Need help getting a good nights sleep

I go to bed around 10pm. I have no problems falling asleep. Then I wake up around 3am and it takes me a little while to fall asleep again. Then same thing happens at 4am. I usually get up around 4:30am because I can’t sleep. I go to the gym around 7am and then I’m so tired throughout the day.

What can I take that will help me get a good nights sleep? Nothing that’s addictive please. TIA

Replies

  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,286 Member
    A chat with your family doctor regarding sleep hygiene, the potential for CBT and/ or meditation to help along with supplementation like magnesium, melatonin, etc
  • mitz_bitz
    mitz_bitz Posts: 24 Member
    Definitely second a sleep routine/hygiene! No caffeine/sugar after a certain time, don’t eat 2 hours before bed, quit screen time early, cool room temperature, etc.

    I’ve found that a sound machine/white noise app is really helpful. I got a sound machine for my newborn but it helps me fall asleep too! Lol Also, look into meditation and relaxation apps.
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 7,381 Member
    Silly question but do you just randomly wake up or are you sensitive to noises or out of hunger or bad dreams or something that might actually physically cause you to wake up at those ungodly hours?

    Or, you could be like me and get 3 to 4 hours a sleep at night and not have any trouble randomly falling asleep anytime you stop moving. :)
  • COGypsy
    COGypsy Posts: 1,047 Member
    I think sleep is too important to take even the slightest chance of not being able to get a full night's rest in. I take meds every night and make sure I have a bare minimum of 7 hours to sleep. I alternate between hydroxyzine, which is an old-school antihistamine and temazepam, which is a very mild benzodiazepine that I take at a low dose. A couple of Benadryl work too, in a pinch.

    I've never tried magnesium because I'm afraid of being hard asleep and its purported laxative effects kicking in and melatonin gives me a headache and makes me queasy (also not a good feeling for sleep!). Lots of people have great success with those though and both are available over the counter.

    Sleep hygiene is the real key though. I only sleep in my bed. I don't work, read my phone, read a book, play with the dog, watch tv, play on the computer...my bed is for sleeping and my body knows that's what we're going to do there. I use a sleep mask to make sure it's completely dark and earplugs so I'm not disturbed by any ambient noise. There was actually a car fire at the end of my block a couple of months ago that I managed to sleep completely through--sirens and all! I go to bed at about the same time nearly every night whether it's a weeknight or weekend, although I do sleep in when I get a chance. I keep my room as cool as possible--although it's a little more challenging this time of year without A/C. I also use a weighted blanket when the temperature cooperates. There are tons more ideas out there about how to improve sleep hygiene. I'd say it's definitely worth checking into whether you add meds or supplements or not.

    I absolutely believe that sleep is the bedrock of health and happiness and do whatever it takes to make sure I get enough.
  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 1,158 Member
    In addition to limiting screen time, I also have blue light filters on my laptop and phone so if I am using them in the evening, they aren't bombarding my eyes with light that says "it's daytime, stay awake!"

    4:30 is not a terrible wakeup time, really (especially right now in the Northern Hemisphere when it could be dawn around that time). Are there things you could move around to do in that time? (I'm a natural morning person and it can be incredibly satisfying to exercise and get a bunch of other stuff done before most people are awake.) Some people benefit from naps or rest times in the early afternoon after lunch, too, which might be a better fit for you if you have a flexible schedule.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 29,527 Member
    Have you talked to your doctor?

    For some sleep problems, there's an actual sleep disorder, and you may need a sleep study to figure it out. Sleep apnea is a common one, but not the only possibility.

    I agree with everyone above about trying every possible good sleep hygiene thing you can do. If there's variability - significant difference some nights vs. others - you might try journaling to see if you can find a pattern. Your food diary on MFP might be relevant (specific foods, nutrients, or timing of eating). Stressful events might matter. Exercise type and timing might matter. Etc.

    If your wake-ups with difficulty going back to sleep involve the "brain spinning" kind of thought process where thinking keeps you awake, there are cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) interventions that have a good track record. It would usually be a limited course of therapy, only a few sessions. If your employer offers a counseling service - some big employers do - that might be a low/no cost route. I assume there are self-help books for sleep CBT on your own, but I don't know specific ones.

    My persistent sleep interruption insomnia was helped, but not "cured" by my sleep apnea being diagnosed and treated. Essentially, I slept more soundly in the sleep intervals after treatment (which helped perceived fatigue), but still woke up just as often. (I go right back to sleep mere moments after waking.) After trying many, many of the things in posts above, what finally helped the most was a limited course of hypnotherapy from a psychologist, for which I paid out of pocket. It didn't make things perfect, but it helped lots - more than anything else I'd tried, including the sleep apnea treatment. There are non-personalized types of this kind of intervention available as audio recordings, or apps.
  • xblosh
    xblosh Posts: 146 Member
    I usually use this method if I got Insomnia.
    Take a deep breath for 5 Sec
    Then hold for 7-10 Sec
    Exhale slowly
    Repeat 3-5 Times.
    It actually works for me. Give it a shot
  • corinasue1143
    corinasue1143 Posts: 7,468 Member
    I don’t sleep well either.
    When I need magnesium, taking it helps. Take it at least a week to see if it helps you. Also when my vitamin d gets low, I don’t sleep as well.
    I wish I knew the answer. If you find it, please share.
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,875 Member
    edited June 2021
    I would talk to your doctor like others have suggested if you have tried to optimize your sleep habits and been unsuccessful. Some things that may help include chamomile tea, lavender essential oils, bathing before bed, melatonin, and magnesium. Regarding melatonin, I have spoken with sleep medicine doctors who have suggested that the over the counter doses are often too low to have much effect. The standard dose is usually 2-3 mg, and extra strength is 5mg. If these help, great! If not, a higher dose of 10-20mg may help.

    If you want to try something non-addicting over the counter, you can try a sedating anti-histamine like Benadryl. If you’re trying them for the first time, you may be drowsy the next day so start with a low dose at first. This is usually what is recommended to people who have not seen their primary doctor.

    There are many other medication options if you have more severe sleep problems but you should see your doctor first. Some are addicting and some are not.

    I used to have no trouble falling or staying asleep when younger but I do shift work now. Because I work ER, I work early mornings, swing, nights, and flip flop all the time. Most others who I know who do a similar job have sleep problems. I did have a sleep study done and sleep apnea was ruled out. I don’t like taking anything addicting so I take melatonin and Benadryl but still don’t sleep much. I’m one of those people who will be up for 3 days despite being tired if i don’t take anything. I have tried a few other medications in the past but none helped me much. I refuse to try Ambien or any addicting medications. Everyone is different though.
  • SL62814
    SL62814 Posts: 22 Member
    I go to bed around 10pm. I have no problems falling asleep. Then I wake up around 3am and it takes me a little while to fall asleep again. Then same thing happens at 4am. I usually get up around 4:30am because I can’t sleep. I go to the gym around 7am and then I’m so tired throughout the day.

    What can I take that will help me get a good nights sleep? Nothing that’s addictive please. TIA
    I go to bed around 10pm. I have no problems falling asleep. Then I wake up around 3am and it takes me a little while to fall asleep again. Then same thing happens at 4am. I usually get up around 4:30am because I can’t sleep. I go to the gym around 7am and then I’m so tired throughout the day.

    What can I take that will help me get a good nights sleep? Nothing that’s addictive please. TIA
    Reducing the caffeine intake late in the day really helps in promoting sleep, also I suggest you listen to some peaceful songs before going to bed. This works great for me when I am unable to sleep
  • Kabootom
    Kabootom Posts: 27 Member
    For better sleep I used to do meditation, after that I feel so much relaxed that it helps me to take healthy sleep quickly.
  • mikethewriter
    mikethewriter Posts: 18 Member
    Kabootom wrote: »
    For better sleep I used to do meditation, after that I feel so much relaxed that it helps me to take healthy sleep quickly.

    Agreed buddy!
    I was insomniac and sleeplessness was a special kind of torture but when I started meditating, it changed my life. I feel super relaxed & calm and it has also made me more focused now.
  • xrj22
    xrj22 Posts: 194 Member
    If you are interested in the herbal route, try vallerian. I have found it helpful for staying asleep, not just getting asleep, and there is also some decent research showing it works. Also, for many people, early morning insomnia and depression go hand-in-hand. So if you have any signs of depression make sure you are treating that. (and by "treating", I don't mean just meds: Antidepressants, journaling, psychotherapy, exercise, omega-3's, social life, music, whatever works for your depression. Lastly, keep the room dark. Make sure that sunlight isn't waking you, or setting your internal clock earlier than it should be (can be a factor even if your first wakening is before the sun comes up.)
  • Zoomie402
    Zoomie402 Posts: 260 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    Silly question but do you just randomly wake up or are you sensitive to noises or out of hunger or bad dreams or something that might actually physically cause you to wake up at those ungodly hours?

    Or, you could be like me and get 3 to 4 hours a sleep at night and not have any trouble randomly falling asleep anytime you stop moving. :)

    I was just wondering these same things! My 3am wake up call is generally to use the restroom. It's hit or miss if I can fall back to sleep or not. Like you, some days I can run on very little sleep.

    That said, have you ever tried a weighted blanket? They are really amazing and help me to stay asleep after my 3am potty break.
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,218 Member
    I take magnesium supplement to relax my muscles.. and I put on a movie I've seen a million times.. a happy one that I like.. there is nothing new to keep my mind wondering what's next... and it works to lull me to sleep.
  • carbos101
    carbos101 Posts: 48 Member
    edited June 2021
    I was desperate but afraid of becoming addicted to sleep meds and my doctor recommended Tylenol PM which has Benadryl in it. Most OTC sleep aids have Benadryl. I read (and heard) Tylenol alone relaxes some and thus Tylenol PM must really work but I decided to start mild and buy the Pediatric Benadryl and started with 1/4 tsp. It worked. I eventually had to take more but weened off of and read it's best not to take Benadryl every nite -- you'll need stronger doses (like anything) but I know couple people who take the 2 regular tablets nightly and have done so for years.
    Another recommended OTC (good reviews couple yrs. ago) is Unisom. Some indicated it worked better than prescription sleeping pills and a friend (very cautious) said it works great for her and she doesn't feel groggy the next morning. Unisom contains the other property (different than Benadryl) used for OTC allergies.