Sleeping Better Without Medications

I am 73 years old and have had problems with sleep most of my life. My doctor has put me on sleeping pills as he says my health depends on getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night. I have tried every remedy given for sleep prep and also tried many herbs but none of this has ever helped me.

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I do not have problems on my mind as my life is pretty good and I have a wonderful church and close family. So worry is not the problem. I just cannot sleep. Sometimes I may only sleep 1 or 2 hours a night. Medication has helped but I only sleep about 4 hours and then cannot go back to sleep. Has anyone ever tried the meditation tapes? Or the "hypnotic" tapes? Are there any religious sleep tapes? I am ready to try anything to get away from pills.

By cybergrannie from FL

July 9, 20090 found this helpful

The 3 things that I would suggest is warm milk before bed, a cool or warm cloth over your eyes, and a fan or some kind of "white noise" going in the room. These are some of the things that help me the most when I cannot sleep. Hope it helps.

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July 9, 20090 found this helpful

Hi: You are not alone, guess we got our clocks set when going to work or getting up with babies & etc. have done like you, tried lot of things. I find that going for long walks (I walk at least a mile every day, sometimes 2 miles) during the day. I also have a veggie garden & lot of flowers, get your body tired, I sleep a little better doing the above. I feel better without pills, good luck.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

Louise Hay has tapes that have helped me at times, but I also find her irritating, so don't buy unless you can preview (try library or ask at your health food store. They are meditation tapes that take you back to your childhood, not my favorite place, but they have helped sometimes. That's the thing. Nothing works for long. I have a couple of prescription, sometimes works. Benedryl and ibuprofin, sometimes works. Cereal with milk and herbal tea (skullcap) sometimes works. Sometimes I just don't sleep. Exercise during the day sometimes helps but when you have a history of insomnia, I wish you well. I don't have an answer.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

Hi - and thanks to all. I will try these things and see if any will help. I had hip surgery so I am just getting back to walking. I hope this will help too. Thanks again

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Anonymous Flag
July 10, 20090 found this helpful

I also have trouble sleeping most nights. What I do is accept the interruption and focus on not letting it bother me and just remain in bed with eyes closed and simply relax. At times I'll turn the radio on really low to a soft music station as distraction to shut my mind down from thoughts. Sometimes it takes up to an hour to fall back to sleep but I end up being able to get my full eight or nine hours by doing it. It works for me 98% of the time. It may take a week or two of practice but I hope you'll try it and that it will work for you :-)

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

Hi!

If you are not working and don't feel tired the next day why not just sleep when you can? It's okay to not sleep all night!

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

I have used hypnotic tapes for years and find them very workable, especially if you can find one which helps deal with a problem area, such as public speaking, etc. I now use books on tape (CDs) at night.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

It helped me to cut back on caffeine, and only have my coffee early in the morning. Also, I don't drink fluids towards evening so I don't wake up to use the bathroom, and if you eat some carbohydrates in the evening it also helps you sleep. One more thing is to take a nice walk or stroll every day.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

I was trying various things for RLS and discovered a really soothing thing is to use a heating pad at the foot of the bed, on top of the covers. This creates a gentle warmth that is conducive to sleep. I don't know if this actually helped my RLS but I haven't had it since I started using the heating pad. Using a fan to mask any outside sounds also helps some people.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

Check into your stomach acid, remedy that. Then try some tryptophan & or 5HTP with P5P, niacin, chelated magnesium, vitamin C & B2. Digestion is always the 1st place to look to find out if you are completely digesting proteins, without the properly digested protein, you don't have the precursors for the hormones & neurotransmitters to get to sleep & for many other things. It's a main cause of muscle wasting & weight gain.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

I have a little plaque in my bedroom that says If you can't sleep don't count sheep talk to the Shepherd It works for me I pray that you will find restful sleep in Jesus name.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

I have a series of things to try, one of which usually gets the job done.

1) A simple routine for all things, but all must be healthy, beneficial, and work for me. Pray first, thanking God for being with me all through the day, for guiding and instructing me according to His purposes and will; remembering to pray for others, especially for those in need, weak, ill, suffering around the world.

2) Read the Bible, or other book, listen to soft timed Christian radio music, watch a gentle wholesome family or love story video or DVD after making my bed out to sleep first. No TV at all after 6PM. Watch as little as possible during day.

3) Eat nothing after 10 pm, do not lie down within one hour after eating ever. Try to keep kitchen clean.

4) No phone calls or conversations after 8 PM since I am an elder and take longer to wind down from the day's thoughts/ chores of taking care of myself

5) Think of absolutely nothing past, present or future for hours before a normal bedtime for me, unless it is about a long view of snow-covered rolling hills in the evening moonlight, or a field of wheat and daisies to run through when I awaken.

6) Forgive anyone who has offended me, offer an apology to anyone I have offended. Both prior to sundown, no matter the circumstances.

7) Sleep comfortably: clean linens, straight bedding, clean body and mind, comfy clean clothing.

8) Lights very low, house temp. 76 degrees year round.

9) Only light foods for evening meals/snacks

10) Very little caffeine, if any, including nuts,chocolate,caffeine and/or soft drinks/tea

11) Close all curtains, lock all doors, set clock only if appt. next morning, keep phone by bed.

12) Never try to do more than I want to do each day, even if the house is a mess, or someone's not happy. Never start a project on Friday after noon.

13) Sleep on a very flatt pillow that I can fold if necessary, and sleep on a firmer mattress, not soft

one, beneath a single sheet, not heavy cover.

14) Get still as a mouse for as long as possible, flat on my back if possible, until I fall to sleep. Do not nap during the day. Walk around house/yard for exercise all through day, chores.

15) Think only of pure, good, honest, true, and happy thoughts throughout the day. If angry, I sit down and analyze why: Sleep deprivation? forgot meds/ vitamins? Worrying unnecessarily about things of others I can do nothing about? Not trusting God to be God? Not exercising faith and body during the day? Eating a lot of wrong and unhealthy foods, too many carbs or fast foods? Don't want to sleep, but need to? Not following my own routine that works? Not obeying God's instructions?

16) Letting go of the past, letting the future and God take care of tomorrow, and focusing on enjoying today the best I can with what I have.

17) Helping others wherever possible, trusting God to take care of my needs and a few of my desires!

Bless you. : )

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

I think you need to figure out what makes you relax. I love to watch comedies on TV. Watching tv helps me relax. In fact I sleep with my tv on. I can't imagine sitting at home alone from 8:00 on and no tv. That would be lonely. Read go to library get some books. Take a walk in afternoon. Also are you napping during the day if so you need to stop and see if that helps.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

When I can't sleep at night due to too much on my mind or just a rough night, I normally take a gravol pill. It is to stop upset stomach, yet works very well on those odd nights when I really need my sleep.

Also works great with my beagle when we have to go on a car ride with her. She get very excited in the car and the gravol really calms her down.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

One, I question, do you snore when you sleep during those times? I question that cause if you do, the snoring maybe the major problem. If you snore, tell your dr you need to see a polmonologist. Ask them about Sleep Apnea.

Now, if you have a severe problem like anxiety or something of that nature emdr.org or emdr.com those are counselors that help with life threatening cases. I have gone to one myself for panic disorders. I highly recommend them they clear all your thoughts/ anxiety without medications. It's like hypnosis, but better. Hope this helps.

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July 10, 20090 found this helpful

I have heard that eating a handful of almonds or hazelnuts will help with sleep. You may want to check out the book Supermarket Remedies by Dr Cass Ingram from the library it has a lot of suggestions for all kinds of health related things. Also a hot water bottle may help, something about the warmth just calms me to sleep. Good luck

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July 11, 20090 found this helpful

If you are 73 years old and still kicking, then you are probably one of the lucky few who don't need much sleep to get by. I say just nap when your body tells you to, and unless your health takes a nosedive, don't worry about the quantity of sleep you get, just the quality. Perhaps you could check the local health food store and get some recommendations for natural remedies. I would suggest sleeping in a quiet and dark room, and turning the phone ringer off while you are trying to sleep. Good luck to you!

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July 13, 20090 found this helpful

Hello to all and I am just over whelmed that I would receive so much sincere information. I have tried some of the things suggested but it never hurts to try again. I am so lucky to not have too many worrying problems and I do prayer a lot but maybe not enough!

Health is not a big issue with me and I do sometimes get tried during the day but do not take naps as a general rule.

A friend has been trying to get me to order one of those "hypnotic" sleep tapes and I guess I am old fashioned and really wonder if they would work for this. Thanks again to all who responded - I do know there are a lot of people who need help with sleeping more than a few hours a night so maybe some of this will help them also.

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July 13, 20090 found this helpful

Follow better "sleep hygiene" as they call it - by making sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, comfortable place - perhaps reserve it just for sleeping. Read in bed or just get up if you cannot sleep - Or try using the new agey music tapes for relaxation - I got some at the Dollar Tree - I also have a sleep mask which I use sometimes to block out any light & I have used ear plugs, too. Try to learn relaxation body part by body part - & learning meditation or just repetitive prayer will clear your mind. Do you have enough calcium & magnesium in your diet? They are good for the nerves. If all else fails, try taking valerian, melatonin or herbal mixtures thereof to relax you to get to sleep. They are very mild and not habit-forming. Again, I found some at the Dollar Tree! And nap during the day if you get tired!

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July 14, 20090 found this helpful

I too, am a senior citizen that was only sleeping three or four hours a night. I happened to read an article about being low on Iodine as the cause. Also that low Iodine causes fibrocystic breasts and breast cancer. My younger sister had fibrocystic breasts for many years and was always having to get them aspirated. She died of breast cancer four years ago. I now buy Dulse wild Atlaantic Sea Vegetable (kelp) from my local health food store. Dulse seemed to be the one with the highest amount of Iodine. I soak it in half hot water/half maple syrup to make it easier to eat. According to the article I read about kelp was that Japanese women seldom get breast cancer and it is thought that it is due to their high consumption of sea food and sea kelp. I slept for seven hours the very first night which I don't think I've done in more than five years!

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