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Sleep's sweet embrace

What's it like at your house?

Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby panthera » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:51 am

I highly recommend silicone earplugs and an eyepillow. Otherwise I would never sleep when I'm supposed to. As I've gotten older, I've gotten a lot more sensitive to light and sound. My ears are weirdly shaped, so I have never been able to use ear plugs or any sort of ear phones successfully (I can't use an iPod, for instance). But a couple of years ago, in total desperation when I moved in with someone who screams and sings "she'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes" at the top of her lungs just about every night, I kept searching and found silicone ear plugs. They totally mold to your ear, no matter what shape it is, and they completely plug up the hole, if you mold them that way. Now, even though we don't live with the nighttime screamer anymore, I can't sleep reliably unless I use them.

I just went to see a sleep expert, after a lifetime of difficulty sleeping when, but only when, it's OK to sleep. I'm now wearing an actigraphic watchy-thingy, which measures movement minute-by-minute, and trying to keep a sleep journal. Hah! I'm pretty confused by the journal articles he gave me, but I gather that exogenous melatonin only helps when your own melatonin production is very low. So you can use it to sleep during your normal awake time, or possibly to extend sleep in the morning, but you'd have to take it really late at night or in the early morning hours, and that's a problem if you're already asleep then.

(sigh) If I were trying to sleep right now, I would have a difficult time since my roommate is screaming, as she does when she's drunk 3-4 nights/week. I'm just really glad she's hasn't ever broken anything.
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Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby Miso Vegan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:24 pm

[quote="panthera";p=1365] I moved in with someone who screams and sings "she'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes" at the top of her lungs just about every night
....
If I were trying to sleep right now, I would have a difficult time since my roommate is screaming, as she does when she's drunk 3-4 nights/week.


What on earth?!?! How do you find these people?!
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Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby Shiva » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:48 am

Melatonin, in addition to be used as a hypnotic (sleep-inducing) drug, is also used in small doses (along with light therapy or alterations) in treating some sleep disorders that have to do with disrupted or nontypical circadian rhythms like delayed sleep-phase syndrome and Non-24. atomx was directed to take 1 mg of melatonin 7 hours before his desired sleep onset time to help him get into a more regular sleep pattern. (He didn't follow through on it, so I can't speak to its effectiveness.) This small dose is not enough to cause drowsiness, but is intended to help in for changing your body's "clock." Light therapy in the morning is usually advised in conjunction with the melatonin.

Sleep disorders can take so many forms that what works magic for one person may do nothing for someone else. :/ This wikipedia arlticle on sleep hygiene has some good links at the bottom of the page.
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Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby Shiva » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:49 am

[quote="Miso Vegan";p=1374][quote="panthera";p=1365] I moved in with someone who screams and sings "she'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes" at the top of her lungs just about every night
....
If I were trying to sleep right now, I would have a difficult time since my roommate is screaming, as she does when she's drunk 3-4 nights/week.


What on earth?!?! How do you find these people?!

+1! Geez. :(
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Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby dropscone » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:53 am

[quote="matryoshka";p=1334]... other times i can tell that it's anxiety- and/or depression-related. for the latter, it actually helps to have the tv on or listen to music because it distracts me from the plethora of thoughts whizzing around in my head...


In the first few months after my granny died I had trouble with sleep (more than at the moment, I mean) and it helped to leave a side-light on, otherwise I'd wake up in the dark and feel bad. Sometimes music helped as well.
"and all the world is biscuit shaped, it's just for me to feed my face, and I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste..."
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Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby panthera » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:55 pm

Shiva, which disorder does atomx have? I used to have delayed phase, but it's probably either free-running or irregular, now. I kind of hope it's the former, because it sounds like irregular has more to do with actual brain dysfunction, rather than a circadian cycle that isn't anchored down. Besides, it sounds cool. Free-running, like the wind! Or windsurfing I guess.

Today's roommie came from craigslist. The one last year was a 15-yr old with a developmental disorder. She had very difficult nights (like the rest of us here!) and came to the playroom to self-soothe. The playroom was right next to my room. and she sang that "comin' round the mountain" in such an anguished & angry tone, with all the strength of her 15yr old lungs. :( She also had what we called her "nose sound," which was basically like an extended foghorn. Plus some snorts.

But she was the daughter of one of the sweetest members of our house, and she was being co-parented by the founder of the community. So she was definitely a part of the community. It was good practice in communicating, trying to navigate the "I can't possibly sleep through that" vs. "she needs some sort of outlet, and we have no idea what else to do for her, since she cannot speak."
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Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby panthera » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:51 pm

Ugh, I need to sit down and talk to our present roommate, seriously. She's just getting out of hand & last night was roaring for 12 hrs non-stop. I'm surprised our upstairs neighbors have not complained, although the folks across the hall apparently don't hear her.

Any tips on how to approach her? Last time around I had emailed her to arrange to sit down and talk, but she said she was going to be out a lot of the time and did we need to sit down in person? She had made an intention never to be in a state like the night before but would be willing to hear out whatever we had to say. I thought it would be OK if she was taking it seriously. But now she's really depressed and upset (she's taking her mother's Zoloft b/c she hasn't gotten her Effexor through the indigent patient program lately!!) so I feel more nervous about it. Plus, it's hard to know when to approach her.

I really want to be able to call her friend and ask him to take her to his place when this happens. Or ask her to join AA, although I'm pretty sure she doesn't want to stop drinking totally. Arggh!
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Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby Shiva » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:06 am

panthera, atomx has sleep apnea. I don't think that the doctor was sure if he had any other sleep disorder.

I don't have any advice about the roommate. That's a really hard situation. :( {{panthera}}
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Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby matryoshka » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:32 am

{{panthera}} i don't have any advice either, but i hope you can straighten out the situation soon. that's no fun for anyone :(

also..
[quote="Shiva";p=1391]...disrupted or nontypical circadian rhythms like delayed sleep-phase syndrome ...


i hadn't heard of this before, but it seems like that might be what my issue with sleep is. example: i had to get up at 630 this morning for an 8am final, so i went to bed at 10 but couldn't fall asleep until 1am. needless to say, getting up was a pain in the ass. that's what all of high school was like, but now i'm glad i can choose later classes (though it's still a challenge to get up at 830 to get to 10am classes..)
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Re: Sleep's sweet embrace

Postby vegematic » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:17 pm

I've been pretty convinced for several years that I have that. I haven't bothered getting a formal diagnosis before because there didn't seem to be a viable treatment (and because I live in the boonies, far away from any decent sleep specialist). My answer was to go into education so I get lots of vacation time to catch up on sleep and live on my own cycle. My natural sleep period is dawn - noon. Daylight savings time is not my friend.

The only thing that puts me on a reasonably "normal" cycle is when I'm backpacking, in other words: major physical activity during the day and very little artificial lighting.
I just walked. I was very happy.
-Bill Bryson.
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