originalbestyears

Insomnia -does anything work?

Bestyears
December 31, 2019

At jojoca's suggestion on the "New You New Year" thread, I thought I might start this thread to see if anyone has had any real success with the problem of insomnia.


After a lifetime of a ridiculously perfect ability to fall asleep anywhere at the drop of a hat, I find myself plagued (for at least five years now) with insomnia. It came about along with menopause, and since most of my women friends are suffering similarly, I've somewhat concluded that it is an aging issue, at least for women.


I believe there are two general categories of insomnia -the inability to fall asleep, and the inability to stay asleep. I seem to suffer from both. It takes me hours to fall asleep, and then I wake up at least once an hour after that. I haven't had a dream in years and years, which may be indicative that I'm ever entering the deepest sleep cycle, I'm not sure.


The oddest thing to me is that I'm rarely (almost never) exhausted. I'm shocked I'm not. I've even worn Fitbit type devices to be sure my perception of being awake half the night is accurate, and it is, but I don't operate like a sleep-deprived person, in terms of low energy, yawning, etc. However, I've begun to realize that the lack of sleep may be affecting my brain in ways I have not previously considered. My lifelong constant state of optimism, lack of worry, natural positivity, etc., has been somewhat overtaken by thoughts of gloom and doom, other's suffering, negative self-talk, worries both near and far, complaints, and other negativity. I believe I have determined a correlation between particularly bad nights and a particularly bad mental state the next day, which is what led me down this line of thinking.


Things I do (and have pretty much always done), that are supposed to be good sleep habits:

  • I go to bed at the same time every night, following the same routine
  • No TV in the bedroom
  • Regular exercise (walk 3 miles/day)


Things I've tried with no success:

  • Melatonin
  • OLLY
  • Pretty much every OTC sleep aid such as Tylenol PM...


Things I've tried that work with moderate success:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Tylenol
  • Heavy blankets on my lower legs


I'm not interested in taking Ambien (as a few friends do), both because I'm not much of a pill person, and because my understanding is it is sedating you but not truly putting your brain in sleep mode.


Thoughts?


Comments (88)

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    I think that most sleep problems are in our minds...


    That's exactly what my father used to tell my mother...he never had any problems getting to sleep because he had a clear conscience....mother replied that the 4 shots o whiskey he had every night may have had something to do with it too.


    While certainly one can get into a mntal cycl over sleep worris, it is not a primary cause...it may be an aggravating factor for those who have chronic sleep issues, but it's not the major factor for chronic sleep deprivation. It's not my mental state that wakes me up to tell me I'm about to have a hot flash and I shouldn't miss it. It's not my mental state that throws me a hot flash just as I'm about to get cozy and drift off to sleep...

    Bestyears thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • Annie Deighnaugh

    I agree olychick. Esp as dh is up many times at night to p, if we shared a bed, I’d never get any sleep. Though sharing a room with him is a lot easier since he got a cpap and doesn’t snore any longer. On a cruise once before cpap I was afraid the captain would phone and complain he’s interfering with their sonar!

    Bestyears thanked Annie Deighnaugh
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  • aktillery9

    I have had insomnia as long as I can remember. I take trazadone. It is an old school antidepressant that is super mild but the side effect is it makes you sleepy. It works like a charm for me. However, not everyone is the same. I am also not sure you want to take a medication.


    I have the best sound machine and just got one for my boyfriend who has much difficulty with getting sleep. Since he has had it he said he has been sleeping for 8 hrs a night.


    Another idea is to write out everything that is on your mind. It helps to clear it out of your head bc you know you can refer back to what you have written.


    I tend to picture myself in space. Just floating around and feeling perfectly content... without a care in the world. I have done this for decades and it helps as well.


    Not being able to sleep can be so stressful and debilitating. I certainly understand.

    Bestyears thanked aktillery9
  • daisychain01

    Bestyears, on eliminating light, make sure that if you have a clock with glowing numbers or other electronics that emit light, that those are put away. I have a friend who was having trouble sleeping and she was advised by a sleep expert to get rid of all those little glowing lights. It worked for her.

    I'm another one that sleeps separately from my DH. I love him dearly, but he has always been a terrible sleeper. We started sleeping separately when we had kids b/c he needs to seal up the room like a tomb to keep out light and sound. I was always worried that the kids would need me and I wouldn't be able to hear them, so he took over the guest room we rarely used anyways.

    Bestyears thanked daisychain01
  • olliesmom

    aktillery, what sound machine did you get, if you don't mind sharing?

  • terezosa / terriks

    If you can't block out all light a good sleep mask is great. I like the ones that look like mini bras with molded eye cups.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Upgraded-Contoured-Adjustable-Comfortable-Blindfold/dp/B07MR27G3D/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=sleep+mask&qid=1577985855&sr=8-7

    Bestyears thanked terezosa / terriks
  • aktillery9

    I do not mind at all Ollie... here is the link from Amazon. I can not say enough about this machine. It fills the room and makes it like a cacoon.


    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E6D6LQY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  • Feathers11

    I came across this article this evening. I keep a small bottle of lavender essential oil, as well as topical magnesium (a spray), on my nightstand. Both help me sleep. I can wake up with anxiety (this has become more frequent in the past year), and sniffing lavender seems to help. I literally place a tiny bit on my nostrils, and then do deep breathing exercises like those mentioned above.

    My friend's secret to falling back asleep is prayer. She says she often wakes up in the middle of the night, and she begins to pray for her loved ones, which helps her fall back asleep.

    Bestyears thanked Feathers11
  • justerrilynn

    I get two prescriptions of lunesta a year and try to stretch it out so I’m not on it too long. I don’t think it’s addictive but I would rather not take pills unless I really have to. Lunesta works like a miracle for me.

    I have no more lunesta and did a Melatonin pill last night. All night I had half awake half sleep very vivid dreams of designing camel colored leather travel belts with tiny embossed snap down purses on each side, they were only large enough to hold a lipstick or a very small comb . The true storage was hidden on the inside portion that was only as wide as a c.c. What’s weird is that the embossing was done in a western style...something I would never wear. How strange that Melatonin is. What‘s weirder is that I have no desire to own a travel belt. However, in my dream my belts were a huge success for their minimalism.

  • IdaClaire

    I have struggled with sleep issues over the years, but lately find it quite easy to fall asleep. It's occasionally a challenge to stay asleep, and of course the longer I lay there not sleeping the more anxious I become, so sometimes the nights are rough. Thankfully those occasions are fewer than they used to be. My biggest problem right now is dreams that are so vivid and often disturbing / exhausting that I sometimes fear sleeping. I'm usually so tired by the time my head hits the pillow, though, that I have no choice.

    DH and I have enjoyed separate bedrooms for most of our marriage, and I highly recommend it if partners are keeping each other awake. Sleeping in different rooms has absolutely nothing to do with any aspect of a marriage; it's merely logistical.

    My one and only experience with Ambien was years ago and was nightmarish. I did a trial run before a transatlantic flight (I had hoped to sleep well on the plane), but 25 minutes after I took it, I experienced not double but triple vision, and the person who was with me at the time said that every other world out of my mouth was the F word. The next day I had no memory of my actions but felt physically sick. Obviously, it was not a solution for me, and I would never try it again. I think there's something to be said for the fact that such drugs sedate. They don't provide restful, true sleep, and yet they are marketed as such.

    Even sleeping alone, I use a white noise machine AND earplugs. I am extremely particular about my sleep routine.

    Oh, and definitely no pets in the room. I used to let the cats in, and that often was extremely disruptive. And never any alcohol. I will have a drink on very rare occasions, maybe once or twice a year, but back in the day when I drank more often, my sleep was a major wreck.

    Bestyears thanked IdaClaire
  • olliesmom

    Thanks aktillery! My husband loves the fan sound but the fan in our bedroom is too loud. I wouldn’t mind a more quiet fan sound, plus we got a new puppy who sleeps in a crate next to our bed and the fan helps him too.

  • Feathers11

    Another strategy I highly recommend is NOT LOOKING AT THE CLOCK in the middle of the night. I was reminded of this last night, as I woke up a few times. When I used to look at the clock, I'd stress out about how much time I had left before my alarm. It was so distracting. Now, I do not look at the clock when I wake up... after my last wake-up last night, I thought it was close to morning, but apparently not... I actually fell back asleep long enough and deeply enough to dream.

    Bestyears thanked Feathers11
  • olliesmom

    I take 1/3 of a 5mg Ambien every night. I think just knowing I’m taking something takes the edge off. I’m sure it’s psychological with that small amount but I do end up falling asleep. Plus I take magnesium glycinate 600mg, my local pharmacist who is very much holistic told me about this and I take about an hour before going to bed. I really think it makes me calm down.

    I would start at the lowest dose of Ambien if you start taking it. At least break it in half even. I just hate taking medication so take the minimum amount I can.


    Bestyears thanked olliesmom
  • tinam61

    I have to say I'm really surprised (maybe shocked!) that so many of you have such trouble sleeping. I do believe as mentioned that stress, etc. may be a major ingredient in sleeping troubles. Just look at how many WOMEN are having sleeping issues. I can't think of hearing any man I know say he has sleeping issues. Women take on the worries and that has to be a big reason so many of you are having trouble sleeping. I would guess hormones play a big part also. I am thankful that I hit the change with hardly any indication/symptoms. Years ago I had hormone treatment (in my 20's/30's) and would occasionally get hot flashes. I've never had them since (and I hope I am not jinxing myself!!). I have not had any real sleep issues. The times I have had trouble is during a "crisis" to to say, and I know my mind would just not shut off. I don't think I could tolerate sleep masks/earplugs. I worry I would miss something I need to hear! LOL Hubby is a deep sleeper so if there's a noise - I'm the one who would hear it. One thing I do think may make a difference is being physically tired. Even though I retired this work, I can honestly say that most days I go to bed physically tired. I know my 90 year old dad (who has health issues) has some sleep issues just because he really is not physically tired at night. He's not able to do enough to get to that point. I also rarely drink caffeine. I think too much screen time (tv/computer/phone) can disturb sleep patterns. Thankfully, hubby and I are on the same page and like our bedroom pretty cool. We even sleep under a fan. He could do totally dark but I like a bit of light and since he can sleep under most any conditions, I win on that. We do go to bed around the same time most nights, and get up around the same time each morning - if that makes any difference. I think I am just lucky. Good to read hear about the magnesium. I have been reading lately that many have a magnesium deficiency. I honestly didn't realize what all magnesium affects. I hope 2020 will be better for those who are dealing with sleep issues!

    Bestyears thanked tinam61
  • sourpuss

    never break apart a pill except where it is scored. If a pill is not scored, it should be taken whole . I'm sure the pill you are dividing in 1/3s is not scored in thirds.

    Pills that are not scored are put together in such a way that you are not getting 1/2 or 1/3 of the same mix of ingredients. Could be dangerous.

    Bestyears thanked sourpuss
  • yeonassky

    So it sounds like it is better to break the pill down into a powder and mix it thoroughly. My sister had to do this as she needed the pills but they were constantly adjusting them to the wrong amount of medicine for her. This went on for three years. Finally she was able to get a new doctors and the medicine was adjusted for her. We were so relieved.

    Bestyears thanked yeonassky
  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    I'm a terribly light sleeper, and I think I inherited it from my dad.

    I use Sleepytime Extra tea every night - but make the amount of water less than 6-8 ounces so my bladder doesn't wake me up in the middle of the night. My eyelids start drooping before I can even finish the cup. I always drink it as I'm sitting in bed.

    I also put drops of lavender oil on my pillow and wrists. This one is the most fragrant and sweetest smelling, IMPE.

    1 thing I've noticed is that I require fewer hours of sleep as I've aged. Now 7 1/2 is about the most I can muster - ever. Usually 7 is the max. Once in a while I get 8 and feel so grateful!


  • olliesmom

    In regards to breaking my Ambien pill Rx, my doctor was ok with this. Been doing it for 7 years now.


    Good advice though sourpuss.

  • whatsayyou18

    My doctor also is also o.k. with splitting pills into thirds or less. However, I'll double check the next time we talk.

    Regarding magnesium. I don't believe this has been mentioned but It isn't uncommon for one to experience extremely bizarre dreams when starting magnesium. They usually subside within a short amount of time.

    Regarding magnesium dosage (asked above). There are multiple forms of magnesium, so you'll want to study which one is best for you. I order mine (Glycinate) from this site: https://www.jigsawhealth.com/magnesium-products/jigsaw-magpure-glycinate/?campaignid=76361511&variant=1 and you can find lot of information about magnesium there.

    I agree there's a psychological component to that small amount of Ambien, Ollie. My psychological component is to keep the precut Ambien and water on my nightstand. Just knowing it is there should I need it relaxes me. (Hey, whatever works!)

    I can't blame stress for my sleeping issues which clearly coincided with menopause. I also believe that insomnia can become a habit, thus another psychological component. After years of insomnia one can convince oneself that one simply isn't capable of sleeping (my experience anyway.) Magnesium got me over this hurdle. I should also mention that I had absolutely NO expectations magnesium would work. Nothing else had so why would this? Imagine my surprise when I suddenly realized that, for the most part, I was sleeping soundly through the night.

    I second the suggestion of NOT LOOKING AT THE CLOCK! ;)

  • l pinkmountain

    Waking up to go to the bathroom and then not being able to get back to sleep has been an intermittent problem for me. Try frontloading your water/liquid intake. I start each morning downing a big glass of water. Try to limit fluids after 8 PM. Do sometimes have to reach for the water when I wake up, but I think the humidifier will help with that. Also helps prevent a lot of sickness in the winter with dry air if that is a problem where you live, or so my friend says. Helps avoid problems with sinus, etc. But be sure to wash out unit frequently! That's kind of a pain . . .

    Bestyears thanked l pinkmountain
  • Feathers11

    Yeah, Whatsayyou, that's what it took to break myself of the habit of looking at the clock in the middle of the night. I wrote in caps as a reminder to myself. It's one of the best sleep strategies that has worked for me, but, darn, it's still so tempting to take a peek!

  • Bestyears

    I've decided to go ahead and try the magnesium, and used whatsayyou's link to order a bottle. Let's hope.

    Sleepytime Tea helps my DD who suffers from occasional insomnia, but it has never done a thing for me. I haven't tried lavender oil, and may give that a try as well.

    I really prefer not to switch bedrooms, for many reasons so am hopeful many of your other suggestions may work. I'm already relaxing at night, have no pets in the room, have banished alarm clock lights, etc.

    It's so bizarre because at other times in my life, when I have had an occasional difficult night falling asleep, I have used many of the mental exercises suggested and it's been quite effective. This deep-seated insomnia feels different. It is as if my body cannot remember the first step to falling asleep, and it feels as monumental as being in a wheelchair and trying to will oneself to simply take a step. I hope that doesn't sound ridiculous....


  • runninginplace

    And never any alcohol. I will have a drink on very rare occasions, maybe once or twice a year, but back in the day when I drank more often, my sleep was a major wreck.

    Same.

    As I've gotten older alcohol is definitely problematic. I've never been a big drinker; 2 glasses of wine a couple of times a week is my limit and I don't drink liquor at all. But nowadays, those 2 glasses will definitely wake me up during the night repeatedly and I also notice I really don't feel good the next day. It's not a full blown hangover but I don't feel at my best. Then too if I drink at home I'm drinking alone; my husband is a teetotaler (he calls himself a prohibitionist) so I'm not even sharing a wine experience with anyone-now that I write this up I sure don't have any reasons to drink do I?!?!

    I think I"m going to make a rule: no wine unless I'm with someone else. This should go along well with another of our household rules: we don't go out to eat unless we're with other people ;). That works well since home cooking is healthier, cheaper and fits our homebody lifestyle. Living in a resort area there are tons of great restaurants but we prefer to skip the calories and the cost unless we've got guests or family to join us.

    When we go out for dinner it's fun to have a drink or two and i won't mind missing a little sleep. But I'm past the point of interrupting my night's rest and feeling off the next day for the sake of a solo glass or two of wine with dinner at home.

  • whatsayyou18

    "It is as if my body cannot remember the first step to falling asleep,..."

    Exactly! It can be very debilitating. Perhaps you find as I did that you can be incredibly sleepy but as soon as your head hits the pillow you're wide awake and your mind becomes incredibly active. Frustrating!

    The magnesium helps me to sleep deeper and longer but I still had difficulty falling asleep for awhile, thus the small amount of Ambien. I do believe our bodies need to retrain themselves and for me that was a long process. Sleep while traveling will probably always be a challenge for me but I'm fine with taking medication for those times.

    Fingers crossed for you, Bestyears! To offer a little encouragement, my DH began taking mag. for the other health benefits it offers. He's had maybe three difficult sleep nights in his life (I'm exaggerating but not by much!). He falls asleep within five minutes and sleeps well. Shortly after beginning the magnesium he made the connection that he was not waking up before the alarm went off which had been his routine. A co-worker of his, who did have sleep issues, has found relief with magnesium. Wishing you the best!!

    Bestyears thanked whatsayyou18
  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    FWIW, there are a few versions of Sleepytime - the Extra version that I use has valerian and seems to work much better than the regular version.

    I take magnesium at bedtime too - for leg cramps. I didn't think about it helping with sleep, but not being wakened by a charleyhorse certainly makes for a better night!

    And I learned from science that taking ibuprofen before bed when I've had a drink or two is the best hangover preventive, since the pain/discomfort we get is from inflammation. I barely drink anymore as well,so my alcohol tolerance has gone way down.

    Having too much on my mind definitely makes it hard to stay asleep. Sometimes I just give up and start reading. I like to read on my device, since I can reverse to a black page with white type, and turn the display brightness all the way down, unlike having to turn on the bedside lamp to read a regular book.

    With peri- and menopause, the hot flashes really messed with my sleep, because I understand when your temperature goes up, it's a wake signal to your body. Lowering your body temperature helps you fall asleep, according to experts.

    Bestyears thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • Arapaho-Rd

    Bestyears, I'm sorry I'm late in replying. There are many forms, I use Magnesium Citrate from Pure Encapsulations. Some forms are better absorbed than others. I vary my dose and agree withwhatsayyou18 about figuring out what is the right amount for you. I think Magnesium can also affect kidneys so that might be a factor too.


    35 Symptoms of Menopause


    Bestyears thanked Arapaho-Rd
  • Bestyears

    Just wanted to report back -and also ask another question...

    I received my magnesium from Jigsaw and took 2 (50 mg) pills last night at about 9pm. I headed into bed about 10:30-10:45. It took me the usual 1.5-2 hours to fall asleep and I woke up pretty typically every hour to two, staying awake probably 20 minutes each time. So, for night #1, no impact from the magnesium. Should I take more? Take it earlier? Have other people found there is a greater impact after taking it for a few nights? I take a multivitamin that has 100 MG of Magnesium Oxide, so I am getting that each day too.

  • Bluebell66

    What is the dose on your bottle?

    I have found it takes me a few nights nights to see sleep improvement after starting magnesium. Maybe a week or so. My Magnesium Glycinate is 425mg/pill, and the bottle recommends 2 pills as a dose, so I’m getting 850mg.

    A friend of mine likes Natural Calm. She always recommends that as a first stop for her psych patients who want to try medication for their insomnia or anxiety.

  • Bestyears

    Thanks Bluebell -the dosage is only 50mg per capsule. I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure and am taking meds for that now. I did find some concern about magnesium lowering your bp too much in that situation, so I'm probably being a bit conservative. If I take 100mg, I'm getting a total of 200mg/day, but that is wayyyyy below what you are getting.

  • Bluebell66

    Hmmm...in that case, maybe ask your doc. I would hate for too much magnesium to interfere with your other meds. On the other hand, you don’t want to skimp on the magnesium if you don’t have to.

    Bestyears thanked Bluebell66
  • whatsayyou18

    Best, the dosing/mg. with Jigsaw is different than other brands I'd taken before I switched to them. Not sure if it's the form, glycinate, or ???. I would call customer service and discuss. Also, I hope you will discuss with your doctor regarding high blood pressure. Lastly, it took at least a couple of weeks for it to kick in for me. I was honestly not paying attention because I had no expectations that it would help but I do know it was at least a couple of weeks, perhaps 3-4.

    Bestyears thanked whatsayyou18
  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

    I just saw this thread for the very first time or would have responded earlier. I have had sleep problems for quite a number of years. Tried various prescription sleep aids and finally found one that works; however, my insurance company is now limiting the prescription to no more than 180 pills per years. So went searching for some alternatives. My daughter sent an article to me about pistachios, of all things. I finally found some unsalted, shelled pistachios to try (high blood pressure so salted would be unhealthy for me). I cannot believe the difference they have made. At first, I thought it was a fluke. However, I have been trying to remember to eat at least two pistachios each night for nearly 3 months now. I go to sleep with no problem, and sometimes very early, and sleep until I have to answer nature's call. Go back to bed and fall right back to sleep with no tossing or turning. Evidently, pistachios are very high is natural melatonin. So where the chemical melatonin did not work, the natural melatonin is working extremely well for me. Hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.

  • Oakley

    I have ADD and the nights my mind races is when it's hard to sleep. 90% of the time I fall fast asleep because of a restless leg med I take an hour before bed.


    A racing mind is different than laying in bed thinking of what you have to do the next day or just thinking about the usual stuff. One night when I was in my 30's and before any medication was prescribed for me, I had gone to bed before DH. As I laid there my mind just wouldn't just shut up! I started thinking about something off the wall and I got up and went to the LR to tell DH what I thought of. He looked at me like I was out of my mind. lol


    I didn't know anything about ADD but that's what caused the insomnia I had for years.


    I don't know if anyone mentioned a weighted blanket, but I bought myself a twin size blanket for myself because I read it helps with restless leg. It doesn't. But there are nights when my feet need something heavy on them, even when I wear socks to bed. My feet aren't cold, they just feel weird being "naked" even when I have two blankets plus the weighted blanket on me. The other night I was feeling that way so I doubled the blanket and laid it from my thighs down. I didn't wake up once during the night.


    During my insomnia phase I got a prescription for Ambien. The first night I took it I dreamed that I was chewing on a pencil. In the dream I knew what I was doing but I couldn't stop. The dream ended and I continued to sleep. When I got up the next morning I found my pencil on the nightstand and it had been chewed to bits! I didn't touch that stuff ever again.


    Bestyears thanked Oakley
  • whatsayyou18

    "Pistachios are not just the most melatonin-rich nut, they are simply off-the-charts as the most melatonin-rich food ever recorded. To get a physiological dose of melatonin, all you have to eat is two. ... So, taking a whole handful of pistachio nuts is like taking one of those high-dose melatonin supplements."Sep 3, 2018

    WOW! And, who doesn't love pistachios?!?

  • Bestyears

    Definitely getting some pistachios tomorrow!

  • daisychain01

    I went searching for scientific evidence to support the pistachio claim and found this scientific article on melatonin in foods. If you look at Table 1 and scroll down, you will see how much melatonin is in pistachios. Then look at how much is in other foods. I think I'll get some, too.

  • arcy_gw

    Another one late to this party. I always blame my kids for my early rising. b4 kids I could sleep until 9--they messed with my inner clock and now POP I wake before light. Since approaching 60 I KONK evenings if I sit--then going to bed at 10 can be a challenge. I read, but there are nights I could read ALL NIGHT. Getting your days and nights mixed up is not fun, especially when you have work in the morning!!. I too rarely feel fatigued during the day but my eating habits would probably say I am tired. Pistachios are also on the list of things to eat to hike your metabolism..was eating them for that and no change in sleep or weight gains. It is certainly true chemicals of all sorts react very differently in different people. I tried the CBD oil for a few months (chemicals often take 6+weeks to really get into your system) but that didn't help my sleep,my appetite or my joint pain, sigh. Benedryl as a sleep aid works better than any "PM" pill on the market that I've tried, -but the drying of my nose and eyes I don't appreciate, and like many others I don't want to use it so often it becomes necessary. Not sure if there is a lot to be done when we are learning this is a 'natural' state of menopause. I did learn not getting worked up by not sleeping, getting up and reading helped my emotionally. No point in being frustrated by something that isn't hurting me and really rarely ends in TIRED. I was listening to Jerry Seinfeld, Youtube, on Transcendental Meditation..and wondered over all how that would work?

  • Bestyears

    Well, I'm here with cautiously happy news! I ate six pistachios before I went to bed last night, and slept better than usual. I had the lights out at 11:30 (after reading for an hour), and I think I fell asleep between 12:15-12:30. Then I woke up at 2-ish and 5-ish (which is far less than usual for me. And I was easily back asleep very quickly. There was an interesting difference in that I felt more tired, yawning and everything. I admit to being skeptical because I'd taken melatonin in pill form a few times and found it had no effect. I'm anxious to try again tonight. So thank you Walnutcreek!

  • l pinkmountain

    My dad has trouble sleeping but claims nothing, nothing will ever work. Wonder if I could sneak get him some pistachios! He refuses to even try most things.

  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

    Bestyears, so hope it keeps working for you. Funny that you mention the feeling more tired. I have been experiencing that, too. Maybe I am eating too many pistachios beforehand. Think will try just two tonight and see what happens. Regardless, I am just glad to have found such an innocent thing to add to my diet for a wonderful sleep aid.


    Pinkmountain, it seems to me that most older people do like to eat nuts. Does he like pecans, peanuts, walnuts; if so, he will probably like pistachios, too. And, if he likes to eat ice cream, they are a nice topping for that.


  • Annie Deighnaugh

    I know one woman who swears by something called gabatrol.

    No idea what it is, if it works or how to take it. But it might be worthwhile checking out.

    Bestyears thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • whatsayyou18

    We keep pistachios and cashews in the house for snacking. I tend to alternate between the two (one for 2-3 weeks and then switch). I'd been easily falling asleep until a couple of weeks ago which, looking back, is when I switched from pistachios to cashews. I had a handful of pistachios last night and fell asleep easily. I was also skeptical since I've had unpleasant effects with melatonin capsules.

    Interestingly enough, a friend on FB shared this today: "Did you know that eating just two pistachios before bed helps with sleep as they are the most melatonin rich food ever recorded. Eating a whole handful of pistachios is like a high dose melatonin supplement."

    I love pistachios and am unable to stop at just two. I've just eaten a handful as a snack and am now hoping I don't fall asleep during my Pilates class an hour from now! ;)

    Good info,WalnutCreek; thanks for sharing!! It will be interesting to see if this was just a fluke or whether there really is something to it.


    Bestyears thanked whatsayyou18
  • yeonassky

    Here's an article which discusses different foods for sleep problems. My sister has serious insomnia so I'm going to tell her about the pistachios and she can start with that. I hope you find something that helps. Good luck!

    https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/g796/sleep-inducing-foods/

    Bestyears thanked yeonassky
  • Sueb20

    I ate 5 pistachios last night. No effect. Bummer.

  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

    Oh, Sueb, that is so disappointing. Recommend you keep trying them, hoping that it will soon work.


    I did eat 4 pistachios last night. As you said, whatsayyou, it is hard to stop at two. I still fell asleep, woke up twice, and still fell right back to sleep. I really thought about the "feeling tired" situation when I woke up this morning; think it is not truly a feeling of tiredness, but more a wanting to stay snuggled in bed, and it taking longer to become fully awake like when I was a young child. It did not seem to take as long to awaken fully; maybe because of eating only 4 pistachios.


    Arcy, I sure wish it would work for you.

  • whatsayyou18

    Didn't work for me last night either. I'll continue though because I just LOVE Pistachios; nothing to lose!

  • 3katz4me

    Thanks for the update. I’m no longer kicking myself for forgetting to buy pistachios today.

  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

    Another report. Last night I made myself eat only 3 pistachios. Still wonderful results. Went to sleep without any issue and, I could not believe this, slept for 7 hours without having to get up. Then went back to bed and back to sleep for another 1 1/2 hour. First time I have slept basically through the night in years. 😴

  • Bestyears

    So I've done pistachios for three nights now. Night #1, as reported, was not a perfect night's sleep, but the best I'd had in a long, long while. Night#2 felt like a typical night's sleep, with no impact from the pistachios. Last night, #3, was not quite as good as night #1, but definitely better than usual, so I'll be sticking with this for awhile.

  • l pinkmountain

    We are all on low salt diets, so I had trouble finding no salt pistachios at the store, at least ones that were shelled. I can shell pistachios but my Dad has grip problems in his hands and I doubt he would easily invest in doing that. I bought some honey roasted ones to try out, which had only a little salt on them. Wonder how roasting affects the chemical compounds? I ate a handful last night. No effect on my falling asleep, but definitely something was up with my waking up. Could not wake up this morning for the life of me, didn't get out of bed until 11 and have felt groggy all day, slight headache. Also many weird dreams, and I hardly ever dream. Of course association does not prove causation . . .

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