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Old 06-11-2008, 03:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Causes of Insomnia


There are many causes of insomnia. Some we are aware of already, like stress at work or within the family. Others, we may not be aware of, like eating too late, or too much.

Here's an article from the Mayo Clinic that can help us identify different causes of our insomnia. Once we identify our specific reasons for our lack of sleep, we can begin to take steps to correct them.

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Causes of Insomnia

Common insomnia causes include:

Stress.
Concerns about work, school, health or family can keep your mind too active, making you unable to relax. Excessive boredom, such as after retirement or during a long illness, may occur and also can create stress and keep you awake.

Anxiety.
Everyday anxieties as well as severe anxiety disorders may keep your mind too alert to fall asleep.

Depression.
You may either sleep too much or have trouble sleeping if you're depressed. This may be due to chemical imbalances in your brain or because worries that accompany depression may keep you from relaxing enough to fall asleep.

Stimulants.
Prescription drugs, including some antidepressants, high blood pressure and corticosteroid medications, can interfere with sleep. Many over-the-counter (OTC) medications, including some pain medication combinations, decongestants and weight-loss products, contain caffeine and other stimulants. Antihistamines may initially make you groggy, but they can worsen urinary problems, causing you to get up more during the night.

Change in your environment or work schedule.
Travel or working a late or early shift can disrupt your body's circadian rhythms, making you unable to get to sleep when you want to. The word "circadian" comes from two Latin words: "circa" for "about" and "dia" for "day." Your circadian rhythms act as internal clocks, guiding such things as your wake-sleep cycle, metabolism and body temperature.

Long-term use of sleep medications.
If you need sleep medications for longer than several weeks, talk with your doctor, preferably one who specializes in sleep medicine.

Medical conditions that cause pain.
These include arthritis, fibromyalgia and neuropathies, among other conditions. Making sure that your medical conditions are well treated may help with your insomnia.

Behavioral insomnia.
This may occur when you worry excessively about not being able to sleep well and try too hard to fall asleep. Most people with this condition sleep better when they're away from their usual sleep environment or when they don't try to sleep, such as when they're watching TV or reading.

Eating too much too late in the evening.
Having a light snack before bedtime is OK, but eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down, making it difficult to get to sleep. Many people also experience heartburn, a backflow of acid and food from the stomach to the esophagus after eating. This uncomfortable feeling may keep you awake.

Insomnia and changes of aging

Insomnia becomes more prevalent with age. As you get older, changes can occur that may affect your sleep. You may experience:

A change in sleep patterns.
Sleep often becomes less restful as you age, but a lack of restful sleep isn't a normal consequence of aging. You spend more time in stages 1 and 2 of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and less time in stages 3 and 4. Stage 1 is transitional sleep, stage 2 is light sleep, and stages 3 and 4 are deep (delta) sleep, the most restful kind. Because you're sleeping more lightly, you're also more likely to wake up. With age, your internal clock often advances, which means you get tired earlier in the evening and consequently wake up earlier in the morning.

A change in activity.
You may be less physically or socially active. Activity helps promote a good night's sleep. You may also have more free time and, because of this, drink more caffeine or alcohol or take a daily nap. These things can also interfere with sleep at night.

A change in health.
The chronic pain of conditions such as arthritis or back problems as well as depression, anxiety and stress can interfere with sleep. Older men often develop noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia), which can cause the need to urinate frequently, interrupting sleep. In women, hot flashes that accompany menopause can be equally disruptive.

Other sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, also become more common with age. Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing periodically throughout the night and then awaken. Restless legs syndrome causes unpleasant sensations in your legs and an almost irresistible desire to move them, which may prevent you from falling asleep.

Sleep problems may be a concern for children and teenagers as well. In addition to many of the same causes of insomnia as those of adults, some children and teenagers simply have trouble getting to sleep or resist a regular bedtime because their inherent (circadian) clocks are more delayed. When the clock on the wall says it's 10 p.m., their bodies may feel like it's only 8 p.m.
Anyone find this helpful?
Care to share?

Shalom!
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The bit about behavioral insomnia is interesting because i've often suspected that being "worried" about getting to sleep was actually causing me to stay awake in bed longer. I also fall alseep frequently while away from bed, watching tv or reading a book... Thanks so much for this!
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

This is so good I don't know why they put in the word "may".


BBC News - The myth of the eight-hour sleep

I knew there was nothing wrong with me.


People telling me "If you just start getting up early..."

Oh shut up. Don't you think I thought of that !


I posted this in the forum if you want to reply and read replys , It may have fell back a few pages.

Here http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...unnatural.html
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Lately I get about two solid hours of sleep then awake for an hour, then two or three more hours... seems to be enough for me though... my bedroom is the hottest room in the house of course
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I sleep only for 1-2 hours a night. By the 3rd night I am so tired that I may get 3 hours at best.

I take melatonin 3 mg. I also take Benadryl 25 mg most nights per my sleep doctor's instructions.

I am hoping after 1-3 years of sobriety my sleep may improve. Praying.

I so understand how one feels when not getting the sleep their bodies and minds need.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It's been a month since my Nasty, life threaten (but brief) relapse. I went into seizure and stopped breathing in the middle of the night. Thank God my husband was awake and saw my body go stiff. When the ambulance drivers arrived they were having trouble getting me downstairs. They ended up carrying me part of the way with my arms overhead and all my weight on my rotary cuffs. I was doing Physical Therapy for a broken shoulder and that was also reinjured. Now I have torn rotary cuffs and can barely move my arms. They did save my life and I am very grateful to them for that!Getting into our high up, off the floor, Cannon ball bed is impossible. The pain is so bad at night that if I sleep for 15 or 20 mins. I feel lucky. I just wonder how much is lack of sleep be because of pain and how much is from the sleep being disrupted from the relapse? I had been many years sober and if I remember right my sleep patterns had gotten back to somewhat normal after about a week or 10 days sober, in the past? Any advise is appreciated.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do believe that my insomnia is a combination of pain, getting older and also the long years of drinking. My sleep doctor has told me my sleep may never get better. I believe I am going to find a solution. I also believe that the longer I'm sober the better my sleep may become. I do have to state that my sleep was not good while drinking either, 5-6 hours a night. However was the "cause" for my many relapses. I finally figured out the insanity. I may not sleep but that is better than being drunk and not getting sleep as well. duh. I was sleeping 3-4 hours a night for the last several months by taking 6 mg melatonin and 50 mg Benadryl. That was after going off 200 mg trazadone! Even ambien had quit working. I'm finished with sleeping pills. I do take a little Tylenol at night to help subdue some pain.
Have you tried reading the book, Desperately Seeking Snoozin? It in my opinion is one of the better books out there. I have taken 3 courses on the brain and addiction and sleep. Now I am researching prevalent professional sleep doctors and then will get in contact with them. In the meantime, I read a lot!
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Kris. I'm on my way over to Amazon.com to see if I can find "Desperately Seeking Snoozin". I'm at a place where I'll try almost anything except booze!
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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BTW Matilda,

I sure hope your other life threatening problems have been addressed. I understand about the joint issues. I was in 2 accidents and broke my neck, and tore my meniscus in half. I still have 6 ruptured discs in my spine and cervical spine. I still think it was my years of drinking that has me messed up more than my physical problems. Hel well and complete.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Grateful to have a big enough house that I can go to a different room and make the most of my time awake. Agree that aches and pains make sleep cycles shorter. Working on being okay with that...using serenity prayer alot.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes , that's for sure. I don't fret anymore. I am working on a solution of some kind. See where it takes me.

Another night of NO sleep. The good news, I don't have to be overly productive today.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Something else I'll add is SLEEP APNEA. I've had it for years and it's really affected my recovery. I tried the machine twice but never really really gave it all I could. Instead I try to sleep on my stomach which isn't very comfortable and sleeping on my side is to an option any longer either because I just developed fibromyalgia. I just called my doc today and asked for a machine again. (Insurance takes it back if you're not using it every night).

I've dealt with a lot of judgment about what I'm "not doing" in my life when exhaustion has really been a huge part of the problem. It keeps me isolated which then results in fear.
Sleep problems are usually multifactorial. I also have to not eat or drink for two hours before bed and have a dark quiet room (I have PTSD).

With good rest though I'm like an entirely different person. I could do just about anything. I've just never been able to put together enough nights of sleep over the years to make progress. So we'll see what happens with the machine this time.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wishing you the best, WMJ! Sleep apnea is a real problem for some with usually a good solution for many. I had a sleep study but no sleep apnea. I too try to use all the sleep tools available but so far sleep still eludes me.
I believe when the spiritual, physical and mental are fixed sleep will come. I pray to God on that.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I sleep only for 1-2 hours a night. By the 3rd night I am so tired that I may get 3 hours at best.

I take melatonin 3 mg. I also take Benadryl 25 mg most nights per my sleep doctor's instructions.

I am hoping after 1-3 years of sobriety my sleep may improve. Praying.

I so understand how one feels when not getting the sleep their bodies and minds need.
Hi, has your sleep gone back to normal since staying sober? If so, how long did it take? I'm struggling.
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Old 03-10-2016, 05:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hello Notgonna,

I feel for you.

It's slowly getting better in small increments.

My sponsor tells me when the spiritual and mental are healed, the physical is healed.

I no longer worry. I do struggle at times but that JUST MADE IT ALL WORSE.

Have you seen a doctor or do you take anything for it?

Read Sleeping with Snoozin. It takes all the right protocols to make it work. "Sometimes quickly sometimes slowly. "

Has it improved at all?

I have some suggestions.................
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hello Notgonna,

I feel for you.

It's slowly getting better in small increments.

My sponsor tells me when the spiritual and mental are healed, the physical is healed.

I no longer worry. I do struggle at times but that JUST MADE IT ALL WORSE.

Have you seen a doctor or do you take anything for it?

Read Sleeping with Snoozin. It takes all the right protocols to make it work. "Sometimes quickly sometimes slowly. "

Has it improved at all?

I have some suggestions.................
I'm glad it's getting better. I really can't imagine sleeping as little as you once were. My sleep is horrible, but I don't know how you function. I have seen many doctors, but the only thing that worked for me for sleep was something called Remeron. I gained 60 lbs on it in 3 months and spent about 8 months losing all the weight. I wish I could take it again, but it's not worth being fat.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hello Notgonna,

I feel for you.

It's slowly getting better in small increments.

My sponsor tells me when the spiritual and mental are healed, the physical is healed.

I no longer worry. I do struggle at times but that JUST MADE IT ALL WORSE.

Have you seen a doctor or do you take anything for it?

Read Sleeping with Snoozin. It takes all the right protocols to make it work. "Sometimes quickly sometimes slowly. "

Has it improved at all?

I have some suggestions.................
How many hours of sleep are you getting now? How long have you been sober? I've got my fingers crossed for your recovery. I really hope you start sleeping well again.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm glad it's getting better. I really can't imagine sleeping as little as you once were. My sleep is horrible, but I don't know how you function. I have seen many doctors, but the only thing that worked for me for sleep was something called Remeron. I gained 60 lbs on it in 3 months and spent about 8 months losing all the weight. I wish I could take it again, but it's not worth being fat.
Trazadone worked for me for over 5 years and then just stopped. I was up to 200 mg and that was the upper limit I could take safely. Ambien worked for about a year. My last sleep doctor told me to go off of thr trazadone as it was a dangerous drug. By that time it no longer worked anyway. Even 50 mg of Benadryl and 5 mg of melatonin worked for awhile. That is where I remain. I refuse to up the dose. I now manage 3-5 hours of sleep perhaps every few nights or so. I try to tire myself out and if I follow my regimen perfectly I sleep some. I am lucky that I am my own manager and can take lots of breaks as needed throughout the day.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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How many hours of sleep are you getting now? How long have you been sober? I've got my fingers crossed for your recovery. I really hope you start sleeping well again.
I used to blame my relapses on wanting to sleep. I was a blackout drinker. Still only slept 3-5 hours and it was fitful sleep. I finally figured out it was better to have only one problem - insomnia, rather than 2, alcoholism and insomnia. I am doing much better today. I am now sober 2 years and 2 months sober on the 14th of this month. I am done drinking by the Grace of God.

I hope your sleep settles out soon for you. Most recovering alcoholics say they don't sleep much more than 6 hours a night. As one ages your sleep cycle shortens also.

Good luck to you! Do let me know how you go!
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Trazadone worked for me for over 5 years and then just stopped. I was up to 200 mg and that was the upper limit I could take safely. Ambien worked for about a year. My last sleep doctor told me to go off of thr trazadone as it was a dangerous drug. By that time it no longer worked anyway. Even 50 mg of Benadryl and 5 mg of melatonin worked for awhile. That is where I remain. I refuse to up the dose. I now manage 3-5 hours of sleep perhaps every few nights or so. I try to tire myself out and if I follow my regimen perfectly I sleep some. I am lucky that I am my own manager and can take lots of breaks as needed throughout the day.
I've tried all of those drugs as well. I feel like all those drugs are more trouble than they are worth and they all eventually stop working.
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