Sleep Disorder Is Ruining My Life

Updated on September 03, 2010
S.C. asks from Grapevine, TX
14 answers

I am getting SO MAD about this on-going sleep problem. It’s nutz. The only thing that works (sometimes) is Ambien. I've tried some over the counter natural stuff and I was sleepy enough to doze. Just last night I did again,but it was shallow sleep and I was awake by about 12:30. Then I was awake until about 1:30-2pm and gave in and took a part of an Ambien. Then I woke again about 4:30 took more and again at 7am. I just don’t get it. I really wonder about doing a sleep study. But from what I've heard they are pretty much only able to gauge very evident things like sleep apnea? (That's as opposed to chemical imbalances or things going on physiologically inside.) And whatever I do I will have to pay cash since I only have major medical coverage. It’s ruining my life. I am also a single mother trying to keep up with a young daughter. I HAVE GOT TO FIGURE SOMETHING OUT.

Any suggestions! (I have tried all the normal stuff...sleep with ear plugs, fan, noise maker, mask, cold, dark room, etc.)

Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Great responses from everyone...most of them I've tried. I've seen several doctors and while the medical doctors just want to medicate (and that's fine for now to get me through) I really want to know what's going on so I can correct the problem(s). The consensus is that my cortisol levels/hormones (age 45) are out of whack! I've known my adrenals are shot (after the birth of my daughter 6 years ago and severe stress of divorce that followed and then raising her with ADD and no meds). Let's just say it's taken its toll on my health. I much prefer the investigative all natural approach which I am really delving into (I find these practitioners are more concerned with finding, understanding and correcting the problem). Only problem I have is when I take adrenal support it messes with my hormones and also makes the Ambien I DO take not work so well and sometimes triggers a migraine! So we've rerun a battery of test to bring them current (old ones are 2-3 years) Doing saliva for adrenals DHEA and cortisol, 2 week saliva for hormone panel, and complete blood work up. This will give us a good picture of where I am internally. Then there is a compounding pharmacist, Carie Boyd, that's supposed to be amazing with women and hormone/adrenal challenges over in Colleyville (Tx) that will make a recommendation. I get my gyno to sign off and I start the protocol.
I have also been coupling all of this with some alternative modalities like EFT which I KNOW can produce amazing results with emotional stuff ( as well as treating some scars/a tattoo that a couple docs say can/do interrupt energy patterns in the body.

I''m also praying every day for God's grace, provision and strength.

I just wanted to share all of this in case some of you are looking for solutions too.

I'll let you know when I FINALLY get a good night's sleep WITHOUT drugs. In fact, I'll probably want to write a BOOK.

Blessing, S.

Featured Answers


answers from Chicago on

I have issues with sleep also. I tried Ambien but it didn't work that well so now I take Lunesta (same category as ambien) it's newer on the market and I love it. It helps me sleep thru the night even when my son has night wakings I put him back to sleep and fall back asleep myself. You may want to give it a try. Plus I feel good the next day and not like someone hit me over the head.

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answers from Kansas City on

have you tried melatonin? It's natural, and if I take one an hour before I want to go to bed, it helps without the oogy feeling in the morning. Good luck, Mama! i went though a few months of insomnia and it was terrible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Had this same talk with my Aunt yesterday. I have had the same probkems too. I had them all through my pregnancy and after my DD was born. She's 2 and I still get them sometimes.
There are a few things you can do and they might help but I know that when I couldn't sleep I would have stood on my head if someone would have told me that it might work ;-)
Try a bedtime @ the same time every night. Do the samethings before bed EVERY NIGHT. Try taking a hot shower, it lowers your internal temp and signals the body that it's time for sleep. If something is bothering you, no matter what it is, do something about it. For example, you forgot to run the dishwasher. Get up and do it. For example, thinking about a problem that can't be solved by doing a small task I.e. Money problems. Go get a pad of paper and write down what you are worried about and maybe a solution that you can do the next day.

Sometimes just writing it down will help get it off you mind. Drink a glass of warm milk. There is a chemical in it (same thing as in turkey) that makes you sleepy. Eat a bowl of cereal before bed. The carbs help with sleep. Don't drink caffine after 3pm.
Try relaxation techniques.

The most important thing to do is to make your body understand what the bed is for. It is for sex or sleeping. That's it. If you lay in bed for 20min -30min and don't feel like you are falling asleep then get up and go sit somewhere else. Do not just lay there. Go read a book or watch tv (but not in bed). Keep doing this as long as it takes. Ask your dr if he can suggest a sleep theropist. A sleep study might help b/c they do put a million electrodes on your head and monitor you brain. I have never tried melotonin and don't know anyone who has. I would try it if I couldn't fix it by the other ways I listed above and before I did a sleep study that is very costly. Ask your dr on if it's ok with you regular meds and how much you should take.

I really feel sorry for you b/c I think that not being able to sleep is one of the most frustrating problems.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

Hi Suz - boy do I feel your pain!!! Without a solid nights sleep EVERYTHING is overwhelming and miserable. I went through the same thing after my 3yr old was born and the ONLY thing that worked for me is a magnesium supplement. I know it sounds crazy, but I promise you it works!!! I take about 500mg (higher dosage if you need it) right before bed and I can sleep. The nice thing about it is you don't feel drugged, so that if you do have to get up (daughter cries, bathroom, ect.) you can go back to sleep. That used to be a big problem for me - I'm the world's lightest sleeper, so I would wake up all the time and could not shut my mind off to get back to sleep and I would lay awake for what felt like hours. Magnesium is a God-send! My mother suggested it for me when her doctor want to try that first before he started her on any tranquilizers and it worked right away (she had the same problem). You could also try a lesser dosage (250mg) if 500 leaves you groggy the next day. You can get it at any grocery, drug or health food store. Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you are willing to contact me I am willing to give you free samples of something so safe you can use it on your kids!! It is non medical, non transdermal... nothing goes in you but it works!! [email protected] or cell 817-948 7039



answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

I feel your pain as I have dealt with sleep issues for about 20 years. At first it wasn't bad but now at the age of 41 I have issues every night. Like you I've tried the recommended suggestions for a better night sleep. I also take Ambien but still wake 2-3 times a night. For 3 years now I've complained to my doctor but all she wants to do is put me on anxiety and depression medicine. I finally had enough and have found a doctor and pharmacist who are listening to me. I'm taking bio-identical hormones. I took a saliva test and it showed my cortisol is low during the day and high at night the exact opposite of what it should be. So I'm taking supplements to help boost my adrenal glands during the day and calm them down at night. Not really seeing a difference yet because it's been a couple of weeks. I also know that it will take some time because I didn't get to this frustrating place in my life over night. I hope you find some resolve.




answers from Dallas on

I go to a holistic chiropractor and he can tell when you have not been sleeping well based on how your gallbladder tests. He has supplements and things he can help you do to improve and correct the issue at the core of the problem. He has helped me SOOOO much restore my health and I know he can help you too.
He will do a free consult!

Insurance does not cover this anyways so it is cheaper than most of the medical fields solutions; definitely in the long run for SURE!!!!


Let me know if you have questions.


answers from Norfolk on

I have a friend who can not have any caffeine after noon (and only 1 cup of coffee very early in the morning). That means being aware of everything that has caffeine in it (some soda, coffee, some teas, chocolate, some head ache medications, etc) and avoiding it. Also, no alcohol in the evening. She swears by a single dose each of melatonin, valarian, Benadryl taken 1/2 before she goes to bed. She sleeps, stays asleep, and wakes up refreshed in the morning (no lingering sleepiness). It works for her, but I'm not sure it would work for everyone.



answers from Indianapolis on

If it's ruining your life, it's worth paying for the sleep study.

The two things they look for most, because they're most common, are sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. I had a sleep study 3 years ago, and it wasn't worth the time/money. I knew I didn't have either.

HOWEVER, my husband had one shortly thereafter where he had a great follow-up appointment with the physician who read the results and explained why he was having the issues he was.

Ambien is not the only available product, and there are different strengths and formulations available (Ambien CR, for example, has an extended release component).

I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in almost a decade. Last night, I saw the clock at least once each hour. I do take something, but it's not generally prescribed as a sleep aid. It was an anti-nausea drug given to me after chemo treatments which helps me settle my brain long enough to fall asleep.

FYI - diphenhydramine is the active ingredient in Benadryl and is the sleep component of products such as Unisom, Tylenol PM, etc.



answers from Atlanta on

Hi Suz,

My husband had a similar problem....20 years of marriage and I thought I would never sleep because he couldn't.... When I put him on a absorbable multivitamin mineral complex it got a little better. I also found a supplement called RestEZ that is a blend of natural stuff with a base of Valerian Root. If he takes it, he sleeps, if he forgets it he doesn't. It does not make him sleepy. It simply relaxes, so if he wants to sleep he can. I believe my husband's problem is he is always thinking about something. He is very high-strung. His brain goes all the time and he can't sleep because of that. It relaxes him to the point that he is able to get to sleep and stay asleep.

We just bought an adjustable bed and he is sleeping even better now. Him sleeping has changed my life!!! Let me know if you'd like some info on the RestEZ.




answers from New York on

Maybe it is stress. Have you tried yoga? Perhaps some sort of stress relief will help.



answers from New York on

When you go to sleep have to turned your brain off? If you have lists of things to do running a ticker tape through your brain you can't sleep. 1/2 hour before you go to bed just meditate, nothing chanty, just breathing in through the nose out through the mouth, in a quite space and empty your brain. When you lay down again a few more clear breaths and relax. You should get sleepy. I am assuming you don't have a tv on even without sound it's distracting. Also sometimes when I am wired before bed I put 2 tablesppons of orange blossom water in hat water and drink it, some people call it the Lebanese cafe blanc remedy, it smells good and makes you naturally sleepy, I use this when I have jet lag as well. Sweet dreams



answers from Houston on

I get like that when I drink caffeine too late in the day. I can have coffee in the morning, after that nothing. If I were to drink tea, at say, 2-3 in the afternoon? Yes, I am in for waking a couple of times in the night. I hate it when I wake at 4.....cant fall back asleep til 8 or so!!! Thats when its time to get!!! I feel your pain.

Just an FYI....I used to dink cokes, tea etc, and it had no effect on me.....but when you get a little older!?!



answers from Dallas on

Try having your hormones checked. They could put you on a small dose of progestone (sp?).

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