When I stopped the Ambien three weeks ago I took Tylenol PM to ease back into normal sleep.
When I stopped the Tylenol PM I slept on my own. I fell asleep well but I woke up regularly during the night.
Over the last week, the tables turned. I no longer fell asleep quickly but, excluding occasional pet disturbances, I slept well. The hours wasted away and so did my chances at a full night’s slumber.
I tried Lavender Epsom Salt baths, they calmed me down but didn’t lull me to sleep. I tried sleep sprays. I tried chamomile-infused hand creams. Nothing worked.
I turn off half my lights one hour before I lay down. I lower the brightness and volume on my computer. I brush my teeth and complete my evening skincare routine half an hour before I lay down. I turn off my laptop and I read until I feel drowsy.
Drowsy but awake.
I carry my stress in my jaw and clench it without realizing. I only notice when it feels sore. Years ago, I ground my teeth and tightened my jaw and neck. After years of practice, I broke the habit.
It is back.
I wake up in the middle of the night sore. I clench my jaw in my sleep? On top of not falling asleep, I am also not getting a good night’s rest.
I did not realize I was “stressed”. If I were to write down everything in my day I do not think I would come up with anything “stressful”. Things are going well right now, mundane, but well. Maybe that’s it? I don’t do mundane. I get bored quickly and look for a change!
Even as I write this post, I clench my jaw. I do not realize I am doing it so I cannot stop it. Even when I am aware and actively relax the muscles they bounce right back. This was a huge problem for me when I was a kid because it resulted in pain and other dental issues but I do not remember how to break this habit.
I tried deep meditation and yoga before bed but all the bad thoughts I suppress, surface. I’ve tried laying there and hoping sleep comes to me. It turns into me checking the clock every hour and thinking “if I fall asleep now, I have X hours left to sleep…”
Medications do not work neither do natural remedies like warm milk. I am hesitant to re-start Ambien because I experience weird side-effects with it (next day grogginess is not one, surprisingly!)
What do you think: Is there something I have not tried that might help? Do you have any good stress-relievers you swear by?
Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.
About two months ago I couldn’t sleep til like 4am each nite which is so annoying cuz I need to wake up for work at 7. I would pop a benadryl antihistamine when I needed to get some rest. That stuff always makes me sleepy.
I hope it gets better for you! And that it’s just a temporary phase while your body adjusts to being without ambien.
Oh wow! That must have taken its toll! Benadryl works well for me but it takes a few hours to kick in, so I always have to remember to take it with dinner! I finally slept well last night and I am really hope it means I will finally sleep properly!!
Have you tried acupressure to relieve the clenched jaw? I have a good acupressure selfhelp book and it says to do the following about three times a day. Do not press really hard! You must feel it but it should not hurt! Three middle fingers of each hand placed directly beside your ears, gentle pressure for about a minute. Three fingers of each hand with the middlefinger on the swingpoint of the jaw -when you move your jaw you can feel the joint- gentle pressure for a minute. Two or three fingers on the ‘hook’ of the lower jaw, gently feel where it hurts the most, that’s where the stress resides. Again gentle pressure for a minute. Also great for toothache relief. But please be careful, if it hurts bad don’t go on, start really gently.
Thank you so much!!! I remember my mother tried acupressure/puncture for some cancer-pain relief but I never looked further into the practice. I will definitely give these exercises a try!
You are most welcome! The book is Acupressure’s Potent Points by Michael Reed Gach, specifically geared to self treatment not having to rely on somebody -which is what appealed to me-
Thanks! Yes, that is probably one of the biggest drawbacks for me, too! If I can, I will always try self-treatments first 🙂