General Question

funnynerd's avatar

I have had crazy insomnia lately. What recommendations for non-chemical sleep aids do you guys have?

Asked by funnynerd (160points) June 13th, 2010

I have not been able to get reliable sleep lately, and when I do I have really bizarre dreams, some that border on nightmares.

Do you all have any suggestions for non-chemical sleep aids that might help me out? Also: separate but somewhat related, what do you all think of St. John’s Wort?

Thanks, all!

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32 Answers

funnynerd's avatar

@guitarhero1983 Peanut butter, really? Hmm…

funnynerd's avatar

Thanks, @YARNLADY :) I have this issue where I’ll get really into a book and won’t be able to put it down no matter how tired I am! So then at least I’m using my insomnia productively.

Drcpb's avatar

Hot unsweetened green tea works well for me. Try to not have too many additives (ginseng, lemon, etc) in it.

perspicacious's avatar

I have answered this question a number of times on this site and the answer is always the same. Warm white rice before bed. I haven’t tried it but I read that it works.

Nullo's avatar

Hate to break it to you, but every sleep aid short of a concussion is going to be chemical in nature.
St. John’s wort is actually a stimulant. Counter-productive to your ends.

Hard work has done wonders for my sleeping habits. Used to be that I’d wake up around 3 and not fall asleep again for small eternities, but that cleared up when I started doing eight-hour cart marathons.

andrew's avatar

I’ve had great luck with pzizz.

ipso's avatar

3 beers and a mediocre movie (if sex is not available)

janbb's avatar

(It’s funny to see how many people are posting on this in what is the middle of the night; here, at least.)

I usually toss and turn and eventually get out of bed and do something – comme ca – for a while. Telling myself I can sleep in a bit if need be in the moring helps too. If I’m really desperate or have to perform the next day, I’ll take an Ambien.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I might not know your symptoms but I would suggest you to try these simple Homeophatic remedies:(works for most common symptomps and available in most health shops)
-Aconite:helps to relieve anxiety and restlessness
-Pulsatilla:is for difficulty with failing asleep
-Sulphur:is used ehen there is sleep talking or restless leg syndrome
-Nux Vomica:helps to relieve early waking
-Coffea:should be taken if you’re prone to waking at around 2 or 3am,and then only doze afterwards.

You can also choose another simple remedies like Bach Flower remedies,try one of these:(a few drop of your chosen remedy in a glass of water,taken several times a day)
-Rescue remedy:for shock or sudden change
-Elm:when you find responsibilities overwhelming
-Gorse:if you are faced with hopelessness
-Hornbeam:to relieve tiredness and lethargy
-Oak:for times when you have kept going beyond feeling exhausted
-Olive:if you are exhausted following either mental or physical activity
-White Chestnut:when your mind is unable to relax.

In addition:all these two simple group of remedies are natural,easy to use,and inexpensive. It also has no side effect so it is safe to be used for everyone at every age(except for allergic individual).

perspicacious's avatar

St. Johns wart has a touch of the substance that was used in the early mood stabilizers, and that is what St Johns wart claims to do —put you in a better mood. However, to get any appreciable benefit you would have to take many many many times the recommended dose. I’ve never used it, but I have read this more than once. I have also heard a psychiatrist say that for depressed patients who refuse to take antidepressants, it may offer a scant of help. I’m not a health professional, so don’t think I am encouraging you to take any kind of med or supplement without talking to your doctor.

I would have sworn someone posted something about St. Johns wart early in the thread, but I don’t see it now. Guess I better go to bed. I

ipso's avatar

@Doctor_D – just between us – how much of that is placebo – if you had to put a % on it?
Don’t answer, just in your mind. But I am curious, how does all that compare so say… 3 oz of whiskey in effectiveness? I would love a doctor to come out and say “Yes – it’s all silly, but you’d be surprised how effective “silly” is!

Your_Majesty's avatar

@ipso If you must drink your meds according to its accurateness then you should get a prescription from a ‘real world’ doctor based on your individual check up research.

Nullo's avatar

@ipso Classically, homeopathic remedies are a given substance that may do something, diluted down to parts-per-billion or lower. Needless to say so I’ll say it anyway :P, this is beyond the point where a substance could do anybody any good.
Which is not to say that homeopathy doesn’t have its place. After all, isn’t it better to get the desired results with no actual drugs?

SebastianUllmark's avatar

FIght Club? No but aren’t most drugs only prescribed after longer periods of insomnia. People who experience it use to see it wear of over time – but I can understand how horrible and fatigued you might feel. I had some insomnia/sleeping problems as a kid – about 2 months or so – and it went away eventually when the small, small patches of sleep I somehow got (micro sleep and such) did not suffice to keep me going any longer. The body then “force” you into sleep. In rare cases people have developed narcolepsy due to insomnia.

However, if you don’t get any sleep at all for more than a week, I would recommend trying some prescribed drugs. Chemicals aren’t all bad you know.. But if you feel that it is a last resort, it is up to you. Sometimes, the mind also believes itself to be conscious, when really it is in one of the earlier sleeping stages. If you’d call, or wake someone up when they are in this stage, they wouldn’t honestly believe they where sleeping.

anartist's avatar

stay awake 24 hours plus until you sleep naturally at night

Taciturnu's avatar

Avoid TV and computer for a couple of hours before bed (both stimulate the brain and make sleep more difficult).

Meditate before bed, and acknowledge that you can change your dreams when doing so. I personally rid myself of a lot of nightmares by taking control of my dreams. It takes a little while to gain full control, but if you keep at it, it will work.

And lastly, I focus on a color when I’m laying in bed. (Usually, it’s white or black.) I try to picture the color only, nothing that I associate it with (ie, white polar bear). I try to notice how pure the color is, how far I can see it in my peripheral vision if it’s glowing or dark. Sometimes I will say the color in my head to help block out other thoughts. If my mind is really crazy, I will switch colors a couple times so I can trick myself into thinking I’m thinking a lot of other things. With this, stay away from energizing colors like red, orange and yellow.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

sakura's avatar

I find a good quality colouring book and felt pens help me relax :)

jhp's avatar

I was taking several chemical sleep aids until I got an amathyst biomat (I got the mini mat). I don’t take anything now. I put it on low heat, and sleep really well. I have not tried other less expensive heat mats, but I know this one works for me. It uses infrared heating, which seems to be quite soothing.

ItsAHabit's avatar

A couple of alcoholic drinks should help. If you want a warm beverage, a hot toddy would be good.

JLeslie's avatar

Just accept it, don’t fight it. Don’t lay in bed if you can’t sleep, get up go out to the living room, watch some tv, clean your office, read a book. Take a nap in the middle of the day if you feel yourself needing one. Get sleep when your body allows it. Seems you must be under some stress if you are having nightmares. Do they have a theme, are they recurring? I get very bad nightmares when I have to see doctors about a chronic health problem I have. If they keep up for more then a couple of months I have had success with going to a therapist to talk through my sadness and dissappointment regarding the subject. It usually takes only 4–6 sessions.

gailcalled's avatar

I use books on tape (CDs actually) and listen to them on an old-fashioned Walkman in bed and in the dark. Other than the AA batteries, which I use profligately, it works. I can tell I’ve slept because I have missed several chapters.

andreaxjean's avatar

I found that exercising regularly either a half hour every day or an hour or two three times a week helps me with my sleeping habbits. I had been taking Ambien CR nightly for a long time but I realized I was becoming too dependant on it, so I totally understand why you wouldn’t concider a chemical sleep aide.

I also found that electronics such as a computer, phone, or video game console create rapid brain activity and make it harder for me to fall asleep at night. However, just laying down and watching a simple television program let’s me relax and I’ll end up falling asleep on the couch. Also, reading was mentioned… And they are right. =]

Trillian's avatar

I havvee CD’s of Beluga Whales, and a great one called Liquid Silk which is environmental sounds and Native American flutes.
Anything with thunder, rain and quiet music, is good. I also used to have a Marsona White Noise machine and I may but another someday, I don;t remember what happened to the original. I had it set for surf, seagulls and buoys. It was amazingly relaxing and I slept like the dead.

bellusfemina's avatar

Camamile tea. It worked for Peter Rabbit, it may work for you. :)

Draconess25's avatar

@bellusfemina Spelled chamomile, but yes, it works! XP

Also, mint tea & jasmine tea.

anartist's avatar

A strenuous workout or at least a walk followed by a hot bath as luxurious as possible [or if you are a guy, a hit shower] and a drink, whiskey or hot toddy.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve suffered from insomnia going on 4yrs now and have tried a lot of things that don’t work. I seem to get about 3–4hrs of sleep no matter what so I gave up on drugs, alcohol, foods and stuff. What works best for me is a late light dinner of mostly protein, a shower, a foot rub, sex and an episode or two of “House”.

generalspecific's avatar

Meditation, works for me every time.

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