Friday, July 11, 2008

Trazodone Taper, Part 10.5: Sleep

While tapering off of trazodone has been really good for my mental acuity and creativity, I am still struggling with sleep. I took my last 25 mg of trazodone last Saturday night, and since then I have had a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep.

Sunday night I tried Sleepytime Tea (by Celestial Seasonings)--the one with valerian and chamomile...which did actually make me sleepy, but not sleepy enough to ignore the fact that I had to get up to go to the bathroom several times because I drank tea at bedtime!
The next few nights it took ages to fall asleep, and it felt like I was awake a good part of the night...although I didn't feel too bad in the morning, so I must have gotten more sleep than it seemed.

I wonder if maybe when I'm not on trazodone, I just don't need as much sleep. I got it beaten into my head by my psychiatrist that I needed to get 8-9 hours a night or I would get hypomanic...but before my diagnosis, I did fine on 7 or 7 1/2 hours. I'll have to play with my bedtime and see what happens.

Last night was actually much better...I think because I made an effort to avoid caffeine after lunch. I fell asleep fairly quickly, but was rudely awakened at 1:30 am by my weather radio telling me we had a severe thunderstorm watch (a watch, for Pete's sake! I think that after 10:00 they should really only have the thing go off if a tornado is bearing down upon my house...anything else, I'd rather sleep through, thank you!). I had no sooner gotten back to sleep when the storm hit, keeping me awake for over an hour.

Writing Prompt: Yesterday I wrote about journal writing rituals, and now I'm thinking about bedtime rituals. Do you have a bedtime ritual? If so, what do you do to get your mind ready for sleep? (If you've got any good ideas, go ahead and post them in comments--I'd be interested to hear what other people are doing to get to sleep!). My kids have a bedtime ritual, and it seems to help them settle down. Me, I don't really have anything other than grab a glass of water, go upstairs, brush teeth, hop into bed and read for fifteen or twenty minutes. Maybe I need to do some yoga or meditation before bed...I think it's a matter of, well, I know I should do this, know.


Gianna said...

hey Jazz,
I highly recommend doing a trial of no caffeine at all...

I know what it's like if it feels inconceivable or impossible...but in the long run...(a few weeks max) you'll have more energy in general and it may truly improve your sleep greatly...

Just a suggestion...caffeine was the last dietary change I took me two years of trying to get off it...but it has made a massive difference and now if I have even a little caffeine it knocks me for a loop, proving how powerful it is and that my addiction was severe---and included a large tolerance to it...

also if you want to talk amino acids let me know...

Jazz said...

Yeah, I know...caffeine...
I've dropped it before, and I know it's probably better for me to do so. Right now the only reason I'm using it is because I'm trying to drink soy milk for hot flashes--which is working--and chai with vanilla soy milk is about the only way I can tolerate the stuff! (I've never been a milk drinker, and soy milk, even vanilla soy milk, straight, is just plain nasty!) I will look for some decaf chai, though...Or maybe I should just drink chocolate soy bad can that be? (don't answer that question...I have my own suspiscions about how bad it could be!).

Hannah said...

Here are some tips I've picked up

1. Only use the bedroom for sleep (no TV, computer etc.)
2. Only go to bed when you are sleepy - if you are restless get up and do something relaxing like a jigsaw puzzle, then go back to the bedroom.
3. No stimulants - coffee or tea - try warm milk with honey instead (milk raises seratonin levels and honey acts as a mild sedative)
4. No alcohol.
5. Routine works - get up and go to bed at the same time.
6. Keep a comfortable temperature in the bedroom.
7. Counting back from 100 - backwards is hypnotic.
8. Warm bath wih natural oils.
9. No napping during the day.
10. Diet - avoid amino acid tyramine - stimulates adrenalin - found in tomatoes, peppers, cheese. Avoid refined sugars that mess with your glucose levels. Eat 3 hours before bed - active digestion system will keep you awake.

And my favourite: A fresh fig with a few drops of rose water before bed - the fig stimulates seratonin and rose water relaxes you - plus it's scrummy!

Try for more tips!

Jazz said...

Thank you for the ideas! Interesting about tyramine. I used to have to avoid it because of migraine headaches (which I don't get anymore), but I had no idea it could mess with my sleep!).

I will have to hunt down some figs. That fresh fig with rosewater does sound yummy. I wonder if you can even get fresh figs here in the wilds of Minnesota?

Thanks again for all your tips!