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HummingB1rdHummingB1rd Posts: 1

I can't sleep I have trouble dropping off and i can be lying there for ages. Doctor gave me antidepressants to help me sleep, I've tried all the remedies and done the sleep hygenie. Now looks like antidepressant not working.

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  • KazKaz Posts: 482 mod
    Accepted Answer

    Hi @HummingB1rd

    It's so exhausting if you don't sleep well isn't it? I used to get so stressed about it, and in turn, the more stressed I got, the less I could sleep. It's a vicious circle!

    I had years of only getting two or three hours sleep a night and for that reason I am a firm believer in routine, routine, routine. If I deviate from the routine, then the sleep starts to slip again. Now though, if I have a bad night I try not to obsess about it, because when I stress about it, it turns into two bad nights and three bad nights, etc, etc, etc...

    I go to bed and get up at roughly the same time every day, including weekends.

    My window in the bedroom is always open, so the room is always cool, even in the middle of winter.

    I have an alpaca duvet which helps to regulate the bed temperature ( a pure wool duvet works the same I believe) and a fan and chillow/gel pillow on standby for the hotter months, or the nights when the heat gets to me or I have a headache. There's nothing nicer than putting your head on a cool pillow when you're overheating! On the bedside table I always have water in a flask that keeps it cold for use through the night if I need it.

    I take a magnesium supplement and 5HTP - both have helped regulate my sleep pattern. I had the best results with 5HTP (but you can't use this with anti depressants and you should always check with your GP or a pharmacist before you take anything unfamiliar to you)

    I try not to use my electronic gadgets in the run-up to bed, but since I use a mindfulness app on my iPad to help me drop off, I know I'm not the most successful at that step!

    I always try to read a few pages of my latest book. Like I said - for me, it's all about routine!

    I don't know how you feel about mindfulness? I used to think it was nonsense - but I've been using the Clarity app (designed by one of our experts @Becks_Armstrong) with huge success for sleeping - and it also helps with hot flushes! I know it sounds like it shouldn't work, but I use it every night to help me sleep, and I tried the Instacool button when I was having a hot flush one night, and that really worked too! It's drug free - which I also like. You do need to practice a bit - but it's not a huge effort. I tried it, it worked, and I kept going with it! The app is made for menopausal women by women, so may be worth a look for you. If you think it might work for you have a look at the website 


    I try to limit my liquid intake a couple of hours before bedtime so that I only have a couple of loo stops during the night, athough I seem to have fewer loo steps now at I'm on HRT patches!

    If I wake up and can't get back to sleep, I pop the app back on. I find that this is the quickest way to help me drop off again. I'm a huge advocate of mindfulness apps - they've really helped me to deal with anxiety and negative thoughts. It does take a bit of practice, but is really worth the effort.

    I've tried lots over the years - bananas at bedtime, warm milky drinks, OTC herbal sleep remedies, eye masks, ear plugs, exercise till I'm so physically exhausted I should sleep for a week, antidepressants. Probably other things too I've forgotten about! It's frustrating when think you're doing all you can but you still can't drop off to sleep.

    I think the biggest change for me was a shift in my attitude. When I relaxed about sleep, instead of analysing how many minutes of sleep I'd had (I threw out the Fitbit!) and I stopped getting upset about it, my sleep started to regulate. I know Ive rambled on a bit, but perhaps there will be something that you havent thought of or tried that might help you. Good luck! 😊


  • Julie20Julie20 Posts: 309 mod

    Hi @HummingB1rd

    Sleep is a huge issue at this "amazing" time in our lives. I've tried so many things without any success but I recently downloaded a sleep meditation app on my phone and I have to say so far I've not heard the end of the app. I tried various different apps but I've finally found one that works for me so that may be worth trying.

    If not you could ask your GP for melatonin tablets. They are natural ingredients that calm the brain pattern down and once your brain stops running a marathon you will sleep. My grandson is autistic and was given them as he never slept. He no longer needs to take them as his brain has learnt to shut down when he goes to bed.

    Also try no caffeine. No tobacco if you smoke. No food for a couple of hours before bed. Always have a cold bedroom with blackout curtains and no TV. Some people also say reading at bedtime helps.

    Good luck x

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