one about 1 -2 hours before you want to sleep, it just calms you down - no icky side effects). 1 - 2 Xanax helped my daughter get to sleep. (small dose). I've heard from a lot of people who've said that prescription sleeping pills can often leave you groggy the next day. I can't speak to that - never tried them. But before you rush off to a clinic or doctor (kind of like shooting a mosquito with a shotgun), I'd try over the counter stuff first. One thing that helps me get tired enough to doze off, is I'll turn the tv volume completely down, put on closed captioning, and try to read a book (nothing to interesting). I try to focus on the dark in the room, & the silence - everything is so quiet. It does help. Good luck. But I wouldn't worry too much - like I said, this is a normal thing for everybody at some point.
posted by starling02 at 01:55 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

My sleep aid.

posted by holland at 02:13 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Have you considered trying yoga?
posted by mom2 at 02:23 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

I don't anymore bend in all those places required and it just doesnt taste the same. In my doctor's office they have a poster up for yoga classes for stress relief. It sates boldly that you must be able to devote at least two hours daily to yoga. If I had two hours daily to fritter away I would'nt have any stress or need yoga or an occaisional night cap.
posted by holland at 03:32 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

2 hours a day? That is pretty ambitious. All the research I've done on yoga indicates that you can make a difference with as little as 15 minutes a day...I think that could be workable for most people. :)

P.S. Not saying that you should or shouldn't do it, but just so you know...people of all fitness levels can do it. ;)

I used to do a yoga class 2 times a week for 45 minutes...was offered at lunchtime while I worked for a previous employer (had an on-site fitness center). It made more of a difference than I ever could have stress level reduced tremendously (my job at the time was crazy stressful), I slept better, I lost 20 pounds in 6 months (though the main purpose of yoga shouldn't necessarily be weight loss, it can be a nice side effect)...I know it made a difference when I was pregnant.

Of course, since I had kids and left that employer, I haven't kept up with it. I really's the time that I need it more w/2 toddlers running around vs. when I was single and childless. lol (Not to mention anything that could help me shed the pregnancy weight would be a nice perk...sigh...)

Anyhow, my present method for sleeping is to burn the candle at both ends and go go go until I'm about ready to pass out...not that its the "right" way to do it, but it will have to do for now. lol

posted by mom2 at 03:45 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Sleep doctors say that alcohol as a sleep agent is a myth.

My uncle actually uses it as a STIMULANT!

He's a farmer and on occasion, due to crops, storms, cattle birthing, or whatever, he has to stay up all night. A double shot of Old Granddad (he's a big man) doesnt get him drunk, but he's wide awake all night.

posted by billy at 04:38 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Two ounces of seventeen proof knocks me flat on my butt and I'm out for eight - or better. I would be up all night if it was the hard stuff -pucking probably. Truthfully, I think the best non drug remedy for insomnia is a very good exercise regimen, as offshore said. Until a bad hip and other problems forced me to quit running, sleep or stress was never an issue, no mtter how complicated life got.
posted by holland at 05:55 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

I used to take yoga in my early 20's - and didn't see the point (took it for months). I saw no benefits at all.
posted by starling02 at 06:56 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

a 20-minute stress relieving yoga routine (pick any number of dvds with this type of title) can do wonders for calming the mind and relaxing the muscles.

It's much easier for distractions to impact your sleep habit than you realize. If it's only periodically, it's probably not indicative of a serious problem...but that doesn't help much when you're tired the next day.

In addition to the yoga, no food, and good exercise no less than 2 hours before bed, you could also try a hot shower/bath just before bed. Lavendar helps to reduce stress and cause relaxation, so maybe a lavendar spray or aroma-type thing may help.

These things, unlike the alcohol, won't hurt...but I hope everything works out.

posted by MaggieThurber at 07:09 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

You're getting tons of advice here! :)

If all the caffeine you had was a glass of iced tea with dinner, I wouldn't rule it out completely - depending on how much caffeine you usually consume and in what form. I've been known to fall asleep not long after drinking a cup of coffee, but iced tea or a diet cola after 6 or 7 p.m. will keep me up.

The other thing that keeps me awake at times are my allergy meds.

But I can't believe no one here has mentioned sex! Seriously, it's the ultimate sleep aid/stress relief.

posted by valbee at 07:27 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Go to bed with a smile - Suggest you get back to wild passonionate sex and repeat until sleep becomes you.
posted by brassmonkey at 07:37 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

I just thought of this.. a while back I got a book on cd and loaded it into my iPod. I ended up deleting it because it seemed like even if I wasn't tired I'd start feeling like I was going to doze off.
It was some James Patterson novel, which I've liked reading his stuff, so I don't know if it was just the voice/tone of the reader or what but it sure knocked me out.
So you might try something like that.

posted by OhioKat at 08:26 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

Sex always gave me my second wind. But I think it makes men tired.
posted by starling02 at 11:13 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 17, 2007     #

If all else fails Tivo a NGC special on sharks - the most TV done to death animal on the planet. Then watch it when insomnia hits. I can't stay awake to the first commercial.
posted by holland at 07:45 A.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

Yoga has been part of my work-out regimen for years. It is said to have many benefits ranging from Indian mysticism to simple cardio benefits. Not the least of which for me, is its ability to provide me with time away from the mundane day-in-day-out stresses of life if only for a while. It may sound corny and new-ageish but as I try to sustain a pose for longer periods of time, I try to disassociate from the discomfort and clear my mind of everything. Thus, it can be freeing, calm the body and mind and as well as energize them.

I also do many other forms of exercise including weight lifting, boxing speed and heavy bags, biking etc.
You get the picture. But, nothing lays me back like a hard swimming workout. Iím like in a zombie trance after an hour of swimming.

On the other hand, Iíve experimented with alcohol as a sedative and the jury is still out for me. Thus, for the sake of science, I will continue a longitudinal studyÖfor the sake of science you understand.

Starling, this is just a shot in the dark. You donít happen to be available do you? Just kidding ;)

posted by Offshore at 09:58 A.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

I know I'm a day late and probably a dollar short on replying to this, but I wanted to ask if you've ever tried Melatonin? When I have sleeping problems I take a 1 mg tablet and sleep comes easily. The best part about it is that you don't get that groggy/drugged up feeling you do from sleeping pills. I recently purchased a bottle of 180 - 1 mg tablets at Walgreens for $5.99. It's a natural supplement and is sold in the vitamin/herbal section. It's safe enough that older kids can even take it if necessary. Just my 2 cents worth
posted by justsimplyholly at 11:22 P.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

Never too late to add to a thread, justsimplyholly. Thanks for the info and sounds like it might be worth a try.
posted by McCaskey at 12:43 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

LOL - said the guy awake at quarter till 2am...
posted by billy at 06:30 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

justsimplyholly, how long do they take to kick in? And do they let you sleep all night? I have a habbit of waking up at 4am and not being ble to fall back asleep.
posted by tm at 06:48 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

billy, I think you simply have too many thoughts or issues occupying your mind and keeping you up. Write more. Do a brain dump. If you don't have your own blog, start one or get a big notebook and write, write, and write. Get it all out.

And then try downloading and reading the Toledo City Charter. If that doesn't knock you out, you're beyond science.

posted by jr at 08:33 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

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