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Which OTC Sleep aids have worked best for you?

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  • ShexioShexio Member Posts: 188 Member Member Posts: 188 Member
    mph323 wrote: »
    Are you having anxiety/panic attacks as you're trying to fall asleep, and/or fixating on anxiety-producing issues? Are you taking meds in the evening, like thyroid, that could cause sleep problems?

    I had a hard time working with this, but when I finally got it, it works most of the time. I tend to have panic attacks as I'm drifting off to sleep, and focusing on the breathing gives me enough breathing room (ha!) to have my mind drifting off to something less stressful. Hope any of this helps, and hugs!

    I take my thyroid med in the morning when I wake up. But yes, I tend to fixate on things as I am falling asleep.
    Thank you for your reply.
  • ShexioShexio Member Posts: 188 Member Member Posts: 188 Member
    Sounds like sleeplessness may be stemming from daughters late nights, worrying about her until she gets home.
    It will get better. When she is off to college, it may improve (sometimes it is easier not to know and being out of the home can help). I don't have problems sleeping, but can sure relate to your worrying about her getting home safely at night. I only have 1 child (daughter), but I still worry about her everyday. She graduated from college and has had her own apartment for 10 years now. All we can do is hope that they make smart decisions. We had them for 18 years and now the job we have done all of those years can be turned over to them. The worry never completely leaves. Sorry I can't help with any medication suggestions. Hang in there Mom!

    This is exactly it missysippy930. Until I hear her go into her bedroom at night, I constantly doze off and on. my heart races most nights. In January it was so bad that I would say it was a full fledged attack, as I would go through 3-4 tshirts a night from sweat. Since May I've been able to just have a really fast heart rate and not sweat thru my shirt. but, man, waking up every hour until 2am some nights is hard. On weekdays I have told her she needs to be in her room by midnight. I feel rather silly telling a 19yr old when she needs to be in bed.

    The fact that she's her own individual now has been very hard on me. Yes, I am thinking when she goes to college in 23 days that I will be sleeping better.

    Thank you, SOOOO much!

    edited July 2018
  • Duchy82Duchy82 Member Posts: 558 Member Member Posts: 558 Member
    I found that my sleep improved when taking my levo at night instead of in the morning. I didn't do this randomly though there had been some research published that showed some hypothyroid patients do better when taking it at night I happen to be one of them. Something to do with a night time dose being closer to the natural circadian rythm or thyroid hormone release. I can't find the paper anymore unfortunately.

    If I have stuff going round and round in my head I use valerian tea, kalms tablets or yoga to help. 5-10 minutes of shavasana is pretty good at calming the mind. A good matress has also helped with staying asleep which surprised me I didn't think the old one had that much of an affect on the quality of sleep.
  • ShexioShexio Member Posts: 188 Member Member Posts: 188 Member
    Duchy82 wrote: »
    A good matress has also helped with staying asleep which surprised me I didn't think the old one had that much of an affect on the quality of sleep.

    My matress is 20yrs old, I didn't think that it would have any impact but, ya know, I do sleep better when I'm in my bed that's in my camper. Perhaps a newer mattress...or a mattress topper (more cost effective)? Thanks for that idea. Also, I may do a test on myself and have my Levo at night and see what difference that makes. Because, I do tend to get really sleepy by 9:30-10:00am every stinking day.

  • FL_HikerFL_Hiker Member Posts: 919 Member Member Posts: 919 Member
    I've had hashimotos hypothyroidism my entire life, and never have had a single issue falling asleep. As soon as my head touches the pillow I'm out until morning. Have you honestly tried exercising? Going for a run?
  • fb47fb47 Member Posts: 1,058 Member Member Posts: 1,058 Member
    Shexio wrote: »
    47yo female with Hypothyroidism (diagnosed about 6 years ago, on 100mg levo).

    Through Anxiety, I have been having issues falling asleep. Or at least I think its due to Anxiety, i guess its possible that its due to Hypothyroidism as well. Anyway. I am thinking of trying an OTC sleep aid and was wondering which ones have worked best for you?

    Some of my Background:
    I workout daily(weights 3x/ cardio 3x/yoga 1x), watch my weight (5'0" and 105#)
    I have a desk job but walk most nights when its nice out side.
    Kids have just about left the house(oldest daughter will go to college in August, she's causing me SO much anxiety with her late night habits!).

    Anything with natural ingredients that usually includes passion flower, hops and valerian, melatonin....I don't use them often except if I have a streak where I don't sleep too good or if I need to go to bed early.
  • PokeyBugPokeyBug Member Posts: 484 Member Member Posts: 484 Member
    I use Kirkland brand, more than they recommend (2 pills instead of just 1). I don't know what's causing my inability to fall asleep, there are too many things it *could* be (hypothyroidism, TBI, gout, etc.), but I don't want to take prescription sleep medication, because of the danger of dependency. It works okay, but I have such a hard time shutting my brain down, I sometimes forget to take it until 3:00 am. So, I'm still a mess.
  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,409 Member Member Posts: 4,409 Member
    I have a crazy or schedule, flip flopping nights and days which has caused my sleep issue. I have had a sleep study which was normal. I dont want anything habit forming so I declined to take benzodiazepines or Ambien. I take Benadryl and i used to take Trazodone when my sleep issue was worse.
  • whitpaulywhitpauly Member Posts: 1,482 Member Member Posts: 1,482 Member
    Nasiara wrote: »
    whitpauly wrote: »
    I have taken Unisom with good results, the one kind that is NOT the same as benadyl (it has another sedating antihystamine).

    I started taking a melatonin supplement that also has lemon balm and a couple of other things, it's the Olly one from Target. It's only 3mg. It seems to help. It just helps me relax and feel sleepy. I'm not sure how much is the melatonin and how much the other herbal ingredients.

    I also have anxiety but I manage mine with exercise and occasional use medication (which I use less and less if I exercise regularly). I'd suggest asking your doctor before beginning anything other than the occasional OTC medication (like taking melatonin every night).

    I may add magnesium to my anxiety management plan, I have taken it in the past with good results.

    This is the one I use too Doxy-something succinate,,try natural stuff first as suggested cuz it's not good to take this on a regular basis,I'm in a state ATM that I absolutely must take it tho or else I'll either be awake all night or in and out of sleep which makes me useless the next day,it can leave you slightly dumb and slow the next day so if you try it only take 1/2 that's all I usually need,good luck I know exactly what you're going thru


    Doxylamine available with brand name of unisom ( someone has already mentioned).

    Yes but it can get confusing cuz there's the doxy unisom and the diphe-whatever unisom,the tablets are the doxy and the sleep gels are the other stuff that's in Benadryl but doesn't work for me personally,,knocks other people out
  • Johnd2000Johnd2000 Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    I had a few months when I couldn’t sleep more than a few hours a night. Based on a BBC program I tried 2 teaspoons a day of Inulin fibre.

    I still don’t really believe it, but it worked. First day I took it, I slept like a log. It continued to work for about 6 months, then gradually stopped working. It now apparently works if I take it now and again, but not if I take it continually.

    Could be placebo, for all I know, but for a while it was great. The only downside was it seemed to slow my digestive transit a bit. My wife found it did the opposite, so she stopped using it.

  • apullumapullum Member Posts: 4,896 Member Member Posts: 4,896 Member
    Also—I use a white noise machine. I have the Lectrofan, which many people swear by. (A fan might work for you too.). The only problem is that I now have trouble falling asleep without it, since I don’t sleep well when my usual sleep routine is disrupted at all, so I take it with me when I travel. It doesn’t make me sleepy or anything like that, but it does help block other sounds, and helps me quiet that mental chatter by focusing on the sound.
  • PackerjohnPackerjohn Member Posts: 4,859 Member Member Posts: 4,859 Member
    Shexio wrote: »
    47yo female with Hypothyroidism (diagnosed about 6 years ago, on 100mg levo).

    Through Anxiety, I have been having issues falling asleep. Or at least I think its due to Anxiety, i guess its possible that its due to Hypothyroidism as well. Anyway. I am thinking of trying an OTC sleep aid and was wondering which ones have worked best for you?

    Some of my Background:
    I workout daily(weights 3x/ cardio 3x/yoga 1x), watch my weight (5'0" and 105#)
    I have a desk job but walk most nights when its nice out side.
    Kids have just about left the house(oldest daughter will go to college in August, she's causing me SO much anxiety with her late night habits!).

    Do not self medicate. Talk to a medical professional about your issue. Best of luck.
  • macgurlnetmacgurlnet Member Posts: 1,946 Member Member Posts: 1,946 Member
    My mind tends to run in circles at night, too. Here's what's working for me:

    1) Making sure I get enough magnesium - I take a multivitamin along with a Magnesium/D3 pill and fish oil every night

    2) Consistent night time routine (showering at same time, in bed same time, play mindless games and run my diffuser for an hour)

    3) Meditation right before trying to sleep. I have an app on my phone with guided meditation and I try to have 10 minutes set aside to listen to a session. That generally helps me drift off.

    I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, so my brain tends to go haywire in the fall/winter and sticking with this routine helps me get the rest I need.

    ~Lyssa
  • biskybisky Member Posts: 776 Member Member Posts: 776 Member
    i listen to boring lectures on you tube or books on you tube.
  • PokeyBugPokeyBug Member Posts: 484 Member Member Posts: 484 Member
    apullum wrote: »
    Also—I use a white noise machine. I have the Lectrofan, which many people swear by. (A fan might work for you too.). The only problem is that I now have trouble falling asleep without it, since I don’t sleep well when my usual sleep routine is disrupted at all, so I take it with me when I travel. It doesn’t make me sleepy or anything like that, but it does help block other sounds, and helps me quiet that mental chatter by focusing on the sound.

    Download a white noise app on your phone, see if that helps.
  • sugaraddict4321sugaraddict4321 Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 14,392 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 14,392 MFP Moderator
    Mod hat on:

    Friendly reminder - We operate our guidelines based on federal law, where officially some substances are not legal yet. Some substances might be legal in one state but not another, so please refrain from suggesting potentially illegal substances to others.

    /mod hat off

    Member hat on:

    If you are taking any medications or supplements at all, be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before self-medicating for insomnia (or for anything really). Even herbal remedies can interact with other medicines and herbs. ;)
  • happytree923happytree923 Member Posts: 464 Member Member Posts: 464 Member
    Reading, avoiding screens for about 30 minutes and meditation really help me shut off my brain. I have the same problem with not being able to shut off my thoughts when it’s time to sleep and the meditation especially helps A LOT. There are apps and videos online with guides meditations which is the easiest way to get started. And reading helps me get my thoughts off what happened that day or whatever I am stressed about.
  • MelanieCN77MelanieCN77 Member Posts: 4,051 Member Member Posts: 4,051 Member
    Mod hat on:

    Friendly reminder - We operate our guidelines based on federal law, where officially some substances are not legal yet. Some substances might be legal in one state but not another, so please refrain from suggesting potentially illegal substances to others.

    /mod hat off

    Member hat on:

    If you are taking any medications or supplements at all, be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before self-medicating for insomnia (or for anything really). Even herbal remedies can interact with other medicines and herbs. ;)

    I said "if it's legal where you live."
  • apullumapullum Member Posts: 4,896 Member Member Posts: 4,896 Member
    PokeyBug wrote: »
    apullum wrote: »
    Also—I use a white noise machine. I have the Lectrofan, which many people swear by. (A fan might work for you too.). The only problem is that I now have trouble falling asleep without it, since I don’t sleep well when my usual sleep routine is disrupted at all, so I take it with me when I travel. It doesn’t make me sleepy or anything like that, but it does help block other sounds, and helps me quiet that mental chatter by focusing on the sound.

    Download a white noise app on your phone, see if that helps.

    I’ve tried. White noise apps sound like they are coming from one point (the phone’s tiny speaker) but the sound from white noise machines “fills the room” better. Also, apps’ noises eventually loop if you listen long enough, and that gives my brain a distracting pattern to look for. The machine doesn’t have a noticeable loop.

    I would like to use an app, since it’s a lot more portable, but after trying one once I regretted leaving my machine at home :/
  • Crafty_camper123Crafty_camper123 Member Posts: 1,440 Member Member Posts: 1,440 Member
    I have had a hard time falling asleep at bed time and shutting my brain off in the past. Like I would lie in bed and think about anything and everything for two hours before finally drifting off. Some things that help me:

    I usually avoid any caffeine after 12. I was skeptical to try this at first, as I am not sensitive to caffeine. But I read a thing years ago that said caffeine has a half life of up to 8 hours. So a soda or something with dinner could easily effect your sleep. At the time I would have coffee in the morning, coffee in the afternoon, and a soda, tea or something in the evening with dinner. I tried cutting my caffeine to just my morning coffee and sometimes some caffeine at lunch. And lo and behold my mind would quiet down a lot faster.

    Going to bed around the same time every day.

    I also watch a documentary for a few minutes in bed. I know "they" (Whoever they are) recommend turning off all electronics, and having the TV going can be more detrimental to your sleep. (Or so I've heard). But for me, I like watching something like a documentary. It's just interesting enough to keep my attention for a while, and just boring enough I don't have to keep watching to see what happens. When I get drowsy I turn it off and go to sleep. It allows my mind to focus on the documentary, and not whatever random crap it comes up with when I'm trying to sleep.

    When all the above fails, and I am particularly keyed up that night I will use the following:
    -Lavender essential Oil. I've read lavender helps with anxiety and helps with sleep. Like most herbal/natural remedies I'm sure the results are usually more anecdotal. But it seems to work for me. I put a drop on my wrists and temples, and focus on the soothing scent. It usually quiets everything down, allowing me to drift off.

    I will also bust out the melatonin and benadryl. I try not to use those more then a couple times a week. If you use them too much, you can build up a tolerance and need more and more. I probably shouln't even use the benadryl as often as I do, but I have pretty bad allergies, so not waking up congested helps me out as well. Being drowsy is usually just an added bonus.

    This got kind of long winded, but I hope it helps you or anyone else struggling to get some sleep!
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