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Please help with sleep problems.
@jk HI. I live in Northern Ontario, Canada. Yes minus celsius… we still use Fahrenheit and Celsius, as we still weigh in ounces and pounds, but also in kilograms…. many years ago government switched to decimal system (kilograms etc.) but challenged in Court and people were allowed to also sell items by the lb, pound. Very confusing especially since recipes often are in ounces, or kilograms, or cups !!
Yes even our dog didnt want to stay outside yesterday!
A few months ago Dr. at clinic, after agreeing to continue to give me Clonazepam for sleep, said that studies show that for Seniors, like me, six hours sleep is enough. I didn't say anything but thought, right, maybe on paper that could be true, we could "exist" on six hours, but what the heck are we who are older and ill (I have several physical issues and mental)….what are we going to do the remaining 18 hours in a day?? Go to bed at midnight and get up at 6am? and especially now asked to stay home re Covid and no visitors…. watch tv all day? I can no longer knit cos of neuropathy; standing for a long time to prepare a meal and we cannot eat many food items now with bowel issues; etc. etc. My Mum always used to say (before sleep aids were needed) that a person cannot "make themselves sleep"… some people just need more sleep than others, right? If I could sleep e.g. 11pm til 7 and have a one or two hour nap in afternoon, I would be happy….. how much sleep is needed depends on the person doesnt it? I wake up 2 or 3 times during night even with pill and put my ipad on youtube with or without headphones. I havent slept right through the night for many years……not many people I know, including my adult children, do either….. J.S.
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@lacy2 Now I know why I wouldn't want to live in Canada! The cold in NH is about as cold as I can tolerate.
I agree about sleep, we are all different. I used to find that I regularly needed seven and a half hours a night. I am sleeping more these days and I am sure part of that is an escape mechanism, I am so tired of isolating. At least I can exercise and cook. I don't watch much TV, I generally watch an hour a night as something to do with my husband because he watches TV a lot, news and sports, and I am on the computer, exercising, and cooking.
I wake about every hour and a half for bathroom calls. Often I get back to sleep quickly but sometimes it's impossible. If it's morning I end up getting up and needing a nap later.
Six hours of sleep may be enough at night time but I think on top of that many seniors need a nap during the day. Just think of pictures you have seen, they often show seniors nodding off in an easy chair. So, in other words, six hours at night is sufficient if supplemented by a nap during the day.
Sleep, or no sleep, cant get to sleep cant stay asleep, stress, pain, noise, wake up too early, bad dreams, nightmares, washroom needs… I don't think I know of anyone who consistently has good night's sleep. So many reasons and a lot of medications cause insomnia, or help with sleep. Those of us with illness, depression, anxiety, numerous meds.. it is so hard to figure it all out.
Also our winter furnace is under my bedroom and there is no escape from the gas-heated motor noise about 4 times a night…I dont want to wear ear plugs as I listen to tapes.. also want to hear if smoke detector goes off!…. also I had insomnia for many months during the past years while dealing with depression.
But one thing came to mind this evening and it was many years ago, in the days when I slept well with the odd night that I didnt. I had returned home from out of town hospital after radiation to pelvis for cancer and had been put on Hormone meds as female organs had been radiated/zapped. After a few months I returned to work and slept reasonably well for a few years! Then came the news that Hormone meds increased chances of breast cancer and I decided to stop those meds. Well, for the next five months or so (off the pills) I woke up every single night and the odd thing was it was around 4am, got back to sleep till up for work. Then I decided to go back on meds and believe it or not, the very first night I went back on those meds I slept through the night and for the next few years I was on them I mostly slept through the night – when I didn't it was waking at various times.
So I just thought I would throw this out there, although may have been discussed before: perhaps check the information sheets that we get with our meds and see if they cause your insomnia…. just an idea. J.S. p.s. I had to go back on Clonazepam and now gets periods of sleep for several hours at a time, in combination with relaxation tapes from utube, but it's better than the sleepness nights I had while off that med and one night I did not sleep at all.
I just want to say thank you. I appreciate that you bring the conversation back to sleep problems even after brief tangents about dental care, the weather, etc.
I might even suggest that dental care could be a topic of its own in the Aging Well group if anyone would care to start it: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/aging-well/
Well, back to the regular programming as they say. Sleep health.
I'm a terrible sleeper. I always have been. Like many of you here, I get up several times in the night, typically 3 times. I've done this since I was a child and I have no underlying health condition that would contribute to this behavior. I understand the need to go in the early morning hours, but I really don't understand a new development – lately I need to go after being asleep for only an hour or two. Anyone else?
Lately, I started tracking my sleep and changing some habits to promote better sleep, like
– setting a regular bedtime of 10 pm
– winddown starting at 9 or so
– no eating after 8 pm
– no screen time after 9:30 pm (this is by far the hardest habit to change)
– aerobic exercise during the day
– better eating
– mindfulness exercise (5-15 minutes daily)
I'm still waking up 2-3 times a night, but my sleep quality and length is getting better. I find the screen time habit the hardest one to adhere to, but when I do, it really makes a difference. What habits might you change to improve sleep?
@colleenyoung – I'm sorry to hear that Colleen. You hit on all the important things I believe. A good friend says for him (who is now 82) that going to sllep and waking up at the same consistant hours is real important to him. He also tends to not eat anything after 7 PM and has his "supper" generally around 2:30.
For me I try to get in my 3 1/2 mile walk about 4 days a week and I use bands to do a series of upper body core type exercises as well as doing a couple of sets of 15 Crunches, Planks and Push-ups. I have conditioned myself to get a minimum of 7 hrs. sleep so I get the highest point score on my C-pap readout online. I do often get 8 and for the most part have not needed to get up at night.
I have so much to be Thankful for! Jim@thankful
@0616 I’m really sorry to hear that you have sleeping problems. So did I until I got some help. This information from Mayo Clinic is pretty much what I did. I had to make a lot of changes, but eventually it worked.
Have you discussed this with your doctor to make sure you haven’t any problems? Give it a try!
@sundance6 I actually haven't heard that bashing in the media. I know that there are some people who feel that social security and Medicare are handouts but I have not heard the media indicating that they agree with that.
You are right, we paid into it mightily. If they take it away they have basically stolen money from us.
Sorry to have been out of town this last week! It has probably been in more print media. There is a writer from the Washington Post, Robert Samuelson I believe his name who constantly calling us leeches.
Lacy, sorry just going through my emails from last week! Spent this last week with my 9-year-old grandson. Great time! Speaking of sleep, I've had a Lyme/Fibromyalgia Episode on Sunday ! Had a bad sleep since Sunday! Have had nausea since then which I have never had in my 2 1/2 years.
Really need a good sleep! I have taken Ambiem for 10 years, and it doesn't help!
Hope all is going well with you all!
Interesting we've gone from teens temps. Last week to 65 right now, 2:38 PM MDT.
From the Land of enchantment!
JK, Sorry just getting to all my emails from last week! It went from -2 last week up in Northern New Mexico to 65 right now in ABQ, 2:43 PM Tuesday!
Had a Lyme/Fibromyalgia Episode starting Sunday! Have had very little sleep since then. Had to drive 200 miles home yesterday, really hard! Tried to go to sleep at 9PM. Went to sleep for an hour and had a horrible dream. Then didn't get to sleep until 2AM.
I'm used to 8 hours and an hour nap in the PM. It's horrible!
Hi Sundance, glad you made the trip home safely, but sorry to hear you had to deal with some medical issues…. but happy you had great time with your grandson! We don't have grandchild/ren, just a grand-dog! That is quite a temperature change… and with not sleeping in your own "nest" and maybe some different foods etc. upset your tummy… hope it settles down once you are back in your routine. I didn't have the best week and last night had headphones in listening to an IBS relaxation/hypnosis tape and was almost asleep and had strange feeling (or start of bad dream) and my head felt like it was melting and I got scared, turned off the u-tube, glass of water etc and did some deep breathing to get to sleep.. suffering from anxiety it didn't help, as I over-react to things like that. I wont listen to that particular tape again (ever) but it might not have been cause. I haven't slept through night for years but on the clonazepam can usually get back to sleep within an hour. Bye for now, J.
The stars must be out of alignment! Had the same kind of start to my night the last two nights! Last night I had a dream that I was shaking uncontrollably! Hope tonight will be better!
Are you still having sub-zero temps? Is there still snow on the ground! When I drove up last week they had a what we would call a "blizzard" blow through with 8" of snow.
The Road was a little slick!
Although I may be blessed by living in a small distant country the challenge of sleep is ubiquitous! I had some sleep problems a few months ago but am a complete believer that our mind is the best doctor. Self-leadership and visualisation are the keys. I changed my routines to ensure that:
I showered in the morning.
I went for a brisk walk each day about 4:00pm (now it is a run!)
I undertook exercises before bed and then had a shower.
In bed I visualised my wonderful years in the country on a ranch almost 60 years prior and the feelings of that location, the next day with my horse, rounding up cattle etc. In my bed I was in that aura.
I began to sleep through the night.
It was this process of self-leadership and visualisation that had previously got me through heart challenges and two major cancers.
We have had very changeable weather, and keeping fingers crossed no real bad storms where we live – yet – the lakes are mostly frozen over and daughter's partner has been "ice fishing" but standing on ice all day is not pleasant; years ago we had an "ice/fishing" shack but all that fun stuff has been replaced with illness, ageing…. at least we have some photos and memories. Yes Sundance will have snow on ground all winter, sometimes til April and driving is dangerous especially with unexpected "whiteouts".
Every night I wonder what the night will be like and how i will feel in the morning. Feel like I am slipping back and am having increase in pain and other issues but dont have dr. and dont want to go to see a dr and have more tests and more pills: sort of made a decision to take what comes but am wondering how much longer I can keep going mentally and physically. Main reason I would like to sleep longer is that there would be less hours in the day to get through, not feeling well and I would say, steadily worsening…. know I am not alone when I read others' issues but even as typing "ibs" bad for last hour so much pain, internal cramps and ssuch I am starting to moan…. the future is looking more bleak every day. If its not this its another body part…. off I go and have my own little pity party….bye for now, J.
Robin…am very happy for you that you have found a way to obtain peaceful sleep.. I was on a horse once when a child on holidays, for about 15 minutes and was scared.. first and last time as before coming to Canada lived in London UK so no horses around!….can imagine you on yours….sounds like a wonderful life.
robin615, I've never thought of the term "Self-Leadership"! The Best way I have heard it said! I had StageIV colon cancer. They couldn't get it all, so I started chemo. Within 10 days I was given a couple hours to live because of a reaction to 5FU drug. After I was on life support for 14 days I woke up.
That next 365 days I was traveling and working out of my motor home in the Rockies! I was on for all or part of 200 days on a trout stream fly-fishing. The cancer has not come back!
Seven years ago I had another reaction to a drug and fell down 20' of stairs and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. Was in a coma for seven days. Not supposed to walk again!
Here I am back again. Self-Leadership and Visualization is what saved me and have saved millions of others!
Thanks for the term!
From The land of Enchantment!
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