Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WFMW: Insomnia Help

Thanks to Shannon from Rocks in my Dryer for hosting the weekly Works for me Wednesday Carnival!

I struggle with insomnia. I have a tough time getting to sleep, and once I get to sleep, if I wake up for any little thing, like to go to the bathroom (which I do), I can't get back to sleep. I will lay for hours just tossing and turning. Recently, I've been noticing the volume of people discussing problems they have with insomnia, and I'm so surprised at how many people actually experience insomnia in one form or another! In my family alone, my mother, father, sister, and myself all struggle with it. I read where an estimated 30-50% of the general population are affected by insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia -- so basically, I'm a statistic.

A while back, I actually mentioned it to my doctor, and he suggested that I try taking 2 Benadryl to get to sleep before trying a prescription sleep aid. He explained that Benadryl is actually the active ingredient in medicines like Advil PM or Tylenol PM, but without the pain reliever. It is also the same active ingredient in Tylenol's Simply Sleep, but the beauty of Benadryl is that you can get the generic brand WAY cheaper than Tylenol. Diphenhydramine HCl is the active ingredient I'm referring to, and not only is it an antihistamine, but it is also a sleep aid, and a motion sickness aid! I can get a mega bottle at Costco (100 pills) for about $5. I don't take it every night... only when I've laid in bed for more than 45 minutes unable to fall asleep. Usually, within 15 minutes, I'm drifting off.

Now -- here's the thing ... even though Benadryl helps get me to sleep, I still wake up in the middle of the night and am not able to get back to sleep. This is just as frustrating, and another form of Insomnia that I can do without, thankyouverymuch!

I mentioned this to a friend of mine who has a certificate in homeopathic stuff (not sure what it is), but she recommended that I try Valerian. It is natural, homeopathic, and it works like a charm at keeping me asleep! I get mine at Vitacost, and it is called "Relax & Sleep" -- I take two at bed time along with my 2 Benadryl, and voila. I sleep through the night. Praise the Lord! I like that it's natural, and I like that it's gentle.

One thing you need to know... I do take other prescriptions on a regular basis, so I ran these two sleeping aids by my doctor, and he is totally okay with me using them. I would not combine things (whether prescribed or not) willy-nilly, and don't suggest you do, either.

It TOTALLY works for me! If you try this, I hope it works for you, too. Head on over to Rocks in my Dryer where you will find hundreds of other helpful tips!


Renna said...

I've heard of Valerian, but never tried it. Interesting! For years, I have been taking a Melatonin pill each night. They're over the counter and cheap. It doesn't knock me out the way Benedryl does, but over a 30 minute period before bedtime, it makes me sleepy. It's supposed to help regulate your body's sleep pattern, I believe. Anyway, I love it!

Lovely Rita said...

Read that a bath has the same effect as a sleep aid, but don't know that it'd work like Benadryl or the herbal remedies. I love hearing about new herbal helps, although the thing keeping me awake at night is usually a four year old crying for me. Thankfully, it only happens about once a month. Wonder if that Valerian would help him ;)

Overwhelmed! said...

Thankfully I don't struggle with insomnia but it's nice to know that if this ever becomes a problem I can look into Valerian.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your tip. I have chronic insomnia, and can't take sleeping pills (it makes me feel like ive taken a caffeine pill). Always nice to see natural remedies.

Michelle@Life with Three said...

Thanks for sharing this! I don't struggle with insomnia at the moment, but I will file it away for the future. As a side note, I made a point of writing down the info on the ear numbing drops, which really came in handy when my daughter was diagnosed with a double ear infection earlier this week! Thanks so much for sharing that info! :)

Anonymous said...

It seems like I have the same sleep problems you do. Thanks for posting about your solution.

My husband is terrified of my taking any sleep aid. I'll have to look into this and see if it may be right for me. :)