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Author Topic: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.  (Read 910 times)

Noheroicsplease

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My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« on: November 09, 2018, 08:42:08 AM »

I've recently changed my HRT. While it has had a positive impact on my emotional wellbeing (the reason I'm on HRT, that and osteopenia and I'm post meno at 47), my sleep is still bad. Several hours sometimes, lying there, awake.

It's been this way for 3 years now. I feel I have tried everything - and I'm very resourceful. I know what to do, what not to do. I do lots of exercise (well, this is also the problem, the tiredness makes me not want to some weeks), I have incredibly healthy diet, no caffeine/booze/sugar, walk a lot, take lots of supplements to promote sleepfulness. Take melatonin on occasion (makes little difference). Occasionally I take a sleeping pill to 'reset' and then I get a full night. But I can't take them all the time. I nap when I have to, if I can. I've taken on less work. I'm totally regimented about my social life so I don't overdo. I'm stripped back to basics!

I don't know what to do next. I went to bed at 10pm. Asleep by 10.30. Woke at 2. Awake still at 4.30. Got up to do pre school run stuff.

I'm tired. Sad. Despairing that I'm ever going to feel rested.

I don't even know why I'm here as I don't feel there's anything anyone can say. But I just have to vent that this is totally shit and I hate the menopause.
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jaypo

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2018, 10:10:01 AM »

You vent away girl,thatís what weíre all here for.sleep deprivation is truly awful & Iím sure youíve tried pretty much everything,like you I donít think Iíd start taking sleeping pills,too addictive,Iím guessing youíve tried all the herbal ones?the people at Holland & Barrett are really helpful & all seem to now be trained.
Really hope you feel better soon,if you do find something make sure you let us all know xx
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Dancinggirl

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 10:20:32 AM »

I can totally relate to this - vent away.   
One of my main reasons for staying with HRT was to enable me to get some better sleep, however in reality I wasnít finding HRT made that much difference. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture with good reason and I think for many of us it is the toughest thing to cope with. Trouble with sleeping is a sign of stress - maybe itís the stress you need to tackle?  However this is very difficult to reduce when life is so busy.
I wish I could offer some help or good advice - you are clearly trying everything. I do think the anxiety of feeling sleep deprived makes things worse and getting over this is really difficult, especially if you have kids to sort and you have to work.

I stopped HRT over two years ago (Iím 62 now) because the tummy cramps and erratic bleeding were getting worse and this kept me awake - also Utrogestan made me feel spaced out and detached from life.  I still get flushes and overheat at night and I donít expect this to subside any time soon. My husband is also having difficultly with sleep - waking in the early hours and fidgeting but I think this is because he falls asleep in front of the TV during the evening. 
SO, I took the drastic step of moving into the spare bedroom so I could control my sleeping environment and this has made a big difference. My husband isnít keeping me awake and Iím not disturbing him with my trips to the bathroom several times at night.
I do think it is about a different mindset - accepting that sleep wonít always come easily and I actually feel reasonably good on 6-7 hours of sleep which includes at least 2 trips to the bathroom through this time. If you sleep from 10pm to 4am you are actually getting 6 hours sleep and this isnít that bad!!! SO try telling yourself that. Before I moved into the spare room I felt lucky to get even 3-4 hours sleep!

Try going to bed a bit later - maybe 10.30 or 11pm.  Have you tried the íTHIS WORKSí pillow spray -  I have found this works a bit for me because I often canít fall to sleep!!! If I canít sleep in the middle of the night I just concentrate on Mindfulness and totally relaxing. 
My thoughts may not be of any help at all but sometimes just sharing our experiences and getting some empathy can help.
I take the antihistamine version of NYTOL or Sleepeeze sometimes and this will give me a good night without feeling too awful the next day.
You poor thing.  DG x :bighug:

 
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AgathaC

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 10:32:43 AM »

Hello no heroics please!
Sleep deprivation has turned me into a 46 year old looks 56!
Iíve given up on trying to get back to sleep. I get up and do jobs now.
During the day Iím tired but at least the house is immaculate and all my jobs are done and everyone goes to school on time and with everything they need.
I think my staff think Iím weird because I send them emails at 4am with plans for the day...
I think I get around 5 hours a night and DG has a good point - thatís not too bad. 6 is better and I can function on that long term but 5 is doable xxx
I completely agree with your last three paragraphs and I could have written them.
Sending you lots of love,
Agatha C with dark circles under her eyes xx
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Dancing Queen

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 10:35:41 AM »

Hi DG,
I`ve always been a very light sleeper and over the years have got more and more rubbish at sleeping. Generally I`m awake at 2...or 3... or 4 am till 6 or later. Doesn`t make a difference if I have alcohol, no alcohol, nytol, watch TV before bed or read, still the same sleep pattern. I try going in the spare room to read and it doesn`t really make a difference, emptying my mind (nope there`s always something that refuses to shift). But I haven`t had sleeping pills yet as actually as I`ve always been like it I can get away with very little sleep. Sure it`s not good for me though. Sorry I don`t have any solutions but just to let you know some of us are awake with you at 4am! x
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Noheroicsplease

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 10:52:59 AM »

Thanks all. I actually haven't slept in the same bed as my husband for the past 3 weeks. And before that, for a lot of the time. He's a terrible sleeper and he snores. It just adds fury to the night, for both him and I as it's not good for him when I'm tossing around. Despair is quite enough.

It's hard. I don't expect more than 6 hours. I'm happy with 6 unbroken hours. I use a sleeping pill from the US which is an antihistamine really. It's great the next day. But I'm aware that I can't rely on anything every night as that spells trouble..

It is what it is. I know I'm not alone. But it's SHITE. I've never had a flush or a night sweat. Just this. And emotional stuff. It's different for us all.
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Annie0710

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 01:17:41 PM »

Since meno I have suffered slight insomnia, and even slightly affected me.  I used phenergan a couple of times a week and that really helped.  Then I was prescribed amitriptyline for nerve pain in my back and that was fantastic for sleep.  Iíve been taken off them now because of worsening dry eye and at present on nothing while I pluck up the courage to start gabapentin.  My sleep is still doing ok despite waking in the night with really bad back pain.  I have come to the conclusion that I only need 5-6 hrs sleep a night nowadays, and I remember my mum saying she didnít need as much sleep as she got older x
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Age 52
Hysterectomy 1999 age 32 and given 2mg oestrogen due to ovarian failure
Onset of new symptoms  2012 age 45
Diagnosed post meno 2015 age 48
2mg elleste solo til 2015
Started Estradot 75mcg 2015
Sept 2016 scan showed dissolved ovaries
May 2017 oestrogel & Tostran

Stellajane

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 02:20:23 PM »

I don't see any problem in taking an antihistamine based tablet if it helps you.

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Peroxideblader

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 07:09:33 PM »

I feel so sorry for you I've been the same for over 7 years but mine is the opposite..I can't fall asleep til 3 or 4am never before and gave to be up at 8.30 latest and it's totally ruined my life both physically and mentally.  I've also tried EVERYTHING aa you can imagine. I moved to a separate room from my partner 2 years ago too it's been much better for him as I was keeping him awake and my hot sweats woke him up..it hasn't helped me get to sleep any better but means one of us gets a good night.
Nomoreheroics...I have tried uk antihistamines which haven't helped in fact given me extreme restless legs but you say you use a US antihistamine can you tell me which one please..I'm always up for trying anything.
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CLKD

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 08:56:06 PM »

Maybe you are stressing for nowt!  As we age we apparently need less sleep.  Also the more we worry the busier the brain gets so it stands to reason that we are overall, more lively.  I can sleep on a linen line when my brain shuts down ....... not quite in the middle of a conversation but close!

Maybe you aren't getting enough carbohydrates and sugars, perhaps your body is hungry?  Do you eat supper?  A warm drink ...... any1 remember Horlicks  :sick02:  ;D  :-X .........

I have a deep bubble bath and cuppa, most nights it relaxes me enough to sleep unless my brain suddenly has a flash back  :'( which happen a lot at this time of year :-(


I found for years that a radio with soft music beside the bed at least kept my brain focussed.  Then in 1980 I decided that actually, I hadn't died yet and nor did my work suffer how much sleep I didn't get.    I slept well from that time apart from the odd nights: I either go to sleep deeply then wake within the hour and I'm awake for hours.  Or I sleep well until the early hours and after a bathroom visit, stay awake!  It's normal for me  :-\.

Making a list of tomorrow's necessities might help.  Out of your mind onto paper ...... I also have a paper and pen close by in case I think of something that needs doing.  I am known to read or get up to make a cuppa to break the brain whizzing round.

Sleep deprivation is used as a torture method for obvious reasons.    If antihistamines don't help your brain probably doesn't require them!  It's OK to use a sleeping pill occasionally, I found taking 1 for 3 nights prior to a busy time helped.  I also accept that some nights I don't get as much sleep as I think that I need.
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

NorthArm

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2018, 07:02:49 AM »

Have you tried a tiny dose of mirtazapine? Itís an antidepressant at 30-45mg, but is often prescribed at tiny doses of 3.75-7.5 mg for people who suffer from insomnia. I take 7.5mg and have found it very helpful - it knocks me for six! And I usually get 7-8 hours every night. The beauty of it is that it doesnít stop REM sleep which sleeping tablets and benzodiazepines often do - I also went to sleep in the spare room, itís black as pitch, I pop earplugs in, headphones on over the top to listen to a meditation and Iím gone within 30 minutes. I usually wake up quite refreshed 😁. From time to time (usually during prog part of cycle) Iíll wake up at 2.30am on the dot, for those times I have some Xanax and will pop 1/2 a mg, this takes me through until about 5.30 when I have to get up....I honestly couldnít keep going how I was - a nervous wreck on no more than two hours a night.....
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EleanorB

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2018, 07:53:45 AM »

Hi,

I recently went to a sleep clinic for chronic insomnia, started with peri. He suggested 3 options, hrt, then if no joy, circadian - slow release melatonin (made my sleep worse) and then a low dose anti depressant. I havenít tried the last option as I have migraine and historically ADs make it worse. However could be helpful for you. The suggestion from him wasnít for depression but at a lower dose than used for depression for  insomnia. If you are interested in the anti depressant suggestion I can look for the letter and let you know. He also told me all the sleep hygiene stuff, but, like you, makes no difference what I do, I am still awake half the night.
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SueLW

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2018, 11:28:48 AM »

I wish I could remember where I read about this so I could share it with you.  It was probably in the past 2 years and was so interesting I looked into it further and found other things to corroborate it.

We aren't designed to sleep for 7-8 hours in a row.  Our sleep cycles go in 4 hour stints and depending on our own personal set-up, we will wake up at the end of a cycle.  Many of us just go to the bathroom and then back to sleep.  But back in time, in the 1600's and forwards, it was normal to go to bed early, wake in the early hours and get up for an hour or two.  Neighbours would visit each other for social interaction or to share a small meal.  Or they would read by candle or fire light, or just talk to each other.  The main thing was that they got up and did something for an hour or two and then went back to bed for another sleep cycle.  It was only the advent of the industrial revolution that stopped this because people were too exhausted to do anything other than sleep when they worked in the factories, half-starved and barely holding it together.

These wake/sleep cycles are controlled by cortisol.  Cortisol is badly disrupted by hormonal changes because it's produced by the adrenal glands, which end up trying to fill the hormonal gaps by taking over production of flagging thyroid or sex hormones.  You can't fight cortisol, you have to try to work with it.  Have you tried adrenal supplements like adaptogens to help?  You could try Holy Basil at bedtime for a month to see if it would break the cycle for you.

I experienced what you are experiencing earlier on in perimenopause.  I realised that I was totally exhausted if I stayed in bed in the dark fretting about being awake.  So I got up and did something relaxing for an hour (just like our ancestors but without knowing about that at the time.).  I would sit at my desk in desk lamp light and colour or paint.  Or sit on the sofa in lamplight and read.  I would make a hot drink and eat an adrenal helpful snack (protein, salt and vitamin C).  Then I'd start to feel a bit more relaxed and sleepy, I'd hang on a bit longer and then back to bed to sleep until I had to get up.  It really, really helped.  Your body is awake at that time because of hormones.  You can't force it back to sleep so you need to adapt.  If you have to get up by alarm then you will need to go to bed quite early.  But that's OK because you will have an hour or two during the night to get more relaxation and personal time.  You could even do some gentle yoga at that time.

That phase of my life has passed now, but even so, if I get a random night of sleeplessness I make myself get up for a bit.  I was fascinated to find that this was normal and healthy for our ancestors.  Some sleep experts think it is still good for us.  It helps our brains to do what they have to do in the night.  Knowing about the past gives us the permission to not feel stressed, anxious or bad about being awake.  I did find a friend (sadly since died of cancer) who was going through the same thing.  We often chatted on Facebook when we were up in the night and would treat it as social time.
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Night_Owl

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2018, 12:38:35 PM »

SueLW, what an interesting post - thanks for this useful information.

Adrenal fatigue has to be be a key factor in the whole meno experience and yet is not discussed that widely - maybe the women who 'sail through' meno have healthy adrenals that kick in and produce estrone.

Cortisol/adrenaline surges and feelings of panic are so difficult to cope with in the darkness!
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Age 56, early-ish meno at 44
Highly progesterone intolerant and migraineur
Current regime:  Long cycle
Yearly endo scans
Estraderm 25 patch twice weekly
Utrogestan 100mg x 10 nights, v-route, every 6 weeks
Vagifem three times weekly
Ovestin cream, sparingly
*Oct 2018 - trialling 3 months off HRT*

Night_Owl

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Re: My sleeplessness is impacting on my life.
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2018, 02:12:37 PM »

But I just have to vent that this is totally shit and I hate the menopause.

NoHeroics - sorry don't have anything to add - just totally sympathise - hope you find a way forward, it is all trial and error.
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Age 56, early-ish meno at 44
Highly progesterone intolerant and migraineur
Current regime:  Long cycle
Yearly endo scans
Estraderm 25 patch twice weekly
Utrogestan 100mg x 10 nights, v-route, every 6 weeks
Vagifem three times weekly
Ovestin cream, sparingly
*Oct 2018 - trialling 3 months off HRT*
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