Insomnia -Snoring - Any Advice?

Updated on August 20, 2014
M.H. asks from Madison, WI
11 answers

Hey everyone

I am going through some major insomnia and was hoping others may have advice for me.
First off, husband is a snorer so that doesn't really help this situation, but that's is probably just a small portion of the problem. I do wear ear plugs to help with that.

I have major insomnia right now. In the last 5 days or so I have not slept through the night -and probably only got around 4-5 hours of sleep.
I know some of this is due to me being in Peri-menopause. I feel like my hormones are one of the biggest things causing this problem.
Things I've done to help with the insomnia - continue to exercise 4-5 days per week for 40 minutes each day.
I don't drink coffee anymore. I do drink green tea in the am and some decaf tea in the afternoon.
I take Melatonin - 5mg at bedtime then if I wake up in the night I take 2mg of sublingual melatonin.
I go to bed the same time every night.

Any other ideas on what I can do to get through this insomnia?
Also, if it's the middle of the night and I'm laying there awake (usually 3am or so) is it recommended to get up out of bed and go somewhere else in the house? Or is it recommended to stay in bed? Is it recommended that a person read if they wake up?
Right now I'm just trying to lay in bed and get myself back to sleep. I have an ipod with a few 'sleep'/relaxation tracks which I try to use but even that's not working right now. I do feel sometimes like just laying there in bed makes me more frustrated if I can't get back to sleep but then will getting up and going to a different room in the house make me feel more awake and make it even more difficult to go back to sleep?

And does anyone have any ideas on how to make our bedroom as cool as possible or something I could use to make me feel cooler at night? We use our a/c of course but I don't want to turn it down even colder since our upstairs is 1300 sq ft and my goal is just to cool down my sleeping area. We already have 2 fans but not sure that makes it much colder. I remember reading to have a room set at 65 degrees or something like that for sleeping. Our a/c is set around 75 degrees. I know in winter when it gets really cold I sleep really well. So I think this might help me to get cooler too.

Please help.
Any advice? I'm getting desperate here. And so tired. I'm so worried that if this goes on it could lead to heart issues, etc. Not too mention, I'm not very productive during the day because I feel like I'm dragging.

What can I do next?

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answers from Toledo on

I usually do read in bed. I put my IPod on the dimmest setting and read my ebook. I just keep reading until I'm ready to fall asleep. Sometimes it takes awhile, but at least if I'm reading I'm probably not making it worse by just lying there thinking and stewing about it.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Norfolk on

If your husband snores, consider separate bedrooms.
It's saved more than one marriage.
For insomnia,
Get your bedroom below 70
Consider getting a cooling gel pad for your bed
Get use to sleeping with a sheet or light blanket
No caffeine after noon (or none at all - some people get sensitive to it as we get older)
No tv, computer, ipod, cell phone, no anything bright for at least an hour before bedtime.
Some camomile tea an hour before bedtime might help you relax.
Warm milk might help too
Some melatonin an hour before bedtime might help
Exercise in the morning - walk, do something to get a good sweat going
Try to go to bed and get up at the same times all week - no sleeping in on weekends.

Once or twice a year I have insomnia that will last about 3 days.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

M. H-

I recommend you try making friends with it. If you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, rather than getting angry, frustrated, getting up and reading, tossing and turning, going to another room, or devising a plan to fix the federal deficeit, just lie in bed and rest. Tell yourself, while you would prefer to be asleep, you won't undermine this resting time by letting in anger and frustration. Rest.

Speak with a doctor.

If you need to, take some sleep aid, or some light sleep aid for your late night wake ups so that you can feel rested.

F. B.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'm dealing with the same thing. For a long time now. I have a prescription but feel like I'm getting too dependent. It's horrible and I hate it. No advice bc I'm at my wit's end but I will say while experts say to get up, I stay in bed and rest and find deep rest almost as good the next day. I tell myself I may not be sleeping but I am totally resting and I actually can bc ok the next day I think bc of the rest. Good luck. Benadryl can help but it can get mentally addicting.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ooooo, i'll bet it is peri-M. i come from a long line of sleepy people, and get very, very antsy and crabby when i encounter a (mercifully brief) bout of insomnia. and it sounds as if you're tackling it very thoughtfully.
i keep a flashlight next to my bed (or my kindle, depending on what i'm reading) and read myself to sleep every night. it can often work for insomnia too. now, if it's the snoring that's waking you even through the earplugs, that's different, but it sounds as if it's not really the snoring in this case.
nice hot bubble bath before bed. chamomile tea, or warm milk. black cohosh, maybe (didn't help me but some people swear by it.)
there are things like 'simply sleep' that do help to zonk you out, but even though they say 'no side effects' they turn me into a zombie the next day. i can't use 'em.
good luck, hon. i hope this is a temporary nuisance.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Is your mind racing when you go to bed? Thinking of your day and what you need to do tomorrow? If so, I would start a daily journal - make time before you go to bed and write your day out...make a list for tomorrow. Then meditate. This means a place for you to zone out - here is a link for meditation for beginners..

Hopefully this will help you.

Also - I don't take melatonin - it gives me nightmares and doesn't help me sleep. I also don't like using something like this that replaces my body's need to produce the chemical...

I have taken Tylenol PM and I've take ZZ Quil - as there have been times I've tossed and turned and not gotten enough sleep!

Good luck! Sweet dreams!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My husband recently got a CPAP for sleep apnea--the absence if snoring has helped in my house.

I've been sleeping horribly in spite of that though. Recently started taking ZzzzQuil. Not a cure, but it does the trick whe I really need a full night of sleep.

No caffeine after 3:00 pm helps too. I make decaf iced tea.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I used to have that problem. Now I realize that the cooler the room, the better I sleep. I take an OTC sleep aid every night - melatonin does nothing for me. Hubby and I will both get up and go to another room if we can't sleep. For some reason, we find it easier to fall asleep in the other room when we can't sleep in our own. Or sometimes I just turn around and sleep with my head at the foot of the bed. Don't know why, but it helps.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

It sounds like your body is going through changes, just as you said. You are doing everything right. You took my complete answer and wrote it yourself.

I'd have said music, ear plugs/ear buds, relaxation exercises, etc....

At this point I'd make an appointment with the general doc. Not the OB/GYN. I only say this because the Melatonin isn't working.

Ask for a mild sleep aid for short term use, maybe 5-10 at most. Then take one every night and get some rest. If you get some good straight hours of sleep with it then your body will do it's job and you'll feel better.

Once you get several days of sleep you can stop taking it and see if your biorhythm has changed back.

I'll say it in writing!!! we age our bodies simply don't need as much sleep. That's why we age. When we're younger our bodies are constantly changing on a cellular level, dividing cells, multiplying cells, growing and changing. Once we hit that place where our bodies don't do that so much we don't have to sleep so many hours for our cells to heal and regenerate.

We just don't need as many hours and our bodies tend to start staying awake, getting you up before you want, and more.

I always get out of bed when I'm awake. I don't do the computer on the bed, one thing that's a fire hazard, but I want my brain to know bed is for sleep. I don't read in bed for the most part. If I want to go lay down and read or watch TV and it's not bedtime then I might go lay down on the bed all propped up to do that. BUT if it's bedtime I go to bed to lay down and relax.



answers from Madison on

First, on the snoring issue--has your husband been checked for Sleep Apnea? My husband is an atrocious snorer. It took at least 5-8 years before his doctor would allow him to do a sleep study, and when my husband finally did one, he was REALLY BAD! In fact, his score was so bad they were surprised he hadn't had a stroke--and he wasn't even 40 yet! He now uses a CPAP machine and sleeps so much better. We sleep together again (b4 the CPAP, he snored so bad there was no way we could; he slept on the couch), and I put wax in my ears when I sleep (even though he doesn't snore, the CPAP machine still occasionally makes noise, esp if it slips on his face, and I need total silence in order to sleep. It works for me).

In terms of insomnia, I don't know anything off the top of my head at the moment (everything you're doing. by the way, is good), but I did want to put out there two books that are extremely helpful for women going through perimenopause (I've read both; I've been going thru it since I was 40, and I'm now 46), esp since hormones get so disrupted during this period of time in a woman's life. The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD and The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD. Both have been lifesavers for me. I esp loved The Hormone Cure because all of her information is very concise, and she breaks down the main (endocrine) hormones that are responsible for different aspects of the perimenopause symptoms.

If you have further questions, please pm me!



answers from Chicago on

From one insomniac to another, you have my deepest sympathies. I've dealt with it for many years and finally went to a sleep coach, which is my term for a behavioral psychologist who deals with sleep issues only. This helped me immensely and you may find someone w ho could help you thru a sleep clinic in your area.

The biggest change that we implemented was that I go to bed an hour or more later than I used to. I'm not allowed to nod off after 3 p.m. If you nod off in the evening, you start your circadian rhythm (or sleep cycle) and that's why you wake in the wee hours. I never go to bed early because I'm tired or I'm trying to catch up on sleep. It just perpetuates my insomnia. I also had to put away my clock so I didn't watch it all the time.

It also sounds like your husband needs a sleep study and may need a cpap! Snoring can affect your heart. And then you might sleep better also!

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