“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep” ~Dale Carnegie

I stopped sleeping through the night when I was in my twenties. I’d wake up around 2 a.m., usually worried about something to do with work, and would toss and turn for hours. After months of this routine, I gave up fighting, and would get out of bed to edit stories, write, read or watch TV. I had a couple of friends in California whom I could call. I’d usually be able to get back to sleep around 5 for a couple of hours. Interestingly, I hardly every felt drained the next day. I’m fortunate to have loads of energy.

I decided to try sleeping pills about five years ago and my doctor readily prescribed them.  They haven’t been a panacea, but they’ve generally helped me to have a better night’s sleep. I’ve taken Ambien, Ambien CR and Lunesta. I’ve heard that some sleep aids can be addictive, but I haven’t done any research on them, nor have I tried to stop.  As with any drugs, these carry a laundry list of warnings, from doing things you won’t remember the next morning (driving a car is one of them, but I don’t have a car, so that’s not possible) to thoughts of suicide.  The most severe problem I’ve had is occasionally feeling a bit draggy the next day (ironic!)

I’ve promised myself that I’ll learn more about sleep aids by interviewing experts on the subject, so I can pass everything on to all my FOF friends. Sleep is critical to our emotional and physical well being. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experiences with the zzzzzs.

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11 Responses to ““If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep” ~Dale Carnegie”

  1. Pranav Veer says:

    Dale Carnegie

    Hello, I work out every day for three hours in the evening, to sleep well, sleeping pills have side effect so one should try and avoid…. Start Yoga and 45 brisk walk to get good sleep…

    I like your sleeping picture can I use this picture..

    Warm Regards,
    Pranav Veer

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  2. Barbara says:

    Hi Geri, I love Hannah’s suggestions! There is also a homeopathic tablet made by Hylands called, Calm Forte. It helps a lot!

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  3. Michele says:

    I just read that tart cherry juice is really great to aid in sleep. I really hope it works because i don’t like the way I feel the next day after taking a sleep aid and I really don’t like the side effects. Will keep you posted.

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  4. Hannah says:

    What helps me is essential oils. I use a combination of Clary Sage which is helpful in hormone balance and Lavender or a blend called Serenity. Rubbed on the bottoms of my feet at bed time and I am out like a light. Also another oil that helps balance your seratonin levels is Melissa. Since I am not fond of synthetic drugs and chemicals this is a way I have found that uses all natural things and has no side effects.

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    • Judith says:

      What is the brand name for Serinity and Melissa oils?

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  5. DawnMarie Helin says:

    I find that I lose more sleep when my mind just won’t let me go. When the babies woke me those many eyars, I could just so my thng and go right to sleep. But my busy life and grown family aren’t so easy to disctract. So, for the last ten years I’ve kept an unlined journal next to the bed. When I wake up, I try counting or saying the rosary. I try very hard not to get stressed over being awake also. If that won’t get the thoughts out, I quietly free-form write everything in my head. I believe the physical effort gives my mind the idea that I’m doing something about what’s on my mind, and then I get right back to sleep. When hubby can’t sleep, I use the eye mask to keep the light out and relax along side of him. If all else fails, and we’re both awake, a little snuggly sex works wonders.

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  6. gail says:

    Like so many women during the menopausal and post years, I’ve suffered from not being able to sleep when I wanted/needed to do so. Additionally I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the early 90’s. I have been taking Ambien pretty regularly for almost 10 years – at the 10 mg dose, since 5 mg doesn’t do it .

    And what a difference the ability to sleep a minimum of 5 hours per night has done for me! When I sleep well I am stronger,cope & suffer less generalized pain and deal much better with my life. If something proves itself to help you, then I say Take it.

    I see no difference between taking the Ambien daily than I do for the 4 other pills I have to take for high blood pressure.

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  7. Helen Poore says:

    Here’s what has helped me: No caffeine after 12 noon, no dinner after 7pm, and only one drink per day. Also, we do not have a tv in the bedroom. I try to get off the computer and stop all work activities by 9pm. Around 10pm I usually watch something that is non stimulating, like HGTV, and by 11:00 I’m ready to crawl into my nice cold bed(we keep the bedroom at 66 degrees) and fall right to sleep. I also find that going to bed and getting up at the same time every day helps. And lastly, I love fresh sheets, would change them everyday instead of once or twice a week, if I had the time, so what I do instead is every other day I put on freshly ironed clean pillow cases!

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    • Geri says:

      I ADORE your comments, especially about the cold sheets.

      G

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  8. Duchesse says:

    Tried everything from wearing myself out with exercise, meditation, melatonin. Like you, get up if can’t sleep, except for those work days when I am “on”- especially when on the road.

    In those cases, take Imovane (generic name, zopiclone). Only take from one half to one and one half pills a month, so don’t worry about habituation. (Only need a half pill at a time.) Without knowing I can sleep if absolutely have to, I’d be very worried.

    Will be interested in what you learn.

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    • Geri says:

      Hi Duchesse,

      Is Imovane a prescription drug?

      G.

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